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Friday, May 18, 2012


"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."

Fatti, if it's a fact, as you state, I await your statistical "proof" to convince me.

"Is Worley's injury worse than we thought?"

I sure hope not. I like watching the Vanimal pitch.

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.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Friday, May 18, 2012 at 12:16 PM

The Cardinals and Rays, though, are organizations willing to think creatively - the kinds of organizations where "I never even thought about using Papelbon in the 8th; he's for the 9th when we have a lead" would not be tolerated.

I think it's an open question whether it would make sense to accelerate May's path to the major leagues as a reliever. It doesn't seem like the type of thing that Amaro/Manuel would ever consider: it requires too much thinking.

Odd. Either Worley is hurt worse than the Phils said or they seeing using him a potential trade chip/bullpen piece.

It wouldn't surprise me though if this is the Phils 'big move' this year with a complementary trade at the deadline.

It is going to be a seller's market with the 2nd WC addition this year. Even a guy like Myers likely commands a top prospect in return even though a smart team avoids him like the plague.

DH Phils: "The Cardinals and Rays, though, are organizations willing to think creatively - the kinds of organizations where "I never even thought about using Papelbon in the 8th; he's for the 9th when we have a lead" would not be tolerated."

Amusing observation considering Tony LaRussa basically invented defined bullpen roles. tractor clause..cough

I hope those posters pining over the loss of Rich Thompson understand that Kyle Hudson is an incredibly toolsy outfielder.

Can he run? Like the wind.

Can he throw? Like a rifle.

Does he look good swinging a bat? Positively chisled.

Does he have baseball skills?
Why would you ask that question?

You can NEVER have too many toolsy outfielders.

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

But ... but I was assured Diekman was going to save the Phillies' season!

*bursts into tears*

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

Not exactly. There's a reason you have 7 guys in a bullpen, instead of 3. Those other 4 guys sometimes have to pitch. I don't expect the 4 worst guys in the bullpen to be world beaters but I expect them to be able to pitch a scoreless inning more often than not. If you can't even get that out of your 4 through 7 relievers, you're going to lose almost every single close, extra inning game -- plus a few games where you thought your lead was comfortable.

awh: That story does not say if Utley was seated in a lawnchair as he took fielding practice.

"I would guess going forward, he's a 125 OPS+ hitter."

I love Chooch. Probably my second-favorite player on the team over this whole run, after Utley. But I will take the under on a 125 OPS+ from now until the end of the season. And I don't even have to really think that hard about it.

awh, you're right. There's no reason to suggest that a player with a career 102 OPS+ and a 2009-2011 OPS+ of 113 to NOT continue hitting at a 174 OPS+ clip.

Obviously this is the real Ruiz going forward.

clout, true, but for all we know they're trying to motorize the lawn chair to get him back on the field ASAP.

Before we forget him forever, I need to say one thing about Gene Freese, the last Phillie (before Luna) to hit a GS in his first AB as a Phillie.

He was twice involved in lopsided trades benefitting the team that traded him:

After the 1959 season, he was dealt to the White Sox for Johnny Callison, who immediately became the Phillies dominant power hitter of the early 1960s (joined by Dick Allen in 1964).

After the 1960 season, he was dealt to the Reds for Juan Pizarro, a tough lefty who went 61-38, 2.93 over the next 4 years for the Sox.

Jack, I was simply being liberal. I do think that Chooch's lessened leg kick and icnreased bulk this offseason will afford him the ability to hit for more power than he has in the past, and let's not forget that he posted a 127 OPS+ in 2010. It's possible that he could maintain that level of production the rest of the season.

MG: Odd was the word I would use. I would have expected the Phils to kick the tires on Oswalt only if Blanton pitched poorly, but Kentucky Joe is tearing it up currently. The Phils have a very strong starting rotation with the big 3, Joe and Vance. There's no spot for Oswalt unless...

Fatti, great non-response. Nice diversionary tactic too.

I thought you were better than that.

awh, what the hell do you want me to say? He's got a 174 OPS+ this season, and was a 113 OPS+ hitter the last two years.


Edit: 113 OPS+ over the last 3 years.

