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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Comments

On the Molina/Chooch debate...defensively, teams simply dont run against Molina.

SB Attempts 2010-2012
Chooch: 226 in 2,631.1 IP
Molina: 168 in 2,850.2 IP

With good reason...

CS% 2010-2012
Chooch: 28.76%
Molina: 38.69%


In two words: probably not.

IMO, Diekman is the more likely breakout performer as a lights-out situational lefty.

Neither is all that likely, though.

No. If he improves his slider, he is at least a MLB-caliber reliever. Right now he is basically a fringe guy. Doesn't have the command on his fastball & doesn't get nearly enough hitters to chase his slider.

Chooch is a good defensive catcher but Molina is notably better because of his arm. Much stronger whether on throwing out runners or fielding bunts.

Schwimer is old, his stuff is good, not great. But he certainly can be a useful middle reliever.

Diekman gets more love because of the high K/9 and many Beerleaguers believe K/9 is the only meaningful stat for pitchers, but unless Diek undergoes a radical command improvement he won't be as successful as Schwimer.

But his K/9 will be spectacular.

Personally, I think it would be less risky to call up a Trip A pitcher to take the start today than to use the bullpen, but Charlie obviously has his reasons.

I think all these guys could be decent. They just need consistent work. When Diekman doesn't pitch for a week and then can't throw a strike, I'm not exactly shocked. They need to take hold of the opportunities they are given and so far it seems Schwimer has stepped up lately. So yeah, I'll take more looks at him in later innings. Cant' be any worse!

Give me a few more weeks till we make that proclamation. I like the way he has pitched recently. Just hope him and Jake can pick it up and be valuable commodities.

On one hand, I consider tonight's game appointment television to see Utley back on the field. On the other hand, I can't believe I'm going to subject myself to watching this bullpen pitch nine innings.

Personally, I think it would be less risky to call up a Trip A pitcher to take the start today than to use the bullpen, but Charlie obviously has his reasons.

I thought the same thing, clout. Charlie must have his reasons, but I wish I knew what they were.

"As an 8-hitter, Ruiz has a career 12.5% walk rate. In every other position, he has an 8% walk rate. It's not that the walks don't count, and don't help the team, just that they don't really reflect skill on the part of Chooch."


C'mon Jack, you know better than that. You can't just use "walk rate" to make that judgement.

I could just as easily argue that Chooch walks more in that spot because he sees more crap tossed at him when hitting 8th.

But what happens when he's hitting in another spot and he sees better pitches? His lowest BA hitting anywhere above 8th is .308, as opposed to a BA of .247 in the 8-hole. That more than makes up for the lower walk rate.

Go look at his OBP and SLG when he hits higher up in the lineup. His lowes OPS is .842.

I could argue that Charlie has "misused" him since he came up. "No-Hit" Nunez and Pete Happy used to hit above him in the lineup.

Could it be that our whole perception of Ruiz was skewed to begin with because he was never placed in the proper spot in the batting order based on his ability - having to hit behind inferior players the first few seasons he came up?

Clout: How do you define success, then?

Schwimmer is unlikely to ever be anything more than one of the last righties in the bullpen--a Clay Condrey.

Diekman has a chance, even with mediocre command/control, to be a situational lefty used late in games and in key spots, or more than that if he improves his command. Simply put, his upside is higher than Schwimmer's, no question.

As I said before, neither are likely to become much. But if they reach their potential, Diekman is better and more valuable.

On Diekman, I think its important to remember that he only has 29.1 IP above AA.

He might just improve going forward as he gets experience against advanced hitters.

Anyway, for a situational reliever, I'm confused as to what would be a more useful stat than K/9?

If there's runners on first and third in a close game with a good lefty at the plate, I think having a lefty with a really high K rate would be a pretty damn valuable piece to have.

Clout apparently has a fetish for mediocre righties like Kendrick and Schwimmer, though. Yeah, I think I'll take the high strikeout guys, thanks for asking.

RE: Schwimer:

I sure hope he can continue to pitch this well because so far this season the bridge to Papelbon has been littered with corpses.

Bryan G: As I said, it will require much improvement by Diekman in his command. He is now 25 years old. It could happen, although I'd like his chances better if he were 23. If it does happen, because of his superior stuff he could be more than just a middle reliever.

awh - 'Crap to Pap' has been pretty apt phrase to describe it.

