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Saturday, January 05, 2013


Returning to the team that drafted him. Good luck to him. Always seemed like a nice guy.

Good luck to Willis. A good guy - but one who may not be able to pich at the MLB level anymore.

Hey, I wonder if DPat is is upset that they didn't spend minor league dollars on Willis?

yea how'd ruben let that one get away, 4 years and a 74 million dollar raise in salary, but he dont spend, in fact i'd like proof of any team regardless of country or sport, that has increased payroll at that margin, through that amount of time

and one more thing that'd be nice. would they, when compiling the stats for a season, please add pitch count to the stat log, at least pitches per game, cause i think the pitch count is a more telling and important stat than innings pitched

DPatrone had a valid point about Howell though and the Phils seeming reluctance to spend any more additional money though.

If they go into the season $9-$10M below the luxury tax threshold, I would bet bottom dollar the primary reason isn't because of 'financial flexibility' but because of operating cost and margins concerns.

There are some additional relievers on the market who would help this team and could be had at moderate dollars on a 1-yr deal. Nor would they take away from the team's ability to make 1-2 deals at the deadline if they had to take on $5-$6M in salary.

At the end of the last thread, BAP compared (soon to be) 30 YO J.P. Howell, who improved on his 2011 season when he was coming off a serious shoulder injury, to 34 YO Chad Qualls, and said Qualls was coming off a "good year" in 2011 (when his numbers had dipped noticeably across the board from the prime of his career, continuing on a horrific 2010 campaign). This made me laugh for about 5 minutes.

Then he said he'd bet me that Howell would suck next year, telling me to name the criteria. BAP, how about we use Qualls' 'good' 2011 season as the benchmark? ERA+, WHIP, SIERA are the three stats I'm proposing. If Howell beats two of the three stats, he's had a "good" year.

Qualls' 2011 season: 102 ERA+, 1.251 WHIP, 3.55 SIERA

MG- you and DPatrone suffer from the same disorder that prevents you from seeing the FA market as anything more than a fantasy auction.

You have no idea what the factors were in Howell signing with LA. As awh pointed out, it's very possible he wanted to play in California for reasons other than money. You can't tell me Washington, who was hot after him, wasn't beating the number he got. So why didn't they get him?

It is possible to analyze things in context outside of the black-and-white world you and DPat have built for yourselves.

Iceman - Howell hasn't been the same pitcher though since he hurt his shoulder even though he did have a nice rebound last year.

Interesting to read Lohse hasn't gotten one offer yet and that progress on Bourn signing seems to be moving along at a glacial pace.

Seems a new market efficiency might be FA who would force their new team to surrender their 1st round pick & forfeit that available money to sign the rest of their draft picks.

Iceman - Players sign where they get the most years/money an overwhelmingly majority of the time.

Everything else is secondary. As for Howell, there are actually a few other cheaper relievers would rather see.

DPatrone's point though about the Phils being misers actually might have some merit in this situation & if they don't spend any more cash this offseason.

I love the D-Train and will always root for him, but I find the Zolecki article on Amaro reiterating wanting corner OF help a bit more intriguing.

When Amaro repeatedly says something about improving in a certain area, it usually means he's set on improving and will do it no matter the cost. He isn't happy with the corner OF situation and I think it's a pretty safe bet that he trades for one this month.

If I had to make a specific bet, I'd lay money on the Soriano trade happening, but it won't include Brown. BL will still erupt in flames when it happens.

MG- I said that exact thing about Howell. He isn't the same pitcher. If you look at his pitch %, he has completely ditched his cutter and slider and is just a three-pitch pitcher now, using his fastball less.

But he was an above-average reliever last year and I believe he will be going forward. He certainly isn't comparable to Chad Qualls.

Iceman: I'm fine with those criteria. And I'll even point out a delicious irony which you apparently missed while you were busy laughing.

If we applied your three criteria to J.P. Howell's 2012 season -- the one which you think was so resoundingly superior to Chad Qualls's 2011 season -- then Howell (with the help of a .30 point advantage over Qualls in BABIP) did indeed have a good season, but by the slimmest of margins:

Qualls 2011 ERA+: 102
Howell's 2012 ERA+: 126

Qualls 2011 SIERA: 3.55
Howell's 2012 SIERA: 3.84

Qualls 2011 WHIP: 1.251
Howell's 2012 WHIP: 1.212

So Howell wins the tie-breaker category, but by a razor-thin margin.

DPatrone had a valid point about Howell though"

MG, what point was that, that he could have helped? Duh?

"...and the Phils seeming reluctance to spend any more additional money though."

MG, that's a staw man. Period.

You're making that up. You have NO IDEA whether they're reluctant to spend more money. None.

"MG- you and DPatrone suffer from the same disorder that prevents you from seeing the FA market as anything more than a fantasy auction."

Iceman, exactly, and perfectly stated.

They think and act like it's a fantasy baseball team auction.

And the Phils aren't misers. Are you kidding me? Are we really going to have this argument again?

I don't consider wanting to stay under the LT being 'misers.' The fact that they're bumping up against it shoots that argument down before it even starts.

