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Monday, January 07, 2013


Kendrick - Saunders is slated as CF though and is at least an average defensive OF. 19 HRs is above average in CF and slightly below average for a corner OF.

Saunders is kind of a poor man's Cameron although Cameron had better power & was an elite defensive player. Saunders has more speed.

Not necessarily the best comparison.

Imagine how good the Giants would have been if they had more HRs from their OF. Did they even contend last year?

"a Mayberry/Brown platoon gets you nearly what Swisher gives you (and if you're the FO you love it because it's a fraction of the cost)."

Until the 6th inning, when the opposing manager makes a pitching change. I'd love to see some actual research which compares the overall performance of a platoon to the sum total of the two players' splits against opposite-handed pitching. For numerous reasons, I would bet that the total numbers come up pretty far short of what you'd predict by just looking at the two players' lefty-righty splits.

AT&T Park though is an extreme pitcher's park. Only other place in the NL that it is has been as tough to hit HRs the past several years has been Petco Park in SD

Having a team with little power works in AT&T Park pretty much all year because even in the summer it can be quite cool.

Phils can overcome a lack of OF power as long as they get enough HRs from their INF but that means at least 20+ HRs from JRoll, 35+ from Howard, 20+ from Utley, and 10+ from Young.

CBP is an above-average power park too. Its not Coors Field in Denver or Great American Park in Cincy but it is the most hitter-friendly stadium in the NL East although I am curious to see how moving in the fences at Citi Field in NY plays out over the next few years.


MG: Hmmm... not saying they're the same player. Was more pointing out that Saunders struggled significantly for his first 600+ PAs before having an okay season at age 25.

Brown is entering his age 25 season. I could certainly see him putting up a .738 OPS this season with 15 HR. I'd expect him to have a higher OBP than Saunders had, but maybe a lower SLG.

I get that those numbers play better for an average or better CF than a below-average LF, but I can't see how a season like that for Brown would determine he'll never have success as a regular.

BAP: assuming each platoon starter will stay in the whole game regardless of what bullpen moves are made, a fairer assessment of each player's performance can be found on Baseball Reference under splits for 'vs. Starter.' In their platoon splits category they also have the line for the entire game vs. LH or RH pitching, regardless of the handedness of any relievers brought into the game.

For example, here's the difference between Mayberry's splits:

vs. LHP: .284/.328/.547/.875 with 20 HR in 344 PA

vs. LH Starter: .270/.311/.496/.807 with 20 HR in 389 PA

And Brown's:

vs. RHP: .243/.324/.412/.736 with 11 HR in 383 PA

vs. RH Starter: .238/.317/.392/.710 with 10 HR in 391 PA

The most startling thing is seeing how much Mayberry has played against RHP. Manuel continues to expose him to situations in which he's extremely vulnerable as a hitter.

"Sounds reasonable, right?"

No Cyclic, not against RHP it doesn't.

The thing you missed about Mayberry's 2nd half 2011 is that most of his big numbers came because he mashed LHP. He only hit .250 against RHP in the 2nd half that year.

He's never been anything special against RHP.

"Least amount of OF HRs any team got out of there OF last year was the Giants (37)."

And they won the WS, didn't they MG.

awh-- You mean Mayberry isn't a >.900 OPS hitter? That's just crazy talk. Where is your evidence?

Iceman: Putting aside the sample size issues that come with sub-splits, I agree that the kinds of numbers you posted would come pretty close to telling us what to expect from a platoon.

Of course, those sub-splits you just posted also point out why it is that platoons are less than the sum of their parts. What those sub-splits tells us is that Mayberry kills LH relievers to a considerably greater extent than LH starters. Likewise, Dom hits RH relievers better than he hits RH starters. This is exactly what I would expect, since starters are usually more complete pitchers than relievers -- especially when it comes to getting opposite-handed hitters out.

So, if we platooned Dom & Mayberry, we wouldn't be getting the Mayberry who hits LHP to an .875 OPS; we'd be getting the Mayberry who hits LH STARTERS to an .807 OPS. Then, when the RH reliever comes in, we'd either have to pinch hit -- which would shorten the bench & potentially hurt us later in the game -- or we'd have to have Mayberry face a RH reliever, which would be the worst possible matchup. Same logic applies with Dom.

