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Sunday, June 24, 2012

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I'm looking forward to seeing how Luna looks at 3B. He'd overdue for a shot at it.

If Luna can't play a better 3rd base than Wigginton, then he doesn't belong on the roster.

The whole concept behind Hector Luna is that he can play a passable (if below average) 2nd or 3rd base and hit somewhat better than most utility infielders. If the first premise is untrue, it undermines the entire justification for his being on the team. The Phillies already have 2 1st basemen. If they want another one, they have players at AAA who can almost surely hit better than Luna.

jim thome, on "behind the pinstripes" says ryan howard is "a man on a mission, a man on a mission" he also said ryan helped him, while he was in florida, to get in a "better position" to hit, just prior to his dh tear.

Just a note (and it pains me to have to point out the obvious). Regardless of whether one is being sarcastic or frank, it is always inappropriate and cringeworthy to use the word "class" or some variation of it ("classy," "classless," or anything else) when praising or criticizing others. Indeed, it is downright vulgar and, thus, reflects very badly on the user.

Would like to see Andres Blanco get healthy and get a shot in the infield. Slick glove!

Agreed on all counts, with the possible exception of the AAA hitters that can hit better than Luna. There isn't anyone down there that I'm particularly excited about: maybe Suomi is the real deal, but I doubt it. Anyway, my point is, considering your first premise, it's strange that he's only been used at 1B and LF thus far, especially considering the fact that he's been acting mostly as a 3B at Lehigh Valley.

But regardless, I think (or hope) that Wigginton has fallen down a peg or two in the 3B line, considering how awful he's been over there.

Personally, I'd take the risk of Thome's back acting up and start him at 1B in the nightcap tonight. Crazy, I know. But the lineup is just a lot better with his bat in there.

I think we'd all love to see Thome get more playing time at this point, but it sounds like they are strictly and categorically against the idea.

epicurean: I am quite confident that Kratz can hit better than Luna. He has substantially out-hit him in their recent minor league careers.

Yeah BAP, you're right about Kratz, he's got a higher ceiling offensively.

T-Mac: "It's crazy that a lot of these Rays haven't faced Hamels. But I guess it isn't that crazy when you consider that the Rays play in the American League."

My God. Please make it stop.

...but it's a fairly short list of potential offensive upgrades over Luna that are squirreled away down at AAA. Kratz, maybe Suomi (probably not). Oh yeah, and Brown.

Nice start for Cole.

Today's a big day in terms of seeing what they got, and if they might be able to make a run. They've won 3 of 4, and have Hamels and Lee going in a doubleheader. If they win both games, maybe there's hope.

BobbyD: I'm with you. If they win these two, I can get back on board here. Gives you a chance at being above .500 at the All-Star Break, which would be really nice considering how many teams they have to pass in the wild card race.

Jose Molina is good at catching. Really good.

better for hacker to have no risp.

Just turned on the game and caugh the tail end of that conversation, but was T-Mac actually saying David Price maybe shouldn't be a major league starter?

maybe mayberry should be hitting cleanup.

Bummed that I have to work tomorrow or I would have gone up to caught Mets vs Yankees with Dickey on the mound.

ESPN ran a great piece on Baseball Tonight on the gym with him and how Dickey's knuckleball this year is approaching a 'transcendent' level because of his ability to have relative command of it & how hard he throws it (~80 MPH).

No MLB knuckleballer in history is though to have been able to drive off the pitching mound like Dickey does, throw it as hard, and have some relative degree of command.

Showalter is the guy who taught him it but he has some unique factors working in his favor - short stride & compact delivery, unusually tough and thick fingerails, and no ligament in his elbow. Good piece.

I would love to get BAP's take on what he sees happening with this game. A lot of potential here for a crushing sort of loss.

Jack: I see Cole pitching a 9-inning, 27-batter, 115-pitch you-know-what, while the Phillies score 0 runs. Then Cholly brings in Schwimer to pitch the 10th. I think you know the rest . . .

Scintillating analysis of the Tommy Bahama shirts.

E5? How about an E3? That was actually a nice play by Luna.

The decision scoring that an error will be changed to a hit as soon as Hamels gives up a legitimate hit. Like now.

Two great pitchers doing their thing so far. Price has been a tab bit sharper with his fastball location though early on.

This inning is going to end badly.

That was tense.

