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Friday, January 13, 2012

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Oh good, a KK thread!

Now we can spend the next couple of days discussing whether he can be a successful MLB pitcher.

What would you say is the general Beerleaguer split in terms of % of Pro-Kendrick and % of Anti-Kendrick?

He did have a .265 BABIP in 2011 though. A little concerning.

It's quite possible that Kendrick will be Halladay's equal seven years from now.

Oh, and JW, I agree with you about Padilla. I would have looked at him as well, especially if he is, as reported, topping out at 96 mph.

Now we can also spend the next couple of days discussing the difference between concerning and disconcerting.

Yeehaw, KK!

I see where Lil Roy, Kuroda and Edwin Jackson's prices have all dropped (akin to Madson's).. Were they just asking way too much in terms of yrs and salary, or might there be collusion involved? Just putting that out there for discussion.

Does KK have any shot of beating out Blanton for a starting roster spot if Blanton is injured/horrible in spring training?

Make that horrible. I would rather see Blanton there because it is where he can best help the team in '12 but I would say he has a very slim (say 10-20%) grabbing a starter's spot over Blanton.

BAP's idea that Joe Blanton would be a good set-up man is often dismissed due to Blanton's 1st inning struggles.

I just went back to Ryan Madson's 2006 season where he started 17 games. In those 17 starts, by my numbers, he had a first inning ERA of 8.47 with a WHIP of 1.94.

That's not to say this means Joe Blanton is the same kind of pitcher, but first-inning struggles as a starter do not necessarily preclude set-up success.

Well deserved raise for the under-appreciated KK.
It's hard to be sure of his role this year, but you always need 6 or 7 starters to keep 5 spots filled , with injuries and performance shortcomings at stretches through the season. KK will get plenty of innings, no matter what the role.

(To clarify, that's a first inning WHIP of 1.94)

Kendrick only "earns" his 33% raise if he has another career year out of the bullpen. I don't see it happening.

"Your 2012 Philadelphia Phillies: Older! Slower! More Expensive!"

It's gonna be a hoot.

Just last night I asked my brother if he could guess who started the first playoff game I went to (game 2, 07). He could not come up with Kendrick. Amazingly, or tellingly, Kyle has not pitched in a playoff game since despite being the only guy other than Cole and Madson to be on all 5 teams.

Good for KK. Happy for him, he keeps cobbling together a decent MLB career with an elite team. Not too shabby.

Also, in retrospect, Kendrick starting game 2 is a real "that's why your robot didn't work" moment.

So who were the three starters in the '07 playoffs? Myers, Kendrick, Hamels?

If Oswalt's asking price has really dropped to 8 million, I'd be moving heaven and earth right now to unload Blanton (perhaps eating some of the salary) and re-sign Little Roy. What would you rather have? An injury-prone starter who pitches like an ace when healthy, or an injury-prone starter that pitches like a No. 3 when healthy?

Ah yes, Game 2 in '07. I can remember quite distinctly Kendrick being pulled with the bases loaded, and Kyle Lohse promptly giving up a Grand Slam on his first pitch.

Still a hell of a year.

Wait, Myers was the closer. Was the third starter Moyer? Lohse??

myers was the closer, kyle loshe started

Hamels started game 1. He wore long sleaves and his sweat messed up his change up grip or something. Moyer went in game 3 in Colorado. Lohse was the tentative game 3 starter unless he was used in the pen in game 2. Sadly, he was used in the pen. Moyer started game 3 and pitched well but they lost and Lohse went away forever.

I wish I could get a 33% raise that figures out to 46%.

Who did the Rockies start in game 1 to beat Cole? Wasn't it Cook? I'm still slightly angry that the Rockies got in on a blown call. That was a crazy one-game playoff though, and I believe that game was the pivotal precursor to the new playoff setup.

Game one was that tall lank guy named Jeff Francis he somehow won 17 that year but the Phillies mugged him at the back earlier that year, I think. At least that's how I remember it. The guy was a stiff.

"lanky" and "at the bank"

I cannot type today.

Lohse is also the pitcher who came in for Kendrick and gave up a salami.

Hee hee hee hee haw.

