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Monday, August 29, 2011


Drew: you're really going to post a Hamels vs Cincy start without his career line against them?

Try this on for size:

In 8 starts he has lasted 56.2 IP while posting a 7-0 record, 1.43 ERA, 0.935 WHIP, and an opposing batting slashline of .169/.252/.303

Looking to see how often he goes to the curveball, and what his velocity looks like.

repost, and will add this: For ppl who argue that RBI is mostly a function of opportunity, then is the 2006-2011 Phillies offense among the top 10 offenses in MLB History? And if not, then why is Howard on this list?

Players with at least 1 RBI per every 4.5 AB, min 500 games played in MLB history:

1. Babe Ruth 3.80
2. Lou Gehrig 4.01
3. Hank Greenberg 4.07
4. Ted Williams 4.19
5. Jimmie Foxx 4.23
6. Mark McGwire 4.38
7. Ryan Howard 4.38
8. Joe DiMaggio 4.44
9. Hack Wilson 4.48

lorecore making it personal.

I'm wondering how Hamels' covert trip to Japan went, and if plans on employing the newly added gyroball tonight.

hamels rarely goes to the curveball in any game. not sure if that's an indicator of anything

On the last thread- I didn't get in on that nonsense but here goes.

As for that list I would take these guys over Howard hands down:

Pujols (duh)

Adrian Gonzalez- (I think he gives good numbers, has good plate discipline, and is probably the best defensive first baseman in the game.)

This guys are a toss-up to me and in that case, I'll take Howard:

Fielder (I know people complain about Howard's body type but Fielder is a giant red flag with his body type.)

Votto (I like his game but he power numbers wise isn't Howard)

Cabrera (Great numbers but appears to be a me-first type player and has caused his team problems in the past. Attitude is a big part of Howard's appeal)

Teixiera (A few years ago he would be picked over Howard but his batting average has slumped the past two seasons as I think he is trying to hit for power too much. As it is, his average is below Howard's this season. If Howard is trending downward- as many claim- then you have to say the same thing is happening to Tex)

Howard wins hands down over:

Konerko (A nice player and has bounced back fine in the last two years but he is going into his age 37 season.)

Morse (Seems like a nice player but needs to do this year over a series of seasons)

Trumbo (Ditto Morse)

Freeman (Ditto Morse and Trumbo)

TTI: Votto doesn't have Howard's power numbers?

Votto 2011 SLG: .555
Howard 2011 SLG: .481

Votto 2009-11 SLG: .575
Howard 2009-11 SLG: .523

Votto career SLG: .557
Howard career SLG: .560

Votto has never had a slugging season like Howard's 2006, sure, but Howard's certainly not that player anymore.

lorecore, do you understand the concept of a player's performance declining with age? That included in those elite are their age 32/33 through 4x years? Show the list through age 31/32 as see what that says.

You realize too that RBIzzz are an imperfect stat, albeit one that tracks the thing that Howard does the best almost perfectly?

Where does Howard sit on the rally starting list? That would be an interesting list.

A few days off should revive Cole's frayed rotator cuff and slightly torn labrum.

i'll play devil's advocate to TTI.

Miggy - his offensive numbers are far far far better than Howard's. and he is on 1st place team. it doesn't appear as though character is a real problem for him.

Tex - their BA's are the same (.251). Tex has higher ISO, OPS and wOBA. they both have 99 RBI, but Tex has 11 more Runs and 8 more HR's. finally, Tex is a GG caliber 1B.

finally, the post was for who you'd rather have for the rest of this year, so Fielder and Votto should be back ahead of him. oh, and Votto has 1 fewer HR than Howard so your comment about his power is just plain wrong. he out homered Howard last year as well.

TTI - I took the question as, which player would you rather have for the rest of this season, not, which player would you rather have over the next five years - so konerko entering his age 37 season is largely irrelevant.

Also, re: each player you mentioned -

Fiedler - has had the same body type every year he's been in the majors, it's never seemed to be a problem. His production this year is so far and above Howard's; I don't understand how you don't take him

Cabrera - again, his numbers are in every way vastly superior; not sure his attitude is enough to offset that.

