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Friday, February 24, 2012


LOL...this thread should be epic.

If Mayberry replaces Howard, who replaces Mayberry in LF? Wigginton?

you might as well just say it: You want to platoon Wigginton with Howard. Sliding in Mayberry's name is just trying to make your argument look better.

Is it my birthday? What did I do to deserve the wonderful gift of this post?

Neither phlipper nor CJ has been heard from for awhile. jw must be testing to make sure they're alright.

Holy Christ. Sh!t storm acoming.

I assume that Howard's achilles injury will act in much the same way Henry Rowengartner's broken arm did and he will come back as a speedy, defensive gem making/slugging 1B who crushes LHP and RHP equally.

Though, of course, this means he will go back to the old Howard right before we clinch the division.

Standing Ovation JW

This is EXACTLY what needs to happen, but people would go nuts if they sat utley and howard against a tough lefty. EVERYONE still believes that utley is absolutely untouchable, which is not the case, and 25 million for a platoon player in howard would drive most people insane

Pierre hits lefties just as well as he hits righties. Could also be a good opportunity to get his speed into the lineup.

the time is right? the time's been right!

Bryan: One difference is that regardless of lefty/righty pitchers, Utley gives you value in the field over whoever would replace him. Howard doesn't.

OK i take it back, JW wants to platoon howard with Juan Pierre.

oh wait, that won't work since Pierre won't even be in the big leagues by time Howard comes back

A few games of Wiggy at 2B is the only conceivable event that would have us clamoring for MiniMart.

I jest. I assume Wiggy would go to 3B with Polanco moving to 2B. Then again, will the Placido Faberge break down easier at 2B?

What's more likely?

1. Chase Utley will never hit LHP again despite crushing them every year of his career until 2011.

2. Utley's numbers against LHP in 2011 were a fluke and its not a major concern going forward.

Bryan: And your idea is to replace Utley with Michael Martinez?

Forget whether or not this is a good idea for a minute & ask yourself, "Does this have even the slightest chance of actually happening?" I don't care which side of the Howard fence one falls on, the answer is a flat "NO". Over the years we have seen several Phillies pitchers develop, adjust & improve, but nothing of the sort happens w/ regard to the hitters. Perhaps a better question might be "Why can't the Phillies find & hire a competent batting instructor?"

Against Gio Gonzalez, for example.

Rollins SS
Pierre LF
Utley 2B
Pence RF
Victorino CF
Mayberry 1B
Polanco 2B
Ruiz C

Looks pretty attractive to me.

You will NEVER see Cholly platoon one of his starters; end of story.

Well considering manual didn't even want to platoon Ibanez sometimes, i think the odds on him doing this with Howard are about 0, or, he'll do something completley ridiculous, like start Thome over Howard when a lefty is starting because "thome hits lefties better than howard".

Addendum: See Ibanez, Raul.

Um Gtown, the manager is the hitting instructor.

apolgies, i just went a cloutian run by attacking everyone else's ideas without giving my own.

I think Howard should be eased back from injury for a lengthy portion of the season, and it makes 100% sense to make sure his 'easy' days come when the team is facing a lefty rather than a righty.

However that is a short term solution and unless the team ends up with a better right handed option, I don't believe is the right move in the long run.

I think it has a good chance of happening. It's one thing to have a bench of Ross Gload, Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez, where there are no expectations as a starter. But now they have Wigginton, Pierre and Mayberry, who have some real tools to help a lineup.

RedBurb: Exactly.

Utley vs LHP:

2006: .857 OPS
2007: .927 OPS
2008: .888 OPS
2009: .962 OPS
2010: 1.003 OPS
2011: .607 OPS

Clearly, he will never hit LHP again.

The odds of Juan Pierre being on the MLB roster when Howard comes off the DL has got to less than 1% right?

When Mayberry is at first, Brown is in LF, lorecore. Of course, that probably won't happen soon either.

"Time Is Right To Phase Out Charlie Manuel As Phillies Hitting Coach"

Gtown - so your advocating firing Manuel?

