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Thursday, December 20, 2012


Good thing the Fish cleared all that money off their roster so they could sign Polly.

clout, Vernon Wells has posted an OPS+ under 92 in 4 of his last 6 seasons.

His OBP since 2007 is .305. His OBP over the last three years is .291.

He hasn't had a BAbip north of .279 since 2006, and BAbip is something that batters do have control over.

He hasn't had a line drive percentage over 15.9% since 2008.

For being a guy whose redeeming quality is HOMERUNS, his career HR/FB of 12% is very underwhelming.

Nobody here is overstating the recent when analyzing Vernon Wells. He's just not a good offensive player, and the fact that his last two years haven't just been "not good", but miserable, should definitely play in to our analysis of the guy.

He's garbage. Stay away.

I thought Polly would get job, not too much of a suprise here.

Its almost a lock that the Fish will trade Nolasco isn't it? That would make Polanco's $2.75M deal the highest on the entire team.

Wish Polly all the best. He gave everything he could while here.

Why would they pay Polly that kind of money? What's the point? If the Phillies did this I assume everybody would be killing Rube.

The Florida Marlins and New York Mets. Thank you for existing and serving as a constant reminder that, yes, it could be worse.

@John. The Phillies did do that.

I can't imagine what Polanco's range would be like at 2nd now.

I loved the guy while he was here up until last year but age has just gotten the better of him. Always loved the way he played the game the "right way" and he never gave up ABs easily.

TTI, awh, RedBlurb~ Try thinking before talking. The problem with the defense pitching approach is that pitching and defense does not win games. You pitch a complete game shut out, great you have a draw. You give up 1 run, you lose 1-0. The moral that you're clearly not seeing is that you have to score at least 1 run to win. How many games did we lose 1-0 last year? You are the ones not seeing it. Its time to trade away Biddle while has has some value for Wells and sign Berkman.

Posted by: DPatrone | Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 01:52 PM

That was not me phans. NEPP is not the only one going throught this.

But seriously, I get the pitching and defense thing. I really do. All I'm saying is the 3 projected starting outfielders do not have overwhelming offensive numbers. That doesn't mean they can do the job or won't. I just don't want to bet the house on it.

I completely understand that giving up less runs and playing great defense can/will translate into more wins. And I understand that Amaro does not want to pay the ludricrous amonts of money that the remaining FA's are asking for, nor should he. But HE stated he wants a run-producing bat. He's yet to fill that need except for Young. This is what is bothering me.

It's not that your arguments are not valid> It's just that I see things a little differently and I'd like to see a little more offense which would hopefully take some of the pressure off the pitching.

As far as the imposter poster goes, let me once again echo NEPP's comments from yesterday and also remind you that this blog is for grown-ups, not children.

I know I may be stubborn at times phans but thanks for putting up with me.

Tom Gorzelanny is getting essentially 6 million from the Brewers. Not seeing the years. Might be one year at about 6 million

This imposter stuff is getting out of control.

Fata: If you think Wells is washed up and will post sub 92 OPS+ then I heartily agree that getting him for $5M is worse than getting Ross for $8.5 or $9M.

Clout: Kudos to you if Vernon Wells is actually good this season.

Because you're the only person I've seen who thinks he will be.

This site is going to sh!t. Can't even have a baseball conversation anymore.
Bye bye beer leaguer.

Wells might have a career split towards LHP but he's sucked against them in 3 out of the last 4 seasons. So he cant even do that reliably.

Here's the numbers in case you're curious:

Wells vs. LHP:
2009: 172 PA, .602 OPS
2010: 128 PA, .643 OPS
2011: 172 PA, .851 OPS
2012: 84 PA, .671 OPS

He does hit them well for his career though with an .836 OPS against them compared to a career .772 OPS against RHP.

