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Monday, January 14, 2013

Comments

repost:

Optimistic look at Roman Quinn:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/roman-quinn-a-better-billy-hamilton/

Calls his speed triple digit potential and believes his adaption to switch hitting is already better than Hamilton's, with a better chance to stick at SS as well.

Seidmna: good post, the time of the offseason to start comparing rosters seems to be upon us.

Heyward is the only difference maker in the Braves lineup right now. It would be nice if Brown could break out to be 80% of the player Heyward is.

Hamels-Lee-Halladay-Kendrick-Lannan

Just seeing that in print caused me some pause. Here's hoping Doc is back this year.

As soon as Seidman posted this, I see a link headline that says McCann hopeful for Opening Day.

Simmons is a better SS than JRoll already and may hit better than him this year. The Braves outfield is considerably better unless the Phils get a big surprise out of Brown or Ruf.

I'd also argue that Freeman has the advantage over Howard, especially considering his glove. Both teams third base situations stink, Young is probably better, but not by much.

The rotation, giving Halladay the benefit of the doubt, is clearly in the Phils favor, but the Braves bullpen is so much better that I think it nullifies some of the advantage the Phils might have. Overall, it's not out of the question to say the Braves "staff" is equal to the Phils.

I hate to say it, but Atlanta is clearly better than the Phils on paper.

As with most things regarding 2013, really everything depends on the continued health and effectiveness of Howard, Utley, and Halladay. Those 3 bounce back to resembling their old selves, we are better than the Braves. If they don't, we aren't.

I would say the pitching is a wash since the Braves' bullpen is better and deeper than the Phils right now.

Braves' bullpen right now is 6-deep with a backend as good as anybody in baseball and a very solid middle relief corps if Avilan and Martinez both open the season there.

MG, I agree, but I think jbird has it right:

It all depends on how well H H U bounce back.

Until we know how Doc, Ryan and Chase will show up to camp physically, there's no real way to compare this roster to any other team.

If healthy, I think this team is at least on par with Atlanta. But are we healthy?

One question about the Braves rotation:

Does anyone here expect Medlen to pitch to a 1.57 ERA in 2013?

Also take Maholm/Delgado over KK/Lannan. If Halladay is Halladay, the Phils have a better rotation. If the Phils get the '12 version, they don't.

Braves also have Teheran, Jurrjens, and Beachy due back around the ASB.

Phils probably have a slight edge in their overall top talent but the Braves to me are a bit deeper & much younger.

Joe Fa: "Simmons is a better SS than JRoll already."

I'm inclined to agree, though I'd like to see Simmons over a full season. His defense is amazing.

I would say this. While I think the Braves do project to be better than the Phillies, they are a lot closer to the Phils below them than they are the Nats above them.

On paper (big caveat, obviously), I think the Nationals are a solid gap above the Braves and Phils. If there's a competitive race down the stretch between these teams, its most likely to be between the Braves and Phillies for the wild-card.

rolo, a 1.57 ERA is a bit of a red herring. Medlen had a 2.97 xFIP last year, and had good MiL numbers.

Medlen is still young, only has 30 ML starts, and has dealt with injuries, but it does appear that the kid has a good chance to be a near front of the rotation starter for the Braves.

I agree with Jack 100%.

@JW

It all comes down to who's healthy. Halladay, healthy, is a 7-7.5 WAR pitcher according to baseball reference. That's the difference between 81 and 88 wins right there. Same thing with a healthy Howard and Utley.

We get a full year from those three, and the Phillies are a 90+ win team.

GodFather, I don't think Halladay, even if fully healthy, is a 7.5 WAR pitcher anymore. Those were his peak years. Even healthy, we should still expect decline from those years.

If fully healthy, he's probably closer to a 4.5-5 WAR pitcher, which is basically what Cole Hamels has been the last 3 years.

I noticed something with Halladay, looking at his stats. His GB rate has declined significantly over the years.

It's easy to write last year off as an anomaly due to injury, but his 44% GB rate wasn't just the lowest of his career by far--it was the continuation of a trend.

2005: 60.9%
2006: 57.3%
2007: 53.1%
2008: 53.7%
2009: 50.2%
2010: 51.2%
2011: 50.9%
2012: 44.7%

Now, his strikeout rate jumped up starting in 2008, which more than made up for the deline in GB rate, and allowed him to pitch at a Cy Young-level. But it's something to watch going forward. If the decline in GB rate doesn't reverse, then Halladay better have his full arm strength back and be striking people out. Otherwise, he could be in trouble.