A starter who can hit both handed pitching pretty well is generally more valuable than a platoon comprised of two players who can only hit from only one handed pitching, even if they do that better than the starter, I would imagine.

The other aspect of a Dom/Mayberry platoon that troubles me is that the overwhelming evidence tells us that, in recent years (last year excluded), Nix has actually been a much better hitter against RHP than Dom has ever shown himself to be. Not to mention that he's a better defensive outfielder.

I get that Dom has the upside to be an everyday player, whereas Nix does not. But just because he'd be a better everyday option than Nix, it does not follow that he'd be a better platoon option.

I guess my feeling is: give Dom a chance in ST to win the everyday RF job. But if he can't win that job, he's kind of worthless because, as a platoon player, he's not even the best LH option on the roster.

BAP: maybe I didn't explain it clearly enough, but those splits aren't Mayberry off LH starters, period: they are his complete stat line in games that are started by a LHP. So the line I posted also factors in his numbers against any subsequent relief pitchers in those games, regardless of handedness.

I think using those numbers are much more instructive on what he'd provide in a strict platoon, assuming Cholly isn't going to use a PH every chance he gets. He'll use one sometimes, but not all the time.

Either way, Platoon John Mayberry, Jr. would probably be closer to the .807 OPS than a .875 OPS, for the reason you mentioned. I just thought this particular metric on BR came closest (based on what I've found) to the statistics you were asking for.

I look forward to DOM playing much better defense this year than last.

BTW, in that Gelb interview Amaro used that stupid 'low-risk, high-reward' phrase again regarding adding an OF. I'll take a complete shot in the dark at who he's talking about and the player he will sign with a ST invite:

Rick Ankiel.

I take all the overs fot St. Ut.

I take all the unders (over for ERA) for King Roy.

the only guy left who could possible have a "high reward" is Grady Sizmore. Maybe Delmon Young.

Then again, the last 'high reward' guy we got was John Lannan. So I think Amaro doesn't really know(or care) what that phrase means.

"What I don't understand is, if that is the plan, using a Mayberry/Nix platoon for LF, which is a scenario that would have Nix getting 60-70% of the ABs. It's nauseating to think about. Perhaps they do have bigger plans for Ruf. I'd rather be surprised by that, than see Nix getting any fair share of playing time in the OF."

Iceman, we agree.

Is there anyone out there taking the under on Darin Ruf? I'm thinking he'll post a .280/25/90.

phi15pit11: From reading the posts since last fall, it appears virtually every poster here thinks Ruf will be a huge success this season. If there are any skeptics, they've kept silent.

Ya know, one day we read that the Phils are still seeking OF help, the we read RAJ says "we're likely done". It all boils down to this: Like one poster said "We got Revere & nobody". They just didn't want to put out any more $$. The FO probably told Rube he had to hold the payroll where it is after signing Adams and Lannan. If that's what happened, so be it.

Yeah Ruf should be given a shot. If he pans out, great. But rememeber, there no proven starting Of'ders on this team except Revere. And he's not gonna hit for any kind of power.

So, given what we have in the OF, they'd better hit, if they don't, it could be a very long season for the pitchers.

Amaro gets a "C" this off-season. He's made a couple decent moves. What he didn't do could could back to haunt him. He did what he had to with the payroll & I understand that. But I don't believe for a minute he put the best team on the field he could have.
Peace, out.

Cholly seems to want to give Ruf a shot.
So I think that most of us just want to cautiously optimistically sit back and watch what happens.

They just didn't want to put out any more $$.
Posted by: DPatrone | Monday, January 07, 2013 at 08:55 PM


DPat, you keep saying they didn't want to spend money. Maybe it wasn't money, maybe it was years.

***If there are any skeptics, they've kept silent.***

Riiggghttt. None of us have shown any skepticism.

Taking a risk like this is what teams like the Royals do, not teams that want to be in the playoffs. If he surprises me and actually becomes a passable LF, great. I simply dont expect it.

clout, I'm very skeptical about Ruf. I sure HOPE he turns out to be the real deal, but I'm sure not counting on it.

Fake NEPP needs to get his sarcasm meter checked.

Sorry, that was actually me. Forgot to sign in.

That was just clout putting up his typical strawman and me responding.

Sorry NEPP. I fear I may be becoming paranoid.

We're all gonna look silly when Ruf & Brown combine for 60 HRs and both make the AS game.

