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Friday, September 23, 2011

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Savery is probably a better hitter than Bowker. If John was ever a possibility than Joe has a good chance of making one of the series matchups.

This just in from Comcast Sports Net:

Jason Weitzel, creator of the popular "Beerleaguer" baseball blog, for the first time has revealed the true identity of one of the blog's most frequent posters.

Weitzel, under pressure from major league baseball, has confirmed that the poster known as "Will Schweitzer" is, in fact, Juan Carlos Oviedo.

Oviedo has been posting on blogs across the country whenever he receives a BlackBerry alert for posts about Latin American players and their ages.

(from end of last thread)

well, we've learned a few things over the past 6 games:

1. Bowker may not be a good option to start a playoff game this year.

2. Despite his gaudy Win/Loss record, Schneider does not appear to be as good as Ruiz.

3. Some of our regulars seem prone to slump from time to time.

4. We need more meaningless RBI's.

5. Hell has indeed frozen over (Jack, TTI, Iceman on the same page).

6. Cut_Fastball could be the King of the Debbie Downer club if he would only change his handle to "Cut_Wrists".

7. Chase Utley has been secretly replaced by a de-caffinated Chase Utley, let's see if anyone notices...

8. Oh, since Chase is slumping, he must be hurt. That's breaking news around here!

9. Meaningless losses have different degrees of sucktitude depending whether:

a) you were at the game
b) it is fan appreciation night
c) a sweep is at stake
d) you're on your period

10. BL is more fun when there is chaos!

One fact may give Red Sox fans some optimism assuming they can survive September. Since division play started in 1969, nine playoff teams limped through September and October going four games under .500 or worse. Five of those nine teams went on to win the pennant, with the 2000 Yankees and the 2006 Cardinals going on to win the World Series. Teams that went into the playoffs blistering hot fared much, much worse. In that same timeframe, 10 playoff teams finished at least 16 games over .500. Only one, the 1969 World Series champion Mets, even won the pennant in that season.

From Sean Forman (Baseball Reference.com) in today's NY Times

Not much talk here lately about Shane Victorino being the MVP. Where'd all those folks go?

It's the longest losing streak ever by a major-league team in the World Series era (i.e., 1903 to date) that began in the game after that team clinched a league or division title. The old high was a five-game losing streak by the Twins after they clinched first place in the A.L. West in 1987.

Elias, via Stark.

EFF - these Phillies sure know how to be historic!

thats some balls... ruining the last thread with italics and then promptly using them not once but twice within minutes of the new thread.

This all reminds me of the Colts 2009 season.

http://www.indy.com/posts/14-and-1-angry-fan-base

Given the starters who have played are a joke at the plate and Howard & Pence are recovering & resting, what team is rolled out tonight against a power knuckle-baller and rain? I say get the regulars back on the field tomorrow.

Savery and Cliff Lee are your best hitting options on the bench.

Not much talk here lately about Shane Victorino being the MVP. Where'd all those folks go?

They didn't go anywhere. Unfortunately, Shane did.

If there's one team on earth that I think hasn't gone into a "culture of losing" after six games, it's the 2011 Phillies, the winningest team in the NL over the last 8 season and the 5-time division champs. These guys know what they're doing.

And yes, the team being old and banged up IS a concern. But that's a concern regardless of whether we won or lost the last few games, right?

Pretty clear (and unpleasant) message from Phillies to Phans last night. "We don't care."

Not much talk here lately about Shane Victorino being the MVP. Where'd all those folks go?

The same place that the Cole Hamels CY Young folks went. Or, Cole Hamels fans period.

"If there's one team on earth that I think hasn't gone into a "culture of losing" after six games, it's the 2011 Phillies."

Carl Jung, the famous analytical psychologist, believed in the notion of a "collective unconscious" that is shared by all of humanity. I have an unshakable belief that sports teams also have a sort of collective unconscious and, in the case of the Phillies, that collective unconscious includes a very strong choke instinct. Bringing in really good players is like taking medicine to control a physical condition; it might mask the problem for awhile but the condition is still there & can crop up at any time.

Nice quote from Victorino ...

“I’ll give a bat to anybody that boos and if they want to go up to the plate and think it’s that easy I’ll be glad to give them my bat,” Victorino said. “We hear the frustration from the crowd. They’re deserving and (they have the right to) feel frustration, but as a player you can’t sit there and mope about it.”

So, it looks like the team is worrying/frustraeted, but fans are not supposed to be? Yeah, everything is fine.

