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Friday, March 16, 2012


'Search for a LOOGY!'

Now running it its third consecutive season in South Philly!

"Searching for a LOOGY ... so Charlie can bring him in to face consecutive RH batters on a maddeningly regular basis!"

One way or another, Dontrelle was gonna fail. Better that he failed on his own merits.

"Pride, Pretzels, Prison" sounds like a rejected Phils' marketing season campaign season from the late 80s.

They've talked up Diekman throughout camp, so he would seem to have the inside edge.

All that said, I continue to maintain that they might break camp with Bastardo as the only lefty in the bullpen. I think they will take the best 7 relievers, regardless of handedness.

Team Savery

T-Mac said on wip this morning that he thinks Deikman is coming up north with the team.

Little surprised by the move, especially with a bunch of big lefties in the division. Was he signed to be something other than a LOOGY? (That would make the picture a littler clearer if true)

I'll make the Phils a deal:
Take Deikman north.
Leave "T-Mac" south.

I am going to have to agree with Scotch Man and be on Team Savery. It would make for an interesting success story and he can replace the bat we thought we were getting with dontrelle in extra extras.

Diekman is this year's Stutes. As Stutes did last year, he has come out of nowhere to have a great ST. And, like Stutes, his historically terrible control figures to eventually rear its ugly head, and significantly curtail his usefulness.

I'm all for going with the hot hand, though. Diekman's stuff is, by all accounts, excellent. As long as his control problems lay dormant, he's probably a better bet than Savery.

I am for either one of the LhP. Saw yanks signed Andy p for 2.5 minor league deal.

ZAndy Pettitte un-retiring?

MG third year? When was the last time there was more than one left-handed reliever on the roster on opening day?

rosie - Plus he can fill in at 1B for Howard.

Andy - I meant the last time the Phils had two LHP relievers they used consistently at the end of '09 (Eyre and Romero).

They did open the '09 season though with two LHP relievers with Eyre and Taschner.

Actually I wrong. How soon I forget the Phils opened the season last year with JC Romero and Bastardo on the Opening Day roster.

Last time they had 2 semi-effective LHP relievers on the roster - end of 2009 - and then even you could debate how effective Romero really was given his lack of command.

The solution to the Phillies' LOOGY dilemma is staring them right in the face: bring Scott Eyre out of retirement.

(Note to the literalists: I don't REALLY think that's the solution to the Phillies' LOOGY dilemma, but no spring training would feel complete without at least one post advocating that we bring Scott Eyre out of retirement. So there it was. Oh yeah, and bring back Pedro too.)

I thought we signed Willis to be a left handed pinch hitter, actually...

I thought this was interesting:

"Was Willis given enough time? Consider that in those three games, he faced a total of 12 righties and four lefties.

The lefties were 1 for 4 with no walks. The righties were 4 for 8 with four walks."

Convert Hamels to our left-handed reliever.

Does two things:

1. Solves your second LOOGY problem, as Bastardo will be your LOOGY, and Hamels is your setup guy, second LOOGY, if needed.

2. We can then sign Hamels to a contract as a reliever next year (very cheap), and put him back in the rotation. And since Worley is ultimately a better pitcher, anyhow, the rotation this year will survive. Especially since Kendrick is now a legitimate #3.

You're welcome, Ruben.

Speaking of Taschner:

Know he was traded for Paulino right at the end of spring training by Amaro in March '09.

Can't think of another trade for a Opening Day roster player that Amaro has made in spring training though.

Did I mess any?

GBrett, even if the 4 lefties he faced were 0-4 with 4 strikeouts on 12 pitches, and the 8 righties he faced were 8-8 with 8 homeruns, using the results of 12 PAs is always a bad idea.

The coaching staff obviously made this decision based on more than simply results. they were probably looking at his mechanics, how the ball was coming out of his hand, considering his medical reports and long term durability, and many other factors that go FAR beyond the results of 12 PAs.

Also, if Dontrelle is as poor against RHB as his numbers show him to be, then even if he is gold kryptonite to LHB, he's still probably going to be a liability, since it's nigh impossible to limit a pitcher to strictly facing LHB. All LOOGYs end up facing RHB, and on THIS team, they face far more than they ever should.

As predicted, the drumbeat for Jake "Can't Miss" Diekman is getting louder.

Well, from what I've seen, Diekman has no problems missing the strikezone...

It'll be Savery if they really want a 2nd LHP...however, I suspect they'll go into April with Stutes and Herndon and just 1 Lefty.

