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Thursday, January 19, 2012


Iceman makes a good point about DOM. I am fine with him starting in AAA because he wouldn't be getting the appropriate playing time as as developing player, but if DOM is in the minors and Nix is playing 70% of the season - then that is ridiculous.

I wonder if Amaro's comments about Thome being in such great condition at his age shaped this comment into Thome and Wigginton at 1B, which made him say the Nix would be in LF.

Sorry if someone said this in the last thread, but according to BR, Nix has 47.1 innings in MLB at 1B and zero innings in MiLB. Mayberry has 100 MLB innings and a whopping 5 MiLB games total at 1B, although he came up at 1B at Stanford before moving to the OF. If Amaro is indeed hesitant to put anyone other than Wiggy or Thome at 1B regularly, I assume it is because of the experience issue, but I agree that this is ridiculous considering the (at least strongly possible) offensive advantage of Mayberry, the only real promising player of the four, in the lineup every day.

I haven't heard many people say this but... there's no guarantee John Mayberry Jr. doesn't regress into being the player that wasn't very good for the first two and a half years of his career. If Mayberry isn't the guy he was in the second half of last year, the Phils are going to be in some real trouble, UNLESS Dom Brown puts on a hitting clinic in AAA.

Mayberry deserves the chance to start every day based on last year, but just how sure are we he's capable of continuing that success?

jstolnis strikes again.

Waiting for the Weitzel-Stolnis steel cage match.

What'd I do this time?

After last season, Mayberry should be given the chance to start every day in left or at first or both. Platooning with a mediocrity like Nix would be stupid, especially while allowing the declining Wiggy to play first too often.

If Thome could play even two days per week at first this would be less of a discussion, but it's unlikely he can.

Mayberry is a pretty fair defensive 1B. As noted, he played there quite a bit at Stanford and looked solid there last year.

Nix is a good defensive LF as is Mayberry.

Felske: Nothing. You've got your URL in your handle instead of in the comment. That's perfectly cool.

Everyone see that Fausto Carmona is not actually Fausto Carmona and he's really 3 years older too?


J. Weitzel-

OK good. Thought I did everything by the book there! I just like joining in the conversation on the site.

Plus, I don't want to get involved in a cage match with you. I've got weak arms.

I'm hoping Contreras turns out to be 3 years younger.

NEPP: Yet another piece of evidence supporting the "racists" who dare to question the ages of players from the Dominican Republic.

Even if Mayberry regresses to say a .750-.770 OPS player this year which is entirely possible, he's still a better option than Nix or Wigginton.

Let's face it, they are in dire need of either a left fielder or a third baseman. The entire left side of this team is suspect. I would love t see Mayberry at first. He played it quite well last year both offensivly and defensivly. Actually, surprisingly well defensivly. But that leaves no one for left field. Wigginton is a joke and I feel this was a shot in the dark for Amaro and unless he makes a dramatic trade for a left side player I feel they are worse than last year. They need to hit and right now tghat is an area they are weak in.

"...... there's no guarantee John Mayberry Jr. doesn't regress into being the player that wasn't very good for the first two and a half years of his career. If Mayberry isn't the guy he was in the second half of last year..."

Stolnis, a couple of points:

I think everyone here recognizes that Mayberry can, and probably will, regress from his 2nd half 2011 performance. It is within the realm of possibility that his new batting stance has transmorgrified him into a .965 OPS (his 2nd half #s) monster. If so, he'll be one of the 5 best outfielders in MLB. However, the probability of that is not very high.

Therefore, I don't think aynone is expecting him to be "...the guy he was in the second half of last year...".

Rather, it's probably a safe bet to expect he'll perform somewhere between .750 and .850 - if he gets a lot of AB against LHP.

Mayberry's problem at the MLB level prior to last season is that he had trouble hitting RHP. IIRC others here have posted that he had the same roblem in the minors.

His MLB splits (SSS alert):

RHP - .150/.227/.300, 22 PA
LHP - .243/.263/.568, 38 PA

RHP - .167/.286/.667, 7 PA
LHP - .500/.500/1.000, 6 PA

Then in 2011 this happened:

RHP - .250/.330/.455, 176 PA
LHP - .306/.358/.595, 120 PA

What I am interested in, are his R/L splits in the in the first and second half of last season, that is, before and AFTER he was recalled on July 5th - when he came back with the new batting stance.

That, IMO, will be more illuminating than just about anyting else, even given the small sample sizes.

If his new, more open stance, has, indeed, transformed him into a guy who is passable against RHP and murders LHP, then we have something to look forward to.

I hope it's true, I'm just not holding my breath.

awh - I wasn't responding because I was sure that we disagreed. We can have a conversation without debate.

