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Saturday, May 12, 2012

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Okay Beerleaguer lily-livers: Its going to be okay...Show some sac and drink some Jack

I wouldn't exactly call it crisp, we just had two good swings of the bat to put runs on the board. Otherwise, we're looking at more of the same. Popups, strikeouts and leaving men on base.

There will be 27 (24 if winning at home) outs in every game so expect a good number of popups, strikeouts and men left on.

Jimmy Rollins' ABs have been less than inspiring going all the way back to 2007. He's had big moments and I don't doubt he'll have big moments this season but every year it appears to be less and less. I supported bringing Rollins back but the wisdom of that is certainly going to be one of the talking points of this season should it go bust.

As a resident of Louisiana, I am very happy that the Phillies now have Cajun on their team. The people of southern Louisiana are very nice and Fontenot has an LSU pedigree. It has got to help the diverse chemistry of the team. He will add new terms to the Phillies lexicon with words like "lagniappe" (which means "something extra") and using the word "crawfish" as a verb.

My feelings about Rollins are well known.

I HATE the word lagniappe! I worked an awful corporate office job and some dingus decided that if he included that word in every email/memo/meeting/presentation then everyone at the compnay would really go the extra mile. He'd quiz people on lagniappe at random. It was like a scene out of the office. Yuck.

Playing Fontenot and giving Rollins, who is in his early 30's, an occasional day off might not be so bad. It'll give him a mental/physical break.

Say -


Just thought I'd take some time off from my rehab to stop by Beerleaguer to point out how, if I ever had this kind of slash line (of my fellow Albert) through mid-May, I would be the the non-stop target of vitriol from Jack and his fellow haters.

.192/.228/.277/.505

Rollins needs a day or two here and there. He's got a ton of miles on him, more than similar aged Phills, and aside from injuries he rarely sits. Take a break not so young James.

Albert Pujols has a good chance of being the biggest albatross of the last 20 years. He'll definitely hit better than a .505 OPS the rest of the year, but no $20+ M player should ever suffer through the slump he has. Just can't happen.

Paul Owens did a great job of mixing and matching veterans in 1983; a similar strategy might work with this team. I am not ready to give up on this season just yet. As bad as things have been (and they have been dreadful), they are still within 1 good week of the pack in the NL East.

If the nonsense that we;'e seen the last week continues into late June (just use Father's Day as a reference point), then I will change my viewpoint

Pujols' slump is puzzling to me. Hasn't he been a relatively consistent hitter?

Albert Pujols is a perfect example of why I don't share the Beerleaguer-wide enthusiasm for signing Josh Hamilton in the off-season. Today's superstar player is tomorrow's bad contract. Admittedly, if you want to be players in free agency, that's just a reality you have to live with. But it's all a matter of degree. Generally speaking, the better the free agent is, the greater the depths of insanity to which teams are willing to plunge to get him.

By the way of all the roster moves made the past 48 hours, my personal favorite was Michael Martinez being moved to the 60 Day DL.

Repost:
Jroll is absolutely dreadful. His babip and all batted ball numbers are normal, but he's striking out more and walking less, while showing less power than Juan Pierre. His only positive split is that he's a .771 ops hitter at home, so hopefully he can build on that.

He needs a personal sit down and relinquish his status as a top of lineup hitter, there's just no way he can justify it at this point.

JRoll has gotten out to really poor starts before including in 2009. He is always a guy that starts slow. Also a guy who generally doesn't start to really hit until late June/early July. Worst month of his career is May by a decent margin. One reason you can hope he turns things around later this year.

What is disconcerting though is that his power appears to be really diminished. Primary a singles' hitter at this point who doesn't hit many doubles/triples. Used to be a guy who would automatic for around ~40 doubles and ~10 triples. ~20 HRs too. Those days are long gone.

He has 5 doubles right now with 0 triples/HRs in 131 ABs this season. Lucky if he finishes with ~20 doubles, ~3 triples, and ~10 HRs this year. Average production at best from a SS who is going to get ~600 ABs.

