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Friday, May 25, 2012

Comments

That depends. If you're hoping to manage your bullpen such that you win as many games as possible, there is most definitely something wrong with it.

Posted by: DH Phils | Friday, May 25, 2012 at 10:25 AM

I argue that finding that 8th inning guy before the end of May is far more important than the possibility of him blowing the lead in a game in May. Bastardo is the only legitimate option at this point.

Hope chase gets used to batting practice. This kid is for real. Hope this inspires philles to promote younger guys when they can do it. Him and chooch have been great stories this young season.

Galvis best Phils story? One word - Chooch.

'Lil Panamanian has run wild:

.366 AVG (2nd in NL)
29 RBI (10th)
.590 SLG (7th)
1.007 OPS (6th)

He been hitting so much that Cholly has moved him up to cleanup. Cleanup! Sure Cholly is in shock since we all know the catcher hits in the #8 hole.

How much longer until we see Chooch get the occasional start at 1B?

***How much longer until we see Chooch get the occasional start at 1B?***

More like 3B.

No way. Chooch sits 3 times every 2 weeks and it is good for him. He needs full rest in order to continue to play at a high levels.

Bastardo was the right choice for the 8th, he's been the right choice for along time.

Yes, he gave up a leadoff double, but he's got as good of chance to get out of that inning as Papelbon does. Cards top of the order got the run in, but he pitched carefully to Holliday and then took down Beltran, who is worse against LHP than Holliday is, to escape the inning with the lead.

re-post:

Compare this year Cards' team to last year Cards' team at this time, with the tactical genius at the helm and Pujols mashing at the cleanup spot.

I'd say that if Charlie's managerial approach really has a downside, it's in a short playoff series where the psychological impact of building confidence and establishing stability and routine are much more limited in value, and the importance of small marginal strategic advantages becomes magnified.

Ruiz is a tough S.O.B. and Manuel's riding him as far as he can right now. But, when he took that foul tip off hte arm the other night, the first thing I thought (after 'god don't let it be broken') was that failing to tuck his arm behind him, and out of harm's way, is a mistake borne of fatigue.

"Chooch sits 3 times every 2 weeks and it is good for him. He needs full rest in order to continue to play at a high levels."

How can you possibly know this when the opposite has never been tried? It's actually very common for teams who have strong-hitting catchers to start them at 1st base on their non-catching days. Hell, Chooch himself usually ends up taking the field on his non-catching days -- to play catcher.

I have no idea if he can play 1st base, but it would be worthwhile to find out, so we could have his bat in the lineup during those Brian Schneider games.

"...but he's got as good of chance to get out of that inning as Papelbon does."

Even if someone wants to argue that, they have to know that the difference is extremely marginal. That's what makes baseball so interesting - games hinge on such minute differences.

If Bastardo had given up the run there, no doubt the loss would have been "on Charlie" due to his "mistake." A conclusion that rests on ignoring the possibility that Pap would have given up runs if he had been brought in.

BAP- I agree. But it doesn't solve the real problem with having Brian Schneider in the game (which is BS is in the game). If Chooch got hurt at first diving for a ball, it would be the end. Sit him when needed and (next year) sign a competent back-up so that these ideas don't even come up in convesations.

If Bastardo had given up the run there, no doubt the loss would have been "on Charlie" due to his "mistake." A conclusion that rests on ignoring the possibility that Pap would have given up runs if he had been brought in.

Posted by: Phlipper | Friday, May 25, 2012 at 10:54 AM

And since he stuck with Bastardo, the win is "on Charlie."

This team is showing a lot of grit and heart after the loss of leader Wilson Valdez...

Howard takes live batting practice.

I was actually in the car when Rube said on the radio Wednesday about the surgeon removing muscle from Howard's leg. He talked about it like it was common knowledge. I can't believe (at the time) I actually thought I had just missed that this had happened, and not that the FO had tried to intentionally deceive the fanbase into thinking that it was nothing more than a minor procedure and might not even be a setback.

I'm all for the organization being as tight-lipped as possible about things, but there is a tipping point where they're just treating fans like they are stupid. With this Howard situation (and to a lesser degree Utley's), they crossed that line.

Here's the whole point on Bastardo/Papelbon. If Bastardo is good enough for everyone on here to trust him facing Holliday and Beltran (two of the top hitters in baseball) with runners on in a 1-run game...