Savery is a silly idea. The Phils have never shown an interest in taking creative chances (unlike the Braves who have a penchant for taking chances with youngsters). Brown is up but not playing (instead we have that star Bowker showing us what a great brainCharlie is). It took the FO the better part of the year to decide that Mayberry can hit. And I recall they sat on Utley and Burrell as well as Howard for a long time before making a move. So why even suggest bringing up a newbie for the playoffs.

I can't remember the last time I didn't bother to watch so many games in a row.

I'm always a Phillies fan, but having started watching and going to games in 1964, it's hard to shake the feeling of pessimism that accompanies having been a fan during some of the leanest times in history.

So, I'll continue to not watch games until the playoffs. There's too much good stuff around to waste time on bad and lackadaisical stuff.

The Debbie Downer crew is out in full force today.

Good interview with Joe Savery at Fangraphs

I want to say No to Oswalt right now. His tractor heroics did it to me. We'll take a look at Lincecum when his current deal runs out.

Between Herndon, Blanton and Savery, one of those is going to make the playoff roster.

6 are locks (as I see it)- Lidge, Madson, Bastardo, Stutes, Worley and Kendrick.

One spot left.

One more Debbie Downer comment:
Have you ever seen a worse bench for a Phillies playoff team? Unfortunately the bench always plays a big role Gross, Unser and Matt Stairs come to mind. Brown must really be lost if they are afraid to use him.

Mike, I'd post the requisite "wait until you see who Cholly has DH in the Series" comment, but I'm a bit gun shy about making any comments regarding the World Series until I see a meaningful playoff game.

Between Herndon, Blanton and Savery, one of those is going to make the playoff roster.

I can't even believe it myself, but out of those three I'd take Herndon.


RK: Beerleaguer posters always rail at the FO for not turning the roster over to all the young guys who are putting up such big numbers at AAA. But, when the young guys do finally get called up, they almost invariably demonstrate that the Phillies were right all along to be keeping them at AAA (i.e., Mathieson, Zagurski, Schwimer, Dom, Moss, DeFratus).

That said, recall that the Phillies did keep Bastardo on their post-season roster in 2009, even though he was a rookie with only a handful of IP. If Savery can have 2 or 3 good performances in these next 6 games, I think there's a slim chance the Phillies would at least consider him. After all, the 7th reliever on your post-season roster is unlikely to play at all -- let alone pitch meaningful innings. So if you can find a guy whose skill set might make him useful for even a single AB, it might be worth keeping that guy over someone like Herndon or Stutes, who are better overall pitchers but are almost certain to never pitch a meaningful inning. The operative phrase here, though, is "If Savery can have 2 or 3 good performances." I doubt very seriously he can.

That article EFF quotes said teams that mostly lose in September are sometimes successful in October, and teams with a record of at least 16 games over .500 are often unsuccessful in October. I just find it interesting that the Phillies fit both those categories.

I'm as big a fan of outside the box, Monday Morning QB'ing as anyone, but if you REALLY think that Cholly will consider using Savery in any sort of hitting capacity, you haven't been paying attention over the last 6 years or so. I've never seen anyone more bullheaded about "roles" in my life, including Paterno.

If you want recent proof, look at last night. The simple fact that Bowker started in RF, rather than Brown is because in Cholly's mind Brown is now a LF (even though he's yet to play there in the big leagues). Brown actually has more experience in a big league RF this season than Bowker. Doesn't matter to Cholly.

I'll be shocked if we see Savery pick up a bat any time soon at the MLB level.

denny: At this point, I don't think Stutes is a lock for the post-season roster. He has just been flat-out awful for awhile now. I think Herndon has to be ahead of him on the depth chart, which means the last spot comes down to Blanton, Stutes, & Savery. Savery has the last 6 games to state his case as a second LOOGY. Unless he makes a really convincing case, I'd probably take my chances with Blanton. It has gotten to the point that, when Stutes enters a game, an onslaught of runs is almost automatic.

article on Crashburn Alley about Howa...wait, what? it's about Utley???

http://crashburnalley.com/2011/09/23/the-decline-of-chase-utley/

Running the (Periodic) Table

The Phillies will certainly need "H2O" on their playoff roster if they hope to have any success in the playoffs. But, scientifically speaking, we'll also need a bit more. Here's a suggested chemical composition of the Fightin's playoff pitching roster (descriptions of chemicals and compounds from Wikipedia):

* BrCl (BRadlidge + CLifflee, aka bromine monochloride): "unstable gas"
* K2S (Kendrick + Kentucky + Stutes, aka potassium sulfide): "important...in many pyrotechnic effects"
* Ba (BAstardo, aka barium): in sulfate form, "reacts violently with water"
* Rn (RyaNmadson, aka radon): "colorless, odorless, tasteless"
* W2C (Worley + Wilsonvaldez + Cole, aka tungsten carbide): "three times stiffer than steel"
* H2O (Halladay + Herndon + Oswalt): "an album by Hall & Oates"

"I want to say No to Oswalt right now. His tractor heroics did it to me."
Huh?