Jeff Passan ‏@JeffPassan

Top estimated payrolls: Dodgers $213M, Yankees $210M, Phillies $158M, Angels $152M, Tigers and Red Sox $150M.

Braves bullpen best in mlb, Phils mediocre at best until Adams proves himself back to his old from. Will be the difference in the end.

Yeah boy, I want to be Charlie's mound interpreter.

It's also possible that the young Braves bullpen is trending downwards. This year will be telling.

Good to see that even in my absence, BLer is a fountain of exuberant optimism. MG, Jack, Fata and the crew just can't bring themselves to feel negative towards any aspect of the Phillies.

Their steadfast cheery outlook is just amazing...and that's w/o even seeing the Pollyannaish G-town and BAP weighing in.

And what's missing from this comparison is the obvious advantage the Phils have in their manager - in particular when it comes to handling the bullpen.

I'm sure everyone here has to agree to that, right?

Among a team filled with uncertainties, it's good to know that Phlipper is already in mid-season form.

I'm extremely comfortable with uncertainty. The full range of my fan emotions are exposed and waiting for the games to be played.

3rd to 1st pickoff move likely being abolished. I always hated that move. Someone got caught on the Phillies like 3 years ago but I can't remember who.

Fun little article, and should cause us all to not react so negatively when Jimmy Rollins swings at so many first pitches.

http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2013/1/7/3838282/decline-one-pitch-outs-first-pitch-out-mlb-sabermetrics

Kendrick seemed to use that move directly before a Dubee mound visit.

lorecore, I can't remember either, but if I had to wager a guess I'd say Werth?

"Rule changes for next year." Does that mean the upcoming season, or 2014? I think I need an interpreter.

Just read a good article about Ryan Madson, which includes reflecting on his time in Philly. And a sentence about Danys Baez helping Madson with his mechanics...which makes at least 2 pitchers helped by Baez. I think that man has a future as a pitching or BP coach.

http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/angels/la-sp-0115-angels-ryan-madson-20130115,0,6232608.story

Quinn's OBP seemed much to high for a guy with a moderate walk rate.
How did Quinn get HBP 11 times in 66 games?
He does not have much power, so who would bother to hit him?

I think Quinn is the Phillies top prospect but Hamilton has a great walk rate to go with his incredible speed. Not sure if Quinn can achieve that but Quinn might develop more power.

Fatti, great non-answer.

Do you think Medlen's 1.57 ERA is repaeatable of not?

Phlipper, this is BL, where the consensus is:
Halladay cannot possibly rebound to be as good as he was,
Howard and Utley will decline further from their 2012 seasons,
JRoll will swing at every first pitch and loaf on his way to 1B when he hits a weak grounder to 2B,
Brown will become AAAA filler,
Mayberry is the worst 4th OF in MLB,
Adams will get TOS in his other shoulder,
KK will revert to 2008 form,
Lannan fortune will reverse, and he'll pitch against the other teams in the NL the way he pitched against the Phillies,
DeFratus will implode and be sent down,
Aumont will implode and be sent down,
Stutes will implode and be sent down
Bastardo will implode and be sent down,
Horst will be the worst, implode and be sent down,
Ruf will turn into mini-mart in ST and never sniff MLB again,
Revere will suddenly slow down and turn into Greg Luzunski in the OF,
Young will put up a .500 OPS
Chooch will get busted selling his surplus Adderal to kids in a schoolyard and be banned for life,
Lee will lose his control and put up a 5.5 BB/9
Hamels will get another petite pooch which will bite him causing a season ending infection

and lastly, RAJ will go nuts and sign Milton Bradley, Andruw Jones, trade for Brett Myers, sign KO'Rod, sign Armando Benitez, and then bring in Ugeth Urbina to be their mentor.


Should be one heck of a season, no?

rolo - You forgot:

Kratz will prove last year was a fluke and hit like he did in Sept,
Diekman will make the club and walks guys at a staggering clip,
Rosenberg will make the club and give up HRs at a healthy clip,
Savery will make the club and get hit hard,
Cloyd will be in the rotation and give up HRs at a healthy clip,
Lopez will make the club and prove that he should be pitching in the Mexican League instead,
Mini Mart will become an everyday regular due to injuries and hit a lusty .196

rolo -

You nailed it. Although you forgot a couple.