Lorecore: Not necessarily since they're talking about a six-man bench that includes Michael Martinez.

Ah yes, the mythical "hitting instructor replacement" fix.

Wasn't Ibanez essentially platooned by mid/end of last season?

Sophist: Who is Brown? The Phils don't appear to have anyone they consider a major-league player with that name.

"or, he'll do something completley ridiculous, like start Thome over Howard when a lefty is starting because "thome hits lefties better than howard"."

Why would that be "completely ridiculous?" Not only does Thome hit lefties better than Howard; he, arguably, hits them better than Wigginton too.

This thread makes way too much sense to actually happen.

I'm more than willing to take any bets with anyone who thinks Pierre won't be on the opening day roster, baring injury. Pierre is EXACTLY the type of guy Charlie will have on his bench.

I think that platooning Howard when he returns from his injury isn't a horrible idea. It makes your bench stronger in the long run by getting other players more at bats.

Long term I can't see it happening though.


Wigginton/Nix(whoever isnt starting)


Sophist: in 2013 if DOM hits lefties better than Howard, then i'd be all for Mayberry seeing time at 1B. My crystla ball says Mayberry will be playing CF once Vic leaves though.

I agree with NEPP. Including Utley in this discussion is preposterous. The guy has 2/3 of a bad year hitting against lefties and people say he can no longer hit them. The guy has raked against lefties for his entire career. I do hope he gets a bit more rest than in years past, and I suppose that will come against lefties, but Chase Utley facing lefthanded pitching is the least of our worries.

BAP: It was very tongue in cheek, but if there is platoon, it should be mayberry.

NEPP - is it coincidence that Utley's struggles w/ LHP started after his knee injury? that's not to say he can't bounce back, and i would certainly give him every opportunity to do so. but, if he can no longer turn on his injured knee hitting LHP will be much more difficult going forward.

***NEPP - is it coincidence that Utley's struggles w/ LHP started after his knee injury? ***

He was injured in 2010 too...and had the hip issue before that.

I think he'll be okay.

Howard should be especially this year since I don't think he is going to be close to 100% all year especially when he returns early.

Cholly is clearly a guy who dislikes platoons and likes to utilize the same lineup card everyday as much as possible. Kind of reminds me of Torre in the way. Tougher to manage that way in the AL than the NL especially because you don't have the DL.

I am going to be very curious to see how Cholly manages 1B/LF early this year. Does he go with a pretty strict platoon at each position playing the splits or basically have a FT starter at each position.

RedBurb: Nice try. What I'm advocating is hiring a competent hitting coach who is allowed to do his damn job without interference from the manager. If Charlie wants to focus on hitting instruction he should go back to coaching.

I only tossed Utley into the mix as it relates to Wigginton, really.

I just kind of want to get a sense of things here, and this post seems like the right time to do it.

Is there anyone who still thinks the contract is a good one for the Phillies? At the time it was signed there were people who believed that. I predicted almost right away that by the time the contract even *started*, there would be no one left who still thought it was good. So is anyone willing to say it's good?

"Wasn't Ibanez essentially platooned by mid/end of last season?"

The end, & then only until the games actually mattered again. Raul had more Ks in the NLDS than Mayberry had ABs. Charlie has never stuck w/ a strict platoon. Why should we expect him to be willing/able to do so now?

Gtown - Who is a competent hitting coach? Was Milt Thompson a competent hitting coach when the Phils were killing the ball in 07 and 08? Then all of a sudden they regress and he's not a competent hitting coach anymore. He's replaced with the guy he replaced.

I don't think hitting coaches do much of anything except to help certain players not fall into bad habits. I can name less than five other hitting coaches around the league.

What is a fair criticism of Cholly is that he does 'wait for the 3-run HR' as a manager. Numbers bare that out. From the various stats I have seen, he is not a manager that uses 'small-ball techniques' (eg., sac bunts, hit & runs, etc) very much at all.

