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Saturday, April 21, 2012


From Fatta
"Carlos Quentin might be a good pick up to play left field. Has a 124 OPS+ over his last 4 seasons, can hit for power, but plays a poor left field."

We love sh8tty left fielders, here. Give him 5 years.

Phils are -140/-150 tonight, looks like its been moving around. Another solid Phillies line with Doc on the mound. Loving this series so far.

From last thread (with modifications)

"Forgive us for being upset that we have the 2nd worst offense in the Majors."

Fata - Your post there seems to be mostly just off topic.

I'm not suggesting that there isn't valid reason to be disappointed with their offensive performance so far.

I'm suggesting that their offensive performance is likely improve, perhaps to a level that is slightly below league average - and I explained my reasoning a bit.

Being disappointed with (or obsessively whining about) their offense so far is not mutually exclusive to an opinion that they are likely to improve somewhat going forward.

Haha RG.

Honestly, given that we haven't had an even average defensive left fielder there in over a decade, I'll take the offensive upgrade he would represent. Not exactly my top choice of FA this offseason, but he could be had around $9 M a year (only making 7 this year). Just a thought

"2012 Philadelphia Phillies Baseball: Unstoppable ... If We're Playing The Padres"

Another fine slogan.

And kudos to whomever came up w/ the "Crap to Pap" line RE: Contreras/Qualls (possibly NEPP?); it's both catchy & accurate.

Phlipper, when you say the offense has to get better, this isn't a ground-breaking revelation. Unless anyone thinks this is an historically awful offense, probably everyone here believes that (well, GTown doesn't :) )

That beings aid, this team is riddled with singles hitters, with little power, no ability to take a walk, and doesn't have remarkable speed except maybe Vic. So even if their RISP numbers improved, we're likely talking a few more singles. They might have more runs if that were the case, but I doubt it would take them to "slightly below average".

In other words, the handful of singles that would have vaulted their RISP numbers above their regular numbers isn't likely catapult them from 29th in the majors in runs/game to 16th in the majors, and it isn't likely change their 70 OPS+/73 wRC+ to ~95.

If that's what you're claiming, you're going to need to make a stronger argument.

lorecore: Gotta love that line with Doc on the mound against the Padres. I don't care how terrible our offense is right now, Halladay at -150 against the Padres!?! Insane.

Fata -

"Phlipper, when you say the offense has to get better,... "

Actually, I've never said that. What I said is that I see reasons to be optimistic that they'll get better. I also outline the possibility that theyh won't.

"In other words, the handful of singles that would have vaulted their RISP numbers above their regular numbers isn't likely catapult them from 29th in the majors in runs/game to 16th in the majors, and it isn't likely change their 70 OPS+/73 wRC+ to ~95."

I think that it is likely that their slugging will get better than it's been so far. So I think that along with a better AVG with RISP, they'll also do more than just get more singles to make up the gap. I'd say it's likely that, outside of Pierre, along with hitting for a better AVG with RISP, Polly and Rollins are likely to start slugging better, and Mayberry is likely to hit for more power.

I also think that using MLB, as opposed to the NL, is a bit misleading, as obviously comparing to teams with the DH works to the NL teams' disadvantage.

Sorry if my suggesting optimism they're more likely to be slightly below league average than "very poor" interferes with your whinefest.

Stephen Strasburg's curveball is awesome.

Fat: Without meaning to imply that the offense is sure to climb back into respectability any time soon if ever, it is worth noting, when it comes to power, that most of the team has yet to come close to approaching their 2011 slugging levels so far this year.

Player 2011 2012 (SLG)

JRoll: 399 268
Vic: 491 444
Pence: 560 444
Polly: 339 208
Nix: 451 313
Pierre: 327 368 (increase)
Ruiz: 383 425 (increase)
Wigginton: 416 414
Thome: 479 077
Mayberry: 513 211

And, just for kicks:

Howard: 488 0

(Always sad to be reminded that our CF outslugged our 1B last year)

Again, I'm not trying to be overly optimistic about the offense, and I'm not saying we should expect everyone (or anyone) to replicate last season, particularly when it comes to Mayberry, Pence and Vic; but I do think that the idea of its being composed of "singles hitters" who are only going to improve by hitting more singles is a little overblown.

lorecore: Do you use an online site? Do you have any recommendations?

The good news is that, if the Phillies can just keep playing .500 ball through the All Star break, while maintaining a team slugging pct. of .331 and a team OBP of .285, then they'll head into the second half of the season with the rule of reversion to career norms squarely on their side.

