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Sunday, April 29, 2012


Feels like a loss.

"Dennyb: is there one minor leaguer who has more than a week long hot streak that you wouldn't bring up?"

Overbeck has had over 300 AB's at AAA. I'd say hitting .285 over that stretch is a little more then a "hot streak".

I have no idea who should be brought up. But Thome needs to go. And I predict he retires by the time we get back to Philly in a week. So somebody is going to have to take that spot. Whether its Overbeck or Brown or Kratz or Luna or Fontenot or Paul Bako or Pete LaForest.

I think that's why you have a minor league system to begin with. They aren't playing at AAA for the hell of it.

Love the Chooch. He is one of those players that transcends even the typical fan. While the Burrells, Utleys, Werths seem to make the ladies swoon. I've seen a lot of Chooch fans among my friends girlfriends/wives etc. Is it because he's been there so long and that's who they know? or is it because of the qualities you posted?

Also... "without detractors"??? I can name a few posters here, who would be Chooch's biggest detractors. :)

From Ryan Lawrence:

#Phillies lineup: Rollins, Pierre, Pence, Wiggy (3B), Victorino, Nix (1B), Schneider, Galvis, Kendrick.

Well said. And even more well-written. Great job, as always, JW.

It's time to replace Greg Gross with Jim Thome to free up a roster spot. He is going to spend most of his time sitting on the bench so why not take advantage of his hitting expertise and free up a spot. I'd like to see them find a decent right handed hitting catcher to back up Chooch.
Brian Schneider has worked well with Worley. Maybe he'd be valuable as a minor league pitching coach.

When's Tuffy Gosewisch get a crack at the bigs?

He's no Cody Overbeck, but Chooch is pretty awesome. Definitely right among my top few favorite players from the Phils' recent run of success, & (I believe) deserving of the title of Best Catcher in franchise history.

Based on my prior post:

clout -- ...another 3 good seasons...? Interesting.

As evidenced by in-game action yesterday, Jim Thome's back won't even let his run the bases. His attempted slide appeared to be similar to what you'd expect from the "Tin Man".

Posted by: cut_fastball | Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 10:25 AM

I'm looking towards either a general discharge or perhaps even graduation from the Moronocracy. I'm too mainstream; I don't have the juice; the Savior faire to contribute to furtherance of the goals and obligations of that very special group of individuals.

I can't believe anyone can remain worked up over Thome when Kyle friggin' Kendrick is scheduled to start today's game. That's akin to spazzing out over the nickel you dropped last week when your entire portfolio is wrapped up in DeLorean & New Coke.

Much agreed on Ruiz though. I'm even in favor of slapping his jersey with a "C", Jason Varitek style.

Wigginton and Nix playing on the corners is why K/9 is important.

Thome finds me with the rather unfortunate opinion that ex-Phillies should stay ex-Phillies. No matter how much they were beloved. I'm not completely writing off Thome yet but I'd prefer to remember the guy for hitting his 400th home run with Harry Kalas calling it, than the guy who can't hit a beach ball while T-Mac and Wheels are goofing off with their trivia buzzer. When Howard comes back, there will be no room for Thome on this team. I'd just prefer we never came to this moment with a future Hall of Famer.

The throw by Harper was very good but he was about 30 feet behind shortstop. Any major leaguer should be able to execute that, though the ball did get there in a hurry. What impressed me most in that video was his apparent speed. For an ex-catcher he looks like he can really run. He looks like a 6 tool player. All the usual tools plus he is a tool.

Agreed. I was telling someone several weeks ago that Chooch, the guy from Panama, was the most "Philly"-type guy we have right now. Nobody does more with less, and he gives himself up every night. Wish he was rewarded better financially, but that's between r00b and his agent.

Love what Chooch brings to this team, but the Dawkins comp is bit of a stretch since you are talking about a HOF safety.

Once again Charlie shows us that he either doesn't understand the players on his team, or doesn't care to.

There are days that you start Wigginton at 3B, like when Worley is pitching, a guy who can strike out 6-9 batters over 7 innings, and doesn't induce a lot of ground balls. Or how when Lee is pitching, who can also strike out a bunch of batters, and isn't very reliant on the ground ball. You DON'T start Wiggy at 3B when Doc or Hamels are pitching, because they induce a lot of ground balls.

And you absolutely, positively, definitely DO NOT start Wiggy at 3B when KK is pitching, a pitcher who, by virtue of his inability strike people out, needs all the defensive virtuosity he can get.

