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Monday, October 08, 2012


Kyle Simon seems a strong candidate for the rain out mug in the event Bruntlett gets replaced.

Looks like a troublemaker. Maybe a rain delay where fans run on the field.

Will Zach Collier end up having a better career than Lou Collier?

Also, how do you pronounce Tyler Knigge?

Inquiring minds want to know.

As we monitor the Arizona Fall League and our player's performance, please keep one thing in mind: Very few good pitching prospects were sent this year. It is a "hitters class."

That means two things: 1) Don't go too crazy if someone has good offensive stats. 2) If someone struggles at the plate, that's a bad sign.

Simon has #4 or #5 SP potential, but is a better fit in the bullpen, which, thankfully, is where the Phils are using him. His fastball sits in the high 80s, but he throws it with a delivery that is scary to RH batters and he's got a decent slider. I probably like him more than I should but I think he gets a taste of The Show next season.

clout: Seems encouraging that the FO seems to be acquiring and developing a stockpile of potential bullpen arms. There's a lot to be said for saving money in the pen because the bulk of it is filled with young, internal choices.

Doesn't mean it will work... and not all the internal options are great... but among Simon, Horst, De Fratus, Aumont, Rosenberg, etc., it SHOULD keep the FO from overpaying for a bunch of Chad Qualls. I hope...

Well looks like if the whole baseball thing doesn't work out, Kyle Simon should have a lucrative career in 70's porn.

"Look, I'm not pulling a DPatrone and going back and saying he failed at his job because he didn't get Michael Cuddyer or anything like that. But he could have gotten more creative with LF..."

Ice~ So you finally see the light? My whole point wasn't about WHO he brought it, but rather that he brought in no one. What he "failed" to do was correctly read what Howard's absence meant. We all saw what Howard did on virtually one leg, and that can't be understated.

You're absolutely right, RAJ could've gotten more creative for LF,and the same could have been said for 3B. He didn't. Now he HAS to. But it was all about going over the tax threshhold, which is why Pence was traded (to clear salary, not to mention poor defense).

RAJ should be able to get what he needs for LF & CF. 3B is a huge ?.

mm - He needs to let his hair grow a bit longer but yeah that kind of what I thought too. Extra from Boogie Nights.

Pettitte is planning on coming back next year? Wow, and I thought our roster had its share of old dudes.

If he lets his hair grow he would be Herbert I."Hi" McDunnough in "Raising Arizona". Hey, wow, wait a minute, Arizona.

Meyer: good call!

Knigge is pronounce Ka-nig-ie

Thanks, Dan. I didn't ka-no how to pronounce it.

Will be in Peoria for the next week. If lucky I'll get to a game or two.

Qualls made $1.15M last year. I can't see how you can argue the Phils 'overpaid' for him.

The Phils didn't overpay, but the fact that he underperformed made it seem like they did.

$1.15 million to ruin two teams' chances at the playoffs, and almost a third. Nice work if you can get it. He'll be serving meatballs in the Atlantic League next season.

Hopefully he'll be serving those meatballs to Mini Mart.

TBS having a little fun with Victorino.

Gambled on a veteran reliever who didn't pan out and they got rid of him by the end of June. No big deal.

To say that Qualls cost the Phils their season this year doesn't add up.

The bigger issue is that they didn't really have a viable alternative to Contreras going down. Bastardo stepped in June (along with Qualls) and both failed. Phils also simply didn't have many bullpen prospects at AA/AAA who were capable of stepping in either. They had De Fratus and Aumont. That's it.

Wigginton was a much bigger dog than Qualls & he stuck around all season.

Saw the other day that he had the #9 worst season (ranked by WAR I think) by a Phils player in the past 50 years this season.

Speaking of Qualls, I noticed he pulled his Twitter feed (Qualls50) down too after he took crap on there from fans this year.

If I was an athlete, there is no way in hell I would have a public Twitter account. Why subject yourself to dealing with idiotic fans or possibly saying foolish in haste?

MG: "The bigger issue is that they didn't really have a viable alternative to Contreras going down."

Exactly right. Counting on Contreras, and the choice of Wigginton as Howard's replacement, were the two biggest off-season mistakes.

