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Monday, April 23, 2012

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Right now, we look a lot like the Astros when they started to fall apart. That's a really bad thing.

How can there not be a solution to Rollins batting 3rd, or Thome at first.Those are easy to fix.Cholly needs to be informed it is 2012.
Pierre is another thing.Despite his lack of power and the fact he thinks he still runs like he did 10 years ago,he is hitting over .300. He is also one of the only hitters who make pitchers work.

jr: How do you get Thome the extra at bats he needs to stay sharp then? Who bats third? Chooch? Wigginton? Not exactly easy fixes.

Wanna suffer through someone slumping? Wait until juan Pierre slumps. What do you get when a guy who's allergic to walks and has absolutely zero power (a.k.a., it's not like he can hit swing into one) stops hitting dink-and-dunk singles?

A useless offensive player.

Vic bats third. In my opinion, this is the ideal lineup:

Pierre (ugh)
Ruiz
Vic
Pence
Nix/Thome/Wiggy
Rollins
Polanco
Galvis
Pitcher

That might net you 3 runs per game.

"Wanna suffer through someone slumping? Wait until juan Pierre slumps. What do you get when a guy who's allergic to walks and has absolutely zero power (a.k.a., it's not like he can hit swing into one) stops hitting dink-and-dunk singles?

A useless offensive player."

And we've reached the point where he's hit for average for so many games that once he starts slumping, Manuel will still keep running him out there to "hit his way out of it."

Regardless of whether we lose the game, Rollins & Pence need a day off. Neither has gotten one all year. I dont think Vic has either.

Iceman: Problem is ... that lineup sucks, too.

As currently constructed, I dont think this is a playoff team. We need Utley/Howard/Lee to all come back and be effective and we probably still need a move on top of that but we simply dont have the prospects to make such a move.

People will say the Braves and Nats cant keep playing at their current levels and that's true. The problem is that the longer we play like sh!t and the longer they play well, the bigger that gap becomes and the more cushion they have for when they come back to earth.

Basically, we have to figure it out soon and not keep losing series to crap teams like the Padres or we wont be playing October baseball.

This harping on Pierre is absurd--he's the only guy hitting. Literally the least of our worries right now.

This harping on Pierre is absurd--he's the only guy hitting. Literally the least of our worries right now.

Posted by: Timr | Monday, April 23, 2012 at 09:10 AM

Actually, there are 4 guys on the team with an OPS+ higher than his...4 starters, too.

Wigginton is the only player with a higher OPS+ than Pierre...after yesterday at least.
Top 4
Wigginton: 120
Pierre: 102
Vic: 101
Pence: 94

Okay, an exaggeration, but still... he's doing about as well as Juan Pierre can do in the year 2012.

What's amazing to me about this slump is that it's affecting everyone--young guys aren't hitting, old guys aren't hitting, guys in the prime of their careers aren't hitting.

not keep losing series to crap teams like the Padres

I know what it feels like, but technically this Padres series was a split. :)

NEPP, Ruiz is at 97

Whether they won the series over San Diego doesn't matter. Christ, this team lost a series to the 110 loss Astros last September. It's about giving yourself the best chance to win by playing smart baseball, and this lineup seems incapable of doing so as currently constructed.

Oops, sorry Chooch. That pushes Pence to 5th...ouch.

"As currently constructed, I dont think this is a playoff team. We need Utley/Howard/Lee to all come back and be effective and we probably still need a move on top of that"

A move for what? For who?

If those three players come back and are effective, it's absolutely a playoff team.

The problem isn't making an extra move on top of that- it's counting on Utley and Howard being effective on top of being healthy enough to play. Lee will be fine. The other two...I don't know. It's basically a coin flip.

JW: yeah, hence me saying it's about a 3/RPG lineup.

Like I said last night, with the way everyone is hitting at this point, you're basically asking Manuel to predict ahead of time which four hitters are all going to string together singles.