In that case, we'd be looking silly all the way to NL East title.

We're all gonna look silly when Ruf & Brown combine for 60 HRs and both make the AS game.

I suppose it's possible ...

Ruf: 56 HR

Brown: 4 HR

Dom wins tickets to All-Star Game.

NEPP: Strawman? Do you read anyone's posts besides your own and mine?

Dang. How many NFL starters are on this Bama team?

Its a shame these guys have to leave college.
They'll go to the NFL and have to take a pay cut.

Ok, can't resist taking a crack at this:

Phillies: 87 wins OVER
Phillies All-Stars: 2 PUSH
More MLB signings by Ruben Amaro: 2 UNDER
Chase Utley: 135 games played OVER
Chase Utley: 18 home runs OVER
Ryan Howard: 33 home runs OVER
Ryan Howard: 115 RBI OVER
Ryan Howard: .820 OPS OVER
Carlos Ruiz: .288 batting average UNDER
Michael Young: .340 on-base percentage OVER
Jimmy Rollins: 20 home runs OVER
Domonic Brown: .750 OPS OVER
Domonic Brown: 15 homers UNDER
Darin Ruf: 10 homers OVER
Darin Ruf: 225 plate appearances OVER
Ben Revere: 35 steals OVER
Ben Revere: .298 batting average OVER
Ben Revere: 1 home run UNDER
Roy Halladay: 3.00 ERA OVER
Roy Halladay: 200 innings OVER
Cliff Lee: 6.00 K/BB ratio OVER
Cliff Lee: 220 innings UNDER
Cole Hamels: 18 wins OVER
Cole Hamels: 2.85 ERA OVER
Cole Hamels: 215 strikeouts UNDER
Kyle Kendrick: 10 wins OVER
Mike Adams: 50 appearances OVER
Jonathan Papelbon: 40 saves OVER

Yeah I'm an optimist, but just have to believe in a couple key things:
Utley will be (mostly) healthy, hence +18 HRs
Howard will be (mostly) healthy, hence the overs on his stats.
Bullpen (espc 8th) will be solid, hence overs on Adams, Paps, and Hamels' win total.

"Good thing the hockey lockout is over, Disney On Ice was about to allow fighting." - David Letterman

Nothing to do about baseball, just liked the joke.

This article as has an interesting take on the offense vs. pitching/defense debate that has been back and forth here:

Interesting quotes:

"To win a World Series now requires an offense to be consistent for nearly a month, which is nearly impossible. The big, bashing teams such as the Tigers and Rangers and Yankees all suffered multiple months during the season when team batting averages fluctuated more than 18 points over a 30-day period. In a monthlong tournament, offense, where the big contracts are usually applied, is highly overrated. Better to pitch and catch, steal and create. For all the boom of the long ball, the Giants won the World Series after hitting the fewest home runs in the major leagues this season."

"Baseball has chosen a new road, closer to March Madness than the Fall Classic, devolving from a postseason that once produced the two best teams over the course of 162 games into a battle of the two hottest teams."

Home run numbers are proving that they aren't the most important thing anymore. Sure they are nice, but not what it was 15 yrs ago. Hmmm I wonder why. Rube has the right idea, but just didnt get the results.

Hook, call it "short-series crapshoot".

In 2009 they lost the WS to a better team, and one with better pitching.

In 2010 and 2011 they actually scored more runs than the Giants and Cardinals in the series' that they lost.

In 2010 and 2011, the Phillies WERE the best team in MLB. They didn't win the WS either time.

Guess what? The best team in MLB didn't win the WS in 2012 either.

For that matter, the best team in MLB didn't win in 2008 either.

That's what the author is saying, that "hotness" matters more in the postseason than "goodness".

From mlbtr:

"Free agent outfielder Grady Sizemore doesn’t want to sign a new contract until he’s ready to play again, agent Joe Urbon told Rosenthal. The 30-year-old underwent microfracture surgery on his right knee in September, and isn’t ready to commit to a team just yet. “It could be Opening Day. It could be midseason,” Urbon said. “Midseason is more likely.” The CAA agent added that a number of teams have expressed interest in Sizemore. Some of those teams have offered to sign the 30-year-old and let him rehab on his own schedule."

I can't imagine that RAJ hasn't checked in on Sizemore. Anything less would constitute GManagerial malpractice.


