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Wednesday, April 18, 2012


My kingdom for somebody else in the #2 spot.

yo steve carlton is on 610 right now! get ready for some crazy talk.

Lefty just asked if Mesa was still here?

It's fun to discuss this sort of thing, but so long as Charlie remains the manager Polanco's not only gonna be starting the bulk of the games, he'll most likely also be batting 2nd.

Nope, that type of thinking is too out-of-the-box for Cholly.

Playing Cholly most of the time at 3B is fine given how good is defense is, how bad Wigginton is defensively, and just how much offense Wigginton will give you over Polanco.

Hitting Polanco #2 in the lineup will be the issue much sooner than later if this keeps up.

Okay, which one of you guys is selling his Kevin Millwood No-Hitter commerative mug?

"It's time to really consider less playing time for Polly,... "

Maybe Charlie thinks that 12 games is a bit early to panic?

Polly after 11 games in 2008:


Phlipper- It's not just 11 games in 2012 that Polly has stunk, it dates back to last May. He's stunk for an entire year.

BTW- Weitzel, you're our buddy too!

GM-Carson -

Polly was injured much of last year - I'm not sure it's legit to base reducing his playing time on that evidence. He hit pretty well last year before getting injured.

Sure - his decline may be an irreversible slide - but I still think that it's early to make a panic move, and a concerted effort to reduce his playing time would be just that.

Besides, it just ain't Charlie's style. He takes the long view. I'd say that has paid off for him more often than not.

Just got an email about the All Star Game 5K & Fun Run, with Official Race Starter/Hall of Famer George Brett and 5-time All Star Mick Sweeney, and I immediately think to myself "wow, there's a certain female BL poster who would LOVE that."

The lesson is, I spend an inordinate amount of time with a bunch of people I only know through letters on a screen.

I wouldn't change a thing!

Posted by: Willard Preacher | Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 04:27 PM

* *
Thanks for the info, WP! I already wanted to go back to Kauffman Stadium for the first time since 1980, to see the ASG. Now I'm thinking I should do it! Probably won't, but it's a nice little fantasy.

It is funny how the internet can make a person feel they get to know (on a certain level) other people they never actually meet, but who share a common interest. I actually have a good friend now, whom I first met on a forum for a TV show and have since met in person, exchanged phone numbers & emails. She just flew out to see my daughter perform in her middle school musical. So you never know.

I have to confess that when I go to a Phillies game, I wonder if any of the people around me are BL'rs.

MG: "Playing Cholly most of the time at 3B is fine given how good is defense is."

I'm all in favor of creative solutions to our 3rd base problem, but are we absolutely sure that Cholly's defense is still good? I mean, he did just turn 68.

"Cain is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA. He is coming off of a one-hit, 106-pitch shutout of the Pirates in which he walked none and struck out 11. Pittsburgh’s only hit off Cain was a sixth-inning single by pitcher James McDonald."

On the positive side:

"Lee has faced the Giants twice in the regular season in his career with the Phillies – once in his very first start with them in 2009 again last August. Both were complete game wins at AT&T Park. His line against the Giants as a Phillie is: 18 IP, 11 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 14 K.

The only Giant who has hit Lee well in his career is Ryan Theriot, who could start at second base for Manny Burris. Theriot is 5 for 16 off Lee with three walks.

It’s been a mixed bag for Cain against the Phillies. He is 1-4 in regular season matchups and the Giants are just 2-5 in his seven starts. Cain’s allowed two or fewer runs in four of those starts, but has been tagged for five, six and seven runs in the other three. Current Phillies are hitting .286/.335/.559 off him.

Jimmy Rollins is 7 for 17 (.412) off Cain with six extra-base hits. Laynce Nix is 8 for 20 (.400), so expect him to start. "

(From Corey Seidman at

I'm sorry, if this is healthy Polanco, it's time to consider other options. Nobody is a bigger Polanco fan than I am but when the team is starving for runs, you have to free up Wigginton more, at least until Howard is back. Charlie is famous for riding this stuff out and in the end, it could probably cost him his job if he keeps hitting an automatic out number two in the everyday line up.