If they don't spend anymore money it's because they see value in players like Ruf that will provide the same production to what they can get on the FA market. Amaro has been adamant that he didn't like the market, and now it's even more thin. People on BL before the off-season were saying this exact thing. No big money FA came without question marks.

I'm relatively confident, anyway, that Amaro is going to make a trade before ST for a corner OF. He wants that upgrade, and he's going to go get it.

As for FA always taking more money, yes, that is the case most of the time. In a case like Howell's, however, the difference in salary was probably so negligible that he chose to move and play in his comfort zone over the extra few hundred thousand dollars. That is a completely rational possibility, and one that you and DPat are ignoring because it goes against your larger argument.

"I don't consider wanting to stay under the LT being 'misers.' The fact that they're bumping up against it shoots that argument down before it even starts."

Iceman, stop making sense.

MG and DPat won't understand you.

BTW, what was their position on the Papelbon signing? IIRC, there were many complaints on this board that it was a huge overpay. Was MG one of the complaintants?

So the FO is damned of they do and damned if they don't.

BAP- well, I will admit, if Howell posts an ERA+ that is in the 130ish range and loses the other two categories by razor thin margins, I will argue that I lost the bet on a technicality.

When a reliever posts an ERA+ near 130, he's pitched well. I'm doing the three category thing because that's what I'm doing in my bet with Jack in regards to Mike Adams.

And if you think I'm not tracking the exact terms of these bets in Word, you're crazy. I'm never going to remember all these bets I'm making. I'm pretty sure I made one with MG that I already forgot about. Sooner or later, we should do this for charity and at least make these pointless bets for a good cause.

Ice, I will disagree with you on one point.

I don't think Swisher really had any question marks, at least none about his ability.

I would have liked to see them sign him and said so at the time.

The rest of them? You're right.

I am impressed that when MG was saying about them going into the season 9-10 million below the salary cap that it was due to "a fear of and declining season ticket sales."

It was all ready for him to say and his Beerleaguer MadLib was done.

"Iceman - Players sign where they get the most years/money an overwhelmingly majority of the time."

MG, this is true, but it constitutes no specific evidence that Howell took the largest dollar offer he had. None.

Iceman, here's the real question:

Does DPat think the Braves are misers? AQccording to, their projected payroll is $81.5MM, at least $80MM below what the Phillies will probably spend.

The Nats payroll is much lower too. Are they misers?

awh- yeah, we agree about Swisher.

I'm not sure anyone understands why they weren't in on him. I don't even think anyone asked Amaro the question. They must have flagged something about him early on that was a non-starter, because if they were interested in Pagan for 4 years (a guy I wanted, btw), why the hell wouldn't they be interested in Swisher after Pagan spurned them?

I love the acquisition of Revere, but I loved it a lot more when I thought it saved money to sign or trade for a guy that fits Swisher's exact profile. Not sure why that wasn't the next move. It was a miss by the FO, big time.

Digging even a little deeper into the Qualls (2011) v. Howell (2012) comparison:

Both guys are ground ball pitchers. But 2011 Qualls was a better ground ball pitcher than 2012 Howell. Qualls' GB% was 56.6%; Howell's was 48.9%.

That superior GB rate might partly explain why 2011 Qualls had a higher BABIP than 2012 Howell (since GB pitchers tend to have higher BABIPs). But it doesn't explain a .30 point difference.

Also, 2011 Qualls yielded line drives to only 17% of the hitters who faced him; 2012 Howell had a line drive percentage of 19.8%.

All of this might explain why 2011 Qualls beats 2012 Howell in every fielder independent index (FIP, xFIP, SIERA) -- every single one of which is a better predictor of future performance than ERA+ or WHIP. And that is even MORE true for relievers, whose ERAs often rise or fall based on events which occur on another pitcher's watch.

It was a miss by the FO, big time.

Posted by: Iceman | Saturday, January 05, 2013 at 02:50 PM

So you guys ream out MG and others when they claim that the FO missed by not signing Howell, but you call the Swisher non-signing a "miss" by the FO.

Why the double standard?

i dont think its a double standard, i think its assuming that the phils didnt do their due dilligence on swisher......does anyone know stantons current contract status

Fata- the team NEEDS a corner OF, and Swisher's consistency and the fact that he's a switch-hitter made him the surest bet to fill that hole. There were no reports that they were even partially in on Swisher. It makes no sense and is a huge head-scratcher. I'm not (and I don't think awh is, though I don't want to put words in his mouth) saying they 'cheaped out' here.

They've already made a big signing in the bullpen and don't necessarily need another arm. I'd like one, but it isn't a glaring need. DPat and MG are acting like this was a crucial signing that they didn't make because they're being 'misers.' They are two completely different lines of argument.

I am not sure why d train said he was back? Has he ever been here since tigers letting him go?

BAP- did those numbers predict Qualls' horrific 2012, like many here were able to do?

He had an ERA+ of 102 in 2011 because he pitched in an extreme pitchers park and was decidedly average. He was also well off the numbers he posted during his prime years. He then went to a hitter's park and got stomped on. Who could have possibly seen that coming?

As for Howell, and his 2012, shoulder injuries are serious sh*t. He had to completely change the type of pitcher he was and learn how to get batters out another way. That doesn't take a few months, or even a season, to overcome. He has progressively gotten better, is very difficult to hit (ftr, his BABIP was right in line with what it was in his 08-09 seasons), and there's no reason to think he's going reverse his progress out of nowhere.

