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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

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In case anyone missed it, in the last thread MG threw dirt on Halladay's career and suggested as a replacement Scott Baker or Jeremy Guthrie.

If the Phils do know more than they're telling about Halladay and attempt to replace him with a guy like Scott Baker, that would be the dumbest move in the history of the sport.

No, in such a case the dumbest thing would be having no backup plan at all.

Yet Mini Mart is still on the 40 man....

Dave - Exactly. What I did exactly is that I think that Halladay won't regain his velocity or pitch 225 IP next year to automatically vest his '14 option. Basically it will be his last year in Philly.

Given the questionable nature of Halladay (and Worley to a degree), I wouldn't mind the Phils picking up another back-end starter on a 1 or 2-yr deal.

Of course Iceman runs with this and takes it to a very extreme point which I didn't state.

Zolecki: "INF Michael Martinez has been outrighted off the Phillies' 40-man roster to AAA."

It's a start.

Sweet!

'I came out of Philadelphia and I shall return!'

MG: To be fair you wrote a post about how you don;t think Halladay will recover next year and concluded it by saying that you want Amaro to go out and get another second tier starting pitcher like Haren, Marcum or McCarthy (who yes are out of reach but also aren't really second tier pitchers in this market) and focus on guys like Baker or Guthrie.

So it is reasonable for someone to say it looks like you are saying replace Halladay with one of those guys. You could stand from clearing up your points a little to separate some of your logic streams.

Those familiar with an obscure Earl Weaver sound clip will recognize this quote adaptation: Michael Martinez is lucky he's in f88king baseball.

I have a feeling he still somehow sees time with the big club in 2013.

Someone, anyone, please claim Mini Mart on waivers. Please.

Hey Sil, it takes a bad Rule 5 pick to know another.

Sending him to AAA doesn't do it for me. He has been sent to AAA before. He always comes back. He's like Michael Myers in the Halloween movies.

He's like Michael Myers in the Halloween movies.

It's even worse than that. He's like Michael Martinez in a Phillies uniform.

Could you imagine if someone claimed Mini Mart? This place would explode. Peace and good will would cometh to all BLers now and for eternity. A claim of "meaningless RBI" or a scoffing at "J-Pop" could simply be followed by a "Hey, but remember Mini Mart?" and all would be well.

RSB: my handle was the definition of Phillies mediocrity in the late 80s/early 90s. MM has the distinction of being worse.

...plus he never broke up a Doug Drabek no-hitter.

Finally the mini mart has come back to AAA!!!!!!!!! If u smell what rube is cookin.

Mini-Mart cleared waivers. I can't believe it. All that versatility and no one claimed him?

I'm going to have to agree with the others who don't feel comfortable as long as Mini Mart is just a bus ride away from CBP. We need to cut the head off of this zombie.

MG- that's actually exactly what you said- that Halladay isn't going to improve, you have a hunch they are covering up his shoulder injury, and the Phils should use Baker or Guthrie as a contingency plan. That's what you said pretty much word for word.

Now if you want to walk that back I understand, because that's an awful backup plan. But you did say it. Like, not even five hours ago.

Nobody claimed Martinez. That's surprising. Did Toronto fun out of spots for recycled Phillies?

Oops. Did Toronto RUN out of spots for recycled Phillies. I really have to put on my glasses before I hit send.

Just watched Pence's postgame interview. He was very gracious in winning. I love the NL champs hats this year! Only one thing wrong with them: they're missing the Phillies' name & symbol on them.

ROOGYs aren't as valuable as LOOGYs. Given his lack of upside and the fact he's still out for another half-season, cutting Herndon makes sense. The Phils have a ton of mediocre, low-ceiling relievers.

Saw MG talking crap on Doc last thread, so just want to go on record as predicting Halladay has a bounce back 2013.

I, for one, miss Tomas Perez. And I hated that guy.

MG in the last thread:


"Don't expect much of an improvement from Halladay next year because I am guessing (total guess) that he has more issues with his shoulder than a 'Grade 1/2 lat muscle pull'"..."Do think next year is Halladay's last year in Philly regardless because he won't reach 225 IP for his '14 option for $20M to automatically vest. Don't want a 37-year old starter either who can't even hit 90 on the gun anymore & relies more on speed stuff $20M either." ... "I really want Amaro to look long and hard at signing another second-tier starting pitcher. Guy like Haren or Marcum or McCarthy are probably out of reach but I wouldn't mind them taking a hard look at Baker or Guthrie on a value deal for 1 yr with an option or a 2-yr deal that is backloaded."

