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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Comments

Solid deal. 2.5 plus incentives is very reasonable with the deals pitchers have been getting. Rube fills a need and gets his cost certainty. Hopefully this frees him up to go get an outfielder.

Today is the Phillies Christmas tree lighting with Charlie Manuel. Looks like he found an 8th inning guy and #5 starter under the tree!

Sorry, had to do it.

Lannan is acceptable as a cheap #5 starter on a one year deal. Adams has been the best in the biz for a few years and makes the bullpen. Now all the young guys can be slotted appropriately. Good day for RAJ.

This should leave them with about $12 million for an outfielder. Forget about Swisher. He'll get a contract he won't live up to and be about $15 million. There's too many desperate teams after him.

Ross is highly overrated, although I do believe a Ross/Nix RF could generate 30 homers, but again do we really want 3 years of Cody Ross?

I'd kick the tires on Michael Bourn with a Shane Victorino type deal. It doesn't look like he's got any suitors now. Move Revere to RF and have Mayberry/Brown/Ruf/Nix in LF. Go with great outfield defense to support the strength of pitching and speed throughout the lineup.

This would be banking on Howard/Utley going back to old form, but no matter what we are banking on this anyway.

Other possibility is just stand pat, wait for the Twins/Cubs/Rangers to possibly fall out of it and then trade for Willingham/Soriano/Cruz type.

Kendrick and Lannan's have had different paths and strengths, but their career numbers are eerily similar.

enough with the outfield. we don't need outfielders. we already have too many!

good signing though.

This is another good get. Lannan strikes me as a lefthanded Joe Blanton looking at his stats.

Except he's younger, cheaper, has a very good groundball to flyball ratio, and he walks hitters more.

At this point, they are so close to the lux tax threshold, that they might as well go for broke. If they go ~$10 million over this year, they only will pay $1.75 million in taxes. And they will still be in ok shape to stay under next year when the lux tax is at $189 million. Go sign swisher.

Solid signing. Now go get Swisher.

Always like when JW links to an old post and I can find posts like this, from curt, who has been putting on the exact same act for [now I can say officially] the last five seasons:

"Reminds me of the game Myers got sacrificed,
with practically every fatal flaw of this team highlighted - incompetent manager, atrocious left side defense, no pitching.
It will be laughable in the months to come to hear the front office blame this dismal season on "injuries."
Posted by: curt | Friday, July 27, 2007 at 08:55 AM"

In spring traing, Rube will instruct Lannan to stand in for some batting practice. Out will walk Utley to be the BP pitcher. Rube will hand Chase the ball, saying, "Have at him!" Then they can cut his sorry @$$!

I wouldn't be shocked if they deal Kyle Kendrick for an outfielder. Lannan's salary, including incentives, fits neatly into Kendrick's slot, which would leave them free to pick up another starting pitcher. Cloyd's obviously also available now, but I doubt he's more than a secondary piece in any meaningful trade.

The Cubs could certainly use Kendrick now that their attempt to sign Anibal Sanchez has fallen through. Hmmm...

I like Adams, but if that signing means Ross instead of Swisher I don't like it.

If you take away Lannan's starts against the Phil's his record is 39-39 with a 3.80 ERA. Lol

I still can't believe any team, let alone St. Louis, was dumb enough to give Wigginton a 2-yr. deal.

Iceman: "I seem to remember that, when Lannan pitched for the Nats before being demoted, BAP went on some tirade at one point about how he symbolizes everything that disgusts him for the mere fact that he's so mind-blowingly average, or something like that."

Pretty sure I never said that. I did probably say that he disgusted me, but that was because of his penchant for intentionally drilling Phillies hitters. As a fifth starter, he's fine, though. But please let's not pretend that his move is anything to get excited about. He's a fungible back-of-the-rotation starter. Nothing more, nothing less.

But if Lannan is the 5th starter, that makes Kendrick ...

Awww, crap.

Can someone confirm with me that RAJ talked this summer when we made those trades that we did not want to be a taxpayer last year...which would give us the flexibility to go over the threshhold this year and pay a lower tax rate?

