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Thursday, February 28, 2013


Season = Over

Great stat on Adams/perfect innings. Delved into the stats on him and that's something I didn't know.

The bullpen certainly improved dramatically last year in the second half, but I'm not sure how anyone could argue against the difference a healthy Adams could've made putting out fires in the first half of the season. I think 4 wins is a relatively conservative estimate.

The Seidman rises! But seriously, improving with every post.

I agree with Iceman, I think the Phils' record could have been even higher than 85 wins with a decent Adams-type guy in the 8th inning. Considering the 13 blown 8th inning leads, 90 wins wouldn't have been out of the question.

In addition to a healthy Adams, I'm happy to see the return of the Phillies ticker and a new music mix here, too.

Also: Banner now has 2013 on it.

Howard's HR was really impressive since he took a Kimbrel fastball on the outer part of the plate to the opposite field.

When Howard is right and going full bore, he has his tendency to hit pitches on the outer part of the plate to RF especially the power alley between CF-RF. Just what he did today.

M. Young also hit a couple of weak grounders and his 'hit' was really just a ground ball deflection off the pitcher. Not putting much stock in 10 ABs but it would be nice to see him start lining the ball to the OF a bit. One guy in camp that bares more watching.

Also nice to Ruf get 2 hits today. Wheels said before Ruf's first humpback single today that he thought Ruf was really pressing at the plate & wasn't displaying the same plate discipline he was last year early on. After the 2nd hit today, Wheels said he hopes it make Ruf relax a bit. One of his better observation this spring so far.

I get the fungible reliever thing... but Durbin and De Fratus are interchangeable?

Let's wait until De Fratus has more than 14.2 career innings. Durbin has 355.1 career innings since becoming a full-time reliever including a bit of a renaissance last year in 61 innings with the Braves and a 130 ERA+.

I'm not saying Durbin is great, but I'm not even sure De Fratus can be a successful ML reliever.

MG: If you start pointing out positive stats and complimenting Wheels on a regular basis, we're going to have to check your IP to see if this is an impostor.

I did miss Martin today but did catch him last year in Reading late in the year.

There won't be much positional talent to start the year at Reading (Gillies & Joseph and a bunch of holdovers from last year) but the starting staff that includes Biddle, Martin, and Morgan is probably the best one to start the year in Reading in a long, long time.

Like where team is at. Just need to get the bullpen Pcs that are available to have a few guys step up and grab it. This group today did good. Add Ruiz and depending on D young and ruf. And the line up looks like they can have days when they bust out, but maybe grind a few games where they take lead in 7th and Adams and pap shut door. So far so good.

You guys haven't mentioned that M Young made a really nice defensiveness play and brown had another nice day. Hamels and Adams where both great. And its always nice to see the phillies beat the braves, even if it is spring training. I listened to game on ATL radio and it was funny how badly they pronounce Inciarte and that they forgot we had gotten m young. half way through the game Lemke said the NL east shouldn't forget about the phillies and that they look comfortable shooting form behind. whatever that means.

KAS - No one will ever accuse me of being sunshine and rainbows but just about everything has broken right for the Phils so far they could have (i know it is completely ridiculous but i just knocked on wood).

Certainly hasn't been the case the last 2 spring trainings with last year being the worst one I can remember as a Phils' fan.

It's also February 28th.

Did they really score 10 runs against that scary and vaunted Braves pitching staff?

Jack must be so disappointed.

rolo: Yes, because not only am I a Braves fan, but I am a Braves fan who cares about the results of Spring Training games.

You nailed it.

I'm still baffled why the baseball analytics commodity has been so slow to look further into how to elevate injuries and keep players healthy especially pitchers.

There are several sessions I would love to see here including on player personnel development and the session on 'measuring the intangibles.'

JW, I noticed the links to the other Phils' sites are "missing".


Jack - It is but all of the players who were the big injury question marks have come back on schedule or are ahead of it including Halladay, Adams, Howard, and Utley.

In 2010, Adams was handed a lead 41 times going into the 8th, 9th or extras. He blew 4 of them. Only 6 of his 37 holds were less than an inning in length.