It's all logistics. The 40-man is at 40. Utley is coming back today, so someone is already going to be sent down. The chances someone at Triple-A goes 5 IP in a debut is probably as strong as Valdes.

Jack: Here is a simple yes or no question. Just answer yes or no.

Do you think it is possible for a pitcher to have a successful MLB career based on command and location rather than velocity and K/9?

There's about a 1 in 3 shot that Diekman will strike out a given hitter (as he has struck out 21 of 64 batters faced).

For LHBs, that jumps to 11 in 24 (45.8%)

There is some limited value in that if he is used correctly.

If only the Phillies had ever had a lefty reliever with very good stuff for whom command was an issue in the minors, and then that lefty reliever improved their command and developed into a really good late-inning reliever.

I'm racking my brain, but I can't think of any.

*** As I said, it will require much improvement by Diekman in his command. He is now 25 years old. It could happen, although I'd like his chances better if he were 23. ***

We are in complete agreement on both Diekman and Schwimer.

I wonder if Valdes will be able to maintain his sterling 17.0 SO/BB ratio as a starter.

Clout: Yes. Of course there is.

But we're playing probabilities here. If you're telling me there's two young pitchers: Pitcher A, who has really high strikeout stuff but mediocre command, and pitcher B, who has good command but only a mediocre strikeout rate.

Which one would I prefer? The guy with the stuff, every time. It's not that Pitcher B can't be a major-league pitcher--of course he can. It's just more likely that the guy with good stuff will make it, and will be a better pitcher at that.

For example, take a guy like Cliff Lee.

Lee is a classic example of a guy finding his command and control at the major league level and using that to become an ace.

You know what Lee's career K/9 was in the minors? 10.1.

The guy always had stuff.

I agree with Weitzel - the odds that the AAA slop that is on regular rest will give them five innings is probably no higher than Valdes and, isnt likely to be worth the 25 man roster move. All this would have been avoided if Amaro called up a AAA guy to throw on Sunday and.or Manuel threw Lee on Sat. and had Kendrick available for a short (or regular) start today.

Bryan G: Diekman has faced 66 batters, not 64.

His K rate is an excellent 32%. But he also has an 18% chance of walking or hitting a batter and an 18% chance of giving up a hit. Which makes his chances of doing either one of those things higher than his K chances.

Jack: "Clout: Yes. Of course there is."

This is the first time in 4 years on this board that Jack has ever acknowleged the value of command, control and location in pitching and acknowledged that you can have an MLB career without a K/9 above 7.

I can now retire.

The problem with going all pen tonight is not just that we will be terrified all night long but that tomorrow is a day game. This has the makings of a disaster.

clout, retire?

NOoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

it's not manuel making the decision on the bullpen. it's dubee. dubee handles all pitching decisions, even in-game removals except on the rare occasion manuel intercedes

"I think it would be less risky to call up a Trip A pitcher to take the start today than to use the bullpen, but Charlie obviously has his reason."

Agreed. We'd probably lose either way, but the odds of getting a disastrous performance would seem to be lower when you're banking on 1 AAA/AAAA pitcher than when you're banking on 4 of them. But, more important than that, calling up a starter would help mitigate the collateral damage of having 2 to 3 relievers likely unavailable for a Kyle Kendrick start tomorrow.

Of course, as mick o. noted in yesterday's thread, the Phillies could have prevented today's scenario if they'd had the foresight to use that extra double-header roster spot on a starter. They could simply have let the call-up start one of the DH games, putting all our other pitchers back on normal rest.

Why, WHY are the young pitchers tweaking mechanics and learning/refining secondary pitches with Dubee at the MLB level?

That's on RAJ to get player development right.

Increasingly, I am losing faith with RAJ. Anyone can be a GM who puts out the big contract offer and makes the high profile "bold move" (a la Washington Redskins).

Bryan G. is NEPP?

It will be interesting to see who gets sent down - Fontenot or mini-fail.

Some of you have said you thought it would be Luna, but right now he's the only RHB on the bench when RFD starts in LF.

Question: Does Fontenoot have options?

"The problem with going all pen tonight is not just that we will be terrified all night long but that tomorrow is a day game."

It;s a good thing they;re throwing their most consistent starter tomorrow.

yes bap...I'm just signed in with my Google account.


Note: there was previously another poster who went by Bryan G...that was not me. I havent seen him around in a few months though.

If you wait for Michael Schwimer to become the stud of the bullpen, you might as well be waiting on your welfare check.