Young will play no more than 25 games due to injury.
Pedro Feliz will be signed to replace Young.
Feliz will blow out a knee, and a washed-up Doc will be traded to bring back Polly to fill-in at 3rd.
Charlie will fail to use Paps until mid-July - leading to 15 one-run losses.
Then Charlie will pitch Paps in six straight games, leading to a season-ending arm injury.
Mini-mart will be brought back and inserted in the starting line-up in the first game after the All-Star break.
BLer will implode after before the second game after the All-Star break.

MG says up there that Jurrjens is due back at the ASB for Atlanta and that will be helpful to them.

I know MG knows this isn't true because we had an argument a month ago after Worley was traded about how Jurrjens- a FA- would fit in the rotation. MG didn't want to touch him.

But I'm sure whoever he signs with, as long as it isn't the Phils, will have made a good move.

Iceman - It's Beachy and that was one oversight.

Phlipper and Clout should have a benefit that that builds strawmen, sell them, and donate the worthy proceeds to a charity.

rolo-
Looks like my kinda club, charlie.
My kinda club.

Nats are the clear favorites headed into the season in the NL East. Ditto the Dodgers in the NL West. I guess the Reds are in the Central although I really like Cards roster right now.

Braves and Phils to me look like they are in a crowded bunch of good teams in the NL including the Cards, Giants, and DBacks. Put the Brewers in their as a dark horse if their bullpen really improves.

Cubs, Pirates, Padres, Pirates, Rockies, Marlins, and Mets are non-playoff contenders.

So basically 8 NL teams (maybe 7) for 5 playoff spots.

If the Phils are healthy and long ready to come out of the gate strong, I like their chances of making the playoffs but it is 'wait and see' until at least mid-March.


"I like their chances of making the playoffs but it is 'wait and see' until at least mid-March."


MG, it's wait and see for a lot longer than that.

We won't know Howard, Utley and Halladay can stay healthy all season until they stay healthy all season.

rolo (or awh) - By mid-to-late March the Phils should have a pretty good idea if Howard and Utley are going to be ready to start the season and look like they will be relatively productive. Also know what Halladay's stuff and velocity look like too.

With how strong the NL looks going into the year, I would be really surprised if anything less than 89 wins gets into the playoffs.

Means the Phils need to win at least 89-90 games. For the Phils to have a good shot to do that, this team absolutely needs to get out of the gate strong and have a good April.

Phils are still 3rd best in the division. Can analyze numbers all you want & try to break down predictions but face it, they are not going to be in the playoffs & will be sellers at the deadline

We will know there is a fake MG on here when posts start popping up with that handle where everything is spelled correctly and there are no grammatical mistakes.

rolo, of course I don't think Medlen will pitch to a 1.57 ERA again...so what?

I don't think ANY pitcher in baseball is going to pitch to a 1.57 ERA over a full season of starts.

Again, so what?

I think he's shown that he's got the ability to be a good pitcher, and possible frontline starter. That's a more important question to ask then whether or not he can repeat a ridiculously low, and, by definition, unsustainable ERA.

Fatal: Medlin won't have a 1.57 ERA, that means the Braves can not possibly win more games than the Phils this season. How can you miss such an incredibly obvious answer!! Phils are saved! 2013WFC is practically here, can't you see?

rolo's point is pretty obvious but I guess people would rather play strawman with him.

Kinda funny considering the ones playing are those that quickly criticize others of it.

TTI, then what's his point? I'd like to respond to the actual point.

Care to enlighten?

Fata - Halladay's peak years go way back ... to 2010 and 2011. So, one year of non-career threatening injury, but injury which destroyed his 2012 season, is enough to conclude that he will not return to his glory of yesteryear. That's possible, of course, but the evidence from which to draw that conclusion is skimpy.

Fata: You aren't dumb. You know what his point is.

I would say this to your response though. Medlen has started 14 games in his career until last season, and his numbers were very average. Last year he was excellent. I would say the jury is still out as opposed to he as ability to be a possible frontline starter

derek, Halladay is going to be 36 this year, and over the last decade there have really only been 3 pitchers who've been able to have 7+ WAR seasons at 36 or later:

Randy Johnson
Roger Clemens
Curt Schilling did it once, as well

No disrespect to Halladay, but I don't think he's likely to do what Randy Johnson and Clemens did. Just my opinion.

