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Sunday, March 18, 2012


When will the North American Man-Chase Lovas start mourning what will be once His Majesty's contract runs out in November? He looks to be yet another of the 08 team to be heading toward early retirement. What say you?

I say there is no logical reason to say Hasta la Veeeeesta to Galveeeees.

I've been saying this since last spring -- Chase Utley is finished as an everyday player. No one escapes the ravages of Chondromalacia patella. That issue, and his degenerative hip will likely limit him to less than 100 games. If he somehow plays more, the results could be ugly. God bless him, and thank the dear Lord RAJ didn't move Galveeeeees.

Where's Chase Utley's offense going to come from? Here's hoping "Yayberry" didn't turn into a pumpkin at midnight. If you can hit, I don't see the relationship between working on fielding a new position and plate production. Who knows? We need Yayberry, and not a journeyman minor leaguer who brings us a season of "berry mediocre".

May as well stoke the fires early. I'm scared of the Braves and the Nationals this year. I think I'll get a dog.

Looks like they'll keep Galvis. They really need his glove and will take what they can get out of him as a hitter. How much better of a hitter could he become by receiving further instruction in the minors and getting more AB's?

The Hector Luna era... it has begun!

"If you can hit, I don't see the relationship between working on fielding a new position and plate production."

Because someone like RFD has likely spent the vast majority of extra time this spring, working at 1B. He has barely played the position since he was at Stanford. So the extra time he would have normally spent in the cage or doing hitting drills has been spent on defense. And it seems to have paid off as JMJ has played very good defense at 1B all spring and seems to be the favorite to start the season there (against RHP). Against LHP, it appears Wigginton will play 1B with JMJ in LF.

Now that we are past Clout Day, those types of things will be phased out. So I expect more of a regular season feel to workouts and pregame drills. So now the hitters can get more locked in and get themselves ready to go for the regular season, from a timing and rythem standpoint. The defensive stuff now should be on the backburner.

I think the Galvis decision comes down to this....if Utley doesn't start the season then Galvis is your starter at 2B. They view him as a starter and better player over Mini Mart. If Utley is ready to go, then Galvis goes down to AAA to play everyday. Mini Mart makes the club in both scenarios.

cut, the question with Mayberry is very simple:

Did his change of batting stance give him a permanent boost against RHP?

He's always been able to hit LHP - he raked LHP in the minors. His problem was/is that approximately 75% of his AB will come against RHP if he's a full time player.

In 2009 and 2010, in small sample sizes that are virtually meaningless, except that they're a reflection of his MiL numbers, he had these splits:

vs. LHP .243/.263/.568, 38 PA
vs. RHP .150/.227/.300, 22 PA

vs. LHP .500/.500/1.000, 7 PA
vs. RHP .167/.286/.667, 6 PA

Then, in 2011 he did this over the course of the season:

vs. LHP .306/.358/.595, 120 PA
vs. RHP .250/.330/.455, 176 PA

Again, the important thing to note is that even in the minors he hit LHP pretty much as well as he's hit it in MLB. It's RHP that kept him out of the 'show'.

It's not Prediction Day, but I'm not sticking my neck out predicting this:

Mayberry will be just fine againt LHP.

Is waht he did againt RHP in 2011 repeatable. If it is, the Phillies are going to have a pretty good player on their hands.

These is going to be a hard pill to swallow for those warning against those of us who were contemplating Galvis manning SS and attempting to fill J-rolls offensive place. Now they will have to imagine the same scenario with Galvis taking on God's sole representative on Earth.

I also forgot to bring up yet again that clout informed me how much value Howard would have for the Phils this year and for years to come and how much other bats around the league could never take on this valued role. I certainly am not the "sharpest tack", clout suggested.

