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Friday, July 06, 2012


Ty Wigginton, defensive sub....


Stop it, your killing me!!!

Feels like we'll need 7+ runs to win.

@Fatalotti: Yeah, I got a chuckle from that, too, however, I think he means for as a sub for Howard who probably won't be playing a full 9 innings right away.

Ryan Howard 1 for 3 single with 2 RBI (one on a SF) and BB.

He's going to be better than Howard defensively.

Not sure there's any other good place to put him, but with a recovering Achilles is there much chance Howard hits like a number four hitter?

Oh I got the implication that he'd be subbing for Howard. Still made me laugh.

In Philly we call them defensive hoagies.

Believe it or not, our #4 hitters are the best in the NL this year, according to the ESPN stats page.

Defensive hoagie Ty Wigginton. Wiz Wit Wigginton.

EFF - that's amazing. So why mess with success?

EFF - I believe it, since Chooch has been hitting #4 a lot. Hopefully Howard steps right in and mashes like his old self.

You're just moving that success to the No. 5 spot.

JW - yeah but that is like saying you like the 300 pound guy in the 40 yd dash instead of the guy who with leg and a wood stump.

I am looking forward to seeing Howard at 1B though vs RHP than Mayberry or Wigginton.

Do you guys have jobs? I come on here a few times a week and the same names are always blah blahing. Guessing you're a bunch of 16 year olds or unemployed goons milking your folks. In any case, get lives

The amazing thing about EFF's stat is that group of 4-hole hitters has included Hector Luna, Ty Wigginton, the slumping-early Hunter Pence and the slumping-always Shane Victorino. Even all that mess could not wear down Ruiz's numbers in that slot.


Howard is going to play nearly everyday unless he looks absolutely terrible out there. It's not like Utley where they have to watch out for his knees. Howard is healed. He needs to build strength back in that leg to get it 100%. He won't build strength sitting on the bench.

Hahaha Mac. While I'm not a big contributor here, I guarantee you I work longer hours and make tons more money than you could dream of.

That's what you would say.

Another Ian Desmond homer. That guy ... geesh.

Best thing about Howard being back is that Mayberry is largely back in a role where he is best suited - start vs LHP and as a late inning PH/defensive sub. In that limited role, he generally is a positive asset for the club.

Also be stunned if they don't try incredibly hard to know to trade Wigginton in a straight salary dump at the deadline. Won't save much since they are only paying half of his salary but it still would be about $700k in savings. If they don't think they have a shot to make the playoffs, I quietly look for the Phils to move some salary although at this point they don't have much money on the bench or the bullpen in the way of veteran salary to dump either.

I work in an actuarial firm. With all the working and studying for actuarial exams I do, this site is the only thing that keeps me sane sometimes.

I haven't been around nearly as long as most here, but I do have a job. And I post from work.

Howard actually has the opposite affliction of Utley, whereas the fielding doesn't hurt the leg as much as the pivot when batting.

That said, knowing Cholly, he'll put in a "defensive replacement" late in many games, and the games where Howard doesn't start, he'll be relied on to pinch hit.

I like this lineup, too. And if there's ever a time to put together your most productive lineup, it's a Kendrick start.

i look forward to the day when Weitzel can just write... "The standard Set"... haven't seen that much in the last two years.

Mac - could that time be better spent elsewhere? Sure. Americans waste tons of tine though in leisure pursuits on all kinds of crap though. Phils are one of my diversions since I watch almost no TV.

As for the demographics, my bet is that like baseball fans in general this blog attracts a predominantly middle-aged white demographic who are pretty well educated with a bunch of people who have professional or master's degrees.

I've been holding my breath waiting for someone to pine away for Polly or JMJ in this lineup.

I'm starting to turn purple.

With deafening levels of positivity here regarding Manuel's lineup, I'll post one criticism.

KK is a low-strikeout guy who relies on his defense. Polly and Fontenot are on the same level offensively as each other. As such, I would not have sacrificed Polly's defense at third in this particular start. Blanton's or Worley's starts would have made more sense.

I'm with MG. I post from my VERY white collar job and this site serves as a great multitasking distraction between work duties. Not a bad gig if you can get it.

If Howard is ~80% of his old self, that's a pretty solid lineup...although I still prefer Chooch in the 4 hole.

Fat, thank you. I can breathe now. I was starting to get dizzy.

Chris, when you consider the Vic has become almost an automatic out, Chooch kind of still is in the 4 hole.

I am the President of Princeton.

How are you guys going to embrace this Howard guy when the Luna-tic was always there to save our bacon?