Then there's the fact that Howell is more than four years younger than Qualls, and in the prime of his career. Qualls was very clearly on the decline when the Phils signed him, out of his prime, with no real reason to think he'd all of a sudden turn it around.

This comparison is one of the more perplexing I've ever read here on BL.

Iceman, I'm not saying that Swisher wouldn't have been a nice pick up. But if we can lament that the Phillies didn't land Swisher without knowing all the context, why can't we lament that they didn't sign Howell?

If Howell might have signed with LA because he wanted to be on the west coast, perhaps Swisher wanted to play in Cleveland because it's near his home, and the FO couldn't have signed him without monstrously overpaying him.

I didnt realize that stanton has more homeruns in his career than delmon young, who isnt a good fit right? the racist thing aside, i rather see him at 27 try to turn it around then vernon wells or alfonsio come noone is kicking his tires, cause it seems like you gotta be a rotten SOB for an entire league to stay away from you

Delmon Young is an antisemite.

Worse yet, Delmon Young is an antisemite with questionable power.

I hate when my posts gets swallowed up by the Internet ether.

Iceman - DPatrone or I never said it was a crucial signing. There are actually other FA I would want the Phils to sign but yeah I do think Howell is a clear upgrade over some internal options like Savery/Diekman & represented decent enough value at 1 yr/$3M.

I would actually prefer the Phils sign Lowe to a low-base deal (say $2M or so with incentive upside) because he fits a bigger needs on this club right now in a swingman role and potential spot start if necessary.

TTI - Finance does play a clear role in what the Phils did both at the trading deadline (Amaro said as much) and this offseason.

There was a lot of speculation on here and in the broader media that the Phils might be prepared to spend larger dollars this offseason & go over the luxury tax threshold for a year.

They have done the exact opposite avoiding any long-term commitments or dollar allocations and right now are prepared to go into the season with a payroll that is more than 5% less than it was last season.

I do think a key reason for this approach is that they are pretty concerned about profit and operating margins this year.

"did those numbers predict Qualls' horrific 2012, like many here were able to do?"

They did NOT predict his horrific 2012. On the other hand, his two-year track record might justifiably have given some people pause. In 2010, he was injury-plagued and utterly wretched. He followed it up with a year that, although better, was still well short of his peak performance. Those are the exact same elements that are in place for J.P. Howell. I'm not predicting he'll be anywhere near as bad as Qualls was last year, because that would be difficult to accomplish. I'm just predicting that he won't be very good next year.

Fata- there's a fundamental difference between being disappointed about the FO not even being interested in a player that would have had a significant effect on the 2013 and beyond at a position of great need- money not even being an issue in the disappointment- and calling the team 'misers' because they didn't want to add a bullpen arm for one year at minimal dollars after already having signed a setup man for 2 years/12 million.

If that is a controversial statement to you, then we'll just have to agree to disagree.

internet ether is what clout snorts off nightclub toilet seats


The point is that both are the kind of veteran deals you want to make with veteran FA relievers.

Howell also got 2x ($3M vs. $1.5M) as Qualls and was signed a lot earlier in the offseason (Jan 5 vs Jan 31).

Dodgers likely view Howell as a solid contributor who be a staple of their bullpen while the Phils viewed Qualls as a more of a depth signign who would compete for a middle innings role.

when you factor cole hamels re-sign in and the josh hamilton offer (which is at the limit of what they should have offered) then you have a busy offseason, wheres finance restricting them??

an antisemite, yea thats not good for business, I forgot what he did, but yea thats reason enough

"They must have flagged something about him early on that was a non-starter, because if they were interested in Pagan for 4 years (a guy I wanted, btw), why the hell wouldn't they be interested in Swisher after Pagan spurned them?"

Ice, Pagan plays CF. Swish plays the corners. Besides, I'll take their reluctance to go hard after Swish (an assumption on my part - we have no idea what happened behind the scenes) may have something to do with their desire to let Brown have a shot and/or their confidence in Brown. Signing Swish would have pushed Brown to LF or severely limited his playing time, and they really do need to find out if he can be a core player for the future.

internet ether is what clout snorts off nightclub toilet seats

Posted by: igor, teller of truths | Saturday, January 05, 2013 at 03:54 PM

This is fantastic.

and i just wanna know why you say payroll will be 5% at least less this season? do they have to spend what they spent the previous year to appear as "wanting to win" , its like saying that my sons mom should still let me tap that ass because she was all aboard last year? its bad logic and you appear jaded by rubens past patterns

"So you guys...".

Fatti, which "guys"? Since when is ONE PERSON plural?

Signing Swisher too would have been an 'all-in' approach as it would have curtailed what the Phils could do in the draft this year & represented a large financial commitment beyond '13.

Amaro decided to take a 'middling approach' this year too for the 1st time. It was largely because of his own making but Amaro for the first time this offseason really demonstrated a real concern beyond the upcoming season.

Personally and professionally, I understand what Amaro did especially if Montgomery and Co. told him the luxury tax threshold is a red line that will not be crossed by the organization.