I really hope Maikel Franco (who's hitting well in Lakewood) pans out. It seems like we've been installing grizzled, past their prime vets at 3B since we traded Polly to begin with. Grooming a successful third baseman is something this team hasn't done since Scott Rolen. Time to work on developing a steady bat from within for the hot corner.

Good point on Franco. He looks like he COULD turn out. I use caps to get point across. The minors are thin in position players, but a few could be pieces. Now they aren't Bryce harpers, but if a few pan out we will be in good shape. I remember rube said we aren't in the business to develop players, but we are supposed to wait and hope they pan out. Please. Wiggy will give you a lot more out of 3rd base. And him and nix can platoon it. I am done with mayeratic. He's got a starting job there and he must not want it. Juan has been a great addition, and Dom is waiting for his chance. I'm still all in on Dom. After hearing an interview with him. His head is def in right area.

If Polanco is anywhere as bad the rest of year as his numbers since last May, I seriously doubt the Phils pick up his option next year at $5.5M.

A lot depends on Utley coming back & being able to play but I could see them shifting JRoll over to 3B and Galvis to SS given how crummy the 3B FA market is going to be.

Hopefully it will improve, but right now Mayberry, Polanco and Thome are killing them.

Let the Luna-cy begin.

Dragon-- Thome has batted 11 times.

In DC for a couple months for work... should I become a (g)nats fan? Going to all three games in May here. Might be repping my old school J Werth jersey. Is that a violation?

Cheering a division rival?

Yeah, that'd be a violation.

Tug Hulett 0-21 no help there. Luna is now the iron pigs leading hitter.

no, no, no. Wearing my day game alternate phillies J Werth jersey (who was my favorite player from the 08-10 time frame).

Since this is about Polly does he look a little skinnier this year?

April 18, BL posters making firm declarations about how players will perform for the 162-game season.


Why not? Clout makes declarations about how great Howard will be for the next three years.

Can one of these emerge at third?

Starting third basemen who played last week in the system:

Luna AAA, no range, too old
Kennelly, last year's AA backup catcher
Asche A+ no pop, no glove
Franco A, He might be the one.
H. Martinez, A, short season, ext.spring
Walding, GCL, nice quick bat. ext. spring

***Since this is about Polly does he look a little skinnier this year?***

Clearly he's not juicing more 50 HR seasons from him.

Zolecki on MLB Network: "No timetable on Howard's return. He still has a wound on his heel from the surgery. How long do these things take to heal?

Doesnt sound like he's even anywhere close to coming back.

I think Phlipper and Clout bang the "small sample size" drum a little bit too much sometimes. This post explicitly points out that the opinion that Polly may be at the end of his days of offensive effectiveness is based on far more than the first 11 games of the season. The vast majority of posters who've written on the subject have pointed this out.

And just like Jack says, this "Polly was injured" nonsense has to stop. Since the beginning of 2009, Polly has an 88 OPS+. That's worse than what Raul Ibanez did last year, and no one had any misgivings about the fact that it was time for him to be moved out of the lineup last year.

Now, unlike Raul, Polly has brought great defense to the table for a LONG time, and if he's still an elite defense 3B, than he still has a good amount of value. But as far as his offense goes, he'll have to show me something before I change my opinion that he's no longer a hitter that should be anywhere but the very bottom of the order.

To hammer home the point of how poor Polly was after May 1st last year, remember that he had a .972 OPS at the end of April. Ryan Braun, the league MVP, had an OPS of .994 last year and a 166 OPS+.

How horrible must Polly have been post-April to finish the season with a .674 OPS and an 84 OPS+? That's a 300 point drop in OPS, and probably nearly halved his OPS+. Precipitous.

***Since the beginning of 2009, Polly has an 88 OPS+. ***

Well, he was hit in the elbow in 2009...probably.

So...he's been injured. I'm sure he'll turn it around soon.

The two main phrases in the Beerleaguer Drinking Game have got to be "Straw Man" & "Small Sample Size". They're also great go-to excuses when you don't have a real argument to fall back upon.

Howard had the wound cleaned out really good. They wanted to make sure that it was really clean. Dr really liked the way it is healing. So just a matter of healing. Late may June return. Chase who Fn knows. I am sick of his act too. This city has been nothing but supportive and he still is secret society. His act as well as Mayberry has worn me out.