This article, which is linked at mlbtr, take the position that the Howard contract will turn out to be a bargain:

http://talksportsphilly.com/2012/01/digging-deep-ryan-howard/

Late in that game 2 the Phillies brought in Jose Mesa and he gave up a few runs resulting in a very loud "Mesa Sucks!" chant. At that moment the most enjoyable season in Phillies history ended. More significantly, it was probably the last time the fans really turned against the team en masse.

Ha! Not bad for a guy who couldn't possibly succeed at the major league level because of a bad K/9.

gobaystars - I'm guessing you didn't listen to sports talk after the Phils loss to the Cardinals.

The Jesus Morales who was signed is going to try pitching in the GCL. He was an outfielder in the GCL for the Nationals in 2010.

Kendrick's #2 comp through age 26?

JOE BLANTON!!

RedBurb- Ha. I didn't for about 3 weeks or more but behavior at games trumps sports radio talk 1,000 to 1.

I'm a huge KK fan. I wonder if his heavy sinker contributed to a pretty amazing a .265 BABIP in 2011 (thanks, RedBurb). If the Phils can dump KY Joe, I'd still like to see Kendrick and Worley battle it out for the 4th starter’s spot.

Off topic -- I feel like I have to address my idiotic typo earlier in the day. Papelbon is signed, sealed and delivered. That's cool. Still the question remains. Can the Phillies can get at least 120 injury-free and productive games out of Howard, Utley and Polanco? As I stated earlier, by productive, I mean stats pro-rated to not less than 80% of lifetime stats in a given offensive category, but just having these guys on the field means a lot.

What happens in 2012 if all 3 of these players scuffle badly? Can our rotation for the ages save the day? What did Jason say on January 3?

…but there's consensus the window is beginning to close. It's going to be an intense ride.

Wow. This season does not feel like anything but a high wire act. Well played returns a spectacular act with plenty of thrills. One slip, and it’s not the fall but the sudden stop.

"I'm a huge KK fan."

I must confess that is not a phrase I ever thought I would see in print.

"You're 2012 G-Town_Dave Phillies Comments: Dumber, less informed, More Reactionary!"

awh - That was a crummy article on the Howard contract.

awh- Good link, it sure does go against BL consensus (if there really is such a thing)to think Howard's contract will play out as a bargain

The interesting section of the article you linked was the question- could the right hitting coach get Ryno to cut down on his strike out rate?

Bubba - Why would you look back to 2006 as a valid comp? Even the Howard of '10-'11 was nowhere near the player he was in '06-'07.

It would be fair to use '09-'11 and Fielder, AGonzalez, and Pujols have all been much better players than Howard and were going to be over the next few years even before Howard's injury.

Texiera is the only player who has lagged and he has become an unpopular player in NY in part because of his slump in overall production, his slow starts, and his lack of production in the postseason in a Yanks' uniform.

He is still a better baserunner though than Howard & a really good glove at 1B.

Yeah boy, Jim Thome - hitting coach.

"I wonder if his heavy sinker contributed to a pretty amazing a .265 BABIP in 2011."

I doubt it very seriously, for multiple reasons. First, his sinker isn't that good. Second, sinkerball pitchers tend to pitch to high BABIPs, not low ones. Third, BABIP tends to be largely a product of luck; the whole reason the stat was invented was to illustrate the effect of luck on traditional pitching metrics.

If there was anything fundamentally different about KK's pitching last year, it's that he really improved his change-up, thus finally giving him a weapon against LH hitters. That probably had more to do with his improvement than any refinement of his sinker.

"Yeah boy, Jim Thome - hitting coach."

I know Meyer is screwing around here but, honestly, it couldn't hurt for the Big Guy to have a guy like Thome to bounce things off of. Let's face it GG talking hitting with RyHo is about as appropriate as Roseanne giving etiquette tips to the Queen.
And I know Charlie is a hitting guru too but maybe Howard can't understand him.

My exact thoughts.

On the Thome/Ryho topic. Thome is where Howard got his pre-pitch bat point thing. So there is def a history there. It should help.

Also, this just in, the big, bad, scary Braves have just signed Jack Wilson! Oh no here come the Braves.

they brought Wilson in to work with Heyward.