Votto - the fact his slg is over 70 points higher than Howards hurts your 'power numbers wise he isn't Howard' argument

Teixiera - his average is the same as Howard's, and his OBP and SLG are both better, along with better defense. again, not sure how you don't take him. and he doesn't seem to be trending downward at all; in fact he's on pace for near career highs in HRs

And I don't see how Howard (.251/.341/.481) wins 'hands down' over either Konerko (.316/.402/.546) or Morse (.314/.372/.545) - especially considering it's just for the rest of this year.

conshy, Howard has 54 XBH this year (27 HR, 26 2B, 1 3B). Votto has 57 XBH this year (26 HR, 29 2B, 2 3B). They both have a .230 ISO, so their "power" is pretty much exactly the same.

The difference between the two is that Votto is hitting .325 and has 157 hits, while Howard is hitting .251 and has "only" 119 hits.

Must just be that time of year, with only limited competition for the playoff spots.

Drew, I retract my earlier comments. Your previous post was actually "hard hitting" compared to this idiocy.

WP, at least the sock discussion is something that hasn't been beaten to death over and over and over again.

clout - You really think Hamels is hurt that badly?

Unless Hamels velocity is notably down again which is a clear red flag, I wouldn't take away too much from this start although Cincinnati is oddly a place that Hamels has pitched very well in during his career:

4 GS, 3-0, 1.67 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, .172 BAA

I can't believe you don't see how one's socksuality is socially constructed.

Fata: Home runs don't count to you? RBI's don't count to you? There are not be all stats but they do carry some weight in my world. Even if you want to discount them entirely you have to acknowledge that over teh course of 162 games in his career Howard averages 45 home runs with 137 RBI's. Votto averages 32 and 106. That is a pretty significant differnce and isn't solely just "The people who bat in front of Howard."

Also, for the 2009-2011 period it is only fair that you mention Howard lost quite a bit due to injury last season which had his SLG about 50 points below his career average.

Something else we know about Howard- he hits well come playoff time with a career slash of .278/.382/.517. Small sample size but Votto is 1 for 10 in his playoff career.

Like I said- it's close with Votto, and I'm not declaring Howard to be a significantly better player. Just saying when it's that close to me, I'll take the guy we have.

Do we know if Hamels is on a pitch count? without a rehab start I'm concerned manuel would let him go deep. The pen should be fully rested.

Edmundo: "You realize too that RBIzzz are an imperfect stat, albeit one that tracks the thing that Howard does the best almost perfectly?"

Its not an 'imperfect' stat, its just a simple counting stat that does exactly what its supposed to. And yes I realize that more RBI doesnt mean 'better player', but the main argument why is because opportunity dictates, which i reply: Does the Phils 2006-2011 offense generate RBI opportunity among the best offenses in MLB history?

TTI - Votto has missed time too. 31 games in 2009 (i think it was depression related) and 12 games in 2010, although those could just be days off.

if you want to consider Howard the 45 hr guy he used to be, that's fine. to me, and others, it's starting to look like he's more of the 35 hr type. incidentally, if he goes back to the former, i'd take him over most guys on that list, batting average and k's be damned. i really miss THAT version of Howard.

TTI, I understand how injuries affect counting stats, but how did Howard's injury last year affect his SLG% by 50 points?

Even before his injury (at which point, there was no news that anything was affecting him physically), he was still only SLG .528. His career SLG% the day he was injured last year was .571, so not sure why the injury caused him to slug 43 points below his career average before it happened.

Also, I never said that homeruns don't count, nor did I said RBI don't count. Howard has been a much better home run hitter than Votto; ok, that's fine. But power numbers are composed of all XBH, Votto is right there with Howard this year, but also bats 75 points higher.

Lastly, I'm not comparing Votto to the historical Howard. I'm comparing Votto to Howard now (I only gave the three year and career SLG numbers to show that it's no fluke that Votto slugs better than Howard). Howard had a better season in 2006 than any of today's first baseman (save Pujols) can hope to replicate. But Howard is not comparable to Votto right now, and it's not even close:

Votto BB%: 16.5
Howard BB%: 11.2

Votto K%: 16.9
Howard K: 26.6

Votto ISO: .230
Howard ISO: .230

Votto: .325/.440/.555
Howard: .251/.341/.481

And as far as the playoffs go, come on; Ryan Howard has been great at times in the playoffs and putrid at other times. Votto faced Halladay during a no-hitter and Cole Hamels during one of his vintage complete game shutout performances. I'd take Votto over Howard in an instant right now, and that's no slight to Howard. That's just being objective.

