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Friday, April 27, 2012

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We'll raise our hand and admit to being the ones who used "horrendous."

The thing that struck me is the sub-header to Stark's section on the Phils:

Record: 9-10; scored two runs or fewer eight times in 17 games

Pitching wins.

The team does not score. At all. And they are still hovering at .500. If Howard comes back and stabilizes the lineup somewhat, they'll win at a higher rate. And I don't think Rollins, Polanco, Victorino and Pence will be as abysmal as they have been so far this year. I expect a slight downgrade as Polanco and Rollins get older, but not a complete fall-off.

The division won't be a cakewalk as it has been in previous years, but I wouldn't completely write the Phils off. At least not yet.

WP: Believe it or not, I've always kinda liked Cody Ross -- even before he was signed by the Giants and became a one-man wrecking crew in the 2010 NLCS. And, coincidentally enough, I used to own a Jellybean Bryant Sixers jersey. Unfortunately, I left it in San Diego, when I was visiting last Saturday . . .

I don't know that anyone thinks that it's necessarily "myth," so much as it's an already aging team, built on pitching, that has had to figure out how to manage without its two best offensive performers. Pretty clear cut.

That said, the ability to manage without Howard/Utley could certainly be described as "horrendous" at times. Fair enough.

BAP, I always figured that you'd be one of the dudes from BL who I'd actually enjoy hanging out with.

Sorry to hear that that, too, was a "myth."

I love Stark normally, but this column irked me and is indicative of his general lack of quality lately. Each "myth" or "fact" was hedged, big time, with a "if it stays this way" or "probably." Basically it's 1000 words that says, "these teams might be good or might be bad." Whatever.

BTW, shout out to Hugh, or whomever it was, that recommended the Green Flash IPA. I grabbed one on the recommendation and was not let down.

Proving, yet again, I spend way too much time on this site.

past: "The team has not scored"
= fact

present: "The team does not score. At all."
= debatable after the last three games.

"The team will score more than it has so far (before RH/CU return)"
= my opinion

The lack of walks and few pitches per AB frustrate me less than "swinging at pitches outside the strike zone (33.6 percent)."

I can deal with short AB's if they're up there swinging at good pitches early in the count. They're not. Which is baffling, since swinging early in the count is an approach designed specifically when you're opposing pitchers who like to get ahead with strikes (i.e. pitches that are actually in the strike zone).

If Rollins, Polanco, Pence, Ruiz and Victorino hit like they should, the offense will be mediocre but tolerable.

We basically saw everything that could go wrong go wron in the first 3 weeks and are still barely under .500.

So according to that piece the Nationals are "reality," for now. So that means they're a myth overall, right? I mean, if they're not clear-cut reality, they must be something else. So in reality, they're still a myth.

Seriously though, the Nationals aren't that good. This division will be a lot like last year's AL Central.

WP: Good news. I do not own a Jellybean Bryant jersey & never have.

"Horrendous" sounds like a rather generous assessment of this offense. At any rate, I believe the Phillies are what their record says they are. Another October appearance is not yet out of the question, but the club needs (a) both Howard & Utley to return & be productive, (b) Cliff Lee to return & be productive & (c) to keep everyone else injury free -- & I don't like those odds. Overall, I consider the window to be closed. There might be enough talent left to earn a ticket to the dance, but the Phillies are & will remain too old & broken down to bust a move once they get there.


If Rollins, Polanco, Pence, Ruiz and Victorino hit like they should, the offense will be mediocre but tolerable.

We basically saw everything that could go wrong go wron in the first 3 weeks and are still barely under .500.

Posted by: NEPP | Friday, April 27, 2012 at 03:11 PM

Of course, we were also facing the Pirates, Padres, Mets, Giants and Marlins. Not exactly a group of teams that a contender should feel content going 9-10 against.

Any recent news on Cliff Lee?

It may sound stupid, but I still think Mayberry should be playing.

I talked more crap on Mayberry each and every offseason, including this one, than most people - but you can't just give up on him after a tough few weeks.

Platoon him at LF and 1B with Nix and Wiggington, and spot start Pierre.

lore: We're facing a LHP pitcher tonight. I suspect we'll see Mayberry.