KK nailed the 'swingman' role last year. Reliable numbers when he started, threw multiple innings in relief, or when he pitched a single inning in the later innings. That versatility is pretty helpful over the longhaul of a season. Hopefully he can do it again.

goody: "I wish I could get a 33% raise that figures out to 46%"

Hah, same.

Jim Thome has the 2nd most strikeouts in history, right?

I mean, I don't have a problem with sluggers with high strikeout rates, but that's like Lenny Dykstra being the sanity coach.

Hexy, Howard's K rate is a couple points higher than Jim's (and his BB rate about 5 points lower). Thome is a three true outcomes player and his career .403 OBP should put to rest any concerns about his plate discipline. I don't think anyone is arguing that Ryan Howard is going to be transformed into Thome circa 2003 by coaching, even by the man himself, but if that somehow happened it would be pretty awesome.

Good for KK. His salary this year is almost more than the rest of his professional career earnings combined.

Thome is 2nd all time in K, 8th in BB and 8th in HR. Hard to get more 'three true outcome' than that.

"I mean, I don't have a problem with sluggers with high strikeout rates, but that's like Lenny Dykstra being the sanity coach."

If there's one area of the Phillies that needed upgrading this off-season, it's in the area of sanity coaching.

Not a huge KK fan but I am in favor of the Phillies making the deal. The kid is under 30, experienced, reliable, versatile and stays healthy.

Phillies pitchers that started at least one game in 2007, KK's rookie year:

Jamie Moyer
Cole Hammels
Adam Eaton
Kyle Kendrick
Jon Lieber
Kyle Lohse
Brett Myers
J. D. Durbin
Freddy Garcia
Fabio Castro
John Ennis
Zack Segovia
J. A. Happ

What an example of mediocrity that list is.

Like KK or not,it's a bargain. I know,wait until the year is over. He more than earned it the last couople of years.

From a couple thread ago~

"I get a lot of piling on here. But in the world at large, nothing i've said in this thread is the least bit controversial. Just on Beerleaguer."

AK~ I'm right there with ya brother!

As for KK, not a huge fan of his, but good for him. He's earned it. He probably satr more than a few games with Blanton heath in question and liable to fail.

Yanks and M's swapped Montero for Pineda...

I love Montero's potential upside, but a premier young DH/1B is worth A LOT less than a young frontline SP. And I haven't read anything that says Montero's a legit option as an everyday catcher.

Kendrick isn't worth that contract but whatever. Hopefully he contributes as he did last year and it doesn't matter. Always rooted for the guy for some reason.

KK takes the ball under any circumstance handed to him. He's never hurt. His winning % as a starter is very good (don't recall exactly). I always wondered what he’d do as a 4th starter over an entire season. Heck, the league has 4 “books” on him.

BTW b_a_p – I did not know “sinkerballers” had a higher that average BABIP. That’s counter-intuitive to me, as a ground ball is more likely to get caught, no? Baseball's a very strange game in so many ways.

Very fair and good contract for KK and the Phillies.

~hasnt read thread to see outrage yet~

***I love Montero's potential upside, but a premier young DH/1B is worth A LOT less than a young frontline SP. And I haven't read anything that says Montero's a legit option as an everyday catcher.***

What a terrible freaking trade for the Mariners. What is it about being in Seattle that makes you a terrible baseball GM?

That is brutal, brutal brutal.

Montero would have to be the next Manny Ramirez to make it worth it.

NEPP - I imagine this means the chances of Fielder signing in NY go up as well (or/and the Mariners realized they had no shot).

I'm not sure BAP is right about that, cut, since GB are turned into outs more often than FB.

That's a possibility, Sophist. Cashman massively wins that trade. Yeah, Pineda has a pretty strong home/road split but his peripherals are still really strong on the road and he's just 22.

Shocking trade for the Ms to make regardless of their offensive woes...especially considering that 1B/DH offense is the cheapest to get via free agency.

Kuroda and Pineda...the Yankees rotation is suddenly solid again. Not great but definitely solid.