Aksmith is right for not watching the games if it makes him crazy. I would suggest others doing the same.

I'm all for Oswalt, but not at $16M. I've been saying for awhile now that I suspect they'll figure out a way to decline the option, but bring him back at a slightly more cost advantageous rate. I'm okay with that.

"Aksmith is right for not watching the games if it makes him crazy."

You are 100% correct & I keep telling myself that I am not going to watch these games. Then I watch and, as soon as Rollins pops up the 2nd pitch of the game, I find myself utterly incensed. Hopefully there will be a massive power outage at 4:00 this afternoon and, hopefully, around that exact same time, my laptop will be stricken with a virus which renders it inoperable.

For some reason, I must watch, too. And if I am not around a computer or TV, I'm constantly checking the score on my cell. It's a disease, I know.

Old Phan I totally agree. A guy with the types of resources of Oswalt should never help out his community.

"7. Chase Utley has been secretly replaced by a de-caffinated Chase Utley, let's see if anyone notices..."


So THIS is what the problem has been! I heard on the radio yesterday morning that some clubs have banned energy drinks from their fridges..............

No need to worry, then; on his days of rest he'll have ample time to go get some Redbull.

Does Utley wear one of those "power" necklaces? Maybe that would help him, along with the energy drinks.

Old Phan,
Strictly regarding his option. I am for him contributing in the post season. But I am nowhere near interested in what Roy O wants next year as a player not considering retirement at all after this mess of a season. Most of the mess was his own doing. I am not going to rehash the whole tractor battle here but I believe he is not going to produce a full season for here on out. Not for 16 mil, not for 10.

And, since we're confessing, I must say I wring my hands endlessly over the demise of our holy troika: Rollins, Utley and Howard.

Boy oh boy. Wouldn't it be fun to see epic performances from all three on the way to a 4 game sweep of the Yankees?

Nuts to the Debbie Downer tag; I'm as optimistic as the next guy. Hey, baseball team we all love so much: just somebody, hell, anybody and everybody that’s ailing right now, get healthy!

Give Savery a ton of credit for being utilized as an organizational ping-pong ball this season.

He isn't making the postseason roster. Just a Sept callup.

This place is a riot lately. I feel guilty for enjoying others' pain. I'm not happy but, I'm not going to worry until they lose games that count.

I tuned in in time to see Savery pitch last night and, to watch the stirring 9th inning "rally". I like that breaking pitch he threw. I tend to think it's a little late for post-season tryouts but, that last bullpen guy could be a specialist and just maybe he sneaks in. I also agree that Herndon has an edge on Stutes at this point. Stuttes is on my bubble if I'm running the team.

Meant overcome being used as an organizational ping pong.

Bill Baer's piece really didn't give you much insight into Utley's decline in production this year.

He might have the 4th-best wOBA on this team right now but he isn't the 4th best hitter in the lineup right now if Howard/Pence are back in there & Mayberry is in the lineup.

SLO Phan: I don't believe he does. According to their website, they _are_ scientifically proven.....

Someone needs to write Chase right away.

re: the Savery piece - since he can't give any real explanation for the uptick in his velocity, is it reasonable to wonder if it's a chemical thing? or maybe he just slept on his arm funny one night and voila!

In fact, who wears those things?

Rollins: Yes. Recovering.
Vic: Nope. Slumping.
Chase: Nope. Slumping.
Cliff: Yes. Mostly killin'.
Polly: Yes. Has been doing his job lately.
Raul: No. But he has the chew going on.

Clearly........

Its reasonable to think he took a year off from throwing and finally let his arm heal. He used to throw that hard in college but has been "rehabbing" ever since without a break.