I just kind of dislike the 'middling approach' though as an organizational strategy though.

awh, both you and Iceman ripped into MG and DPat for lamenting the "miss" on Howells.

In fact, you're only replying because you know the "guys" referred to you and Iceman.

Not sure what the problem is here.

the way i read, DPat bashes the organization for being cheap, his words, and MG agreed with DPat but never said what he agreed with

"But if we can lament that the Phillies didn't land Swisher without knowing all the context, why can't we lament that they didn't sign Howell?"

Fatti, "lament" all you want. No one says you can't.

My disagreement with DPat and MG revolves primarliy around their calling the FO of a team with 6 players making $15MM or more - more than any team except the Yankees (7) and Dodgers (tie) - and a team with the 3rd highest payroll in the game - cheap and miserely.

But then again, some people don't let the facts get in the way of their opinions.

i know its a lot, would biddle aumont brown and joseph even be enough?

Fatti, "I" never said Swisher was a "miss". Period.

Just because I would have liked it if the team signed him doesn't make it one.

"But then again, some people don't let the facts get in the way of their opinions."

My Grandpop always used to say about my Grandmom, "she'll never let the truth get in the way of a good story"

"They have done the exact opposite avoiding any long-term commitments or dollar allocations and right now are prepared to go into the season with a payroll that is more than 5% less than it was last season.

I do think a key reason for this approach is that they are pretty concerned about profit and operating margins this year."

MG, so what? So what if the payroll is lower than last season? Where is it written that it can't be lower? Where is it written that teams shouldn't be concerned with their operating margins?


Fatti, "I" never said Swisher was a "miss". Period.

Just because I would have liked it if the team signed him doesn't make it one.

Posted by: awh | Saturday, January 05, 2013 at 04:20 PM

Never said you did. I said, in a post directed to Iceman: "So you guys [awh and Iceman] ream out MG and others when they claim that the FO missed by not signing Howell, but you {Iceman} call the Swisher non-signing a "miss" by the FO."

To borrow one of your favorite lines, you must seriously have reading comprehension issues.


'Peak' years (age 25-30): 134 ERA+, 1.196 WHIP, 7.3 K/9, 3.06 K/BB, .247 BAA, .291 BABIP, ~1.1 WAR per season, 3.06 SIERA

2011: 102 ERA+, 1.251 WHIP, 5.2 K/9, 2.15 K/BB, .255 BAA, .280 BABIP, 0.1 WAR, 3.55 SIERA


2008/2009: 177 ERA+, 1.160 WHIP, 9.9 K/9, 2.38 K/BB, .192 BAA, .251 BABIP, 2.0 WAR per season, 3.20 SIERA

2012: 126 ERA+, 1.212 WHIP, 7.5 K/9, 1.91 K/BB, .220 BAA, .250 BABIP, 0.8 WAR, 3.84 SIERA

What these numbers tell me:

1) As I said before, 2012 Howell is not Howell as he was in 2008/2009. However, he was so stellar in those those two years that it's almost an unfair comparison. His numbers in 2012 are still those of a good pitcher that is very tough to hit with a good BABIP keeping the ball on the ground.

2) 2011 Chad Qualls is a completely mediocre pitcher (102 ERA+) that saw huge dips in his numbers across the board from his prime. He was 32 years old, out of his prime, and not recovering from significant shoulder surgery or anything like that. There are a ton of red flags in those numbers compared to his prime, and put into context with his horrid 2010 numbers, he is very clearly a pitcher on the decline.

3) Howell is coming off of significant shoulder surgery. He has had to completely change the way he pitches, the way he approaches hitters, and has lost 2 pitches from his repertoire. Taking that, his age, and his 2011 numbers into account, his 2012 numbers are very encouraging, and certainly not indicative of any decline- he's 29 for God's sake. He's kept his BAA down, with a similar BABIP to his 2008-2009 years.

I mean, he's not Chad Qualls. I can't believe I looked at all those numbers just to try to prove that. It's a stupid comparison.

Fatti, nice obfuscation. I know very well what you meant, despite your parsing of words.

awh, I'm glad you know what I meant better than I do. I have to write an article for work, but I've having trouble getting started. Can you get ti started for me, since you have better access to my subconscious than I do?

I only called out Iceman for claiming Swisher was a "miss", and I wasn't even calling him out, really. Just making a point. You took offense to that, assuming I was calling you out to, but I wasn't. Sorry if your imagination about what I'm saying is bothering you. I'll try hard to anticipate your misreading of my posts.


The point is that both are the kind of veteran deals you want to make with veteran FA relievers."

That might be your point, but it wasn't even close to BAP's point.

Fata- I called Swisher a 'miss' in terms of actual impact on the team, based on a need the team has.

DPat/MG are calling Howell a 'miss' because the FO is cheap, and they (specifically DPat) do this WITH EVERY SINGLE FA THAT SIGNS WITH ANOTHER TEAM. On a team with a $160 million payroll. They make no argument on what impact he would have on the team. Just that ownership is 'miserly.'

Howell is a good player and Amaro didn't make the highest offer, so they complain about it. It's the same thing over and over again.

They just aren't the same thing. Sorry. Good luck writing your article.

