Part of

« Howard, Halladay impress in 5-5 tie with Tigers | Main | Hideous spring debuts for Papelbon & Stutes »

Monday, February 25, 2013


Yuniesky and MiniMart in the same lineup, and batting 1st/9th have the chance to bat in the same inning.

re: fangrpahs top phillies prospects

Good to see some optimistic views on Austin Wright. 6'4 230lb lefties with mid 90s fastballs don't grow on trees. Excited to see if he can make the jump to AA with success as a starter.

Can't wait to see Mini-mart and Yuni bat back to back! It's like the return of the Bash Brothers!

Is Brown hurt? Why is he not playing two days in a row?

MLB odds came out today:

Every sports book has the Phils right around 83-84 wins with the 'Over' at pretty negative odds and the 'Under' at Even.

I really like the 83.5 as an over but the payout outs suck at -130. If that was -115 or -110, I would be all over it. Need to look around a bit more.

I have seen the Phils as low as 15:1 to win the WS and as high as 20:1. Basically between 8-12.

Personally I would have set it at 84.5/85 but they would have had to make the 'Over' with a slightly weaker negative payout to attract money. If this team can get out of the gate entirely healthy, I think they are a 86-90 win team.

I think the splitting of Utley and Howard is a must now. I know some people think that Young needs to hit 5 to protect Howard but does he really strike any fear in anyone to come after Howard? Put him 3 and hope he has something left and will see some pitches to hit.

Reverand, lefty on the mound today which is why Mayberry gets the start. But really if there is ever a time for Domonic to learn to hit lefties it is now in the spring. I guess they really are just hoping for a platoon with Brown and Mayberry.

Reverend - It's a LH starter (Smyly) and Mayberry has yet to start a game. That's all.

What I don't understand is why this team continues to insist that MiniMart is an OF. Even a Jr. High coach could want him catch fungoes and know within 15-20 minutes he has no business in the OF.

Hopefully Young can field a couple balls cleanly today. That would be fun.

Mini Mart is easily the worst defensive CF I have ever seen. He simply has no idea out there as he's never played the position prior to coming to Philly. Hell, he probably never even played it in a pickup game before UC decided to throw him out there.

I know Revere isn't necessarily the guy you would want leading off but a top of the order of Revere-Utley-Rollins-Howard is kind of intriguing (even though I think Rollins has poor numbers out of the 3 spot- can't confirm that on my phone though).

Revere's speed and Utley's patience could really put pressure on pitchers early in the game and you might be able to jump out to a lot of early 1-0, 2-0 leads. Plus Ruiz in the 5 hole you would take some pressure off Brown and Ruf as they would have Michael Young to mix in there as well.

Smart to give JRoll a limited number of starts and innings before the WBC.

Corey, I disagree with your top 4.

Rollins has historically been awful in the 3-hole: .241/.301/.316, 383 PA

OTOH, in a linited sample size batting 6th: .344/.364/.456, 129 PA

Please read my moniker. All are free to join...

I understand that a lefty is starting but to have Martinez out there in center is a slap in the face. Or maybe they are trying to send a message to all the players who are trying to make the team out of ST that no matter how bad you suck there is still a chance you can do it.

Why not put the rule 5 kid out there and see what he can do? Why not Savery, he can play 1B and pitch, why not see if he can play center? Find out how versatile he really is.

TTI - He does. .241/.301/.316 (.617 OPS) with 1 HR with 30 BBs/46 Ks in 383 PAs in 86 GS.

Ideally JRoll would hit 6th in this lineup at this point and would have done so the past year or two (moderate AVG/OBP & power with some speed).

He's going to bat leadoff and Utley/Howard will hit 3rd/4th. Cholly is too much of a stubborn codger to change at this point.



(IMHO, Chooch should bat 6th - .322/.428/.486, 173 PA, or 7th - .308/.376/.466, 623 PA.)

I never want to see Yuni and Mini-Mart batting back to back. EVER!

I tried to post this about 5 times last week but it never went through. When Manuel was talking about Rollins last week and how people undervalue him etc. he said that Jimmy drives the ball and brings runners in. Isn't that what you want hitting 5/6 and not 1? Everything he was saying about Jimmy contradicting having him hitting leadoff.

I don't care that minimart is in CF today. He's not on the 40-man, and he's not coming North, except for a trip to Allentown, where, hopefully, he'll spend the entire summer. Unless, of course, RAJ has another seizure that causes him to becomes delusional agains and think minimart belongs on an MLB roster.