I've been away .... What exactly is the "Utley Situation" right now .... has he played at all this spring and if not what're the phils saying about it (I'm sure they are providing a lot of good info)?

denny b. -- good stuff. It's my guess that you've seen JMJ far more times than I. I loved your observation earlier that he's "...taking balls, swinging at strikes...". It's just that I had versions of him morphing into a modern-day, right-handed Willie McCovey. A guy can dream, no?

awh -- I need to learn how to break out stats as you have shown. Is that part of a paid B-R subscription?

I'd avoid getting too smarmy about a couple weeks of Galvis doing alright in spring training. Let's check back in if he does fill in for Utley after a few weeks of facing the actual pitching staffs of other teams.

"versions" = "visions". Damn Word spell check...

"Tuesday is “Clout Day” on Beerleaguer."

Is it "Clout Day" or "clout Day?" Do you still have to capitalize the name of a holiday when the holiday is named for someone whose name begins with a small letter?

Realizing that they may very well be stuck using Galvis as an everyday player for who knows how long doesn't equal smarmy. We are talking about realistic needs.

This team I like where the regs are right now. Get polly and his finger status ok then I will feel better. We all know his chase is done. Plain and simple. It is just now hoping you get a 70 to 80 percent chase. That still puts him in top 5 second basemen with ease. If he can give us at least the same as last year or a little more production I am fine. Man I miss those top 5 player in league chase. It really seems they need to trade heavy b for an infield guy right now. I would like a third/first guy. Mike young would have been perfect for this year playing all three positions all the time. I like the pen like the rotation. Hope that we can catch lighting like other clubs who have started rookies and have had contributions.

Bench is better then years past. Can only hope that wiggy and nix can give us a lil production when they are in there. I like them both. Just not everyday like. Hope Howard can be on diamond by June. I wasn't expecting him till June anyway. These last few weeks will answer a lot of questions.

bap, excellent question.

I'll defer to JW for the answer.

cut, somehow my response to your question got lost in cyberspace.

There are links at for 'game logs', 'splits' (by season and career), and other items for which you do not need a subscription.

They are accessible on the player's page.

awh -- cool -- thanks. This year, I pledge to try to back up any opinions set forth with facts and "factoids" as often as possible.

Here's where I come down on the "trade Blanton" scenario:

Based on how beat up they are at 1B and 2B (I ass-u-me Poly will be fine), there is IMHO going to be a great need for run supression for the the 2012 Phillies.

That said, unless they can get a really decent player back for Blanton, I'm not sure I'd trade him.

Assuming KK's 2011 success and subsequent ST success are not a fluke (not that he's THAT good, but will be at least league average or slightly better), isn't the bullpen far better off with KK there?

If Blanton can give them 25+ starts, doesn't a bullpen with


and TWO of

Stutes, De Fratus, Schwimer, Diekman, Savery, Aumont (just using the names on the 40-man) as opposed to a bullpen of


and THREE of Stutes, De Fratus, Schwimer, Diekman, Savery, Aumont?

BAP: AP style has president lower-cased (unless it precedes a name). On the official holiday, it goes President's Day. Similarly, an upper-case C for Clout Day.

I would disagree with denny b about Mayberry thsi spring. He isn't flailing wildly trying to kill everything (that's Nix approach at the plate as far I can tell so far in limited time). That was his approach a few years ago in spring training with the Phils. His plate discipline has improved since then.

Only has 3 Ks on the spring so far in 37 ABs this spring. He had 21 Ks in '09 in just 69 ABs.

Mayberry is a low-ball hitter but he is chasing too & pulling too many offspeed pitches that aren't strikes or borderline pitches. Hitting a ton of ground balls to the left-side of the infield as a result this spring.

What is interesting about Mayberry is that the general notion that he is 'only a fastball hitter' generally isn't valid. He does hit fastballs well but not particularly ones up in the zone.

Mayberry also mashes curves. If a LHP pitcher hangs him a curve, good chance he pulls it out especially at CBP.

Pitch he can't hit is a changeup especially from a RHP hitter. Ditto sinkers/splitters which he seems to struggle with too.