***A move for what? For who?***

LF and 3B are still giant blackholes even if all 3 come back. Its great that Pierre is producing right now but I highly doubt he keeps up a 100+ OPS+ given his recent track record.

Let's count the problems: 1)Mayberry's surge last year was an aberration; 2)Thome has lost his bat speed; 3)Polly is at the tail end of his fine career; 4)Nix has shown little or no power at the plate.

It is also difficult to imagine that Howard and Utley can return to form in time to get the team either into the payoffs and certainly not deep into them.

Time to think about 2013. Make an effort to get David Wright and find a power hitting left fielder.

Pierre lost a double yesterday on the ball that hit the ump, otherwise with the triple the other night he's probably our best power hitter of late.

J. W. put anybody you want in the 3 hole,give them as many abs as Jroll has had and compare.I know small sample size.
You assume that Thome is going to get sharp.What indication of that have you seen so far,including ST?
It's not the past,it's what have you done for me lately.

Doesn't matter what the lineup is. Offensively this team is terrible. The fixing ( or adjusting if you will had to come in the off-season. There is no quick fix. And there may not be a fix for it this year.

We need our 3 & 4 hitters back and then we can go from there. That's the only thing to do at this point.

There are no more miracles phans. That's

all.

How do you think about 2013 by getting David Wright? Those two ideas don't mesh.

You forgot Hamels with his 128 OPS+. Qualification shmalification.

NEPP- those two areas were black holes last year. And a fix for one of them, Dom Brown, is currently sitting in AAA. We're going to make a trade and block him again?

Even the most glass-half-full posters had this offense struggling without Utley and Howard, and everyone agreed that the only way this team was winning the division or making the playoffs was predicated on getting them back at some point around June. If you are willing to already scrap that idea on April 22nd and say that yet ANOTHER move needs to be made, after 16 games, go right ahead, but it's incredibly short-sighted and reactionary.

I mean, the offense literally can't get any worse. Nobody, not even the wettest of wet blankets, thought it would be this bad. And I'm still in the camp that there's no way it can possibly be this bad long-term. It definitely won't be great, or even good, but the pace they are setting is almost historically bad. There's no way that keeps up.

I want to believe that Utley's return will be a big boon to the offense, but I'm extremely worried about him.

NEPP's right. 3b and LF are major holes right now. The writing was on the wall last season, and all offseason, regarding Polanco's offensive deterioration. I'm not done with Mayberry yet, but the expectations (including mine) were way to high on him coming into this season.

***And a fix for one of them, Dom Brown, is currently sitting in AAA. We're going to make a trade and block him again?***

Yeah, he's really lighting it up in AAA right now.

At the end of each day of the last week, Juan Pierre's season-long OPS stood at:

4-15: .350 (good)
4-16: .292 (terrible)
4-17: .346 (good)
4-18: .300 (terrible)
4-19: .353 (good again)
4-20: .333 (average)
4-21: .302 (bad)
4-22: .354 (good again)

Basically, if you catch him on the right day, he's having a good season in terms of OBP. If you catch him on the wrong day, he's having a lousy season in terms of OBP. I mention this simply to point out the fallacy of continuing to trot him out there as the leadoff hitter on the ground that he has done a good job for us. If he goes 0 for 4 tonight, his OBP is back to average.

Not to mention that, when he does get on base, he has a knack for taking us out of innings with his base running blunders.

I don't know that anyone should assume Howard & Utley will be effective when they return, & certainly not immediately. It's also worth remembering that Lee was pitching extremely well overall, & the Phillies still went winless in his 3 starts. I'll believe that this team can play better than it has when I see it.

LF needs to be either Mayberry or Brown. No use bringing anyone else in until you've given them a shot.

