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Friday, May 18, 2012


Great write up Weitzel. Carlos Ruiz has been a monster. But I disagree with you that Josh Hamilton and Matt Kemp exist only to hit. They are both center fielders, which is, as you know, a premium defensive position, and they are both considered to be at least above average defensively, if not elite defensively.

Not saying that's more important than Chooch behind the plate, just that they bring more value than simply their offense. That's why I love them as players so much.

All in all, a solid win for the Phils. I'm not even that worried about what Diekman did. He was a AAA pitcher before the night began, and he still is. And AAA pitchers will do what he did last night every once in a while. Papelbon came in and put out the fire, and didn't have to extend himself too much to do so.

Let's just hope that Hamels takes care of business all by himself tonight. CGSO would look nice.


The Rangers have been looking to move Hamilton from center field for a long time and think it is best for him to stay healthy in the long run. The problem is none of the guys they keep trying to give the keys too can keep the car running. And really- Hamilton has played left as much as he has center.

Dubee Calling! Phoney Diekmania has bitten the dust! Dubee Calling!

Diekam = non-issue

Otherwise known as Diekman.

TTI, I didn't know they were trying to move him out of CF. I know they move him around.

Still, he's played 2600 innings in CF in his career, 1600 in LF, and 580 in RF. He's played 170 inning in CF this year to just 129 in LF. Unlike guys like Ortiz and Konerko, who bring no defensive value, or Votto and Wright, or bring marginal defensive value, I think Hamilton and Kemp are both 5-tool players, and bring value in almost every facet of the game.

All that said, CHOOCH!!

All hail Lord Chooch.

Chooch and Thompson aside, what is the Phils record with Hector Luna on the roster?

It's Lunacy!

Fatalotti: Yeah the Rangers think it will help keep him healthier and thus extend his career a little. Not a bad idea since he only plays about 120-130 games a year

Posted this on the game thread but I'll put it here. Pretty sure phillyphan = pauli from the board.

For those who know him he's just an annoyance that needs to be ignored for him to go away.

TTI, it's a good idea. He can still bring defensive value in LF, and you do what you have to do to keep that bat in the lineup.

I mean, he only has a 233 OPS+....ho hum

Phillies are now hitting .006 points higher with RISP than overall - so their offensive performance does not see to be much affected by some anomalous result with RISP (although the difference in OPS with RISP is significantly greater).

So after @25% of the season, we have a team that is pretty much dead center offensively, compared to the rest of the league.

Now when less than 10% of the season had passed, I was told that based on a sophisticated analysis of past performance, the Debbie Downers and Negative Nancies had proven that this offense was among the worst in the league.

It really is interesting the was some people can invalidly use statistics to confirm their biases.

Phlipper's schtick gets a bit old, but he is right.

***what is the Phils record with Hector Luna on the roster?***

2012 Record:
Without Hector Luna: 14-18 (.437%)
With Hector Luna: 6-1 (.857%)

just for fun @bunting_pierre on twitter is great. It'll get old in 2 days but i love it right now.

Since it is the Rays, I foresee The Rookie 2: The Rich Thompson Story in theaters in a few summers.

Hello Mr. Thompson

They werent as bad as they looked when they were struggling and they're probably not really this good without Utley/Howard, but this is still a playoff team that will probably be in a dogfight for the division title well into September. I would guess somewhere around 90 wins or so if Utley and Howard come back around mid-season and do at least a decent approximation of their typical performance the last couple seasons.
It will be an interesting dilemma with Galvis if Utley comes back soon and JRoll continues to struggle...I definitely think Freddy needs to stay around to back up 2B and SS no matter what, but Rollins needs to turn things around...he's painful to watch at the plate nowadays.

Phlipper, on May 1st, the Phils were 12th in the league in runs scored, and were a great cause of concern. That was 23 games in, and you were clamoring that people were calling the offense bad based on said 23 games sample (which they weren't).

Now, 16 games later (aka, a small sample), you're clucking about how you were right all along. I can take the nonsteap egging on of everyone, but the hypcorsiy just doesn't look good on you.

I hope Blanton keeps pitching well and we can flip him for a couple quality bullpen arms. Its not very fun in the middle innings anymore without the Bridge to Lidge. Now its the Crap to Pap

I still believe in Contreras, rough start, but he'll be back.