Understand Cholly's strategy to a degree especially when it is warmer at CBP starting in June but earlier this year that is a recipe that is a little ill-suited for this club.

Without Howard in the lineup, this is a below-average power club (Utley is as delusional as JRoll was a few years ago if he still thinks he is s 25-30 HR guy). Earlier in the year especially at CBP I hope they do run a bit more and employ a bit more small-ball especially if they have Lee/Halladay/Hamels on the mound.

I could easily see where an extra run in some of those lower-scoring games in April/May with one of the aces on the mound makes a real difference.

Where nickel-and-diming Lopes hurts a bit too because Mini-Mart and Mayberry could have certainly used a few pointers on SBs & probably been more of a legit SB threat if Lopes was still around at 1B.

Howard did hit lefties well in 2010 and he has at least slugged well (or passably well) against them in all seasons except 2009 and 2011. Plus, with many LH starting pitchers, you don't see the kinds of dramatic platoon splits that you see with LH relievers. Hence, I'm not prepared to make Howard a $25M per year platoon player quite yet.

What DOES merit strong consideration, however, is pinch hitting for him against LOOGYs. LOOGYS are guys who have been genetically engineered for the sole purpose of getting LH hitters out. Howard simply has no chance against them. Granted, if you pinch hit for him, you might come to regret it if his spot comes up in the order later on. But if it's the 7th or 8th inning and you're losing, you've got to pull out all the stops to catch up -- which would mean pinch hitting for Howard against a LOOGY. This, of course, will never happen while Cholly is manager.

This will happen right after Unc C brings Papelbon in for the 8th inning to destroy the meat of the order. Then in the ninth he plays the match ups.

mm: Mayberry should definitely be in the lineup against LHP, but it should be in LF. That leaves either Wigginton or Thome at 1st base.

Jack good call on brown lmfao

Dave - Letting Ibanez stay in to face Rhodes last year down 5-2 in the bottom of the 7th was just stupid. No other way around it.

Cholly isn't the worst manager in the game or even the playoffs last year (Washington takes that title) but there are times he does drive me bonkers especially with the bullpen management.

MG: "there are times [Cholly] does drive me bonkers especially with the bullpen management."

This comes as something of a revelation. I've never seen you criticize his bullpen management before.

This might well be the most interesting season of Charlie's tenure with the Phils. Lots of difficult decisions to make right off the bat roster-wise and lineup-wise. We are going to find out just how Rigid Charles Fuqua Manuel is or isn't. And possibly how much say he has in major league personnel decisions.

I would love for Ryan Howard to be strategically utilized to get the most out of his strenghty and mitigate the effects of his weaknesses. That being said, if Cholly does this, it will only be for as long as he feels that Howard needs to get back to regular playing shape. After that point, Howard will be out there nearly every day.

Kind of like how he was going to rest Utley last year. he did that for a few weeks after Utley returned, then once Utley had a good two weeks of mashing, running and playing good defense, he was out there seemingly every day, with nary a day off to speak of.

The sad truth is, Howard against a LOOGY is such a bad matchup for him, he should probably just keep the bat on his shoulder, and hope for a walk.

Assuming that Howard doesn't get teh platoon or pinch-hit treatment, the real question is, has Charlie, at the very least, learned that Utley should be batting second, Victorino/Pence third and Howard 4th? Placing a guy between Howard and Utly who has historically hit lefties very well, and who manhandled lefties last's such a good move, and Cholly seemed to figure it out late last year.

Ehhh...Howard has had an .825+ OPS against LHPs in 3 of the last 6 years, and .745+ in 4 of the last 6. 2 of his past 6 seasons have been terrible against LHPs, but to imply, as many here do, that he's a consistent .600 OPS hitter against LHPs is false.

What would Sandberg do?

In the case of JMJ, while he has made no definitive statement on his full time acumen, he is all but there...especially if he can get off to a hot start. More people than not and by a fairly large margin, I might add, had the deck stacked against Jr. from the start. It may turn out that they are still correct but I would wager that most of them are now on the other side of that debate.