Polancos out of the lineup for tonight at least

I figure Chase doesn't have any clue, either, as to when he'll be back.

I figure Utley's knee condition basically means he's done, & both he & the team are grasping desperately at straws.

Howard, given the (unfortunately) large amount of time necessary to heal properly, ought to be able to return to slugging form.

"This post explicitly points out that the opinion that Polly may be at the end of his days of offensive effectiveness is based on far more than the first 11 games of the season."

You can't seriously be saying that if Polly had even a moderately strong start to this season, we'd see anywhere near the same level of hand-wringing? I can't agree that a large % of the hand-wringing isn't largely based on the small sample size component of the analysis. And much of the other statistical foundation for the argument comes from when he was clearly injured. The reality of his injury last year is just that, a reality. It's reasonable to expect that he will perform better this year than he did last year due to being healthier.

And you're likely over-emphasizing the "precipitous" nature of the drop last year. 5+ months of subsequent stats will make April stats relatively insignificant. Saying that his drop from such a small sample size is precipitous is largely meaningless. Again - the issue of over-emphasis of a small sample size rears its head. In other words, compare the average of his stats from May 1 to the end of the year to his overall average for the year. How different are they?

I'll take 2009 stats with his glove - which essentially means throw out the part of last year when he was injured. If you're going to base a determination that he can't reproduce his 2009 stats by throwing out his April of last year, and going on a period when he was injured last year and 12 freakin' games of this year, have at it.

BTW - I would agree that it makes sense to move him down in the order while he gets time to either prove or disprove the panic-stricken Debbie Downers.

I love that we can discount someone's crappy performance because they were probably injured (yet played through it), like I'm supposed to adjust my expectations to account for his heart or something. Injured or not, Polly has sucked for a year now. Truth be told, 3 yrs ago when he signed, we were all banking on him being a super-sub (albeit a costly one), due to his age. Injuries, and lack of available other options have changed that dynamic, but not his diminished skill set. I don't feel like I should have to be the one to adjust my expectations because we don't have the other options we were all counting on.

He'd actually be a fine super-sub, if we had the resources to make it happen. And I wouldn't complain about the cost of that role, as it's just part of the package for the last two years.

And I'm not about to cut Howard/Utley any slack for "playing injured" if/when they come back. The reality is, we NEED them to come back and be a good portion of their usual selves, not adjusted for health concerns.

Though, I'm sure this time next year, there's a high likelihood we're discussion Utley's general ineffectiveness and I'll be asked to account for the fact that he's been injured. News flash, injuries happen and teams aren't graded on a curve when they do.

He looks like he has dropped a few pounds from last year Nepp..but im not sure

Phlipper, I guess he was injured in 2009, since he had a 90 OPS+ that year, which is basically what Ibanez did last year.

And he was injured in 2010, and in 2011. So, by what rationale are we going to assume that this notable Faberge egg is going to suddenly be healthy and free of any injury concerns this year to return to his offensive 2009 form (which sucked by the way). The last year Polly was even an average offensive player was 2008...almost 4 year freakin' years ago!

As far as the precipitous drop last year, it was just that; precipitous. He had a .972 OPS in April and finished the year with a .674 OPS. That was his actual full-season OPS. HIS OPS post-April: .591. As a reference point, Wilson Valdez post-April 2011: .657 OPS.

But you hide under the "Polly was injured" argument, and ignore the fact that we have THREE YEARS of poor offensive performance, and a player who has been oft-injured over that time.

As players get older and get injured more often, the likelihood that they get injured again increase, NOT deceases. If the three years of Polly's offensive ineptitude is due to injury, then it's a very good bet that he'll be injured even more this year, and repeat the ineptitude. If it's not injury-related decline, than it's actual decline. Either way, it's quite reasonable to very bearish on Polly.

I'd feel much more optimistic about Utley's return if he were rehabbing in Dusseldorf, rather than Arizona.

"I love that we can discount someone's crappy performance because they were probably injured..."

That's is a complete mis-reading (or, for GTown's benefit, a straw man).

His performance while injured was what it was. I haven't seen anyone "discount" his performance last year.

The question is whether or not it should be used as a basis for future performance when he isn't injured.