In 2011, Adams was handed a lead 37 times going into the 8th, 9th or extras. He blew three of them. Only one of his holds/saves was less than an inning in length.

In 2012, a year where he pitched hurt (and his numbers reflected that), he was handed 28 leads in those same innings and blew one of them (6 of those holds/saves were only one out- the other 21 were a full inning).

In total, that's 106 leads handed to Adams in the last 3 seasons- one of which he played through hurt- and he only blew eight of them. The 2012 Phillies blew twelve eighth-inning leads.

Obviously there's no way to quantify this, so most people will shoot it down- but I find it hard to believe that, at the very least, Adams wouldn't have cut that number in half. That's 87 wins. I think that's the O/U if they had Adams last year.

A quick scan of the game logs just in the first half of the season (I could be off on this, I only went through once): they blew 13 leads in the 7th inning or later before the ASB. I mean, wow.

Anybody know if Charlie generally runs out his setup guy? It's hard to tell with the changes in the 8th inning guy over the past few years after Madson took over as closer.

Hope Adams is ready for a workhorse season if that's the case and we can only hope that he is effective throughout.

TNA: If Manuel has a defined 8th inning guy, expect to see him in the 8th inning of every lead of 3 runs or less that he is physically able to pitch.

Adams will pitch every single meaningful 8th inning...oftentimes 3 out of 4 nights and even 4 out of 5.

That's how UC uses a reliever he trusts.

Iceman: That is an unscientific way of doing it, yes, but sure, let's grant it.

The issue is that Mike Adams and other pitchers won't be traveling back in time and pitching in 2012. I think you're right that a decent amount of wins would have been added to the 2012 Phillies had Adams been here. But that ship has sailed.

The relevant comparison is what Adams will add to the 2013 Phillies above what other pitchers would do. I happen to think that, even without Adams, there was no way in hell the Phillies bullpen was going to blow 13 (or whatever the number actually was) games in the 8th inning again. I mean, you may disagree and think they would do that again, but that flies against almost everything we know about statistical outliers and regression and all that.

So while you're right that Adams would've added a disproportionate amount of wins to the 2012 Phillies, I don't really see how that's particularly relevant, unless you've invented a time travel machine.

By the way, that's not to say that Adams won't help at all--if he's healthy and productive, he will.

But he's not adding 6-7 wins over what's already here. That's crazy talk.

Jack- yeah, you can just ignore the post if I'm posting on a topic that you feel that you are above discussing.

I was speculating on what kind of a difference Adams would have made on the team's record last year. It has been a topic of discussion. I'm sorry it doesn't interest you since that's normally what I'm aiming for.

Iceman: "Jack- yeah, you can just ignore the post if I'm posting on a topic that you feel that you are above discussing."

But then we'd never converse at all, and I really enjoy this too much for that.

If Cholly uses Adams early in the year really hard (say 14-15 IP in April) including on 3 consecutive and 4 out of 5 nights, I really hope Amaro has a private meeting and gives him a tongue lashing.

Cholly's shortcomings as a manager were a real issue with this team last year and will begin this year. It didn't cost them a trip to playoffs because even I would admit that at most it was maybe a net 3-4 games over the course of a season.

This year it very well might.

Ethan Martin looked good today. He's got nasty stuff and snapped off a couple of curveballs that made me flinch from 2,600 miles away. Nice fastball with some late movement. Nice pickup.

I'm not sure if this will interest Jack, but here's Adams on back-to-back days:

2012: 17 G, 4.15 ERA, 1.538 WHIP, .283/.345/.415/.760

Career: 93 G, 2.32 ERA, 1.078 WHIP, .209/.266/.321/.587

Cholly will surely push him to the limit, but over his career, he's been good on no rest. Last year his injury probably affected those numbers.

Sure Adams will be brought in to protect several 4 run leads in the 8th and even some 5 runs leads just as Cholly used Madson in '10 and '11.

It drove me nuts when he did it then and probably will this year too.

Jack- you enjoy discussing topics that are beneath you (which appears to be 90% of topics on here)? What a strange life you must lead.