All of those pitches makes me even more worried that we'll see the likes of Rosenberg before the day is done.

That was the most harrowing inning of Phillies baseball since last night.

Looked high.

Good, they took away the error for Luna.

Last strike looked low.

Price is the better pitcher today.

After seeing the replay, though, no it didn't.

Just saw this interesting bit of trivia:


Would you believe....

That after homering against Tampa Bay this week, Jimmy Rollins now has homered against 26 of the other 29 major league teams. The only teams he hasn't homered against are Texas (34 ABs), Seattle (37 ABs) and Minnesota (41 ABs).

This is a great piece about how hard it is to be a MLB catcher, including Ruiz' nervousness when he first came up:
http://www.mcall.com/sports/baseball/phillies/mc-phillies-catchers-ruiz-0623-20120623,0,6181913,full.story

BTY I bet against 'Day Hamels' as I almost do every time out although it was tough given Rays struggles with LH hitters & Hamels pitching at home.

Need to bear down here.

Hamels starting to fade a bit the last 2 innings and struggling to get anything over.

He's had issues with that most of the year where he has command issue around 70-80 pithces.

So far Wiggington has cost Hamels about 15 pitches.

Price is a very good pitcher who is on his game today. But these 1 and 2-pitch ABs are getting a bit tiresome.

If Price is able to consistently hit that knee-high outside corner to RH with his fastball, as he has so far, the Phillies will not score a run.

For some reason, Mini-Mart sliding headfirst into 2nd base there made me laugh.

Mini-Mart looked like he was on a water slide. He started way too early. It was almost pointless to slide anyway because the ball beat him by about 10 feet.

Mini Mart sucks. At least Utley will be back this week but with Galvis out all year and Utley's health status this turd is going to be plenty of PT the rest of the year.

Hamels can throw 140 pitches today, right?

That was a really nice hook by Hamels. He's never been able to consistently be great with that, but the days when it's on, he's that much better.

not a bad 6th inning for a fading pitcher

They should do double-headers like they do in the minors, where each game only goes 7 innings.

Lance - Hamels had run into command issues with a fair degree of regularity this year around 70-75 pitches. It doesn't mean is pitching poorly or should be lifted. Just struggled a bit this year.

J-ROLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I dont get on Mini-Mart like most people do. However im starting to think if they can pick up someone on the waiver wire thats better with the bat. If Galvis didnt go down i would really question the purpose of keeping him on the ML team. I know basically this is Spring Training for him, however he has showed basically nothing at this point.

Ageless James !!!

MG....It read as a sarcastic remark,didn't mean it to be. Hard to capture nuance in a blog!

Aight Pence dont hurt yourself swinging up there. or hacking i should say

Funny thing is that June is JRoll worst month of his career offensively. Hitting close to .330 and more importantly with power.

Nicely done, JRoll!

I have a feeling we're going to need a few more runs.

I just got done inputting the current score (1-0), the number of remaining innings (3), Cole's current pitch count (96), and the collective ERA of our bullpen (a zillion) into my handy Phillies Bullpen Score Translation Machine. The Phillies Bullpen Score Translation Machine tells me that we are actually losing 4-1.

Would you swap Wigginton straight up for Youk? I would.

Editorial comment that goes back to yesterday. Some idiot with a moniker I don't recall seeing on here before, made an allusion to Jim Thome using steroids. Please don't post garbage like that on this discussion board. It's offensive to Jim Thome and every Baseball fan that has followed this man's career.

This is a great AB by Pence, despite almost screwing himself into the ground a couple times.

Which reliever not named Papelbon will blow this game?

Why, Clout? Defense? Better potential for offense? He doesn't have better numbers this season. I always liked Youk, but I view him as injury-prone.

Well Pence struck out but at least he wore the pitcher down a little. Hopefully, hell make a mistake now...crossing fingers...

Wait, I'm sorry.

Are there people who don't think Youk would be an upgrade over Ty Wigginton?

Fat the couple hacks Pence took i keep thinking eventually this guy will pull something..

Jesus, Upton is a fantastic center-fielder. A big reason why the Rays are always near the top of the league in BAbip against.

Gah, where were the 'Mats when we played the Twinkies?

Why would the RedSox take Wigginton for Youk?

I think Youk is a better ballplayer than Wigginton, but I'm leary of adding someone I perceive as an oft-injured player to a roster that has already seen its share of injuries.

