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Thursday, March 22, 2012


I'm not worried, we'll still be the team to beat despite the injuries. Just like last year.

Teams I like more than most: Cincy, Florida, LAD, Cleveland, Texas

Teams I like less than most: Atlanta, SF, St. Louis, Boston, LAA

"Though the Nats and Marlins upgraded their pitching this off-season, they still can't touch the Phillies' rotation. There don't figure to be any elite offenses in this division either. In fact, no other team in the East, by any major projection system, is expected to win 90 games this year.

Meaning we could get a bunch of nights where Ty Wigginton bats cleanup, Freddy Galvis prompts opposing managers to not even bother playing an outfield, the rest of the team hobbles out to their positions like the Tea Totallers ... and the Phillies still win a sixth straight crown."

Fewest walks by our pitchers AND fewest strike outs by our batters is great news. It tells me that our pitchers have control and that our batters have timing. In general, we are ahead of the rest of the league in shaking off the rust.

In order from most to least exciting:

(1) Watching paint dry

(2) Attending an all-night sing-along of Gregorian chants

(3) Manually counting the words in "War and Peace"

(4) A month-long vacation in a Siberian jail cell

(5) The 4 utility infieders mentioned in Matt Gelb's article

Anyone think the Phils should make a run at Mark Reynolds who the O's have made available? I know all the negatives but he would add some much needed pop to the line up I think.

And he's a lot more exciting than the names in Gelb's article.

"fewest strike outs by our batters . . . tells me that our batters have timing."

Actually, what it tells me is that Ryan Howard and Chase Utley are injured, and that we've been relegated to a lineup with a bunch of slap-hitting singles hitters.

Hey, don't lump Chase Utley in with Ryan Howard's strikeout ways. Chase only struck out in 10% of his PAs last year, compared to 26.7% for Howard.

Now, I'm not going to focus on what Chase Utley did(n't do) in the other non-K PAs, because that would dampen my righteous indignation.

BIGTRUCK is dominating today, book it.

They're not a championship contender by any stretch of the imagination

Posted by: GTown_Dave | Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 04:43 PM

There is no way this person is genuine.

Scotch: Putting aside my own personal distaste for players who hit .220 and strike out 200 times per year, Reynolds does have offensive value since he hits tons of homeruns & draws lots of walks.

The problem is, he's an absolute butcher at 3rd base. That means you're really down to playing him at 1st base, which doesn't do anything to address our middle infield situation. We've already got a bunch of passable 1st base types and, at some point, Howard will presumably be returning.

Since clout day has come and gone, I can now safely say that I am somewhat optimistic about the overall reduction in K's by this whole lineup (notably, the youngsters in Brown, Mayberry, Galvis). I hope it's something that continues into the season to even some small magnitude, as it will help an offense that may otherwise struggle to score runs.

That said, I do recognize that the two primary reasons for the improvement are the fact that they've largely been playing second rate pitching (but, who hasn't been?), and the absence of Howard.

Fat: I'm not equating Utley & Howard when it comes to strikeouts. I'm just saying: Utley strikes out a fair amount (at least he used to, back when he hit for power). If avoidance of strikeouts is your objective, then replacing Utley with Galvis will help achieve that objective.

I will take a team of Rob Deers/Mickey Tetteltons that strike out by the truckload as long as they mash HRs and BB at a really high rate over mediocre 'contact' hitters any day.

Obsessing over Ks is next to meaningless.

Preacher: I'd like to know where the ball is going. Are the Phillies driving the ball, getting more hits? Or have strike outs been replaced by pop-ups & weak grounders (both of which have been every bit as detrimental as the much discussed Ks)?

MG: If the Grantland prediction proves true, only 8 more years of consecutive Division titles & 3 more NL pennants to match the '91-'05 Braves!

WP, I didn't know this, but I did some research and it turns out:

The Phillies were teh 5th best team in the majors last year at not striking out.

They were the 10th best team at drawing walks.