GBrett: Although he certainly didn't help himself in those 3 outings, I doubt Willis was cut simply because of his performance over 3 ST innings. He was probably cut because of our scouts' assessment of his stuff and/or command. Plus he was already having arm issues and, if he's having arm issues after pitching a couple innings in March, it probably doesn't bode too well for his future health prospects.

With regard to that article, though, I'll repeat a point I've made many times before: LOOGYs have to get RH hitters out too. They don't have to be great against RH hitters; if they were, they wouldn't be LOOGYs. But they have to be passable. The term "LOOGY" is really a misnomer. Even a guy like Rzepczynski faced RH hitters 20 more times than he faced LH hitters last year -- and that was with a Tony Larussa-managed team.

Another year of Herndon...I can barely contain my excitement.

BAP: The big difference between Stutes and Diekman is that the scouts actually considered Stutes a prospect, albeit low-end. Diekman couldn't even make BA's Top 30 Phils prospects list in a year when the Phils farm system was drier than a Dust Bowl Okie farm.

Wilson Valdez is in double secret LOOGY training camp under am assumed team name working on a LH version ofhis emergency relief pitcher skill set.
When the HOF adds it 25th roster spot wing , he will be ready.

I'm disappointed they gave up so quickly, I guess they figured they could shed the $1 million and use it elsewhere. I still think Willis could be effective vs. 1 lefty per game and don't know why he ever saw a righty. Plus he can hit. Oh well.

Don't get why people are so enamored with Diekman at this point. He has a great fastball but his control is only slightly above average and his control is below average from what I have seen.

Diekman doesn't know where it is going to go at times. Good thing is it has so much movement that the hitters have struggled with it too in spring training. His 4-seamer has enough movement on it horizontally that I bet it sort of resembles a cutter at times.

Herndon had a nice second half, but he is far, far from a proven commodity.

BAP, by definition a LOOGY is a Left Handed One Out Guy.

Perhaps someone should let Cholly know that if the left handed batter reached base, that doesn't mean he has to stick with the LOOGY until he gets that one out...

Clout: To be fair, you also predicted that Willis would make a good LOOGY for the team. So, you know.

I think it was a little premature. Theres stuff that happens in the background that no one knows though. Not with just Dontrelle personally but other team needs that could of affected the decision in some part.

And now the Yankees - who were looking into him earlier, apparently - will sign him and he will seek revenge in the WFC...

Also what area bay phan said in his last opening comment...

clout, how exactly does it work when a player is cut before clout day? Am I aloud to make any sort of assertion, whatsoever, on Willis? For that matter, does Rube realize that nothing he's seen to this point matters? I feel extremely confused.

Jack: I did? I remember saying I liked his signing. Low risk, potentially high reward. Don't recall predicting he'd make the team except in joking that it was part of J-Roll's contract that he had to be kept.

But if you can find evidence to back up your statement, I'm be happy to defer.

Also, what's your projection for Diekman?

Clout: I know less than nothing about Diekman--as you state, there's barely any reports on him because he was never considered a prospect.

The team seems to be high on him, but not sure what that means. I've been consistent in saying that I don't think the team will necessarily bring a second lefty other than Bastardo. They have spent plenty of time the last few years with only one lefty in the pen. Don't see why that changes all of a sudden now, especially if Contreras is healthy.

Jack: It sounds like we agree.

WP: We can say a couple things. 1. That Willis didn't do well against RH batters in a few totally meaningless appearances and 2. Amaro concluded, based on factors we know nothing about, that the Phils had better bullpen options than D Train.

One could make the argument that #2 could've been concluded before Willis ever set foot in camp.

Here are a few guys that might shake loose in the middle infield:

P. Janish, C. Izturis, B. DeWitt, C. Getz, T. Nishioka

Not exactly an inspiring group.

Good point. Basically, all assumptions were made before camp ever started. In limited opportunity, DTrain failed to dispel those assertions.

clout and WP, that's probably a good read on the situation.

If the Phillies didn't have concerns about Willis' command issues, etc., they would have given him a guaranteed contract.

Maybe, just maybe Willis was given a chance to put his act on display in spring training as a favor to Rollins during his negotiation.D-Train got his chance. failed to impress CM and Rube and now has a few weeks to see if there are other buyers.

No harm, except for the ever present, hard to quantify opportunity cost of giving such a stage to a different player looking for a come back.

Rube should be looking for a trade for a guy like Callaspo.

Since it's D-Train dump day, can we say with any certainty who the likely 'survivors' in the BP sweepstakes will be?

Contreras (if healthy)
KK (unless Blanton is traded)

seem to me to be the only 'locks'.