Clout: Oh, save it.

My argument has never been that you *can't* make a career on that stuff. It's that the likelihood of success is so much smaller than for a guy with better stuff. Simple as that.

But you have a soft spot in your heart for mediocre righties with fringe stuff, and I tihnk that's nice of you. I would never want to take that away from you.

If Martinez isn't sent down tonight I don't know what I'm going to do.

Bryan: I see that. I wonder if they don't count HBP as a BF.

If you call up a AAA guy tonight, do you send down two position players or one of the AAA relievers> My understanding is that tom cochran is the Lv pitcher on regu=lar rest and, hes averaging a bit more than 4 innings a start.

My recollection is yuo can;t send a guy down and then call him back up the next day, barring injury. I thought you have to stay down for 10-15 days. So, you;re either stuck with cochran for a couple weeks or, you all up rosenberg again. am I right>

"If you wait for Michael Schwimer to become the stud of the bullpen, you might as well be waiting on your welfare check."

"Stud of the bullpen" is obviously never going to happen. His upside is probably a Chad Durbin type, which would be very helpful to our bullpen -- especially given his salary. For that matter, even if he became a Clay Condrey type, it would be helpful.

Mini has options, Fontenot does not, per a tweet I saw yesterday (Zo?).

Basically, if they screw this up, they're doing it on purpose.

*** I wonder if they don't count HBP as a BF.***

That would explain the discrepancy in the numbers.

Good to see NEPP has finally been unmasked. Now, we have to go up to Vermont and look for anyone with the name "Bryan" with a last name that begins with a "G". Simple as that.

It appears that Manuel let Fontenot out of the doghouse with an eye toward the impending roster move. Or, at least thats teh way I want to view it. His limited action over the last few games will hopefully sway the decision in his favor.

Not a lot of options besides starting Valdes tonight.

"Triple-A Lehigh Valley's scheduled starter Wednesday is lefty Tom Cochran, who has spent 10 seasons in the minors without a taste of the big leagues. Double-A Reading is scheduled to throw Julio Rodriguez, a 21-year-old prospect with all of 14 starts above single A.

Tyler Cloyd has a 2.17 ERA in 11 triple-A starts, but he last started Saturday. He threw 96 pitches and would have to make his major-league debut on short rest if he were to start Wednesday. Hard to see that.

Veteran Scott Elarton has 170 career major-league starts to his name — although none since 2007. But he pitched Sunday for the IronPigs and that pushes him out of the mix."

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies_zone/No-obvious-option-for-Wednesday-start.html

Valdes hasn't pitched since Saturday so he should be good for 3-4 innings easily.

Considering the Phillies Front Office's ability to handle the Rule 5, I'm not in the least bit shocked that they already effed up the new "26th man for a double header" rule.

Sadly, it's a screw up that will linger for the better part of a week, as the 'pen will be quickly depleted today, in advance of tomorrow's KK start, and it will perpetuate itself.

Simply rolling the dice on Sunday (which was a loss anyway) could have prevented probable "feels like a loss" scenarios today and tomorrow.

"Good to see NEPP has finally been unmasked."

I was actually thinking that he needed a scolding for posting under a false handle of Bryan G. The name on his birth certificate is NEPP, and that's the name he should post under.

WP: What do you mean?

Jack, in regards to the 26th man for day-night DH's. Bringing up a starter for one of the Sunday games would have the rotation right back in its usual spot, rather than having to go the 'pen route tonight, which will likely deplete the 'pen for at least tomorrow, as well.

I keep checking the tweets from the press to see who is sent down tonight to make room for Utley. Isn't it unusual to have the news so late? Might there be a doubt about Utley's return, or perhaps a disagreement about who is sent down today?

It had better be Mini-Mart. Fontenot would have to be DFA'd, no? I can't see them sending down Luna for the reason awh mentioned above.

can of corn: I don't think this timing is unusual. They love to wait for the absolute last minute for this sort of thing. I would expect an announcement in the mid-late afternoon.

"Diek undergoes a radical command improvement he won't be as successful as Schwimer."

Medically known as a radical commandectomy.

"Could it be that our whole perception of Ruiz was skewed to begin with because he was never placed in the proper spot in the batting order based on his ability - having to hit behind inferior players the first few seasons he came up? "

I think so. One thing I often see is that people argue about the statistical attributes of players' performance without contextualizing them sufficiently. The prime example is Howard. He would be a very mediocre hitter in most positions in the lineup, but at cleanup he produces RBI at historical rates (yes - when controlled for the number of opportunities as reflected in his career OBI% and HR/AB rate).

