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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Comments

The galactic alignment endpoint... . here???

Ah, the day Beerleaguer jumped the shark. At least we almost made it to the end of the world first.

BAP - the fake Phlipper's twin brother post was good!!

I wonder if there's a fake Miami BAP who calculates ERA by inning?

Bored so I perused the 2012 predictions thread.

Highlight:

"If one or more of the Big 3 gets hurt:

82-80, No Postseason


General Predictions:

* Qualls will audition for the position of pitcher to All-Star Home Run Derby contestants. Unfortunately he'll do so during his 8th Inning appearances for the Phillies.

* Both Nix & Wigginton will prove a complete waste of oxygen, let alone money.

Posted by: GTown_Dave | Wednesday, April 04, 2012 at 11:54 AM

^^ I think that's a phake phlipper.

Phlipper: Thank you. I actually went back and studied your old posts in an effort to be as painstakingly accurate as I could possibly be. Kind of like that painter in World War II Holland who did all the counterfeit Vermeer paintings and then sold them to the Nazis as if they were the genuine article (only to get busted for selling Dutch art treasures to the Nazis).

I doubt very seriously there's a fake Miami BAP, though. I mean, there are only like 5 Marlins fans in the entire world. It was just sheer chance that one of them happened to be a fake Phlipper.

Cyclic: I assumed it was the real one because of the reference to ERA by inning.

Everyone knows that schtick.

Well, it did have an exclamation mark in it, which is not a punctuation mark I would normally associate with Phlipper -- or, for that matter, any other regular poster.

Wow, GTown really nailed that prediction thread. I think I predicted 120 wins, or thereabouts.

I predicted that Wigginton would suck.

Nostradamus wishes he was as prophetic as I was.

Nah - it was me. Haven't posted lately, gotten a bit rusty and off my game - hence the un-called for use of exclamation points.

In case anyone doubts my authenticity, I'll just say that you're all a bunch of Debby Downers, Negative Nancy's, hand-wringers, not happy unless you're miserable, and... oh, MG - are you ever going to stop welching on your bet?

Did fake NEPP just reveal himself as GTown?

I am dressed in pink negligee for the holidays.

Predicting that Wiggy was going to suck took no imagination at all. But, when I predicted he'd be very much like Wes Helms II, I got pilloried. Looks like he was completely similar to Wes Helms.

Some of us were also pretty sure that Halladay was injured and trying to hide it. We were called all sorts of names. Again, we were correct.

Many wrongly thought Podsednik was the better choice over Pierre. Guilty as charged.

Also never liked the Nix signing. That was a push for incompleteness. But I still don't like it going forward.

And a lot of us didn't like the Papelbon signing. Don't know how to grade that one. He was sometimes overpowering and quite often disappointing. On the whole, not worth the money but his season could have been a lot worse. Still tough to root for his theatrical nonsense. I'll give that one slightly to Rube with three more season left to revise and extend.

Hated Qualls from the get go. Bad pick up. Of course, got buried on that one too. Sadly, that and Wiggy were my most accurate predictions.

Also thought Thome wasn't a bad pickup. Hard to judge that one because he bounced back from a slow start and injury, then brought in a semi-prospect in trade. So, I'll mark that as correct.

sophist has actually come close to compiling the accurate LDATTB stat for 2012.

His stats show that the team lost 30 games in which they had a lead in the 7th inning or later. I'm guessing the lead was given up by the bullpen in about 90 percent of those cases.

If I recall correctly, my views on last year's off-season acquisitions went something like:

Wigginton: Meh. Didn't really like it but didn't hate it nearly enough to say, "I told you so."

Nix: Loathed it. Must have gotten him mixed up with Wigginton. Nix was the "Meh," and Wigginton the one worthy of loathing.

Dontrelle: Liked it. I thought he could make the transition to the pen. He couldn't, but there was nothing wrong with taking a shot.

Qualls: Embarrassingly enough, I thought he was a solid acquisition. Of course, I thought the same of Danys Baez.

Podsednik v. Pierre: I preferred Pods. Oh well.

Sanches: Thought he was a great under-the-radar acquisition. My experiences with him, Qualls & Baez will teach me to ever again praise an RAJ off-season acquisition.