I guess Ibanez is now "week-to-week" with this minor injury?

Probably should have just DL'd him when it happened. Probably will end up about 15 days between OF starts for him anyway.

I think you are only allowed 1 gimp on the bench per team, right?

Anyone who would rather Howard over Votto smoking crack.

Hamm - I would imagine that Phils won't push Hamels beyond 90-95 pitches in his 1st start back especially without a rehab appearance.

conshy: finally, the post was for who you'd rather have for the rest of this year, so Fielder and Votto should be back ahead of him.

Sorry I offered my opinion. Please give me your e-mail address so any time I want to offer up something I can run it by you to make sure that is what I want to say.

I added a caveat to my opinion in that I extended it out over the next few years. Just arguing who I would rather have between now to the end of the year basically means I'm picking our starting pitchers and no one else from the team.

Again- it's not that Howard is considerably better than the four guys in that middle category to me. It's just that they are close and when it's close I'll take the guy we have.

"I think you are only allowed 1 gimp on the bench per team, right?"

If by "1" you mean "1 in addition to Ross Gload" then yeah, sure. The Phils always seem to have a dude or two who isn't DL'd, but also isn't exactly capable of playing the game for an extended stretch.

I just had lunch with Whitey and King of the Bop and I must say it was nice except for being called a pinko, papalist, mud person when I asked for the ketchup (by Whitey) and witnessing King of the Bop trying the old "popcorn trick" with a young girl at the table near us. As I quickly put my money on the table and left, Whitey offered me a Chick tract about friends of gays and satan-worshippers and Bop drew a smiley face on his ass and tried talking to an old lady across the room.

Fata: Again- it's not that Howard is a significantly better player than Votto. I never said that and I wouldn't say that. I think power numbers they are close although overall I'd still take Howard slightly. Votto is clearly better defensively than Howard.

To me- and it's only a freakin' opinion- it's close to a toss up between those two and in that case I'll take Howard.

Also thank you for explaining to me what XBH are? You really thought I didn't comprehend what that meant?

TTI: "Home runs don't count to you? RBI's don't count to you?"

Of course they don't count. Neither do wins.

You obviously don't read Beerleaguer.

rauls: It's "Papist". Get your anti-Catholic slurs right!

TTI, it's not close to a toss up, and that's the point.

Also, I never explained what XBHs are, so not sure where there's not coming from.

Lastly, it's been stated directly to me on this site by numerous posters that everyone on here is free to voice their opinion, and other are free to offer up disagreements to others' opinions (basically the whole point of a baseball forum, I suppose), so I'm not quite sure why the indignation.

Sorry, there was an older fire and brimstone guy who called me and my dad a "papalist" years ago on Broad street because we got off the subway with our ashes on. But I will accept either.

Actually, it's same thing:

Gelb says this

"Mayberry is in left. It begins. Again."

What does that mean?

Fata: This was what you said:

"Howard has been a much better home run hitter than Votto; ok, that's fine. But power numbers are composed of all XBH"

That is basically saying, "XBH are more than home runs." So I stand by thanking you for the explanation.

Also, you were the one on here crying about people not listening to you when you offer a differing opinion and now I'm offering one outside of the majority and you are getting upset and saying things like, "It isn't a toss up between Votto and Howard."

If that is what I believe, then who are you to tell me it's not. You are free to say I disagree but you are stating with certainty that you're opinion is the only right one. Amazing how if someone did that to you you'd fire off a statement complaining.

And again because you are letting this get lost because it doesn't fit your narrative. I'm not saying that Howard is clearly a better player than Votto. In fact, in my original post I offered two guys I thought were clearly better and four who I felt weren't. I offered up four guys where I think it is close. That could mean that the other guy is better to some degree but not in a huge degree like a Pujols or Adrian Gonzalez is.