I still feel he can help this team because defensively (he looks really good in the OF this spring) and on the basepaths he is a plus. Miscast as a CF but he should be a above average/very good LF this year.

Just a matter of how much RHP pitching he has to face especially guy who throw predominantly offspeed stuff featuring changeups/splitters/sinkers. Wouldn't be the worst idea to sit him occasionally if possible in those matchups.


He hasn't been playing the past few days because he had a 'sniff neck' from sleeping on it and now they think he has some kind of viral infection (possibly strep).

Stars have just been crossed for him in a Phils' uniform the past 2 years. Can't catch a break with PT or with his health really it seems.

Meant Dom Brown. Still no timetable on when he is going to return now. He has had the weirdest spring training of any Phils' player by far.

So far Mini-Mart has hit in spring training and been driving the ball pretty well. Curious to see if his numbers stay up or they drop like they did last spring training as he faced more frontline MLB pitching & less AA/AAA/spring invite guys.

It is sad that 45-year old Omar Vizquel looks more fluid defensively than Mini Mart at 3B.

MG - I've wanted the Phils to sign Vizquel for the last few seasons. Too bad they went with a youth movement, just like they have in the outfield with Pierre and Podsednik.

Klaus: I'm not sure that rule covers it.

"President" can be capitalized or not capitalized, depending on how the word is used. "clout," on the other hand, begins with a small letter, by definition. So, if the day is named after the guy, it seems to me that it has to be called "clout Day." If you call it "Clout Day," you're paying homage to the wrong guy.

Anyone following today's game? Contreras does NOT look ready for Opening Day.

Contreras hit a road bump today. His splitter was up all day with no sink or so wild that hitters didn't chase it.

don't worry, you got right.

e.e. cummings is the greatest poet who ever lived, and the only poet who can be considered great as far as I'm concerned. Nobody else broke the rules the way he did.

To take his name for porn is anathema, and Rick Santorum (aka frothy, God's own candidate) is going to shut you down once he gets elected.

Contreras looked pretty awful. But as long as he comes out of it healthy, I won't be too worried.

Awh: To answer your question, no, what Mayberry did last year against RHP is not repeatable.

Go easy on him; e e would.

Let's talk about Blanton...Hog for the world.

Apparently Contreras' ERA for the spring is now an effective 108.00, heh.

Re: the capitalization of clout day

The more general question, I think, is: when beginning a sentence with "clout", do you capitalize the "c"? I suspect that you do not, and therefore, the c in "clout Day" should also not be capitalized.

Of course, you capitalize that name at the beginning of a sentence, the most basic rule states any word (including, of course, a name) gets a cap at the beginning of a sentence in English.

In our quest to become great poets by way of e.e. cummings' example, it matters not whether we capitalize "clout" at the beginning of a sentence.

If you use the word "baseball" in a sentence, you do not capitalize it, but if you begin a sentence with the word, ("Baseball been berry, berry, good to me") you do capitalize it. I think to start a sentence with "clout", one should similarly capitalize it.

"Clout Day" should be capitalized just like "Mother's Day" and "Veteran's Day" are capitalized, shouldn't it? Common nouns are capitalized in certain cases. Of course, "clout" is not a common noun, since it's a name - albeit one that the person in question elects not to capitalize.

Why not let "clout" choose - How'd he get his own day again?

If I had to give a Phils' player for 'most uninspiring Spring Training' it would be Frandsen hands down.

Committed his 4th error on a fairly routine grounder at 2B. Looked poor at 2B and awful at 3B. Also hitting a whopping .172 in 27 ABs.

"'Clout Day'" should be capitalized just like "Mother's Day" and "Veteran's Day" are capitalized, shouldn't it?"

See, the problem I have with that is that, if it's capitalized, then it's not the same guy. It would be like calling Martin Luther King Day, Martin Luther Smith Day.