That leaves 2 spots open for the likes of


and do De Fratus, Aumont or Hyatt figure into the picture?

Based on what I've read they're headed to MiL.

Mg, and yet nearly all of those names are a significant improvement on Martinez. At least Janish and Izturis can actually play defense at an average or above average level.

Anyone else notice that KK tossed 3.1 hitless, scoreless innings today with 0 BB's and 5 K's?

What's up with that?

awh: Kendrick and Halladay have obviously switched uniforms and are playing an elaborate joke on everyone.

Jack, touche!

KK's 5 K's were obviously because of BAbip luck.

Call me Nostrodamus

Wow, how can Paul Janish be available? I believe he was on the BL 'List of Names That Can Replace J-Roll.'

If we could have both of them on one team, we'd be unstoppable.

Doc secretly fighting snakes in south America killed one with bare hands. Extracted some blood, and made a secret blood brother pact with KK. He now has the superhero powers doc has!

Observations from watching today's game:

- As good as I thought Mayberry looked last spring and might be a contributor, he looks equally as bad this spring.

Swinging at too much crap today and pulling off the ball this spring when I have seen him. Resulting in a bunch of weak grounders to the left side of the infield. Hardly driving the ball at all.

Seems like Cholly has every intention of playing him regularly once the season starts with a lot of time at 1B. Hopefully he looks better towards the last 2 weeks of camp.

- Schneider's 3 ABs today were tough to watch. Just looks overmatched unless he gets ahead in the count or a pitcher makes a bad mistake middle-in that is right over the plate.

- KK just looks confident out there on the mound and in control. Body language/composure is night and day from even 2 years ago.

He's got his haters but he is going to help this team this year whether out of the pen or in the rotation again. If I was another NL team who needed another starter, I would really try hard to pick him up on the relative cheap. Call me crazy but I could see him 12 or 13 games on the right team.

Forget one thing. Pierre/Podsednik race for the 5th OF spot is over unless Podsednik gets hurt at this point.

Podsednik stole his 4th base today in 4 attempts this spring. Pierre stole his 2nd but also has 4 attempts.

If Mayberry gets most of the PT at 1B early in the year, I do wonder how Cholly handles LF. Too bad Podsednik is a LH bat because he would be a decent platoon partner with Nix to start the year.

MG, not a good report on RFD. I'm rooting for him, because an .800+ OPS RFD would be huge for this team this season, but HE needs to prove 2011 was no fluke.

Schneider? I have a feeling the "2012 BL Whipping Boy Contest" is going to be a dead heat between mini-mart and Schneider.

Mayberry is definitely a strong candidate to be a huge disappointment, largely because people's expectations for him are based on 3 months of last season, instead of 6 years of minor league numbers before that.

awh - Its early and only been 2 weeks of camp. If Mayberry continues to do this though, hard to see him getting out to a solid start.

Schneider won't play enough. I imagine that Chooch is going to log a ton of games/IP this year behind the plate again because Cholly knows that Schneider is pretty cooked at this point too.

If Mini Mart plays as much as I think he will, he will be hands done especially if he gets the 250-300 ABs I think he will.

You guys are forgetting about Qualls. No Baez and no Lidge means someone from the bullpen is going to be ripped apart here on a daily basis.

Jack, I won't be disappointed because I have no expectations. I do, however, hope, for the sake of the team, that 2011 OPS as a whole is somewhat repeatable.

I have no hallucinations about him being able to put up a .965 OPS (what he did in the 2nd half of last year) for 500+ PA in an entire season.

I'm also not willing to declare him a bust based on 34 ST AB in 2012. He had a .940 OPS in 68 ST AB in 2011 and wound up getting sent to the minors after 2 months.

Small sample size in small sample size.

Oops, should say:

"A small sample size is a small sample size."

And Wiggington. The signing was called a bust before he even stepped on the field, and I get the feeling he's going to be asked to do a lot more for this team than Mini-Mart.

Oh, and with BAP around, Nix is always a Whipping Boy dark-horse.

We'll probably also rip on Polanco, J-Roll, Ryan Howard, Bastardo, Victorino, Papelbon, Hamels, Worley, KK, Contreras, Stutes, Blanton, Podsednik, and even Lee, if given the chance.



Oh, and Charlie Manuel. We'll rip Charlie Manuel like there's no tomorrow. In fact, I'm surprised I've gotten this far in my post without doing so.

Re: Diekman: Wasn't there a change to his pitching style during last season, particulary just before the AFL season started, which has helped him into becoming a "prospect" of sorts?