I also don't mean to claim that you think this is about Mayberry's final 150 AB or whatever. I think that people who take his entire 2011 as indicative of future performance are being very optimistic. I'd definitely take the "under" on an .825 OPS next year from him if he gets significant playing time (that's just a bet; it's entirely possible he's better. that would just be a very optimistic view).

When you say 500 PA, do you mean 500 PA into 2012 or 500 PA in his MLB career? I always took those SS numbers to refer to PA in an individual season, but now I'm not sure why. But I'm also not sure that, given Mayberry sits ~300 MLB PA, I should trust the jury or whatever 200 PA into 2012.

Jim Hanigan: "They need to hit and right now tghat is an area they are weak in."
The highest-scoring offense in the league after Utley returned is essentially still there, with these changes:

- full year of Pence
- no Howard initially
- Ibanez and his .707 OPS replaced by JMJ/Nix/Wiggy

Regarding third base, Polanco isn't ideal, but he's not horrible either overall, and any improvement comes with tradeoffs:

- Who would people like to get, and at what cost?
- Are you willing to trade away more (cheap) youth?
- How much are you willing to increase payroll by? Polanco will make $5.5 this year.
- If you improve offensively, what do you give up defensively, and what's the net effect?
- Do you try and trade Polanco, or make him a supersub, and carry both his and the new guy's salaries?
- What if the extra cost means they have to let Hamels walk?

I don't care how many runs they scored last year or how many games they won. A lineup without Howard in is not as good. Too much Wiggy & Nix just enhances my opinion that Aramro made a big mistake by not getting another bat. Until Howard returns, that will haunt this offense.

DPatrone, how many games they won is irrelevant (for this discussion).

Not having Howard undoubtedly hurts.
The other changes should help.

Net-net, what do you think the impact would be?

Looking at Fan Graphs, fans (all 9 so far) actually seem to be a bit more pessimistic about Wigginton than any of the projections.

Only thing I don't want to see is Wigginton getting anywhere close to 450+ PAs. Throwing away too many ABs on a marginal offensive player especially if they are largely at 1B/LF (two spots where you need to get offensive from).

I believe the impact would be that they'll struggle to score runs. not a power team anymore and Cholly doesn't manage in a way that encourages small-ball.

Mayberry will be fine if given the chance. Problem is, a la Francisco last year, Nix & Wiggy will show why they're bench players. Although when the current projected bench is in tact, it's much, much better than last year.

"Throwing away too many ABs on a marginal offensive player..."

MG, doesn't tha tsound like minimart last season?

DomP, c'mon cak on to the reservation and relax.

Have you seen one post, just one, by any poster, that stated the offense will not miss Howard or that the were a better team without him in the lineup?

Please find one. I'll bet you anything that you can't, because no one has posted that.

So, stop constructing these straw men and take issue with what people are actually posting.

Also, enjoy the fact that without Howard early on, this promises to be one of the most interesting seasons in recent memory, because no one really knows what to expect -from the offense.

OTOH, I expect that the pitching will be able to carry them the SAME WAY it did last season until Utley returned.

The 2011 Phillies were 28 - 18 [.609, 98 win equivalent] WITHOUT Utley. Why? Pitching.

Pitching was the story in 2011 and it will be the story in 2012.

Wiggonton, Nix, and Thome are all bench players. I want to start Mayberry at first and Dom Brown in left pretty much every day. Give them a chance to play and develop because they could actually be something come playoff time, unlike these other scrubs. Winning 100 games means nothing. Its world series or bust and a successful Dom Brown and/or Mayberry has a better chance of getting us over the hump.

DPatrone - Getting a big bat wasn't something the Phils had the budget although I agree that Nix/Wigginton are going to get exposed early as being just bench players.

The two biggest issues though that there offense faces next year are:

1. What kind of contributions they can expect out of Howard even when he returns given that coming back from that won't had even 12 months since his injury?

I think he will put some pretty subpar numbers that will make people howl & complain with an OPS under .800 in less than 100 G next year.

Doesn't mean he can't rebound a bit in '12 after he is more fully-healed but he is a complete crap shoot next year.

2. How many games started do they get out of the Polanco/Utley/JRoll trio?

This is the real problem. Basically have an infield of increasingly brittle and aging players who are real question marks to even start 120 G each at this point.

Utley hasn't done that since '09. JRoll didn't do it in '10 and has battled leg issues every year since '09. Polanco did in '10 but I would highly doubt it makes it through the '12 campaign without at least one DL stint.

Not surprised that Valdez got resigned as the middle utility infielder. He fit in there budget & they know what they have even if he is adequate at best.