Appreciate it, Ice. I just saw what I thought was a double standard. I see now what you meant. Sorry for the confusion.

Iceman - Because you ask as if at times that it doesn't dictate what the club does or isn't a primary motivation for what occurs.

A >5% reduction in operating expenses is significant too.

I don't think this is a 'miserly' club but the club passed on Howell (and likely will on other veterans who are left) because finances are an overwhelmingly concern. Yeah I am speculating on that point but so are you if you counter on the contrary.

As much as I would have liked Swisher, maybe the FO has a different idea.

There were many comparisons of RFD to Ross, with many here maintaining (myself included) that they are similar players so that it really didn't make sense to spend the extra money on Ross.

And, corner OF platoons have been disscussed here (and in the media) ad infinitum, with most of the discussion revolving around Brown taking over in RF and a platoon in LF.

But, getting back to their evaluation of Swisher, maybe we have it all wrong? What if the FO looked at this?:

Swisher's liftime splits:

vs. RHP: .250/.342/.478
vs. LHP: .270/.402/.441

Brown vs. RHP: .243/.324/.412
RFD vs. LHP: .284/.328/.547

If the Phillies think Brown can improve that line against RHP to at least equal Swish's splits, then a platoon of Brownberry might actually be a little better than Swish.

So, is the plan to platoon in RF and give Ruf a shot in LF?

Unlike RFD, Ruf has demonstrated an ability to at least hit RHP in the minors.

Unlikely, but it sure wouldbe thinking out of the box.

MG why do they have to be miserly, cant they be waiting to pounce on a big trade, or waiting guys out to get them on the cheap, or even saving a bit more this year knowing they'll be in play for another free agent later this year, or next year?

Upton for headly talks haha

Fata- I definitely admit that if it was a one time thing, it would come pretty close to being a double standard. I was commenting in the context that this is a frequent complaint from them with many FA regardless of whether or not it's a player of need.

I feel kind of weird defending Howell against BAP's slander in comparing him to Chad Qualls, and at the same time saying we didn't need him, when I was advocating signing for him. Feels like the rare 'triple standard.'

"DPat, I do realize.

Look, I know you have an unimpeachable source who gives you inside info. So I guess the rest of us ar uninformed.

But let me ask you this:

Why do you assume Amaro can do anything he wants?
Why do you assume he operates in a vaccum, where there is no competition for players from other GMs?
Sure, he "hasn't" done certain stuff that you would have liked, but 'iddy boo boo'. Go grab a crying towel.
You want him to sign anyone and everyone without thinking - especially without thinking of how it affects the team long term. The time horizon for your thought process ends at your thought of the next hot free agent as you wipe the drool off of your chin.
You wrote: "...just refusing to spend money on any FA's". that is, based on history, a patently false statement.

Also, why do you assume that 90 wins won't get them into the playoffs when 88 - the Cardinals - was the cutoff in 2012? (The NL Central just got a lot tougher because the Cards, Reds, etc. no longer have the Astros to beat up on and pad their win totals.)

So please give logical and baseball based reasons why 90 wins won't do it.

And stop whining, as Iceman puts it, like a kid who didn't get his candy bar from mommy."

AWH~ I responded to this comment but I don't see the post so I'll do it again. Sorry if comes up doubble with slightly different wording.

Here goes:

1. I never said the Phils were misers. When I wrote about them refusing to spend $ on FA's, I'm talking about THIS year, not the past.

2. Yeah, so I have a friend who know someone in the MLB iffice who's connected to the Phils. So what? He hasn't told me anything of note this off-season. Why? Because they're not doing anything of note. That's why.

3. I'm not assuming RAJ can do anything he wants. Don't put words in my mouth. HE said he wanted a RH run-prodcing corner outfielder. He hasn't gotten one. He had Pence (traded a lot to get him), then traded him (for whatever reason), then non-tendered the guy they got for him (in favor of Nix, who is useless), now they're looking to replace him (Pence). None of that makes sense to me. They shoulda just kept hi. We wouldn't be having this conversation is they did. Almost every avialable FA outfielder (including Vic, who wanted to stay) signed elsewhare. Why is that? You don't think some of the why falls on RAJ's shoulders? Now there's no FA impact bat they can get. Anybody they CAN get will have to come via trade. You, Ice, and the rest of us aren't gonna be happy with Soriano (37, 5 mill-year, 2 years), or Wells. If you think they're getting anyone better than that you're mistaken.

4. I'm not whining. I see he's made some good moves (Revere, Young, Adams). I understand about due dilligence. I don't want them to act hastily. But you know what happens when you do nothing to fix a problem that needs to be fixed? Nothing. It doesn't get fixed. He still hasn't completed what HE set out to do. Remember HE's the one who made the statement about putting a championship team on the field with $170 million payroll. Did you forget that? Well he hasn't done it.

5. 90 wins won't do it. Why? Because the Nats, Braves, Ginats, Dodgers, Reds, Reds and maybe the Cards all all better than the Phils right now. And because the Cards got it with 88 wins doesn't mean anything right now. That's my reason.