A catcher hitting like Chooch is far more valuable to the everyday lineup than any position player listed with the possible exception of Kemp. Hamilton is a part-time CF. Unfortunately a catcher can only play in about 80% of games, or in Chooch's case, 100% of games but 20% of them as a defensive replacement.

I am more willing to have Kratz on the roster just so that frees up Chooch to be used as a pinch hitter on his off days.

polly, I'm as exctied as anyone about Ruiz's explosion as anyone, but Hamilton and his 233 OPS+ could sell popcorn in the stands and still be more valuable than Ruiz.

"I am more willing to have Kratz on the roster just so that frees up Chooch to be used as a pinch hitter***and defensive replacement in the 7th inning*** on his off days.

Hey I love Chooch as much as any one does. This team's offensive resurgence is being driven by Pierre's BA, the huge numbers being put up by Chooch and the very timely hitting of Galvis. - Three things that are very unlikely to continue at the current pace.

I agree with Fatalotti; in one post you managed to criticize everyone with one rationale, and then use the same crticized argument for your own personal gain.

The fact is Ruiz is due to have slumps and get back towards a more sustainable line (better than career, but not quite as crazy as the numbers right now), Pierre will not be hitting .343 all year, and Galvis will at some point, go long stretches without delivering. Sooner or later the lack of a 3 hitter, the inconsistency of the 4 hitter, the lack of a true 5 hitter (Again I love Chooch, but i'm not ready to make him a bonafide 5 hole hitter in this league) and a leadoff hitter with a .290 OBP will catch up again. That an the fact that they are not scheduled to face Lucas Harrell, Jordan Lyles, Jeff Suppan and Chris Volstad all year. The 5 gamer has come against San Diego, Chicago and Houston (arguably the 3 worst teams in the league).

That being said, they are beating teams they need to beat. Thats an improvement, I totally get that. But this team is going to have to do this against teams with talent and that remains to be seen. (And I fully expect to hear how they took 2 out of 3 from the Braves and should have won the Mets series, but lost it because of the bullpen. Last i checked, the quality of a team is the sum of all its parts, bullpen included).

Jride - To make 'regression' arguments against the Phillies offensive production is a joke. I would trade in Pierre's empty AVG and Galvis's "timely hits" for some career norms from Rollins/Polanco/Victorino/Pence/Mayberry in a heartbeat.

Lorecore, I'm not actually sure whether you're agreeing or disagreeing.

If what you are saying is that if I am arguing that some players (Chooch, Pierre, Galvis) will regress than I must accept that others (Rollins, Polanco, Victorino, Pence, Mayberry) will progress, than I agree and disagree with you.

Agreement - Victorino - I do not believe his numbers will be this bad by years end. However, to think that he is a suitable #3 hitter in this league is crazy.

Disagreement - Pence is actually slightly outperforming his slugging. The only thing really lacking is BA. Whether he is a clutch player remains to be seen.
As far as Rollins and Polanco, its ridiculous to think they will come back to their "career averages," and are more likely to progress slightly upward to some average of the last five years (assuming Polanco doesn't wear down physically...again). Finally, nobody on this board has any idea what "career" numbers are for John Mayberry Jr. So this could be the real JMJ. Or maybe not? Who knows.

lore - What are the career norms for Mayberry? Playing at AAA? How much time does he have at a major league level upon which to base them?

(Yes. Those are all rhetorical questions not requiring answers. My point is that I agree with you on all the others but that there is no career norm for Mayberry yet. It would, however, be pretty sweet if he hit like he did last year; but he never did that before then.)

jride - i completely agree that career norms are no way a guarantee for any players, especially the likes of older guys and short term career guys - i'm just pointing out that of all the things to curb enthusiasm over the Phils performance, regression to the mean is among the last I would use.

remember diekman is a closer ( was in AAA) SO he has to lose the need for a closers rush to be effective.. madson, pap, diekman all do better when in a save type of situation. his stuff is still good, he will have to learn to be pitch with the same intensity - save or non save situation

Andy: yeah, agreed. You could pick apart my list one by one and make decent cases against each individual - just bringing up the point that for every player performing better than expected, there are 2-3 other guys doing the exact opposite.

lorecore, excellent point.