Translation: I think Halladay's shoulder is shot and I would like Amaro to replace him (for this year and next) with the likes of Baker or Guthrie.

I read this and figured it would be non-stop partying over here at BLer:

" The Phillies also removed Michael Martinez from their 40-man roster and placed him on their triple-A roster. "

I don't expect much of an improvement from Halladay's numbers next year or for him to regain fastball velocity.

Halladay had a 3.69 FIP and 3.60 xFIP ERA last year. His ERA was a bit higher in part because of his elevated HR/FB rate.

I do expect Halladay to generally match those FIP and xFIP numbers, have a bit of better luck on HR/FB rate, and likely have an ERA in the 3.50-3.80 range.

It is just a guess but the fact that he lost velocity at the start of spring training and never regained it even after his DL stint is a bad sign. Ditto the fact that some of his peripheral splits didn't improve after he came off the DL too.

The only question is whether he is capable of making 30+ GS and giving them 200+ IP. I do think he has a decent shot at doing that but not reaching the 225 IP number. Nor do I expect multiple CG next year from him.

It would be nice if the Phils have a contingency plan because right now the only starting options they have are the likes of Cloyd and Pettibone.

It will be fun to see MG's reaction next year when his doom-saying about Doc is thrown back in his face.

Its odd too that the only news I have seen on Halladay too is the story at the end of the season on Phillies.com that said he would concentrate on core and lower-body work this offseason to bounce back.

Not a trainer but strikes me as kind of an odd way to deal with a nagging lat injury.

Iceman and Phlipper - What do you think the Phils get out of Halladay next year? I am completely speculating and just making a guess.

Do you think the Phils gets the '10-'11 version of Halladay or a reasonable facsimile? Basically a guy who is a sub 3.00 FIP/xFIP pitcher?

Even his numbers this year put him at #22 out of 75 NL starters who threw 100 IP in xFIP and #25 in FIP. It makes him a solid starter (70-75th percentile) but just not an elite one.

It would be nice to think that this is Mini-Mart's cue to hang up the spikes and enter another field where he can use his magic to get promoted far above the level merited by his abilities. But somehow I expect him back next season.

So, the Phillies dumped Martinez from the 40-man roster. From reading Beerleaguer, I thought that was impossible...

"It would be nice to think that this is Mini-Mart's cue to hang up the spikes and enter another field"

Why would he do that? If you paid me $450K per year, which is what he has made in each of the past 2 years, I'd gladly suffer the humiliation of being the worst player in baseball.

I notice LV SS Andres Blanco has been playing 2B fulltime in the VL. Mini will move right in to SS. Must have been a Gentleman's Wager with Washington since they didn't claim Martinez.

MG: You like to pretend you know medical things because you talk with some person at your work that deals with it.

You do know where the lat muscle is right? So it would make sense to work on strengthening your core and lower back to help bolster and alleviate some strain on that area.

Dpats source says the lat muscle is in or around the upper body.

Hope everyone is training for the endurance event called the offseason.

Meyer, some posters are in their prime cat fight mode already.

MG -

I expect Doc to be an All-star level of pitcher for another two years at minimum.

MG- I expect Doc to bounce back not completely, but I think his ERA will be between 3-3.25 next season. He will not pitch enough to vest his option.

But anyway, that wasn't the point. The point was your plan to replace him falls incredibly short of fielding a competitive team. If the Phils do know there is something wrong with his shoulder (more than what they're telling), going after Guthrie or Baker to replace him is appalling.

Until Mini Mart is out of the Phillies system, I won't feel safe. All it takes is for someone to get hurt, like Frandsen, and back comes Mini Mart. Then, even when said player is healthy again, Mini Mart will still stay and they'll drop someone else. You can't get rid of this guy.

To clarify Halliday's vesting option...as per Baseball Reference.com:

option vests with 225 IP in 2013, 415 IP in 2012-2013 and player not on DL at end of 2013.