And, as a side note, this "panic-stricken" insult is one of the most moronic things that gets posted on this site. Of all the things in my life that I might panic about, the performance of millionaire athletes is at the very bottom of that list.

I don't necessarily think its time to bench him, though with Wigginton around you don't need him out there for 150 games. His defense is too good be relegated to a bench role, and he should get more than two weeks in April to prove that he is completely shot.

Just put him at the bottom of the damn order. Charlie has done it before- he had him hitting where he belongs now (7th) to end the season last year. I wish there were a stat to quantify how badly hitting him #2 is actively hurting the team. Of all the guys hitting out of place in the lineup right now (which is basically the whole batting order), he is the most miscast. You can't even argue he's a contact hitter anymore as his K rate is skyrocketing. The fact that he's getting 1 more AB per game than Ruiz is appalling.

Chase who Fn knows. I am sick of his act too. This city has been nothing but supportive and he still is secret society. His act as well as Mayberry has worn me out.

Posted by: The hook |

Chase Utley can do no wrong as far as this city is concerned. So he has a long leash. With this leash at the end and with Philadelphia Sports fan it can quickly go south. Theres nothing we can do this is vintage Utley. We'll just have to wait and see. Keeping up with Utley and Raj's usual tactics when we do get news it wont be really any news at all. This is unless theres a very drastic turn of events and even then it wont be to the last second.

*takes a shot*

Iceman, you summed up my feelings on the situation perfectly. To be clear Phlipper, I'm not ready to write Polly's obituary, but he has to prove himself to be a relevant offensive player once again, and he should be forced to do that from the bottom of the order, while sacrificing some playing time to Wigginton.

GTown, J-Bo would be proud.

"Straw Man" - do shot!

How can you be sick and tired of Mayberry's 'act' already? How
many ABs has he even had with the major league team in his career?

Like I said, I'll take a .285/.331/.396 /.727 (2009 stats) line with his glove.

I'd take a fair amount worse, but in that case, I wouldn't bat him so high in the order.

If that wouldn't be acceptable to you, then you're well within your rights.

I would say, however, you might as well accept being miserable for an extended period of time, because unless he continues at this level, his playing time simply won't be significantly reduced for at least a couple of months, given Charlie's track record. And I highly doubt there's much likelihood that he'll exceed his 2009 stats.

It really won't matter how much hand-wringing takes place on a daily basis at BLer. not sure what you mean by Mayberry's act. The guy has been giving a shot it was a gamble just like the gamble we took with Shane and Werth to a extent. Sometimes they pay off sometimes they dont. This is why Pierre and Nix was bought in here in case he bombs out. I know not much of a Plan B but we at the mercy of RAJ. Plan C is Dom Brown...

Put me in the camp that when a noted and relevant blogger begins to put your starting 3B in the same sentence as Abraham Nunez, the time for explaining things away is long passed.

Wiggy has been swinging a bat just fine lately and is no worse defensively than Kung Fu Panda. Let's drain that well while we can.

Put me in the camp that when a noted and relevant blogger begins to put your starting 3B in the same sentence as Abraham Nunez, the time for explaining things away is long passed.

Preacher: word.

"I can't agree that a large % of the hand-wringing isn't largely based on the small sample size component of the analysis."

So, if we express consternation about a guy like Polanco, who has hit .179/.220/.205 over his first 40 ABs, then we're chided for expressing consternation over a SSS.

And if we express consternation about a guy like Juan Pierre, who has hit .346 over his first 26 ABs but has flat-out stunk for the last 2 years, then we're chided for expressing consternation about a guy whose performance hasn't hurt the team up to this point.

Who does that leave that we may express consternation about?

Of course a .727 OPS would be acceptable to me Phlipper, since that would probably be over 100 OPS+. You have to discount that .727 OPS to the offensive environment of 2009, which put Polly at a 90 OPS+.

Ibanez had a 90 OPS+ last year, which was a .707 OPS.

So, in what is looking to be yet another decreased offensive environment, if Polly repeated his 2009 performance, it would be more like a .700 OPS. (as a reference, J-Roll has an 88 OPS+ right now with a .674 OPS. Assuming that offense will pick up as the weather warms, the .700 OPS is probably closer to what a 90 OPS+ will be).