Then that destroys the entire closer myth right there. If Bastardo will always be trusted to get those guys out, then he's basically your co-closer with Papelbon, right? I mean, that AB with Beltran was almost certainly the most important AB of the game, in terms of who would win or lose. And you trusted it to the guy making 500K instead of the guy making $12 million. Which is totally fine if you think Bastardo is as capable of getting that out as Papelbon. But if you think Bastardo is as capable of getting that out as Papelbon, then you kind of need to re-think the entire allocation of resources in the bullpen, no?

"Sit him when needed and (next year) sign a competent back-up"

You've touched a nerve. We HAVE a competent backup. In fact, he just hit a homerun only 3 nights ago. His reward was to be sent back to AAA.

One year ago today, May 25th 2011, was the 19 inning Wilson Valdez winning pitcher victory.

"And since he stuck with Bastardo, the win is "on Charlie."

Notice that while we have a running count on the number of games Charlie has "lost" due to his decisions, we have no running count of the games he's "won" due to his decisions.

In reality, the idea that Charlie has "won" the game is as bogus as the idea that he's "lost" a game - but if you're going to go with bogus thinking, at least you should be consistent.

"A conclusion that rests on ignoring the possibility that Pap would have given up runs if he had been brought in."

As a lawyer, I always figure that I must be doing well when the other side has to misrepresent my argument.

Finally, I don't disagree as to the importance of guys having roles and knowing their roles.

But Papelbon knows his role is to close games. Bringing him in for a 4-out save instead of a 3-out save isn't suddenly going to confuse him (though I understand he isn't the brightest bulb in the box). He's done it before, many times.

And why are roles only important for closers? Bastardo has been used this season in the 7th and 8th innings, for full innings as well as just for left-handed hitters. And that's in the first two months of the season. If he'd given up a walk to Beltran, he would've been pulled for Contreras to face Freese. Why is that better than being pulled for Papelbon? If Papelbon were to get hurt, Bastardo would probably start pitching the 9th inning as well. That doesn't seem like a guy in a "role," right?

Chad Qualls: 16.2 IP, 21 H, 8 ER, 4 HR, 7 BB.

At least Valdez could play defense.

Sit him when needed and (next year) sign a competent back-up"

You've touched a nerve. We HAVE a competent backup. In fact, he just hit a homerun only 3 nights ago. His reward was to be sent back to AAA.


Posted by: bay_area_phan | Friday, May 25, 2012 at 11:14 AM


You know what I meant! Anybody but BS (tm)

"As a lawyer, I always figure that I must be doing well when the other side has to misrepresent my argument."


The contingent that Charlies has "lost" a game by choosing one relief pitcher over another is contingent on ignoring the possibility that the pitcher of choice might also give up the losing runs.

If that statement doesn't apply to you, then what does your legal approach prescribe that you do when someone displays a persecution complex?

"Even if someone wants to argue that, they have to know that the difference is extremely marginal."

Oh my God. I'm about to lose my mind. If this is your argument--that Bastardo is very, very similar to Papelbon in terms of being able to get big outs in key situations...

Then why on earth is the team paying $50 million for Papelbon?!?!?

"... there is a tipping point where [the Phillies are] just treating fans like they are stupid. With this Howard situation (and to a lesser degree Utley's), they crossed that line."

I choke on these words even as I type them, but w/ regard to this issue, Iceman is dead on correct.

Saw a note in the Chase Utley batting practice article about how Utley was playing left field during batting practice.

***Disclaimer*** I'm not suggesting that the this is proof that they are thinking about Utley in left (Manuel was asked and said there are no alternative plans for Utley, yet I'm loathe to really pay attention to anything this organization says despite the fact that Manuel is usually somewhat honest), however that got me to thinking

If there is a chance that playing left field could be a more manageable effot physically (which has happened for players in the past since its been widely stated that the ground balls and the double play turn twisting and the pivoting off a ground ball are what seem to bother knee injuries the most) what it not be in the best interest of the organization to go that route? Would not the best option for this team to keep riding Galvis and his hot bat (and see how long it lasts) as well as the much better d that you will get from Freddy over Chase, and move Utley into left, start him mostly as a platoon or timeshare with Pierre and/or Mayberry, and also let him play the occasional 2b etc. Doesn't this get his bat into the lineup and give flexibility? I know its not just that easy, playing a new position and all, but I'm just trying to think of the best fit for Utley.