Sophist, I'm not suggesting that this team is going to remain around the very bottom of the league, and I did say that "as currently constructed", they are poor (obviously if Howard and Utley return and are anywhere near where they were the last couple years, that's a big boon), but as you state, a couple players had career years last year in terms of slugging. Looking at 3 year averages, and then this year, paints a more clear picture (at least to me):

JRoll: .403 .268 (He will improve, but his power numbers have been on the decline for the least 5 years)

Vic: .454 .444 (very close to what we should expect of him)

Pence: .478 .444 (will improve, but by how much, and will it be significant to make up for the rest of the lineup's lack of power)

Polly: .377 .208 (If we're counting on Polly's slugging to improve to improve the offense, we're in trouble. Another guy with declining slugging numbers over the last 5 years)

Nix: .461 .313 (This one's legit. He'll definitely improve if utilizes almost exclusively against RHP)

Ruiz: .417 .425

Wigginton: .411 .414 (Wiggy's about where he should be)

Thome: .523 .077 (He should improve, but at 42, you have tow onder when he'll hit the wall. I'm not ready to write off Thome yet, but it should at least be in our conscience)

Mayberry: .518 .211 (I have no idea what to expect from Mayberry now)

Overall, I agree with your point that we should expect more slugging from this team, especially when Howard/Utley return.

But I don't think it's as huge an improvement as you might be insinuating. Outside of Polly and J-Roll, these players aren't far off their career numbers. Jimmy is a nice candidate to get going, and start lacing more doubles, and a couple homers, but I have very little reason to expect much more power from Polly.

Now, if JMJ returns to slugging over .500 or even .450, everything changes. I hope it happens, and he'll certainly improve from .211 (if he's not shipped off to AAA before given the chance).

His last full years in the minors, he was ~.450 slugger, and has been over .500 in the majors. Which is the real Mayberry? Either one would be an improvement over current Mayberry.

Fat - It is a lineup with filled with singles' hitters at this point with a strong chance that includes JRoll too.

Only exceptions who play regularly are Vic and Pence.

Jimmy Rollins SLO/ISO the last 5 years

2007: .531/.235
2008: .437/.160
2009: .423/.173
2010: .374/.131
2011: .399/.131

Even though 2011 saw an up in SLG, the ISO was exactly the same as 2010. His ISO is likely to continue to fall.

Enough with all the whining about people criticizing the offense. The offense sucks, in epic fashion. It is, therefore, entirely legitimate that it is the main focus of criticism. Pissing and moaning about people criticizing the offense is just sad old shooting of the messenger. Get over it.

You know you're on Beerleaguer too often when you read stuff in the newspaper and it makes you think of certain posters. Nonetheless, the following excerpt, from an article in today's Contra Costa Times about the 40-year reunion of the 1972 World Champion A's team, made me instantly think of both Fatalotti & GTown Dave:

"[Catfish] Hunter won Game 7 with 2 2/3 innings in relief of Blue Moon Odom. Fingers took it from there, closing out the Reds with two scoreless innings.

That's right two scoreless innings. In the era before super specialization, Fingers was a workhorse. In '72, 11 of his 21 saves came in outings of three innings or more."

A j-bomb for J werth!

Someone suggested it the other day but I actually would love to see a team of Juan Pierre if possible offensively especially if was the Juan Pierre of 4-5 years ago.

Steal the old Hulk Hogan line and instead 'Whatca gona do when Juan Pierre runs all over you'

Given that the mid-to-late 80s Cards were some of my favorite teams to watch growing up (my favorite team by far to watch at the Vet except for maybe the Dodgers and Phanatic's antics with Lasorda who honestly disliked one another), it would be fascinating to watch a team that potentially stole 400+ bases in a year.

The same analysis with Polanco is even more startling:

2007: .458/.118
2008: .417/.110
2009: .396/.112
2010: .386/.088
2011: .339/.062

Polly's yet to post an ISO over anywhere near .100 as a Phillie. Simply a player completely devoid of power at this point in his career.

In fact, since 2010, here are the bottom five players in baseball in terms of ISO:

Juan Pierre
Ryan Theriot
Chone Figgins
Elvis Andrus
Placido Polanco

How many starting lineups have two guys this bereft of power starting on a regular basis. Well, only us I guess.

Happy to see Lidge doing well in WSN this year.

Nevermind. Just blew a two run lead on a walk and a HR.

Hahahahaha brad lidge blows the save! I feel at home in this place

Return of the SB?