Some comparisons I was curious about and looked into while I have a pre-vacation reprieve from work:

Runs Allowed

2011 7th inning: 62 (123 clean IP)
2012 7th inning: 73 (124 clean IP)

2011 8th inning: 72 (123 clean IP; 23 1-run)
2012 8th inning: 93 (116 clean IP; 22 1-run -- ton of crooked no.)

2011 9th inning: 39 (114 clean IP; 14 1-run)
2012 9th inning: 53 (104 clean IP; 17 1-run)

Record when ahead in the 7th, 8th, 9th inning

2011: 73-8; 80-5; 87-3
2012: 58-16; 65-12; 69-2

Note that the had leads at the start of 86 innings 8s in 2011 and 77 in 2012 not a big difference in opportunities but a huge diff in conversion rate. Winning with a lead in the 9th was not a problem, but they entered the 9th with almost 20 fewer leads.

In 2011, the Phils had a 10-12 record if the game was tied to start the 8th; in 2012 it was 9-8. Not a big difference there. If the were losing to start the 8th they went 12-43 (.218) in 2011 and 7-61 (.103) in 2012.

They certainly had fewer opportunities to win late in games (as reflected by the 9 fewer times they entered the 8th with a lead for instance), but they gave up a ton more runs in the late innings converting over twice as many 8th inning leads to losses as in 2011 and exactly twice as many 7th inning leads to losses. They scored 79 runs in the 8th inning in 2011 and 75 in 2012, and scored runs at a much higher rate in the 9th inning in 2012 than in 2011. It wasn't really lack of late inning offense -- from these numbers -- but lack of late inning run prevention.

Would be curious to see a split of Starter ER vs Reliever ER in the 7-8-9 between thee season's. But our RP allowed 210 RA in 418 IP in 2012 and 169 RA in 412 IP in 2011. Not a big difference in total IP from the relief, which is surprising given Doc's discrepancy between the seasons, but you have to imagine that IP is not the best measure for how much more the Phils used the pen in 2012 (bad relievers have more trouble pitching innings, getting outs) and how responsible they were for these late inning losses. The IP suggests the Phils used the pen at the same rate, but my guess is that the SP had a role in some of these blown leads too.

Translation: The bullpen kinda sucked last year?

Phils led NL in SP IP in 2012 with 1033; led in 2011 with 1064. Not a huge dropoff. A stronger secondary (non-Papelbon) pen will go a long way towards making this team more competitive. Not enough to make them Nats-good, but if Adams-Papelbon and 1-2 of those young guys fall into place, enough to be more in the wildcard hunt I bet.

NEPP - The question is what do the Phils have to gain from improving the late innings, quantifying or trying to how much of the 20 game swing in wins can be chalked up to relief arms as opposed to poorer performance in the earlier innings. The Phils were worse in the earlier innings, but it looks like the were much, much worse in the later innings. 80 leads, 28 ties to start the 5th in 2011 and 75 leads, 26 ties in 2012. They were competitive enough in the early innings not to see a win total drop by 20.

"If the Phillies [signed Polanco] I assume everybody would be killing Rube."

I don't really see Beerleaguer going easy on the Marlins' management. They have been pilloried on here relentlessly -- and deservedly so.

Cee Angi at The Good Phight told me the bullpen was fine last year.

Somewhere on a Marlins blog (if such a thing exists), a poster is now writing: "Polanco was hitting .294 on June 4 last year, before his season started falling apart due to injuries."

I rather go with Soriano than Wells.

Whether or not the pen was fine may be a separate question. I mean, we know they were a great defensive team in the 9th inning. And converting 65/77 8th inning leads to wins may be well above the average rate NL-wide. I have no idea. I'm just comparing the pen to their 2011 performance. That could be as unfair as comparing anything to the 2011 rotation.

PS...I figured the Marlins would go after Polly instead of Tejada. I hope they have a Utility guy on their squad. Polly is likely to be out a 1/3rd of the season. Perhaps we can send them Martinez.

Atlanta converted 78/80 8th inning leads to wins. Giants 80/85; Dodgers 70/76; Brewers 72/83; Rangers 79/81; Mets 63/68.