That's not to say that a hitter would become a better/worse hitter depending on where they are in the lineup, but where they are in the lineup affects how well their skills can me maximized.

I can't wait to see that Mini-Mart isn't sent down so that I can write about 25 posts today complaining about it.

"Some of you have said you thought it would be Luna, but right now he's the only RHB on the bench when RFD starts in LF."

Incorrect. Michael Martinez is a RH bat. Granted, his career splits as a right-hander are .160/.169/.173. But that has never stopped Cholly from believing that, if a LHP is on the mound, and a pinch hitter is needed, Mini-Mart is the man for the job.

I'll be very surprised if anyone other than Luna gets sent down.

I'm not sold on Schwimer. I think Diekman will be the one to amount to anything substantial at the MLB level. If Schwimer does make anything good out of his MLB career, I will be surprised.

I don't think this timing is unusual. They love to wait for the absolute last minute for this sort of thing. I would expect an announcement in the mid-late afternoon.


You see, the Pirates have to waste the whole day planning for both contingencies, giving neither Mini or Fonty their full planning attention. Once again, an Amaro move beyond the ken of your journeyman Beerleaguer.

BTW, my favorite part about that split is the fact that his OBP is only .09 higher than his BA. That's because, in 78 career PAs as a right-hander, he has exactly 1 walk. He also has a SF, which actually counts against his OBP but not his BA (since it's a PA but not an AB).

My second favorite part about the split is that he has only 1 extra base hit in those 78 PAs.

bap"I was actually thinking that he needed a scolding for posting under a false handle of Bryan G. The name on his birth certificate is NEPP, and that's the name he should post under."

Long form or short form?

Who the hell is this Bryan G character?!?

awh and Phlipper: In the sense that batting 8th in the NL is substantially different than any other lineup spot, then yes, our perception of Ruiz was changed. But I don't particularly know why hitting behind Nunez and Feliz (whom awh used as examples) would affect his BA so much.

I think that Ruiz has simply improved as a hitter. His career AVG in the 8-hole reflects that he just wasn't a particularly good hitter his first couple years in the majors. His walk rate was artificially inflated a little bit, but what would hitting 8th have to do with his low BA? If it reflects that pitchers were giving him bad pitches out of the zone, then that is Ruiz's fault for swinging at them--it reflects upon him as a hitter.

I would like to see some research, if possible, on the affect of hitting 8th in the NL. If it appears that players as a whole have lower BA's hitting 8th than they do in other spots, then I'd be willing to consider that maybe it really did have a significant effect on Ruiz. Otherwise, I think it's largely just coincidence--he improved as a hitter, which (along with injuries to others) resulted in him moving up in the lineup, where he continued to improve as a hitter.

Aha...In terms of send-down timing, I am probably thinking of away games when announcements are made earlier so that non-car transportation can be arranged. It still seems odd that there isn't more fanfare what with the purported return of the savior.

Agree...I am also just waiting to stress over the retention of MiniMart. One must wonder how Fontenot feels, not quite understanding why his job might be in jeopardy.

Bummed I can't watch the first few innings on television tonight. My prediction is that after a crazy reception, Utley has a relatively lackluster evening.

Edmundo: Ain't it the truth!

I actually am sort of secretly rooting for Mini-Mart to stay today. For the sole reason that it will be hilarious to watch as every single observer (fan, beat writer, analyst, etc.) notes how ridiculous a decision it is, while Phlipper, and Phlipper alone, is left to defend it.

There is no way Fontenot is getting sent down. The Phillies make some extremely puzzling roster moves, but you'd really have to suspend all disbelief to conclude that, of the 3 candidates, they'd demote the one who: (1) can play all 3 infield positions; (2) is hitting .346; (3) has, by far, the beat career OPS of the 3; and (4) is the only one of the 3 who is out of options.

Demoting Fontenot is not even within the realm of possibility.

Last year, I'd have absolutely been rooting for Mini-Mart to stay, simply for the BL fodder.

But having him off the squad, and having Fontenot as the back-up utility IF behind Utley/Rollins/Polanco, is a significant upgrade, and the team as currently constituted could use all the upgrades it can get.

Jack, the check is in the mail. Thank you.
Clout can now roll up his Trevor Hoffman poster and go back to Shady Acres.