Thirdbase? There's probably not much of a trade market yet as teams don't like to acknowledge to their fans that they are out 3 weeks into the season. Even if there was, who would conceivably be available? Callaspo is a nice complementary piece in a high power offense but won't save a poor offense. Mark Reynolds might provide some power (and I've advocated for him in the past) but he's started the year with a .125 avg and 22 k's to go with 0 home runs. Edwin "E5" Encarnacion has started off hitting so well that Toronto will probably hold onto him as they make a run for a wildcard. Youk certainly isn't going to be on the market unless Boston is in the tank at the all-star break. Chase Headley might be the team's best bet. May & James for Headley?

And then there's this stat which I posted yesterday In 10 starts consisting of 43 PAs, all out of the leadoff spot, Pierre has scored all of 3 runs.

Granted, that's more the fault of Polanco & Rollins than Pierre. But Pierre shares some blame since: (a) all his hits are singles; and (b) he doesn't steal much anymore & often gets thrown out. But who's at fault is neither here nor there. The point is simply: having him at the top of the line-up isn't doing what it's supposed to do. I'd rather have Nix in the middle of the order, with his hideous OBP, but the ability to occasionally rip a double or homerun.

A road trip to SF and SD, two pitcher's parks, could not have come at a worse time. Pence and Victorino are better hitters than this so I would expect the offense to improve, slightly, over the next week. That's my bright side because I spent the weekend in San Diego and it was hideous at times.

It's time for Charlie to commit to JMJ for a bit. He deserves a chance to play his way through the slump, and we need to play guys who can drive in runs. As JW said, what do you gain from Pierre getting on first when no one can bring him in (not to mention he gets picked off)?

It must be chapping some people to see the line-up without Ryan Howard that they so desperately wanted failing so badly.

There isn't a trade they could make right not that would add any value, save Wright. And to get him they would have to add payroll, for this year and well beyond, which they're not going to do. And the package to get him would have to include Polly, Brown, a starting pitcher & prospects. Don't believe that'll happen.

Bed~ Right. When Utley (and Howard) return what makes anyone think they'll be able to perform at a high level, at least right away?

I went on record this entire off-season about what I thought was wrong and how to repair some things. All of the "ifs" and so on. About how too much pressure would be put on the starters. Turning out to be true. If they score 2 runs for Cliff they win the game and he's not on the DL right now. 'Nuff said.

But right now, not a whole lot can be done. We'll just have to wit and see what happens. But at some point RAJ, and the a lesser extent, Manuel, have to be held accountable. The Matt Cain deal ruined the chances of re-signing Hamels, so he'll leave. The question on that front is what did the Phils drag their feet? Especially when Monty & RAJ said could afford 3 20 mil-ayear pitchers.

So it's not always what you do, it's also what you don't.

BAP- when Vic was leading off, how many runs as he scored?

I'm as anti-Pierre as you are because he just exacerbates the singles problem, and we've got a guy on the bench (Nix) that you can at least stick in the middle of the order and count on him getting some XBH and HR against LHP. But Polanco hitting #2 and J-Roll hitting #3 are the problem. The idea of both of them getting more ABs than Pence and Vic, not to mention Ruiz, is ridiculous.

DPat- you've been saying the same stuff for years. 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf' and all that. Come off it.

***And the package to get him would have to include Polly, Brown, a starting pitcher & prospects. Don't believe that'll happen.***

I think you're overestimating what a rental of David Wright would cost.

Who is this magical player we're going to trade for on offense that is going to turn all the other 7 guys into .800 OPS players?

We could steal Albert Pujols from the Angels right now and he wouldn't make a difference with the way everyone, even good players like Vic and Pence, are currently.

I know none of you like being patient, but the move here is to wait for Utley and Howard until late-May/early-June and hope you can tread water, while also hoping that the offense doesn't continue its historically bad pace. That was the play in February, March, and it still is in April.

Iceman, what do we do in early June if we're 10+ games out?

It must be chapping some people to see the line-up without Ryan Howard that they so desperately wanted failing so badly.