Also, while his injury might not be considered "career-threatening", it can reduce his effectiveness if it decreases his overall velocity, which is generally what shoulder injuries do.

And claiming that I think he's going to be a 5 WAR pitcher, or as good as Cole Hamels has been over the last 3 years, isn't exactly a controversial point. It's hard for any pitcher not in their prime years to be better than Cole Hamels has been the last 3 years.

TTI, no I don't know what his point is. I guess I'm dumb.

Please, elaborate. If you don't, I'll assume that neither of us knows what his point is.

On Medlen, he had excellent MiL numbers, struggled a bit in 4 starts in 2009, was a decent pitcher in 14 starts in 2010, and was dominant last year. Of course the jury's still out, but he looks like he's got the ability to pitch at that frontline level.

What an awesome thread. We're arguing over whether someone gets someone else's point.

Basically a month until pitchers & catchers report (Feb. 13).

Until then, there really won't be much to talk about unless the Phils make a minor signing or two. I would be surprised though if it is a guaranteed MLB deal though.

TTI, because Fatti is being a fathead, I'll enlighten:

Medlen had an fWAR of 3.9 in only 12 starts last season. His bWAR was 4.3.

But, as usual, WAR doesn't tell the whole story.

Suppose the Braves had the misfortune of having Worley last season and the Phillies had Medlen? What would the result have been?

Medlen was used out of the 'pen the first 4 months and did not start a game until July 31st, when he had a 2.48 ERA. On July 30th the Phillies were 13 games behind the Braves.

In his 12 starts Medlen was 9 - 0 and pitched to a 0.97 ERA (no typo), and as stated, the Braves were 12 - 0. It was a better performance than what Cliff Lee put up in the middle of the 2011 season, and a better ERA than what Bob Gibson put up up for the entire 1968 season. It was phenomenal and Medlen deserves credit.

The Braves went 36-24 after the deadline. They were a .500 team without Medlen on the mound.

In short, one could make the argument that his performance alone was the biggest difference between the Phils and Braves last season - and one would be correct.

And TTI is correct. The point is obvious (you're just being purposely obtuse):

If 2012 Medlen was the difference between the Braves and a depleted Phils team, unless he repeats, how much better are the Braves?

Fata: Geez, I even try to give you a compliment of sorts and you still act obtuse.


awh is referring to an argument he has put forth numerous times on here in the past few weeks. *There is a very good chance of a regression for Medlen next season as his numbers were way above what he had previously done at the major league level.

He asked if anyone seriously thought that Medlen would repeat that ERA number. You responded by saying "The number is a red herring," you cited his xFIP, age, minor league numbers and said "he appears to have a chance to be a near front of the line starter."

That of course had nothing to do with awh's question.

So again- his point was- Medlen is most likely going to have a regression to the mean this season.

TTI, of course, Fatti and lorecore obviously think the 2013 Braves will build a 13 game lead on the Phillies again by the end of July, no?

TTI, correct. If Medlen regresses (only Fatti and lorecore think this is not possible), then the Braves and Phillies are going to be in a dogfight.

I actually think Seidman did a decent job writing up the differences in the teams.

I would give a slight edge to the Braves because of the uncertainty surrounding H-U-H.

(But, hey, let Fatti and lorecore continue to think the Braves are 13 games better.)

Fatalotti is just saying Medlen pitched very well last year with a decent chance he carries over some of that progression to this season and there is a huge question about Halladay.

I don't understand what is so controversial or even bold about that statement.

Much bigger issue with bold guys is are they going to hold for 30+ GS/200 IP this year. Last year was the 1st time in his pro career than Medlen even throw over 150 IP (just barely at 151 1/3 IP). Previous professional career high 120 1/3 IP back in '08 when he made 17 GS and was a starter for most of the year at AA. Medlen's been plagued by injuries during most of his professional career too.

Halladay's been a horse but that shoulder issue bothered him the entire season last year at the onset of spring training. Even a lengthy DL stint didn't do much to improve it.

If I had make a bet, I would bet neither guy reaches 200+ IP this year. Maybe even 180 IP if the odds are enticing enough.

