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Thursday, March 29, 2012

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You know your infield is in bad shape when ...

These are dark times Beerleaguers. Dark dark times. We better hope the one hit the Phillies get in every game is a home run or a long single to drive in a walked batter who stole second.

Looks like Lidge is going to start the season as the Nats' closer as Storen is headed to the DL to start the year.

He's had a really good spring:

7 G, 7 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K, .148 BAA

That's Lidgetastic!!!

Lidge got more Spring time this year than his entire stint with the Phils.

shakes: from last thread you said that 20% of leadoff ABs are with the bases empty so SLG shouldn't be as important.

While thats true(and OBP is more valuable in general), a leadoff XBH is very valuable and should be given plenty of credit to a leadoff batter who does so.

I'm really uninspired by this post.

re: the lineup at the beginning of the season, even without Howard and Utley it's not a complete disaster. Victorino & Pence are still very good hitters. Every game Thome can start will be a huge boost. Rollins is good. Ruiz & Polonco will hopefully get on base and hold their own. Mayberry's production is probably key to how the lineup succeeds or fails without the injured stars.

If you actually look at what other teams in the NL, there aren't really a lot of great lineups top to bottom. The Reds are solid. Looking at the other NL teams that topped the Phils in 2011, Cards, Brewers, and Mets lost Pujols, Fielder, & Beltran respectively; Dbacks & Rockies get good boosts from their home parks.

Last season with the injuries and Ibanez in left, the Phillies finished 7th in scoring, 49 runs out of 1st place. The team right behind them (8th place) scored 59 runs fewer than the 7th place Phils.So while it's not great that the team's 3 & 4 hole hitters are going to start on the DL, the team has a pretty healthy margin of error

JBird - It really depends on what they get out of the Mayberry/Wigginton/Nix trio early because these 3 guys are going to get the lion's share of ABs before Memorial Day at 1B/LF & in the 5/6 holes.

If they respectively struggle, this lineup is going to stink.

Other ex-Phils' closers:

Myers has supposedly struggled this spring to get his velocity up much above 90 MPH and has been hit hard.

11 G, 12 IP, 7 ER, 7 R, 3 BB, 9 K, .286 BAA

MG: true, but if you look at the teams behind the Phils the only 2 that are likely to be any better are the Marlins & Nats. That pair of teams have some good hitters, but their lineups also include John Buck, Omar Infante, Roger Bernadina, & Ian Desmond. So they've got some holes as well.

"While thats true(and OBP is more valuable in general), a leadoff XBH is very valuable and should be given plenty of credit to a leadoff batter who does so."

Absolutely. It improves his chance of scoring as does a stolen base. What is the break-even for caught stealing? Even if a base stealer is caught 49% of the time, the theoretical OPS improves (assuming a stolen base is equal to a double and CS is equal to an out). His chance of scoring would increase on a subsequent single and would decrease on subsequent extra base hits because he would be on base less.

I'm really uninspired by this post.

I'm really uninspired by everything the Phillies will be sending out onto the field this year that's not named "Halladay", "Lee", "Hamels" or "Phanatic".

"I'm really uninspired by everything the Phillies will be sending out onto the field this year that's not named "Halladay", "Lee", "Hamels" or "Phanatic"."

Rollins, Victorino, Pence, Chooch, Papelbon?

More often than not this spring visiting BL (specifically the comments) actually makes me less excited for opening day. Have we really turned into the entitled NY and Boston fanbase where if the team we are running out on Opening Day isn't a lock for 100 wins, we're going to piss and moan all year? It's the same attitude that was pervasive last year at this time. This is a 90 win team at worst. Have some perspective.

It's still baseball, people. Try to have some excitement.

shakes: Three of the first four are gonna wind up on the DL at least once, the anticipation of which will suck the fun out of watching them play. Papelbon is an unnecessary assclown. I suppose Pence is a gamer, though. But he's no Chase Utley.

*breaks out sobbing*

EVERYONE PANIC. THE SKY IS FALLING.

gimme a break

Well, I'd rather have Papelbon as an unnecessary assclown than a no-talent assclown, like, who was it... Danny Sandoval?

Put me on the "Thome needs to play as much possible" bandwagon, if that's a thing.

From our good friend former beat writer Andy Martino now with the terrible Mets

Andy Martino ‏ @SurfingTheMets

You'll like this. NL scout says on Phillies: "Other than those three pitchers, they're not very good."

krukker: Point taken. Although 2 of the past 3 Red Sox seasons have ended on a Papelbon Blown Save/Loss, so let's just say I'm tempering my enthusiasm.