Iceman, so we have the 2012 candidates:

Other bullpen pieces

How about Pierre/Podsednik, Mayberry if he regresses, Polly if he can't stay healthy, Jimmy if he doesn't live up to his contract, ditto Howard, Vic if he runs the bases like a knucklehead and Worley if he implodes?

Fatti, nice!

When Cholly makes a piss poor pitching decision (and guaranteed he makes at least several), its fine to criticize him.

Baseball's regular season is ungodly long and at some point you could criticize just about every player at some point as they go into a slump or doing some pretty foolish/bad mistake that costs their team a game at some point.

BedBeard: BA list comes out post-AFL. If they saw something there to add him, he could've been added.

Really not worried about Mayberry. I'd guess that he has spent a lot of time in the early spring getting ready to play 1B. He and the staff are likely more occupied with getting him ready to play the position first and foremost.

The games I have seen him in ST, he has looked much like he did last year. Same approach at the plate. Swung at strikes and was taking balls. That approach worked very well for him last year and I expect it to continue this year.

The last 2 weeks of ST, will be about getting him and Nix and Wigginton and the rest of the guys who will be heading north, sharp at the plate. The defensive stuff will be put on the backburner now.

I think its a 2 horse race for the 2nd lefty in the pen. Savery versus Diekman. I'd go with Savery to start the season, since he finished the year in the major league pen and showed himself well in those September opportunities. Start Diekman in Allentown (since he's never pitched above AA, I'd start him there anyway) and see how the first month goes.

Kendrick has been the best pitcher in camp this spring.

Polly should be healthy this season. I just can't wait until the next season of Dawson's Creek comes on.

Forget one thing. Pierre/Podsednik race for the 5th OF spot is over unless Podsednik gets hurt at this point.

Podsednik stole his 4th base today in 4 attempts this spring. Pierre stole his 2nd but also has 4 attempts.

If Mayberry gets most of the PT at 1B early in the year, I do wonder how Cholly handles LF. Too bad Podsednik is a LH bat because he would be a decent platoon partner with Nix to start the year.

Posted by: MG | Friday, March 16, 2012 at 04:30 PM


If Pods continues playing at this level, I'd rather see a Pods/RFD platoon in left and a Wiggy/Nix platoon at 1st; I wouldn't automatically make Mayberry an everyday starter until he's proved he can duplicate the second half of 2011.

For a think-outside-the-box idea: do you think the Orioles (who are supposed to be looking for a starting pitcher with MLB experience) would cough up Mark Reynolds (who's a free agent w/team option at the end of 2012) for Blanton and two mid-range prospects?

Reynolds makes a little less than five million this year, so if the Phils agree to pay three million of Joe's salary, it'd be an even money swap. I wouldn't want to see Reynolds anywhere NEAR 3rd base in Philly (worst glove of pretty much any starting 3rd baseman in MLB), and his strikeout totals are even higher than Ryno's, but as a one-year-only replacement at first base he'd be a valuable insurance policy against a Mayberry regression; a guy who hit 37 homers last year would be nice to have, even if he strikes out a ton.

Personally, I think that Rollins is right about Howard's likely being out for the year, so I think the team might want to look into a more productive but not long-term player for 1st; Reynolds would fill the bill nicely.

Amazingly enough, Halladay did a turn last year, if but briefly, as history's greatest monster -- around the time of the Wrigley Field debacle, when he was having pronounced first inning troubles.

Frankly, no one's off-limits, save Utley.

Why wait 'til the regular season? Hell, I'm prepared to deem Qualls an abject failure right now.

Kendrick is a beast, eh?

Good point on Doc. He DOES have that notorious issue with the first batter/inning. Even he's not untouchable from the wrath of BL.

And Utley has been pronounced "cooked" at least 6 dozen times in the last year.

Chooch is as untouchable as it gets, but even he's been criticized during some of his slumps. One thing is certain about BL, if you're actively hurting the team, you'll get your fair share from the peanut gallery consistently (and then CJ and Phlipper will ride in on their white horses...).

well, in Diekman's defense (though I basically agree with clout on him), guys like him whose upside is basically a LOOGY dont really make it onto prospect lists anyway.

He did change his arm slot from 3/4 to sidearm in the AFL and it made his fastball basically unhittable. Will that be enough? Probably not but it puts him on the team's radar as a possible callup at some point.

Utley has been getting criticism for the past two seasons...he's not untouchable anymore. At least that's my observation.

My other observation is that its damn sad that he was blocked by Polly and has a couple chronic injury issues as he will never make the HoF as a result of both.