And despite this, I still miss Howard more than I'm pleased w/ watching such people suddenly attempt to disregard the fact that they have marginalized his importance to the team for years. Being a Phillies fan is challenging.

To be fair, I dont think any of the anti-Howard advocates were saying we should replace him with Ty Wigginton...to be fair.

Per Pat Gallen, Vic's team-leading .725 OPS ranks 98th in all of MLB.

Why would the Mets, or anyone, ask for Polanco in a trade?

Let's also not forget that before last year, Victorino, whom we're counting on to be one of best offensive bats, was really nothing more than a slightly above league average hitter.

2005-2010: 102 OPS+
2008-2010: 106 OPS+
2009-2011: 112 OPS+

Certainly there's been a progression, but last year was likely a bit of an aberration, as his ISO was a good bit over .200, and is likely to drop to around .160, where it have been hovering for years past.

He'll be a fine hitter this year, but if you're looking for him to be a power/RBI guy, you may have to look elsewhere.

It's so early in the year for this team to look so tired and downtrodden.
The long season will wear down the best of them.
But it's still April and the Phils look like they're worn out.

"Iceman, what do we do in early June if we're 10+ games out?"

Is that out of the division race or the WC?

The manager is not getting canned, as I think RAJ would be setting himself up as the next one out the door.

Honestly, I think it's too soon to throw in the towel on a veteran team with good pitching. There's not much of a farm left to sell and desperation trades at this time of the year are going to be expensive. If the team is this hapless in another 6 weeks, then I suppose you start assessing the value of vets you are not going to resign and see if you can pry a promising young position player or two out of a good farm system of a team in need of a rental. But it's way too soon for that type of thinking. Right?

I can't imagine any team would want Polly. At least he's a good 3Bman. Drop him in the order, I'd say, as others have.

I've had little problem with Pierre because he's been hitting (except for the baserunning mistakes, which really annoy me) - but BAP's point that replacing him in LF w/Nix could make a difference in terms of run production - That's something I'd like to see tried for a little while.

I think if Jimmy is coming out of his slump - he did have a double yesterday - put him back at leadoff. He's not the best leadoff hitter, but he's comfortable there, and if he's not slumping and can get on base, that's a boon.

I can't wait for Pence to come out of his slump. I agree he and Vic need to be in the middle of the lineup.

If Nix played LF, where would he bat? Where would Mayberry (I assume he'd be the 1Bman) hit?

I'm a bit skeptical about Chooch batting 2nd. I'd be willing to try it (not that it matters, if Charlie won't), but he's no faster than Polly. For some reason, I picture him hitting into a lot of DPs there.

If we are 10 games under 500 I'm taking all offers on Cole and Vic. No doubt about it. Sure you could get a really good batch of prospects to fill in holes.

"when Vic was leading off, how many runs has he scored? . . . Polanco hitting #2 and J-Roll hitting #3 are the problem."

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I concede the point. Polanco & Rollins have far more to do with Pierre's paltry run total than Pierre himself.

Nonetheless, I loathe Juan Pierre. I understand that he has been the least of our problems up to this point, but he is a symbol for everything that is wrong with the 2012 Phillies. You've got a team which has too many old, declining players; which lacks for power; and which struggles to get men on base. So what do we do? We sign a 34-year old, badly-declined cast-off who slugged .327 last year and who couldn't get a major league contract anywhere else. Then we put him in our starting lineup, making a bench player out of a 28-year old who had an .854 OPS last season, and a minor league player out of the best prospect in our system. Then, for good measure, we bat him at the top of the order, even though he posted a barely league average OBP last season. And we start him almost exclusively against RHP, even though he's terrible against RHP & good against LHP -- and we do so at the expense of a guy who actually DOES hit RHP pretty well and can hit for power.

Everything about Juan Pierre's acquisition and use is just directionally wrong for this team. He hasn't been the team's greatest problem in 2012, but he is the greatest symbol of their problems.