"denny: At this point, I don't think Stutes is a lock for the post-season roster. He has just been flat-out awful for awhile now. I think Herndon has to be ahead of him on the depth chart, which means the last spot comes down to Blanton, Stutes, & Savery. Savery has the last 6 games to state his case as a second LOOGY. Unless he makes a really convincing case, I'd probably take my chances with Blanton. It has gotten to the point that, when Stutes enters a game, an onslaught of runs is almost automatic."

I think I agree with this completely. I normally don't buy into the "deer in the headlights" claims with players, certainly not with Madson as a closer a few years ago, but Herndon has twice this year rattled off long scoreless streaks in low-leverage situations before blowing up as soon as they used him in a game that mattered.

Its also possible that he's better able to dial it up in a 1 inning burst compared to starting.

Man, if only Turk Wendell had a titanium cap made for one of those shark teeth...

What does Blanton give you on a post-season roster that KK doesn't?

Facial hair intimidation and a whole season of rest.

NEPP - those are reasonable explanations i suppose.

NEPP: Nothing really. But you could say the same of Herndon. In theory, Stutes gives you an ability to strike hitters out, while Savery gives you an ability to get left-handers out. But that's like saying, "In theory, Bowker gives you a homerun threat off the bench."

Ideally, you'd like the last one or two bullpen spots to go to guys with specialized skills. But they have to be good enough at that specialized skill to justify their roster spot. Otherwise, I'd sooner just pick the 7 best relievers we have and, IMO, Blanton is probably better than Stutes.

They should let Bastardo hit for the rest of the year if that will get him back on track.

just in case we get swept in round 1 of the playoffs (likely), at least next year looks good:

Phils in 2012
The ZiPS 2012 projections for the Phillies' top five starters:

Pitcher W L ERA IP WAR
Roy Halladay 20 6 2.82 226.1 5.8
Cliff Lee 18 6 2.85 220.2 5.2
Cole Hamels 15 7 3.35 212.1 4.4
Roy Oswalt 12 7 3.55 159.2 2.4
Vance Worley 12 8 3.90 180.0 2.4

Obviously, if Oswalt is still here (unlikely, IMO).

Here's Donellon's story about Victorino's opening of the Nicetown Boys & Girls Club yesterday:
http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20110923_Victorinos_give_back_via_Boys___Girls_Club.html

I'd seriously consider taking Savery as a 2nd LHP. We only need so many RH garbage time pitchers on a post-season roster. If we're using more than 1 in a game (or even 1), we've probably already lost anyway:

Madson
Lidge
Bastardo
Kendrick
Worley
Savery
Stutes

Is a decent bullpen. Bring an extra bat along for the ride.

I agree with Preacher (and, I suspect, others) that the FO may well find a way to bring Oswalt back for less than $16M.

I also think that it would make sense to bring Raul back, at the right salary, as a LH bat off the bench, occasional starter, and all-around good example to younger players. Am I crazy?

Thanks for the article, GBrettfan.

It's Game 3 of the NLDS. Hamels was not terribly effective &, with the Phillies behind, Cholly brings in Ross Gload to pinch hit for him to lead off the top of the 6th inning. The Phillies send 7 batters to the plate that inning (unfortunately, scoring only 1 run), which means that KK has to come up to bat again in the 7th. This time, Francisco pinch hits. Ibanez started the game in LF but, when a LOOGY came in, Mayberry pinch hit for him & stayed in the game.

It's now the top of the 9th. The Phillies are down by a run, but have 2 men on base. A RH pitcher is on the mound for the opposing team and the pitcher's spot is coming up in the Phillies' order. Who do you want as the pinch-hitter? Your choices are: Michael Martinez, John Bowker, Pete Orr, Domonic Brown, Brandon Moss, Cliff Lee, or Joe Savery. No fair saying Wilson Valdez.

Not that I expect it will change anyone's vote, but there is one more option I forgot to include: Brian Schneider.

BAP, give me Schneider. We all know his record when he gets some playing time (assuming the dreadful offense, crappy defense, or revision to historical norm starting pitching isn't skewing the data).

bap: "I have an unshakable belief that sports teams also have a sort of collective unconscious and, in the case of the Phillies, that collective unconscious includes a very strong choke instinct. Bringing in really good players is like taking medicine to control a physical condition; it might mask the problem for awhile but the condition is still there & can crop up at any time."

That fits your outlook as a fan pretty well. No matter how good a team is...they'll lose eventually. And when they do, thats who they really are. All those wins? Just a cover-up by how talented they are. Deep down they are losers.