Agreed RE: Mayberry. As bad as John has been it doesn't feel right that he's only 9th on the team in PAs. The Phillies are starved for XBH, & we saw last season what Mayberry is capable of when he gets hot. Another streak like that could carry this team for a little while, & possibly prove key in the long run.

Shalom, y'all.

"and spot start Pierre."

If by 'spot start' you mean 'give him 500 ABs,' I think you'll get your wish.

Phils -240, even -260 at some places, now thats what I'm talking about. Lets get that W.

lore, I figured we won't see any value in this series, but that's STEEP!

Honestly i think the best thing mayberry could do is go up there and just watch some pitches. his real issue is he's getting jumpy and just swinging to early. I think charlie just needs to tell him, no matter what you see, don't swing before the 3rd pitch. Try that out a few times, and just let him get comfortable again.

'Horrendous' is apt to describe the lineup especially when Pence is out. When he is out, I would argue this is the worst lineup in MLB.

Pitching has been very good but it isn't good enough right now to compensate for the offensive especially with Lee being out.

It's basically a .500 team that treads water, wait for Howard/Utley to return, and hopefully have a better idea at the deadline on whether they should make a move or not.

Hey, as long as we have Galvis in the lineup, the offense should keep on producing at a high level.

/Phlipper

We're facing a LHP pitcher tonight. I suspect we'll see Mayberry.

Or not ...

Pierre (LF), Polanco (3B), Rollins (SS), Pence (RF), Victorino (CF), Wigginton (1B), Ruiz (C), Galvis (2B), Halladay (P).

Lineup tonight: Pierre, Polly, Rollins, Pence, Vic, Wiggy, Ruiz, Galvis, Doc

Fata: I'm not saying 9-10 is satisfactory, but listing their opponents (and skipping Arizona) is a bit misleading. For me, the biggest point of the schedule is they've had 6 home games and 13 road games, including a 10 game in 10 day west coast swing.

The schedule really hasn't been that easy. They should have done better, yes, but it wasn't a cakewalk

Hope the "day off" did Jimmy some good...

Time to face facts: Pierre will be in there leading off until he gets hurt or stops hitting singles.

I'm really surprised Mayberry is getting benched already.

Cholly blathering today at the midday show on WIP while I was doing mindless comps that guys need ABs especially Thome because he needs to get his timing down.

Main reason Thome has struggled as a PH because it is a role he is not used to & needs more ABs. Just tough to get him ABs since he can only play 1B a bit. Okay buy that even if Thome has look utterly woeful in those ABs. 19 PAs isn't nearly enough to say a guy is done although he has been awful as a PH and Cholly's comments today didn't instill much confidence that it is a role he will succeed in going ahead forward.

Also said he thinks Mayberry isn't seeing the ball but that he is going to get going soon or whatever that meant. So why does he then bury Mayberry vs. LHP?

Lineup struggles to score runs and the manager places his #2 (Vic) and #3 (Chooch) best hitters right now in the 5 and 7 holes.

Ugh. I wish Cholly would actually 'use his gut' a bit more instead of being a slave to baseball orthodoxy with this lineup (Polanco is a professional hitter who makes contact & must hit #2; Chooch is a catcher and must hit low in the order because he is slow).

"Also said he thinks Mayberry isn't seeing the ball but that he is going to get going soon or whatever that meant. So why does he then bury Mayberry vs. LHP?"

Um, because what was he supposed to say? "Well, actually guys, Mayberry is just horrible right now and he's clearly regressing back to the guy who couldn't crack AAA pitching for 4 seasons, so for right now we're going to bury him on the bench until Dom Brown starts playing well enough to justify sending Mayberry back to the minors where he'll toil in obscurity for the next few seasons, before becoming the guy you always forget about when answering trivia questions about father-son MLB players."

Maybe he was just being diplomatic on the radio, and that what he said in an interview wasn't going to dictate how he made up his lineup.

Mayberry finally had a good night at the plate in his last start against Arizona (2 hits and another very well hit out) and he has had one AB since then (and doesn't start against Maholm tonight)?