If you enjoy it that much, please admonish me again for saying that Revere is better vs. LHP than Rollins.

Martin may have the highest upside of any pitcher in the Phillies' organization. The issue is his control, or utter lack thereof. But last year he took a huge leap forward in this area; instead of being atrocious, he was merely awful. Now if he can get to average, we might have something.

I still want to see what Adams' velocity is towards the end of spring training. I am sure as he is building up arm strength yet that he really won't let loose.

If he is routinely at 93-94 MPH on the gun and 87-88 MPH on his slider, he should be in great shape to start the year.

Also wanted to see that curve he has and used more last year. Didn't throw one today.

Just saw something that was interesting on ESPN's fantasy baseball toolkit.

It was talking about the correlation between Ground Ball BABIP and a players speed, as measured by stolen bases--which to mean seemed like a poor measuring stick, since SB are not the end all be all measure for speed. However, the top 25 in GB BABIP were generally speedy players, who stole a lot of bases, and the opposite was true about guys with low GB BABIP, except for Jimmy Rollins.

Rollins had the 12th worst GB BABIP despite stealing 30 bases last year. The only player lower on that list with him was Eric Hosmer, who stole 10. The bottom 25 list was generally comprised of slower, corner players, sprinkled with a couple guys who you would expect to be fast, but maybe are not busting it down the line. And of course, Rollins seems to carry the slacker reputation.

Here's the link, with this topic being about halfway down the page.

Excuse me for not editing that 3rd paragraph- What I really meant, "The only player lower on the list than Rollins who has double digit stolen bases, was Hosmer (10), although on 2nd glance, Asdrubal Cabrera was also lower than Rollins, with 9 stolen bases."

Jack: do you realize that Raul Valdes and Jeremy Horst combined for 60IP of ~250 ERA+ last year? And you think its impossible for our pen to do worse than last year, without adding upgrades like Adams?

Is Brown known for having quick hands? For a tall guy, he's been getting his hands through the zone awfully quick this spring training. That's the thing that stands out the most with him so far. It's not Utley quick, but it's damn close. So long as he continues to swing loose and stay back and balanced on the ball, he could be a monster this year.

re: Howard v. Kimbrel
No wonder the league doesn't throw fastballs at Howard in fastball counts. When he knows a delivered fastball is coming, it's got a good chance to go over the fence even without squaring up the ball.

After last year and this being the last year on his contract, I wouldn't blame Charlie for running Adams out there in not-so-close games. I like Charlie's mentality of managing every single game as if it's Game 7 of the World Series, but that could ironically prevent them from reaching the WS.

I just want to applaud the use of the word "torrid" in the header.

"Fungible" is another interesting BL word.

I freely admit to having to look it up when it first started to become a BL regular.

Even now , with becoming a BL staple, it sounds like something that would cause a DL stint.

Something like- Romero is on the 15 day DL with mild elbow fungibility

Fungible is good. Probably no rlation to the fungo bat, unfotunately

This is aimed at Kendrick Appreciation Society.
De Fratus may only have 14 ip in the majors, but I believe he should be above Chad Durbin by the end of the year. Health assuming of course and despite his rough spring thus far. I have seen him pitch at Lehigh Valley and he has shown he has what it takes.

I don't know...torrid is just one letter away from being horrid.

And Ryan Howard is just one junk ball lefty away from being that, too.

I first heard the word fungible used by a marketing person to describe IT people. Of course marketing people were not. She did not appreciate it when I said that Marketing people are wildly successful when their programs are 90% right, while a programmer is not successful unless he is 100% right. She was a real sweetheart. Apparently her **** DID smell better than everyone elses'.

I had one thought on why guys like Howard and Brown might be out to hot starts in the early going. Most of the times, pitchers enter ST and focus on their fastball and location prior to working on their breaking stuff so guys tend to see more fastballs in the first week or two of ST. Thus, pure fastball hitters like Brown and Howard get to feast.


Well, that may have something to do with it, but it's probably more of a matter of batters who just happen to have their timing down early on in spring training. In early ST, it's no secret that most pitchers are just trying to repeat delivery and locate their fastball -- in the same way hitters are trying to get their timing and other mechanics into a groove.