Kind of surprised that Amaro didn't make a move though to get a guy who can play 2B/3B defensively though on for a stretch without being a zero at the plate. I guess Wigginton is the guy who starts at 3B if Polanco goes down but he is horrendous defensively at 3B. Worse than Dobbs/Helms.

Given Cholly's somewhat unusual preference to sacrifice a little offensive at 3B the past few years for defensive, I can't see Wigginton starting there everyday even if Polanco is on the DL. His defense is just that awful.

It would probably be an 3-headed combo of mediocrity of Wigginton/Valdez/Mini Mart.

Phils can get by in the early going without Howard although they will miss his raw power because right now this is a slightly below average lineup without his power.

That will be okay early in the year at CBP but hurt them in June once it starts to warm & the ball carries a bit better on those humid nights where the wind tends to blow more out to center-right.

What the Phils will struggle to do though is to make up for Utley and to a slightly lesser degree JRoll's offensive numbers if they go down for a stretch because it means plenty of Valdez/Mini Mart/Orr & lots of outs.

Since when did amaro start writing the line-up?

Talking to one of my coworkers who has an irrational hatred of JRoll in the leadoff spot and he made some good points about wanting JRoll out of the leadoff spot even without Howard in the lineup.

Argued that JRoll wasn't your classic leadoff hitter from a patience/BB perspective but that he did bring a unique combo of skills including power & speed in his prime that helped to compensate for that. Those days are gone though.

JRoll is still a pretty proficient base-stealer but not a guy who is going to attempt 45-50 SB and have 40 SBs anymore. More like 35-40 SB and 25-30 SBs. Also doesn't have the 20+ HRs power potential anymore. He hit 20 HRs in '09 but largely because he had a very generous 725 PAs to do it in. Finally said he isn't a .280+ AVG anymore either in part because he can't beat out some of the grounders he used to for hits. More of a .260ish guy.

He argued that JRoll ideally should hit 6th in the lineup or lower. Thinking about it at lunch today & it was hard to argue otherwise even though my prediction is that JRoll will be in the leadoff spot until Cholly stops manages this club & retires after the '13 season.

Well, 'Fausto Carmona' is a much cooler name than 'Roberto Hernandez Heredia'. And 28 is much cooler than 31.

Wouldn't mind seeing the Phils part ways with a nice prospect for someone like Chase Headley, MG.

Seems like the Phils had the budget for 2 of 3 of the following (i) SS; (ii) 'pen; (iii) a front/middle order bat. One of these areas was going to get left, absent a trade, to unknowns (or, in the case of the third, would require say Pence to hit cleanup and leave other key spots to bigger question marks like Mayberry, Nix, and Polanco).

Can't say I fault FO for not dipping into the FA market for "a big bat." Outside of Pujols, the players available were either overpriced or overage or both.

I cant fathom how the players who lie about their identity aren't sued for major $$ by the teams that sign them.

- Rollins' BB% has been steadily increasing (over 9% in 3/4 years).

- His AB/HR, while not at 06 and 07 levels (which were his prime), was still lower than any other year from 01-05 and was better than any year since 07 besides 2009. Same goes for his HR/FB, outside of 06 and 07 (his prime) his HR/FB was his second best in his career.

- His LD% in 2011 was right at career levels: 21%

- Rollins' biggest loss isn't in HR power, it's in his 2B and, to a lesser extent, his 3B power. This falls in line with your SB point, MG. Seems like Rollins just isn't as aggressive on the paths as he used to be. Probably a combination of loss of speed but, more perhaps, playing it safe by choosing his spots. That he's choosing his spots is something shown by his XBT% (1st-3rd, 2nd-Home), which is unchanged from his career norms.

Still think he's a good player to count on, whether it's for an XBH or a SB, when it matters.

From most perspectives he's the same batter he's been in every other season of his career save his two peak seasons (age 27-28 years). Guy's suffered some BABIP issues, for whatever reason, in 2009 and 2010, but he seems to, up to this point, to be a 100 OPS+ SS. When it comes to HR power and BB% he's actually better than all his other seasons besides his age 27-28 years.

Yes, Vic may be a better leadoff hitter in some respects but that isn't to say Rollins isn't suited to the role as it's traditionally imagined. Would rather see the Phils think outside the box wrt lineup decisions anyway.

***Since when did amaro start writing the line-up?

Posted by: The Truth Injection | Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 07:23 PM

He probably just watched Moneyball on Netflix or something.

Sophist - I have mixed feelings with JRoll as the leadoff hitter. Last year was a bit of a bounce back year for him & I don't know if he posts those same kind of numbers again.

If Howard was healthy, I would want JRoll hitting lower in the lineup. Without him though, it makes for a tougher argument.