With Pierre in LF, might as well have put Orr at 2nd base, and completely mailed in the game. Just because it's a Sunday doesn't mean we need to put out a garbage defensive alignment. Ugh.

Phils are basically dead even, -107, with Kendrick on the mound.

Rollins and Victorino are a combined 4-26 with all singles and 2 walks vs Garza while no one outside of Ian Stewart in the Cubs lineup has had more than an at bat off of Kendrick.

"He looks like a 6 tool player. All the usual tools plus he is a tool."

donc, excellent.

I think you just coined the phrase that will be on many signs the first time Harper shows up at the 'Zen:


JW, nice writeup on Chooch.

Fatti, I understand your consternation with starting Nixington and Pierre with KK on the hill.

Perhaps Charlie has seen who the opposing starting pitcher is and is mailing it in for that reason - that is, he doesn't expect a lot of Phils' runs anyway? :)

GArza vs. current Phillies:

.220/.297/.341, 3 HR, 8 RBI, 18 K, 102 PA

The way this season's been going, KK pitches a 2-hit shutout and the Phillies win 8-0 in a laugher. Charlie still agonizes about Pabelbon in the 9th; for some reason, he does not make the call.

"Just because it's a Sunday doesn't mean we need to put out a garbage defensive alignment."

One of my long-held pet peeves about our manager is his fixation with arbitrary rules that govern important lineup decisions. It's Sunday so we must start the scrubs. Worley's pitching so we must start Schneider. Ruiz is the catcher so he must bat near the bottom of the order. And so on.

Oh, and Pop-Gun is 1 for 7 vs. Garza, Vic is 1 for 12, Wiggy is 4 for 19, Jimmy is 3 for 14, and Polly is 2 for 14.

Positive: Chooch is 3 for 9, Pence is 4 for 10, and Thome is 2 for 7 with 5 walks.


bap: its not a Sunday lineup, its a day game after a nite game lineup.

the same thing happens on your Thursday business person special. Its a 162 game season and as we've all heard on this blog before... they're older than most teams.

Its not an arbitrary rule.

and having a high obp guy at the 8th spot helps turn the lineup over doesn't it? so having chooch there has value.

lorecore, Worley is pitching tomorrow against Volstad.

Perfect game to start Wiggy at 3B, Nix at 1B and Pierre in LF

Worley is not a ground ball pitcher, and Volstad is a guy that the Phillies should be able to put a few runs up against.

This is a bad game for this defensive alignment. It is possible to give guys rest optimally. Once again, we are clued in on Manuel's weaknesses as a manager. Also it's April, and the team just had an off day on Thursday. And these guys aren't playing football. They sit in a dugout or stand around doing nothing for 2/3rds of the game as it is.

Starting scrubs on Sunday has been going on for decades. Don't pretend Charlie invented it.
Sunday was Todd Pratt Day in Philadelphia for years. Scott Rolen had off on Scott Rolen T-shirt day because it was a Sunday under Tito Francona. Everyone knows this.

Ah yes, the "everybody does it, so it must be right" argument. Well done, gobaystars!

I'm not happy with statues of Nix and Wigginton at the corners either(ever), but I'm telling you why its being done today:

Day game after a night game.

That supercedes some of the matchup shuffling you may want to see. might be a stupid 'old' baseball rule, but I'm sure theres a reason why injury riddled men like Polanco and everyday catchers like Ruiz are more often than not given breathers on games with quick turnaround times.

Its not a "Sunday" rule, just so happens that sunday is the most common occurance of early start time. Go surf some box scores of Thursday afternoon games and you'll see the same thing.

lorecore, starting Mayberry in LF would be fine, no, since he's a lot younger than Pierre AND a better defender.

And I'm fine with giving Chooch the day off. But Polly won't die if he played today, and than got tomorrow night off. If Manuel didn't have a long history of using Sunday to start scrubs, I might think that there was something to it, but it really probably just as simple as Sunday=scrubs.

And putting the team in a poor position to win a game with a pitcher on the mound who is most dependent on a good defense.

Cubs announcers are explaining BABIP and regression to the mean.

I'm not saying it is correct because everybody does it. I'm saying that claiming it is a Charlie thing is incorrect. 1:30 starts after 7pm starts equals more bench players in the lineup. This is a fact and has been across baseball for ages. Either Charlie is runnign the vets into the ground or he's giving them too many days off. Is he the best manager? No. But come on, some of the stuff people complain about is absurd.