And what's a "pure" fastball hitter?

***And what's a "pure" fastball hitter? ***

Somebody who struggles mightily with off-speed Ryan Howard.

jimbo jones: agreed.

TNA -- Yes, Brown is renowned for having very quick hands. That's how he made his old long swing work. That and his plate discipline.

If he's really figured out his timing on his new swing, and can repeat it consistently (always a question!) I think he could be in for a monstrous year.

Where have the years gone when a 35-year-old, washed-up Marlon Byrd is set to retire?

Marlon Byrd is 36??!?

Wow, I feel old.

NEPP -- I don't think of Brown as a "pure" fastball hitter, so I looked it up.

Using fangraphs pitch values, it turns out that Brown has actually been WORSE at hitting fastballs relative to other pitches. For his career, he's averaged -0.79 wFB/C, compared with 0.14 for sliders, 4.29 for cutters, and 0.94 for changes.

Admittedly he was pretty bad on sliders last year. But overall it looks like he actually has handled offspeed stuff better than fastballs.

This actually makes sense when you think about it. He's had great plate discipline the last two years, but has struggled to punish pitches in the zone. Off speed stuff mostly works by making hitters swing at bad pitches, which isn't really his weakness. His problem has mainly been that pitchers can get away with challenging him.

I think that's about to change.

Too early to call Biddle, Martin, and Morgan Generation K?

And I totally think Martin is the sleeper of the bunch, the more I read about and see him.

Good article on Grantland about the Blue Jays.

I didn't realize that the Jays have regressed in wins every year since AA took over.

I think Martin ends up as a reliever...albeit a very good one.

Martin hits 97 on the gun which makes him a favorite among certain (fastball and velocity are the only things that count) posters.

But scouting reports say he's got a ways to go in the command department and his K/BB ratio is fairly dreadful.

At age 24 he needs to be in Trip A this season, the K/BB ratio needs to move to 2/1 and his command within the zone needs to improve to the point where he no longer gives up big innings.

If he can do that, he's a useful #3 SP or potential setup man.

***But scouting reports say he's got a ways to go in the command department and his K/BB ratio is fairly dreadful.***

Which is why I see reliever in his future.

ramsey: "it turns out that Brown has actually been WORSE at hitting fastballs relative to other pitches."

Confirming the scouting reports. The trouble he had when he first came up was that he couldn't get around on inside fastballs because of where he held his hands. When he did make contact, it was weak.

This was no secret and you saw pitchers exploiting this repeatedly. He subsequently dropped his hands lower and seemed to be improving, but was so messed up by injuries last season it was hard to tell.

NEPP: Your probably right as he's had a hard time mastering the curve and change, but his slider is pretty good. If he's consistent with the slider and gains better command of his mid-90s fastball he'd make a fine setup man and maybe a closer down the road.

Silver lining on Martin: His BB/9 is at least moving in the right direction despite being pretty sucky right now:

2011 (AA): 6.47 in 40.1 IP
2012 (AA Dodgers): 4.65 in 118 IP
2012 (AA Phillies): 4.08 in 39.2 IP

Non-silver lining: His SO/9 has also declined with it so while he's improving his BB rate, his SO rate is dropping. His overall K/BB rate has gone up in those 3 instances too but its only from 1.48 in 2011 to 1.94 with the Reading Phils.

There's a long way to go for him. So does he start in Reading or Lehigh this year?

Caveat to above: Small sample size may apply.


If a pitcher maintains the same K% but walks fewer hitters, his K/9 will fall simply because he's facing fewer batters per inning. This is why I prefer to look at K% and BB% rather than per 9 innings (the per-inning numbers are also affected by BABIP).

Martin's K% has fluctuated a bit, but has stayed fairly consistent at 20-24% from 2010-2012.

Clout: That's unclear. Sometimes a hitter with a long swing is vulnerable to heat, but sometimes they're vulnerable to off speed stuff because they have to start their swing earlier to hit FBs (i.e. cheat).

When I think of guys with big swings, I think of them as having trouble with off speed stuff. But I haven't looked at the numbers, so maybe you're right.

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