Cholly is pretty predictable though. Imagine the top of the lineup in the early going will be:

SS JRoll
3B Polanco
2B Utley
RF Pence

Chooch will be in the 8th hole and 5-7 will vary depending who is staring in 1B/LF with Vic likely in the 6th spot.

"Finally said he isn't a .280+ AVG anymore either in part because he can't beat out some of the grounders he used to for hits. More of a .260ish guy."

As in grounders to IF? His BA on GB last year was his second highest since 2005 -- same can be said for his BA on balls to the IF. FWIW, fan graphs had his 2011 IFH% as better than his career number.

His 2b/3b do suggest that, other than lack of aggressiveness, his BA could be down from FB not flying quite far enough or LD missing gaps. Not sure. But Rollins doesn't seem to be losing out on GB. He's actually hitting fewer GB than he used to as well.

MG, I have mixed feelings too just not for the reasons you stated (except for the patience thing if we're talking about seeing pitches). And I agree that CM doesn't vary much in his lineups.

I'd love to see Utley leadoff honestly. With Vic/Ruiz/Pence in some order right behind him.

Sophist - Interesting. It would be interesting to look at his balls in play chart and compare where his FB landed to previous seasons.

Glad you back BTY. You voice of reason definitely adds to the discussion.

"Talking to one of my coworkers who has an irrational hatred of JRoll in the leadoff spot"

The word "irrational" doesn't belong in that sentence.

MG~ You are absolutely correct. I've been saying this all off-season. Not that a big bat was needed, but at least a capable one.

That didn't happen of course. And not it won't. Even Johnny Gomes isn't coming here. They're so worried about going over the cap it's rediculous.

Without Howard in the middle and with all due respect the fantastic core that's beenthere for 5 years +, does anybody in the lineup really scare anybody now? They're getting old. Not the same team.

In '08, Feliz killed a lot of rallys hitting into DP's but he did knock in 82 runs. Does Polly approach that number? Can Utley, Rollins regain form? These are all legit questions that need to be answered. And yes their pitching will carry them. But for how long. Amaro has put too much emphesis on the pitching.

Hell, I'd take Raul back now. He'd be in left agianst righties, at least splitting time with Nix w/Mayberry @ 1b. Against lefties, Wiggy @ 1b, Maybeery in LF. I don't understand why RAJ hasn't addressed this other other than $$. To me it's highly short-sighted on his part.

And again, I agree, when Howard does return, he won't be the same player. At least not right away. You just don't come back full bore fro a ruptured Achilles. RAJ should have know better.

Now, he's said he wants a guy who can run. Scott Podsednik? @ 36? RAJ's got to do better than that, doesn't he?

Well, I got a bug up 'you know where' and decided to do some homework.

We've been discussing whether or not Mayberry is capable of repeating his 2011 performance.

This is not going to shed any light on the question of what he's capable of going forward, but it will be somewhat informative as to how he's performed in the past.

I went to and pulled the raw data. In 2010, in a Piggies uni, Mayberry had the following splits:

vs. RHP - .239/.304/.391, 406 PA, 12 HR
vs. LHP - .350/.418/.480, 141 PA, _3 HR

So it seems our good friend Mr. Mayberry has had extreme R/L splits in the past. I haven't checked previous years but I suspect it will tell us the same thing:

Mayberry's problem is that he has been suboptimal against RHP (see previous posts above).

In 2011 he opened up his stance and at the MLB level, at least, performed adequately against RHP.

We will see if it's an anomoly - an outlier - or whether the new stance has helped him become an everyday player.

Patrone: Why in the world would you want Ibanez playing in your outfield? That ship has sailed.

And who cares about Polly's RBIs (from, presumably, the two-hole), let alone the comparison with a five-hole hitter?

We get your schtick already, Amaro hasn't made the moves you want him to make. But stop frothing, sheesh.

"Well, 'Fausto Carmona' is a much cooler name than 'Roberto Hernandez Heredia'. And 28 is much cooler than 31."

Unikruk, you are a bigot. I cannot believe that you would bring up the fact that a player from a certain Latin American country apparently lied about his age. That's bigotry on it's face, and I ough to know.

"I cant fathom how the players who lie about their identity aren't sued for major $$ by the teams that sign them."

lorecore, simple. They are sensitive to false chages of bigotry and racism, and view the the dollar cost to be far less than the alternative.