They were the 5th best team in terms of strikeout-to-walk ratio, behind only the Red Sox, Mets, Yankees and Cardinals.

This team seemingly had a very patient approach last year. Let's hope that they can keep it up this year.

GTown/Fat, my "optimism" (if you want to call it that) is that I'm hoping we may see a few more patient AB's, work a few counts and maybe even get into a couple bullpens sooner. Base runners would certainly be a plus, too. I'm not necessarily a fan of a "small ball" approach, but I've always had a bit more hope with a non-strikeout prone batter (say Polly) at the plate in a late game spot, trying to keep the game alive, than someone like Burrell or Howard. Yeah, I dig the long ball, too, but the "all or nothing" swinging for the fences approach can be a bit exhausting.

That said, Fat, I'm actually very surprised to see those stats. Perhaps it's confirmation bias of Howard K'ing in big spots to end the game or rally, or whatever, but I'd have guessed that they were much more prone to being among the most impatient teams in the NL and among the league leaders in K's. I guess as long as you have Mark Reynolds and Adam Dunn in MLB, you'll always have competition for that designation.

Though, Thome is certainly prone to his fair share of K's (and is a power hitter) and I'm thrilled to have him on board if he can contribute. I'm sure he'll do more than his fair share of padding his stats as the active K leader (and #2 career to Reggie), as well.

Where can I find Bautista's batting history vs. Lee? I'm pretty sure he's a Cliff Killer.

I remember that someone posted those strikeout/walk stats at the end of last year. I also remember some stat about the Phillies being at or near the league lead in pitches per PA.

It's basically a myth that the Phillies don't have "patient ABs." Of course, the whole concept of a "patient AB" is also somewhat mythical it its own right. By definition, it takes at least 3 pitches per PA just to strike. So, if you strike out a lot, your P/PA total is going to be high -- even if you're swinging at crap that's 3 feet outside the strike zone (hardly the mark of a patient hitter). On the other hand, a guy like Polanco has a low P/PA, but it's not because he's impatient at the plate. It's precisely because he DOESN'T swing at bad pitches; he swings only at hitable pitches and, when he swings, he very often puts it in play.

Muuurgh, the Batters vs. Pitchers Play Index tool at doesn't seem to be working right now, otherwise I'd let you know. There may be other places, but I'm not aware of them.

Bautista vs Lee:
3/9 with 1HR, 2K
Courtesy of

Time to ditch Pierre.

BAP, good post.

shaw, did you use the Play Index tool?

murrgh: , enter in any Pitcher and Batter.

JoeyBats vs Lee: 3-9, 1 HR 1 RBI 2K 0BB

Yeah, although I did notice it was a bit slow

bap, your list above was genuinely funny. Nice job~!

awh: Thanks. I was actually worried that fans of Gregorian chants might take offense.

random: Danny Espinosa is 7-10 with 3 HR and a double off Lee, for a nice 2.400 OPS

Thanks, guys. I guess it could be worse, for sure, though he has hit two doubles off him today when he otherwise has been quite on-point.

I really hope we don't end up with the wrong Izturis. Is there really a right Izturis?

MLB Gameday says: "Defensive Substitution: Michael Martinez replaces right fielder Hunter Pence, batting 3rd, playing right field"?

What gives?

My God...UC is STILL using him even with him in a walking boot!!!

Now that's versatile!

Qualls with a 1-2-3 inning.

MG, that's an interesting Grantland article you linked at 1:05.

I wonder if this passage will be enough to moderate the vitriol directed at Amaro for not signing better utility infielders:

"The three biggest motivating factors for free agents are typically money, a chance to win, and a chance to play a lot. Injuries and age, or not, many useful veterans won't want any part of backing up someone of Utley's stature, or even Polanco's."


Big Truck time.

Let's see how he looks.

BAP, a hitter with a low pitch count who doesn't swing at crap is probably getting a lot of pitches down the middle because he can't do much with them other than maybe a single. Planco is a good example of this - pitchers don't waste time nibbling with him because the worst he can do is probably going to be getting to first, and a walk will do that anyway.