I thought that was clearly part of their thinking when they made those trades...

if you take out lannans record vs the phillies, he's not too bad at 39-39 for his career so he's got that going for him, which is nice.

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Lake Fred: I lol'ed! Wanted a way to work Utley+Lannan+batting practice into a post, but yours was actually funny.

Crap...tried to beat Ice-Man before he removed his mouth from Amaro's teet and could say how great this signing was. Color me not impressed by this signing.

No ColonelTom! Cloyd's a strike-throwing machine, but he's got such little "stuff" I fear he'd get hurt out there from a batted ball... Fish or cut bait with KK. Let's see what he's got this year, once and for all in a starter's role.

Which leads me to a repost of a reply to a Sophist JMJ post. Sophist, sorry to clog up the board with JMJ re-hashes. Regardless, Werth was a late bloomer -- was his genesis into an everyday player catalyzed by Chollie's anointing him as an "everyday player"? Doesn't JMJ deserve that chance in RF? Would not the confidence that a couple of 0fers against RHP will not nail his butt right back onto the pine do wonders for him?

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice. It really seemed JMJ was pressing last year, as if every AB was his last (for all practical purposes, it could have been!).

In the midst of one of his ’12 funks, it was infuriating to see his chin fly towards the LF stands as he pulled off pitches. Regardless, that is curable – I was able to break that habit with my golf swing, and no one confuses me with a ML baseball player, let alone an “athlete”. I really believe there's hope for JMJ to bring up his numbers against righties if he knows he has a consistent shot to get it done. Charlie's the hitting guru, correct?

Again, the beauty of JMJ is he's cost controlled for a bit of time, anyway and letting him start for a season does not make the Phils automatically older. Forgoing Ross for JMJ in RF frees up money for any mid-season machinations, too.

(/JMJ soapbox chopped to bits and burned for kindling)

Repost from last thread:

Good signing, but unless RAJ was blowing smoke, this signing doesn't strike me as a "high risk, high reward" type of guy at all. He is what he is. Maybe Roob turns around and flips Kendrick as part of a pacakge for an OF or to free up space for Swisher or Bourn, because if Cody Ross is the last piece of this, I'm going to be PO'd. But love the Adams signing.

Posted by: Pblunts | Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 11:58 AM

What I also meant to add is Lannan then becomes your #4 and a HR/HR guy like Liriano, Webb, DiceK, Harden is now your 5th guy. If one flames out there are enough AAA guys to plug in.

BAP- thanks for the confirmation. Maybe it was someone else that said it.

Kendrick's numbers in his last ~230 innings of starting over two seasons are not that of a fifth starter. Not to rain on G-Town's totally factual and reasonable parade or anything.

Lannan is the definition of average, which is fine for your 5th starter. 1 year, 2.5, can't get upset over that. If he stinks, you move on.

I don't recall his being mentioned here, but Nelson Cruz might become available if the Rangers manage to acquire Justin Upton. He'd fit the Phils perfectly - right-handed-hitting corner OF with a power bat. His $10.5M salary is probably about what Cody Ross will get, without the long-term commitment.

Texas could certainly use a near-MLB-ready catching prospect to take over when Soto's contract expires after 2013, and Joseph or Valle would fit the bill. Kendrick would also be a nice fit for them with Colby Lewis recovering from surgery, or I could see Mayberry (who would be a perfect lefty-mashing counterpart to Mitch Moreland and David Murphy) fitting in nicely as an extra piece.

Ross, Swisher or Soriano.. Which one would fit better?

No ColonelTom! Cloyd's a strike-throwing machine, but he's got such little "stuff" I fear he'd get hurt out there from a batted ball...

No, Cloyd's clearly not the answer. If they deal Kendrick, they'll need to sign another starting pitcher - perhaps that low-cost guy with big upside RAJ was talking about. Erik Bedard would fit that description perfectly.

Sophist: "I like Adams, but if that signing means Ross instead of Swisher I don't like it."