OK, back to my real identity.
Interesting discussion about JRoll. I love Jimmy, but I am on record as saying this is how I would make out my lineup cards - both pre-Howard and with Howard:


Utley (unless his power returns)
Mayberry (yes, in the #3 hole - esp. against LHP)

2011 numbers against RHP:

Raul Ibanez: .256/.307/.440/.747
Laynce Nix: .263/.306/.475/.781

Oh, and Ibanez will turn 40 this year, can't field at all, is in serious decline, and is a Cholly favorite who would inevitably be given a goodly number of starts against LHP, as he was last year. Nix won't turn 32 until after the season, is an above average defender, and has settled in as a .750 - .770 hitter who will hit almost exclusively against RHP.

I'm a big fan of Ibanez, and no great fan of Laynce Nix. But there's absolutely no way that we'd have been better off re-signing Ibanez than we are with Nix.

Posted this before, but I will repeat it now that it is today's topic. Nix and Wiggy are fast starters. This is fine if they are playing alot in the early going,but after Howard comes back, Cholly will ride them for 2-3 months beyond their expiration dates. Mayberry will ride the bench while Cholly tries to squeeze 1 more good game out of these guys as they continue to decline. It's Cholly's way.

DPatrone: I usually don't mind your rants until the idiocy becomes so obvious I can't hold my tongue. This is the statement of an idiot:
"In '08, Feliz killed a lot of rallys hitting into DP's but he did knock in 82 runs. Does Polly approach that number?"

Feliz batted 6th and 7th behind 3 guys whose OB was .380, .339 and .363. With RISP he batted .245.

Polly batted 2nd behind J-Roll (.338 OB) and the pitcher. With RISP he batted .292. Had he been on the team in '08 instead of Feliz and hit .292 with RISP behind Utley, Howard and werth, he would've driven in 100, not 82.

Does anyone know if they repaired Howard's tendon or replaced it with one from a dead person. If it's the latter can should we hope it came from someone like Harmon Killebrew or more of a speed guy like Matty Alou?

schmenkman: Thanks for the data. I was only going off of several posts by others right after these guys signed. Not savy enough to do my own research, which is a big no-no on here.

goody, be careful. You'll get flayed and skewered if you don't post accurate data.

For example, please see clout's above response to Mr. Patrone.

I think this squad deserves one more shot. Then if doesnt work RAJ can gut the squad and rebuild. The thing here is RAJ capable of rebuilding a team? We know he can sign the big FA, we know he can outbid himself. Can he rebuild a team is the question?

Mayberry has earned the right for a shot to be the full-time LF to start the season, but I, too, doubt that he can sustain his performance of the second half of 2011. I would sit him only against tough righties in favor of Nix.

If, by mid-season, it looks as though Mayberry can't cut it as the full-time LF, I would switch to a LF platoon with Nix or, if he's ready, Brown.

Because Mayberry's OF glove is a valuable asset, I'd rather he get his playing time in the OF and not first base.

Even though he hasn't played first base much, I don't think Nix is any more of a liability at first than Wigginton or Thome. So, I would have a platoon at first with Wigginton and Nix until Howard returns.

I think Thome will be the Phils' main PH and DH. If he is unable to play first base, I doubt that Thome will have 200 PAs in 2012.

"...but I, too, doubt that he can sustain his performance of the second half of 2011."

derek, if he does that he'll be an All Star and MVP candidate.

Mayberry had a .965 OPS in the second half.

How many MLB players with at least 400 PA in 2011 had a .965 OPS or higher?

Answer: Six (6). That's it, just six.

Bautista, Napoli, Cabrera, Braun, Kemp and Fielder.

That's all. If Mayberry repeats his 2nd half performance over a whole season that's the company he'll be keeping.

Personally, I don't expect anything of the sort, but I wonder how many people realize just HOW good he was in the 2nd half.

derek, if Meyberry just repeats his full-year 2011 performance - .854 OPS - I think Mayberry, the Phillies and the fans will be very happy.

Acording to's stat sorter, in 2011 Mayberry's .854 OPS was the 33rd highest in ALL of MLB among players with at least 275 PA.

Clout~ Merely suggesting that a healthy Polanco doesn't knock in 80 runs. I understand where he hits in the lineup has an effect on his production.

I just wish they had more pop @ the 3B position.

awh - Agreed.

I know we all thought Madson was the big loser of free agency, but he can't be as embarrassed as Prince Fielder is right now. The guy was looking for an Albert Pujols-like contract and right now he has to beg for teams to even talk to him.

Whoever ends up getting him will get an absolute steal. If it's Washington, that would be pretty awful.

I seem to remember either Rube or Cholly saying shortly after the season ended that Mayberry would be given the chance to be the full time LF this coming year. Wish I had the cite, but I guess it really doesn't matter much at this point, except to Mayberry.