He took less than 10 ground balls in the infield yesterday. I don't know if this is because the pain is just too much or what, but I'm starting to do the math in my head, and at this snail's pace rate, I just don't see any timetable at all for his return.

The Phils' won so the 8th inning was managed well. Guess the next time I have several Johnny Walker Blacks and drive home without incident I made the correct decision solely because of the outcome.

Utley can't play the OF. He can barely throw the ball to first. Don't get me wrong, I love St. Utley as much as the next Phan, but there is no way Utley can play LF. No way, no way, no way.

Jack - Its not. Nor was Contreras or Papelbon warmed and ready to go if Beltran had got a hit & Bastardo needed to be lifted.

It was just managed piss poorly all around. Regardless, Phlipper will assert otherwise. Not getting into these ridiculous and stupid debates with him.

The Phils' won so the 8th inning was managed well. Guess the next time I have several Johnny Walker Blacks and drive home without incident I made the correct decision solely because of the outcome.

Posted by: MG | Friday, May 25, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Yes, but thats only if you live across the street.

So David Herndon's on the mound in the bottom of the 8th with the bases loaded and Joey Votto at the plate. The Phillies hold a one run lead and need just one out to escape the inning.

We'd think that bringing Paps in would be the right move, but since he "might" give up a run just like Herndond "might" give up a run, if Charlie sticks with Herndon, ti's obviously not a bd move. Is that right, Phlipper?

noname: You realize that Juan Pierre plays LF most nights for the Phillies, right?

Jack: You just don't get it, and you probably never will. If it's the 9th inning or later, and the Phillies lead by 1 to 3 runs, then Papelbon is a much better pitcher than Bastardo or Qualls or Schwimer or Herndon. But, if it's earlier than the 9th inning, Michael Schwimer is far better than Papelbon. If you use Papelbon in a tie game, or before the 9th inning, it would be like using a sand wedge from the tee on a 550-yard par 5. Relief pitchers, like golf clubs, have specific roles. If you use Papelbon outside his role, you are just courting disaster.

"If this is your argument--that Bastardo is very, very similar to Papelbon in terms of being able to get big outs in key situations..."

Based on the data available, the difference between Pap and Bastardo for one particular batter or one particular situation, is marginal. That is just a statistical reality. That small marginal advantage for Pap is the reason I would have taken Bastardo out, but that doesn't mean I sign on to the ridiculous thinking that would have people proclaiming that the loss was "on Charlie" if Bastardo had given up runs. It also doesn't negate the possible long-term upside of leaving Bastardo in last night, or the potential downside of undermining his confidence, not establishing him this year in the setup role, etc.

Pap gets the big bucks because he's proven over time to provide a marginal advantage over almost anyone else in the game. If Bastardo continues to pitch as, he'd get big bucks also, although not as much as Pap gets because he hasn't performed at Pap's level. Comparing their salaries tells us nothing of any use except for those who are obsessed about how much money the Phillies pay their players.

I would use Pap more than Charlie has - what I'm laughing at is the limited mindset that the pissy pants posse uses to confirm their Debby Downer biases.

Utley can't play the OF. He can barely throw the ball to first. Don't get me wrong, I love St. Utley as much as the next Phan, but there is no way Utley can play LF. No way, no way, no way.

Posted by: nonamePHame | Friday, May 25, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Well, thats not a very rosy picture of what we might be getting back. Lol. Makes me think we might as well just stick with Freddy and make Utley a pinch hitter extraordinaire. That brings up a good question. Is there even a position for Utley at this point?

However, I will say that there have been some pretty weak armed leftfielders out there. Oh wait.... oh right Pierre, we already have one of those.

Totally random, but has anyone else noticed the absolutely insane season that Aroldis Chapman has so far?

24 IP, 43 K, 7 BB, 0 ER.

That's simply unreal. And 24 IP in 20 games means he's being used for more than one inning at a time, which will shock those on here who are followers of the Charlie Manuel school of bullpen misuse.

Aroldis Chapman is the exact same pitcher as Adam Eaton.... well at least for 1 batter.

Per at bat, Brian Schneider is also the same as Carlos Ruiz, Stan Lopata and Andy Seminick.