The people here who expect "regression" from the Phillies offense because they say Pierre, Chooch and Galvis will all regress conveniently ignore the FACT that Rollins, Victorino, Pence and Mayberry are underperfoming their career averages - Rollins and Vic woefully so.

And add in that Nix, who's effective against RHP, is out(but will be back), and Wiggy has regressed to below even his 2009-2011 OPS, and you get a little different picture.

This will never be the offense of 2007, but did anyone really expect it to be?

Any reason we never considered Thompson as ML ready ( not judging after 1 gm in the majors), but he seemed to be fairly successful in the minors not be at least considered even for a Sept call up...

We have 'given' away some of these 'older' minor league-rs who were successful in the minors ( and -or majors) to other teams, when we had a need here as well. Grilli comes to mind, Thompson, and Pods...and a yankees pitche

Accoring to his gamelogs, tonight's Bosox starter, Bard, has been hit-or-miss in his starts this season.

His last start he went 6 IP with 1 ER.

I haven't read a couting report, but he's also walked a few so he seems to have had some command issues.

He's been limited to 101 pitches or less his last 4 starts, so maybe working the count tonight can pay off for Phils' hitters.

"conveniently ignore the FACT that Rollins, Victorino, Pence and Mayberry are underperfoming their career averages - Rollins and Vic woefully so."

Mayberry? I don't know the guy has had enough PAs to warrant that sort of accusation.

lest go eat - if you love rich thompson, then you should be ecstatic about Kyle Hudson.

Chooch's OPS looks pretty good - but he is trailing both Fontenot and Luna.

We have 'given' away some of these 'older' minor league-rs who were successful in the minors ( and -or majors) to other teams, when we had a need here as well. Grilli comes to mind, Thompson, and Pods...and a yankees pitche

Posted by: Let's Go Eat | Friday, May 18, 2012 at 10:14 AM

Correction: We have given away Grilli who likely could have been able to help the Phils pen. Podesednick is still in the minors, Brian Gordon pitched in 2 games last year for the Yankees.

"remember diekman is a closer ( was in AAA) SO he has to lose the need for a closers rush to be effective."

Please. First of all, the guy was pitching in his second career game. He didn't need to be closing to have a rush. Second, the "closer's rush" thing has no basis in fact; it's just something that lazy tv announcers say any time a closer gets hit hard in a non-closing situation. They used to say the same about Lidge, even though his Phillies numbers in non-save situations were better than his numbers in save situations. Now you hear it about Papelbon even though, again, his career numbers in non-save situations are better. Funnily enough, we heard the exact OPPOSITE thing about Madson when he was first asked to close & struggled: "He doesn't have the mental makeup to be a closer." Lo and behold, that turned out to be false too.

Phlipper's schtick is sorely needed on BL as basically the lone counterbalance to the overwhelming pessimistic tone of 90% of the commentariat. I don't have the energy to try much anymore.

Phlipper's tireless efforts towards tilting the balance back to realism are admirable, if you ask me, considering the backlash he knows he's going to get from a thousand voices when he says controversial things like, "The Phillies offense is average."

Phils' offense:

AVG - .263 (4th)
BABIP - .303 (5th)
% LD - 19.8% (12th)
GB/FB - 1.49 (12th)
OBP - .313 (t-9th)
% BB - 6.3% (15th)
HR - 31 (t-9th)
SLG - .389 (7th)
ISO - .125 (11th)
wOBA - .313 (7th)

Underlying limitations of the lineup are still there including a lap of ability to work walks and below average power.

What has perked up this month notably is the BABIP which is .321 and t-4th. It was .292 in April. Phils are hitting slightly more LD (20.5% in May vs. 19.3% in April) but they are still hitting a ton of GB/FB (1.49 in April vs. 1.47 in May). HR/FB is also notably up in May at 11.2% vs. 7.1% in April.
% BB has increased a bit to 7.0% from 5.7%. Likely much more sustainable going ahead forward.

What does all of this tell me objectively:

- Underlying limitations of the lineup are still there including a relative inability to work walks and below average power.

- What has notably perked up this month is BABIP and HR/FB. No reason though that BABIP has increased by nearly 30 pts though since the team is only hitting slightly more LD and still hitting a ton of ground balls.

BABIP Goddess is a cruel goddess who takes away as often as she gives. There is nothing really propelling the underlying notable in BABIP and subsequently AVG except random luck with more balls finding more holes for hits in May at a much higher clip.