FAtti, I'm going to help you out, because you obviously cannot focus on the real point you made:

"...even if Rollins and Vic went back to where we should expect the to be, that's probably still a net loss."

You wrote it. Demonstrate it.

Chooch will end the season with an OPS+ above 174. Book it.

Fatti, I may be insulting in saying this, but you seem to lack basic composition and reading skills.

Go back an look at the full sentence you wrote and identify the operative. That is what I was referring to, and to which you should have responded.

Fata: Yeah, I'm pretty sure awh was challenging your assumption that Chooch's regression would make us a worse offensive team even if Pence, Rollins and Mayberry all improved.

I don't think he was challenging that Chooch would hit worse. He was challenging what empirical evidence you could marshal to support your proposition that his decline would be greater than any improvement from those other guys.

Sorry awh, but my syntax wasn't clear. The "factual" part of my statement was that Ruiz' production is out of this world. That there might "probably" be a net loss is simply my opinion.

Also, didn't I lose all my credibility a few days ago? Why are you even bothering talking to a non-commenter like me, anyways?

Could they have a taker for Blanton? Maybe a decent prospect who could make the team next year or be a trade chip, with Oswalt penciled in as a replacement?

I would think three spots in the lineup improving would at least have the offense breaking even with the regression of one player (Chooch), but I'm sure Fata has solid reasoning behind his assertion.

I'm still curious what people think regarding how many managers in the MLB would still be hitting Ruiz fifth in the order after all this time. It's ridiculous.

Iceman, it really depends on how much you expect Pence, Victorino and Rollins to improve.

Also, I was factoring in major regression from Pierre, as well.

I don't think Pence is going to improve some huge amount, to be honest. He's at a 110 OPS+ now, and his 2009-2011 sits at 122, but last year was a year buoyed by an unsustainably high BAbip, and his walk rate was pretty high relative to his career. I hope he does, but I'm not banking on a huge improvement. Vic should improve a good deal, but I think he's going to settle back in around 110 OPS+, and not go back to what he was last year. Rollins is due to improve a great deal (I hope).

It's just my opinion that the regression of Ruiz and Pierre will equal, if not surpass, the improvements of Vic, Pence and Rollins. Mayberry, as always, is the wild card, but I've felt that way for a while now.

Chooch is the f'n man, we should just leave it at that.

This was just on I figured the Beerleaguers would like this line:

•Brian Schneider - Schneider, 35, continues to add value in a reserve role. It wouldn't be surprising to see him re-sign in Philadelphia.

Bed's Beard: I'm not sure why, right now, you would want Roy Oswalt over Joe Blanton.

I understand career track records (trust me, I'm usually the one reminding people of that). But given that Oswalt was hurt last year, not all that consistently effective when he did pitch recently (the two worst seasons of his career are 2009 and 2011--he was good in 2010), and has now not pitched at all this season yet, can we really be sure he will be more effective going forward than Blanton?

Blanton can't keep his performance up, for sure (he's going to give up more home runs). But I'm also not sure that Blanton brings you back enough in return to take the risk that you can easily replace his production with Oswalt, who strikes me as still a giant question mark.

Yeah, I don't disagree. It all comes down to what Blanton could bring you back. He's not (or shouldn't) bring you an impact bat for the rest of this year, but could there be an AA type who's more of a Sep 2013 type call up? A way to fill a need down the road, but also keep something around Blanton's prodution (osawalt).

Would there be a $ difference in the two? Get X prospect, and save a couple million to use somewhere else.

If the plan would be to sign Oswalt & trade Worley, then I would say it's the single dumbest plan that has ever been formulated.

If the plan would be to sign Oswalt & move Worley to the pen, then I would say it's the second dumbest plan that has ever been formulated (actually, make that the dumbest, since the first plan, which would be the only one dumber than this, would never have actually been formulated).

If the plan would be to sign Oswalt and trade Blanton, then I basically agree with Jack's 1:48 post, with the caveat that, if you were somehow able to get a really good OF or 3rd base prospect for Blanton, it would be worth doing.

But I suspect the real plan is none of the above; that they watched him throw because there's no harm in watching him throw; and that, when he eventually does sign, it won't be with the Phillies.