BAP: They wouldn't, obviously.

I think the idea is that you'd trade a prospect for Youk, and then Youk would basically replace Wiggy in the lineup (starting games at first and third).

Is there seriously a question as to whether Youk is better than Wiggy?

I mean really?

In fact, since 2008, the Rays have had the best BAbip against in baseball at .278. Good defense is invaluable, and has been a key ingredient in them having made the playoffs 3 of the last 4 years.

I Hamels gets out of this inning at around 110, I wonder if they'll try to push Hamels into the 8th.

Considering its a DH day and considering Bastardo and Papelbon both pitched last night...yeah, you push Hamels as far as you can.

I figured I'd be opening myself up to criticism for questioning Youkilis, but I don't keep up with other players or teams anymore, and I honestly just wanted to hear someone tell my Youkilis is still a solid player. Believe me, I am under no illusions as to Wigginton's worth, especially defensively. I do watch him play quite regularly.

Jack: Well, in that case, it would very much depend on which prospect we're talking about. I don't think there's any doubt that Youkilis is better than Wigginton.

Youk has had back issues all year but when healthy, he'd still be a very good to great hitter.

I dont think he's an full time player anymore though...more like a 4-5 game a week guy.

"my" meaning "me"

Can't wait for Qualls/Diekman next inning. That should be fun.

With Hamels at 111, and the bottom of the order due up in the 8th for the Rays, Hamels starts the 8th for me, with a relatively short leash.

Zero question that Hamels will pitch the 8th.

Um, you'd have to be insane not to swap Wig for Youk (although the trade is so crazy that if the Sox actually offered it it'd mean they knew something bad about Youk's health). Wig hasn't OPS+'d over 100 since 2008. Prior to this year Youk hadn't dipped BELOW 100 since 2004 or below 120 since 2007. I'm on my phone so I can't use b-ref to full effect, but Youk has been a well-above-average offensive player for his career whereas Wigginton has had one good year in '08 and been an average bat otherwise.

Unless you are willing to throw away a 33-year-old guy's career stats and stats over the last few years over one mediocre half-season, and believe Youk has permanently slipped to a .670 OPS hitter, you'd be nuts not to make clout's trade.

Surprised that Bastardo is up in the bullpen after throwing 29 pitches yesterday in 1.1 IP and another game tonight, but I'm not disappointed.

You go for the win now, instead of saving someone for a chance that may not come later. Use Bastardo and Paps now, and if they can't pitch tonight, so be it.

Nice AB mini mart.

Why does Mini Mart even take a bat up there with him?

Some day, people are going to look back at the 2011 and 2012 Phillies and wonder how on earth a player like Michael Martinez ever saw the field.

After all the times that UC has pushed a SP, he chooses today as the time to play it safe?

***Some day, people are going to look back at the 2011 and 2012 Phillies and wonder how on earth a player like Michael Martinez ever saw the field.***

Mike Fontenot has to be wondering that right now...just think how pissed he'll be when he's released next week when Utley returns.

I wonder if the Phillies could appeal to MLB to allow Mini Mart to use a cricket bat to up his odds a bit...

With today's 0 for 3 performance, Mini-Mart is now hitting .164 for his career against LHP. I'm not gonna figure out his up-to-the-minute OBP & slugging, but they were .181 and .186 coming into the game. As bad as he is on an overall basis, his badness goes up exponentially when he bats right-handed. It is just laughable that the Phillies view his "ability" to switch-hit as some sort of asset.

Now that's a hell of an AB.

Do we think Bastardo gets through the 8th, or are we going to need Qualls to come in and blow this thing?

Supposedly Sox are quite anxious to unload Youk, but a number of teams would doubtless offer far more than Wiggy for him. But, if it were possible, it would be a giant upgrade and insurance in case Howard is slow in returning.

BTW, this has been a great game, as advertised. Just a shame the bullpen has to take over now.

If Michael Jordan ever catches a Phillies game that Mini-Mart plays in he might seriously consider making a comeback...."Hey! If that guy can make an M.L.B. roster?...."

Johnson is a terrible hitter. You just cannot walk a guy like that with 0 outs in a 1-0 game.

Leadoff walk. Here we go . . .

Clout: You know that there's no chance on earth that the Red Sox would want Ty Wigginton in return for Youk, right?

Wheels with a "no doubles defense" reference.

Drink.

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