TTI/rolo, I said that Medlen will regress. He obviously pitched above his head.

The implicit point in rolo's musings there above is that in the 12 starts Medlen won, he was pitching above his head. The Braves were a .500 team in his non-starts, but that represents true talent. How does he make such a distinction?

Every year, teams get over achieving from some parts of their roster (Carlos Ruiz's 2012, Victorino's 2011), and under achieving from others (Victorino 2012). Medlen obviously pitched above his head, but to assume that the Braves only had the lead over the Phillies last season because of his gaudy numbers is to assume that the rest of the roster wasn't underperforming last year, and was representing true talent.

Personally, I don't think the Braves are better than the Phillies. I don't trust Hudson to stay healthy and effective, who knows what they get out of Uggla and their 3B question mark. Beacy is coming off an injury, and McCann might be slowing down. They have loads of question marks, not to mention there's a chance their pried offseason acquisition might post a sub .300 OBP again.

But to say that Medlen's over achievement last year was the only reason the Phils lagged behind the Braves is short-sighted, in my opinion.

Medlen's issue has never been one of his stuff either and I don't expect much of a regression.

He's always had very good control & command (career minor league BB/9 of 2.1) and has 2 very good offspeed pitches (curve, changeup).

If Medlen can stay healthy this year, I do think he is going to outpitch Halladay. Velocity is something that a starter in mid-30s almost never regains once he loses it.

"In short, one could make the argument that his performance alone was the biggest difference between the Phils and Braves last season "

Are you making that argument, or just pretending to?

Pfft. Clearly, Medlen will go 21-4 with a 1.12 and be the unanimous NL CY.

"The Braves were a .500 team in his non-starts, but that represents true talent."

Strawman alert.

That's NOT what I posted. I was explicit in stating that one could argue Medlen's 2012 performance was the biggest difference between the Phillies and the Braves.

That's all.

Both teams have changed - i.e. no Polly, no Chipper - so it remains to be seen just what the differences in 2013 will be.

Kris Medlin's first start of 2012 was July 31. On July 30, the Braves were 58-44 and the Phillies were 45-57.

awh logic: Kris Medlin was the reason the Braves were better than the Phils.

Wow. This is the most strawman argument I've ever seen here.

awh: Out of curiosity, do you think Dan Uggla will have a .732 OPS again? Or Brian McCann a .698 OPS and .300 OBP? Or that 23-year old Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman are as good as they're ever going to be?

And, while we're on the subject of Kris Medlen, did you happen to notice that he only started 12 games last year? Even if he pitches to his 2012 FIP this year, he'll still be more valuable to Atlanta than he was last year simply by the fact that he'll be making 20 more starts. I mean, you've written at least a zillion posts "reminding" anyone who might have forgotten that we'll have a full season of Howard & Utley this year. How is it that you overlook that fact when it comes to Kris Medlen?

I do agree with Seidman that the Braves have a ton of questions about their offense even with signing Upton.

The biggest issue though I see is whether Medlen can stay healthy over the course of a season and make at least 28-30 GS (never come close to doing that and had has had a history of injury problems) and whether Hudson can continue to defy time at 38 this year.

Even with there incredibly deep pen, Fredi is going to have to use it heavily if Medlen/Hudson don't pitch like they did last year. High risk of burning out there arms by the 2nd half just like in '11.

Looking at Hudson's overall numbers and they kind of surprise me. Not a HOF candidate even if he wins another 30-35 games.

He has been an incredibly consistent starter though year-in and year-out though and his 162 games numbers averages are pretty impressive. Only has one one subpar year ('06) in a 14-year career.

Funny how Hudson was supposed to be the guy who was going to break down first because of his slight build & not have the long & successful career like Mulder and/or Zito.

MG: I actually think the Braves will be worse than last year. I do expect bounce-backs from McCann & (to some extent) Uggla. I also expect Heyward to keep getting better & probably Freeman too. But their starting pitching has a ton of question marks (though, admittedly, a ton of upside). And the loss of Chipper is enormous, while the swap of Bourn for Upton is, at best, a push -- and that's being charitable to Upton.

So, yeah, it's distinctly possible the Phillies will be better than Atlanta. It's also distinctly possible that being better than Atlanta will be no great accomplishment, and that neither team will make the playoffs.