Bottomed out at 0.50 SB/game in '03 during the height of the Roid era but it is slowly starting to come back in the NL

2012 - 0.71
2011 - 0.65
2010 - 0.56
2009 - 0.55
2008 - 0.57

Hasn't been a season since '99 that SB/game was above 0.70. Teams are running more the past 2 years and increasing to see if this trend continues a bit upwards

What is most dramatic though and direct evidence of how much saber metrics have influenced the game at the most basic level is the amount of CS/game

2012 - 0.27
2011 - 0.25
2010 - 0.23
2009 - 0.21
2008 - 0.20

That is dramatically lower than at the height of the running era in the 80s when it was closer to 0.40 CS/game.

Ratios of SB/CS in an NL game

2012 - 2.6:1
2011 - 2.6:1
2010 - 2.4:1
2009 - 2.6:1
2008 - 2.9:1
2007 - 3.0:1
2006 - 2.4:1
2005 - 2.4:1
2004 - 2.6:1
2003 - 2.5:1

Ratio of 2.6:1.

Compare that ratio to the height of the running era in NL during the 80s:

1989 - 2.1:1
1988 - 2.4:1
1987 - 2.4:1
1986 - 2.2:1
1985 - 2.3:1
1984 - 2.2:1
1983 - 2.0:1
1982 - 2.2:1
1981 - 2.0:1
1980 - 2.2:1

Ratio of only 2.2:1.

Nearly a 20% improvement in the ratio of SB/CS from the 80s. Do wonder though if NL teams increasingly try to run a bit more especially if the offensive numbers this year continue to be so flat if they can remain a success ratio of 2.6:1 in SB/CS..

Mayberry should call up Whitey Herzog who helped his father get out of his funk at the plate.

Pretty spectacular 9th-inning goings-on in the SF-Mets game. Mets just blew the lead.

Blew a 4-1 lead, that is.

Guillen just made a bad decision, I think. Game tied with no outs and men on 2nd and 3rd for the home team: why not walk the hitter at the plate, and turn every plate into a force out? Wasn't particularly smart to pitch to Desmond with 1st base open, since that run ultimately means nothing. I guess having the bases loaded means no margin for error the pitcher, but I think that's worth having the force out at every base.

Walk-off win for the Nats in the bottom of the 9th. They are red-hot right now; NOT looking forward to playing them.

"They are red-hot right now; NOT looking forward to playing them. "

Try picking up a dog before the next series starts.

Mets win on some unbelievable screw-ups by the Giants and a bad call at first.

The Phils cant get in a shootout with anyone. Be it the Pads or the Pirates. Anyone else notice the Braves are lighting up the score boards.

I'm not sure that the higher success rate is a product of the sabermaetrics movement, it could be, but I think teams never wanted to get caught stealing. I credit the higher success rate to teams protecting their pitchers more and nobody caring about pickoff moves in the last deccade. Very few pitchers put the same effort into holding runners on that they did even 10 years ago. That may start to change if steal keep increasing.

Buck and McCarver are telling the Freddi Garcia story early in the game today. It's making me feel alright about our team.

Hey, we're not in last right now!

gobaystars - That's a really good point. I would imagine though that teams all realize now that you need to steal though at an 80% clip and that guys who used to run a lot but had low success rates are strongly discouraged from doing it now.

Classic example has to be Alfredo Griffin. He had some speed but was an atrocious base stealer (192 SB, 134 CS - 59%).

No way a team let his run today with any kind of frequency like the A's/Jays did in the 80s.

Makes sense.
Correct me if my thinking is off here but if slugging continues to decline and reaching second base via a hit or scoring guys from first on doubles, triples or homes rarer, does stealing second require a lower success rate for it to be worth the risk?

Should we take a poll on who is scared of the Braves right now?

Same lineup tonight as last night, save for Halladay on the mound, batting 9th. Charlie knows an offensive juggernaut when he sees one.

The Braves are not the bear in the woods so i am not scared.

Should we take a poll on who is scared of the Braves right now?

The Braves don't frighten me. I'm scared of the Phillies. Scared of how crappy they are.

GTown -- Schneider doing the catching?

April is Cruel Dept. I'll read the threads later but, for now, I want to update the 3 of you who care. Reputed Phillies killer, Rod Barajas, who most recently victimized Joe Blanton with a leadoff tenth inning ringing double that ended up the winning run on an Alex Presley ground out, aka, 2 out infield single, is now hitting .067 with a .258 OPS.

Our lousy backup catcher got his one good hit yesterday. (Barajas was supposed to start).

Yes, Greg, same exact lineup.

I'm sure Chooch needs at least another day to wrest his sore hand/wrist.

The interesting thing about tonight's lineup is that Pierre finally gets to face a starter who's a LHP. Now watch him make fools of us by going 0-4.