Yeah, basically. I would also concur fully with Matt Swartz, who is a writer for BP and Fangraphs and a Phillies fan. He writes (on Twitter):

"The overwhelming likelihood is that among the 7 young guys with live arms, 2 of them emerge as very effective and qualify as setup men. On the other hand, they signed a 'sure thing' who is anything but, and the diff between $6M spent on OF or SP is much bigger. The gap in value added between Swisher and Ross is much bigger than a pen w/ Adams vs. a pen w/o Adams, even if Adams bounces back somewhat."

People significantly overrate two things: One, how "sure" a thing that Adams is, and two, how much a difference one reliever can make. A starting OF has so much more of an impact that you should be allocating resources there for more improvement.

I like both signings today.. They both fill needs.. Adams will be great.. And Lannan won't be anything worse than what we néed him to be..

ColonelTom: It might be difficult to fool the Rangers RE: Mayberry, as he came up in their organization.

@ColonelTom love the thoughts on Cruz. Reasonable contract, RH power bat and you might not have to give up a ton since he is DL time-bomb waiting to happen. There absolutely has to be another move for an impact bat and I don't mean Cody Ross. And screw the draft pick if it's Swisher.

Matt Gelb ‏@magelb
Updated the payroll worksheet. A rough estimation says $7 million left, if payroll stays similar to 2012

The phillies are going to exceed the lux tax threshold in 2013. Almost impossible to not at this point...

Jack: I don't disagree. However, I also don't see the Phillies as ever really considering signing, say, Swisher & leaving the bullpen as-is. Ideally the Phillies would better their odds by opening the ol' wallet w/ the aim of notably improving both areas ... but the key words there were "Phillies" & "wallet".

The overwhelming likelihood is that among the 7 young guys with live arms, 2 of them emerge as very effective and qualify as setup men

________________________________________

Cause that worked so well in 2011.

everyone complains about not getting younger, but when we have the chance they don't want to either. just doesn't make sense.

they have revere in center who can cover a lot of ground, so why not let ruf and brown start everyday in the corners. they should be able to give you the same power if not more as swisher/ross do. but they are our own guys and cheap. everybody cried for them to bring ruf up, but now everyone's already replacing him.

i for one am excited for our own players to go out there and develop into stars. if not, big deal, at least you know. then address it later. there's always free agency in the offseason, but you don't always have such intriguing youngsters as we do right now.

about time the fan base gets behind its own players!

The Phillies need to find out what they have in Brown and Ruf. If by June it is clear they are not ready or unlikely ever to be ready, then make a move. By signing either Ross or Swisher now, the way could be blocked for Brown or Ruf.

There are risks in waiting for them to develop and not signing a power RH. But any move involves risks.

Ideally Ruf/Brown are a platoon, which gives them depth in case of injuries.

ColonelTom: It might be difficult to fool the Rangers RE: Mayberry, as he came up in their organization.

Nobody has illusions about him at this point - he is a solid bench guy or platoon partner. He'd be an extra piece in a deal, not a centerpiece.

I want Ruf to succeed as much as anybody, but to think he's going to be able to produce at the major league level is a little misguided. He's had 1 great year at AA. Yes he looked able in his cup of coffee last year, but the number of players who looked good for a short spell is innumerable.

As far as the signings, I like them both. I don't think they get the Phil's over the jump quite yet, but they do full holes. I think it's unanimous on BL that next year will be about the production we get from Utley, Howard, and Doc. Rightly so I might add. That is $60 million in 3 players.

I like this lineup so much:

Rollins
Young
Utley
Howard
Swisher
Ruiz
Brown/Ruf
P
Revere

TTI- you still don't get it. Since it's the SAME group of 'young live arms' that failed repeatedly last year, it's even more likely that 2 of the 7 will kill it this year and render the acquisition of a pitcher with a 194 ERA+ the last 3 seasons (199 ERA+ the last five) completely useless.

Besides, it's more likely that Adams won't be good than all of the blue chip relievers we've got just waiting to have a chance at a break-out year.

norbertobs is on the money re: Ruf. Put him in spots where he has the best chance of success by platooning and pinch-hitting to start. If he continues to hit, he will get his chance at a full-time gig soon enough.