Hey tmac sounds like you need a life. If you want to look on here and b about who is on here and who types stuff. How about you do us a favor and don't worry about BL. We are alright with out ya, and will be alright moving forward. TROLL

WP, hadn't even seen your post when I sent mine.

Glad I could keep you alive, though.

This blog also attracts an older audience too than other places that post on the Phils. My bet that the common reader is 35-44 but I am sure JW had much better insight from whatever metric service that Comcast uses to track web site users.

Crazy talk:

Could you trade for Austin Jackson if you gave the Tigers both Hamels and Vic, and paid their 2012 salaries?

Good one, WP...sad but true.

Would really like to see Utley-Chooch-Howard, overplayed as LH/RH matchups are, it makes a difference late in games with LOOGYs coming in to face Utley an Howard back to back rather than forcing him to face off with a potent RH bat like Chooch's (or come out of the game).

Complete devil's advocate question, though I suspect I know which way it will go:

With the 'stros moving to the AL, and talk of the DH in the NL, if the NL adopted next year, who would be the better fit for full time DH for the Phils, Howard or Utley (which would dictate the next area of need at 1B or 2B)?

And I'm assuming that Howard is fully healed by that time (whereas Chase's injury is chronic).

Good point, Chris. In addition to breaking up the L/L hitters, Chooch is a good OBP guy, which would be nice to have in front of Howard.


Would be ideal I think. Obviously mix and match the 7-8 guys with whoever their hoagies are.

Speaking of DH's, don't forget the magical week of Jim Thome as #4 hitting DH we had boosted that stat too.

Man, I could really go for a defensive hoagie right now.

WP: Howard, simply because the guy who would replace Howard at 1st base would almost surely be a much better hitter than the guy who would replace Utley at 2nd base.


Your half right about me. I'm only 16. But I'm gainfully employed as a doctor at Eastman Medical Center in Los Angeles.

I go by the nickname Doogie.


Could you provide your e-mail address and social security number? I have a relative who is a Nigerian prince who has to move millions of dollars right now, and will pay a huge commission to someone who will provide a very limited service.

Just FYI, for his career Utley has hit exactly as well against LHPs and RHPs. (wRC+ 130 vs. L, 129 vs. R)

That wasn't true last year though (72 vs. L, 125 vs. R), so it will be interesting to see if that continues.

Someone had posted a link a couple of months ago to a website that estimates demographics for other websites: among BL readers, the graduate-educated were vastly over-represented compared to the general population. I'll see if I can find the link. / 129-46-1380


BAP, I can certainly appreciate the upgrade of the replacement, and I think I agree with you. And it would certainly make Howard's remaining contract a lot more digestible.

I would, however, be curious to know how Utley's injury dynamic changes if his ONLY responsibilities were on offense. We kept hearing about the defensive toll on the knee(s), and you'd have to assume that you extend Chase's shelf life markedly if you limit that exposure.

DH Phils - look no further than the prime sponsor of the site - the Drexel Lebow MBA. Mac no doubts trolls at sites that being monitored for people like him looking for 16-year olds.

I'm taking a defensive hoagie to the game tonight. It promises to be the one & only highlight of the entire evening.

Anyone who doesn't understand why the questions about potentially rushing Howard back exist should check out Murhpy's latest entry:

Basically, you can roll the dice with a premature Howard return and hope for something unprecedented, while still keeping a few more butts in the seats, or you cut bait on the season, forgo some revenue and look to next year (which will entail getting Howard 100% and probably dealing Hamels). It looks like RAJ is going to take a shot at option A, but I suspect that if things don't turn around, he may reserve the right to change his mind to option B VERY soon.

"We kept hearing about the defensive toll on the knee(s)"
WP, what I heard was many fans speculating about this, but I don't recall hearing anything authoritative.

Is the exertion really so different between 2nd and 1st? There's no pivot at the bag, but there is stepping and diving after balls, running down the line and to the railing for pop-ups, etc. Maybe it is, I just don't see it as so clearly less taxing.

Believe it or not, our #4 hitters are the best in the NL this year, according to the ESPN stats page.

Posted by: EastFallowfield | Friday, July 06, 2012 at 03:55 PM

And if you look at our #1 hitter, sorted by OBP, we're 10th in the NL. Our #3 hitter is 12th sorted by OBP. So we have the best cleanup hitter and no one on base to knock in.

Maybe Arizona takes a shot at Hamels to get them into the playoffs again? They've got a very solid list of pitching prospects and a fringe top100 prospect in Matt Davidson who plays a mediocre 3B but hits very well.

hah dammit, now everyone knows my SSN!