"[Catfish] Hunter won Game 7 with 2 2/3 innings in relief of Blue Moon Odom. Fingers took it from there, closing out the Reds with two scoreless innings.

That's right two scoreless innings. In the era before super specialization, Fingers was a workhorse. In '72, 11 of his 21 saves came in outings of three innings or more."

Just for fun I looked up Tug McGraw's stats from '80. He recorded 20 Saves, only 1 of which went 3 IP. However, 8 of the 20 were of 2 IP or more, & only 7 of the 20 were the modern, "standard" 1 IP Save. Perhaps surprisingly, neither Finger's nor McGraw's arms ever fell off.

I note that we are finally getting to notice the declines among the players.
So now we have the small sample for this year and while I try to avoid the pre-season W-L prognostications because it’s a crap shoot, let’s give it a try now. Given this lineup without significant changes a 35-45 first half is not an unreasonable projection. So, if Howard and Utley somehow come back and shine the 2nd half and the club goes 52-25 and that is a stretch, then they are 92-60 and fulfill my original prediction of missing the division and having to duke it out just to get in.

That would put them in line with the overall trend that I have been trying to get everyone’s attention several times:
2008 won WS
2009 lost WS
2010 lost NLCS
2011 lost NLDS
2012 praying for a playoff spot.

The handwriting has been on the wall for several seasons now and that is why I wanted to trade some of our heroes for a new team last winter (and even the winter before).

The above is not considered much of an analysis or stat here like WAR, OPS, ERA+. I think baseball is a great place for stats after all with 30 plus teams and 160 plus games there is a lot of data. But some data is more valuable then other data. I am a big fan of Moneyball , which the Phils as a club are not, if they were they wouldn’t bother with high school kids (which true moneyball people avoid). I think some stats are more important than others in my opinion, OBP and another statistic I have not seen which is what is the batting average of a batter on strikes and contact.

You can have a winning singles team but you have to have a high OBP to go with it and strong contact average.

Can anyone suggest a good lineup optimization tool I can use for my little league team?

Ooops on that W-L math
1st half 35-45
2nd hald 57-25
For a 92-70 fin


The only problem, RK, is that your "trend" is contrary to the facts.

Could easily be re-characterized as follows, given that all playoff losses were to the eventual champion:

2008: best team in playoffs
2009: possibly 2nd best team in playoffs (Yankees win)
2010: possibly 2nd best team in playoffs (Giants win)
2011: possibly 2nd best team in playoffs (Cardinals win)

If we're just asking "have the Phllies gotten better or worse", then the regular season record (and other statistics from the entire year, not just couple weeks in October) tell the true story - until this year, each team has been better than the one before it.

I do tend to agree with your prediction for this season; think our most reasonable "good" outcome is 90-95 wins and just barely making playoffs. (Though given how that worked out in 2008, I wouldn't mind going into the playoffs with underdog status despite having Doc/Cliff/Cole ready to go.)

I'd like to see Tony Bastard pitch again in petco. Perhaps it'll magically restore his velocity. I remember when he came out of nowhere to spot start and started throwing 94-95 at petco. The coacheswere stunned he could generate that kind of velocity. And the friars all walked away from their ABs wondering who the h Bastardo was.

Rob you can characterize it any way you want but the facts remain that each year since the WS we have missed the prior year's achievement.
I am not so confident about our ability to get to 90-95 given the team we actually have not the promises

Bill Lumberg has a perfect game going!
"M'yeah, I'm going to need you to ground out to second. That'd be great."

Cody Ross has 3 HR & 10 RBI. No one on the Phillies has as many as 3 HR or 10 RBI.

Hey! Fox finally decided to acknowledge the Perfect Game attempt!

I'm not so sure he went. Gotta see a replay.

That didn't look like a swing to me, & we're not getting a good replay angle.

Now can Fox please get us back to Vicente Padilla!?

Cody Ross has 3 HR & 10 RBI. No one on the Phillies has as many as 3 HR or 10 RBI.

Posted by: GTown_Dave | Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 06:19 PM

Albert Pujols has 0 HR and 4 RBI. Pence and Victorino have 2 HR each and Pence and Galvis both have more than 4 RBI.

Dang, the Nicaraguan Nightmare went to work while we were away.

Yes, but Pujols has 7 XBH, 3 more than anyone on the Phillies.

If you spend any money at all for this item, you are an irredeemable jackhole:

Jackhole Purchase

that's too good. will they make a pink "ladies' throwback"?