I didn't think the concept of resting starters in an afternoon game following a night game was hard to grasp, but apparently it's pretty difficult for BAP and others.

gobay, if you're not going to respond to my actual argument, then don't bother responding. Never once did I say that he's giving the vets "off too much". Today is not the day, with KK on the mound, who is in desperate need of good defense, to start Wiggy at 3B in favor or Polanco, to start Nix at 1b, a position to which he is not used, and to start Pierre in LF when there are two options on the team who are much better LF.

Anyways, I've said my piece.

I love you Juan Pierre.

Ugh. Pierre CS, again. Wasn't even close.

Ok with KK on the mound the Phillies desperately need offense. Starting Nix and Wiggy provide that. Combine that with the fact that it is a day game after a night game and there you go. But in your world this lineup was drawn up because Charlie has a rule about starting scrubs on Sunday and puts no thought into the lineup.

Pierre is an idiot on the bases. He had an excellent AB that didn't result in a hit but showed skills and smarts then he does that on the bases. It is insane.

"his instincts were perfect on that play" -- muffins on pierre's cs.

gobay, Nix in LF, Wiggy at 1B, Polly at 3rd.

Polly and Pierre are basically the same offensive player.

Defense is better. Offense is the same.

Problem solved.

Pence is worse than Dom Brown. I'm not being funny. I believe this.

Error on Pence? Boy that was ugly.

michael taylor would have caught that ball.

I don't remember Pence being this viciously bad in RF. This is getting to be a bothersome trend.

Out of the trades for Lee, Halladay, Oswalt and Pence, the Pence trade is going to hurt the most. Big time overspend.

Peirre and Polanco are not the same offensive player. 333/354/365 vs 239/292/269. I know people don't liek Pierre and with reason but he is a much better hitter than Polanco right now.
There's logic behind starting a defense first lineup and a more offensive one. And it being a day game plays a role too.

Big K for Kendrick.

Polly 2009-2011 OPS+: 90
Polly 2010-2011 OPS+: 90
Polly 2011 OPS+: 85

Pierre 2009-2011 OPS+: 85
Pierre 2010-2011 OPS+: 79
Pierre 2011 OPS+: 80

So actually, Polly is the better offensive player.

Pierre gets thrown out on the bases all the time, too. Both are no power, singles hitters. Even if there is some marginal upgrade to having Pierre in the lineup over Polly (there likely isn't), it's not as great as the advantage the superior defensive alignment offers.

Watch a game this year and tell me what Polanco did in 2009 has to do with anything. Polanco is a singles hitter who can't hit singles anymore. Pierre can still do that. He is a disaster on the bases. Calling it a push is the best Polanco can hope for in this debate.
But really my point is, there are reasons for sending out either lineup. Neither one is the obvious choice.

For a game with a lot of kids at it, the crowd seems unusually quiet through the TV speakers.

kids can't yell loudly.

I think they believed Pence was the one young but potent piece that would get them over the edge. His price was not nuts. Looking at who is on the horizon in the organization, can you blame them? He was never known for a gold glove.

Ugly defensive game. Error by Nix.

gobay, that's why I gave you all the breakdowns. Pierre has been notably worse than Polly over the last 2 years, including LAST year, where Polly was garbage offensively. That's how poor of an offensive player Pierre has been for two years. But since he's had a 18 game stretch this season where he's hit a lot of singles, that negates 3 year's, 2 year's and last year's data.

I do wonder if Wigginton, who's logged many more innings at 1B in his career, would have handled that ball from KK a little better.

These TV broadcasts are awful. My god! Wheels, Tmac and Murphy are the most boring, dopey people on TV. It's like three lame suburban dads. Brutal.

Also, punch him out blue! You know you want to.

Great throw by Pence. Unfortunately, a great slide by Campana (on first view anyways).

Good point, bullit.

Of course, this game isn't exactly a thrill a minute, either.

It's sort of amazing to me that people consider baserunning to be an asset of Pierre.

It's not--it is a liability. He would be a better offensive player if he didn't try to steal bases.

Strikem out Kyle.

And that play by Nix is argument for the better defense.
If we are trying to predict what Polanco and Pierre will do over a full season and beyond then those numbers are more useful. If we are looking at who should play today, go with the hotter bat and the guy who looks like he can still play. The players are real people who are aging. As players approach the end of their careers looking at the numbers they put up when they were younger becomes less and less useful. If they were both 30 then looking at what they did over the last 3 years is more useful.

nobody cares about your effing cake, losers.