OMG stop mentioning hoagies! I'M GETTING HUNGRY!!!! I'M GETTING HUNGRY!!!! ...

schmenkman, my question was a hypothetical about using Utley as a DH, not moving him to 1B. If the fielding hurts the knees disproportionately, I could see the argument for using Utley in a DH a position (again, all a hypothetical if the NL were to adopt the DH).

I'm with you, I don't see a marked improvement by moving him to 1B. I do recall some of the beat writers confirming that Utley's primary pain point was defense, which was why he was able to take BP much sooner than defensive drills, but I don't know to what extent the defense is that much more of a hurdle.


At a glance it seems like the second baseman would have to do more running over a wider range for grounders and pops/bloopers/flares, covering first and second base, backing up throws that might end up in RF or CF; also dealing with guys sliding into second to break up DPs while they are pivoting, etc.

While everyone has a responsibility on any given pitch and play, I would think the second baseman (as opposed to first baseman)is going to do more running around and be more exposed to hard sliding baserunners with a full head of steam.

Hey Mac, did you decide you'd try to drum up some business by linking a site and selling the group here some Black Ops Zombies? Glad to see you're gainfully employed in a demanding and highly-desired position!

Mac, to put it another way, we have the #1 cleanup hitter, but only league-average OBP in front of him.

1-3 NL avg: .337 OBP
1-3 Phillies: .334 OBP

Vic #2 but JP #7...don't like that at all.

Couldn't even dump an extra ticket at a big loss tonight. The Phils are gonna find themselves in a pitiful situation w/out benefit of huge advance sales next year.

Temperatures above 89 degrees F cause major havoc on recently grafted achilles tendons.

Whether he re-injures his achilles here or at LHV, what does it matter?

I cannot stand to watch more WB Mason commercials if they go to an injury break. Please, I beg of you, noooooooooooo

Even after Thursday’s gut-wrenching loss, in which Jonathan Papelbon blew a save to lose the game, the Phils are still hopeful that things will turn around with the middle of their lineup back in place.

“Howard and Utley definitely help out in that respect, as far as how we bounce back,” Manuel said. “Last night’s gone and ain’t nothing we can do about it.”


LA about KK: "He said he was satisfied with his last start - I think he's the only one who was."

Excited to have Howard & Utley both in the lineup.

KK may put a damper on this excitement pretty early. From 0-2 to a walk. Lovely. I'm sure Bourne will be on 2B in no time, too.

Or, KK will please me by inducing a DP ball.

Nice top of the 1st in that Braves are still scoreless and we saw Rollins, Utley & Howard turn a DP together. Been a while!

Do guys get all star bonuses for making the team the regular way or can they get it if they get picked later (like a replacement guy) ?

"Get me to the plate seriously, that was pathetic."

Whoa. Did they say we've lost 24 games at home thus far, v. 29 lost at home all of '12?

I know we're bad, but sometimes, the stats just knock me for a loop anyway.

I predict a groundout into the shift (wouldn't have been a hit anyway)

Woo woo!

Will take 2 more hits to score him, but woo woo!

He made it to 2B! Wasn't sure he'd be able to run it out, not that he was fast.

That was fun! Welcome back, Ryan Howard!

Welcome back big guy.

big piece, how i love you, how i love you, my dear ol' big piece (sung to gershwin's "swannee").

So if the fans cheer for Hudson if he toughed it out and has to leave, they are the same scum who cheer people getting hurt and leaving the regular way.

I feel better about the Phils facing Hudson than I would a string of bullpen guys. Crossing my fingers for his health.

Hobblin' Howard continuing to not produce

Is it opposite day johnnysanz?

On Braves BL, they are moaning about again getting mowed down by Kyle Kendrick.

KK likes facing the Braves.

So does that mean this will be a night that our offense fails? Hudson's no slouch. Big Piece may have to hit a HR. I'd really like to win some games. Don't want Howard to have the Utley experience of being back for a week before seeing a W.

No matter how the season has gone, there is something quite comforting and familiar in seeing Utley an Howard out there together. Feels like old times.

We only have 1 hit and 0 runs. Feels like 2011 already.

Hudson is really working hard.

Rekindling feelings of Game 5 tonight.

Unacceptable for Papelbon to be a Phillie of the Week after last night's atrocity.

with molina out of the asg, don't you think chooch will be asked to catch r a dickey?

Kendrick cruising.

I figured as soon as I took the "over 9 runs" wager that this would be a pitching duel...

Bob Davidson looked precariously close to instigating another "incident" on that Martin Prado strikeout call.

Almost more pitches in this AB than in the whole last inning

Kendrick and Font, making him work

I like it

Molina's out of the ASG? Did he bow out or get injured?

I see that Ryan Howard has hit a monstrous 0 run homerun.

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