Are we expecting Utley to even play the full game tonight? What if it gets out of hand early? Do we have ANY indication as to how Cholly is planning on managing his playing time (particularly in the field)?

Lackluster performance or not, Utley's primary contribution is leadership, right? At least that's what I keep hearing. I'm fully expecting the Phils to run the table now that Saint Utley has said he hasn't given up on the season.

Utley's greatest qualities were his ability to hit like an elite 3B, while playing good to great 2B defense, and being one of the best base-runners in the game.

Once you get past all that, then yeah, I guess he's known for his leadership, as well.

If leadership, though, is all that follows him back to the ML, I fear that the Phillies won't be noticeably better than they were without him.

LaRussa started Carpenter on short rest in the playoffs last year and was roundly criticized by the PPP collective. The PPP collective told us the St. Louis bullpen was horrible. The much maligned bullpen pitched a gem that game and for the remainder of the playoffs.

I'll start a preemptive "Free Mini Mart" chant

Right now, Phillies second basemen are giving them...
.246/.271/.381/.652

Raise your hand if you think Utley will do worse than that?

I think they'll be a little bit better. Noticeably.

My sole hope is that they designate MiniMart and another team's out of touch GM or perhaps a Korean squad sees that he got a bunch of playing time and decides they want his experience.that way we are guaranteed he is gone.

Utley looks bigger and stronger than he has in years. He looked too skinny last year

Utley looks bigger and stronger than he has in years. He looked too skinny last year

Posted by: Creatiner | Wednesday, June 27, 2012 at 01:13 PM

Wait, isn't it too late for the "he's in the best shape of his life" tag line?

http://i.imgur.com/w7u9e.gif

Clout - I think you're forgetting that no matter what age Diekman is, he only recently retooled his delivery to sidearm. Sidearmers are notoriously late developers and the fact that he's adapting to a new delivery means he is still relatively early in his development. If he can achieve even modest command with his raw stuff, he'll be very successful.

And Phlipper, a commandectomy would be REMOVAL of command. Maybe you'd like to rephrase to a command augmentation procedure.

And for the person who criticized the minor league pitching coaches, BINGO. Virtually every Phillies pitching product has had to undergo a near complete retooling of their pitching for a very long time. Either changes of grip or reworking of their mechanics. My suggestion would be to put Dubee into a Heimuller role off and on during the season. Every couple of months or so, he should take an off day and work with the minor leaguers. Give him a bump in pay. Or give him a pound of doobies. Whatever it takes. The Phillies player development people have always been among the worst in baseball. But it's becoming more glaring now that they're at their max salary and are forced to bring up their own products more often.

The comment yesterday was that Utley's knees "feel better and stronger than they have in years"

So we're in full ST mode right now!!!

Scenario: If Chase gets used to hitting MLB pitching and if he shows he is productive, wouldn't you just walk him to get him on base knowing his legs are prone to get tired and painful, he can't steal and the longer he stays out there, the more prone he will be to need to get back to the bench and sit things out?

I said that on here yesterday that Chase's upper body looks way bigger than I ever remember it. I wonder if whatever work he did to bulk up on top has worsened his knees.

""Some of you have said you thought it would be Luna, but right now he's the only RHB on the bench when RFD starts in LF."

Incorrect. Michael Martinez is a RH bat. Granted, his career splits as a right-hander are .160/.169/.173. But that has never stopped Cholly from believing that, if a LHP is on the mound, and a pinch hitter is needed, Mini-Mart is the man for the job.

I'll be very surprised if anyone other than Luna gets sent down."


bap, you do realize that you posted contradictory statements, no?

I wrote:

"...but right now he's the only RHB on the bench when RFD starts in LF."

You wrote:

"Incorrect. Michael Martinez is a RH bat. Granted, his career splits as a right-hander are .160/.169/.173."


I respectfully submit that someone with a .160/.169/.173 slash line is not a "bat" of any persuasion.

That said, if RFD starts in LF and mini-fail is at 2B, then Luna is the only RHB on the bench.


My position is this:

mini-mart is the worst position player on the roster, and should be the one sent down. Period. He could be the greatest defender at any position in MLB history, and still shouldn't be on a MLB roster - not with a .185/.245/.268 lifetime slash line.

That's not even Mendoza Line bad.

UTley always comes into the season looking massively ripped and then proceeds to lose 30 lbs through the course of the season. We're just seeing late February Utley in late June instead.