Not sure if Roy finished the '12 season on the DL or not but even if he didn't, his option surely won't vest. My quick math tells me Roy will need to pitch 256.2 innings in '13...no chance...and stop calling me Shirley.

Wouldn't it be ironic, if after letting Herndon go, the team turns around and signs Grilli, the guy they allowed to walk to keep Herndon on the roster.

Halladay prediction: 3.5 era 14 wins 180 innings

option doesn't vest but Phillies sign him to a 2 year extension in the $25-32m range (2014 SP FA market is kinda thin, Garza, Josh Johnson & Lincecum are the "cream" of the 2014 crop)

Oh no! Not Herndon! Who can possibly replace his numbers?

Outta Here:
I won't feel safe until Mini-Mart is shipped to the Japanese minor leagues, with a bucket of used baseballs and a pile of yen, for a Yu Darvish bobble-head.

Mini-Mart will be back. He'll hit .175 in AAA and be called up by mid May. It's inevitable...I thought last year he had no chance, with his injury and all (and the fact that he wasn't exactly tearing up AAA). But, nope, he was back, like a bad case of gonorrhea.

Andy: "Oh no! Not Herndon! Who can possibly replace his numbers?"

Sadly BJ Rosenberg and Joe Savery can't. Michael Stutes and Schwimer might not either.

MG: so you predict Doc shaves a full run off his ERA next year...why didnt you just say so.

And the sense that Doc's ERA was high becuase of his HR/FB were increased is a very small a factor.

Halladay only left runners on base 69% of the time last season, something he's only done once in the past 10 years, and it wasn't a luck factor either. Halladay out of the stretch last season was very ineffective, my guess is that a lot his velocity loss was probably when he was in the stretch, but i can't find those splits.

2012 From windup: .653 OPS Against
2012 From stretch: .811 OPS Against

To me, the injury he was battling last year was affecting his mechanics or velocity while in the stretch, which is why his ERA was much higher than his FIP/other advanced metrics predicted because they completely ignore the timeliness of events.

Iceman - It wasn't 'replacing' Halladay. The Phils would be hard-pressed to move him and it wouldn't make sense any way. It is just a contingency plan because I don't think this team has much starting depth right organizationally.

lorecore - Thats a really good point.

GTownDave: "I'm shocked, shocked to see that MG is predicting doom and gloom about Halladay!"

Pharmacist: "Here are your negativity pills, sir."

GTownDave: "Thank you."

Some here have asked whether mini-mart was claimed.

Question for the board:

Even if he's "outrighted" off the 40-man to AAA, can he be claimed? Doesn't the fact that he still has options prevent that, or am I incorrect?

Lastly, while I realize that Herndon was no great shakes, I'm surprised that they let a reliever go given that the bullpen (particularly middle relief, as in "crap to Pap") was probably the weakest part of the team in 2012.

If he does manage to return for the second half of 2013 and pitch well, the Phillies may regret the decision.

awh: Options refer only to players on the 40-man roster, and sending them to the minors while keeping them on the 40-man.

Once you're off the 40-man roster, options are irrelevant. The point is that to get someone currently on the 40-man roster off the 40-man roster, they pass through waivers. If they are unclaimed, they can remain in your system (in Mini-Mart's case, like a virus). If they are claimed (like in David Herndon's case), they become someone else's problem.

awh: That would be the case if we were just optioning him from the 25-man roster to AAA. But if you remove someone from the 40-man roster, he goes on waivers. Unfortunately, no one claimed him so I'm sure we haven't seen the last of him.

Thanks for the explanation.

Mini is like a boomerang. You throw him out, he comes right back. His Delta Tau Chi name is now Boomer.

I also missed last thread to fill up some of my false hope for Leandro Castro, the sleeper prospect who does just enough each year to make me still believe.

Starting the year at Reading was a bit of an aggressive move, as he was hurt last year and only got 50 games or so in Clearwater, and he held his own. Needs to start hitting near .300 with his ISO in the high 100s to ever make it, because lets face it - he never walks, never has. He keeps his K's down enough that I think its not a death sentence, the AVG has to be higher.

I think if repeats Reading next year he can show better AVG/SLG and move into AAA by midyear, where people like thehook/dennyb will start clamoring for him to get his 'chance', and hopefully be a bench option by 2014, and see where it goes.