To put this another way. Let's say I told you that you had a choice between two bags that I was holding. One contained 51 M&M's and one contained 49 M&M's. (Fill in whatever food you want for the analogy.) You get one chance to pick a bag and whichever one you pick you keep. Is there that big a difference between 51 and 49. Of course there are two more in one bag but would you really see the difference?

Now say one bag had 85 M&M's and one had 15. That choice means that you badly want to pick the one with 85 because it is considerably more.

Votto (Fielder, Cabrera, Tex) versus Howard is the first scenario to me. In some of those scenarios Howard may be the 51 and in others he may be the 49, but to me there isn't a vast difference where I think one guy pushes our team over the edge.(And I know you'll quote WAR or something, but I know what those numbers say so don't bother. I find WAR to be a vastly imperfect stat)

With Pujols and Gonzalez, Howard is the latter food scenario to me. I think either of those two are clearly a huge upgrade over Howard.

Here's the point though, I understand that some will disagree with that. I understand there are points of view that would take Howard over everyone on the list and there are points of view that would take no one on that list over Howard, regardless of how silly I may feel either side of that debate is. For me personally, Howard is close to quite a few guys on that list and again- when it is close- IMO- I will take the guy on our team.

Lastly, I generally like you even if I disagree with you but lately you have been actively working to get me to hate you it feels like.

Drew, NOW can we agree that the position-by-position "who would you rather..." concept might not be the greatest?


Drew gets slammed for bringing up a topic, and the subject then generates a good amount of discussion. I'd say he's doing a good job.

TTI - what is your basis for declaring a comparison between howard and teixeira/cabrera/votto/fielder a "toss up"? There's very little statistical evidence that supports the fact that they are still similar players. if you examine their statistics, teixeira/cabrera/votto/fielder are on one tier, howard is on another.

I think you could help your argument by giving a more substantive argument then just stating you think it's a toss up. I respect your opinion, but I respect statistics and facts more.

The power numbers are similar between Votto and Howard, but Votto is hitting .325 with a staggering .440 OBP. This is where the talent gap exists (and on defense as TTI mentioned), and it makes Votto a much better player than Howard.

TTI, I just don't see how it's close, even on a subjective level, but you're entitled to your opinion, obviously.

Also, if I'm coming off like a T-Bag, I apologize. I'm not trying to get you hate me. Just trying to stir objective debate, and I try not to come off too defensively, but I realize I fail at that often.

I'm generally not a fan of your incendiary approach, but you often do come onto this blog wielding a syringe of truth (see what I did there?), so that's why I try to debate with you, because you'll call me out on my BS, if I'm shoveling any.

Thanks for the high socks article, Preacher--it was killin'. If mostly locked-in playoff spots mean more articles like that... I'm down.

Also, you said yourself that Pujols and Gonzalez are a clear upgrade over Howard, and Votto/Fielder/Cabrera aren't - can you tell me which of these is Pujols/Gonzalez, and which is Votto/Fielder/Cabrera?

A: .345/.406/.559
B: .295/.409/.546
C: .324/.430/.550
D: .325/.440/.555
E: .288/.360/.535

And then can you honestly say Howard's line of .251/.341/.481 can be considered a 'toss up' to any of the above players? They're all clearly superior.

circus, because I've looked each up all day, I can definitely tell you who each is.

Can I play?

Fact:The greatest Phillie to ever play 1st or 3rd ever, played both positions.
It was me. I am better than all these guys.

This sounds a little like a plethysmograph, which used compression for testing, rather than for therapy. Don't know if they even use them anymore.

But I have a device similar to what Djokovich uses, and it cost only ten dollars and it is applied to only one "joint." Works like a charm. Of course, charms don't work at all. Oh well.

RE: "Ever since last year's U.S. Open, Djokovic has been trying to improve his fitness by climbing into a rare $75,000 egg-shaped, bobsled-sized pressure chamber.

Of course in a vacuum, you'd rather have players such as Votto and Gonzales over Howard. But don't discount playoff experience/success, which includes getting to the playoffs first.