"with the caveat that, if you were somehow able to get a really good OF or 3rd base prospect for Blanton, it would be worth doing."

Shouldn't have to caveat that, it's the only reason you move him. Getting good value back b/c he's been so good, and he's not THAT expensive.
His AL East splits aren't great, but in theory, could see the Yanks making a smaller deal like this, since they were burned with Pineda.

For the first time, interleague play looks to be a part of the schedule we could actually make up some ground.

We have mostly the same schedule as the Braves, except they play the Yankees for 6(!) games, while we play the Twins for 3, and then get 3 extra NL games against the Rockies. That's a spot right there to pick up a couple games.

Well, Rube's not simply looking to add SP "depth." He already has serviceable 6th, 7th and 8th starters. Even if he were, there's no budget for it. Either someone is hurt much more than we know, or Rube's thinking about moving one of the costlier pitchers, or it is simply a courtesy to Oswalt to help drive up his price elsewhere. I'd guess the latter.

curt, good post.

After the 1960 season, he was dealt to the Reds for Juan Pizarro, a tough lefty who went 61-38, 2.93 over the next 4 years for the Sox.

Acquiring Gene Freeze to play 3B allowed the Reds to make Eddie Kasko their primary SS in 1961. Freeze hit 26 HRs that year; that Reds team won the pennant. IIRC, Freeze got hurt the next year and never had a good year again.

If you only believe in post-trade "who had the most WAR moving forward" analysis, it was totally one-sided. Point in time, it was a team that had lots of young pitchers filling a position need. Unfortunately, it worked only for a year. Look at Freeze's 59-61 -- you'd be okay with him having a 3/30 contract in today's world.

The Reds of the late 50s and early 60s did piss away a lot of talent for little to nothing. Two who leap to mind are Curt Flood and Claude Osteen.

Jack: I was under the impression that victories over bad teams like the Twins and Rockies would not be counted toward the Divisional standings.

More evidence Ricketts is a complete sh!tbag:

Understand his point about gov't spending but it is perfectly well and good to seek for his family to seek a minimum of $200M (revised down from an earlier ask of $300M) to pad his families' pockets for upgrading Wrigley.

So tired of this nonsense.

I'm off to Tokyo for the first and probably only time in my life. Unfortunately, the work schedule/team schedules don't look like they will work out. Maybe if I drop enough hints, our hosts will cut a day short ...

curt, to expand on your point, yes, they do have serviceable SP options.

Most notable is KK, who is much maligned here, particularly because of his peripherals and low K/9 rate.

The amusing thing to me, though, is this criticism of KK's MLB "worthiness" occurs as though KK is pitching in a vaccum all by himself, with no points of reference.

I'd like to remind you all of who the starting pitcher was for the Cubs last night, and ask you, if Game 162 came around and your team needed to win it in order to make the playoffs, and you only had KK and Volstad available to make the start, who would you pick to take the hill?

Right now, as erratic as he's been, KK's 4.95 ERA as a starter is better than the following SPs ERA:

Josh Johnson
Randy Wolf

Admittedly, that's not saying very much.

Regarding the magnitudes of the expected regressions from Ruiz, Pence, Victorino, Rollins, and Mayberry, we can try to ballpark an answer by comparing the current WAR pace for the rest of the season versus the projected rest-of-season WAR from a projection system (using ZIPS because it is convenient to get rest-of-season splits on Fangraphs).

I am also assuming we are exactly 1/4 of the way through the season for ease of calculation.

For the last 3/4 of the season, if all 4 keep up their current pace, their rest-of-season WAR will be:

Ruiz 5.7
Pence 0.9
Victorino 3.0
Rollins 1.2
Mayberry 0.0

Total 10.8

Projected rest-of-season:

Ruiz 2.7
Pence 1.9
Victorino 3.1
Rollins 2.3
Mayberry 0.7

Total 10.7

This is a very back-of-the-envelope calculation, but it suggests that the expected improvements from those 4 players will roughly offset the expected regression from Ruiz.

"The Reds of the late 50s and early 60s did piss away a lot of talent for little to nothing. Two who leap to mind are Curt Flood and Claude Osteen."