- Increased AVG is what really has driven the performance the past month. Unlikely to last the rest of the month unless this team starts hitting more LD and less GB.

'Regression to the mean' does make sense and its BS that Pence hasn't hit this month. His
OPS is still .917 in May because he has 10 XBHs including 6 HRs.

Vic OPS is .759 this month. Really not that far off from his career mark of .778. Vic really hasn't been killing the offense this month contrary to claims likewise.

Two guys you could probably say still really haven't hit that much are JRoll and Mayberry. JRoll has a .613 OPS this month and he is capable of hitting more. Mayberry is at .706. Maybe he is capable of producing a bit more but not if faces his share of RHP who have dominated him this year.

awh: I think Scotty Pods was traded to the Red Sox last week.

He is still in the minors there I believe

Add Wigginton to that list too. He's been awful this month. He's at .462 OPS and doesn't have an XBH since April 24th.

Phils revealed he had that 'sore side' a week ago. Wonder how healthy he is because been horrible this month hitting a ton of grounders and striking out a ton (16 Ks in 46 PAs).

Couldn't read past the first five or so posts...Diekman. Is. a. Kid.

OK. He looked bad last night. Really bad. Didn't Doc look bad last month? Didn't Cole get bounced around this year? What's so surprising about a guy just elevated from trip A getting roughed up? Like that cliche I seem to be hearing over and over again this year alone; "that's baseball."

Can we stop with the knee jerk analysis? I mean, with some of the summations of Diekman's prospectus as a major leaguer on this site, you'd think these posters just tuned into their first baseball game this week.

Chooch slash line for the month:

.429/.482/.755 (1.237 OPS) with 4 HRs and 17 RBIs in 49 ABs

He will cool off a bit but I do wonder what is the best month a Phils' catcher ever had. Likely ends up No. 1 or 2-3 (say minimum of 50 ABs)

Diekman struggled with his release point last night and was inconsistent. Thus, he couldn't hit the plate.

Not hard to see.

"so maybe working the count tonight can pay off for Phils' hitters."

Luckily enough for the Red Sox, working the count is just about physically impossible for this Phillies' lineup.

bap - good point - I am a big Diekman fan, so was just thinking as to why he was having control issues last nite... and thought maybe it was just because it was non save situation..

But you made some good points there. Also, it's early on -- he looks like he has the stuff and the makeup to be successful in the bigs..

and it;s a little early to be analyzing or over analyzing him based on 1 or 2 appearances..


Lorecore- look at my original posts over the past couple days... I said I thought it was cool, that he [Thompson] stuck it out in the minors for all those yrs for a chance to make it to the show & he did...

That is the extent of it. end of story

I see it now, Chooch gets into the all-star game, Strasberg warms up and thinks he is okay. Then that familiar burning feeling comes back just as he delivers and hits Chooch in the helmet. Concussion syndrome for the next year.

Phillies are pretty much right in the middle offensively in the MLB. Without Utley and Howard, and with some guys way underachieving and only really only two guys overachieving with a lot of at bats.

"...lap of ability..."

MG, what exactly is a 'lap of ability'.

Are you disracted because you're posting from someplace down on Delaware Avenue?

***Then that familiar burning feeling comes back***

Many years ago, I was in basic training and one of my roommates (we were in 8 men rooms) had put a bunch of icy hot on his upper legs after a particularly long ruck march (12-15 miles IIRC). He made sure to put a bunch on and then laid down for bed as it was lights out. He then rolled over on his side and his inner legs (which were completely covered with icy hot) apparently pressed up against slightly more sensitive parts and the next couple hours were hilarious as he was trying not to scream in pain which would alert the drill sergeant on duty that he had been such an idiot.

It was freaking hilarious (to the other 7 of us at least...he did not enjoy it very much).

TTI, who posted anything about Scotty Pods?

Its a below average team offensively without Utley/Howard. When they return, it should be at least an average one which is what Amaro I imagine was planning all along for this offseason.

Just wanted the offense to provide them with enough runs to stay afloat and at ~.500. Get Utley/Howard back hopefully some time in June and with the starting pitching they have they are right in the thick of things.