Thome: Liked it. Hey, I got one right!

Re-signing Schneider: Ok, I got 2 right. I distinctly remember thinking this was the single most mind-boggling move of RAJ's entire tenure. And it was.

Kratz: My signature Beerleaguer achievement. He'll probably hit .125 this year but I'll always have 2012.

Good for Polanco. Of the crap out there, at least he can field 3B and not have embarrassing at-bats, though likely low impact ones.

Sorry to see all the copy cats here. It will really drive down the quality of the site. I really to appreciate all the knowledge in the comments, especially for game days as I miss most of the games in real time and Beerleaguer really gives me a feel of the game, so much better than the box score.

We all know Polly will find the fountain and kill us. It is the way of Philadelphia Sports.

"Many wrongly thought Podsednik was the better choice over Pierre. Guilty as charged."

Smitty, so did I, but it's not like Pods went out and embarrassed himself.

He did put up a .302/.322/.352 line in 216 PA in Boston.

The 8:58 post by "NEPP" is pretty interesting. Is Gtown really the spoofer? Or is the spoofer more meta than we ever imagined?

(Either way, stop. Just stop it.)

Glad to see Polanco find a job for one more year. Hope he hits well enough to bring his career bstting average back over the .300 mark.
Except against the Phils, of course.

Liked the Wiigy & Nix signings (as bench players only).

Wanted Pods over Pierre.

Liked the Thome signing (for sentimental reasons). He had 2 monster years when they signed him originally. Real class act. Knew he wouldn't stay when he couldn't play 1B.

Hated the Qualls signing. Wanted them to go after Theriot instead.

This year, love the Adams signing. Lukewarm on everything else with the caveats that they didn't give up a lot in either trade. and they now have dollars to spend. Doesn't look like they'll spend them until the deadline if necessary.

I can't help wondering if there were more to the last 2 off-seasons (including this one) than meets the eye. Until tomorrow, peace, out.

It would be interesting to assess the impact of Polanco's return on Vic, in that he bumped Vic from the 2 hole. It seems to me that Polly turned Vic into a lineup nomad, when he should have stayed between Rollins and Utley. That 2009 off-season was a crossroads for the Phillies. What we have now owes much to those few months following the second WS.

Melk would look really nice in left or right now with revere and brown and ruf platoon

Cubs signed four pitchers this year, Jackson, Villanueva, Feldman, and Baker. I expect Garza to now be on the block.

Would you warm up to Soriano, Garza plus cash for Dom Brown plus prospects?

For me to want any part of Soriano, the Cubs would have to eat AT LEAST $28M of the $36M owed to him. That would be the starting point. If they're unwilling to do that, then the conversation wouldn't advance any further.

I'd take Soriano if we weren't giving up any real prospects...that's the kicker right now. You can't give up Brown to get him because there's a hole in RF instead of LF.

This assumes Brown actually can play RF.

Agreed, although i'd rather it to Soriano than the owner's pockets.

@aksmith its Beer Leaguer ... but declining a 5.5 million is a huge blow on me

36yr old AJ Pierzynski with a $7.5M deal? Seems pretty drastic. All of his value came from his 27 HR last year.

career .284/.324/.429 and then a .278/.326/.501 last year. His career HR/FB is 6% and it was 13.5% last year. Almost every single ratio and stat you can find is identical between his career and 2012 season except that.

clout - here are the losses for rival NL teams in 2012 when they had leads in 7th or later:

Nats: 16
Braves: 7
Cards: 21
Reds: 18
Phils: 30
Giants: 12
Dodgers: 16
Pirates: 9
Mets: 20 (but only 7 in 8th and 9th -- Phils had 14)

I'm not sure it's as simple as just adding them up, and there's obviously noise, but I think that stat is pretty telling. The Phils actually scored more runs in later innings last year than they did in 2011 and they had plenty of opportunities to convert leads into wins, e.g. the Braves had 80 8th innings leads (winning 78 of them) while the Phils had 77 (converting just 65 of them). The Phils scored 71 runs in the 8th inning compared to 64 by the Braves. There's a lot of noise there, but it really looks like most of the problem was run prevention.