A thumper will see far more out of the zone or on the edge even if he doesn't swing at garbage simply because pitchers cannot afford to give him anything to hit.

god dammit contreras.

only 1 unearned run for truck, not that bad - but all fly balls to center. I was hoping along the lines of 3k's

MG, here's another paragraph from that article that I love:

"Rany Jazayerli made his triumphant return to Grantland Tuesday with a piece breaking down the Nationals' chances of winning the NL East, given the Phillies' injury and age woes. It's not the first time Rany has predicted imminent doom for the Phils, triggering a wave of fist-shaking from Philly fans that caused the good doctor to move his dermatology practice to rural Bulgaria."

It's "proof positive" that one of the whiners on this site is Rani Jazayerli and is using a pseudonym here.

lorecore, don't take the Lord's name in vain.

He doesn't like it when you do.

awh: Look, do you wanna play blindman? Go walk with the shepherd. But me, my eyes are wide f#@king open.

lorecore: What the f#@k does that mean?

awh: It means, that's it for me. From here on in you can consider my @ss retired.

lorecore: Jesus Christ.

awh: Don't blaspheme.

lorecore: Goddamn.

awh: I said don't do that!

According to the Box Score, Martinez entered today's game in RF in the Bottom of the 6th. The one ball hit to his area of the field went for an RBI Double. Versa-Mike also watched 3 straight pitches pass by him for strikes in K-ing to lead off the 9th. So pretty much, the same player as when he's 100% healthy.

GTown, what do you have to do to get rid of that, actually amputate his leg?

It was Montenez, not Martinez.

From Crossing Broad:

Earlier, Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki wrote that Chase Utley has been spotted in Phoenix this week, which hints at the location of the specialist he is seeing for his knee (I’m really good at deducing)*. As sports injury expert Will Carroll Tweets, it’s likely that, if Utley is in Phoenix, he is there seeing Dr. Thomas Carter, a doctor for the Phoenix Suns and a surgeon for the Cartilage Restoration Clinic of Arizona.


*I’ve been obsessively checking the interwebtuals and social networks for mentions of Chase anywhere, but no luck. Credit to Zolecki for figuring it out.

In 2005, Carter performed microfracture surgery on then-Sun Amare Stoudemire. That sort of surgery has been discussed as an option for Utley. Basically, Utley is lacking cartilage in his knees, causing grinding of bones, which is why even four months of rest seemingly did him little good.

Microfracture surgery is the process of creating small fractures in the bone with the expectation that blood clots and scar tissue (cartilage) builds up to create a cushion which prevents bones from grinding.

Microfracture can be both good and bad. As CSN’s John Finger pointed out yesterday, it has a high-success rate (80%) and few lasting effects. The downside is that there’s a 20% chance new cartilage won't grow where it's needed (good at math...) ... and it takes about a year to recover from. It’s a serious surgery, which is likely why the Eagles hid the fact that Brandon Graham had the procedure last year.

Anyway, this is all speculation for now, but it sounds like there’s a chance Utley is in Phoenix seeing the guy who performed microfracture surgery on Amare Stoudemire.

DIP: You're making lots of assumptions in that argument. In short, I don't buy it.
Pitchers try to avoid throwing pitches down the middle, no matter who is at the plate (unless it's the opposing pitcher). This is because even bad major league hitters will kill pitches down the middle.

Polanco, as it happens, has been a very good major league hitter for a long time. And not just at hitting singles. In 2003 & 2004, he hit 14 & 17 homers respectively. By your logic, his P/PA should have been higher in those years, as pitchers would have pitched him more carefully than they did in, say, 2010 & 2011. But, in fact, his P/PA in 2003 & 2004 were 3.44 and 3.45. Last year, when he was hitting nothing but singles, it was 3.72. In 2010, it was 3.54.