@Jack...yeah Starke pointed out Chapman's #s a few times in the past week. Dude is sick.

Galvis has been such a joy to watch. I agree that Ruiz is still the top story though. Not taking anything away from Freddy though. The kid was thrown into the fire...stumbled a little out of the gate but has really gotten comfortable.

By the way, Clout's declared non-prospect Tyson Gillies is now hitting .276/.350/.405 at AA. Which isn't great, but if he keeps it up (and improves over the season) is enough to at least re-establish himself as some sort of prospect going forward.

He's still only 23. If he could get to the majors by 25, that would be the same age at which Michael Bourn and Shane Victorino established themselves as everyday players.

"...if Charlie sticks with Herndon, ti's obviously not a bd move. Is that right, Phlipper?"

I haven't said that would be the "good" move. What I'm laughing at is the limited thinking of those who can't wrap their minds around a more comprehensive cost/benefit analysis - presumably because they get some kind of thrill out of criticizing Charlie. Please note that they are mostly the same crowd that fill game thread after game thread spewing hatred at the vast majority of the team.

The pretzel-twisting to acknowledge Wiggy's HUGE home run last night was hilarious. It just kills some people when the players they hate do something good.

"The contingent that Charlies has "lost" a game by choosing one relief pitcher over another is contingent on ignoring the possibility that the pitcher of choice might also give up the losing runs."

The contingent that you speak of has never claimed that Cholly provably lost any particular game, or that the pitcher of choice would provably have done better. They have merely claimed that, by mismanaging the bullpen options, Cholly failed to put his team in the best position to win. You full well know that this is the argument but, for whatever reason, you prefer to set up straw men & set them on fire.

Leaving Bastardo in to face Beltran was playing with fire, regardless of who Charlie would have replaced him with (Paps for me, clearly). Beltran has slugged .604 from the right side over the past 3 seasons and Bastardo had already given up 2 hits and thrown quite a few pitches. All told, we were simply fortunate in that matchup - it was a bad decision on multiple levels not to bring Papelbon (or even Contreras) into the game there.

"The contingent that you speak of has never claimed that Cholly provably lost any particular game,..."

Really?

You've never read "this loss was on Charlie," or "Charlie has cost us XYZ games this year because he didn't use Pap, overused Pap, etc.?"

Interesting.

Pretzel-twisting?

Who says that?

Thought Utley was shagging balls in the OF during BP, does that count as 'playing LF'?

So Blanton is back huh? It was fun while it lasted. Get well soon Vance because if we have Kendrick and Blanton not going deep into games then this bullpen will have us getting skidders all year long.

Phlipper, as you state it, it's all just marginal advantages. Let's say I agree with you. If the manager's job isn't to tinker with this roster so as to try and gain as many "marginal advantages" as possible, than what the hell is his job?

Leaving Bastardo to face Holliday and Beltran last night was a mistake, and you know it.

This closer discussion is always stupid because the two sides just talk past each other. Both sides have points but they are too bullheaded and stuck in their own opinions to understand the other side.

What is worse though is when someone makes a bad analogy comparing it to drunk driving- which always happens. They are not analogous situations. One situation involves a game and the other involves life and death. Perspective people

Thought Utley was shagging balls in the OF during BP, does that count as 'playing LF'?

Posted by: EastFallowfield | Friday, May 25, 2012 at 11:43 AM

No, thats just the way it was phrased in the article (I think it was Brookover). It prompted him to ask Manuel, so I assume it was more in a live action type batting practice rather than just guys standing around shagging flies. Or he could have just been an a-hole and asked a ridiculous question.

Regardless, I wasn't actually using that as the inference for my question. It just got me to start thinking about Utley in the outfield and whether, if it did have positive effects on his ability to stay healthy, why it wouldn't be a bad thing to try, considering how often its been cited as how difficult it is for Utley to play on the infield surface and field ground balls.

"You've never read "this loss was on Charlie?""

"This loss was on Charlie" means: Charlie made some egregiously stupid decisions, which did not place the team in best position to win and which, in fact, worked out badly. No one can ever prove how the game would have turned out in an alternative scenario that never happened. And none of the posters to whom you are speaking has ever claimed otherwise.

Bastardo who had already thrown more than 20 pitches is a 'marginal difference' between a fully rested Papelbon. Yeah right.

TTI - Bad analogy maybe but its a blog. You get the point.