Anecdotally I remember several occasions where UC tried to push a starter through the 7th only to have it backfire. Though that was also likely due him having zero faith in the bullpen

NEPP - Even if that were true, the 77 number represents the number of times the 8th inning started with a Phils lead. They Braves had 80 such games. But the Braves then had 84 9th inning leads (going 83-1) and 11 ties (7-4) compared to the Phils 71 (69-2) and 23 ties (9-14). And remember the Phils scored more runs in the 8th last year than the Braves. The Phils blew a lot more winnable games in the 8th and 9th and played in a lot more close games (twice as many 8th inning tie games but only 2 more wins from those).

more reason to pick up another bullpen peice.

I think both agree that the pen sucked last year

Would be curious to see how often the Phils starters pitched in the 8th inning and how well they fared versus other teams/2011 Phils.

A broken-down veteran like Polanco got $2.75M? Wow. Even 3-4 years ago, I bet he gets max $1M if he even gets a guaranteed deal.

So much for there being late season bargains at this point. Any Front Office staff who thought that was going to be the case seriously misread the market dynamics at the high end due to the Dodgers and to the overall cash influx that every team got. There has been crazy salary creep everywhere this offseason.

Wigginton got a two year deal. I think that ought to be enough to sicken anyone who has ever had the misfortune of watching him commit baseball.

yeah that wigginton deal is one of things where you tell someone you'll bet them a $1M it won't happen

Good Phight article - So the Adams signing was bad because?

- The Phils had the best pen in baseball because of a single metric despite pretty of other ones where they are middle of the pack or worse.

- The Phils should build a bullpen of exclusively young, inexpensive arms even if that is largely what they are largely planning to do next year, if that particular strategy isn't followed by a single higher-spending team, and it is not particularly well-suited for the reality of the Phils' current roster/bullpen prospects/etc.

- The Phils should have spent that $6M elsewhere especially on offense without identifying a single valid FA alternative or a player who would have been able to be signed on a shorter deal (3-years or less and likely 2 years).

This article was just Internet stark and there was nothing in it of real value.

Hell, the biggest reason to question the Adams signing is the type of shoulder surgery he had this offseason. Even during the press conference yesterday Adams gave lukewarm answers about that he 'should be ready for the start of spring training.'

That's a much bigger issue (health status) and to a lesser degree what his fastball velocity will be early in the year.

Why not try defense to prevent some late inning runs.

Wigginton two-year deal was just baffling. I can't imagine there was any other team in MLB that gave him 2 guaranteed years besides the Cards.

Only reason I can think that they gave him 2 years is that they for some reason what a slightly lower payroll this year.

It was funny when they signed him and Mozeliak said the major reason was 'they need RH power off the bench.' Doesn't even really provide that any more either.

Didn't Chris Carpenter have the same surgery as Adams last year? Think he came back and pitched in a couple of games.

Saw this on Stark column:

Astros are now at 200:1 favorites to win the WS. Don't remember ever seeing a team with those kind of odds.

"Beneath this surface, there are encouraging things happening on the player-development front. But in the meantime, back in the big leagues, baseball-reference.com projects this team to have a $24.9 million payroll. And one AL exec describes the Astros' short-term big league panorama this way: "Dismal. And headed south."

If you were a season-ticket holder, would you fork over a few thousand dollars to watch a team that will have a $25M payroll and already be well into the black even before the season opens?

There needs to be a hard floor in MLB baseball that probably starts at least $50M to teams are forced to at least make an attempt to put out a credible product to watch & can't make huge subsidized profits even before the season starts.

MG: maybe I'll put 5 quid on that just on the off chance.

Sophist - He did and so did Harrison but I wasn't able to find a baseball-related article on that surgery. Probably because there are so few cases of it at the MLB level the last 5-10 years so that it can be analyzed.

Even during the press conference yesterday Adams gave lukewarm answers about that he 'should be ready for the start of spring training.'

Seems like that applies to about 95% of the roster at this point. It'll be a victory if the Phillies can field enough players to participate in any ST games.

MG: MLB should at least have a soft floor in the sense "You spend below $XX million, you don't receive any revenue sharing." That way owners wouldn't start in the black on Opening Day.