6. No he doestn't operate in a vaccuum. I know there's competition, but based on what I've seen, he doesnot APPEAR to be trying very hard does he? See #4. The phans deserve to know what's going on. After all, the Phans are spending there hard-earned money to watch the team play, weather in person or PPV TV.

Now let me also say this. I'm not stupid. I get it. All of your points about pitching, defense, all the stats you throw out. Great! I get it. I like many others here want to see another BP arm, & another starter as well. Where are they? I've been around a long time. Seen a lot more losing seasons than winning ones. How are you and Ice gonna feel next off-season if they don't make it in? The way I feel now, not to good.

Look I like talking with you and others. You make great points. But you point fingers at others because their opinions are different than yours? I may not be right. Ever. But I'm not totally wrong. I see the window for this team closing rapidly or already closed. Based on their pharm system (which I can't say I know a lot about), there are no Trouts, Harpers or Stasburgs down there to help.

Last year, you asked me "who" and "for how much". Beltran had a nice year didn't he? So what I want to see RAJ do is fill the holes they still have with very capable players, not with the Wiggys of the world. And until I see that, I'll feel like I feel.

And now I'll ask you "who" fills those holes? And "how much" will it cost, in terms of $$ or players? Or will they ever be filled?

"You, Ice, and the rest of us aren't gonna be happy with Soriano (37, 5 mill-year, 2 years)"

That's inaccurate. I would be happy if they could get him at that price. That's 25-30 HR in the bank.

I like you DPat. You seem like a good guy. Just don't agree with your persistence on this particular issue.

And DPat, to be fair, you named about 5 different guys you wanted last year in the OF. Of course one of them had a good year. Two of them probably had a good year.

But this goes back to what I was saying earlier. They can't sign every guy. If you're going to be so adamant about them needing an upgrade, stick your neck out and be specific about THE guy you think will help the team. Because when you play Hindsight Police and talk about Beltran, when you were also hot for Cuddyer, you're not doing yourself any favors.

Very fascinated by guys like Bourn and Lohse not getting legit offers, obviously because of the dumb compensation rules. Hear me out and understand I realize this is wacky and unlikely: what if one of these guys was to sit out half the season until after the June draft? Would that circumvent the stupid compensation rule in place? Imagine the frenzy for those two guys in June or July when teams are hit with injuries and guys under performing...

Wintertime is so slow for a baseball fan. I keep reading comparisons of Howell vs. Qualls. The mere fact that Qualls is the Howell benchmark means that Howell is a turd and should be avoided by Rube, Jr.

D-Train, I wish him success. I doubt that he'll have any based on his last few years performances, but I still wish him well.

first and foremost, hamels contract offsets alot of money that you think they should have earmarked for these holes, now i dont have all the salaries in frnt of me but theyre paying young 6 or 8 million this year thats more , i think, than polanco made last season, j-roll is a wash by virtue of evened years by per year adverage as is utley as is howard. ruiz makes 2.3 more. hamels plus 4.5, halladays a wash, lee plus 3.5, papelbon plus far 12.3 million same roster.whatever the outfield was making last year, for the sake of argument call that a wash with the 12.3 increase. now theyre back at 170+. they made a run at hamilton. ruben wants a corner outfielder, wouldnt it make sense to not overextend the team salary on question marks at best. save that money cause next year they lose halladays 20 and utleys 15 to be better equipped to have the money to make a run at j upton or g stanton
or any better option than v wells, n swisher, cody ross, a pagan

Qualls is not a benchmark for Howell. It's a completely made up comparison by the delusional BAP.

in reality, if halladay and utley have ok years, they should be able to get both of them fpr 18-20 combined next year, in that scenario, downside to that is between howard and hamels theyll be 8 million heavier with increases, but that would still afford them at least 7 million possibly 13-14 if asche takes youngs spot at point is that it makes more sense to save for next year and go forward in spring with the outfield as is, bullpens as strong as its gonna get, really how many wins was howell gonna bring this year

Thanks, Ice I am a good guy. A very passionate phan. I don't want them to sign every guy. I knnow they can't. That's not the correct way to build a championship anyway. Like I said, I just want the holes to be filled with very capable players. And with maybe precious little to trade, sometimes you gotta go the FA route. I know they didn't want to give up the 16th pick, but thwy wouldn't have had to if they'd signed Vic. Read where they never really had serious talks with him Seems odd for a guy who wanted to stay.

Shaun~ I think they have ~7 million to spend on another player after they signed Adams & Lannan. They've never been over the "cap" before, so the penalty would only be roughly 17% of the overage amount. So if they went over by 3 million, their tax would be $510K, which is a little more than 1 league minimum salary. If they went over the cap 2 years in a row the penalty would be 30%. Ice~ Am I correct in that? Also about the Soraiano thing, would you be happy if they gave up Brown? Now I don't think they would give the Cubs Brown because Schierholtz is ticketed to be the Cubs starting RF'der.

Now, if you could get Soraino without giving up Brown, why do you think the Phils haven't pulled the trigger yet? Are they possibly waiting for something else to shake loose? I'm asking because like I said, I haven't heard anything of note. Amaro's still seeking OF help, so I wonder.

Over the past thread or two, people keep comparing a pitcher's periphals and predictive stats to compare how good/bad a year they had.