I'm thinking 65/77 is not good.

I just skimmed that Angi article, but it sounds like the problem is more economic in nature -- doesn't like the use of resources. I don't know how you can look at the comparisons above, and those to the rest of the league, and not realize that locking down the later innings will be hugely important for a team right on the playoff plateau. Phils seem to have more to gain from getting a better pen than anybody.

Sophist/NEPP: Which is why a good amount of posters here have given up on the hoes of acquiring another OF and have focused on the pen. Plenty of good names out there that can be had for much less than what Cody Ross wants.

Matt Capps
Matt Lindstrom
Jason Frasor
Brandon Lyon
Ramon Ramirez
Jon Rauch

are all pretty good fits i think. The only guy who is really out of range is Rafael Soriano. I would even kick tires on Valverde, i don't think he'll get a closer job next year.

Theres plenty more too, player formerly known as Leo Nunez could be a high reward project, same with Farnsworth and even a Latroy Hawkins types.

Lots of directions to go that could yeild marginal value in the pen as compared to the OF.

Someone should point Cee Angi to the work Sophist has done in this thread. Good stuff, Sophist.

Polly's usefulness spiked 4 or 5 years ago, and it's been a steady decline since that time. This recent history of bringing in retread Philadelphia 3B's (Helms, Dobbs) hasn't panned out, and I suspect Polly will continue that lineage.


b_a_p: If the Marlins can just tread water until Polanco is healthy ...

NL-wide win pct

Ahead to start 7th: .880 (Phils .784)
Ahead to start 8th: .911 (Phils .844)

So well below league average in pct, and my guess is that even farther below the other team's on the playoff bubble in the NL (Nats, Braves, Cards, Reds, Dodgers, Giants).

Sophist: No one doubts better bullpen performance is necessary. The question is how to allocate resources to get a better pen.

Personally, I think even if you left the personnel the same, you would see better results from the bullpen. You may be able to supplement that even more, for sure, by bringing in outside guys like Adams, Howell, etc. But then it's a question of resources--does that marginal gain outweigh the use of resources elsewhere to get other marginal gains, etc.

That's the debate. Not sure what the right answer is. You know?

If I was one of the 12 Miami Marlins fans, I'd feel the exact opposite of good after last year's FA bonanza in advance of the new stadium versus the moves they've made in the last 4 months or so. Hope no one locked in to any lengthy ticket commitments.

Jack - That may be a separate debate. I'm sorry my posts don't speak to a matter you find more interesting.

Signing Adams makes the bullpen the one area of the team where the Phillies should be able to expect a clear-cut improvement. So they got that going for them, which is nice.

Also, best of luck to Polanco. I really wish things had worked out better for him on his second go around in Philadelphia.

Sophist: what would their record be last year if they converted at NL average in the 8th? could be an interesting justification for signing bullpen arms this offseason

Sophist: I'm not sure what you are taking offense to?

Anyway, what I was trying to say was that just like you could've predicted the 2012 run prevention was due to decline after the historic 2011 season, I think you could also predict the bullpen to be better in 2013 than it was in a really terrible 2012. And I think that's true regardless of whether they signed anyone to the bullpen or not.


65/77 = .844
.911 (NL) * 77 = ~70.

So 5 wins.

But that's the average. Most of the contending teams not only have more leads late but convert at higher than average rates. The Phils 2011 rate would lead to roughly 72/77 conversions.

My larger point about resources being that there are areas (namely the OF) that both require and are capable of greater improvement than the bullpen.

That said, take any improvement where you can get it. Signing a bullpen guy who projects to be better than what you have is better than doing nothing at all, if those are the two options.

And I think you can (and will) get a much better bullpen performance this year, and still not have a playoff team, because of the question marks in the lineup and the rotation.

Sophist, just as you scolded me a while back from simply looking at Grienke's results, and not digging into his peripherals, I would point out to you that that is what Cee Angi did in an earlier post, looking at last year's bullpen. It was about money/resources, but I believe (it's been a while since I read that post), was arguing that the pitchers performed better than the results would have you believe.