Either that, and/or put the extra revenue sharing funds into a pool that would then be used to fund new stadiums. Better than continuing to have taxpayers end up w/ buyer's remorse (ahem, Miami.)

nokwurst: good point. If teams that spend high get taxed, then teams that spend too low should be as well. So just like the luxury tax, each $ you spend below the floor, you lose a % of your revenue sharing money. And you could even copy the luxury tax model of penalizing repeat offenders more heavily.

Lore: like that even better, to pro-rate the revenue sharing so that it mirrors the luxury tax..."poverty tax?"

Taking Other People's Money Tax

In regards to revenue sharing, it should be a X out of Y years thing, like at any time over a 5 season period, 3 of those years must see payroll above XX,XXX,XXX. I don't want the MLB to be like the NHL where very mediocre players are signed to deals just so the team can get over the budget. Or even worse, if the team trades away young talent just to meet some threshold.

Cody Ransom outhit Wigginton last year, and had a .900 OPS vs LHP in his limited time. He gets a minor league deal while Wigginton gets a 2 yr MLB deal.

"It'll be a victory if the Phillies can field enough players to participate in any ST games."


The above represents what I love best about GTown.

We can always count on him to provide the barbiturate of commentary to pick all of us up during the Holiday Season!

lorecore, Wigginton has a career 99 wRC+.
Ransom has a caeer 88 wRC+.

According to clout's "Veteran Players Always Revert to Career Norms" line of thought, Wigginton is clearly the better player, recent years be damned.

NOTE: Cody Ransom is awful. Both he and Wiggy deserved minor league deals.

lorecore, the Ransom and Wiggy deals are great illustrations of the irrationality and inefficiency of the MLB FA market.

Other posters here should note that, because when they criticize Amaro or any other GM they're really assuming the market is efficient and rational.

Many also make assumptions that GMs operate in a vaccum, and that they make objective as opposed to subjective decisions.

Well, the Ransom/Wiggy illustration ought to disabuse them of that notion.

So you're saying that the MLB FA market is not rational and efficient because GMs act irrationally and inefficiently.

Because of this, we should excuse GMs for acting irrationally and inefficiently?

I don't know if your presumptions lead to your conclusion.

awh: two other signings that really make you wonder are:

Phils getting Lannan for 1yr/$2.5M compared to a lot of other starters and Brandon Laegue getting 3yr/$22M with a vesting 4th from the Dodgers compared to rest of relievers.

The thing about clout's "Veteran Players Always Revert to Career Norms" rule is that the rule seems to only apply when it suits his agenda of being an insulting ass. When he can be an insulting ass by ignoring career norms, and focusing only on recent results -- even (heaven forfend!) small sample size results -- then he chooses that course.

I found this out last spring training, when I suggested that Joel Pineiro and Joe Blanton were "about" the equal of Kyle Kendrick, and was lambasted as an idiot even though their career numbers were all about the same & neither Blanton nor Pineiro was terribly old. I found it out again last June, when I suggested that the Phillies should take a no-risk shot on Brad Lidge, and clout was the first out of the gate to declare me an idiot for believing that a guy with a 9.64 ERA in 9.1 innings -- who had been solid only one year earlier -- was still better than guys like Schwimer, Savery, and Diekman.

The funny thing about the fake poster is that he has hideous grammar and punctuation, and he only posts as the people on here who can actually write complete sentences with good spelling. Kind of like me trying to impersonate Will, I mean...Albert Schweitzer.

Fatti, you missed my point.

In a market of 30, if just one of the actors in the market acts inefficiently or irrationally it can skewer the whole market.

During the 2000s, the Yankees were that team, handing out contracts that defied logic, especially the second ARoid contract.

Sabermetrics is an attempt, albeit an imperfect one, to rationalize player value, though it has had a limited effect doing it.

No, GM's should not be excused, and I never stated that - nice attempt at a strawman.

I was merely providing an explanation of the marketplace.

And no, I do not believe that other GMs acting irrationally is an excuse for an individual GM to do so because of market pressure".


For further proof that GMs are irrational, just look at the 2/13 that Francisco Liriano just got from the Pirates. If someone can explain the sanity of that to me I'm willing to be educated.

bap: so clout called you an idiot because you thought Blanton, Lidge, and Piniero could help in 2012?

sounds about right.