That above average power is long what made JRoll a well above power at SS & helped to compensate for his average % BB rate. Pitchers basically don't have to fear making a mistake to JRoll anymore.

It doesn't help that pitchers keep throwing him more and more offspeed stuff & he keeps chasing it way too much. Basically the drop in power and his inability to stop chasing offspeed stuff have gotten him off to a horrible start.

Say this too - his defense has slipped a bit the last two years too including last year. If he doesn't have the same arm anymore and has lost range especially going to his right in the whole. Won't make those plays anymore deep in the hole towards the 3B line.

He's still a solid defense player who though who has great hands, turns a solid DP pivot, and makes plays on balls he gets to.

Also a good base stealer who makes smart decisions on the basepaths.

"By the way of all the roster moves made the past 48 hours, my personal favorite was Michael Martinez being moved to the 60 Day DL."

I wouldn't read much into it. It's just a means for getting some extra guys onto the 40-man roster without being forced to expose anyone to waivers. We're probably coming up on 60 days very soon, so it's not like this is going to postpone his much-anticipated return date.

MG, 2009 Jimmy was hard to watch, but you're right about the late season surge. From June 1st on that year, he posted the following line:

.261/.307/.461 (.769)

Still, that .307 OBP is pretty pitiful, but he was slugging. Only problem with expecting that kind of performance from him as the summer comes along is that Jimmy hasn't slugged over .400 in a season since 2009, and his SLG and ISO have been in steady decline for the last 5 years. Basically, he's a guy who has to rely on getting on base and using his speed to be an effective offensive player anymore. Only problem is, his OBP over the last 3 seasons is .316.

And he's not always a lock to hit well from June 1 going forward. In 2010, he posted the following slash line during that period: .230/.298/.340 (.638). Now, he was dealing with injuries that year, and he followed that up with a nice 2011, where he was awesome from June 1st on: .273/.341/.427 (.769).

Lots of question marks with Jimmy, but I'm of the opinion that he no longer possesses the power he once did, and that with his average OB abilities, he's not a top of the order hitter anymore.

If Rollins is going to put up Freddy Galvis numbers, then this makes his contract worse than anyone else's on the team.

At least Howard/Utley/Papelbon/Blanton/whoever can perform better than their in-house replacements when on the field, even if its not in proportion with their actual salary.

While Rollins is struggling, it is worth noting that with Utley out Galvis is no longer the in house replacement for Rollins.
More to the point, he'll pick it up. I don't think he's done. He looked really good for the first 2 weeks or so then he fell apart. Also he was the only guy who did anything last postseason. There's reason to believe he's got more left.
OK I got my Jimmy love in for the day. Thanks.

"He looked really good for the first 2 weeks or so . . . "

Well, that settles it, then. We have nothing to worry about.

From this season forward, I wouldn't be surprised if Galvis surpasses Rollins in every aspect of the game. I wouldn't say that I expect this will happen, but it wouldn't shock me.

There's just something about Galvis that impresses me. He's put in situations where he's way over his head and he's adapting. I think that he's only going to get better with experience.

"He looked really good for the first two weeks or so..."

Yeah, I suppose his .551 OPS through April 20th (15 days into the season, 14th game) should give us hope.

nothing to worry about.
hitting streak started last night.
winning streak started last night.
1st place by June 12th.
WFC in oct.
Wall of Fame in 2016.
Book it!

Im venting about Jroll, hes still one of my favorite players and i was all for his re-signing when it happened. My real sense tells me that theres almost not shot he continues at his current - but godammit its frustrating.

I wish there was video of Bryce Harper hitting himself in the face with his bat.

Wait, shouldn't he be suspended 5 games for hitting Bryce Harper?