Wigginton also is a guy who hasn't impressed me at all this spring so far. Not hitting or driving the ball. Had 3 'meh' ABs today making weak contact. Interesred to see if he can pick it up a bit the last 10 days of camp.

Given he is a zero defensively and on the base paths, Wigginton is only potentially helping this club with his bat.

"clout Day" is Tuesday.

Could you imagine if they didnt resign Rollins. Would that mean Galvis at SS and Mini Mart @ 2nd? We all know Chase condition, however i think RAJ should just come clean ( to a extent) on what is exactly is the plan and situation here. Surprise no one has said another example of a year too long Problem with having a aging all All-Star high paid infield doesnt leave much room for other moves.

Really missed Galveeeses "clutch" bat today. 19 LOB.

If Utley makes his first start on Tuesday, I move that we re-name the day "St. Utley Day".
No question on caps usage on that one.
p.s. Sorry, clout

Utley has said that he expects to be on the field sometime next week.

I heard the stock markets will close on St. Utley day

Uh oh, Hamels had a bad outing.

Season = over.

What St chase said and what really happens are two totally different things. Until I see him on field and playing in games. I will just take it like they do. Day by day

Jack -- I hope RFD gets 500 PA; hits .330 with 39 HRs and 130 RBI. Just so we can say you were wrong. Can't lose with that bet...

Commencing reverse BL jinx....

With apologies to Monty Python:

Ximinez: NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to St. Uts.... Our *four* *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise.... I'll come in again.

[The Inquisition exits]

Chapman: I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.


[The cardinals burst in]

Ximinez: NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as: fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, an almost fanatical devotion to St. Uts, and nice red uniforms - Oh damn!
[To Cardinal Biggles] I can't say it - you'll have to say it.
Biggles: What?
Ximinez: You'll have to say the bit about 'Our chief weapons are ...'
Biggles: [rather horrified]: I couldn't do that...

What, what, Biggles: St. Utley is cooked?

Get ready for a long, frustrating season. Too much age, too many aches/pains. If Hamels doesn't sign during the season, kiss him goodbye.

Bert we are not there yet. Team is gonna be fine. Just odds and ends to throw around during spring training. By end of June this team will be fine. Howard and chase fingers crossed in line up. As long as our starting five will be healthy we will compete.

Cholly's concerned about the defense. I'm am but only if the regulars aren't playing much. Frandsen been abysmal this spring but he won't see time with the MLB this year. Pierre has been weak too but again he's another guy not making the club.

Infield defense will be fine especially if Polanco is at 3B. Only time it will be weak is if Wigginton is getting a bunch of time at 2B/3B and Mini Mart seems a bunch of time.

As for Bastardo, Manuel was blunt:

“His velocity is a little down,” Manuel said. “I noticed it the last time out. He’s been 86 to 89 [mph].”

Bastardo had five brilliant months in the Phillies’ bullpen last season and struggled in September. Pitching coach Rich Dubee has said that he believes Bastardo’s September struggles stemmed from fatigue after his first full season in the majors.

General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was asked about Bastardo’s health after the pitcher’s previous outing and Amaro said the lefthander was fine. Amaro said the lack of velocity may just be natural for this time of year. Some pitchers need an entire spring to build arm strength and some need regular-season adrenaline to gain full velocity."

Amaro's fibbing here. Bastardo was throwing 93-95 MPH last year all through out camp and turning heads as a result with a really strong spring.

It is a bit disconcerting that this is the 2nd outing where he topped out at 89 MPH and didn't even reach 90 with his fastball.

My prediction: Chad Qualls is the Phils' Opening Day setup man as both Bastardo and Contreras start the season on the DL.

Without Utley and Howard, this team will be hard-pressed to win the East.

WC berth is far more likely in that scenario.

This season is going to be by far the most different to predict going into it (probably the most difficult in several years) because the Phils' realistically don't know what they are going to get out of several key players this year including Howard & Utley.