And I think it was a great move by Weitzel to feature BAP, MG and myself in a post to commemorate the one time all three of us have agreed on something.

unconfirmed, but I believe Mayberry led all MLB players in SLG% since the day he was re-called in the second half. Think i read it in a Stark article.

lorecore, schmenkman, in looking at the posted link it just boggles my mind that Charlie didn't give Mayberry more ABs. Doesn't Charlie have the rep of riding the hot hand? Well, it seems with RFD he brike his pattern.

Simply, RFD was one of the 10 best players in the NL in the 2nd half.

I LOVE Raul and wish him well, but he should have been sitting against EVERY LHSP. Period.

unikruk, in re: 'Roberto Hernandez Heredia'

And Placido Polanco and 36 is much cooler than Durwood Bertram Stankiewicz and 45, but he'll still be Polly Polanco to us BLers.

The only reason that I can see not making Mayberry a full(ish) time player with this squad if the fear that his weaknesses will be exposed. But I think that's silly at this point, he's what, 28? If he's a 4th OF let's find out, if he isn't, every AB he misses is mistake.

That's my theory, which is mine.

In re: the Real Mayberry

Beerleaguer is a site where cherry-picking is not just a job (nor even an adventure) but the norm. (My personal peeve, as you all know and I will not defend when you all tell me I'm wrong and a terrible sinner is "How many more times will we hear that the seventh best offense was the best?")

There is always some way to break up numbers to prove your point. It is, however, difficult to break up Laynce Nix's numbers in such a way as to prove he'd be a better everyday option than John Mayberry was last year.

"The only reason that I can see not making Mayberry a full(ish) time player with this squad if the fear that his weaknesses will be exposed."

Edmundo, his weaknesses HAVE been exposed.

Historically, he has been eaten alive by RHP. For reference, see my posts at 8:38 last night, and my post at 4:32 yesterday afternoon.

However, historically, he seems to murder LHP.

His problem - and major weakness - is exascerbated by the fact that there are a lot more RHP than LHP.

The question still surrounding Mayberry is whether the new open batting stance will enable him to handle RHP the way he did in 2011: .250/.330/.455. If he can continue to succeed against RHP like that, coupled with the way he mashes lefties, he should be able to stick as an everyday player.

(For comparison, Andre Ethier is thought of as a superstar or near superstar. He's a LHH and has a career line of .291/.364/.479. However, his L/R splits are huge:
Vs. RHP: .309/.386/.523, 2491 PA
Vs. LHP: .242/.302/.359, _872 PA
Ethier is an everyday player because of the fortunate, genetic fact that he was born left-handed and bats that way. If he were RH and a RHH, he would be, at best, a platoon player, IMO. Very few sane MLB managers would send out a RHH everyday with a .242/.302/.359 split vs. RHP, with the prospect of facing them 75% of the time.)

"Simply, RFD was one of the 10 best players in the NL in the 2nd half."
awh - good call.

Based on fWAR, he was only 32nd in the July-Sep. But at a rate of fWAR/700 PAs, he was 7th. That's a little unfair (to others) since his exposure to righties was limited, but here are the top 10 in the NL:

1. Nick Hundley (2.4 WAR in 150 PAs, 11.2/700)
2. Brian Bogusevic (2.2 in 151, 10.2/700)
(.805 OPS and high fielding component due to small sample)
3. Tulowitzki (3.7 in 261, 9.9/700)
4. Braun (3.8 in 286, 9.3/700)
5. Sandoval (4.0 in 305, 9.2/700)
6. Y.Molina (2.9 in 247, 8.2/700)
7. MAYBERRY (2.1 in 179, 8.2/700)
8. PENCE (2.6 in 226, 8.1/700)
9. Cargo
10. Phillips

BTW, as a newbie can someone tell me what RFD stands for?

Hard to know what to get out of Polanco. Like Rollins, when he's healthy he's been a very productive player but then we're playing sample size games.

Even as unhealthy as he's been he's only a step below his age 30-33 production before he came here

30-33: 99 OPS+, .307/.351/.411 - 132 avg games played
34-45: 90 OPS+, .288/.337/.365 - 127 avg games played

Just eye-balling, his SLG is largely BA driven over the years and his ISO drop is not as drastic as his SLG drop, and more in line with what you'd expect from a guy who hasn't stayed healthy, is aging, and is playing in a recent stretch where offense is down league-wide.

Polanco has only played in 140+ games in a season 5 times in 14 years (not sure when he became a full-time player), and played in 150 games just once. Has he always struggled to stay healthy?

I'd be curious to see if a healthy Polanco has still OPS in the low 700s with a healthy BA. He hit .400 in April before falling off a cliff pre-DL. When he returned in late July he managed to hit .284/.345/.324 for the remainder of the year. Wouldn't be shocked if he managed something like .280-.310/.340-.370 with no power.