Then I got to wondering; just how many of the experts who weigh in on the future of players like Mayberry Jr. have actually played the game of baseball? I'm not saying that this is a pre-requisite to be able to judge the fortunes of players and teams but it certainly couldn't hurt.

There are so many posters who singularly (and repeatedly) dismissed JMJ's chances at even being a contributor and I wonder what the hell they are looking at. I mean, the stats might not have supported his bright future, but one look at the guy in a batting cage should question the reliability of leaning on stats to formulate a least in JMJ's case.

Chris, unfortunately, those two seasons have fallen within his last 3 seasons. Whether or not it's false that Howard has been an historically deplorable hitter against LHP is beside the point. He was pitiful in 2009 and 2011, and while 2010 was good, does that outweight 2009 and 2011?

Also, platooning him against starters may not be necessary, but he should face a lot less LOOGYs.

As part of an overall plan to get him some more rest, it's not a bad idea.

bigmyc: I'm one of the ones who was down on Mayberry ever being more than a 4th OF. I remain skeptic, but i definitely admit his performance last year already proved to me that his upside is way higher than I predicted.

bigmyc - I would love to see Mayberry repeat his performance from last year, which as awh has pointed out time and time again, would make him into an MVP candidate. However there is a bigger predictor of his future and that is his entire minor league career. I think it is better to be more realistic of what Mayberry can be, which is a servicable major league outfielder, than think he became Matt Kemp last year. I'm sure no one is questioning the fact that he has the tools to become a very good outfielder. Being drafted twice in the first round clearly supports that major league scouts believe he had the tools to succeed.

I'm bullish on him because he is a 28 year old OF who is just staking his claim as a major league player. Maybe he has turned into what the scouts thought he might become. Maybe he will be a 4th OF for the rest of his career. I'm cautious when evaluating him because of those facts.

Mayberry could turn into a niceish .750 OPS guy that plays good to great defense at the corner OF spots.

That's still a nice player to have.

I highly doubt he's a .950 OPS player.

Dammit. Bearish on him.

I will say this: I think in order of offensive performance (OFFENSIVE only), I think that our players this year would stack up like this, if all were given enough ABs: Pence, Victorino, Brown, Mayberry, Nix, Pierre.

Brown will likely get 400-500 ABs this Lehigh.

rerdburb: it probably just took Mayberry 7 years to un-learn that Stanford swing. Dad's, never send your son's who can hit to Stanford and never send the one's who can pitch to Rice.

At a minimum, Howard and Utley should be separated in the lineup to ameliorate the effects of late inning loogy's.




"Over the years we have seen several Phillies pitchers develop, adjust & improve, but nothing of the sort happens w/ regard to the hitters."

GTown, I'm calling bullsh8t on that.

there are a lot of Phillies hitters who developed too. Utley, Rollins, Mayberry, Victorino....

Doesn't development in the minors count as well?

RedBurb, slight correction:

Mayberry's OPS last season was .854.

My argument is that his OPS from the 2nd half - .965 - IF he could repeat it over a whole season, would make him an MVP candidate.

There were only 3 players in the NL with 450+ PA who had an OPS over .965: Fielder, Kemp and Braun.

IF, IF, IF Mayberry hits that well'l be really good for the team.

gtown: "Over the years we have seen several Phillies pitchers develop, adjust & improve, but nothing of the sort happens w/ regard to the hitters."

I'd love to see some further insight here. I see Madson and Hamels as really the only two pitchers ever to develop and improve throughout their career as a Phillie. Who am I missing?

awh - I was going to write that his OPS was of MVP caliber after his callup, but I thought I was rambling at that point.

I took issue with bigmyc's comment that posters were dismissing RFD's performance from last year. Putting that performance in proper context is what should be done. We can't assume that he will OPS .954 in 2012 because that is setting the bar extremely high. Unfortunately, this is a common mistake fans make all the time.

BAP - I admit much of that was developed earlier in Cholly's tenure here especially in '06 and '07 with some epically-bad bullpen management.

lorecore, good point.