Hairston splits the last 3 years:

LHP: .263/.308/.464 (.772 OPS) wiht 15 HRs in 373 ABs

RHP: .218/.289/.420 (.709 OPS) with 22 HRs in 431 ABs

Mayberry the last 3 years:

LHP: .290/.337/.544 (.881 OPS) wiht 17 HRs in 283 ABs

RHP: .236/.305/.382 (.687 OPS) with 14 HRs in 437 ABs

Besides a little better power vs RHP, Hairston has no real offensive advantages over Mayberry.

Hairston is going to be 33 in May, Mayberry just turned 29 this Dec.

Mayberry is a better defensive corner OF and has more speed.

Mayberry really does mash LHP while Hairston's numbers are decent but not outstanding.

Hairston is a platoon-type player who is 3 1/2 years older than Mayberry and really doesn't have much of an advantage over him offensively.

Why exactly is Amaro interested in Hairston again?

Just checked mlbtr.

The Twinkies signed Harden to a MiL deal.

IMHO that would have been a good signing for the Phillies if indeed the goal was "low-risk", "high-reward".

awh - He's more like a scratch off ticket. Lannan has limited upside but there is a strong certainty he will make 30 starts and put up tolerable numbers as a 5th starter.

Harden hasn't been able to pitch even on a semi-regular basis since '09.

Lannan is low-risk/moderate reward

lorecore: My point had to do with his methodology. I used a clout "career norms" argument, and he attacked it by using the very type of "what happened most recently" rationale that he attacks others for using. But, yeah, on the substance of the argument, he was right, and I was wrong -- so feel free to take a potshot & ignore my point.

BAP, to be fair, i think lorecore was agreeing with you and joining in on roasting clout.

Can someone tell me where the "zero upside" meme for Lannan came from? I don't have any particular interest in boosting him, but he is entering his age-28 season and he's been in the Nats system his entire career. Who's to say that getting to hang around top-tier veteran starters and a new set of coaches, while being in his prime physical years, has no chance of coaxing some moderate improvements out of the guy?

nope, was def taking a shot at bap while ignoring his point.

mg: Agreed about the Hairston post. I am down on Mayberry more than most, but even I can see the value he has. All of the junk left on the FA market are marginal upgrades to what he already gives you, its a stupid notion to be "in" on these types.

MG, if you're implying that at this point Harden cannot carry the load of being a starter, then I'm afraid I'm going to have to disappoint you by agreeing with you. At this point Harden may be a bullpen piece, which is what I was thinking when I suggested he'd be worth the huge risk of a minor league deal.

While it's a miniscule sample size, Harden has done this as a reliever:


3.29 ERA, 13.2 IP, 1.098 WHIP, 9.9 K/9, 4.07 BB/9 (2.14 K/BB), .160/.276/.220 against, .226 BAbip


So, IMHO it's worth the risk to see if Harden could repeat those numbers out of the bullpen. The walk rate is high, but his walk rate has always been a little higher than one would like.

If Amaro has money burning a hole in his pocket that he absolutely has to spend, I would much rather prefer he bring in another bullpen arm on a 1-year deal.

There are some veteran outs there who I bet would be a clear boost to the pen yet including Lindstrom, Lyon, Howell, and Myers.

It will drive the saber guys crazy but I don't see how the Phils could spend an additional $3-$4M right now on a positional FA player unless the Phils role the dice on 'Fat Elvis' (Berkman) hoping he can stay healthy and actually give them say 90-100 starts in LF.

MG, good post comparing Mayberry/Hairston.

Maybe RAJ will read it and act rationally! :)

fumphis: Lannan's stuff is not good. He's barely at 90mph and none of his breaking pitches are sharp, thats why his upside is limited.

He is durable, effective against both rhb/lhb, uses 4 different pitches with good command, and keeps the ball on the ground more often than not - so he's a good back of rotation guy.

MG, I agree on the RP vs. margianl OF argument.

What I'd really like them to do is to see if they could get either Hanrahan or Chris Perez.

I'm just throwing crap against teh wall, but what would it take to get either one of them?

Aumont and Bastardo?