Utley in LF:

I'm all on board. This is what the Phils are putting out there in LF right now:

.299/.343/.331 who I bet has another drop of 20-25 points on his AVG & OBP

Even if Utley gives you say .270/.350/.430, it would be a notable upgrade. Defensively you would take a real hit either.

Pierre can help this team. Ditto Mayberry. Just miscast as everyday starters.

I don't think its a bad analogy. Case in point:

Two things that could cause me to crash my car and possibly injure someone

1. Drinking Johnny Walker Black

2. Bastardo giving up a game changing hit to Beltran because Jonathan Papelbon is made of paper mache and those cheap rubber bands they use to package stuff with.

Where did all the people telling us about the greatness of the Braves? I guess a sweep at the hands of the Reds shut them up?

Which number is greater? The number of times that a loss was "on Charlie," or the number of times that MG has engaged in an argument he's declared too stupid to engage in?

Until chase is in fla I don't wanna see him flipping balls and taking fly balls. The more he is off the field and better Freddy plays people are going to come to conclusion that chase u are done cya

I'm amazed at how many people still hold out hope for Utley. I mean look I loved the guy when he was in his prime but I've written him off entirely. It doesn't mean I think Galvis will ever be anywhere near the player Utley was. It just means that I'm ok with moving on.

St. Galvis, indeed.

We actually will be fine in LF with the proper platoon. I'd be inclined to get Chase in the lineup ASAP and play him at first. It seems like the Phillies and Chase are waiting until his body feels good enough to play 2B everyday. I wonder if the same pain tolerance has to be there for him to play 1B? Right now we have a 2B.

Regardless, you can ask Kendrys Morales just how much to expect coming off of an Achilles injury. The reality is we have no idea what to expect from Howard - his power has been in decline for 3 years and he's not going to be back to full strength until next year, at best. We need Chase's bat more than we need his defense at this point, and since he has played 1B before I'd hope they would be considering it, strongly.

Anyone who doesn't think that the difference in outcomes between Bastard (after 20 pitches) and Pap (brought in to replace Bastardo) facing one batter is marginal either doesn't understand marginal differences or doesn't understand baseball.

MG - what would you say the range of statistical probabilities would be for Beltran producing a hit or walk facing Bastardo (last used two nights previous and after throwing 20 pitches) as compared to Paps (last used the previous night, throwing 22 pitches and giving up a run, and "fully rested")?

Phlipper doesn't even realize that he is providing a strong argument against modern closer usage and mythology.

We need Chase's bat more than we need his defense at this point, and since he has played 1B before I'd hope they would be considering it, strongly.

Posted by: Sneed | Friday, May 25, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Still have the same problem if and when you get Howard back.

"I'm amazed at how many people still hold out hope for Utley. I mean look I loved the guy when he was in his prime but I've written him off entirely."

Of course, you have no basis for doing so, but don't let that stop you.

Also, it's worth noting that Chapman was not the closer till last week. It'll be interesting to see if he continues to be use for more than an inning at a time.

""This loss was on Charlie" means: Charlie made some egregiously stupid decisions, which did not place the team in best position to win and which, in fact, worked out badly. No one can ever prove how the game would have turned out in an alternative scenario that never happened. And none of the posters to whom you are speaking has ever claimed otherwise."

Funny.

I'm sure you get paid well as a lawyer, BAP.

It was mentioned during last night's game that Howard/Utley are much farther away from returning than was thought this time last week. For me, I see this season as a wash for both of them and deep down I think Utley's career is over - maybe there is a future for him as a DH.

The Phillies get a refund on the first year of that $125 million deal for Howard, right?

Jack: Yes but only in the form of Subway Vouchers. So at least they got lunch covered for the next millenia.

"And you trusted it to the guy making 500K instead of the guy making $12 million."


Jack, you've been a better poster lately, but that comment is moronic.

What does salary have to do with a manager's trust?

What does salary have to do with ability?

What does salary have to do with any specific situation, unless you are of the opinion that Charlie pulls out this

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/PHI/2012-roster.shtml

before he makes every move?

awh: Because it makes my larger point that paying huge money for a closer makes no sense when you use a guy like Bastardo in the key moments of games anyway.

The point is this: the Beltran AB was the biggest moment of the game. If you didn't sign Papelbon to pitch the most important AB late in the game, then what on earth are you paying him all that money for?