The 2013 team's new components vs. 2012:

Revere < Victorino (Revere might be better defensively but he totally lacks power)

Young = Polanco (being generous here; Young if he has a bounceback year is a better hitter than Polly for the last two seasons, but is worse defensively. However, he's much less breakable than Polly).

Adams > The Crap to Pap (only area of clear improvement).

Brown < Pence (they're a wash defensively and Brown walks more, but Pence has a lot more power and is more proven--and will probably have a bounceback season in 2013).

Ruf ? Pierre/Mayberry/Nix (it's possible for Ruf to top the miscellany in LF last year, but the team shouldn't count on it).

Lannan < Worley (the Vanimal would probably have dodged the Sophomore Jinx had he not been injured--and I'll bet he's better next year in Minnesota than Lannan is in Philly).

Kendrick ? Blanton (both pitchers are such Jekyll and Hyde types I can't decide here).

So, the only overall improvement is in the bullpen--we've downgraded in the outfield and now have no money left to upgrade it. The starting rotation is downgraded too. Rube is letting everything ride on Halladay, Utley, and Howard getting it back together again, and on Ruf and Brown playing into everyday roles.

Offseason grade: C. (and the season will probably end with a third-place finish).

Why do I have the feeling that Lannan will be the second coming of Adam Eaton. He's already despised here by many. I have a bad feeling about this. At least he won't cost a (broken) arm and a leg.

Donc: Lannan can't be Adam Eaton cause he doesn't have the ridiculous contract Eaton had. Worst comes to Worst we release Lannan after 15 starts and swallow a million or so.

An interesting tidbit I just crunched about John Lannan:

Career slash line against the Phillies: .313/.396/.503
Career slash line against everyone else:
.266/.333/.395
The difference between the two lines is: .047/.063/.108

And now for the funny part...
The difference between career slash lines of David Wright and David Bell: .044/.061/.110

I'm not drawing any conclusions here, this is for entertainment purposes only. ;)

Iceman: Gentleman's bet. One of the young relievers (everyone outside of Papelbon and Adams, basically) will have a better season than Adams. Deal?

True it is low risk, but I don't see Lannan holding down his spot in the rotation for very long.
Cloyd and Minor, while maybe okay for a few spot starts, are not the answer either.

The consensus seems to be that Pettibone is the next in line.
Will somebody summarize the scouting reports on him, please?

"The overwhelming likelihood is that among the 7 young guys with live arms, 2 of them emerge as very effective and qualify as setup men."

This is just a colossal overstatement. "Overwhelming likelihood?" First of all, they don't have 7 young guys with setup man stuff. They have 3: Bastardo, DeFratus & Aumont. The rest have LOOGY or fungible middle reliever stuff. And Aumont's control is so bad that it's the longest of long shots that he'll be an effective major league reliever this year -- let alone someone the Phillies could rely on in the 8th inning.

That leaves Bastardo and DeFratus. I think Bastardo has a good chance to be better than last year (though not as good as 2011) & I like DeFratus's combination of stuff & command. But "overwhelming likelihood?" To become setup men? In 2013? No way.

I actually agree with both Jack and Swartz's larger points: (1) Adams is no sure thing; (2) the marginal improvement of signing Nick Swisher would be much greater than marginal improvement of Adams over the present cast of characters in our pen; and (3) there is a good chance that someone in our present collection of relievers steps forward. But to call the third proposition an "overwhelming likelihood" is a bit of rhetorical excess. It is not even a better than 50-50 proposition, let alone an overwhelming likelihood.

Jack:

I think it will be Aumont that will have the breakout season..

'rhetorical excess'...I like it.
I'm going to find a way to use that phrase at my next Christmas party.

"I think it will be Aumont that will have the breakout season."

If you mean that Phillies fans will often break out in a cold sweat watching him pitch, then I agree with you.

BandwagonPhan, are you Darin Ruf's mom?

Phillippe Au-Noux!

I predict he'll drive us mad for most of the season, finally show a bit of brilliance, then rapidly revert to driving us mad.

'rhetorical excess' ... I like it.

I'm going to find a way to use that phrase at my next Christmas party.

More likely afterward.