Ah yes. Those anonymous scouts.

Thanks Fatalotti. An interesting read. It is based on averages so it assumes an average base runner as well as an average hitter at the plate. Assuming the lead off hitter is on-base with above average hitters hitting, I wonder would the break-even percentage go up or down?

Bill: Well, honestly? That is true.

Of course, having 3 of the best 5 pitchers in the NL is sort of a big deal. It's like saying that without Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy, the 80's Lakers just weren't all that good.

shakes: If you have above-average power hitters at the plate, the break-even percentage goes up, obviously. You're more likely to score from first with Ryan Howard at the plate than with Joe Thurston at the plate.

With Galvis' excellent for a shortstop range at 2nd, Why can't the team just tell Thome to stand on the bag and not move, just so they can have the bat in the lineup. genius.

Bill: I think most teams could be categorized that way if you took 3 all stars off their roster, and put 2 more on the DL.

What the hell does Kratz have to do to get a job in the big leagues? He hit well last year in Triple A and during his very brief stint with the Phils. He hit very well this spring, while Schneider has struggled and was horrible both offensively and defensively last year. I don't get it.

You're more likely to score from first with Ryan Howard at the plate than with Joe Thurston at the plate.

That's the nicest thing Jack has ever written RE: Ryan Howard.

Gtown Dave: Oh, you remind me. I should clarify that statement:

You are more likely to score from first with Ryan Howard at the plate, if a right-handed pitcher is on the mound, than with Joe Thurston at the plate.

Hey Carson, are you going to meltdown again this season when Hamels has one bad outing?

Jack: That's more like it. For a min. there I was concerned for your health.

Stutes out with shoulder soreness, supposedly. What are we looking at here for the bullpen now? If Contreras and Stutes are both out, are we really going to go north with Paps, Qualls, Bastardo, KK, Herndon, Savery, and someone else brought up from AAA? That's a terrible bullpen.

Jack: You think that's a substantially worse bullpen than last year?

Yeah, Jack is right. Stutes was the lynchpin holding this bullpen together.

JBird: Not really, but I don't expect Bastardo or Herndon to be as good as they were last year. Qualls is a giant wildcard, and while I'm apparently higher on him than most on here, when he's lined up to split 8th inning duties with Bastardo, that's a little scary.

"You know your infield is in bad shape when ..."


the manager continues to think Michael Martinez is an MLB quality baseball player.

"You are more likely to score from first with Ryan Howard at the plate, if a right-handed pitcher is on the mound, than with Joe Thurston at the plate."

But if Joe Thurston is called up this year, he will presumably make the major league minimum salary of $414,000. Ryan Howard will make $20M which, by my math, is 48.3 times more than $414,000. So the issue is: are you at least 48.3 times more likely to score from first with Ryan Howard at the plate and a RHP on the mound than with Joe Thurston at the plate?

"From our good friend former beat writer Andy Martino now with the terrible Mets

Andy Martino ‏ @SurfingTheMets

You'll like this. NL scout says on Phillies: "Other than those three pitchers, they're not very good.""

He forgot to mention Papelbon with the 1st 3 starters. If we can get to him, Pap won't blow many saves. The problem is getting to him.

I will say this, maybe Blanton won't be traded 'cause Worley hasn't looked great, and we may need Joe for depth. But offensively, the scout may be right. Every can see this but Amaro.

Also Hu is gone, failed his physical. No big loss as he would not have an impact on a wet paper bag with a hole in it.

GTown Dave has reached new heights:

He's become a caricature of the caricature of himself that he has become.

Posted by: awh | Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 01:17 PM

Where the hell is the silent but deadly Bill Hall when you need him?

Why did pick up this the guy certainly their has to be better? Theres dumpster diving then theres going all the way to the bottom of the dumpster where the crude is at. Nothing against Jim Thome but how much do we think Ye will contribute. My guess he has a .250 BA with a few HR's a year. His fielding would make Ryan(of a few years ago) look like a whiz.

"...but I don't expect Bastardo or Herndon to be as good as they were last year."


Jack, in all fairness, until he got sore in September, Bastardo was having an historically good season for a relief pitcher. IMHO there is no sane person who should expect a repeat.

Further Martino-esque analysis: If you put Texeira & Cano on the DL and remove CC Sabathis, Alex Rodriguez, & Curtis Granderson; those Yankees aren't very good.