Damn shame as he's the best 2B I've ever seen play the game.

I don't what was more a jaw-dropper today: reading that Raggedy Andy is coming back or that somebody on this forum showed sensitivity to a "Blanton is fat" joke.
Was Schweitzer a fat kid or something?

It's Utley's chair that's untouchable. People argue for it over actual humans all the time.

C'mon, I used to try to get you to lay off Big Joe, gramps. But, I never had a witty enough comeback.

I'm just kind of curious what would it take to trade for a couple of the Winfield options out there? Is blanton most likely gone?

and by Winfield I meant infield* oops

G'Town Dave - Don't worry. As soon as Qualls give up a few late run bombs in April/May, the crowd at CBP will turn on him just as fast as they did on Franklin in '06.

In fact, I went to the game where the crowd turned on Franklin. I was back from the West Coast for the Memorial Day. Franklin gave up back-to-back HRs to Weeks/Hall in a 6-6 game at CBP. Brewers went on to win 9-6. I didn't remember the Weeks HR but the I did remember Hall crushing a bomb to deep to LF.

Frankling got booed as loudly as anyone in a Phils' uniform walking off the infield when the inning ended. It wasn't as bad as Eaton or a few of the Barajas games I went to but it really loud.

There are two reasons why D. Willis was cut. 1.) He played very poorly and 2.) Phillies are cutting their losses.

Because the Phillies cut Willis before 2:00 p.m. eastern standard time on March 16, 2012, they are only responsible for 30 days termination pay of $170,000 on his $850,000 un-guaranteed minor league contract. If they kept him for 2 more weeks until 2:00 p.m. on March 30, 2012, they would be responsible for 45 days of termination pay or $255,000. If they cut him after 2:00 p.m. on March 30, 2012, the termination pay becomes $850,000. The only good part of the termination pay is that it does not count against salary cap.

I cannot even claim responsibility for the tipping point cheesecake post. I see him more as a donut and beer for breakfast kind of guy.

Chad Qualls' misfortune is that he was signed right after we traded away Valdez, and for reasonably close to the same dollar figure as we would have paid Valdez. Having been made to look like the cause of Valdez's departure and Mini-Mart's promotion, Phillies fans have quickly developed an irrational hatred of him. I can't really think of any other explanation for the near-unanimous Beerleaguer sentiment that a guy who has been a consistently solid reliever over his career is headed for a season of unmitigated disaster.

BAP: "a guy who has been a consistently solid reliever over his career."

Qualls ERA+ past 3 years: 102, 57, 123.

I agree with your point about fans being unfair to Qualls, but there aren't many "consistently solid" relievers in baseball. Qualls certainly ISN'T one of them.

Lehigh overcome Duke!

Phillies overcome injuries!

Anything is possible!

Blanton supposedly has a real affinity for fried foods. On that I am not joking.

MG: Much more important than when the crowd started booing Franklin is whether fans were leaving early in that game. Do you remember?

MG: I believe I remember that game. Of course Franklin's attitude during his short time in Pnilly didn't really help endear the man to anyone. By-the by, the loudest boos I have ever heard at CBP were directed at then-Mayor Street on the day the park opened (exhibition game vs. Cleveland in April '04).

b_a_p: No offense, but you're still waiting for Baez to come around. Qualls has doom written all over him.

NEPA: Please let the ball club know I'd gladly accept being cut at any point in March, & for a mere $100K at that. Something for r00b to keep in mind come Spring Training '13.

clout: He was a total mess in 2010. Other than that, he has been pretty good. That was why I used the phrase "over his career," instead of "over the last three years."

"b_a_p: No offense, but you're still waiting for Baez to come around. Qualls has doom written all over him."

Touche. I think I also liked the John Bowker acquistion. Perhaps these experiences offer a clue about why I'm so negative all the time. My track record when I go positive is abysmal.

That said, I do think Qualls has been a pretty decent pitcher & will continue to be. He's not great but he's a solid, durable middle reliever.

"I wouldn't automatically make Mayberry an everyday starter until he's proved he can duplicate the second half of 2011."

AT, are you saying that you wouldn't play Mayberry an everyday starter until he proves he can be a perrenial MVP candidate?

bap, your negativity has given us something that is,perhaps, the most memorably BL phrase:

Baking the poodle.

I still laugh every time I type it.

Should we read anything into the fact that Pods started in CF yesterday and Pierre started in RF?

Still like Pierre over the Pods whats his face. In search for a second left hand relief pitcher what about the dude that they traded Valdez for. He must gave someone in the Phillies camp a hard on. Can he be a candidate?

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