"With all due respect, Sir, when Debbie from Sales accused me of "dry humping" her at this year's office party, she was engaging in a bit of rhetorical excess. It was a congenial thrust or three, at most."

Jack- yeah, I'll take that bet. But you'll have to establish criteria for 'better' (ERA+ with a set minimum amount of innings?).

I like Aumont to have a good year, actually, but not better than Adams.

Lannan was the Nats' No #1 starter before the Strasburg era. Spent much of 2012 in AAA. Occasionally pitches a good game, but mostly disappointing to watch. Bring your Tums to his games, Phillies fans.

" I think Bastardo has a good chance to be better than last year (though not as good as 2011)..."


bap, people forget that Bastardo was having an historically good season until he wore out late in the year.

He gave up one (1) run the entire month of April.

On September 2nd, he had pitched 53 innings, had an ERA of 1.35, a WHIP of .713, a K/9 of 11.1 (3.1 BB/9) and opposing hitters were .110/.197/.214 against him.

He gave up 9 runs in his last 5 IP and finished with a 2.64 ERA.

G-Town - Re Debbie, you may be able to sell your rhetorical excess story, as long as you didn't show Debbie your O face during those congenial thrusts.

Adams' option apparently vests if he appears in 120 games over the next 2 years, and at least 60 in 2014. Seems like a decent vesting option from the Phillies' perspective. If he doesn't stay healthy in either of the next 2 years, it won't vest.

Oh, and on the Lannan signing - I like it.

Decent value for an average pitcher, and as others have pointed out, he's slightly above average if you don't include his outings against the Phils.

The one year deal gives the Phils flexibility going forward and Lannan gets a chance to rebuild his value at the MLB level.

He should be good for 170 - 200 IP and a league average ERA. That's above average production for a 5th starter, and the workload ought to take a lot of pressure off of the young kids in the bullpen.


On Adams:

I'm sure the Phils' medical staff checked out Adams' medical reports before they signed him. Then again, it's the Phils' medical staff - which impels me to type two words: Freddy Garcia.

bap, people forget that Bastardo was having an historically good season until he wore out late in the year.

Posted by: awh: Founder, JRoll in the 6-hole Club | Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 01:54 PM

awh, you do this all the time. Bastardo was having an historically great year until the end of the season. But at the end of the season, he stunk for an extended period of time. That's what we know. You constantly feel the need to ascribe an "explanation" for these mysterious dropoffs among Phillies players to be nothing more than "they wore out" or "got tired". Isn't it just as, if not more likely, that Bastardo was pitching above his head during one arbitrary period, and then pitching below his talent level during another arbitrary period?

I think at this point you have your team.No need to overpay swisher whowever perfect time to see who sticks from the trio of Brown Mayberry and Ruf.You can always make a trade before the deadline if in contention much more important to find out what you got fill holes longer term in outfield and inthe process free up money to adress futre needs IMHO good job from Amaro and co.

If the Phillies don't sign another OF, Brown will be starting in RF next year, with Mayberry and Nix platooning in LF. They will not platoon both corner OF spots. Brown will just simply be the everyday starter, and Ruf will be in the minors ready to come up if, and when, Nixberry don't pan out.

kendrick will have respectable numbers as a starter this year showed real progress last season. Feel free to attsck statement half of the people on this site are only here to be negative anyhow.

I think I would much rather have Scott Hairston than Ross he'll be cheaper even though he'd probably end up in a platoon. Is it possible to sign him and Shaun Marcum and have Kendrick and Lannan battle it out for the 5th job and the loser be the long man out of the pen?

Couple of thoughts:

- Amaro has gone the 'quantity over quality' choice this offseason. Not sure if he did that largely because of the Phils' current payroll or that he realized that this team was too top-heavy last year. Probably a combination of the two.

- Phils got the going rate for a setup guy this offseason in signing Adams at ~$6M. Rather have the Phils signed Uehara or KRod if he had come cheaper.

All comes down to the Phils' medical staff evaluation of Adams. If he is healthy and ready to go on Opening Day, it addresses a huge need. Not a good sign though the Rangers did not much interesting in resigning him.