Martino was a mediocre (at best) beat writer when he was here. Who gives a damn what he writes now that he's a Mets writer.

"Bastardo was having an historically good season for a relief pitcher. IMHO there is no sane person who should expect a repeat."

I think that was precisely Jack's point. And, frankly, I have no idea what to expect from Bastardo this year. He has been oft-injured and his diminished velocity is a real red flag.

Yeah well remove Howard ,Utley , Pence one of the 3 Aces and the Phils arent really that good...???

Ty Wigginton starting at 2nd base today, with Pete Orr leading off and playing SS, Schneider catching, & Nix in left. What an absolutely wretched lineup.

Wretched lineup, indeed, but Wiggy at 2B is news. If he can even fake his way through just one day a week or so (spelling Galvis), until Utley gets back, Orr can go to AAA and that 25th roster spot is back open for "competition." (in quotes as the Pierre/Pods decision continues to defy the very definition of the word if Pierre makes this team)

This is a fun game...

Remove Verlander, Cabrera and Fielder from the Tigers and they're not very good.

Or, closer to home:
Remove Johnson, Hanley and Reyes from the Marlins and they're not that good.

Remove Hanson, McCann, and Hudson from the Braves and they're not that good.

(and that's without the DL argument for 2 more players)

Not to mention that, if we ever actually used this lineup for a regular season game, it might be the worst defensive infield to ever start a game in the last 25 years.

Martino makes a great point, and any scout for the Mets should have their word taken seriously. If not for the Mets' scouts, you wouldn't be able to say that the Mets are not that good without, um, without, hmmmm, well, they're not that good without.... Ah, eff it. The Mets aren't that good.

"Nothing against Jim Thome but how much do we think Ye will contribute."
--
Luis, I know he's a year older, but last year he would have been the 4th best hitter on the Phillies (after Pence, Victorino, JMJ).

BTW, great discussion on base stealing last night; hate that I missed it. The success rate of some prolific base stealers was particularly interesting. Not to beat a dead horse, but I'd love to know the success differential between the Lopes era and the post-Lopes era with guys like Vic and Rollins.

Though, I suspect it won't be any more telling than the simple fact that overall attempts are probably down post-Lopes, telling you all you need to know.

Kratz will get his shot this year, mark my words.

Jack: "Put me on the "Thome needs to play as much possible" bandwagon, if that's a thing. "

You will ruin Thome in a month by that thinking. Just let him mash off the bench and leave it at that.

"You know your infield is in bad shape when ..."

... noted octogenarian Jim Thome is the team's most dangerous hitter.

WP, here you go...

2007-10:
7th in attempts
4th in steals
1st in SB%

2011:
26th in attemps
19th in steals
1st in SB%

Iorecore: So it's more important to save Thome for 3 pinch-hitting appearances a week in July than to maximize the offense right now with Howard and Utley out?

I'm not saying play him there every day. And obviously this all depends on stuff we don't know--how he feels, what the doctors think, and what the coaches think. But it strikes me that if he can do it, it's the best thing for the team if he's out there as much as humanly possible the first couple months, given how ugly this offense looks to be.

Erik Kratz cut...damn. I'll welcome Schneider's inevitable DL trip sooner than later.

schenkman, thanks! And credit to the Phils for not allowing their SB% to flounder by recognizing their diminished prowess and not attempting nearly as much.

If Thome wears down, there's always Jose Canseco. Anyone who follows his daily comings-and-goings can't say he's not passionate about another shot at the big leagues!

Jack: I guess your qualifier of "as much as possible" means only what he can handle.

I would keep him on the bench until the Phils prove they can't win without him. If they are atop the division without his contributions in the starting lineup, then I would be content on keeping him off the field regardless how awful his counterparts are playing.

Theres a reason Thome has been a DH for years, he can not handle playing the field. I would use him in that role at in an emergency role only.

RedBurb- if he ends the seasons with a 4+ ERA then I'll be upset with Hamels performance, but honestly I expect him to compete for the NL Cy Young this season. I'm also hoping the Phillies sign him to an extension.

Yo, new thread

"You know your infield is in bad shape when ..."

. . . Trading away a Wilson Valdez proves to sink your offense.

Hey Guys,

Wife and I will be in San Francisco, CA for the opening Phillies series against Pittsburgh.

Anyone know of some good spots downtown where we can catch the game? We'll be staying near Union Square.

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