Hopefully he plays at least 140 games but, again, this is a guy who's played in 130+ games just 6 times. Not sure if that's health or quasi-platoon related, but it would have been smart to acquire a solid 3B option when they signed Polanco to begin with.

Sophist - 30 - 45?

typo. according to his last two seasons were his age 34 and 35 seasons.

Rube will shock the world by signing Fielder to a 1 year, $10 million deal.

NEPP-- Then we can debate whether Fielder is worth more than an elite closer.

Arbiter in Braun's case is Shyam Das, a Philadelphia-area labor lawyer. He lists his Phil. office as 350 Ardmore Ave.. Probably a lot of wayward golf balls from errant tee shots off #2 on that property.

probably a bit too far up ardmore for tee shots actually. google maps is creepy.

***Arbiter in Braun's case is Shyam Das, a Philadelphia-area labor lawyer***

What an awesome name for a lawyer.

Sophist - I realized it was a typo, but kind of ironic given my joke at 9:31.

Gosh. Phuture Phils voted Maikel Franoc into the top ten prospects based on a partial year at Williamsport, Jiwan James as 13 based on his tools and is currently voting Gillies 14th because before he arrived in the Philadelphia system he was kinda good in A-ball.

I guess the system really IS depleted.

that's a great fake name. durwood.

His problem - and major weakness - is exascerbated by the fact that there are a lot more RHP than LHP.

I meant expose the new, improved Mayberry. If he's really not new and improved, that will exposed too.

BTW, as a newbie can someone tell me what RFD stands for?

At some point, the Andy Griffith Show (with Ron Howard as Opie) morphed into Andy of Mayberry (or vice versa) and then when Griffith left and was replaced by the ultra-bland Ken Berry, the show became Mayberry, RFD. (I think that's how it went).

RFD stood for Rural Free Delivery, which was a Post Office program for those out of the way places. You were really in hicksville if your town was tagged with an RFD.

My bold prediction for the season, although it's not really that bold, is that Polanco will easily be our worst everyday player, even with his stellar defense. I don't expect him to be all that healthy, and I don't expect him to hit very well--a .280/.320/.360 line sounds about right.

Andy: Only issue I have with those rankings is Gillies. I liked him, but 2 lost years means he's gotta earn a ranking that "high". If he stays healthy and hits well, then moving him up in the midseason rankings makes sense. BA had James 9 and Franco 10.

Thanks Edmundo, I knew what RFD stood for, I just hadn't made the connection to "Mayberry".

Yeah, I'd bet he plays in 120 games +/- 10. Not really concerned with his power, though. If he's one of the worst regulars as far as OPS goes but hits .280/.320+ in 130+ games, I'd honestly by happy. Also wouldn't be surprised if his 2011 career highs in BB% and P/PA are more than 1-year spikes at this point.

Phils have seen flashes of the player he was in his prime (.308/.355/.426, 104 OPS+), but even at that time he only averaged about 130 games per season. Seeing him as around 90-95 OPS+ player (a .290/.340 hitter with slightly less XBH) who misses 30-50 games a year shouldn't have surprised anyone.

.280/.320/.360 isn't too bold. About as bold as saying he'll hit .300/.340/.390 or something. In any case, in the world where we expect a solid above-average player at every position Polanco is a super UT player. In reality, Polanco is an injury prone, solid regular player on most teams, and the Phils should be fine provided FO did a good job finding the players who'd pick up when he's hurt (crap).

Just for reference, the total 2011 NL line out of the bottom of the order was (NL -- Phils):

6th: .255/.318/.412 -- .265/.335/.427
7th: .250/.310/.383 -- .263/.333/.369
8th: .246/.315/.359 -- .240/.307/.343

Considering (even without Howard), that Pence-Utley-Vic-Rollins-Mayberry will all likely bat ahead of Polanco and that Ruiz probably should as well, the Phils should get well above average production even if Polanco is about a 90 OPS+ player.

Beer leaguers have worked themselves into a frenzy over Mayberry. Reading the last few threads, one would think we were talking about Matt Holliday.

steve's whiskers: My point is that if Maikel Franco is really that high a prospect for the Phils, after posting pedestrian numbers at A-, then the system is really hurting for prospects. And all the arguments that he was "above league average"? Take a look at Mason Williams' (Yankees) numbers in the same league.

bigbigbuck - It beats the heck out of pissing and moaning about the Phils not signing those guaranteed playoff difference makers like Beltran, Ramirez and Cuddyer.

Phillies farm system is in lower half of MLB at this point because of all the trades. They should be back in business if they have good drafts the next few years and don't trade their upper tier prospects.