My doom and gloom prediction for Halladay. I think next season he looks very much like this season. Which means, Lee, Hamels, Kendrick and Worley will have to be very good to make up for Doc.

From the way the Phillies and Halladay tried to wish away his injury and preformance all season, I don't really expect them to face reality any time soon. And yes, I know where the lats are.

Also, it may be wise for the Phillies to start spotting Halladay due to weather conditions. He seems to have chronic heat stress and that only gets worse with repeated instances. If they can flip him to night games and try to avoid starts in places with high humidity, like Atlanta, whenever possible, it may go toward improving his results and prolonging his useful career.

I do think that Halladay's ERA next year is closer to 4 than 3.50 too. If that makes me a 'doom and gloomer' than yeah I guess I am.

lorecore's numbers on Halladay in the stretch are exactly right and are numbers I've posted multiple times. The proof is even deeper in his numbers out of the stretch. It gets drowned out by the doom and gloom of MG and others, but there was a pretty specific problem with Doc last year, and it was out of the stretch. I expect him to recognize that and improve on it.

MG- I understand what a contingency plan is, I just think the one that you proposed is an awful one. I think everyone agrees that for the Phils to compete for the division, or even a playoff spot, they will have to get marginally better production out of Halladay this year. In the case of that not happening, or in the case of him being hurt and sidelined altogether, how would bringing in some value village starter with minimal upside improve the team at all? They'd be lucky to tread water.

If the Phils know something about Halladay they're not telling, a real contingency plan would be signing a Kuroda, Haren or Marcum, not a Baker or a Guthrie. You could replace Kendrick or Worley with one of those two.

correct - iceman was the the first poster who clued me into Halladay's stretch/windup splits, as far back as mid August I believe.

As for contingency plan, good luck finding a replacement for Roy Halladay. I'm sure Ruben is the only GM in the league who is looking for someone like that.

Iceman - Why is it an awful one? If one of the Phils' starters goes down right now, the answers are Cloyd or Pettibone.

I do think that Baker or Guthrie are notably better than either of those 2 options and worth exploring. At worst if you sign one of these guys, you put KK or Worley in the pen.

If the Phils had one or two starting prospects who I thought were close to contributing and able to contribute at the MLB level, I wouldn't feel that way.

Halladay is a massive question mark for next year, but I feel like the Phillies have more important things to worry about than starting pitching depth. If Halladay is injured, or pitches as poorly as he did this year, the difference between Baker/Guthrie and the likes of Cloyd, Martin, or Pettibone might be the difference between winning 81 games or winning 78. But it will sure not be the difference between our making the playoffs or not making them.

For us to have a shot at the playoffs, Halladay's either going to have to pitch a whole lot better or we're going to have to significantly upgrade the offense and bullpen.

MG: because Iceman is being obtuse. In your scenario, Baker is the #5 starter with Kendrick in the bullpen. If someone (like Halladay) goes down, Kendrick becomes the #5 instead of Cloyd. In Iceman's mind, I assume, this means that you think Baker will replace Halladay's production whereas I think you are just trying to ameliorate the damage with an extra veteran in the rotation. Not endorsing the plan one way or the other, but I'm a little tired of the back and forth on a rather innocuous comment. What Iceman could have said 150 comments ago was, "not a terrible idea to have another sure thing in the rotation considering the injury uncertainty with Halladay & Worely, but I think you'd need someone like Haren rather than Baker to make a meaningful difference if one of the big 3 went down." But, that kind of response would have been a little light on the mockery and self-aggrandizement, I suppose.

Just saw a crazy stat for Pence w/Giants. Batted .114 on balls hit in the IF, and .488 on balls hit to the OF. I assume they count a GB hit thru the IF as a ball hit in the IF.

I'm with BAP: I'd rather the team spend it's money on bullpen and bats rather than double down on the 4 aces concept. If Halladay goes down, Lee & Hamels is still more top end pitching than most teams have. Would bringing in another #3 type pitcher hurt, no. but this team has bigger holes.

Pence is batting 1.000 on balls hit three times on one swing. #SABR

Dave: They accidentally sold the bat for $400. after the game. No one knows where the last out ball is either.