What I imagine Amaro didn't plan for (and really couldn't have planned for) was the rash of bullpen injuries and ineffectiveness that have plagued the team. Don't see how any GM in baseball could have really upgraded the bullpen or dealt with the rash of injuries the Phils have had much differently than Amaro has done.

NEPP, great story!

Ump Bob Davidson suspended for one game for
improper 'situation handling'.

@MG --

Lopata August 1955 .382/.507/.836/1.343 71PA
Daulton May 1992 .412/.524/.676/1.200 84 PA
Boone July 1979 .405/.489/.671/1.160 93PA
Lopata June 1954 .396/.450/.679/1.129 60 PA
Lieberthal June 2000 .308/.419/.692/1.112 93 PA
Lieberthal May 1999 .352/.410/.693/1.103/ 100PA
Coste July 2006 .372/.426/.651/1.077 47PA
Seminick July 1950 .360/.436/.618/1.054 101 PA
Lieberthal July 2000 .356/.400/.644/1.044 50 PA
Coste Mar/Apr 2008 .350/.435/.600/1.035 46PA
Spud Davis July 1932 .326/.392/.630/1.023 104PA
Daulton May 1993 .260/.395/.625/1.020 119 PA
Spud Davis May 1932 .354/.415/.604/1.019 53 PA
Santiago Sept/oct 1996 .303/.432/.576/1.008 81PA
Burgess Sept 1954 .392/.475/.529/1.005 61 PA
Spud Davis Aug 1932 .413.460/.543/1.003 100 PA

I just went through a sampling of seasons where Phillies catchers had an over .900 OPS for the season and grabbed their biggest months.

Then tried to take a look at some other guys like Boone, Coste, Diaz, Virgil, Parrish etc.

Anyway, if Chooch keeps it going for the rest of the month it would likely be the best in franchise history for a catcher.

Lieberthal's 1999 season is probably the best by a catcher for the organization .914 for the year. Followed by Daulton's 1992 (.908)

Diekman's main problem in the minors has always been control issues. Not surprising it has surfaced in the majors.

Hate watching games where Davidson is the home ump because he loves to involve himself into the game & ejects players/managers way too quickly.

Embarrassing how he makes the postseason umpiring crews every year based solely on longevity.

LGO: There is no doubt that Diekman has the stuff to be a major league reliever. The question is whether he can throw enough strikes to be effective. He walked an ungodly 6.5 batters per 9 innings at AA last year, and he walked 6.1 per 9 at A the previous year. So far this year, his control has been vastly improved (1.8 walks per 9). But it's only a 15-inning sample size. Plus, even many pitchers who have low walk rates at AAA often struggle to throw strikes in the majors, where hitters are more disciplined (See, i.e., Michael Schwimer).

Hopefully this was just a bad outing, and not a preview of further control problems to come.

If I was Davey J, I would have fined whoever did that stupidity. There's a difference between Esprit d'corps (however you spell it) and f8cking up a win. I used to get infuriated when Tomas Perez, as common as muck would shove shaving cream in the face of somebody who just won the game. I mean, it was his function on the team to be the big loser morale booster. I know two guys who scratched corneas in similar celebrations and had to sit out big games because some pine rider had to celebrate.
Go ahead and slap an ass or rub a noggin. We'll still never know if Brad was messed up by the Howard jump.

HammRadio - Great find. Thanks.

Never understood why Lieberthal was seemingly disliked so much in this town especially during the later part of his career. People acted like was some bum who was a poor catcher.

Just a guy who liked like he would go to a franchise caliber player but was never the same after some of those injuries in '00 and '01 especially when he blew the ligaments in his left knee in May 2001.

"Ump Bob Davidson suspended for one game for
improper 'situation handling'."

I am glad to hear it, although the suspension should have been longer. Cholly simply came out of the dugout to ask about a call on the field. It was Davidson who immediately escalated things by getting in Cholly's face & screaming at him.

Frankly, one game is not nearly enough. It demeans the dignity of the sport to have umpires picking fights with managers. You almost never see it in other sports and, when you do, the league usually deals with it harshly. Didn't David Stern suspend a ref for the entire season a few years ago, after he goaded Tim Duncan into committing a technical foul from the bench?

Bullpen is the huge problem moving ahead forward because there are simply no answers left internally.

Phils have pretty much called up everyone from Lehigh. Diekman, Valdes, Schwimer, and Savery. De Fratus is hurt, on the 60-day DL and likely down for the year. Aumont has been wildly inconsistent.