41 games
7 hr 27 rbi
and 1 "get me to the plate boys"
World Series win with Brett Myers as the #2

3 games
0 hr 1 rbi

4 games
1 hr 2 rbi

4 games
0 hr 0 rbi

I'm well aware that first basemen aren't quarterbacks in terms of needing postseason success to define them, but I guess I'm saying be careful what you wish for. What we have is pretty good.

fatalotti - haha...shockingly the easiest one to pick out is pujols. who woulda thought.

raul's grampa, thanks for meeting me for lunch. The next time I order salad, just remember there is no need to go to the lettuce patch and pick lettuce. We have people for that for God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit's sake!

circus: I have stated that I changed the context of the argument for my purposes because I think the concept of "who would you rather have this year is silly." Given how Drew is framing the discussion it basically means you wouldn't pick a Philly at any position (other than starting pitcher) because you can field an All-Star team. Now if the topic was- "how far would you have to go before you got to a Phillie" that is one thing, but that's not how it was presented.

Also to play your game:

A.) Gonzalez, B.) Fielder, C.) Cabrera, D.) Votto, E.) Pujols-

So yes, the numbers for this year indicate something. What do I win?

For Pujols numbers it needs to be pointed out that all those numbers are vastly below his career averages. Also, he missed time this year with a broken forearm- an injury that has been said to be hard to come back from and regain power right away.

Gonzalez I deemed hands down better than Howard more because of his defensive prowess than anything else. It only helps that his numbers are extremely good- even if he is pretty substantially above his career averages right now (some of that may be due to moving into a better hitter's park.

Pujols is a no brainer to me and should be for anyone else. He is a guy who can hit .330 with 40 home runs. On top of that he is pretty good defensively as well. That is why both he and Gonzalez fall into the "duh" category for me.

Fielder is pretty close offensively. It needs to be pointed out also that Howard is hitting well below his career average this year and Fielder is well above his. Fielder draws more walks and their home run and RBI totals are very close. Howard is a better defender than Fielder even if it is not a huge difference. That falls into the analogy to me where Fielder might be a better player but it is not to the degree that Gonzalez is.

Votto has a better eye at the plate, and his average is much higher than Howard's. He also has a BABIP that is 63 points higher. And he is a better defender- no doubt. Home runs he is slightly behind Howard and RBI's he is behind him. I would say Votto is a better player than Fielder but I still don't think he is that next tier. Of the ten that were listed I think he is the top of that second tier though. (But I absolutely see why someone would say he is on the same par as Pujols and Gonzalez if they were so inclined to).

Cabrera is better offensively in many respects but Howard is better defensively. Also, it's hard to ignore that Cabrera has had attitude problems in the past that very well could have directly affected his team getting to the playoffs. So again, the difference to me is not vast.

To me you have to look at all aspects of a player. Of the three I mentioned as being a toss up I think Howard is a better defender than two of them. It doesn't make up for everything offensively but it does make up some of it.

TTI, to your point about A-Gon hitting better perhaps because he's away from Petco, I think you're right:

Gonzalez career away: .308/.379/.571 (.950)
Gonzalez at Petco: .267/.367/.442 (.808

Gonzalez 2011 Home: .355/.411/.525 (.936)
Gonzalez 2011 Road: .336/.402/.591 (.993)

Petco killed this guy's career, in a sense.

TTI - If you're framing the argument as, who would I rather have not just this year, but in years to come, then it makes even less sense to take Howard over Votto et al. Howard's the oldest player in the group, and it's pretty hard to argue against his declining offensive numbers.

Howard's leaving his prime, Votto, Cabrera and Fielder are entering theirs. But I suppose each to his own. And Votto has a career BABIP much higher than Howards; neither of their BABIPs are too out of line with recent seasons. Howard's lower BABIP is more an indication of the shift neutralizing many of the balls he puts into play (ehh joke to be made)

hib to the jib

circus: Go back and read my initial post as to why I picked Howard over certain guys. It's all there and there is no reason for me to rehash it. I specifically mentioned why I picked Howard over certain guys.

I'm going to ignore Clout's 3:27 PM post just like everyone else, and tuck it away with all of my other repressed nightmares.

Deutsche Phan, you can safely ignore it. I've experienced both the slightly torn rotator cuff and labrum injury in the past, one that ended up not requiring surgery, and I can tell you that the inability to do even the simplest of tasks without pain for the initial 3 weeks after the injury would preclude a pitcher from even pretending like he was ok. Extremely doubtful that there's anything torn in his pitching shoulder.

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