"Who does that leave that we may express consternation about?"

I guess dudes who have sucked over the last two years as well as to start the season. Too bad Ben Francisco isn't around anymore.

"Who does that leave that we may express consternation about?"

I guess dudes who have sucked over the last two years as well as to start the season. Too bad Ben Francisco isn't around anymore.

Posted by: Willard Preacher | Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 08:29 PM

Or Placido Polanco. Oh wait...

And who cares what they are telling fans about Utley and Howard? Do you want them doing live feeds on CSN of Chase taking grounders in his lawn chair, or a press conference with Howard's wound specialist? I don't care about updates unless they're either announcing they're starting a rehab assignment or out for the season.

For the time being, all I care about is that the FO is aware of the situations and act on the urgency of those situations accordingly. With Howard, the effectiveness of how they handled it is yet to be determined. In regards to Utley, as far as I'm concerned, they already have failed miserably.

I guess dudes who have sucked over the last two years as well as to start the season. Too bad Ben Francisco isn't around anymore.

Maybe that's why r00b re-signed Schneider?

"Who does that leave that we may express consternation about?does that leave that we may express consternation about?"

Fata - you seem to keep misunderstanding this. I'll try one more time to explain it to you.

You "may" do whatever you'd like. I just think that the fainting spells about the inevitable weak performance by a certain % of players on a baseball team is kind of funny, so I chide.

I think that it often reflects a panicky mentality about a game that isn't served well by a panicky mentality. I also think that it's fortunate, as a Phillies fan, that the FO and the manager take the long view. I've watched the tension between those two approaches play out over a couple of years now, and I'd say that overall, the long view of the FO and manager has paid off, in balance.

BAP's Juan Pierre voodoo doll is going to be worn out by memorial day.

Who ever thought the Flyers would consistently out score the Phillies like this? Is anybody watching this bizzare hockey game?

What? 7 combined goals in the 1st Period isn't normal?

Try to discount an OPS from three years back, like accounting for the rate of inflation in evaluating 2009 dollars, seems a bit too much of a statistical stretch to me.

He performed at a 727 OPS in 2009. I don't know what the 2009 OPS+ equivalent was, but since I imagine that the 2009+ OPS+ would be referenced against the other players in the league in 2009, that would be a reliable measure.

So, would you take his 2009 OPS+ - which was referenced against other players in the league in 2009?

Phlipper, I didn't post that quote.

Also, I AM taking the long view. I didn't advocate removing Polanco from the lineup, leaving him at a rest stop during one of the team's bus trips, or taking him out back and putting a bullet in his head. I just think it's time to be realistic that Polly is most likely not going to revert to his form of being a league average hitter, who'll give you a BA of .300 and 25-30 doubles a year.

Also, I never thought Polly was a good fit in the 2-hole, even when he was hitting well. I think he's been a back of the order hitter for a LONG time now, and more so now than ever.

Sorry, Fata - I guess I misunderstood; so you're saying that his 2009 OPS+ was 90?

RE: Juan Pierre
I'm sticking with my prediction that he puts together a season similar to the one Lofton put together as a Phillies. Charlie has a gift for getting decent numbers out of washed up singles hitters.

Polanco's a done like my spicy meatball!

Phlipper, he had a 90 OPS+ in 2009. I've posted that several times. That means he was roughly 10% worse than a league average batter.

What's going on here? Defense? Bryz?
They're putting in Bob? NO!! Don't do that!! That's undoing all the work they've done all season to get Bryz right. It's over for the Flyers.

Mayberry not doing the fundamentals to put runs on board. If anyone can't see that then they are blind. I mean last night. Bases loaded zero outs and he can't get the job done on a left hander no less. He is just a 4th OF. And looking like he has no clue at plate. And bunt play at first. I can go on and on. Plus he cant even hit lefties anymore. This team is struggling to score runs, and when you can't it done move over. I guess this is the reason why he's been a fringe player. And it's def showing now. There is no argument to keep him in. All this does is force phils to resign Vic and put Dom in left. Dom will benefit from Jim being on club to help him.

"Phlipper, he had a 90 OPS+ in 2009. I've posted that several times. That means he was roughly 10% worse than a league average batter."