I have an unshakable belief that sports teams also have a sort of collective unconscious and, in the case of the Phillies, that collective unconscious includes a very strong choke instinct. Bringing in really good players is like taking medicine to control a physical condition; it might mask the problem for awhile but the condition is still there & can crop up at any time.


seriously? this doesn't make the least bit of sense. the phillies won the world series in 2008. they have won 5 straight division titles. they didn't start losing this year until they had secured not only a playoff spot, but best record in the league and all the attendant advantages, and had started giving significant playing time to minor leaguers.

they have good players now, so they win a lot. when they had bad players, they lost a lot.

i assure you, your metaphysical angst about the phillies "collective unconscious" culture of losing says a lot more about you than them.

b_a_p,

Ugly dilemma, but since you asked, my answer is Dom - IF (big if) he gets a decent number of ABs between now and then. Other than that Charlie's going to take his ball and go home.

Imagine being a Giants fan or a Red Sox fan or a Braves fan or for that matter a Cards fan or a Rays fan or a Angels fan or even possibly a Rangers fan.
We have it easy.

NEPP - Nothing. Blanton isn't going to be on the postseason roster. He's been used 2x this month. Both times the Phils were down 4+ runs late.

He's been poorly handled by the organization all year. Understand why they may have brought him back (middle relief uncertainty), but having the elbow surgery I bet he winds up now instead in Oct likely just cost him a few months in recovery time.

Mike Zagurski traded to Arizona for PTBNL.

Anyone envisioning him striking out Utley with men on in the playoffs?

I could not handle being a Cards fan with LaRussa managing. Last night in giving away the season with a loss to the Mets going into the 9th leading 6-2, he first takes out most of his hitters (Craig, Berkman, Freese and Jay) for supposed defensive replacements, then does his typical revolving door with pitchers in the 9th only to watch the Mets score 6, and then has no one left to get any runs back in the last of the 9th. I know he didn't play the game, but to me his constant micromanaging sends a signal that he doesn't trust his players.

I prefer UC's method of sink or swim with what you have for the most part.

thats some balls... ruining the last thread with italics and then promptly using them not once but twice within minutes of the new thread.

I was mailing it in after the clinch, but today I'm focusing and trying to get back in the groove.

DOM is definitely going to instruction league, which lasts until Oct 15th.

Only chance he appear in playoffs is if he DH's in the world series which starts Oct 19th.

Probably a joke, but I'll respond with the fact that Zagurski can't play in the postseason for Arizona.

eff: ah yea good call - i was kidding around a bit, but definitely forgot about that.

I'm wondering what Stutes has done to earn a spot on the post season roster. He's been absolutely awful for quite a while now. And like Bastardo, he seems to have lost his confidence.

I'd take Savery over him sight unseen at the moment. Because if I haven't seen him, then other team's hitters haven't seen him. And for the post season, not having film and much of a scouting report on a pitcher who won't ever be used for more than one or two hitters can be more useful than having a marginally more talented pitcher who the league has caught up to.

About Bastardo, also. I rewound the game to his last inning two days ago. And the Nats were on every single pitch. The last out he got was on a nasty slider and the hitter was all over it to left field. It was an out, but the hitter nailed it. Either the Nats are stealing the signals, or more likely, he's telegraphing his pitches. There is no way the guy hits that pitch if he's not looking for it.

I love how whenever someone leaves italics open, there are always a handful of people who try to fix it (presumably by using a closed-italics tag). It never ever works, and yet several people try pretty much every time.

Why couldn't Zags just have been the PTBNL in the deal for Bowker?

Better yet, why don't we use Bowker as the PTBNL in the deal for Bowker?

Players have been traded for themselves before. I know the Phillies did it once. Wasn't it Sil Campusano?

WP: There have actually been a few instances of a player being traded for a PTBNL, who turned out to be none other than himself. I think it happened to ex-Phillie Dickie Noles.

Lorecore is correct. It was Rob Ducey.

aksmith: Rob Ducey.

Apparently, it also happened to Dickie Noles, but after he left the Phillies.

Thanks, BAP. I looked it up in the meantime. Seems a guy named Harry Chiti was the first one it ever happened to. Must have been a Chiti player.

Thanks, BAP. I looked it up in the meantime. Seems a guy named Harry Chiti was the first one it ever happened to. Must have been a Chiti player.

Yah, my first double post. Really annoying.

How does Dom Brown get no playing time at all with UC running out the likes of Bowker & Gload last night.
I know he was bad at AAA butcouldd he be as bad as those two?
Has he even seen an at bat since he got called up?

Yo, new thread

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