I hope Ruf works out, no sure thing of course. I've said several times I think he can hit 25-ish homeruns given 500 at bats, but I don't know if he will hit .220 in those chances or .280. There have been several players with similar backgrounds to his that panned out for a year or 3. Not unheard of. Someone mentioned Brian Daubach a couple days ago.

Of course, clout claims no one is skeptical; several posters chime in to say they are skeptical; clout decides he's still right, no one is skeptical.

I think there's more wishful thinking for Ruf than there is certainty that he will break out. Phillies decided not to sign Swisher, so Ruf is the team's best hope for some power out of a corner outfield spot. Not exactly where you want to be as a team hoping to contend. A contending team can do that at 1 spot on the diamond, but the Phillies have an inordinate number of question marks going into spring training this year.

jbird, yep, a lot of us are skepticall about Ruf.

We all know the reasons to be skeptical and that he could fail:

One-year wonder
Old for his league
Strange power surge

And you can say or could have said those things and more about hundreds/thousands of guys that have come up through the minors. We all understand there are multiple reasons Ruf may not make it, all boiling doen to the biggest and simplest one that he's just not good enough.

But you address what I and some other posters are trying to distill:

What are the reasons he could succeed?

awh: I wonder why they didn't write that article in 2011, when the powerhouse Cards and Rangers offenses went to the world series and mashed double digit in multiple games.

Personally I would have signed Swisher and let Ruf & Brown fight it out for playing time. But that didn't happen, so I really, really hope Ruf does pan out.

I'm hoping clout's repeated prediction that the Phillies acquire a starting OF comes true. No idea who it could be (soriano is most likely to me), but it'd be nice to have someone who isn't a complete enigma in the OF outside of Revere.

lorecore, I have no idea why he didn't write it then, but your example only yields a 50% success rate. :)

Seriously, though, one year does not a trend make, and, once again, you've been around here long enough to know that.

jbird, I was in favor of signing Swish. I would have like Hamilton too, and am on record of being pretty much opposed to anyone else.

However, this article in the NYDN about Boras' remaining unsigned clients is fairly revealing, and indicates just how much teams value the draft picks and the money associated.

I think it's safe to say that the Phillies fall into that camp.

BTW, the article also says Bourn was initially asking 7/17-18MM. I was a little surprised by that.

awh - Boras's demise is being greatly exaggerated. His big clients are often the last to sign. Beltre signed with the Rangers in early January 2011. Prince Fielder signed with the Tigers in mid-January 2012. He plays the "long game" with his clients, and his (and their) willingness to sign one-year deals and try again next year (as Beltre did in 2010) keeps them from having to settle for cheap multi-year deals.

Phillies: 87 wins - under (84)

Phillies All-Stars: 2 - push

More MLB signings by Ruben Amaro: 2 - under (none)

Chase Utley: 135 games played - under (121)

Chase Utley: 18 home runs - under (14)

Ryan Howard: 33 home runs - under (26)

Ryan Howard: 115 RBI - push

Ryan Howard: .820 OPS - under (.789)

Carlos Ruiz: .288 batting average - under (.271)

Michael Young: .340 on-base percentage - under (.329)

Jimmy Rollins: 20 home runs - under (16)

Domonic Brown: .750 OPS - under (.703)

Domonic Brown: 15 homers - under (9)

Darin Ruf: 10 homers - over (21)

Darin Ruf: 225 plate appearances - over (436)

Ben Revere: 35 steals - over (43)

Ben Revere: .298 batting average - under (.287)

Ben Revere: 1 home run - push

Roy Halladay: 3.00 ERA - over (3.68)

Roy Halladay: 200 innings - under (186)

Cliff Lee: 6.00 K/BB ratio - push

Cliff Lee: 220 innings - push

Cole Hamels: 18 wins - push

Cole Hamels: 2.85 ERA - push

Cole Hamels: 215 strikeouts - push

Kyle Kendrick: 10 wins - over (12)

Mike Adams: 50 appearances - push

Jonathan Papelbon: 40 saves - push

Col. Tom: I don't know that I'd give up a 1st round pick for only 1 year of Bourn. Maybe for a team that feels it's a leadoff hitter away from a deep playoff run? Texas maybe. Maybe Atl bails him out. It only takes one, I guess.