With 3 righties going the rest of the series against the Cubs, we may only see RFD as a late inning defensive replacement or pinch-hitter this weekend.

I guess he has taken over Nix's non-role from the first 2 weeks of the season.

Yeah Phatti, I left out the Mets as well.

You may say the schedule hasn't been that easy yet, but I think it has been, and looking at their whole schedule, looks to be one of the easier parts of their schedule. It would have been really nice to take advantage of that, but now they'll have to make it up against tougher competition, well once the Cubbies leave town.

Also, I don't think homefield advantage conveys as much of an advantage as many do, at least not in baseball.

Jack: per last thread, Mayberry is out of options.

I will agree with the bellyachers that are criticizing Charlie for not playing Mayberry more.

It is hard to understand. The team really needs production from Mayberry. It's certainly questionable that he can match his production of last year - but he doesn't have a shot of getting even close if he doesn't get regular playing time to work out of his slump.

Charlie's usually a big advocate of that approach. I get that he has his reasons - but the inconsistency is frustrating.

MG, Why in the hell would Cholly state that he needs to get Thome more AB's, yet in the single game where it made the most sense to start Thome at 1B, off of a pitcher he's had previous success against and when Thome was ASKING FOR THE START, did Cholly opt to go with Nix, instead (Wednesday)?? Thome didn't even get an AB.

Fatal: disagree. I think baseball homefield advantage is more in most sports.

There is the tangible advantage of hitting last and playing on a field with unregulated dimensions and angles.

Jack - This team desperately needs power where it can get it and if Mayberry isn't going to start vs. LHP (only one this series) then when is he going to play.

Basically comes down to that Pierre is basically the starter now in LF and the leaoff man for the foreseeable future as long as his AVG I bet say above .300.

Rather see Mayberry in LF tonight and Wigginton at 1B. Really dislike the current Pierre/Polanco/JRoll order 1-2-3. Just a poor lineup even given some of the limitations of his roster. Zero power and limited OBP.

Williard - My guess is that Cholly was basically just making an excuse for Thome, respects him a lot from his days in Cleveland, and doesn't want to give any indication that he thinks Thome might be done.

As soon as he said that, I was kind of wondering about that too.

Lineup I would have liked to see tonight:

JRoll
Chooch
Vic
Pence
Wigginton
Mayberry
Polanco
Galvis

Pierre's hitting so he is the starter in LF and the leadoff guy.

MG, crazy or not, I actually can somewhat appreciate the line of thinking. What's wrong with getting him a few starts (especially when he's asking for them), to see if he really is washed up or not? Just blows my mind that Cholly had a spot served up on a silver platter, Thome asking for it, and Cholly went another direction, only to later state that he needs AB's. Aggravating.

"Lineup I would have liked to see tonight."

I wonder if any other blog uses these 8 words more frequently.

lorecore, according to this study at least, baseball has one of the weakest homefield advantages in all sports, not just the 4 major ones:

http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/~jamieson/JJ_JASP.pdf

I haven't read the whole thing, but it looks like a pretty damn rigorous study.

So, as JW confirmed, Mayberry is out of options and would have to clear waivers (unlikely) to be sent to AAA.

That said, does he have any trade value with the dearth of corner OF's in baseball?

"So why does he then bury Mayberry vs. LHP?"

When you've got a guy like Pierre that is straight ripping the ball all over the park, you have to keep him in the lineup.

In all seriousness though, if you're going to start Pierre, it should be against LHP. So whatever.

huh, i'll take that article's word i guess - i didnt even click the link, but it automatically put more thought into it than i did just by having a link active.

If they continue the ugly trends of few walks, few pitches per Ab, and swinging at balls, somebody's head should roll. The hitters must be ordered to show more patience. Too many lousy ABs should result in fines and/or benchings.

15 games in a row with 10 of them on the west coast/Arizona is a difficult schedule, regardless of who they play.

Willard - It doesn't make any sense or at least is very inconsistent. Cholly isn't a guy you want managing a team that needs to squeeze every advantage they can get strategically to be better positioned to succeed.