My favorite part about BAP is how he expects every player on every other divisional team to either bounce back or stay the same, but can't bring himself to think that about any member of the Phillies roster.

"In short, one could make the argument that his performance alone was the biggest difference between the Phils and Braves last season - and one would be correct."

This is just perfect. There's so many things going on there, I don't even know what to say. I'm just going to leave it alone, and let it speak for itself.

I too agree that the Phils have a good shot to be better than Atlanta. I just disagree with people who make bad arguments.

"Out of curiosity, do you think Dan Uggla will have a .732 OPS again?"

Probably not, but I wouldn't be surprised if his days of .800+ are over. He is, after all, only 16 months younger than Utley.

"Or Brian McCann a .698 OPS and .300 OBP?"

Hmmm, I'll answer that when you tell me how healthy his shoulder will be after labrum surgery, which BTW was more damaged than they initially thought. (BTW, if Revere gets on base against the Braves, do you think McCann will be aable to throw him out if he tries to steal? :)


"...Medlen, did you happen to notice that he only started 12 games last year?"

Stupid and snide question, especially since I posted that every thing above. So, given that I posted he only started 12 games last season, how is it that I overlooked the fact that, if healthy, he's likely to get more starts?

You see bap, the Law doesn't always teach you logic.

I never posted anything regarding what Medlen was likely to do in 2013. I merely asked whether it was likely he could repeat teh ERA from 2012, and pointed out that IMHO his 2012 performance was the biggest difference between the Phillies and Braves.

"...that very thing above."

BAP - I would be really surprised if at least one team from the NL East didn't grab a WC spot.

Reds/Astros will get to still play a Cubs team that will lose 90+ games but they won't be able to bet up on the Astros this year.

Reds were 22-9 (.710) vs the Cubs/Astros last year. Cards were 21-11 (.656).

Phils/Braves benefit from playing what should be a terrible (potentially historically terrible team in Miami) and a bad Mets' team that will be lucky to win more than 75 games next year.

Braves took advantage of their opportunity of playing 2 weaker teams last year. Braves went 26-10 (14-4 vs Marlins and 12-6 vs Mets) against their weaker division foes.

Phils went just 10-8 vs Marlins last year and 8-10 vs Mets (18-18).

If the Phils are going to get back to the playoffs, they have to clean up against what will be 2 bottom-feeders team in the NL East this year.

It would help too if the Phils played better against the Braves this year & I expect they will. They got owned (6-12) last year.

awh: You did mention that he had only 12 starts, but you then turned around and ignored that fact when it came time to make your key point. That key point was: the Braves will be worse off this year when his numbers revert. If you're going to make that argument, don't you have to also address the added value in getting, potentially, 20 additional starts from him this year?

There's no chance whatsoever that the Phillies are talking up Asche to make his trade value higher.

No chance at all because teams dont do that.

MG, good post. While head-to-head matchups don't tell the whole story, they do make a difference within the division.

Using your math above, the Braves were +22 vs. the Phils/Mets/Marlins, and the Phillies were -6 vs. the Braves/Mets/Marlins. The Phillies were also 9 - 9 vs. the Nats, making them - 6 in the division.

Division champs don't normally do that.

I have a novel idea. Maybe the Phillies should just be better than the Nationals or Braves. That would help them win the division, don't you think?

role - Yeah. I expect the Phils will certainly improve over the -6 vs Braves/Mets/Marlins.

Just a question of how much and I think that will be the single biggest factor on whether or not the Phils makes the playoffs this year.

"My favorite part about BAP is how he expects every player on every other divisional team to either bounce back or stay the same, but can't bring himself to think that about any member of the Phillies roster."

Actually, I've said on several occasions that I expect Halladay & Howard to improve. Halladay was injured last year & players don't usually decline as precipitously as he did from 2011 to 2012. And Howard can't possibly be any worse than he was last year. That said, I do not think Halladay is ever again going to be a Cy Young caliber pitcher, nor do I think that Howard is ever again going to be an elite player or anything close to it. If Halladay & Howard were both 23, the way Heyward & Freeman are, I might be ever-so-slightly more sanguine about their prospects of future improvement.

"...your key point. That key point was: the Braves will be worse off this year when his numbers revert."


Hmmm, I went back a re-read my post. I can't find that "key point" anywhere.