Colonel, you know the sharks like to circle if they smell blood in the water, and watching Boras' success and failures is a sport in and of itself. We discuss it here, don't we?

I think your point about one year deals is a little off, though. What team is going to be willing to surrender draft pick compensation AND the bonus pool spending power for only one year of a player?

Additionally, a one-year deal is really risky for a guy like Lohse, who is coming off a career year. If he, at the age of 34, has a bad year or gets injured his hope for a LT deal will evaporate.

Soriano has the same problem: What team is going to be willing to surrender teh draft pick comp for only one year of his services? (He turned down 14.5 from the Yankees.)

Bourn may be able to get a one-year deal from someone, but again, with the way draft picks and the bonus pool money are valued, who would give up the comp for one year?

Your point is well taken: Boras does pull a lot of rabbits out of hats. But so do other agents when they have a top FA. Look what Dan Lozano did with Albert Pujols last offseason. Who saw that coming?

If ATL signed Bourn, they'd have to move Upton to RF, right and Heyward to left. That'd be a helluva defensive OF, but I don't know if Upton represents the power out of LF you're looking for.

carson: you guessed players' OPS and ERA to the hundreth of a point, but no prediction on who the 2 All Stars will be?

My guess is 3. Hamels, Papelbon, Utley. None starters.

Fatti, they'd move Upton to LF. Why play two OF in unfamiliar positions when you can limit it to one.

awh, good point. And Heyward has a great arm, right?

If the Braves brought back Bourn, they would be smart to invest in extreme fly ball pitchers.

Because no ball would drop in that outfield.

Atlanta's GM said first that they'd have to decide which of Upton/Bourn would play LF, then said the next day that Bourn would play LF and Upton CF. I'm betting there was a call from Upton's agent between those two statements.

The Angels (Hamilton), Braves (Upton), and Indians (Swisher) have already signed a free agent who declined a qualifying offer, so they've lost their 1st-rounders already and would only be losing a 2nd. The Rangers, Rays, and Yankees have gained picks (likely 1st rounders unless the teams sign another qualifying FA) from those teams, so they could lose a 1st and still have one left.

Correction - the Indians' 1st-round pick is top-10 and is thus protected, so the Yankees get their 2nd-rounder instead.

The top 10 picks:

1. Houston Astros
2. Chicago Cubs
3. Colorado Rockies
4. Minnesota Twins
5. Cleveland Indians
6. Miami Marlins
7. Boston Red Sox
8. Kansas City Royals
9. Pittsburgh Pirates
10. Toronto Blue Jays

That Pirates pick is a comp pick, so I'm not sure if it's protected or counts toward the top 10. If not, then the Mets' #11 pick is probably protected as well.

I doubt many of those teams will make noise, but the Cubs and Red Sox jump out as possible FA destinations for the remaining players, as do the Mets if their 1st is protected.

Phillies: 87 wins - over
Phillies All-Stars: 2 - push
More MLB signings by Ruben Amaro: 2 - under
Chase Utley: 135 games played - under
Chase Utley: 18 home runs - over
Ryan Howard: 33 home runs - over
Ryan Howard: 115 RBI - over
Ryan Howard: .820 OPS - under
Carlos Ruiz: .288 batting average - under
Michael Young: .340 on-base percentage - under
Jimmy Rollins: 20 home runs - under
Domonic Brown: .750 OPS - over
Domonic Brown: 15 homers - over
Darin Ruf: 10 homers - over
Darin Ruf: 225 plate appearances - over
Ben Revere: 35 steals - over
Ben Revere: .298 batting average - over
Ben Revere: 1 home run - over
Roy Halladay: 3.00 ERA - over
Roy Halladay: 200 innings - under
Cliff Lee: 6.00 K/BB ratio - over
Cliff Lee: 220 innings - under
Cole Hamels: 18 wins - under
Cole Hamels: 2.85 ERA - under
Cole Hamels: 215 strikeouts - under
Kyle Kendrick: 10 wins - over
Mike Adams: 50 appearances - over
Jonathan Papelbon: 40 saves - under

For a guy who bested that .288 over/under number by .37 points last year, and whose average over the last 3 years is .15 points above that line, Chooch doesn't seem to be getting a lot of love from the board. I think only 3 posters have taken the over.