Utley got better AFTER he was called up. So did Rollins. Howard had the monster year in 2006 that he was never destined to repeat, but you could also argue that he got better his first couple of years. Mayberry has improved since coming to the Phillies, and so has Victorino - and for that matter, Chooch.

I guess it's another case of GTownDave not thinking before posting.

RedBurb, I agree.

If Mayberry posts an OPS of over
.800, and over .750 against LHP, I'll be satisfied as a fan.

Anything more than that will be gravy.

Kudos to JMJ for having posted a 125 OPS+ in his total 369 PAs at the ML level. It's obvious that his power and speed play at this level, as well as his outfield defense and pretty good arm. If we get the middle ground of JMJ last year and JMJ in 2009, we as fans should be pleased. Honestly, I'm so excited about the outfield defense this year when JMJ starts.

I think that a reasonable expectation of success for Mayberry, so something within reason but on the higher end, is a line like .270/.340/.490, for an .830 OPS. I'd put that around his 75th percentile peformance.

I think it's also reasonable to project him to regress to something like a .260/.320/.430 line, for a .750 OPS. That would be around his 25th percentile performance.

His performance will almost certainly be within those bounds.

Where does everyone see this team in 2 years?

looking to win one for the thumb

"Welcome to Spring Training 2014! The Philadelphia Phillies enter camp coming off their 2nd straight World Series victory and 3rd in six years. The question going into the year is can MVP Domonic Brown repeat his historic performance from 2013 or will he build on his 60 HR/Gold Glove performance? Crafty veteran Roy Halladay is another question mark coming into camp. After pitching 287 innings in 2013 while en route to a 27 win, 5 Perfect Game, Cy Young season, there are serious debates as to whether he can maintain his historic pace towards 300 wins. One spot where no questions remain are at 1B where veteran superstar Ryan Howard has proven that he is once again among the elite sluggers in the game with 97 HRs and 283 RBIs over the past two seasons while providing always steady defense around the bag."

JW evidently has secret inside info that reveals the bad-fielding, weak-armed, lost 2 steps, slow-bat Juan Pierre who played last season for the White Sox is not the same Juan Pierre signed by the Phillies. "We can rebuild him...we have the technology," said Wolever.

Well, Mike Cameron unexpectedly retired last week. Maybe the Phillies will buy him and harvest him for parts to improve Pierre.

Get Rube: A $150 million payroll team struggling to get to .500.

Chris in VT: "Ehhh...Howard has had an .825+ OPS against LHPs in 3 of the last 6 years, and .745+ in 4 of the last 6. 2 of his past 6 seasons have been terrible against LHPs, but to imply, as many here do, that he's a consistent .600 OPS hitter against LHPs is false."

Chris, you forgot the first rule of BL: Meme trumps all facts.

Nats’ Zimmerman wants deal in place by Saturday

"Zimmerman previously had set Saturday as a deadline for negotiations; that’s when Washington starts formal workouts. Zimmerman said he doesn’t want talk about contract discussions to be a distraction in the clubhouse during spring training or the season."

"He has two seasons left on a $45 million, five-year contract. So he acknowledged this is not “make or break” time, but noted that by getting something done now, the Nationals could move on to locking up other players to long-term deals.";_ylt=AmkHIpnK35lPtr5QE8Dy17ARvLYF?slug=ap-nationals-zimmerman

I can see Uncle Chalie possibly dabbling in this theory. However, he wont go all out with this strategy. Even if he some how did i dont think Rube would be happy platooning the Big Piece and his contract much. Howard will be on the field as long as he can lace up his cleats.

When the game is on the line Rube and Uncle Chalie will go with the Vet 95% of the time. Even if said veteran is hitting .220 and said 2nd year or rookie player is hitting .320 its their way and their thinking. This especially so if its Howard, Utley or Rollins. These are Charlies guys and he will live and die with them..