Jim Thome's OPS+ in 2010 and 2011 were 182 and 131, respectively. After 16 games, some want to write him off. Get serious.

The only legitimate question about Thome at the moment should be how much playing time will he get.

Can we at least start clamoring for Podsednik?

BAP quite possibly your best post in a long time. Amen.

I'm honestly wondering if we'll ever see Utley on the field ever again. Am I overreacting?

I just don't understand how a guy without any cartilage in his knees can come back in a meaningful way. Also it seems the club has been very quiet about his status,.. the state of his rehab, etc., or even what is being done to help him out precisely.

I'm pessimistic by nature; is anyone privy to any information that would lead me to think I'm being too gloom and doom?,.. if so, I would love to hear it

Scotty Pods is struggling in AAA. Like him or not, Phils made the right call with Pierre over him.

Thome: I'm a little worried, but some patience is needed with him. I'm sick of the "retire" "he's done" nonsense after each AB.

Beard - "Scotty Pods is struggling in AAA. Like him or not, Phils made the right call with Pierre over him."

Yeah they did. Pierre's limitations (defense, lack of BBs, no power) get exposed when he is in the leadoff spot everyday.

Liked when they signed Pierre to a minor league deal and the thinking of having him/Podsednik as a reserve OF who could PH/PR and give them the occasional starter. Really haven't had that guy since Bourn came up and fulfilled that role in '07.

Mike: last I saw, about a week ago, a couple news outlets (including mlb.com) were reporting that Utley would rejoin the team in Arizona. I don't know what that means though, I can't believe he'd be re-activated without a minor league rehab stint.

BAP, great post regarding Pierre. Sums up my sentiments exactly. He's certainly not THE problem but he's emblematic of the whole ball of wax.

That said, I say we give him another couple of weeks. Drain the well with whatever he might have left to offer, then jettison him and bring up Brown.

Also, I wouldn't be opposed to giving Pence a night or two off. JMJ in RF and let him try to hack out of his own issues???

I think they've got to try and put Rollins back in the lead off spot to see if it can help get him going. And as long as Pierre is hitting decently (even if they are all singles), I wouldn't mind seeing a lineup like this:
Rollins
Pierre
Vic
Pence
Nix/Thome/Wiggy/Mayberry
Ruiz
Polanco
Galvis
Pitcher

Or try a LaRussa and bat the pitcher 8th and Pierre 9th with everyone else sliding up.

Jbird, he'll "rejoin the team" while in AZ, but he's got a lengthy minor league rehab assignment before he'll be activated and even that doesn't appear to be imminent. I think we'll actually see Howard back first (supposed to see the doc again today and perhaps be cleared for baseball related activities).

I doubt you'll see either taking hacks in a big league Phils uniform within the next 4-6 weeks.

Mike, I believe you'll hear something from the organization this week. He has been rehabbing in AZ where the team is going to reunite with him during this series to check on his status. The fact that we've heard absolutely nothing to this point doesn't exactly sit well with me, but I have optimism for Utley. I may be in the minority, but I believe if anyone can come back from this, it's Chase.

On an unrelated note, has MLB approved the use of prosthesis?

And regarding Chase...instead of approving prosthesis, how about situation specific HGH approvals? Seriously, I wonder why this is not being pursued (isn't that supposedly something that can help Chase's knee problem)?

Put me in the "b_a_p's 11.27AM post ought to be printed out & nailed to r00b's forehead" camp, as well. That anyone can find reason to celebrate anything about Juan Pierre is the perfect example of everything that's wrong & bad w/ the 2012 Phillies.

I'm also loving this wonderfully nebulous phrase, "baseball related activities". What in the hell does that mean, really? Keeping score? Drinking beer? Eating peanuts? Talk about an "update" which informs us of exactly nothing.

Gtown: I believe he's moved from Peanuts to Sunflower Seeds, an important milestone on the road to recovery. He'll be spitting tobacco juice in no time.