"Barajas" Schneider?

Also, for those of you concerned about K/9, KK's K/9 today is 9.0.


I love this blog: small sample sizes only matter when they matter. :)

The only thing keeing Galvis from being a quality major leaguer is strike zone judgement. If he could stop chasing that crap, he'd be a much better hitter.

Garza's on fire. Going to be a tough one.

Polly's last 3 games: .455/.538/.545 (1.084), 0 CS

Pierre's last 3 games: .385/.385/.385 (.769), 1 CS

On the Hotness Factor (HF), Polly's got it all over Pierre right now.

awh, I got yours, actually.

I'm also being an @sshole today. Sorry. Just killing time until the Flyers game starts.

I actually think Kendrick is throwing too hard.

He has topped out today at 93 MPH. Been hitting 91 and 92 MPH regularly on the WGN gun. (Last night, Papelbon was only hitting 93 or 94 MPH on the same gun).

I think his ball is flattening out, as he throws harder. And KK can't survive very long, up in the zone with a fairly straight fastball.

Also where has his cutter gone? It looked like a good pitch in the spring. Maybe he left it in Clearwater?


Whatever the opposite of a "pleasant surprise" is, that's what Kyle Kendrick has been so far this season.

Just popping in, only half paying attention to the game, because I'm absorbed in trying to do something else that may actually be just as frustrating as Phillies baseball currently has been.

Just to vent: I'm not terribly fond of KK.

And this no-offense thing is the opposite of fun.

After he gets taken out of the game next inning, it's time to cut ties with KK. I don't know why the FO has hung in there so long with him. Yes, he has a good career W-L record, but he is just plain ordinary at best. The team can do better with almost anyone else as its fifth/sixth starter.

KK just struck out the side. They say crazier things have happened, but it's hard to believe right now.

KK's K/9 today is now up to 10.8.

Everyone knew they weren't hitting Garza, and KK is KK. This was the one loss in the series. Unfortunately, they lost a game that was basically gift-wrapped before they took the field Friday.

Luckily there is a fourth game tomorrow, or we'd have lost a series at home to the worst team in the league.

mainerob, have you seen what passes for 5/6 starters in MLB?

KK's the #4 on some teams in MLB. Really.

If Matt Garza was even halfway on his game today, there was very little chance this lineup was going to do anything against him. Not surprised by the offensive impotence thus far.

Does the Ticket Oak take refunds for Phillies tickets?

Fatti, agree. Garza is a very good MLB pitcher.

This is offense is comical.

If you're complaining about Kendrick today, I have to assume you're not watching the game.

Quality Start!

Mayberry had a much better strikeout AB than Galvis.

Wheels, enough about the Phanatic.

Only 2 of the runs KK surrendered were earned.

He threw one bad pitch today on the HR, and Nix made a costly error.

Funny, people here mentioned the defensive liability in the lineup before the game.

It's a shame that this particular lineup features such weak corner defense.

One positive: Nice inning by Contreras.

Unfortunately awh, it doesn't matter how good your defense/pitching is if your offense doesn't score runs.

A fact that're becoming too intimately acquainted with this year.

We are one Randy Wells loss-of-strikezone inning away from literally doing NOTHING in this series offensively.


Against the Cubs awful pitching staff.

Kendrick would have to had to throw a perfect game today to be better then Garza. And even then he wouldn't win the game.

Mayberry didn't swing at that 3rd strike.

Why you'd use him in that spot makes no sense anyway. Of course the way they've used Mayberry all year has made no sense.

Overbeck with a HR. Brown with a single and an error (fielding).

Pierre will need to steal 3 bases. Go Juan.

Pretty sad after Pierre's walk: "The kind of crack in the door the Phillies need"

"Of course the way they've used Mayberry all year has made no sense."

Tru dat.

Garza is a good pitcher, but he's a number 2, not an ace. Obviously he's capable of doing this against any lineup in the league (as is evidenced by how he did it to the Red Sox in game 7 of the ALCS the year we played them in the WS).

Still, that being said, there was no doubt in my mind that he would neuter this lineup if he wasn't completely having an off day. Our lineup is terrible, no matter the configuration. Certain configurations might be slightly less terrible, but terrible nonetheless.

Herndon & Schneider can't even successfully execute a pitch-out. Not a great throw for a pitch-out, Herndon.

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