Woah! 2 weeks not 14 games. who said anything about 14 games? April 18th was the 14th day of the season. That game was on the West Coast so by midnight Phila time he was still hitting about .300 with a .600 something ops. Please, get your facts straight!
Everything after that is really just the pointless dog days of the season. It's that grind where nobody does anything except for glory boys and people playing for a contract (Josh Hamilton! Empty numbers! Future Albert Ross!). It's what you do before April 18th and after Sept 1 that counts.

Galvis almost doubling his OPS @ home(.838) than road(.433) - 6 of his 11 hits at CBP have gone for extra bases.

Remind me of a NBA bench player who piles on points in front of the home crowd but usually is a nonfactor on the road.

Yeah, Galvis has a stellar .238 OBP and .585 OPS. Boy that's impressive!

Rollins' free agency presented a classic damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't conundrum. If you do sign him, it will inevitably be a bad contract; all you can do is hope it doesn't become a bad contract earlier than Year 3. If you don't sign him, you have no one to play shortstop in 2012.

I was in favor of re-signing him, and I still hope/expect that he'll come around & be something similar to what he was last year -- which is to say, a passable offensive shortstop, with decent (if badly declining) defense. Hence, I'm not quite ready to go all "RAJ was stupid" on this one. Still, as a general principle, you can't just keep giving out bad long-term contracts solely on the ground that, in the near term, you'll be damned if you don't. This will be worth keeping in mind when it comes to Shane Victorino's pending free agency.

I wonder if Clout has any thoughts on Phils prospect Trevor May. He consistently said there was about a 1% chance May would ever turn into anything at all.

May still might flame out, but he's averaging over a K per inning at AA and has a 2.83 ERA. He's looking like at least a mid-rotation starter, maybe better if he continues to improve his control.

Not bad for a guy Clout said had "no upside" as a prospect whatsoever. Of course, Clout's most famous prospect prognostication before that was that Joe Savery was a much better prospect than Antonio Bastardo. So I guess we probably shouldn't take anything he says too seriously.

On the Mayberry front, RFD has a .308/.321/.462 line in 28 May PA.

Hmmmm, could it be that he's back on track? If he posts that kind of line the rest of the season they'll win the division, with or without Utlwy and Howard.

There's another Nat gimmick that could work. A Bryce Harper piñata. Swing away.

I know Galvis is only 22 and has only had limited time above AA. Still, he is clueless when it comes to the strike zone. Swings often, swing early. Also is a terrible 2-strike hitter who swing entirely too hard & out of control.

It hard to really improve strike zone judgement but I can't believe that one of the Phils' minor league hitting instructors didn't tell him that he needs to stop trying to kill the ball with 2-strikes or lay off the high fastball. Makes way too many easy outs that way. Couldn't even handle a high fastball at the letter anyways from a guy throwing 92+. Better off not even swinging at it. Hope that he does improve on that a bit on those two things.

Really wonder in a lot of his bats if he even goes up with a decent idea of what he wants to do vs. a particular pitcher though. He had three of the worst ABs I have ever seen a MLB hitter have vs. Garza 2 weeks ago.

It wasn't so much he had 2 ks and didn't hit a ball out of the infield. It was just that amount of pulling off/half-checked swings that gave you a good indication he wasn't sure what he wanted to do up there. He has his share of those ABs too especially against a decent starter.

Been even better than advertised defensively but he was a long way to go offensively especially on judging the strike zone before he should be considered a full-time starter at the MLB level.

"Really wonder in a lot of his bats if he even goes up with a decent idea of what he wants to do vs. a particular pitcher though"

Dude, I'm pretty sure Ryan Howard doesn't go to the plate with any idea of what he wants to do vs. a particular pitcher. I'm on board with Galvis being just a horrifically bad hitter, but you're talking about a 22-year old getting his first taste of the majors. Of course he doesn't have game plans against particular pitchers. 'm willing to cut him some slack there. It's not his fault the Phillies have thrown him into the deep end of the pool when he's never been taught how to swim before.

"If he posts that kind of line the rest of the season they'll win the division, with or without Utlwy and Howard."

Really? The Phils have gotten a much better line than that out of Laynce Nix so far this year (whose playing time Mayberry is replacing), and they're under .500.