- Depends on how Schwartz defines 'average' but I would drop $1k against him in a heartbeat against his waiver about the Phils' young relievers next year.

- Lannan's deal reminds me a lot of the Park signing after the '08 season (1 yr/$2.5M with some incentive upside) except Lannan doesn't have the possible upside of Park as a reliever because of his stuff. Park had a good slider and was routinely at 93-94 on his fastball as a reliever.

Lannan's basically okay for about 2 times through the rotation/75 pitches. After that, he gets lite up quickly. Cholly is going to have manage him very closely after the 5th inning.

If Pettibone or anyone really shows something down in the minors through Memorial Day, it wouldn't surprise me if they move Lannan to the pen either.

Really places a lot of pressure on KK too to pitch like he has at times as a starter and not like he was 2-3 years ago.

Will there be a John Lannan signing press conference? I'm stuck watching the Josh Hamilton one right now, and just want to one-up the lady.

All I've got so far, is that John Lannan has broken Chase Utley's hand one more time than Josh Hamilton has.

Do agree with Swartz though this is about a 86-87 win even with a Ross signing that will surprise on the upside if they have decent health & make the playoffs. Maybe even push low 90s win total to take the East.

If they have another injury-plagued year and/or get less than 80% of what they except out of any of Utley/Howard/Halladay, they make the playoffs again this year.

Not sure what the strength of this team is though right now on paper. Not one thing that they look like they will do really well in '13.

Also going to require Cholly to push the right buttons on this team especially in regards to how he handles utilizes platoons, the bench, and handles guys like KK/Lannan in the rotation.

For his team to make the playoffs, he is going to need to push the right buttons tactically in games and strategically over the course of the season. In that regard, he's not the right wrong for the job.

MG, love your posts man, and I know it's taboo to point out grammar/syntax errors here, but it's often times hard to actually decipher what you're saying. Maybe just give the message a once over before you hit send?

And I agree this team will need a manager who doesn't stick with the lower end pitchers too long, but if Adams is an elite 8th inning guy this year, it will eliminate the high leverage issues, because at their bests, Papelbon and Adams can be equally dominant. And if Aumont/DeFratus/Bastardo can flourish in the 7th, it will make Charlie's job at the end of games very easy.

Swartz is saying -- right now -- there's a 50/50 chance that they win between 82-90 games. That's what he means by that.

Fat - One of the reasons why I desperately wanted the Phils to sign a veteran RHP reliever is that it allows Cholly to use his 'paint-by-numbers' approach. Papelbon in the 9th, Adams in the 8th.

He's a below average/terrible manager (worst manager I have watched on a daily basis besides Grady Little) when it comes to making pitching decisions and I am glad this move helps just a bit to limit some of that uncertainty.

Sure Phlipper will chime in now and instantly defend Cholly though as he always does in regards to Cholly's pitching decisions.

Sophist - If that is the case (and it probably is) on the Phils' expected win distribution next year, then that statement is so generic & lacking any insight it is almost meaningless.

Given all of the health-related/performance questions this team faces with several key members (Halladay, Utley, Howard, Young, Adams), it will be really hard to get a good sense of what this team's expectations might be before the 3rd/4th week of March.

If the Phillies don't sign another OF, Brown will be starting in RF next year, with Mayberry and Nix platooning in LF. They will not platoon both corner OF spots. Brown will just simply be the everyday starter, and Ruf will be in the minors ready to come up if, and when, Nixberry don't pan out.

Which is another way of saying, "If the Phillies don't sign another OF their OF will suck out loud."

I'm a fan of giving Brown, Ruf, and RFD a shot, but at one spot, not two. Those that say, if they fail, they can make a move at the deadline, the season is 2/3 gone. They could be too far out by then. You know you have a hole, fill it before the season starts. Let the "solution" play the whole year, not just the desperation final 1/3.

Fat - I should check syntax/compressions more. Take more of a 'Kerouac' approach in regards to my posts here with a 'stream of conscious' approach.

Does make for some awful writing even if the content might be okay.

I am sending Hamilton a case of scotch and a kilo to congratulate him on his deal.