So you wouldn't take that, with his glove? I would, and I think he deserves more time to prove whether or not it's realistic to expect him to get to that level.

We agree about moving him down in the order until such time he proves he should be moved back up.

It will be interesting to see whether Charlie makes that move. But I suspect even that won't appease the BLer bellyachers. They're hungry for more blood than a simple move down in the order.

"Charlie has a gift for getting decent numbers out of washed up singles hitters."

Lofton was 8 years ago and he wasn't washed up. He had hit .327 just 2 years earlier & proceeded to hit .301 and .296 in the 2 seasons after he left. I actually can't think of even one washed up singles hitter who ever posted a good year for us during Cholly's tenure.

Defense does count.

Polanco still brings enough to the table defensively to justify keeping him in the lineup. In 2011, Polanco's fWAR was 2.8 and his bWAR 1.8, most of which came from his defense. He more than justified his salary last year.

Nobody knows yet if Polanco's 2012 season will be a success or a failure. He will have to actually play many more games before we know.

Phlipper, just as derek posted, if Polly's defense remains stellar, he could justify his OPS+ being in the 88-92 range. If it drops down to around 80, things could get iffy.

Also, Polly's OPS+ being in the high 80s/low 90s doesn't play quite as well on a team with a below average offense to begin with.

I'm usually OK trading Offense for Defense at 3B (witness my support for the largely unpopular Pedro Feliz) ... so long, that is, as the rest of the team is at least semi-capable at the plate. Such is no longer the case, however, & this year I think I'd be willing to sacrifice some "D" for a few more hits.

GTown, I fear you're going to be ridiculously disappointed with Wigginton, then. Much worse defense, and probably doesn't offer enough more offensively to offset the defensive deficit.

I have no problem with posters pointing out that Polly has been bad offensively for more than a year now.

I'm simply pointing out that posters who say "he's washed up" or "he'll never hit .300 again" etc. are full of crap. They have no clue if that's true (and these posts tend to come from the usual suspects who have no clue about anything.)

I also have no problem with posters like Fata and NEPP who want to replace Polanco at 3B. I just wish they'd name this mystery replacement.

True but Lofton was coming off his worst season in years and had clashed with then saint Torre in NY and his .327 afew years prior was in about 40% fewer PAs. Maybe washed up was too strong of a word but a .335 avg out of Lofton was much more than anyone expected. Anyway, as a Lofton fan I loved that season and was bummed that Gillick didn't think much of him.
As fro Charlie's track record, I guess Polanco is the only other washed up singles hitter he's had with the Phills. So he's 1 for 2 with Pierre as the tie-breaker.

I also have no problem with posters like Fata and NEPP who want to replace Polanco at 3B. I just wish they'd name this mystery replacement.

Posted by: clout | Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 09:11 PM

This made me laugh since I've never advocated even once that we should replace Polly. In fact, I'm not even sold on using Wiggy that much, since I don't see any evidence to think that his sub .700 OPS away from Coors Field over the last 3 years isn't going to replicate itself.

Fatalotti: You're probably right, but I figure it's worth a shot. At least I'd have something different to be disgusted w/, right?

New thread!

Polly's bat looks slow. He's striking out. He's hitting for Pierre type power. And in fact, he's barely hitting at all.

Replace him? Maybe. But at least take him out of the freaking two hole. Whoever said it before is correct: He has not been a good two hole hitter since he came to the Phils and probably before that. He needs to hit .340 or so to make up for his lack of speed and inability to move the runner on a consistent basis.

Rollins leadoff. Vic second. Pence third, then who gives a crap. But those three need to be up at the top and Polly at the bottom. Below Galvis at this point is likely.

The sum of a team's hitting, pitching and defense determine how good a team is.

Some posters are willing to sacrifice some defense for more offense. Some are willing to sacrifice some pitching for more offense. That's OK if the team is getting back more offense than the pitching or defense that it gives up.

Using Polanco as an example, if he duplicates his 2011 season and produces a 2.8 fWAR, then his replacement's combined offense and defense should produce at least a 3.8 fWAR. Otherwise, the Phils would be making change, but not accomplishing anything.

BTW, who is this third baseman that can produce a 3.8 fWAR and doesn't cost a lot of money?

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