For me, I was so optimistic about most of the other categories, I tried to balance it out by going under on that one. I'm not worried about Chooch.

b_a_p: Chooch's age 31+ numbers don't pass the smell test. I'm giving him the benefit of a doubt in assuming he'll come back clean, which is why I took the Under.

Ok. I'll bite.

Phillies: 87 wins - over
Phillies All-Stars: 2 - push
More MLB signings by Ruben Amaro: 2 - under
Chase Utley: 135 games played - over
Chase Utley: 18 home runs - over
Ryan Howard: 33 home runs - over
Ryan Howard: 115 RBI - over
Ryan Howard: .820 OPS - under
Carlos Ruiz: .288 batting average - under
Michael Young: .340 on-base percentage - under
Jimmy Rollins: 20 home runs - under
Domonic Brown: .750 OPS - under
Domonic Brown: 15 homers - under
Darin Ruf: 10 homers - over
Darin Ruf: 225 plate appearances - over
Ben Revere: 35 steals - over
Ben Revere: .298 batting average - over
Ben Revere: 1 home run - under
Roy Halladay: 3.00 ERA - over
Roy Halladay: 200 innings - under
Cliff Lee: 6.00 K/BB ratio - under
Cliff Lee: 220 innings - over
Cole Hamels: 18 wins - under
Cole Hamels: 2.85 ERA - under
Cole Hamels: 215 strikeouts - under
Kyle Kendrick: 10 wins - under
Mike Adams: 50 appearances - over
Jonathan Papelbon: 40 saves - over

The consensus 'under' on Chooch tells me one thing: there are many BLers that are members of the Cult of Adderall.

Cyclic: I'm not worried about Chooch, but I'm certainly worried about who, among the other 7 guys in our lineup, is going to make up for the inevitable huge drop-off from Chooch's 2012 numbers.

bap-- Let the Ruf rider roll

Adderall doesn't enhance performance, but I still bet the under because:

1. I would always bet the under when a 33-year old player is coming off a career year; and

2. At the risk of triggering Iceman's wrath . . . Chooch's willingness to break the rules, in order to obtain a perceived advantage, does make me a bit suspicious about what other things he may have been taking (especially in light of the numbers he put up).

"At the risk of triggering Iceman's wrath . . . Chooch's willingness to break the rules, in order to obtain a perceived advantage, does make me a bit suspicious about what other things he may have been taking (especially in light of the numbers he put up)."

No wrath here, although this does remind me of the time my parents caught me drinking in high school, and I was accused of doing every drug in the western hemisphere because, if I would drink before I was legally allowed to, surely I was also snorting lines of cocaine.

I'm not sure you can say categorically that Adderall doesn't enhance performance. Players without ADHD take it to fight fatigue and improve focus - in other words, so they perform better.

I'd guess Chooch will regress to something like .290/.380/.420, which would still be an excellent season but far short of 2012.

Chooch's willingness to break the rules, in order to obtain a perceived advantage, does make me a bit suspicious about what other things he may have been taking (especially in light of the numbers he put up).

Exactly. Chooch got busted for the Adderall, which doesn't preclude the possibility that he has been taking other banned substances. The first ~1,100 AB of his MLB career, Ruiz bats .246 w/ an 85 OPS+. The next ~1,100 AB he's a .303 batter w/ a 127 OPS+? That strikes me as odd.

Another reason to bet the under on Chooch:

Since 1993, there have been only 4 instances wherein a 34+ year old catcher with at least 400 PA hit better than .288

1993 Don Slaught - .300
2006 Paul Lo Duca - .318
2006 Ivan Rodriguez - .300
2007 Jorge Posada - .338

Just not a common occurrence. I'd bet the under two, even if he'd never done Adderrall.

*under, too.

This is why I always use ", as well."

Cyclic: I might be Ruf's single greatest Beerleaguer champion. But I suspect he's going to have trouble getting ABs early in the season. I also suspect that, even if he puts up the kind of numbers I believe he can put up, it won't be enough to meaningfully improve the offense. He'll essentially be replacing Hunter Pence's production, and look where that production got us last year -- and that was WITH Chooch's career year.

(Counting down the seconds until awh's inevitable . . . "But BAP, you are failing to account for the fact that we will have a full season of Howard & Utley -- and besides, our offense doesn't matter anyway because it's all about the starting pitching, stupid").