Of course, you have no basis for doing so, but don't let that stop you.

Posted by: R

My basis is that the guy has no knees.

What manager is going to have the sack to just do away with this defined role BS in the bullpen?

@five 4 one:

I would platoon Howard as a way to ease him in when he comes off the DL, as the Angels are trying to do with Morales (insert Jack argument here to platoon him regardless). Therefore, there will be ongoing at bats for Utley at 1B, the less physically demanding position.

And yes, I realize Utley has struggled to hit lefties since late 2010 but his OBP vs LHP is almost certain to be better than Howard's. My logic is based on the somewhat flawed premise that we will get closer to the 2010 Chase than the 2011 Chase if he has more time to rehab and less time taking a pounding at 2B.

"Phlipper doesn't even realize that he is providing a strong argument against modern closer usage and mythology. "

Jack - I think it's an interesting question, that the closer-haters have some legitimate points. My argument is that as is typical with the "myth-busting" about things like RBI, the arguments are often over-stated, applied devoid of context, used to confirm biases, etc. The "anti-orthodoxy" contingent becomes chained to their own orthodoxy.

Count me in the writing Utley off category at this point. I don't listen to WIP much anymore, but there was a Philly writer or even a Phils official on before the Nats in DC series saying Utley would join the team in DC, then go to Florida. That was 3(?) weeks ago, and still no Florida for Utley. Moreover, wasn't there a report on Fox Sports Radio saying Utley is actually "done", but they're just not saying?

It's not like Utley simply has a bum knee, he has 2 seriously f'd up knees.

Don't think anyone will know this but I know that after the Freddy Garcia fiasco the Phillies started to take insurance out on players? Do you think they did that with Utley's deal? I really don't know anything about specifics and what can be recouped.

Am I making any sense?

Yes and the faster chase realizes that his career will only be a DH the better off both sides are going to be. He's not back by now he isn't coming back people. I didn't count on him anyway. Howard I wanted just for the true clean up presence. If he's only 75 to 80. Still good for match ups etc... Jimmy Polly pence Howard chooch Vic kbery galvis. That's not a bad looking line up. If doc and lee get right. We wouldn't be too far off. Maybe get Quentin or a bullpen pc. Just move up division one team at a time. If all works out could be only two games out by end of series. Need 3 of four though.

I'll be the first to violate the tacit Beerleaguer agreement that this subject not be discussed: has anyone considered the possibility that, if Utley returns & takes over for Galvis, the Phillies will actually get worse?

Phlipper - Your right. A fully rested Papelbon against Bastardo who has already thrown 21 pitches is 'marginal.'

Let's completely ignore the fact that Beltran has better splits and notably better power from the RH vs. LH.

I get suckered into having these stupid debates with you when I can't think of anyone who would possibly argue otherwise.

Wheels supports the 'closer can only pitch the 9th' but he has was perplexed why they didn't have Contreras warmed & ready to come in to face Beltran.

It was poor bullpen management. Bastardo got Beltran to chase a 2-2 slider that was out of the zone & the Phils won the game.

I actually don't even have a problem with "roles." I think pitchers probably do perform better knowing their role.

I would just ingrain them with different roles from the minors on up. Bastardo would be told he's going to appear in the 7th or 8th inning, most likely when a couple lefties are being used. Very occasionally, he might be used in the 9th inning (by the way, this already happens when a closer is unavailable). Papelbon would be told he's being used in the biggest spots of the game, whether that happens in the 8th inning or 9th inning, and he will almost always close the game, but that might entail being used for more than 3 outs. I would go as far as telling Paps he will never be used before the 8th.

As for lesser guys in the bullpen, I'm not sure what their "roles" are now, so I don't really think you need them. Raul Valdes doesn't seem to be bothered by the fact that he only pitches in blowouts or extra-inning games.

I'll be the first to violate the tacit Beerleaguer agreement that this subject not be discussed: has anyone considered the possibility that, if Utley returns & takes over for Galvis, the Phillies will actually get worse?

Posted by: bay_area_phan

This is certainly feasible.

BAP: Possibly. But of course they could probably mitigate that downgrade by moving Galvis to SS and benching Rollins.

Oh, crap. Not supposed to talk about that, either.