I'm also finding it difficult to believe Charlie is altogether thrilled w/ these moves, at least in the sense that he hasn't been given one decent bat. The best he can hope for right now is a big turnaround from Young. Gotta love how the club has a field manager who values slugging & defense, & a general manager who values pitching & speed.

phi15- loved that stat you did up. dont even wanna know how you thought to make the wright-bell comparison.

len39- not saying its gonna happen or if im even sure i want it to, but why are you so certain the phils still cant find a way to sign swisher? youre acting the dream-killer for some of the fellas here.

someone else i forget- i remember the idea that the phils would be able to go over the luxury tax threshold this year too. id be surprised if that was out of rubens mouth though. more likely to me is that it was merely beerleaguer hypothesis.

I've come to value MGs grammatical adventures. The info. is usually very good to begin w/, but then you have the added bonus of sorting what he meant from what he actually typed. It's like a puzzle w/in a post.

Damn. Does that make MG "toolsy"?

"Not one thing that they look like they will do really well in '13."

Yeah. Average starting rotation at best, MG.

Fatti, what difference does it make what the reason was for Bastardo's dropoff?

I was simply supporting bap's point regarding Bastardo's good year in 2011, and added a little context.

WTF difference does that make to you?

If Adams had signed with the Braves or Nats, Jack would declare them unbeatable.

Sources: #Phillies intensifying pursuit of Cody Ross. Other teams also being more aggressive. #Mariners among those that have shown interest

via Ken Rosenthal

WHY GOD WHY?!?!

Rosenthal: "Sources: Phillies intensifying pursuit of Cody Ross. Other teams also being more aggressive. Mariners among those that have shown interest."

Ugh.

BTW, Fatti, you obviously have a short memory. Bastardo had elbow soreness IN SPRING TRAINING in 2011.

Is it unreasonable to extrapolate that his elbow problem sprung up again that season?

Sheesh.

Iceman - If Halladay doesn't rebound, then yeah it will only be average/above average.

I have no idea how Halladay responds until he gets back out on the mound in spring training to face live competition & I bet the Phils don't either.

I think that if this team is going to compete, Cody Ross will make no difference. I'd like to see them stick at what they now have a give it a whirl.

Cody Ross may be an improvement, but there is no upside there and whatever they give him will be about twice what he's actually worth.

No thanks.

I like Adams if he's healthy. And if his surgery went well, I think the thoracic outlet syndrome may actually explain his dropoff last season. The only problem is that TOS is a wastebasket diagnosis and it's often not clear what the real cause is. So, the surgery can be kind of a crapshoot. That means we're relying on the Phillies' medical team and that's always a crapshoot. But for the poster who once again brought up Freddie Garcia, that as NOT the Phillies' doctor's fault. There was no physical done and none requested.

Which would be more important in 2012 - Roy Halladay rebounding to the dominant pitcher he was in '10-'11, or Nick Swisher joining the club?

Cody Ross is a decent player, but he's not going to be worth the money he's reportedly going to get.

Also, as others have pointed out here, how much of an upgrade is he over RFD vs. LHP?

A little, from what I can see, but he would wind up platooning with Brown or Nix if he starts to decline, so why pay that kind of money id you have a guy like RFD who's almost as good vs. LHP?

Man awh, you are hyper-sensitive.

Look, you can make up reasons why players faltered or why they excelled all you'd like, but you then can't call out other people who do the same thing, which you do all the time, as well.

And were there reports about Bastardo's elbow soreness during the 2011 season, when he started to pitch poorly at the end? I don't remember them. Maybe there were, but the most likely explanation is that he, like all relievers, had a dominant stretch and had a crappy stretch.

In fact, it's entirely possible that actually pitched BETTER last year, but without the unbelievable BAbip luck he got in 2011, he just wasn't able to be the same dominant pitcher. Basically had the same walk rate in 2011/2012, but a much higher strikeout rate in 2012 than in 2011, but his BAbip jumped up over 130 points.

So no, I don't buy that his elbow soreness in ST in 2012 explains his 2011 crappy performance at the end of the year. He's a reliever, and that crap happens to relievers all the time.