What I posted was: "If 2012 Medlen was the difference between the Braves and a depleted Phils team, unless he repeats, how much better are the Braves?"

1) It was a question, the answers to which will depend on any individual poster's opinion, and 2) (this was implied and subtle so make sure you "get it") the Braves were 12 - 0 in Medlen's starts (35 - 15 in his appearances), so how much "value" over those margins do you think a full season of Medlen will add.

Point: he was so dominant in his 2012 starts, that the Braves WON every single one of them. If you think he'll add more value in 2012, then are you taking the position that he'll add a greater margin than that? (For reference, the Phils were 22-11 in Halladay's starts in 2010 when he won the CY, and 24 - 8 in his 2011 starts.)

You think medlen will make THAT much of a difference and be THAT good?

On the Braves, they lost two major bats in Bourn and Chipper and Andrelton Simmons MIGHT be a great young SS but he's had all of 182 PA.

Freeman and Heyward should negate some of that loss just through natural improvement as they enter their mid-20s (both were 22 last year) but it might not be enough to make up for losing that production...especially if Upton posts another sub.300 OBP.

Hey, NEPP, how come I can't nudge clout about Asche? :)

I think the Phils caught the Braves at some rough times last year. First off, you can point to two games (both Chipper's walkoffs) as losses that should not have happened. And then there was that series before the ASB where they legitimately quit.

Not saying that they got robbed or anything- they lost on their own accord. But the record against them last year is not indicative of what it will be this year. Too many factors. Hell, they went 8-8 against the Nats. These divisional games are always close and could almost all swing either way on a dime.

If they don't beat out the Mets/Marlins though, and do it handily this year, they're in big trouble. That was what they did in 2011 almost to perfection- beat the teams they should be beating.

NEPP, the Braves haven't "lost" Bourn yet.

Runs scored by ATL in Medlen's 12 starts:

7, 6, 9, 6, 5, 2, 6, 11, 2, 3, 4, 6

Medlen was certainly great in those 12 starts, but the Braves probably win 8 of those games with any of their pitchers starting.

He certainly was the difference in those other 4 games, but to say he was the difference between the Phils and Braves all year last year, or even just down the stretch is, again, short-sighted.

But either way, it's irrelevant. This coming year isn't last year. What's more important is to look at what Medlen projects to be than what he did in some random 12 game sample last year, in which he was, admittedly, very fortunate.

He looks like he has the chance to be a very good pitcher for the Braves if he can stay healthy and put up a respectable amounts of innings pitched.

That he won't match his ridiculous numbers from last year is a point so trivial, it's not even worth making.

awh/rolo: Really surprised that his manager is so high on him and thinks the concerns about his glove and lack of power are wrong. That never happens.

Fatti, if it wasn't a point worth making then it wasn't worth responding.

But why did you?

Asche's bat is what will keep him from being the "3b of the future", in my opinion. I'm sure he's got work to do with the glove, but i've seen it said a few times now that his fielding is fine.

clout, his opinion, not mine.

As I've posted before, I've never seen Asche play so I have no opinion.

It will be interesting to see who's right: Wathan or the scouts who don't think Asche can play everyday.

"Fatti, if it wasn't a point worth making then it wasn't worth responding."

I don't agree with your conclusion here.

"But why did you?"

Just to piss you off.

Prior to last season- Medlen in 18 starts went 102.1 innings and gave up 49 runs for a 4.32 ERA. Last year he blew that away as a starter going 9-0 with a 0.97 ERA.


I think there is some major regression in his future. Medlen has always had good numbers as a reliever- no doubt- but his numbers go up quite a bit as a starter.

In 2010 as a starter he pitched to a 3.86 ERA and that is termed "a decent pitcher." Currently he is the #2 guy on their starting pitching depth chart. Yes he was lights out last year but I expect his numbers to be closer to 2009/2010 Medlen than 2012 Medlen.

Fatti, if it wasn't a point worth making then it wasn't worth responding."
I don't agree with your conclusion here.
"But why did you?"
Just to piss you off.

Good lord, folks. I can't wait until pitchers and catchers report and we can argue about important minutiae.

The point was neither worth making, nor worth responding to, yet here we are 50 posts later still arguing about it. In other words, this thread represents the essence of Beerleaguer.

Rafael Soriano to the Nats for 2/$28 Million.


Way too much money.

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EST. 2005

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