Jack: you should add the "Sickles* says there's X number of players who will be called up before Diekman...", despite the writing on the wall that the Phils/Dubee like Diekman, and he'd be a likely call up.

* I like Sickles a lot, and a top 30 propsect list doesn't mean "30 guys who will be called up before #31".

BAP - I don't get that either. It was either Furcal or JRoll. Reyes was out of their range.

JRoll signed on Dec 17th. Signed on Dec. 10th.

All things considered especially if the Phils prevent JRoll's deal from vesting in 2015 (definitely think they will), it wasn't a terrible deal. Phils knew they were going to end up with a marginal starters/utility-caliber SS in the final year of the deal. Not exactly a ton of talent right now at the MLB level at SS either. Amaro also didn't backload the contract either so the Phils aren't spent paying $14-$15M to basically a utility infielder in '15 either.

Seen a couple of other sights harp on the fact that the Sox should have traded for Lowrie. That's all well and good but it would have required an established MLB bullpen pitcher in return because the Sox were looking for bullpen help. Only guy the Phils had that fit that description was Bastardo.

Maybe they should have made that deal but it still would have opened another hole that Amaro would have had to have filled this offseason.

The incredibly stupid & crazy thing that Amaro was going to do if he wasn't able to resign JRoll was to sign 45-year old Vizquel as his backup plan.

If Mini-Mart hadn't gotten hurt (ditto Utley), there is a strong possibility it could have been Vizquel/Mini-Mart as the SS duo on this team.

For all of the love that Lowrie is getting now in Boston (certainly wasn't getting it last year in May) and how people are saying it was a steal for Houston:

.252/.324/.408 (.702 OPS) with 19 HRs in 808 ABs prior to this year

Lowrie's also average defensively too at SS/3B/2B.

He also had had some health issues & couldn't keep the starting SS job in '11 from Scutaro.

It was a smart trade for the Astros which gives them a cost-controlled starting SS through '14 but the dumber thing was Boston trading him for an arm like Melcanon. That was the head-scratching part of the deal and then not having a better option to start the year.

If another team will have him (and his contract) Jimmy is one of the players the Phils could do without. His defense is still good but declining and his offensive stats have been in decline since his MVP season. Plus, trading Jimmy will make it easier to sign Cole and Shane. Not sure who needs a SS and is willing to take Jimmy's contract but it's worth thinking about.

Do people really think Galvis would a be an adequate everyday player for JRoll at SS? Do the same people want Galvis hit?

Man people ready to put the knife into JRoll after just ~5 weeks. JRoll is the everyday starter at SS this season and next year too. Absolutely fine with that.

Question of whether he should be hitting 6th-7th is another one entirely and quite valid. Given the current lineup, I don't mind seeing him hit in the leadoff spot for the rest of the month.

It wouldn't be the worst idea though if Cholly did give him the occasional rest (espcially with the legions of bats they have on the bench) and start Galvis there.

Do I think that Galvis IS an adequate everyday player at SS? No.

Do I think that he could be? Quite possibly. He's only 22 and he's already one of the best defensive infielders in the NL at a position he's never played before and in a league he's never played before. That alone makes him worth working with.

None of us would have picked Chooch out at age 22 for his bat. I'm glad to have Galvis, and I look forward to seeing his progression.

FWIW, Rafeal Furcal signed a 2 year, $14 million deal and has been the best shortstop in baseball so far this year.

Obviously, Furcal is just off to a hot start, and he had as many question marks as Rollins in the offseason (Furcal more health questions, Rollins more performance questions).

Just interesting to note the discrepancy in the contracts. Phils paid an extra year and $19 million more to bring back Rollins than the Cards paid to bring back Furcal.

It's too bad Jimmy's contract kept us from affording a slugger like Raul Ibanez.

If Vic, Pence and Mayberry can hit like they have in the past, it won't matter as much what Rollins etc. do. And if Galvis can hit even .230 with a couple of walks, the offense would be about as good as could be expected.