This is misuse of those stats. If a pitcher gives up a hit with RISP, or consecutive hits to give up runs in an appearance - then thats exactly what they did. Their strand rate or BABIP might be considered unlucky, but we should use those stats as a predictor for future performance - not an evaluation of past.

Saying Bastardo had as good as/better 2012 than 2011 is wrong. We can use his 2012 stats to predict that if he pitches like that again, his performance will most likely be much better - but not say that his 2012 was any different than what it really was.

the way i feel about soriano is that hes an old guy on a , to be honest (not a suprise to anyone) they are an aging team, the alternative im very adament about and pro for dom brown getting the ABs. its time to take the training wheels off, too much time in the minors isnt gonna make him any more sound than he is. platoon ruf mayberry,, but make brown an everyday player. bight the bullet of having another lefty in the lineup

dom brown cant stay in the minors. look at the 3 primary years d brown was in the minors for majority of the year 2007, 2008, 2009. now in comparison look at the 3 years 2005, 2006 , 2007 that jacoby ellsbury was in the minors. their numbers are eerily similiar. now in 3 years hes been a .300 hitter, who if you take away 2011 when he went off and you have a .300 hitter averaging 60 sb a season, now for brown to have a 2011 replica season is asking alot, but if dom brown hits .300 and steals 40 bases the phils are gonna get better. they need to play him because they gotta see what they have, because noone saw ellsbury hitting .321 with 32 hr 105 rbi and 39 sb, in what was a down year for him having stolen 50 in 2008 and 70 in 2009


was the team as a wholes BABIP off by considerable margins because last year you could make the case that the whole team was unlucky, shaky defense due to guys playing out of position and more often than originally planned....if thats true and based on my gut telling me it was teamwide, wouldnt the numbers be deceptive in looking for future trends

As for Soriano, one of the reporters covering the Phils said the FO was waiting on Bourn to sign before finalizing a deal with the Cubs. The idea was that there was a connection to his new salary and how the Cubs and Phil's would split Soriano's contract. It seems unlikely the Phillies would trade or even would be asked to trade Brown for Soriano. Also, Heyman speculated yesterday that the Phillies were still interested in Bourn on a one-year deal, but that seems unlikely for all the reasons discussed on this site previously.

for last year they were midpack in the league in errors, 3rd worst in assists, 3rd worst in double plays, caught stealing worst in the league, 4th worst in defensive efficiency, best in wild pitches while catching(how longs chooch gone for)
least amount of errors(10 fewer than second place team) midpack in assists, midpack double plays, 4th best stolen base %, 3rd best defensive efficiency ratio, best in FPCT

does any of this answer to BABIP numbers

Has Delmon Young been discussed or dismissed? Former #1; same agent as Utley; Phillies hired his TB batting coach; good against LHP; rep as not a character guy. But only 27.

i brought him up earlier, for all the reasons you named but including he was arrested or cited for spewing drunken anti-semetic remarks. so it got shot down. not quite a hate crime, but thats a tough nut to try and integrate into any clubhouse, let alone a clubhouse of good guys

"Their strand rate or BABIP might be considered unlucky, but we should use those stats as a predictor for future performance - not an evaluation of past."

I agree with you that people tend to conflate the concept of luck with the concept of normal variation in performance. It's not bad luck when Jayson Werth hits .221 with RISP over a full season. It's a statistical anomaly that will very likely correct itself going forward. But an anomalous stretch of failure at a feat of skill is not bad luck.

That said, when people say that Bastardo pitched just as well in 2012 as in 2011, what they mean is that there was nothing systematically different about the quality of his pitches in the two seasons. The results were obviously not the same, so I have no difficulty saying that he was better in 2011. But the quality of his pitches was, by and large, the same (except for a somewhat higher walk rate in 2012).

I have a strong feeling Rube is very uncomfortable without having at least another veteran bat to that OF.

Question. Why , in this example is it a statiscal anomaly that Werth hits .221 with RISP over a full season and will very likely correct itself?

Why can't it be a new developing trend that shows Werths ability or his skill set deteriorating?

In this situation, isn't the most likely scenario, the most plausible scenario sign of a new trend? I mean were talking about a whole season, not a small sample size.

I guess I buy more into the notion that you have so many ABs, so many pitches in a career, and when you reach a certain point your "feat of skill" diminishes. And situations like Jamie Moyers prolonged career, Jeter's 2012 resurgence, and CONVERSELY the dropoff of Manny Ramirez in 2009 Placido Polanco in 2012, that the former is far less likely than the latter

shaun: Well, I omitted this fact from my hypothetical, but I meant, "If he hits .221 with RISP while hitting for much higher average for the year as a whole." If he were simply in decline, you would expect to see his overall numbers decline. But, if his overall numbers are fine, and only his numbers with RISP are terrible, then it stands to reason that it's a statistical fluke -- which is a trend that you would expect to correct itself over time.

My example was actually alluding to Werth's last year with the Phillies, except that I got the number wrong. For some reason, when I looked it up, I thought I saw that he hit .221 with RISP. In actuality, he hit .186 with RISP, but hit .296 for the season as a whole.