Two good signings . Not excited about Ross at all

MG- you and others are completely writing off Halladay, which is fine, but if he bounces back and gives them even numbers worthy of a #2, they've got two aces in Lee and Hamels, and a very good starter in Halladay, as the first three guys in the rotation. And that is assuming Halladay won't completely bounce back. That is a top of the line front-end of the rotation. And I know your friend told you that Adams sucks, but theoretically he and Papelbon will give a Madson/Lidge '08 lockdown on the 8th/9th innings that they haven't had since the stretch in '11 with Bastardo/Madson.

So yeah, I'd say their pitching is a real strength. I agree that Halladay is a big question mark, but simply assuming the worst on him is not an objective analysis. It's outlining the worst-case scenario.

Did RAJ consider What about JJ '& /or Moylan. As a starter and Bp. Reinforcement
?

Iceman: Well, I think ERA+ is somewhat overrated for a reliever (because so many of their runs are inherited that it makes ERA not particularly meaningful).

How about a three-category competition to spread it out a little bit: ERA+, xFIP, and WAR.

If a player is better in two of those three categories, they win. Minimum 25 IP. You take Adams, and I get all the other pitchers except Papelbon. Deal?

Inspired by Fatalotti's 2:11 post, I'd like to offer some Beerleaguer guidelines for interpreting player performance:

When a veteran player has a great start to the year, and a bad finish, it's because he got injured at a point along the way (Polanco, 2011), or a pre-existing injury caused him to wear out (Ryan Howard, 2012; Chase Utley, 2011), or he just wore out, or lost it, because of old age (Raul Ibanez, 2009).

When a veteran player has a bad start and a good finish, it's because he got healthy toward the end of the year (Chase Utley, 2012) or because he plays better in the pressure of a pennant race (Jimmy Rollins, 2007)

When a young or new player has a great start, and a bad finish, it's because he wore out (Antonio Bastardo, 2011) or opposing teams developed a book on him (Erik Kratz, 2012; Michael Stutes, 2011), or management jerked him around too much (Dom Brown, 2011/2012).

When a young player has a lousy start, and a good finish, it's because he "figured it out" (David Herndon, 2011; Dom Brown, 2011; Mayberry, 2011).

When a player struggles in a bench or bullpen role, and then improves in a starting role, it's because he needs regular playing time in order to perform well (Jim Thome, 2012; Kyle Kendrick, 2012; Mayberry, 2011).

Important: these rules are not mutually exclusive of each other, but may be mixed and matched as appropriate. For instance: 'Dom Brown got off to a nice start when the Phillies first called him up in 2010, but then the league got a book on him, but then he figured it out in July, 2011, but then he dropped off again in 2012 after the Phillies jerked him around by sending him back to the minors."

MG, I love your content. I think you put a lot of thought into your posts, and you're not afraid to offer your opinion, even if it's unpopular (which it always is with Iceman and TTI, undoubtedly). It's just hard to sometimes figure out what you actually meant. :)

The benefit of a Cody Ross is that it removes the need to platoon both OF spots, and allows you to platoon Dom with JMJ, and turns Nix into a bench option/PH.

Since I don't see them targeting Swisher, that's what Ross gives them. He gives them the ability to not count on Brown as a starter, but platoon him to start the season, and if he wins the job outright, so be it.

If Brown sucks, even in the platoon, you can always give Ruf a shot later in the year. This is made even more feasible by the fact that Ross can play either corner OF position.

I'm not saying I'm a fan of targeting Ross, but that's probably the thinking.

Iceman: "he and Papelbon will give a Madson/Lidge '08 lockdown on the 8th/9th innings"

And that is an objective analysis, and not just outlining a best-case scenario?

BAP, you did it again.

Thanks!

Jack, WAR for relief pitchers is almost worthless, in my opinion.

I'd say a better measure would be OPS against (or wOBA against). Thoughts?

MG - The meaningfulness of the Swartz's statement is the work he took to get there to make it, what it says about team needs and player expectations. He's putting more work and evidence into the statements everyone makes. I'm just trying to add content to what he said because he didn't really say this is an 86-win team or whatever.

https://twitter.com/Matt_Swa

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