Still feel like I did at the start of the camp. Phils have very good/ridiculously good starting pitching especially if Blanton can pitch and hold up like he has in spring training. As long as the Phils have their starting pitching and especially the Big 3 healthy, their okay. Halladay/Lee/Hamels though goes down & misses a prolonged stretch and they are in real trouble.

Well Amaro may be fibbing, probably is. But it is easy to see why Bastardo might feel less "adrenalized" this spring as opposed to last. He's one year more "veteran" now... maybe he feels he's got nothing to prove.

On the other hand, Bastardo did see a big jump in appearances from 2010 to 2011 (48 to 64)* If there is a so-called "Verducci effect" my guess it can manifest itself in smaller ways even for pitchers who fall outside those exact parameters. And he did complain of being worn out last year.

We know relievers are notoriously inconsistant year-to-year. This sort of thing might be a factor. I have no idea if Bastardo will regain velocity in 2012, but it would not surprise me if there turned out to be a correlation between sharp jumps in appearances and decreased performance the next year above and beyond a standard regression to whatever his true talent level is.

And if he dials it back up to 95 this year. I'll realize I'm just an analytic dilettante.

* using appearances for relievers seems like a better measure of wear-and-tear than IP given that they have to warm up at full speed even to just pitch a third of an inning.

Mick O - It's possible but not probable especially when Bastardo has now had consecutive outings where his velocity isn't even 90.

I am sure it is something the Phils are monitoring closely and will play it pretty conservatively with Bastardo if needed including a DL stint to start the season if necessary.

Bastardo has had arm issues his entire was actually unusual for him to have a fully healthy season last year.

Yep StarDo has always had arm issues and fatigue issues i seem to remember....Thus another reason to limit him to about 50 innings and finding another lefty

Is it just me, or is the Utley situation (or at least how it's reported) morphing a bit? Seems like it has gone from, "Just letting him take things slow so he's fresh for the regular season, no cause for concern" to more of a "Taking it day to day, some positive signs, maybe ready for opening day, if not, hopefully soon after".

Anyone see this Madson piece? Not sure why Madson even spoke about it at this point ...

From MLBTradeRumors:

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel implied that his team may look for infield help outside of camp now that Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Placido Polanco are all dealing with injuries, writes Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer. We heard earlier today that the Phils could be interested in someone like utility man Mike Aviles of the Red Sox, although Aviles is tentatively slated to be Boston's starting shortstop as of now.

Aviles? A decent player but a stopgap at best. Last year was strange for him...he was absolutely terrible offensively in KC but exploded in 100+ PA for the RedSox.

Utley has left camp to see a specialist.

I think it's fair to say that those who were cynical and skeptical of the Phils handling of this situation seem to be correct. There's obviously more going on here.

By the way, does anyone still want to predict the Phils offense will be in the top 5 in the league? Anyone?

Jack, do you have a link on that news?

I'm not doubting you at all, I'm just curious if there's something more to read about him leaving camp. all of us that said the FO was full of sh!t regarding Utley were completely correct?

I'm not happy to be right but DAMNIT RUBE!

How the fvck does he not address the infield issue this off-season when they had to know Utley's knee was a major concern?

I don't know how you can be mad at the FO for taking a wait and see approach with Utley. What you can be upset with is the lack of going after a decent replacement.

Well we will get to see what Galvis can do.

Nobody should be mad at a wait and see attitude...they should be mad at a complete failure to sign another option when they had to know Utley was questionable and Polly is coming off 2 major surgeries and our 1B would likely miss the first 1-2 months of the season. Instead of signing 14 relievers maybe we could have focused on a legitimate utility guy...or perhaps not traded the only okay utility guy on the roster for yet another reliever. Is Valdez good? God no...but he is at least an MLB player which is far more than can be said for Michael Martinez.

Also, if Galvis is given significant ABs at the MLB level, his love affair with the fans will wear off rather quickly. He's not ready and his upside isnt that high.