Iceman: That's not the argument, though. I'm not saying Adderall is a "gateway" to other drugs. I'm saying that, if a player has demonstrated an intent to cheat in one way, there's a good possibility that he has cheated in other ways. And when you put that inference together with the fact that he had a career year at 33, the inference becomes even stronger. I know you never like my analogies, but the Sammy Sosa corked bat incident sort of screams out as an analogy.

So bay_area_phan thinks Ruf will be an All-Star?


Trivia question - the Phils' catchers put up an .861 OPS, .101 higher than the team's next-best position (not counting DH). What position finished second?

I just want it to be opening day

I guess in 2011, when Chooch's numbers dipped across the board, he decided to stop roiding that year because the pitching was so good. Then when they lost in the playoffs, he couldn't live with himself, and decided to double up on what he had been taking in '09 and '10.

That's as reasonable a scenario as anything else, I think.

Adam Laroche re-signs with Nationals. Ugh.

"The first ~1,100 AB of his MLB career, Ruiz bats .246 w/ an 85 OPS+. The next ~1,100 AB he's a .303 batter w/ a 127 OPS+? That strikes me as odd."

At the risk of sounding like a homer or an apologist, I think you're attributing way, way too much power to PEDs if you think all that comes from whatever you think Chooch was taking.

I don't doubt that PEDs can work a little bit in terms of boosting your performance, by a variety of means (helping you work out more, increasing strength, stamina, endurance, etc.)

But there is just no way to attribute those massive jumps in numbers to PEDs. If PEDs worked that well, then every single player in baseball would be using them. If anything, the massive jump in performance virtually guarantees that some of it was real and sustainable, because it simply *couldn't* all be from PED usage. Same thing with a guy like Jose Bautista.

I'll save everyone the trouble - Phillies' left fielders hit .290/.340/.420, for a .760 OPS. I suspect you'd get something close to that OPS from a Nix/Ruf platoon (lower on the AVG and OBP, but higher on the SLG), but not much more.

Colonel Tom: Pitcher?

I guess Morse is defnitely on the block then, I can't see him just being a bench bat...although that would just make their team even deeper/better.

Well, LaRoche shakes an outfielder loose, as the Nats will probably deal Morse now with Harper/Span/Werth manning the three OF spots. I'd be shocked if Morse goes to Philly, of course, but depending on where he ends up, someone else might become available.

The scary part is that I can't figure out anything the Nats really need in exchange for Morse.

The slight silver lining? Morse is a better hitter than LaRoche, so their offense just got a bit weaker.

The Yankees are rumored to be Morse's most likely destination, and the Nats' biggest short-term need is relief pitching. I wonder if they'd deal David Robertson for him and re-sign Rafael Soriano to take Robertson's place.

lore: Yeah, that's the bright side to this. LaRoche had an .853 OPS last year. If I were betting on whether Morse or LaRoche is the more likely to post an .853 OPS in 2013, my money would be on Morse.

Too bad they'll never trade Morse to a division rival. He'd be a nice fit.

ctom: Nats are weak in the pen. I wouldn't trade Morse for a 'need' position if you have a good commodity, but if his price isn't that great, they'll probably target a late inning reliever.

BAP: right. My parents saw I had went outside the confines of the law just to get buzzed, so they reasonably inferred that it was possible that I had the intent to do other things to get even more buzzed. Totally get what you are saying here.

Chooch's suspension:

Actually a couple of beneficial things that I actually see from it.

1. Chooch has generally been a slow starter in his career. He has a career .261/.332/.380 (.712) in April which is his 2nd worst month of his career. June is the first at .692.

Always been a guy who hits much better generally in the 2nd half with a career OPS that is nearly 60 pts higher after the ASB (.756 pre-ASB, .813 post-ASB).

2. Cholly is a guy who has a belief in not resting regulars in April. That might work on a team with guy who are younger and/or don't have injury issues but it is ill-advised this year for a couple of players with Chooch being one of them.

Chooch not being available takes this option away from Cholly which isn't necessary the worst thing even if they will miss his production and defense.

3. Chooch is 34 this year and has logged a very heavy workload since '08. If you look historically at catchers and their age 34 seasons, the numbers often are kind.

There are some obvious exceptions (Fisk, Piazza) but is is usually an age where catchers either start to play another position part-time or are reduced to a backup/part-time role there.