"I'm also loving this wonderfully nebulous phrase, "baseball related activities". What in the hell does that mean, really?"

Howard's wound specialist has cleared him to post on Beerleaguer game threads.

b_a_p: Uh-oh. I hope discovering that RBI is a "meaningless" stat doesn't disrupt the healing process.

"I hope discovering that RBI is a "meaningless" stat doesn't disrupt the healing process."

I'm not concerned. Once he starts reading Beerleaguer, he's going to discover MUCH worse things than that.

I feel that I'm slipping down that slide into Negadelphia. I really don't see much improvement in scoring runs even when Utley and Howard return. I fell that Utley will have less power and hit for less average. Ditto for Howard. We'll be cursing overy one of Ryan's strikeouts with ducks on the pond.

Vic has had 52 PA's as a lefty hitter this year and has one XBH.

I think either Tuesday or Wednesday would be a good time to sit Vic for a day.

Rollins has 67 PA's and only 2 XBH's with 13 K's. Has done nothing against LH pitching either. That contract is also looking like a complete over-spend, for a player obviously on the down-side of his career.

I'd sit Rollins tonight against the LH starter. Put Galvis at SS and play Wigginton at 2B. If we can roll 97 year old Thome out there at 1B for a day, then we obviously aren't that concerned about defense anyway.

My lineup tonight:

Pierre, LF
Polanco, 3B
Victorino, CF
Pence, RF
Wigginton, 2B
Mayberry, 1B
Ruiz, C
Galvis, SS
Kendrick, P

My lineup tomorrow (against RH Collmenter):

Pierre, LF
Polanco, 3B
Rollins, SS
Pence, RF
Nix, 1B
Mayberry, CF
Ruiz, C
Galvis, 2B
Worley, P

My lineup on Wednesday (against RH Cahill):

Victorino, CF
Nix, LF
Rollins, SS
Pence, RF
Thome, 1B
Wigginton, 3B
Orr, 2B
Schneider, C
Hamels, P


If you can't put up some runs against a converted bullpen guy (Wade Miley) and a mediocre RH in Collmenter in a great hitters park in Phoenix, then I don't know what to say.

***The fact that we've heard absolutely nothing to this point doesn't exactly sit well with me, but I have optimism for Utley. I may be in the minority, but I believe if anyone can come back from this, it's Chase. ***

Does anyone else picture it as Rube driving out into the desert in some beat up old Wrangler to find Chase at some obscure Buddhist Monastery where he's been trying to find spiritual enlightenment for the past 4 weeks? That or kinda like how they found Spock in the Star Trek Motion Picture right before he was about to banish all emotions and then had him come back to the ship after they lost the other science officer?

Ditto for Howard. We'll be cursing overy one of Ryan's strikeouts with ducks on the pond.

The good news in all this is that the 2012 Phils don't put ducks on the pond!

denny: It will never happen, but I would absolutely love to see Vic experiment with becoming a RH-only hitter.

He hit for a 1,032 OPS as a RH hitter last year, compared to .789 as a LH hitter. The year before, his splits were .921 and .692. For his career, they're .880 and .743.

Obviously, his numbers as a RH hitter would go way down when he's facing RH pitching. But would they go down so far as to drop below his numbers as a LH hitter? I've long believed that it was worth finding out.

If I'm Chase Utley, I politely ask to be left to my rehab without having to join this particular team right now.

when/if Utley ever does come back, how much more playing time does Galvis get at third over Polanco?

I know this theory is not new to me but I think Thome hit those numbers as a DH. It is a huge difference being a bench bat and getting 4 AB a game. He may pick up with more time playing or, who knows, maybe he is just one of those guys who needs to hit and will suck off the bench. And by one of those guys, I mean 85+ percent of ball players, aged, decrepit or not. I know he can't play 1st a great deal more often so he may be very hamstrung as a bench guy.