The only role I can get on board with in terms of the bullpen is the mop-up duty role. That is the best thing ever. If you are terrible and the worst arm out there then you should be relegated to that role. As for everyone else, you are a major league pitcher. You should be able to get out anyone and everyone.

I actually think a plausible (albeit weak) case can be made that leaving Bastardo in to face Holliday & Beltran was ok. However, absolutely no plausible case can be made that Contreras, not Papelbon, was the guy who should have been warming up in the bullpen.

BAP: Possibly. But of course they could probably mitigate that downgrade by moving Galvis to SS and benching Rollins.

Oh, crap. Not supposed to talk about that, either.

Posted by: Jack

I think people will find it a lot easier to pull the plug on Rollins than Utley.

I have to say, Jack has come into this thread and utterly demolished the increasingly petulant Phlipper. I really don't think there's any answer to his point that, however you slice it, last night illustrated the idiocy of the closer concept. Either Charlie was wrong to bring in Bastardo and Papelbon should have pitched, meaning saving the closer for the 9th is wrongheaded, or Charlie was right and Bastardo was just as good an option as Paps, meaning there is no point in paying such an over-the-top premium for a reliever who doesn't offer an upgrade in high-leverage situations over a $500k player.

Is Contreras even allowed to be up that late? I mean like awake timewise. The guy is 68 after all.

b_a_p: I absolutely believe this will be the case. Utley will probably go on a brief hot streak at some point through sheer force of will, but overall I believe his career poodle to be thoroughly baked. Expecting consistent contributions from Howard this season, & Utley ever again, appear to me to be either wishful thinking, or grasping at straws. The Phillies' ties to these players is increasingly analogous to that of Germany & Austria-Hungary during the First World War, namely that of the former being contractually fettered to the corpse(s) of the latter.

I have to say, Jack has come into this thread and utterly demolished the increasingly petulant Phlipper. I really don't think there's any answer to his point that, however you slice it, last night illustrated the idiocy of the closer concept. Either Charlie was wrong to bring in Bastardo and Papelbon should have pitched, meaning saving the closer for the 9th is wrongheaded, or Charlie was right and Bastardo was just as good an option as Paps, meaning there is no point in paying such an over-the-top premium for a reliever who doesn't offer an upgrade in high-leverage situations over a $500k player.

Posted by: fumphis

This is a great post. There really just isn't anyway to justify it anymore.

Jack,

That bullpen approach makes sense, but you didn't mention the variable of warming up. Would you have warmed Papelbon up in the top of the 8th last night? And if so and he wasn't needed in the 8th, would him warming up again before the 9th have little/no impact? I don't know the answer to that question, but it could be part of "The Book" in terms of how managers use these guys.

If Pierre and Johnny Damon can play LF, so can Utley, noodle arm and all.

The plan is to probably have Chase rehab with Dom Brown. Dom will take him under his wing and show him all the intricacies of playing left field.

I look at the Bastardo spot as Charlie playing bullpen chicken. Despite the stylings of Mr. Phlipper and the definition of marginal, 99% of fans would have rather had Papelbon pitching than Bastardo. That is obvious. My feeling is that Charlie knows that in order to succeed, he had to see what he might get from Bastardo. The Phils bullpen doesn't have many difference making bullets left, these are basically the guys they will have to rely on.

The Beltran situation was a litmus test for Bastardo. What makes it so sensational is that the game was totally on the line for the Phils, in a season where it looks like every single one of these will be meaningful.

But it is clear that there is no way Utley will ever be able to play second again. You have to be in constant motion when you play in the middle infield. If you aren't then you aren't playing the position right. There is no way his knees can handle that wear and tear anymore.

So it's either 1B, LF or the AL.

I haven't made a study of it, but I would think that a left fielder has to run MORE than a 2nd baseman, not less.

fumphis summarized my feeling on the matter perfectly.

The NL will probably adopt the DH in the next year or so anyway with year-long interleague play next year thanks to the Astros move. Thus, Utley will have a role in the 2013 team.

***I haven't made a study of it, but I would think that a left fielder has to run MORE than a 2nd baseman, not less.***

Running=/=cutting/sharp stops and starts


The former is far easier on the knees than the latter.

Joe: I would agree that a 2nd baseman is moving more frequently than an outfielder. But the distances that he's covering are pretty short, whereas a left fielder often has to do a full sprint for a ball that's in the gap or near the foul line.

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