And if the pen continues to stink, it won't matter what the starters or the offense do.

It seems the Phillies have become one of those teams we used to laugh at. They get a good start from their starting pitcher, only to see a spotty offense, crappy defense and really crappy bullpen give the game away.

How many times in the last five seasons were the Phillies on the other side of that equation? Seems like a whole lot.

Aybody else hear that Scotty Pods was dealt to the Bosox for cash considerations?

Scotty Pods? No!!!!!!

Season=Over.

Hamilton with his 18th HR today in his team's 34th game.

In 2001, Barry Bonds had 15 HRs in his team's first 35 games.

Will S - The questions with Chooch were about his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff. Not his offense.

In his 2 years at Reading:

.278/.332/.436 (.768 OPS) in 518 ABs

In his 2 years at SwB:

.301/.372/.478 (.850 OPS) in 730 ABs

Only thing that blocked Chooch until '06 was Lieberthal and his contract.

Another knock on Gillick here is how poorly he generally handled the catcher position. Acquired Fasano in '06 to the backup to Lieberthal despite having Chooch. Acquired Barajas in '07.

As for Chooch:

He hasn't put up the power numbers that Lieberthal did but he has a notably higher OBP because of his much higher career % BB rate.

Also been a much better defender at this prime while under making a ton less.

Hard to say where Chooch would be right now on a list of all-time Phils' catchers. Top 5 includes Boone, Daulton, Lieberthal, Seminick, and Chooch.

I would imagine Boone would be listed as #1 but if you look during their primes you could make a strong argument for Chooch. Curious debate.

Probably also worth noting that Lieberthal's power numbers came during the greatest power era in baseball history. So when you compare relative to the rest of the league, he's not even that much of a better power hitter than Chooch (though he obviously still was somewhat).

Also funny that Lieberthal was considered an absolute drag on the Phillies offense in the 2004-2006 years, when he hit .268/.332/.441 combined. Those numbers would make him one of our top hitters this year, easily.

IS the AL still tougher on pitchers? Don't tell that to Ernesto Frieri

i heard about PODS last nite on CSN phils post game show,

in other news re: other former phils

1- raul - game winning hit
2- dobbs - ditto
3 floyd - shutout
4 gio - win for gnats

Any news on Ruiz after getting hit in the head with the bat last night?
Looked bad on TV . but he doesn't seem to react much , finished the game and all.
The story on Harper hitting himself with the bat made me wonder.

If you're a Nats phenom it's news, if you're a veteran catcher it's another day at the office.

According to the baseball pundits, Rice’s behavior was acceptable as he flipped out in the tunnel not in the dugout; how bout the helmet flip or the fist tantrum was he just missed catching a popup?

Who are they kidding? Rice boiling over when things don’t go his way is not acceptable, part of growing up is finding an appropriate way of dealing with frustration.

"Raul be seeing you in Monument Park"

WTF does that even mean, John Sterling?

Another dinger for Ibanez though.

Jack, yes, I'll stand by that statement.

If Mayberry continues to hit, they'll win the division.

BTW, my position is pretty consistent with much of what I posted in the offseason and preseason.

Nothing new there.

Best thing about Lieberthal was his fan-given nickname:

Six-Four-Three berthal.

Only one that may rival that is

Inning Endy Chavez.

Trip A Berry just doesn't come off the tongue like the others.

If Mayberry continues to hit, they'll win the division.

Posted by: awh | Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 05:48 PM

That's not exactly what you said earlier. You said if he continues to have a .783 OPS, the PHillies will win the division even if Howard and Utley don't come back. I think this is wrong. While a .783 OPS is certainly better than the crap he was doing over the first 25 games, how does that make up for the loss of Howard and Utley?

Fatti, sematics.

"...how does that make up for the loss of Howard and Utley?"


What stated that it does?

"Who stated that it does". Sheesh.