Edmundo, also remember that the Reds traded Frank Robinson to the Orioles.

He only went on to win another MVP appear in 4 WS and win two WS, doing this in BAL over the next 6 seasons: .300/.401/.543.

I wouldn't be surprised if it's considered the worst rade in Cincinnati history.

Aww, Edmundo. If you can catch a game while in Tokyo, you've got to do it. You've got lots of options. Swallows at Jingu Stadium in central Tokyo near Shibuya/Harajuku; Giants at Tokyo Dome of course; Baystars at Yokohama Stadium about 35 min by train from central Tokyo and Chiba Lotte Marines at QVC Stadium also outside of Tokyo. Even the Saitama Seibu Lions just north of Tokyo could be do able. All of these teams are accessible by train so check every team's schedule.
It's a great experience. I'd say Swallows and Baystars are the best experience. They play in little old outdoor stadiums. The other guys play in Domes and sometime immitate MLB too much, especially the Giants. It's the best thing about Japan.

Picking up Oswalt and dealing Blanton wouldn't be a bad move at all either.

Blanton's value right now is as high as it will possibly be. Getting a piece that helps you this year & in the longer-term would be a smart play.

Stunned if Blanton is back here next one way or the other. He also isn't a guy who is a difference maker either in the postseason (4.28 ERA in 6 postseason career starts with the Phils)

MG, except for the issue of Oswalt's back, why would a team trade for Blanton (who, BTW, has a bad elbow), give up a prospect and pay a large portion of his salary, when they can just sign Oswalt and not give up the prospect?

Because Oswalt's not exactly willing to sign just anywhere.

It's news to me that Blanton STILL has a bad elbow.

Volstad is awful, and should not be in any team's rotation. To ask whether you would rather have KK or Volstad isn't a question at all. I'd rather have many high school pitchers over Volstad.

That doesn't mean I want KK in my rotation all of a sudden.

Uh oh. Charlie's been suspended.

How will the team survive?

MG, you're correct.

I should have typed

"...(BTW, Blanton's elbow could be viewed as a risk)..."

Jack, Volstad is probaby the worst starter in baseball.

DH Phils, cool analysis. I also factoring in Pierre, and since he's overperforming his projections, it would create a slighly larger negative net. Obviously like you said, a back-of-the-envelope calculation, but it seems to line up with what my intuition (which is highly flawed) was telling me.

Jack, I was merely making the point that there are SP in MLB that are not as good as KK.

I'm not saying any of thes guys listed are worse, but it just goes to show you what small sample sizes will do to skew results.

I've just never understood why so many here focused on his K/9 rate as a reason for his inability to ever make it.

While KK is no Robin Roberts, Roberts' career K/9 rate through his age 28 season (after which overuse caught up with him) was 4.5. At that point in time he was 160 - 102 with an ERA of 3.02.

"If you can catch a game while in Tokyo, you've got to do it."

Agreed. I saw a baseball game in Nagoya, Japan maybe 15 or 20 years ago. The ambiance was more like what I would expect at a heavyweight championship fight than at a baseball game.

awh, do you think that K/9 migh be more important in certain eras than in others? Lots of elite pitchers decades ago had miniscule K/9 (by today's standards), but it's pretty much impossible to be great or elite these days without at least having an above average K/9. I did the analysis before that of the top 30 pitchers over the last 10 years, 28 of them had a K/9 over that period over 7.5.

awh: Not reasonable to compare K/9 rates in the 1950s to today. Like, at all.

One of the great things about games in Japan is when MLB guys go there or NPB guys come here. Off the top of my head I remember seeing Wilson Valdez, Colby Lewis, Yu Darvish, Koji Uehara, Yoshinori Tateyama, Dan Johnson, Edgardo Alfonso and I'm sure more that I can't recall right now in person.

Wilson Valdez went on to become one of the greatest relievers in Phillies history. The team sure could use him now ...

yep - Valdez can become a middle RP & Diekman can become a middle INF /lol

"awh: Not reasonable to compare K/9 rates in the 1950s to today. Like, at all."

OK, why?

Oswalt worked out for the Phils last week.

BAP- why would signing Oswalt and putting Worley in the bullpen be such an awful idea?

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