Scratch that. The BABIP on GB is higher than on FB. But that's not the same as saying a sinkerballer has higher BABIP than your average pitcher. Pretty sure most sinkerballers, like Cahill or Hudson, are known for their lower than usual BABIP.

I was gonna say...more groundballs means more chances of balls going through for hits.

NEPP - And Seattle isn't a great place to be a right-handed batter, I don't think.

No, I dont believe that it is. It is a really odd trade for the Mariners...one worthy of the Bavasi era.

Pineda was a 3.4 Win pitcher last year...in his Age 22 rookie season.

He's got 2 good pitches, great command/control and he's a rising star.

sophist/cut: It IS sort of counter-intuitive, but there are numerous studies which have found that GB pitchers do tend to have higher BABIPs than fly ball pitchers. However, their ERAs tend to even out because most of those extra hits go for singles, whereas many of the hits yielded by FB pitchers go for extra bases. Plus, GB pitchers usually allow fewer homeruns (which are not counted toward BABIP) and induce more DPs.

Never mind. I'm late with my response.

What is Seattle thinking?

Chris: "I love Montero's potential upside, but a premier young DH/1B is worth A LOT less than a young frontline SP."

Interesting.

SafeCo has been shown to be MURDER on RH power hitters...worst park in baseball for RH power, but actually slightly favorable to LHBs. Montero's not likely to live up to his potential in that park. The M's would be much smarter to stick with the pitching/defense paradigm they tried a couple years ago and focus on LH power and RH contact hitters.

If the M's had made Pineda's availability widely known in MLB they could have pulled in more than Montero. His upside is really limited by his defensive limitations, and his value is likely to decline.

Pineda, OTOH, showed legit upside as a #1, All-Star level SP. The value of a 23-year old frontline SP under team control cheaply for another 5 seasons is astronomical in comparison.

Chris: My post made no reference to the Montero-Pineda trade.

It was simply about this statement:

"a premier young DH/1B is worth A LOT less than a young frontline SP."

Think about that for a moment.

What's so interesting about that statement, clout? Every GM in baseball would take a young Ace over a young all-star caliber 1B...young aces are the most valuable commodity in baseball.

Think about it this way...if the Mariners called the Reds and offered them King Felix for Joey Votto, is there any doubt the Reds say "yes" in a millisecond? And we're talking about the 2010 NL MVP, not just a premium 1B prospect.

***If the M's had made Pineda's availability widely known in MLB they could have pulled in more than Montero. ***

Its up there with us dumping Lee for peanuts...except for at least they got 1 legit prospect in return. Still, to give up 5 more years of Pineda for a young DH is ridiculously stupid. They could have pulled in a MASSIVE package for Pineda from somebody.

Yes clout, everyone can make the obvious "Hamels is worth more than Howard" reference you are making.

***Think about it this way...if the Mariners called the Reds and offered them King Felix for Joey Votto, is there any doubt the Reds say "yes" in a millisecond? And we're talking about the 2010 NL MVP, not just a premium 1B prospect.***

Hell, the Reds probably would have considered Pineda for Votto...they might even had done it had they not already traded Alonzo for Latos.

"Montero would have to be the next Manny Ramirez to make it worth it."

Or Pineda would have to be the next Kerry Wood or Mark Pryor. At any rate it is a strange trade for the Ms to make. I don't really get it. Young pitchers are certainly more valuable but they may also be more prone to flaming out than young hitters. Maybe the Ms know something we don't. A physical issue, bad habbits or peripherial numbers? I don't know.

Chris: "Every GM in baseball would take a young Ace over a young all-star caliber 1B."

So in 2001 you would trade rookie Albert Pujols for rookie Dontrelle Willis?

To continue the Ace vs. 1B argument...Ryan Howards historic, ridiculous, never-to-be-repeated 2006 MVP season was worth 5.8 bWAR. Roy Halladay has had SIX seasons in his career with a higher than 6.0 bWAR, and 2 more at 5.4 and 5.5. Aces are irreplaceable.

or 2002 Brett Myers for Miguel Cabrera?

***So in 2001 you would trade rookie Albert Pujols for rookie Dontrelle Willis?***

Nice strawman. Pineda's peripherals and stuff are a bit above Dontrelle Willis.