Pierre (and Wiggington) is hitting significantly better than Mayberry. Mayberry give you a power option on the bench and is a late inning defensive replacement.

Iceman - I can understand that. Why not start Mayberry at 1B tonight then?

I don't mind at all that Cholly has basically benched Mayberry. Just makes sense though to have hit vs. LHP especially a finesse guy like Maholm.

Scouting reports on Mayberry is that he likes the ball down in the zone. Struggles against high heat. Crushes curves, can't hit a changeup.

Maholm is a good matchup for Mayberry tonight.

MG: I don't disagree that Mayberry should start tonight against a lefty.

What I was making fun of was the idea that Charlie's answers in a radio interview should dictate his actions later.

polly: no one is saying pierre/etc. aren't outperforming AAAAberry so far - the argument is that Mayberry's potential is higher than those types and should be given a chance to show if he can achieve.

We're talking about sacrificing some games right now when he struggles in return for a much bigger advantage in the future. the risk that it seems Charlie(and you) aren't willing to take is that you sacrifice games now without RFD ever maknig it worth while.

Its a risk i'd be willing to take.

So, due to the reverse splits, you have to start Pierre against LHP. Yet, because he hits left handed, Cholly likes Pierre against RHP...

A perfect formula for a complete and total meltdown until we start to see Mayberry getting any regular AB's. Sounds like he'll have to make due with "defensive caddy" for the short term.

MG- I am with you. You need to know what you have with Mayberry, and though I'm not as vocal about it I'm in the BAP 'We Loathe Juan Pierre' fan club. This team just doesn't have enough power to willingly roll out a pop-gun singles hitter every night at a run-producing position when you've got a guy on the bench that can legitimately hit for power (and is a much better defender, at that. And baserunner).

"Its a risk i'd be willing to take."

And if not against the Cubs and a LH pitcher, WHEN???

Iceman, that's about the most succinct way I've seen that put. Amen.

I remember in December (or some winter month) Jack declared Laynce Nix the Opening Day starter in LF. I laughed at him. At this point, I wish he was right.

Iceman: I probably said it in a "man, look how bad it's gotten--Laynce Nix is going to start for us" context.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that Juan Pierre would become our everyday LF. It's one of those things that is so shocking and stunning that it's hard to talk about. Like trying to comprehend the size of the universe. It's just impossible for our minds to accurately contextualize.

'Defensive Caddy' sounds like a product brand name for several potential types of products geared toward seniors.

Problem with this lineup is the pitiful power production first and foremost. If you get a guy who can give you a little bit more power in the lineup, I take it.

Already have a bunch of singles hitters sprinkled up and down this lineup including JRoll, Polanco, and Galvis.

Nats really have gotten out a good start but their offense isn't exactly a power hose. I thought it would even worse with Morse out yet LaRoche actually decided to hit this April instead of awakening from his usual 1st half offensive slumber sometime in late June/July.

There starting pitching is good but their bullpen is what has surprised me in the early going with how good it has been especially Rodriquez. Do though for some serious reversion to the mean as their BABIP and LOB are both lower than the league average.

BTW, shout out to Hugh, or whomever it was, that recommended the Green Flash IPA. I grabbed one on the recommendation and was not let down.

Proving, yet again, I spend way too much time on this site.

Posted by: Willard Preacher

DUDE! Green Flash is great, but there are better if you like IPAs. Here are some of my favs since we're talking IPA/DIPA (I excluded seasonal IPA/DIPAs):

Ithaca - Flower Power IPA
Russian River - Pliny the Elder
Lagunitas - Hop Stoopid, Maximus, IPA
Southern Tier - 2XIPA
Three Floyds - Dreadnaught and Arctic Panzer Wolf

Beware, I like beers with in your face hops.

30rock - try the Green Flash Palate Wrecker, if you haven't.

MG - I love your typos: "offense isn't exactly a power hose"

that's what she said.

Nice post Bert. Burrell and Werth knew how to work counts, they probably encouraged or at least reminded everyone to do the same. Not sure of anyone on '12 Phils who could reinforce that type of quality ABs, without being a hypocrite.

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