Got a pretty sweet private tour of Petco today. Just a gorgeous ballpark. Even got to go into the Phils' dugout. Just a 3 year deal and several GIDP's away from feeling like a real member of the team.

Looking forward to some more stellar pitching tonight, but I really am paying just to see the umps. They didn't let me down last night - 2 balks and a reversed HBP (that Vic then shoved up his....).

And with that I learned that I dislike Bobby V more than I dislike the Yankees.

Preacher: What is supposed to happen if someone hits a HR into the big paint pan in (I believe) LF at Petco? Everyone in the crowd gets a free gallon?

Will Bobby V make it through the season?

*pan = can

I can't imagine how I'd feel if I was a pre-2004 Sox fan sitting in Fenway now, listening to "good times never seemed so good" over the PA.

Tug McGraw's arm did indeed fall off that '80 season. In this era, he would have been on the DL so fast we'd probably have forgotten who he was. It was a classic case of playing with intense pain. The reliever version of Sandy Koufax, painwise.

I know his name is now a dirty word, but Bill Conlin used to detail every few years the courage Tugger showed that season, pitching through pain.

Now, I don't think it was because Tug had some insane workload. He had a screwball that was very hard on the arm. But to say his arm didn't fall off, so it's okay to have multiple inning saves now isn't quite correct.

this is bad. Lee to DL. We are in trouble now.

Cliff Lee to the DL. Left Oblique strain.

In other news, Kyle Kendrick's Voodoo doll still works...

It's not like the Phillies have won a game w/ Lee on the mound, anyway. He's gotten all of a lousy 3 f*cking runs worth of support. Maybe these clowns will score for someone else.

Is that real? Did he get hurt throwing on the side? Not an inkling of that after his long outing the other night.

No! How long does an oblique strain typically require to heal?

Cliff Lee probably strained it out of frustration in his futile 10-inning effort, or maybe afterwards. I jest, but it's still disappointing to recall how well he pitched, for naught.

Can Scott bring back the bouncing Cliff Lee head while he's injured? Please? We need laughs when the offense is bad and we lose one of our aces.

An oblique strain. Isn't that the injury that kept Blanton & Happ out for like 2 months? I wasn't really panicked about the Phillies' mediocre start but, if he misses a couple of months, it's the nail in the coffin for the 2012 season.

wp - did the ballpark tour come with a free pass for any misdemeanors committed inteh Gaslight?

Great place to not go to a ball game.

Lee's injury occurred throwing a pitch in the 10th inning. Another casualty of a pitiful offense.

Matt Gelb ‏ @magelb "Lee injured himself on a pitch in the 10th inning. Amaro thinks it could be 15 days, but the team won't know for a bit."

Hugh it had everything to do with the long outing.

2 months?! That's enough to make one curse like a sailor. But I'll stick to Merde! Merde, merde, merde!

I guess I should be grateful for KK. And for Big Truck's return. I want to see as little of Stutes & Herndon as possible out of the 'pen. They are best taken in small doses.

Lee's injury occurred throwing a pitch in the 10th inning. Another casualty of a pitiful offense.

Posted by: GTown_Dave | Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 08:00 PM

Black humor, that. Nice.

GBrettFan: I'm not kidding, though. That's the report according to Gelb.


Lee strained it throwing a chair after the 10th inning when we didnt score for him.

Gelb said "Another casualty of a pitiful offense"? Or was that your editorial comment, GTown?

Losing Lee is a massive blow. we be fvcked.

Lee strained it throwing a chair after the 10th inning when we didnt score for him.

Posted by: NEPP | Saturday, April 21, 2012 at 08:08 PM

Good one, NEPP! I was thinking along those lines. I honestly don't think I'd much blame him had that been the case.

GBrettFan: Oh, no. The "pitiful offense" part was all me. But the injury info came courtesy of Gelb. But it does just about figure. How often has a team even needed a pitcher to go 10 because not only are they unable to score, but said pitcher is also a bigger hitting threat than anyone on the bench?

So KK's pitching Monday in AZ.

Savery has been recalled from Lehigh.

Jeepers just what we need Lee out...

GTown, I agree, although at least the opposing pitcher was Cain. Even when we're hitting well, he has the ability to shut down the offense. If we weren't proving every night that we're feeble as mice, I'd have chalked that loss up to two great pitchers - and some bad D by Wigginton.

I'm going to go out on a limb and predict a 3-1 record for Kendrick while he fills in for Lee, getting a cool 6.5 RPG of support until Lee returns. Beerleaguer will be clamoring for Lee to pitch in Kendrick disguise when he comes back.

Injury Thread ==>

Nothing about Lee going to the DL in the pre-game show. Odd.

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