Spent time on Sunday explaining to my neighbor (also a Phillies fan) why I am rooting against them in the playoffs. I was told that I was supposed to support the divisin teams. Even though I will support the NL in the WS, unless the Orioles get in it, I cannot suppport teams that beat the Phillies in the regular season in the division. That's why I was glad that Atlanta lost. I'm disappointed that the A's have droppped their first two games in their series with the Tigers.

That does not surprise me in the least about Wiggy. 9th worst in WAR almost seems too high.

Nice eye black, Harper.

If I was creating a 'crappy Phillies team', Wigginton would be my starting 3B.

Caught about 2 dozen games Phils games the past year with at least several Wigginton starts at 3B. Little athletic ability and slow reaction time along with being out of shape & overweight.

Charged with 8 official errors (48 chances) in just 21 games (13 GS) at 3B this year. Probably could add another 1-2 if you were really scoring more difficulty.

Averaged MLB had 425 chances at 3B this year. Maybe a full year of Wigginton would have given the Phils at least 50-55 errors (maybe even 60) at 3B this year if for some insane reason they started him there every game.

Dead serious that you could find better defensive players at a semi-pro league.

Not sure if I want to punch Harper in his face, or wash it.

Probably go with Roger Dorn at 3B.

MG: Even worse was the fact that the Phillies chose to begin starting Wigginton at 3B rather than work out a deal w/ the (then-interested) Yankees. Complete waste of an opportunity to dump salary.

I don't think you'll get an argument from anyone in defense of Wigginton, especially not at 3B.

Would love to have a player like Dave f at third. Showed great plate awareness and drive the ball to RC to tie game. Approach was outstanding.

Even Martinez is a better defensive 3B than Wigginton ... & I think you all know the sheer force of will it took for me to type those words.

Probably go with Roger Dorn at 3B.

Heck, I'd take Joel Dorn (The Masked Announcer for those over 45 or so) over Wigginton, and Joel's been dead for 5 years.

Garcia already done for the day.

Why did the Cardinals replace Jaime Garcia? I must have missed something.

Feels like "Natitude" is about to be tested back in D.C.

"Natitude" is a myth.

Going over the summary, I see that Garcia was lifted for a PH in the bottom of the 2nd. Did Matheny want to capitalize on run-scoring opportunities, even though it meant removing his SP after only 2 IP? Or was something bothering Garcia physically?

It really would make more sense for the Nationals to be playing these first 2 games at home. But since they aren't, a split in St. Louis would be good. If they end up winning this, they'll be sitting pretty when they get back to D.C.

Great play. I have coveted Zimmerman since he entered the league. Lucky friggin' Natinals.

GBrettFan: It's not much different from the 2-3-2 World Series format, which (I believe) favors the lower seed. Steal one of the first two on the Road, then you've got a chance to sweep & clinch at Home. In that sense, at least, Bud's Folly might prove beneficial for teams that appear to have been screwed by the rush to institute the 2nd Wild Card.

I thought of that, too, GTown, that if you win one on the road, you've taken home field advantage.

Would you switch the WS format to 3-4? Or not really, since the way home-field is decided is by an exhibition game?

Damn, the Cards' offense is pouring it on.

So does anyone know why Garcia was lifted? My dad in S. Illinois didn't even know he'd been lifted when I called to ask him about it, but speculated that it was because Garcia was struggling early.

GBrettFan: Took Garcia 51 pitches to get through the first 2 innings. I think St. Louis simply wasn't messing around, & yanked him before things got ugly. (Ya hear that, Charlie? The Cards pulled their pitcher BEFORE he baked the poodle.)

Also, I'd keep the WS format as it is. The 2-2-1-1-1 option annoys me. Besides which, & as you mentioned, leaving home field advantage to be determined by the result of an exhibition game removes any semblance of fairness from the equation, anyway.

HFA in baseball isn't as big as it is in other sports. As long as the "more deserving" team gets one more game in the series, I'm fine with it as it is. It's that damn 'travel day' between cities that gets aggravating, especially after we just had a great game and are looking forward to the next one (I'm curious to see if/how Oakland responds to Albuquerque kissing the ball, for instance - gonna have to wait until tomorrow).