Saying Chooch 25 games of wear-and-tear where he probably would start at a minimum of 21 isn't the worst thing either.

4. Chooch isn't the kind of player I am worried about not showing up to spring training out-of-shape or not keeping in top shape during his suspension either once the season starts.

Iceman: If a player cheats in one way, then why wouldn't it raise a suspicion that he may be cheating in others? If you don't see this, you're just being willfully blind or intentionally difficult. Because there's just no way in the world that you can't get this.

Be fun to revisit these at the Break!

Phillies: 87 wins: Push

Phillies All-Stars: 2 --Under

More MLB signings by Ruben Amaro: 2--Under

Chase Utley: 135 games played--Under (120)

Chase Utley: 18 home runs--Under (16)

Ryan Howard: 33 home runs--Push

Ryan Howard: 115 RBI--Under (105)

Ryan Howard: .820 OPS--Over (.840)

Carlos Ruiz: .288 batting average-- Under (.255)

Michael Young: .340 on-base percentage-- Over (.353)

Jimmy Rollins: 20 home runs--Under (13)

Domonic Brown: .750 OPS--Under (.730)

Domonic Brown: 15 homers-- Under(9)

Darin Ruf: 10 homers-- Over (19)

Darin Ruf: 225 plate appearances-- Over(450)

Ben Revere: 35 steals--Over (42)

Ben Revere: .298 batting average-- Over (42)

Ben Revere: 1 home run-- Push (In the Park)

Roy Halladay: 3.00 ERA-- Over (3.50)

Roy Halladay: 200 innings-- Under (185)

Cliff Lee: 6.00 K/BB ratio-- Under(5.00)

Cliff Lee: 220 innings-- Under (210)

Cole Hamels: 18 wins-- Under (16)

Cole Hamels: 2.85 ERA-- Over (3.05)

Cole Hamels: 215 strikeouts-- Under (207)

Kyle Kendrick: 10 wins-- Push

Mike Adams: 50 appearances-- Over (70) Trouble for next year

Jonathan Papelbon: 40 saves--Push

Still baffled by why the Nats didn't apparently make more of an effort to sign Howell.

Howell has some significant incentive upside supposedly although specifics haven't come out yet with the Dodgers but his base is $2.85M this year.

Howell didn't really say anything specific in the articles I read about why he choose LA besides generic stuff that almost every FA baseball player says.

Find that hard to believe that the Nats couldn't have beat that offer with a guaranteed base of say $3.5M with less incentive upside.

Iceman: You almost got there with the analogy.

But the amount of teenagers who drink is very high, and the amount of teenagers who use cocaine is several magnitudes smaller. So while your parents, of course, acted like parents, the suspicion wasn't really grounded in an empirical likelihood.

I don't think the same divide exists between different types of PEDs among major-leaguers. I would bet there is a much higher correlation between one type of PED and another at the major-league level than there is between alcohol users and cocaine users among teenagers.

Your analogy would be closer if someone said "Player A goes to the gym a lot, it raises a suspicion that he also uses steroids." Because almost all players go to the gym (as all teenagers steal booze from their parents), but only a few use PEDs (as only a few use cocaine).

You are right that the logic is pretty close to the same. Like I said, it almost works.

bap: You act like Ruiz tested positive for Adderall and mlb stopped testing him for everything else. He's actually been tested even more rigorously now that he's been flagged an offender.

So since he's not been accused of any other PED use, it actually makes it more likley that he isn't using.

And your last statement reads like some awful Ethics class example of exactly how people shouldn't think.

Adam Laroche re-signs with Nationals. Ugh.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Tuesday, January 08, 2013 at 12:22 PM


Does anybody expect Laroche to put up the same kind of numbers this year?

Rizzo's great offseason continues. He gets LaRoche on the 2-year deal he wants and know Morse becomes the trade bait to kept a killer reliever option.

Morse to the O's for Matusz (who I love out of the pen) and Rizzo can call it an offseason.

The first ~1,100 AB of his MLB career, Ruiz bats .246 w/ an 85 OPS+. The next ~1,100 AB he's a .303 batter w/ a 127 OPS+? That strikes me as odd."


Could also mean he developed into a better hitter with the number of at bats he had..But yes, I guess it is easier to just imply PED's.

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