"LaRussa started Carpenter on short rest in the playoffs last year and was roundly criticized by the PPP collective. The PPP collective told us the St. Louis bullpen was horrible. The much maligned bullpen pitched a gem that game and for the remainder of the playoffs."

Is there a point in there somewhere? Are you criticizing the so-called "PPP collective" for finding fault with Larussa's approach in the playoffs, or for finding fault with the Phillies' approach for tonight's game? Or are you trying to tell us that even a crappy bullpen can pitch well in short spurts? Or that the Phillies' bullpen isn't crappy? Or that St. Louis's bullpen wasn't crappy last year? Your post is all over the place. If there was a "main idea" behind it, it got lost somewhere along the way.

Utley 2 or 3 hole tonight? I think 3, because Polanco is giving you .309/.410/.424 in his last 10 games.

rollins
polanco
utley
ruiz
pence
vic
mayberry
wigginton

Suddenly our bottom of the lineup has some pop, altho without Nix is weaker than hoped.

I predict that Mini-Mart will NOT be sent down.

Good Schwimers means the pen is mightier.

awh: I agree with every word of your exposition. However, there was nothing "contradictory" about my statements. I think I made it rather 100% clear to anyone who can read that, while no sane person can regard Mini-Mart as a viable RH pinch hitting option, he IS a RH bat: (1) in a literal sense; and (2) in the minds of Cholly and RAJ.

Schwimlocity, baby.

James McDonald has having a great year(2.19 ERA, .95 WHIP) but his BABIP is at .248 and he's coming off a career high 122 pitches last outing(his first career CG).

No time like to the present for him to come back to Earth.

"I predict that Mini-Mart will NOT be sent down."

Agree. The Phillies believe that Mini-Mart is a better, and more versatile, defender than Fontenot. They also believe that, of the two, only Mini-Mart is capable of playing a competent shortstop. Personally, I see very little justification for any of those beliefs. However, I see ample evidence that the beliefs are genuinely held.

Hence, they will keep Mini-Mart because, in their minds, he is the only backup shortstop they have.

Jack, I agree that Chooch has improved as a hitter. That's inarguable (except to a few).

What I am saying is that it stands to reason that a player is going to see a larger number of good pitches to hit if he doesn't have the pitcher (or mini-fail) behind him.

Chooch even dispalyed the ability to hit better higher in the order when he was first called up:

2006
Batting 7th: .333/.400/.667, 31 PA
Batting 8th: .225/.256/.300, 44 PA

2007
Batting 7th: .304/.371/.464, 65 PA
Batting 8th: .243/.333/.380, 358 PA

2008
Batting 7th: .200/.231/.240, 26 PA
Batting 8th: .231/.339/.321, 316 PA


With the exception of 2008 (and a miniscule sample size of 26 PA) he hit considerably better higher in the order.

Granted, the sample sizes are small, but it seems to me there was a trend established -
a trend that has continued and NOT been disproved.

The fact that Charlie was not until recent season (with the injuries, addition of mini-mart, etc.) "forced" to hit Chooch higher in the order, doesn't change the fact that the record, although small sample sizes, clearly illustrates he has been a better hitter if he's higher in the order.

I think it's 60/40 Mini-Mart will not be sent down.

It has been clear that for whatever reason, Charlie and the other talent evaluators on the team think that Mini-Mart has more talent than he has shown thus far in his performance.

As I've said before, Charlie has previously stuck with players when the BLer chorus said he was wrong for doing so, only to be vindicated later.

Still, I do have a sense that as of a couple of days ago, the hard time Charlie got from the press, along with the subsequent decent play from Fontenot and the string of consistently really, really bad hitting from Mini-Mart, may have been enough to sway Charlie from his optimism on Mini-Mart and get over having watched Fontenot make a string of crucial errors earlier in the season.

It's time for Mini-Mart to prove that he has skills from the minor leagues.

What I do find amusing, however, is that after watching Charlie and the FO over the years (very successful years, I might add), anyone would say that sending Fontentot down is not an option. It seems to me that the only reason to ignore the reality of the past to make predictions that the only option is for them to reverse past policy, would be to set it up so the whining can reach perhaps unprecedented levels at BLer.

If that is even possible.

And as if any excuses are actually needed.

I LOL at the fact that the conversation centers more around Martinez' possible departure than it does Utley's return. Not surprised, just LOL worthy.

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