Always liked Polanco. How he got that contract with his age and physical problems is beyond me, but more power to him. I wish him the best of luck.

Jack - I just found it odd that you dismissed my posts because they were obvious and irrelevant to a debate I wasn't addressing.

Fatalotti - I haven't really read her posts. It may be that the pen performed better than the results or that $$ is not well spent on a pen. I wasn't really speaking to that directly. I was just more curious to quantify how differently this team performed in the late innings, and whether or not improvement in that area would be meaningful. I was surprised to see that the team was about as good as the 2011 team through the 4-5th inning, but much different afterwards -- mostly because of run prevention.

My larger point about resources being that there are areas (namely the OF) that both require and are capable of greater improvement than the bullpen.

Jack: Entering the offseason I felt the Phillies should prioritize OF power, followed by 3B & bullpen. So much for those first two, esp. considering r00b somehow managed to diminish an already pitiful OF while potentially weakening his SP in the process. As such, I'm even more pleased w/ the Adams signing. At least the Phillies did something positive.

And I think you can (and will) get a much better bullpen performance this year, and still not have a playoff team, because of the question marks in the lineup and the rotation.

Agreed. But on those rare occasions the Phillies actually manage to score enough runs to take a lead, I feel somewhat better about their chances of holding it.


I too wasn't prioritizing picking up bullpen vets as the best thing to do, but as others have said, the 3B and CF options were addressed and almost all corner OF options are gone.

I'd rather the money go to relievers than Cody Ross, Scott Hairston, or Monty's pockets.

Jack : "[Clout] has a very peculiar weakness. He believes that players, no matter who they are or where they are in their careers or what might have happened to them, will always, forever and ever, play to their career averages."

Don't forget that he also believes that MLB Owners do not operate on a budget.

If this is going to be a thread about all of clout's peculiar weaknesses, I am just going to take off work for the rest of the day.

bap: i'm sure once he surfaces, it'll be a thread about everyone else's

That writeup has me pretty excited...why cant we sign veteran infielders like that?

The best part about that blog write-up is the comments section, which features exactly 0 comments in the 45 minutes since the article appeared.

BAP, you have to wait until the handful of Miami Marlin fans finish up class and get off of the beach.

Dont forget there's a bridge involved and...

Sorry wrong BS excuse for lack of fandom.

Just heard word that Mets may be interested in Grady Sizemore. Me wonders whether he might be worth kicking the tires on as a risky-but-high-reward type of player.

Then again, I suppose if everyone was in total agreement that the ownership, team and overall experience was lacking, there's not a whole lot to discuss.

They need the Miami version of Old Phan, CJ and Phlipper to go to bat for all of the good things to look forward to.

The best part about that blog write-up is the comments section, which features exactly 0 comments in the 45 minutes since the article appeared.

They know miami_clout will just call everyone who comments a moron, anyway, & figured "Why bother?"

This is an example of a low risk, high reward signing of a pitcher:

Rich Harden on a minor league deal.

IMHO RAJ ought to check in, because IF Harden is healthy he's got upside, especially if he's willing to come out of the bullpen.

RonnyK, I brought up Sizemore a couple of weeks ago, but got no traction here.

Good Marlins will stink at 3b.

Terrible grammar there, fakeNEPP.

I haven't had time to comb through the 3 posts, but I imagine the usual suspects found plenty of occasion for hand-wringing, and calling Jeffrey Loria a moron, after the recent trades. Let me be clear that I don't necessarily agree with trading Reyes, Johnson, and Buehrle for prospects. But I can certainly see why a GM might reasonably decide to blow up an under-achieving team that lost 93 games last year. And if you can rebuild the team without giving up Stanton, that's better still. Of course, I don't expect curmudgeonly fans, who enjoy being miserable, to look at both sides of the equation. It's far more satisfying to pass judgment and scream "Moron!" at an ownership group that has brought this city as many World Series titles in the team's 20-year existence as the Phillies have won in more than 100 years.