I'm all in favor of adding another veteran arm to stash at AAA in case of an injury. But, in terms of resource allocation, I don't think we should be spending a lot of money in the one area where we already figure to be above average. I'd look for a guy who could be gotten on a minor league deal like, say, Erik Bedard, Jason Marquis, or even Joe Blanton.

jbird - Pretty much. I wouldn't mind a Baker or Guthrie at say $3M or $3.5M but once you start to get above that it might limit the Phils ability to make other moves.

Not sure what the market will be for those guys. I would guess somewhere in the range of $3-$5M as a base.

jbird- so your idea would be to boot Kendrick out of the rotation in favor of Baker?

ERA+ last two seasons:

Kendrick: 109 (including his numbers out of the bullpen, which drag it down)
Baker: 104

What on earth would be the point of this?

"in terms of resource allocation, I don't think we should be spending a lot of money in the one area where we already figure to be above average."

This invites an interesting discussion. Intuitively, the sentiment rings true--it seems to make sense that the marginal benefit of improving a poor area is greater than the marginal benefit of improving a strong area, and the concept of a "balanced" team is appealing. But it is kind of begging the question to assume that a team that is slightly above average in all areas is automatically better than a team that is average or less in some areas and far above average in a single area. Does it make sense to think this way, assuming that no area of the team is so poor as to be below major-league level?*

*Yes, Mini-Mart throws a wrench into all of this.

"But it is kind of begging the question to assume that a team that is slightly above average in all areas is automatically better than a team that is average or less in some areas and far above average in a single area"

To me, the Phillies invested in superior starting pitching just as the league as a whole shifted to a more pitching dominant environment, which now means that the Phillies need to have even more superior pitching to get the same type of advantage they thought they would originally get.

Basically, every starting joe in the league has a sub 4 ERA nowadays. If you want the same type of edge anymore, you need to get guys in the low 2s to get a bang for your buck.

By the way, I definitely don't think doubling down on the rotation is the way to go. I just want to know how much of that comes from a groundless intuitive bias towards "balance" and how much of it is actually rational.

They accidentally sold the bat for $400. after the game. No one knows where the last out ball is either.

Conway: Just read an article about that. Incredible. If SF finds the fan who bought it I hope he charges a premium for their stupidity.

Iceman: please not the portion of my post which states, "Not endorsing the plan one way or the other. . . " and a later post at 2:26 that states, "I'd rather the team spend it's money on bullpen and bats... Would bringing in another #3 type pitcher hurt, no. but this team has bigger holes."

fumphis: Obviously some balance is required. A team that spent $125m on it's 5 man rotation and the league minimum on the rest of the roster would likely get smoked by another team that spread that same money out more evenly over the rest of the team.

Maybe a Tigers' fan bought the bat, burned it, and put a curse on it in the process.

Baker made 6.5 million this past season. Guthrie made 8.2 million. Baker pitched to a 129 ERA+ this season and Guthrie, when he got to Kansas City, pitched to a 130 ERA+ (76 ERA+ in Colorado).

MG says sign them if it is 3 or 3.5 million. So he believes Baker- coming of a career season- will accept a 50% decrease in this years salary, and Guthrie will take about a 70% decrease.

I can assure you that neither of those will happen, and signing them for what they probably will get seriously hampers filling the actual holes you have while not upgrading a spot much, if at all.

If the Phillies have anything in abundance, it's near major league ready starting pitching. They have a handful of guys in AA and above who could step in and probably be good enough to get by with if the other four starters are doing what's expected. And they all have higher ceilings than Tyler Cloyd.

Martin, Morgan, Pettibone come to mind immediately and I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple of others who have mid rotation potential at worst and are nearly ready.

In a pinch, better to save money there and spend it on offense/defense.

I forgot that the Giants have home field advantage for the WS.

Go, Tigers! Hoping Verlander throws another gem and Zito does not. I think the odds are in my favor, but one never knows....also hoping the Tigers bats haven't gone cold.

Thanks, TTI, for those salary numbers. So MG wants to blow what would be at the very least ~6 million on Baker to presumably bump KK out of the rotation, who would give them almost identical results and is already getting 3.5 million next year anyway. And also does not pitch as well out of the bullpen.