Now that sounds more plausible. what he hit .380 without risp, i thought it was an example, knowing it was an actual stat with a full sampling size,with myself knowing that Werth in Philly was clutch in the clutch see where your coming from. Even though that makes sense, Im still not entirely sold on sabermetrics as an accurate portrayal of a players worth. If these stats were that important wouldnt there be a history of teams winning title after title employing sabemetrics. and why then dont players salaries an incentive clauses apply sabermetrics instead of era , innings pitched, so forth

I get that sabremetrics is objective, bu so is the ESPN Total Quarterback Rating, yet the draft scouts quote an incoming rookies QB rating. For example, in fantasy baseball, I continue to reinvent my strategy as to how I draft a team, and finish in the top 3 in 90% of the drafts I participate in, I really dont entirely grasp it, although im not knocking it, but it seems with objectivity be rolled into pure numbers you would wind up, and bear with me, hiring Andy Reid because by the numbers the guy wins.....Dont say how big are the games that he wins, just that he's a winner, when we all know Andy cant deliver in the big games, do you see where im coming from?

If the Phils sign Delmon Young, they may as well bring in K-Rod also. Both seem to have about the same level of character. Do not want (either one), but that's my opinion.

Young would likely be worse than Ruf in left field as well.

Regarding Brown, I think you have to start him just about full time (maybe sit against tough lefties). It's probably sink-or-swim for Brown this year - we shall see what shakes out.

Iceman: BAP's compraison of 2012 Howell to 2011 Qualls is bogus on many levels, but I'd say the biggest is the difference in age.

Qualls was heading into his age 33 season and hadn't had a good year since age 29. Howell is 3 years younger and had an excellent year at age 26 then missed a full season with injury. There was no full-season miss by Qualls. He was just bad.

Bap: agreed.

Shaun: the concept is that the presence/ position of base runners does not affect a players overall performance. So if a player is a .300 hitter with a .150 avg with runners on, it is considered an anomaly and will correct itself in the future. Same thing with pitchers.

I know that logic would suggest certain players are more 'clutch' than others, but the history of statistics suggests that isn't the case. The difference of these two suggestions creates a pretty decent debate that can't really be proven 100% either way. Majority of beer leaguer leans towards the statistics suggestion that clutch doesn't exist.

Fatalotti: For a professional writer, your writing is consistently quite poor. I can see why awh may have been confused by your post. It's near-gibberish, not a reading comprehension issue.

clout, I'm not a professional writer. I'm a pension actuary.

And the post to which awh was referring was quite clear.

Thanks for the gratuitous insult and stab at what you thought was my chosen profession.

DPat: Here is my problem with you at times. I understand your passion for the team, no one questions that. All of us on here are here because we took the time to search out a Phillies blog and we all take time out of our day to engage in conversation about the team. No one questions your fandom.

What bothers me is that you get these ideas in your head about what they should do and then you get mad when they don't do them. All of us on here have our own causes we champion. I wanted Swisher this off-season, made many posts about him and tried to further the cause. He signed elsewhere. If I were you I would now spend a majority of time time for the next year complaining about them not signing him. But I won't, because now I am going to try to figure out why they are doing what they are doing. Maybe they want to see what Brown and Ruf have and want to go that route before making adjustments if need be. At this point, there is no one out there on the free agent market really worth the money and/or years they will possibly get (Maybe Bourn is an exception). It wouldn't be a bad thing to know for sure what we have in Brown and Ruf going forward. That would be fine. Sometimes I wish you would just get off your stuck opinions sometimes.

On Soriano: I don't know how excited I would be about him. His numbers seem to indicate a decline of sorts from 2006 until last year when he all of a sudden found 30 home run power again and his OPS+ when back up over 120. That seems like it was a one and done thing. Who knows?

Fatalotti: As if you've never made a gratuitous insult and stab toward me.

Truly, you are a laugh a minute here.

But let's move on.

clout, why would we move on? Ripping into other posters is the heart and soul of Beerleaguer.

clout- 100% agree. Comparing a pitcher that is four years older on the downside of his career to a 29 YO in the prime of his career is a non-starter.

Iceman is really trying to milk every last ounce of ridicule that he can muster out my Howell-Qualls comparison. It's going to be fun to win this bet.

Pension actuary? That's another non-lawyer on this site besides me.

BAP- well, whether or not Howell has a 'good' year is what the bet is about; your comparison of Qualls and Howell will always be stupid.

Speaking of our bet, I think one point needs some clarification. We didn't say anything about whether Howell needs to pitch a minimum number of innings, or play a minimum number of games, in order to trigger the bet. But if he plays only 20 games, and pitches only 15 innings, I'm definitely going to declare victory no matter what his WHIP and SIERA are. After all, this whole debate is about whether J.P. Howell falls under the category of "fungible" relievers, who are good one year and bad the next. And a reliever who pitches only 20 games cannot very well claim to have had a good year. Besides, one of my original points in this debate was that the inherently high risk of injury is one of the very reasons why so many relievers are good one year, bad the next. (See my 1:24 p.m. post from yesterday's thread).

" your comparison of Qualls and Howell will always be stupid."

If you say so. But, since the whole point of my comparison was to explain why I believe Howell is a strong candidate to struggle next year, then I'd say the comparison would be 100% vindicated if he does, in fact, struggle next year.

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