They don't have a regular travel day between cities during the regular season, so I don't see the need in the playoffs. Throw a day or two between rounds and call it a day. I'm sure the sporadic schedule (travel days, day/night flip-flops, odd start times, etc.) have a lot to do with the whole "crap shoot" dynamic of the postseason. Not sure why the need to change it all so radically (aside from the obvious $ involved in nationally televising as many games as possible).

Rollins is great in studio for MLB. He's got a future in the studio/booth after playing.

GTown, thanks for the answer. It just seemed so surprising to me that whether he struggled or not, Garcia was pulled after only a few innings, having given up only 1 run. A lot of times a pitcher struggles early and then settles down just fine, as we've all seen.

It worked out for them so far, and they had a reliever who'd been used as a starter for part of the year (their own KK) in Lynn, whom they could trust. Helps that there will be a travel day tomorrow, too.

Iceman, it is killing me to miss Rollins! If I'd known that my Verizon package wasn't going to include MLB Network like my Comcast package, I might not have switched - and now I'm too cheap to pay an extra $16 per month just for the MLB Network.

I'm still hoping they'll put some of Rollins' footage on the MLB Network website. Feel free to tell me anything interesting or clever that he says.

GBrett- I bet eventually they'll have something up on the website. I can't believe they'd charge you $16 for MLB network alone. I think I pay $10 for the package of all the sports networks, and I only watch MLB (though they just added a $7 surcharge for NFL Red Zone this year which I reluctantly pay, because it's the best invention since...well, MLB Network). I am very fortunate to have a significant other that is accommodating of my MLB Network addiction. During the season, the network is on 90% of the time.

Only seen one 30-minute block of Rollins so far but he's very insightful regarding what's going through a hitter's mind against certain pitchers, during certain counts, etc. Always like hearing a hitter's train of thought. He and Mitch Williams are pretty good together as analysts. I'd be shocked if he doesn't go straight from retirement to the TV booth.

The vital question of the day is not how to get Rollins into a broadcasting booth, but how to prevent Bobby Valentine from returning to one.

Man, Kyle Simon's got one hell of a pornstache.

Btw, not to be 'that guy' and inject football on a baseball site, but for those Phans that are also crossover Eagles fans, I am far less offended by the Phils trying to pass Wigginton off as a 'replacement' for Ryan Howard than I am by the Eagles passing off Michael Vick as a 'franchise quarterback,' or even a 'starting quarterback.' Wigginton was not directly responsible for holding an immensely talented team back in mediocrity. The Vick debacle is revolting. I have never seen an athlete held in such high esteem by fans and coaches alike, while having accomplished little to nothing in his entire career.

HRs for everybody!

One thing I'm learning by watching these games as a more or less impartial, or at least not as emotional, observer, is how strong some of these teams are in many areas. I'm getting serious envy of lineups that are strong, powerful & smart.

Iceman, it wasn't JUST for MLB, but in order to get MLB, I'd have to go up to the next level of service. I didn't mean to be misleading.

I think Rollins can be insightful, too, and is quite well-spoken. I agree that he has a future in broadcasting if he wants one. Thanks for the info.

(I didn't mean to suggest that our players are not smart. What I meant by smart was to have good ABs. I probably should have phrased it differently. The Cards and Yankees are very good at working pitchers.)

Nice play, Rook.

Did Harper just do something stupid?

Hard to tell on Gameday.

Harper tagged up on a fly ball to LF and ran to 3B. Holliday's throw skipped, but the SS picked it up and threw quickly to 3B to get him out.

The broadcasters said Harper tried to do too much. Werth also tagged up and scored, as I'm sure you could tell.

Ha... thanks

both teams have 8 hits yet the nats have half as many runs as the cards. is there a stat kept that reflects the efficency of scoring that involves runs/hit numbers? i'd be interested in knowing if the DH effects this to any great degree.

Cards pouring it on right now.

It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. But sometimes, it just kicks your ass.

Nats getting spanked. This series might go 5.

Without Strasburg, Nats SP seems a little thin. Who do they have, other than Gio?

What happened to the Nats' great pitching? Guess they're having an off-day. Geez, 12 runs!