It will be interesting to see what these same fans have to say if the Marlins, after back-to-back 90-loss seasons, only lose 88 or 89 this year. Perhaps then the hand-wringing will quiet down a bit.

Yeah, like that's gonna happen.

This fake NEPP needs to go back to school. It's getting old.

~shakes head~

How pathetic do you have to be to troll a baseball blog?

@NEPP, Whats going on???

Tell you the truth NEPP, every chance we get we comment on a fresh article, we life is sad, hahaha.

No idea, idea. I assume one of our regulars or regular lurkers got bored the last few days and decided to do a bunch of fake posts and mainly focused on me for whatever reason.

Now somebody is fake posting in my name!

These trolls (fakeDPatrone and fakeNEPP) are really pathetic.

Today, we are all NEPP.

Wow, I'm confused.

What will happen on BL if Polanco's 2013 slash line is better than Young's?

Good luck to you Placido. You were always one of my favorite players.

What do you guys think it would take to get someone like Brett Lawrie next year, I don't really like Asches numbers.

Brett Lawrie is my favorite infielder in the National Passtime, I use his swing when my friends and I play ball.

I think Grady Sizemore for cheap sounds a lot better than Ross, Soriano or Wells.

***Today, we are all NEPP.***

Its like a really sh!tty version of Spartacus.

Do any of you like Brett Lawrie?

***What do you guys think it would take to get someone like Brett Lawrie next year, I don't really like Asches numbers.***

An act of God.

Would fakeNEPP be considered a reasonable replacement for NEPP if he's young, really fast & under Beerleaguer control for the next few seasons?

Do any of you like Brett Lawrie?

Yeah, but only as a friend.

Come on now, I just hit my arbitration years...I dont want to be traded to White Sox Beerleaguer.

Why do you guys keep talking about fakenepp?Is it a slam on him?

This a baseball site. :/

Has everyone been hitting the eggnog a little early today? This feels like some weird alternate universe BL.

The Phillies should just go platoon in the OF, OF market is weak now, I say you save the $ until next year when it's loaded yet again and target someone like Nelson Cruz or Curtis Granderson or even Jacoby Ellsbury.I say give Ruf a shot, Dom a shot and let Revere be that #2 hitter we needed while we save &.

I always liked Lawrie but I just don't see it happening. If Asche doesn't impress I think Headley coming here next offseason or even midseason with an extension is more realistic.

Many have dreamt of the Chase -ly's hitting back to back

Starting at 5:45, none of those BAP posts was me, including the one stating, "Now somebody is fake posting in my name!"

Ironically, the last post that was really me was posted under the Miami Phlipper handle at 5:41.

Well, maybe the powers that be at Comcast have sent a bunch of trolls to infest the site so that changes have to be made and we'll all have to register and put up with all the crap that other blogs entail.

If that happens it will change the site for the much, much worse.

BTW, if anyone has been over to The Good Phight recently I'd be interested in your opinion.

I hate the new format and rarely go there anymore.

BAP-- I knew the real you would never use three question marks.

I knew the real b_a_p would never make a post including the words "... my life is sad, hahaha."

Also, A.J. Pierzynski to Texas on a 1-year deal. I've never liked that guy.

Cyclic: I'm kind of happy about the development. From now on, every time I say something stupid that I wish I could take back, I'm just gonna blame the fake BAP. It will drive Iceman bonkers. Speaking of which, where is Iceman? Er-, make that: where is Iceman???

Or you could just do what I do and post under the name "clout" when you want to say something stupid.

That was a cheap shot I don't feel good about. I respect most posters here.

Or it wasn't me who posted it.

I feel like I've wondered onto fake Beerleaguer. Is this Beerleaker or something?

This fake poster thing is getting kind of fun...Trying to guess who is actually posting and who isn't

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