That said, the PhuturePhillies site is a poll of readers and thus needs to be taken with a huge grain of salt. This is a site that ignored the extreme High Desert as a factor in the wonderful numbers that future superstar Tyson Gillies put up in 2009.

BTW, Gillies is entering his age 23 season having exactly 26 games experience above Single A.

To me, this whole dustup about the lineup three weeks short of spring training is a huge yawner. Notice how few posts there have been since this blog item was posted. This will "play out" over the month of March and then be resolved, my guess, in a manner we can't possibly divine at the moment. So, why try?

This will "play out" over the month of March and then be resolved, my guess, in a manner we can't possibly divine at the moment. So, why try?

I'll tell you why -- so that the one BL ****-waver who guesses right on pure luck can wave his **** at the other ****-wavers for 1 whole year.

So what if I'm cranky. I have to sleep on the floor of my parents tonight (again) to make sure my 87 yo sickly, on her way to dementia Mom doesn't run my 88 yo recovering from surgery Dad ragged tonight. And it's a wintery mix overnight not changing to rain until afternoon so I'm stuck there most of the day. I can ***** if I want to.

Nix is this year's Geoff Jenkins. Let's hope Mayberry turns into Jayson Werth.

FWIW: I'm pretty certain PhuturePhillies himself discussed Gillies high dessert stats at the time of the trade. What fans comment on is up to them.

edmundo: thats why we're all here aren't we? For the ****-waving, right?

buckbuckbuck, nada. No frenzy about RFD, just a healthy discussion regarding expectations.

IMO Mayberry is extremely interesting, not only because he changed his batting stance and improved (but, is it sustainable?), but also because there is no indication in his minor league track record that would indicate he would have anywhere near the level of success he enjoyed the 2nd half of 2011.

In 2009 and 2010, at the MLB level, he did this in 73 PA: .232/.274/.536

Translation, a worse 'hitter' than Valdez who could walk a bit more and mashed when he did make contact.

I posted this chart:

50 PA: Swing %
100 PA: Contact Rate
150 PA: Strikeout Rate, Line Drive Rate, Pitches/PA
200 PA: Walk Rate, Groundball Rate, GB/FB
250 PA: Flyball Rate
300 PA: Home Run Rate, HR/FB
500 PA: OBP, SLG, OPS, 1B Rate, Popup Rate
550 PA: ISO

from a fansgraphs article which you can find here:

I don't know where to find the data, but I'd love to know whether or not Mayberry's contact rate and strikeout rate changed after he returned on July 5th. According to Seidman the second-half sample size of 179 PA is large enough to be reliable.

Actually, I just found this article at fangraphs about Mayberry's strikeout rate. Apparently, it has been steadily coming down since 2009:

The reason Mayberry is so intriguing is that with the absence of Howard the first part of the season, his ability to keep producing (or close to the .854 OPS) the way he did last season, may be the difference in the Phillies winning the division again or finishing 2nd.

IMO the two biggest stories will be a) Will Howard recover to some semblance of himself, and b) is 2011 Mayberry for real?

Mayberry's K% by month

April - 18% (33 PA)
May - 21% (80 PA)
June - 0% (4 PA)
July - 23% (52 PA)
Aug - 12% (59 PA)
Sept - 19% (68 PA)

These samples are tiny. We're talking 80 PA (tops). We had ~4000 MiLB PA that show he's one thing, and less than 200 MLB PA and a little story about his batting stance that suggest another.

I don't think Mayberry's that much of a mystery. He's a guy who's gonna kill LHP and if he can come close to mediocre vs. RHP, he'll be an everyday player because his glove and speed are above average.

awh - I'm not on expert on that study or statistics generally but I do think it is on *single-season* PA and when they become reliable indicators of that full-season performance.

There was an ongoing methodological disagreement about this int he comments and on Tom Tango's website. The author of the study to which you link seems to even take the position that you don't use PA over the course of several seasons:

The problem is that before 2009, the latest data that we had on him was from 6-10 months ago (last season). A lot can happen in that time. Is Coco the same man that he was back in 2008? There’s the research methodology problem.

"Beer leaguers have worked themselves into a frenzy over Mayberry. Reading the last few threads, one would think we were talking about Matt Holliday"

It is either Mayberry/Nix/Wigginton out there in LF. Amaro has repeatedly said this offseason that Brown will start the year at Lehigh. I prefer Mayberry if given those choices. That's all.

Not one of these guys is nearly capable of giving you Holliday's numbers but the Phils are't paying anywhere near $17M to these guys total next year either.

When I think of that study I take it's subject matter to be relevant to the debates had around here year-in-and-out on Burrell and regression to the mean within a single season. In fact, the person they choose to debate over is Ibanez and his HR/FB in 2009.

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