Zimmermann is a legit #1 who had a terrible day.

It would kill me to get to the postseason and not be able to use our best pitcher. Or any of our big 3. It's not that I don't understand the value of a guy's health to himself and the team going forward, it's just that the opportunity to play in the postseason doesn't come easily or every year, and I'd want my team to maximize their chances for winning.

2012 ERA+
Zimmermann: 134
Hamels: 131

Victorino on the TBS broadcast. This is great.

I think they said Zimmerman didn't have good numbers v. STL coming in to this game.

Shane is certainly upbeat and gregarious enough for television. He's not as smooth as Rollins, but that's probably not a fair comparison.

I figured Shane's outgoing & enthusiastic manner would play well on TV. He's holding his own speaking, too. He's not as eloquent as Rollins, as you say, Scott. But he's a fun personality.

The Orioles starter has a 4.01 ERA and has to face Andy Pettite? Yikes. (I don't know what Pettite's ERA was this year, but he's Andy Pettite.)

How in the hell is Angel Hernandez umpiring a playoff game?? Same reason that Joe West was, I guess.

Ominous beginning for the O's.

Come on, Orioles. No bobbles. No errors. Gotta be sharp.

Zimmerman's numbers against the Cardinals were largely irrelevant. Even great pitchers have off games.

Detwiler: 117 ERA+
Zimmerman: 134 ERA+
Gonzalez: 137 ERA+
Jackson: 98 ERA+

That's plenty good enough pitching going into a postseason series. It'd be great to have Strasburg going into the postseason. But the Nationals made a plenty justifiable decision to shut him down. You may not agree with it, but there was merit, and it was a tough decision with no clear right or wrong.

Still a strong 4 man rotation.

I have to believe that this is the series in which the Orioles magical run comes to an end. They just don't have the horses that the Yankees have.

That was a great play!

The Phuck?!?

Oh, man!

That was great baserunning by Ichiro, but it was a good throw and hard to believe the catcher couldn't make the out at one end or the other of home plate. Darn!

The O's did well to limit the Yankees to 1 run, I think. Hope their offense is up to the job of facing Andy Pettite.

That tag simply has to be made. I also guess there's no such thing as being out of the basepath around home plate.

Ichiro is [still] so badass.

I think Chooch makes that out, by the way. But I'm biased in favor of Chooch.

Hard to believe that Pettite is starting another playoff game. Crazy career he's led.

The deification of Rizzo over this Strasburg decision is equally nauseating and laughable.

The deification of Rizzo over this Strasburg decision is equally nauseating and laughable.

Posted by: Iceman | Monday, October 08, 2012 at 09:24 PM

You're a great poster Ice, but sometimes you're flat out preposterous. If anything, Rizzo has been vilified and excoriated by most.

In fact, despite my revulsion over the thought of a division rival winning the WS, I'm kind of hoping the Gnats win it all this year, just so I never hear another word about this Strasburg decision ever again.

For those curious about what a quality color man is like, and if you just watch the Phillies on TV you don't know, listen to John Smoltz.

I like Smoltz.

I haven't heard Rizzo either vilified or deified, but admittedly, I haven't listened to baseball talk much this year. The Phillies were doing so badly, it was too depressing to turn the radio to MLB on XM and chance hearing about their dismal prospects or how far they'd fallen.

I think the decision took courage and long-term perspective, which would be why it would get praise - whereas the counterpoint is like what I mentioned earlier, that it's hard to sit one of your guys on a theory about injury when the chance for postseason glory is there for the reaching.

That's what happens when you don't watch your coach. Huge mistake.

What the heck? The coach was waving him home. Why'd he stop? Another run would have been nice!

Love the excitement at Camden Yards.

The O's inexperience is definitely showing.

Larry Andersen would be going batsh*t if a Phillies player had done what Hardy did. With 2 Out there's no need for him to look back at all, just run hard on contact & pick up the 3B coach ahead of you. No one in that booth, esp. not former a former player, should be making excuses for him.

I so wanted Thome to hit one out of the park. Darn.

At the risk of jinxing him, this kid Chen is holding his own against the Yankees. I'm impressed! He's hung on by his fingernails at times, but he's battled well.

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