Phillies get off to a record setting pace as far as W/L and offense this year without Howard in the lineup. When he comes back we will be debating if we should trade him.

bigmyc: "I mean, the stats might not have supported (Mayberry's) bright future, but one look at the guy in a batting cage should question the reliability of leaning on stats to formulate a speculation."

This is the aksmith school of analysis. If you haven't seen the guy play 50 times, it's impossible to make any judgment about him, scouting reports and stats be damned.

The statheads and the tools lovers were both pretty down on Mayberry (and by pretty down I mean they had downgraded him from potential star, which he was considered when drafted, to bench guy) because his talent just wasn't being translated into results and he was age 27.

Some guys are late bloomers.

Spin on top of spin on top of spin with the Braun story already.

Up until today I was kind of indifferent to this story but I do wonder if Braun and his attorney are going to launch an investigation of the potential tampers of his urine sample just like OJ did with the killers. Sure they will make progress by 2014.

***Some guys are late bloomers.***

And baseball is also littered with tons of guys that had 1 great half-season never to again reach that pinnacle. It should be very interesting to see which one Mayberry ends up being.

@MG -- its amazing the shoddy work by the sample taker to secure the sample. However, its not amazing that the MLB process would be this shoddy. The fallout for this has to be a re-negotiation of the CBA, wherein the MLB forces the union to use World Doping Agency as the testers (or at least follow the WDA guidelines) which are significantly more difficult to follow and would likely generate a flood of failures.

The fact that Braun's sanctimony is based on his "passed" tests. Given MLB's failure to adequately secure this one sample, would lead me to believe that even Braun's "PASSED" tests should be under scrutiny.

As fans, we have "trusted" MLB's testing process was adequate and that the real "offenders" have been eradicated from baseball or cleaned up their act. All this scenario did was re-open the can of worms and put EVERYONE back under suspicion. What a complete disaster.

That Selig continues to run this league with these huge failures is amazing. And the fact that his system allowed his beloved Brewers biggest and brightest star to fall under this taint should haunt him and will continue to haunt baseball until he's gone.

This is the aksmith school of analysis. If you haven't seen the guy play 50 times, it's impossible to make any judgment about him, scouting reports and stats be damned. - Clout.

Thanks, Clout. I hadn't said a word about you or to you, or basically offered any critique of Mayberry at all. But, I made the fateful mistake of existing on this planet. I had almost forgotten what a turd you are. Purpose served, I now remember.

HammRadio - Selig has made the owners tons of money and they have labor peace since '94. That's all the really matters to them.

Hamm - have you read about the stories surrounding the integrity of the process? it they are to be believed, Braun got off on a minor technicality. The sample had 3 tamper-proof seals. Instead of being sent the day of collection, it was sent 1 business day later with no evidence of tampering. Braun didn't argue it was tampered, didn't argue against the science of the testing procedure. He got his test reversed simply because protocol wasn't followed to the letter.

Does the World Doping Agency just have couriers who know when FedEx closes on Saturdays? This guy was barely negligent.

I'm not saying I disagree with the result - necessarily - I'm just confused how something so minor calls every specimen into question.

Sophist: That was just my point on last night's thread. A clever defense lawyer can almost always point to some moment in time when the blood/urine/drug specimen was not sitting safely in an evidence locker. But if the guy gets up on the witness stand (or signs an affidavit) and says that he didn't tamper with the specimen during that time period, that should be more than sufficient proof to uphold the test results.

Believe me: when I'm not posting on Beerleaguer I do nothing but read criminal transcripts all day long. Iceman and others seem to think that there's no commonality between criminal law & MLB drug testing. But the protocol for scientific testing, and chain of custody for test specimens, is surely even stricter for police departments than it is for MLB. And the people who think that imperfections in the chain of custody are a major failure of protocol are simply wrong. It is extremely common and is almost never a basis for setting aside the test results. I wish it were, as I'd win a lot more of my appeals.

I think Braun is completely and utterly guilty and that he got off on a technicality.

I do find it amusing that some (like almost all of Fangraphs) are whiteknighting for him.

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