It's lot to ask Galvis to learn 2 new positions at the major league level. Granted, he's hitting Ok now, but it's a lot of pressure putting him at 3b.

Ice~ Provide a better scenario for me & I'll come off it. Since you can't, stay quiet. Point is, everything I've been bitching about has come true. You peole will NEVER admit that I turned out to be right.

RG, I guess I give Thome a little bit more of a leash than a Juan Pierre, or even a Wigginton. Guys who hit for power, quite frankly, are much more prone to slumps and cold streaks. Hell, before this season ever even started Thome was 2nd ALL TIME in K's (to another power guy in Jackson).

We've seen it all before (and complained about it ad nauseum) with Howard, Burrell, etc. These types of hitters streak and slump. I'm hoping that Thome is just in the midst of a slump, and that he'll just have to "hit his way out of it," to steal a Charlie-ism. The problem is, he needs AB's to do so.

While the age is certainly a consideration, I don't think he's got as slow a bat as Ibanez did last year, or that he's just lost his ability to hit. I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but I am firmly in the camp that if he's still actively hurting this team after the first run of Interleague games (where I expect him to DH every single game...), we need to consider alternatives.

Truth be told, though, Thome is only a drop in the bucket of the current problems the Phillies are dealing with.

"I went on record this entire off-season about what I thought was wrong and how to repair some things. All of the "ifs" and so on. About how too much pressure would be put on the starters. Turning out to be true."


DomP, this is a classic example of what other posters here find so annoying about you.

You declare yourself "right" after 16 games? Do you ever take a day off from patting yourself on the back?

The unmitigated hubris and self-indulgent blather astounds even the most seasoned BL veterans. And the real problem is with your analysis. It's completely lacking.

Several of the hitters on this team are not performing up to even their own historical standards, even if you factor in age-related decline.

The offense is simply not "this bad", yet you declare it so, and puff yourself up like some horny peacock strutting around a barnyard.

Wiggy, Nix and Thome are not as good as Utley and Howard (but we knew that before the season). But they - and the other guys slumping - are not this bad either.

16 games - and you've become a legend in your own mind. Sheesh.

16 games in and no one will admit that DPat turned out to be right...How dare you jerks treat him this way? He is the martyr in all this- well him and his anonymous source.

"And we can name them: Thome at first; Rollins batting third; Pierre's inclusion has suppressed John Mayberry Jr. following a breakout year."

The real problems:
a) Pierre is hitting too well, compared to the rest of the team, to sit on the bench. They need his bat at lead-off, as it is, each day. That means the 2-3 other LF this team has are laminating the lumber until Pierre hits a nasty slump.

b) Polanco is a black hole in the 2nd spot and wastes most of Pierre's contributions. He needs to be at the bottom of the order. As much as I hate having catchers bat in the top half of the order (to save on wear and tear) we have no choice but to put Ruiz batting second.

c) 2007 J-Roll could have hit 3rd on this team. 2012 J-Roll can't. He should be hitting 5th or 6th. Pence should be in the 3-hole, for better or worse.

d) Thome's starts at first need to be infrequent and short. Mayberry should be logging at least a majority (51%) of the innings at First. If he can find his swing/head again it will be a huge boost to this line-up and he can play everyday. Until then, platoon him with Wiggy.

"
DPat- you've been saying the same stuff for years. 'The Boy Who Cried Wolf' and all that. Come off it.

Posted by: Iceman"


Iceman, you are correct. He's been at it for years.

Now, after a whole 16 games of one season, he declares that he's been right all along.

grrr....forgot Wiggy was a Righty.

You know, I just think Mayberry should just play first all the time. Sink or swim.

***You know, I just think Mayberry should just play first all the time. Sink or swim.***

The problem is that Wiggy has been the team's best hitter so far.

The bar is rather low though.

I stopped reading DPatrone a long time ago. I just skip over his comments. He rarely offers anything worth reading...same old hollow arguments after one another.