I stand by the argument that this would be a god awful idea. If they're going to blow money on SP, especially if they have knowledge of Halladay being severely hurt (as MG suspects), you might as well spend more to get a guy that will actually make a difference instead of p*ssing money away with a lateral move. The difference between Baker and KK is negligible, and Jeremy Guthrie isn't saving the season if Halladay goes down. The difference between he and Cloyd wouldn't sink the team.

However, signing Baker if you manage to move Worley in a package for a position player (Bourjois, etc) would be a very good move.

TTI - Here are the comps from last year:

Cook - Minor League Deal
Garland - Minor League Deal
Millwood - Minor League Deal
Colon - 1 yr/$900k
Marquis - 1 yr/$3M
Garcia - 1 yr/$4M
Wang - 1 yr/$4M
Bedard - 1 yr/$4.5M
Maholm - 1 yr/$4.75M
B. Chen - 2 yr/$9M
Capuano - 2 yr/$10M
Harang - 2 yr/$12M
Saunders - 1 yr/$6M

Guthrie was terrible this year and is going to take a big paycut. I would imagine he gets $4M AAV on his next deal.

Baker is a more interesting case. Does he take a 1-yr deal with a modest base and alot of incentive upside to try to hit the market next year and get a bigger deal? I bet he does.

BAP makes a good point. Phils did try that last year with Piniero and released him in the middle of camp. He would have made $1.5M if he had made the team.

Expect they will do the same this year. Have to take a look at who is available to make a guess though on who it would be.

Worley:

I would rather have the Phils sign a starter too and move Worley to the bullpen as a potential setup RHP reliever for next season or even use as trade bait.

Still doesn't have have a plus offspeed pitch, doesn't miss many bats, and runs so many deep counts that he struggles to pitch more than 6 IP/start.

If you move Worley to the bullpen, he likely could be routinely at 92-93 on his fastball instead of 89-90. Combine that with his cutter that often mimics a slider, dump his lousy changeup while going fastball/cutter/slider with the occasional curve.

I think he could the RHP setup guy the Phils are looking for at the start of next year without having to spend ~$4M AAV on an Adams or Belisle/Betancourt if they become

GBrettFan: Yes, thanks to Cheatin' Melky Cabrera, the Giants have the home field advantage.

Go Detroit!
For the people of Detroit and for baseball. The people of Detroit do a good job supporting the team despite the poor economy. They're a classic team and a reasonably well run organization. Leyland is a solid baseball lifer. There's nothing to realy hate about them.
Also, I'd hate for people 25 years from now to look back on SF winning 2 WS in 3 years and think they were some kind of powerhouse team. They aren't. They're a decent team that has been fortunate the last few years. Multiple WS winners should be special and these Giants, despite their strengths, aren't. So based on that, I hope that the Tigers handle things this week.

MG- I agree with you 100% on Worley. If we're talking about Baker or even more of a lottery ticket like Guthrie or Dice-K to bring into the fold as an option to replace Worley, that is a good plan.

Worley's injury/ineffectiveness was a huge, underrated reason why the team cratered this summer. Not only did he drop off big time from his rookie year, but even when he pitched well he was not going deep into games and taxing the bullpen. I'd bank on Halladay marginally improving before I'd put a penny on Worley being a dependable #4 starter.

I'm all for depth, but the Phils have Worley, Kendrick, Cloyd, and all those minor leaguers ak mentioned. Why spend $3M+? I'd only do it to have some flexibility with the Phils real weakness, the bullpen. It may be dumb to spend $5M on a reliever but less so on a guy who can start or play relief (or allow a solid arm to play relief. Not sure any of that is solving their 8th inning problems though.

I get the concern over Doc but the Phils have so many other problems and a ton of quality SP depth.

And Joe West gets another World Series assignment. I'd say that shows exactly how much MLB cares about the integrity of their premiere event.

Wow. Did you see that? Timmy Mac gave the Tigers starting pitching 2 check marks. Clever stuff that.

The World Series logo is bigger than the caps. OK idea, bad execution.

gobay - Plus, Bruce Campbell is from the Detroit area, so I bet the Tigers are his team. And Bruce Campbell is cool, so rooting for the Tigers is cool. In an if A then B argument that may be faulty or adolescent.

Why is everyone on Detroit overweight?

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