And there is no indication that Montero is that level of hitter. Pujols was a full time starter in the Majors by Age 21 and he destroyed the competition in the Minors. Montero is a full year older, spent 2 full years in AAA and his numbers are very good but not ridiculous.

I sometimes wonder if I'm right about something but given the error rate of the BL consensus, I feel pretty secure that most GMs would disagree that you always trade a potential All Star caliber rookie 1B for a potential ace.

Also, last I checked, Montero's had all of 61 PA at the MLB level while Pineda has pitched nearly a full season. One has proven himself and the other is named Montero.

I 100% agree that I'd rather have an ace than a slugger but big time hitters might be easier to predict than big time pitchers. Also, as good a Pineda looks and was as a rookie. Guys have been better and had less than great careers.
Still, this is the definition of a we'll have to wait and see trade.

I'm sorry, I was completely unaware that Montero was coming off a .327/37/130 rookie season with a 1.013 OPS playing primarily OF and 3B...

Yeah, Montero's chances of being an elite hitter seem to have decreased from what they seemed to be a few years ago.

That said, clout seems just to be taking issue with the generalization more than its application to this particular situation.

Personally, I think its far easier to get power/1B offense on the FA market than a top pitcher. As he's also basically a DH in his Age 22 season, he's not going to get more athletic as the years go by. They could have easily gotten more from other teams...especially had they put him on the market back in November when teams were still jockeying for pitching.

Montero wasnt even the best hitter in Scranton last year.

NEPP: "Pineda's peripherals and stuff are a bit above Dontrelle Willis."

Really?

Pineda, rookie year, pitching in one of the best pitcher's parks in baseball:
ERA+ 103 WHIP 1.099 H/9 7.0 HR/9 0.9 BB/9 2.9 K/9 9.1

Willis, rookie year:
ERA+ 127 WHIP 1.282 H/9 8.3 HR/9 0.7 BB/9 3.2 K/9 8.0

Willis pitched in an much higher offensive year, hence his big advantage in ERA+ His H/9 is also better, as is his HR/9 His BB/9 and K/9 are slightly worse.

Oh and one more thing. Willis was 21 when he put up those numbers. Pineda was 22.

Conclusion: NEPP doesn't know what he's talking about.

Again.

Willis was rated among the top pitching prospects in baseball if not the top.

Also is Pineda a young ace? Really?

I wouldn't have made the move but I'm not sure he's an ace.

Yankees are reportedly looking at Carlos Pena...

I dont see them getting Fielder if only because they already have a long-term DH under contract named Alex Rodriguez and they probably want to keep that slot open with all the big-money older guys they have under contract.

gobaystars: I don't have any strong feelings about the Pineda/Montero deal, I just thought the statement posited by Chris & NEPP as a truism -- "Every GM in baseball would take a young Ace over a young all-star caliber 1B." -- is laughable.

But now that you mention it, Pineda did miss most of 2009 with an elbow injury.

The player scouts most compare Montero to is Mike Piazza. I know we all hate him because he was a Met, but how good would Pineda have to be to be better than Piazza over his career? And what are the chances of him being that good?

***ERA+ 103 WHIP 1.099 H/9 7.0 HR/9 0.9 BB/9 2.9 K/9 9.1

Willis, rookie year:
ERA+ 127 WHIP 1.282 H/9 8.3 HR/9 0.7 BB/9 3.2 K/9 8.0 ***

So, I see a guy that allowed far less guys on-base (lower WHIP), gave up less hits and walks, had a better BAA and struck more guys out.

But yeah, Willis DID have a better ERA/ERA+...and if baseball statistics have taught me anything, ERA is a great predictor of future performance.

Actually I misstated part of my Willis/Pineda comparison. Willis' H/9 is worse but his HR/9 is better.

Piazza stayed behind the plate for much of his career...Montero is a 1B/DH.

Both players are probably overrated.

Montero is a strange fit in Seattle (RH power bat, doesn't seem like he can actually catch or play good D at 1B, and they have Smoak and Carp).

Pineda's numbers at Safeco last year were excellent, but he's a baby and he gets to pitch in Yankee Stadium and Fenway now (instead of Oakland Col and Safeco).

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