Stutes has shoulder issues with no timetable on his return. Herndon also is going to be out for a while.

Contreras is ancient, inconsistent, and a crap shoot all every time out. Add the same to Bastardo except the ancient part.

Qualls is probably pitching hurt to some degree and is miscast as a high leverage guy at this point.

Just have to muddle though but its going to be a big issue all summer.

awh: It was Let's Go Eat..You were the post after him..I transposed the two

Charlie's suspended a game too.

It is going to take some creativity to solve the bullpen issues too.

Given that there is sparse bullpen talent available and there will be a ton of teams looking for bullpen help at the trading deadline, I really wonder if Amaro would try to resign Oswalt, move a guy like Worley to the pen as a potential setup guy, and keep KK in the rotation.

Its a crazy idea but one that has some potential validity to it.

Cholly gets suspended before Davidson is a clown who likes theatrics? Ugh.

***Charlie's suspended a game too. ***

~shakes head~

Yup, that makes sense.

Use Halladay, Lee, and Hamels out of the bullpen on their side days. Problem solved.

"Phils have pretty much called up everyone from Lehigh."

Pretty much. I would guess that Schwimer could still get another look, even though he has been flat-out terrible in each of his 2 call-ups. After that, you'd be really reaching with guys like Tyson Brummett & BJ Rosenberg, who have both been pretty good this year but terrible for most of their careers.

One minor leaguer I do wonder about is Justin Friend, whom we got from the A's in the minor league portion of last year's Rule 5 draft. He has slowly climbed his way up the minor league food chain & has been good at every level (though he still hasn't reached AAA). clout or NEPP are probably going to tell me he's a non-prospect and they're probably right. But, if a guy keeps succeeding at every level, I'm a firm believer that he deserves a shot at some point.

Justin Friend is a non-prospect.

Thinking way outside the box would be to convert a guy like Austin Hyatt to relief or go way off the deep end and try Trevor May as a reliever.

Clout is of course right that rarely do guys come up from the minors and make a real impact.

But the point is that when the back of your bullpen is total crap anyway, there's no harm in calling up guys who have a 95% chance of being total crap, and a 5% chance of being better. You throw everything at the wall until it sticks.

For every Savery, Zagurski, and Escalona you bring up, you might get a Bastardo too. And that's worth it.

Jack - Risk injury especially with Lee and re-aggravating his oblique? Put even additional miles on Halladay's arm?

It would be a very provocative move but also kind of a desperate one too. I just can't see the Phils going that route.

NEPP: So I figured -- although he does post nice numbers at every level.

***Risk injury especially with Lee and re-aggravating his oblique? Put even additional miles on Halladay's arm?***

Well, to be fair, they are going to throw on that day anyway and throw hard so it wouldn't theoretically "add mileage" to their arms. The warming up process would be tough though as relievers and starters warm up quite differently...and they love their routines.

You say he's Justin Friend, you say he's Justin Friend..

MG: Obviously they won't do it. Given that Charlie can't even think outside the box to pitch his closer outside a pure "save" situation, there's literally no chance at all that he does something as controversial and outside the box as that.

It was merely a thought experiment. Obviously you wouldn't do it with Lee right now if he's still working himself back into full health. But I'm not sure there's all that much issue, in theory, with using Doc and Cole like that--though obviously if they got hurt doing so, Charlie and the franchise would be absolutely crucified, and there's no way they take that risk.

NEPP - It may well come to that but I can't imagine the Phils would risk May and convert him to a reliever.

Imagine they play things out and see the bullpen sits in early July. If it continues to be a huge issue where even getting 2 IP out of middle relievers before Papelbon without giving up the lead is a challenge, then Amaro starts to get creative.

Looked at the Reading roster & bullpen too. Not exactly a guy who leaps out at you at someone they might reach for either in June to give a look.

NEPP: I could possibly see May throwing some innings in September in relief as a way to get his feet wet (though he would really have to be dominant over the next couple months to prove he's even ready for a September call-up).

But no way do you convert him full-time to a reliever. May as a starter is virtually the only thing of value in our entire farm system. You don't get rid of that because Jose Contreras is struggling.

My argument was not a regression to the mean argument. It was more of a realistic feeling that the unbelievable production out of Ruiz was liable to revert back to more sustainable numbers.