"Point is, everything I've been bitching about has come true. You peole will NEVER admit that I turned out to be right."

You were right: the offense sucks. Now will you feel better when our offense goes out and sucks tonight?

NEPP: Then we should have Wiggy play 3B and Polanco at 2B. Defense up the middle and Power on the corners, right? If Polly can start hitting again AND Wiggy slumps, we move Polly back to 3B and Galvis can go back to 2B.

In fairness to DPatrone, there is a significant Beerleaguer contingent whose sole purpose in posting is to point out when others were wrong. Amidst this "gotcha" environment, I can understand the temptation to toot one's own horn for being right. I have occasionally done it myself, as have most posters.

Nonetheless, when posting on a Phillies blog, it is unseemly to take satisfaction from the team's struggles. Besides that, there is this inescapable reality: no one cares if you were right or wrong.

"But Polanco hitting #2 and J-Roll hitting #3 are the problem."


Rollins hitting 3rd in 2012: .254/.294/.286, 69 PA

Rollins, career, hitting 3rd: .249/.310/.326, 372 PA


Iceman, if the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, then Charlie is starting to make me question his sanity.

I pointed out Jimmy's 3-hole issues at least two weeks ago.

WTF did Charlie expect?

"Let's also not forget that before last year, Victorino, whom we're counting on to be one of best offensive bats, was really nothing more than a slightly above league average hitter."


Fatti, while the above statement is true, it is misleading.


AT HIS POSITION, he has been a top-5 player for the last 3 - 4 seasons. It's really not fair to compare him to the Vottos, Pujolses and Brauns of MLB.

His value lies in the fact that he's an above average offensive player at a premium defensive position - which he plays just about as well as anyone in the game.

You would think DPatrone would have earned the benefit of the doubt from his years of valid, confirmed, and totally-not-made-up-by-him inside information from his "source".

awh, I obviously get that. The point of the statement was that, just because he had a 127 OPS+ last year, he's more likely to fall into the 105-110 range this year.

Also, while positinoal adjustment is an important concept, on this team (as currently constructed), without a power hitting first baseman, left fielder or third baseman (3 of the usual 4 power positions), Vic is, by viture of our lack of power, the second best power hitter of the regulars. And that's not a good thing.

Fatti, I KNOW you get it. I just thought it worth mentioning that positional value ought to factor into any comparison.

BTW, is positional value taken into consideration in the calculations for fWAR and rWAR?

Also, my post wasn't meant to disparage Victorino's abilities and/or accomplishments, but to temper expectations of those who might feel that he has a bat that can carry a team offensively.

awh, yes, I believe they are taken into account when valuing WAR.

"That contract is also looking like a complete over-spend, for a player obviously on the down-side of his career."


dennyb, are you DPatrone posting under another name? As many here, myself included, have pointed out: Rollins stinks in the 3-hole, which is the only place where he has batted so far this season.

As I posted above, the results are in line with his historical performance at that spot in the order.

Are you really going to pass judgement on his contract after 69 PA in a spot in the order where he's ill-suited in the first place?

Please, please, tell me you try to think about things a bit more than that?

To put it another way, consider the 2009 Phillies. It might have been considered a real black hole on that team that Pedro Feliz only had an 82 OPS+ (and it was really bad), because 3B are supposed to hit better than middle infielders, and an 92 OPS+ might be acceptable from an middle infielder.

But the Phillies were able to offset the negative value of Feliz' bat because of the enormous positive value of Chase Utley's bat, who had a 137 OPS+.

In other words, Utley was hitting like a 3rd baseman, and Feliz was hitting like a 2nd baseman.

To bring it back to 2012, if Vic is being counted on to help fill the void left by you power hitting 1B (Howard), or to make up for the void left by your power hitting 2B (Utley), who was being counted on to hit like a 3B, because your 3B (Polly) hits like a 2B, you may be in some trouble. Because Vic is an above average hitting CF, but he is not likely able to be more than that.

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