It's not that pitchers pitch him more carefully than they used to. It's that he is 36 and is not quite as good at making solid contact as he used to be. Hence, more foul balls and swings and misses, and more P/PAs. Nonetheless, he's still pretty good at making contact, compared to most major league hitters -- which is why his P/PA is still low compared to most hitters. When he swings at a pitch, he very often puts it in play.

My point is not that Polanco's style of hitting is preferable to Ryan Howard's or Jayson Werth's. My point is that P/PA is really a lousy measurement of how selective a hitter is. Very often it is the hitters who swing at all sorts of crap who have the highest P/PAs. And that is precisely BECAUSE they swing at so much crap.

RedBurb: So we have two of them now?!

I don't think I can stand all of the versatility.

Hilarious article on Adam Eaton:

"I get a lot of fan mail for him," Eaton said. "I've started collecting the cards. I think whenever I meet him I'm going to give all his cards back to him. I've thrown some away but I've got a stack of 10 or so right now that I'm holding ransom.

"I always get, 'Hey, are you Adam Eaton the pitcher? Or any relation if you're not?' People say, 'Hey, I remember you when you played with the Phillies.' I just play along half the time because I don't want to explain it to them because I hear it so much."

Here's some advice young Adam Eaton. If a Phillies fan is asking whether you have any relation to the ahole who pitched in Philly, I would NOT play along because you might get punched in the face. And when you say "fan mail," you should definitely keep those profane and angry letters as an inspiration to keep working hard so as to never get placed into the same category as the other Eaton.

Just checked todays box score & saw Abreu and Montanez in the game .
Did I hit a time warp?
I'm in Williamsburg on vacation and maybe my computer stopped somewhere between colonial era and present day.

Cliff Corcoran of on Dom Brown:

"if he keeps hitting, there remains some small chance of his winning the leftfield job given the fact that neither Mayberry nor Nix has hit at all this spring, and that Nix has also been hurt, playing just once since March 12. That remains a long shot, but even if Brown heads to Triple-A and Mayberry and Nix find their strokes in the regular season, I find it hard to believe that Brown won't be starting in the outfield of some major league team by August."

"Some" major league team? If Brown is ripping the cover off the ball, one would think the Phils might be a tad bit interested in a 24-year old who can strike some fear in the pitchers' minds.

Read more:

BAP: The PitchFX data supports your claim.

In 2011, Polanco swung at 43.4% of pitches, 104th highest of 145 qualified hitters. 91.8% of his swings made contact, 4th highest.

By the way, the often-criticized Jimmy Rollins was even more patient - his 41.4% swing percentage was 124th. His 89.5% contact rate was 13th best.

Abreu is making the roster.

Brown will not be in Pittsburgh on 4/5 - book it. These national writers rarely have their finger on the pulse of a team and its decision maakers. Jason Stark is the exception especially when it comes to the Phillies, because he has such deep-rooted ties to the organization.

All will go well about mid-season Rube will notice we are struggling offensively. He'll then make a trade for a aging relief pitcher to help our offensive woes.....

Luis: r00b thinks it's possible to assemble a pitching staff which will allow the Phillies to win a game by a score of 0 to -1.

Any posting going through???

I only have a minute, but according to PitchFX, Poly has the 13th highest % of pitches inside the strike zone in all of baseball. Big boppers have a very low % - Prince Fielder sees fewer pitches in the strike zone even though he has a very low swinging strike rate of 8%.

Pitchers would much rather Poly make contact than Fielder, and pitch him accordingly.

I vote for Pods and Luna. That means they have no chance.I'd really rather see Montanez but he needs to wait 10 more years and fail atleast four more times.

With epic game chats just around the corner, I whipped up a bookmarklet that will automatically take you to the last page of comments from any Beerleaguer article page that has multiple pages of comments.

To install: Drag this link to your browser's bookmark toolbar:

BL Jump To

To use: When you're on an article page, clicking this bookmarklet should take you to the last page of comments for that article.

This uses Javascript. If you have that turned off, this won't work.
You can rename it

TNA: What i want to know about that Adam Eaton story is how adam eaton is making 120k in licensing royalties.

Yo, new thread

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