How is it semantics? You stated that if Mayberry posts a .783 OPS from here on out, the Phillies will make up 5.5 games in the standings and win the division "with or without Utley and Howard", meaning that if he keeps up that pace, Howard and Utley could miss the rest of the season, and they'd win the division.

I disagree. The only way we win the division is if one of the two comes back, and resembles some form of themselves from last year.

Have some sack and drink some Jack. Oh wait. That's not my line. My line is "This feels like a loss."

Halladay has thrown 8 pitches out of the strike zone. He's been uncharacteristically wild at points this year.

That last pitch was gorgeous.

Gallant takes pitches in the lead off spot and gets a feel for the pitcher.

Goofus flies out on the second pitch he sees.

Pet peeve of mine; Wheels just said "Pitcher could care less". The phrase is "Couldn't care less".

Did anyone else hear T-Mac say pence was 2 for 3 vs volquez as the graphic flashed that he was something for 21??

Cholly just couldn't bring himself to bat his hot catcher in front of his slumping 1B.

If only murph could have continued announcing the game instead of tbag.

Just a great swing by Mayberry. Keep it up big guy!

I'm surprised that one stayed in the yard. Then again, I was also surprised that the ball off Kotsay's bat stayed in the yard, so I suppose it evens out.

Free Fontenot

Another big time Rollins at bat. 2-0, outside the zone and he hits a lazy popup.

Have some sack and drink some Jack. Oh wait. That's not my line. My line is "This feels like a loss."

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 07:06 PM
* * *

This cracked me up!

The team's keystone is beginning to show cracks.

I know its 1 run, but Doc just doesnt seem right. Bartlett and Venable? Ive seen a bunch of 89 mph fastballsand he keeps hanging curveballs.

Jroll flat out sucks - he is very predictable -- after 2- 0 or 2-1 swing

Hi cheese - hunter swings like his bat is Swiss cheese

I think its about time that someone counts how many times t-bag and wheels say heckuva. Maybe they have one of those contracts that have adjective limits.

Very nice. Pence

If wheels got bonuses for dumb comments, he would be able to afford better toupees.

If this is the 2012 version of Roy Halladay, it's more like a 10-story free-fall than a decline.

did tmac have a breast reduction?

These are absolute meat-balls batter after batter. If the ball were carrying like it does in the summer, this would be about 8 to 1 right now.

Think doc is injured?

these aren't just temporary blips either. this has become a troubling trend with halladay.

LGO: I'm no expert, but he doesn't look injured to me. His pitches still have a ton of movement on them. It's just the location which is bad (although better that inning). And it doesn't help that he keeps falling behind in the count -- which is totally uncharacteristic for him.

5 innings. 5 hits. 7 K's. 1 BB. 72 pitches. I run.

Yeah - I see now why everyone's hand-wringing about Halladay.

A classic Sarge-ism: "Cleveland is playing really pretty good ball."

Albert: Are you actually watching the game, or are you watching on Gameday?

K's tell the tale -- as long as Doc keeps striking people out, he's probably OK. I'm sure he's simply adjusting to the toll taken by so many innings pitched over the years.

BAP, you were right on about Rollins striking out a bunch this year. Very uncharacteristic and a troubling sign.

BAP practically salivates anytime he gets a chance to opine that someone is washed up or on the decline. Every year he's like a vulture circling his prey, and this year his prey is Roy Halladay.

It will be interesting to see what happens at the end of the year when Halladay's numbers put him again in contention for the Cy Young. My guess is, he just pretends he ever said anything.

If you combined Ryan Howard's ability to make contact with Juan Pierre's power, you'd have Jimmy Rollins.

BAP - I'm watching the game. I've seen him throw 48 strikes in 74 pitches.

Something must be causing it...

When a Phil's batter is at 1-2 or 0-2 -- they always swing at the next pitch which is always seem to be a breaking pitch, but they think it's going to be a fast ball... Like JRoll or Pence... Why don't they learn?v

i can't believe pence didn't swing at that last pitch. professional hitter.

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