The biggest reason why I hate the mention of Wells too is a I have a strong feeling that Cholly would use him as an everyday player in the early going too as the starter in LF with Brown in RF.

Wells is washed-up and even spending $4M on him next year is a huge waste. Hell, sign Hairston before wasting money on Wells.

I think Cloyd could get Hanrahan.

lorecore, a blog called "Three for Ten" had an intersting take on Lannan:


"On Saturday I posted about the pending addition of Mike Adams to the Phillies bullpen.

Within two hours, the Phillies confirmed another signing.

The Phillies signed the non-tendered John Lannan to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million, with another $2.5 million in incentives.

It’s a safe signing for a number 4 or 5 pitcher, and exactly the sort of solid move Phillies fans were hoping would come from the front office. We could see him fall into the number 5 spot to prevent three straight games with lefty starters.

Here are three things to expect, given his status as a back-end-of-the-rotation starter:

1. Innings

Including his stints in the minors, Lannan has pitched at least 180 innings in the last five seasons. That’s the kind of consistency you look for in a number 4 starter. In that regard, this signing is like the acquisition of Joe Blanton back in 2008. Blanton ate innings and kept the Phillies in games, and that’s the realistic expectation here.

2. Ground balls

Lannan has a career ground ball rate of 53.0%. That’s a plus in a stadium like Citizens Bank Park. I’ve heard some discussion about putting Freddy Galvis at third for Lannan’s starts, and depending on how Young re-adapts to the position, there may be something to the argument.

Though his numbers have not been good at Citizens Bank Park, he has not fared well against the Phillies in general (figures below). He obviously won’t have that problem the next time he takes the mound at CBP.

3. Contact

Lannan has a career 4.7 K/9. Don’t expect a lot of swing-and-miss at-bats when he’s on the mound.

This pitching style relies a lot on defense, but hey, it worked well enough for Jamie Moyer, right? Granted, Moyer has a career K/9 of 6.0, but he certainly relied heavily on solid defense.

As alluded to before, there are some intriguing career statistics. Todd Zolecki points out:

Interestingly, he is 3-13 with a 5.53 ERA in his career against the Phillies, but 39-39 with a 3.80 ERA against everybody else. If Lannan gives the Phillies 30-33 starts with a 3.80 ERA they will be thrilled.

Looking at this year’s stats, an ERA of 3.80 would have made a pitcher #46 in that category, in the middle of the pack for qualifying starters – not bad at all for a #5 starter."


Here's the link:

http://threeforten.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/phillies-fill-two-needs-with-lannan-signing/

MG - There was an interesting article I read on fangraphs arguing that Hairston represents a better bet than Ross for mostly the reasons you suggest in respect to Mayberry. Ross vs an OF platoon (composed with a guy like Hairston) is a pretty even bet. Makes a good case for signing Hairston, platooning him with someone, and saving a lot of money and probably getting better overall production.

That the Phils already have a good version of half that platoon in Mayberry suggests signing either Hairston or Ross would be sorta wasteful. Only thing the Phils have to gain from that is the consistency of having one player in there and the roster spot saved by not platooning. Or I guess Ross could duplicate his numbers in Fenway but it would still be at least 2 years.

awh needs an editor.

awh: You would really give up both Aumont and Bastardo for Chris Perez or Joel Hanrahan?

Really?

Lannan did have ERA+ of 110 and 109 in back to back seasons comprised of nearly 400 innings. So I wouldn't say he has NO upside. As awh notes, he's a ground ball pitcher, so he gets a lot of DPs. It has allowed him to get away with some pretty ghastly WHIPs.

That said, I also don't agree with the view that he's a safe bet to be serviceable. We're talking about a guy who doesn't strike anyone out, allows more than a hit per inning, and walks way too many batters. That's a pretty bad combination. I'm not predicting he'll be awful, but it certainly wouldn't shock me if he were.

Hanrahan had the same walk rate last year as Aumont, the guy who can't be trusted because he walks too many hitters.

By the way, Hanrahan and Perez both seriously struggled with control problems early in their careers.

Both are perfect examples of why you *don't* give up on young, talented relievers like Aumont.

Jack, what part of "throwing crap against the wall" did you not understand?

sheesh.

@aksmith its declining a 5.5 million is a vast blow on me

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