The problem that I see with "regression to the mean" arguments is the definition of the mean. To suggest that someone like Rollins would trend back up to his career mean, would be included years that occured 10 years ago. The proper mean is probably more of weighted average, where the most recent years are weighted higher.

I'm just trying to be realistic about where this team is. I see a 5 game winning streak against the Padres, the Astros and the Cubs. If thats being a downer, than fine. I will be more than willing to go crazy when they are 7-3 in their next 10.

I don't think they are as bad as they've played at times. I also don't think Ruiz will keep up his 1.024 OPS. But I also don't think that just because Ruiz's OPS goes down, that means Rollins has to go up. Its just my opinion.

"Hate watching games where Davidson is the home ump..."

MG, Fat Joe West, too.

There are plenty of successful starters who broke into the league in relief roles, and some of them were very valuable in those roles. Adam Wainwright, David Price, and Derek Lowe spring right to mind. Even Roy Halladay pitched a lot of relief early in his career.

Charlie and the franchise would be absolutely crucified, and there's no way they take that risk.

Beerleaguer would be in an uproar

I consider Davidson & Charlie both being suspended a Win/Win.

To the regression point, it really doesn't make much sense to say that Ruiz and Pierre are playing over their heads, but Vic, Pence, Rollins and Polly aren't, and look at that 4-2 (or 5-2 if you include Mayberry) and say the bad outweighs the good.

Fact is, Ruiz's production right now is so out-of-this-world, that when he does come back to Earth (I would guess going forward, he's a 125 OPS+ hitter), even if Rollins and Vic went back to where we should expect the to be, that's probably still a net loss. That's how good Ruiz has been so far this year.

Also, Polly may actually be sitting close to his mean right now. He has a 90 OPS+ the last three years and is at 83 right now. His "progression" may not be that pronounced. And, oh look, he's dinged up again.

Rollins is the real key for progression. I'd like to see him get going.

Pence is terribly far off of where he was from 2008-2010. Question is, is that the real Pence, or is last year's version who we should expect going forward? Or somewhere in the middle.

"Bullpen is the huge problem moving ahead forward because there are simply no answers left internally."

MG, hyperbole, hyperbole, hyperbole....

Seriously, if Bastardo has turned it around, as he appears to have, they really only need one more guy to step up.

With the ability of this SP staff to go deep into games I'm not too worried.

Everyone's perception of the bullpen is skewed by perception created by the meltdown in the Met game Halladay imploded.

I don't see that Halladay imploding much again this season, so I just don't see the BP getting that much of an opportunity.

The SP is already averaging more IP/start than last season, mostly aided by the return of Blanton to the rotation and Worley averaging 1/3 IP more. If they can keep that up through the rest of the season then this bullpen is likely to toss 15 - 2- LESS innings than they did last season.

Ooops: "...15 - 20 IP LESS..."

Yesterday, BL posters, who'd been hailing Diekman as the The Savior, were SHOCKED to discover he's had command issues.

I'm all for giving the kid a chance but, as usual, expectations for him by BL posters were ridiculous.

Call me crazy:

But I do expect more out of Contreras going ahead forward.

He's had better control generally since this month throwing a lot more strikes. His velocity is also perking up too 1-2 MPH on his fastball since mid-April.

Not going to be a dominant set up man but if Contreras & Bastardo can pitch well the Phils can patch work the rest of the bullpen & play match up baseball with Diekman/Valdes/Qualls.

Lil Roy worked out for philles and sox

Someone give me one good reason why Chooch can't maintain this pace the rest of the way: .429/.482/.755 (1.237 OPS)

awh - Bullpen is the problem moving ahead forward since there really aren't any additional internal options to try nor any additional returnees from the DL anytime soon.

What they have is what they have to deal with for the next ~2 months.

bap, Johan Santana broke in as a RP too, IIRC.

I am counting on them getting Howard/Utley back too at some point in June and that with them the offense is average.

Rosenthal says Oswalt threw a bullpen for both Red Sox and Phils so far and will throw for other teams. Said he believes he'll be back with a team in a month.

Begs the question... why are Phils interested? Is Worley's injury worse than we thought? Would Phils sign Oswalt and move Worley to the bullpen for the rest of the year?

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EST. 2005

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