IIRC, clout posted here about Utley's chrondo...ia, saying surgery was only a 50/50 shot to provide relief.

I wonder if the Phillies and Utley now wish hw had just bitten the bullet and had the surgery?

Guess we are going to find out if freddy is ready! Yes totally agree with posters. Not mad about wait and see approach. It's the front office balking on upgrading a super utility guy. Chase is done. Its such a shame.

"Is Valdez good? God no...but he is at least an MLB player which is far more than can be said for Michael Martinez."

Tru dat, NEPP.

Valdez is a capable utility player - that is, a backup - and nothing more.

Michael Matinez, may God bless him, does not belong on an MLB roster.

Still, despite our complaints, who could they have signed that would have come here who would have been better than Valdez (assuming he hadn't been traded)? If that player thought there was a chance Utley would be healthy and he'd just sit on the bench...

I wonder if Mayberry can play 3B, and Polly can be moved to 2B? :) (desperate, aren't we?)

Any AL clubs out there with some spare infielders who need a lefty DH? Oh yeah, Utley's contract. This is a bummer. Too much pain to make it on the field just from taking batting practice? I would imagine he's in a world of hurt right now.

I wonder how what the Angels would want for Alberto Callaspo. He's pretty weak defensively as a 2B but he's a pretty solid 3B and he can hit at a reasonable level (.744 OPS in 1,771 PA the last 3 years)

If this season craters, NEPP's Monday, March 19, 2012 09:57 AM post is the post-mortem. Geesh.

Not to beat that already long deceased horse, but dumping Wilson Valdez for the likes of Jeremy Horst is going to be a season-long regret for this team. Valdez might, in the kind words of Charlie manuel, be a 'borderline major leaguer', but his defense was nearly equal to the players he filled in for on the left side of the infield, and probably superior to Utley's - and despite his well-documented propensity to hit into double plays, he was certainly no automatic out. Knowing the fragility of the infield coming into this season, it makes less and less sense to consider Amaro's thinking when he opted to shred a significant portion of the team's depth, instead leaving it in the hands of lesser lights like Michael Martinez. On the face of things, Valdez and Martinez are "similar" players. On the field, it is abundantly evident that there are major differences. Frankly, shame on Amaro or whomever mandated this seemingly minor transaction on the basis of saving an extra million dollars in the payroll. Now they're going to have to scrounge to find someone better.

Oh, and I've posted this before:

Frandsen has been a big disaapointment. Based on his track record in SanFran, I fully expected him to challenge mini-mart for the UT job.

Either he's slumping or injured, or I guess Ritalin is really a performance enhancer.

If the thought in a few months is that Wilson Valdez would have saved our season, you can rest pretty well assured that the season was screwed six ways to Sunday regardless.

The love affair with Valdez will reach epic proportions after this Utley news.

Phillies release Joel Pineiro. Willis gone. Pineiro gone. Sanches struggling. Seems that none of these low-risk, high-reward off-season moves is destined to work out.

Now Pineiro released.

@Redblurb & Jack: Keep telling yourselves that when you enjoy watching Mini Mart bat a brisk .175 with zero power.

Pineiro released! Wow.

Silver lining:

Going to be a lot of quick games especially in April if Utley is out due to the low-scoring games the Phils will play.

New thread.

I can see the Valdez move as a "mistake", but if Utley is out awhile, Valdez is not the answer. Neither is Mini Mart, and likely Galvis, but the FO has to aim higher here.

I would've targeted Jed Lowrie as soon as the offseason started.

NEPP: You are absolutely right that it's totally asinine to trade your best utility infielder when you've got an old, injury-ridden infield.

But it's delusional to believe (as some do) that all would be ok if only Wilson Valdez were still here. If Wilson Valdez were still here, RAJ would be getting pilloried on Beerleaguer -- and rightly so -- for not upgrading over Wilson Valdez.

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