I wouldn't worry about Mini Mart in center. The Phillies are just showcasing his goods so they can trade him to the Yankees who now have a need there.

"Why not put the rule 5 kid out there and see what he can do?"


Though as I previously posted, I really don't care about the 3rd ST game.

Mini Mart should be batting 10th.

TTI - If the Phils go Revere & Utley, I would rather see Chooch hit 3rd in front of Howard.

Break up the LH but more importantly but 2 relatively high OBP guys directly in front of Howard.

Howard has much better numbers when a man is on base even the last few years:

Man on/Nobody on
2012: .773 OPS/.660 OPS
2011: .898 OPS/.771 OPS
2010: .877 OPS/.839 OPS
2009: .968 OPS/.896 OPS
2008: 1.044 OPS/.723 OPS

I would be curious to see a more detailed analysis but I would imagine that the two main factors in play are:

1. Teams can't put the extreme infield shift (and sometimes OF shift) they do against Howard
2. Howard sees a slightly higher % of 4-seam fastball overall with a man on

MG, clutchness.

It's all clutchness.

MG dropping knowledge like Mini Mart drops fly balls.

Fielder/Cabrera: punch

Mini/Yuni: counterpunch

I really don't see it happening but I think Revere should be the leadoff man with Rollins batting 3rd while Chooch is out. I do not think Michael Young should consistently be at the beginning of the lineup but we all know Manuel will bat Rollins leadoff and not split up Utley and Howard.

Imagine that Young is going to be penciled into the No. 2 spot too. Where he has spent most of his career and in the past where he said he feels most comfortable hitting.

The issue with his is that unless he hits at least .285-.290 or better, his OBP isn't great because he doesn't take that many BBs either.

Iceman, Mini/Yuni are more of a gut-punch, possibly a crotch-punch.

Once Chooch is back, I imagine the lineup will


Given how every NL team now plays the shift against Howard in the INF (and some even do in the OF), I wish the Phils would put two of their higher OBP guys directly in front of him.

That would be Utley & Chooch.


Build the rest of the lineup around that by helping Howard a bit and take advantage of what is by far the best power hitter this team has. I hope we don't see that many solo shots from Howard this year but I have a feeling we might with JRoll/MYoung in the 1/2 spots.

More of a fallacy: A pitcher's career stats against a specific team over the years or a batter's splits in a specific position batting order?

i'll add a third: A pitcher's performance based on this position of the sun.

The Chooch ones are especially worthless given that he was moved up in the order because he was hitting well, he didnt hit well because he was moved up.

lorecore - Probably the later but what you can tease out if just how comfortable a hitter feels mentally in a certain spot. It probably doesn't make that much difference on their stats but I do think it is something that has to be considered too.

Pitchers owning certain teams largely just depends on if they have good stats against certain hitters. If those hitters aren't on the team anymore or his impressive numbers were several years ago against that team, it means essentially nothing.

lorecore - There is definitely a difference between day/night splits. I just haven't seen a through analysis to see if there is anything to it in regards to certain pitchers who more effective at day/night due to their pitches/release point/etc.

"it splits up he" ?!?!? jeebus.

I will concede that like everything, there are outliers. Jamie Moyer vs Marlins immediately comes to mind.

I think the major takeaway about how a hitter performs in a certain order is that typically each spot in the order serves a certain role which welcomes a particular approach.

"Mini Mart is easily the worst defensive CF I have ever seen."

If you can get a bat like Mini-Mart's into the lineup, it's worth the drop-off in defense.

Love MG's idea of Ruiz third and it's been my preferred lineup idea for the last two years.

Despite claims to the contrary, Manuel has tried to split up the lefties before- with Pence, at the end of the 2011 season. It failed miserably not because it was a bad idea, but because Pence the hacker was the wrong guy to put in the #3-hole. He doesn't belong there.

Ruiz would be a great 2 or 3 hitter because he's shown the ability to hit for average and get on base. That's a rarity in this lineup. Cholly will never do it of course, not just because he has been scared off from splitting the lefties, but because he has this stupid idea that if a runner isn't fast, he shouldn't be at the top of the lineup. It's kind of baffling how many dumb, outdated ideas Manuel subscribes to (for this reason, Amaro should love him).

The best lineup, when healthy, would be (taking the 'Revere bats 9th fantasy out of the equation):

M Young
Rufberry/D Young

Ideally Brown would hit fifth, but until he shows more he hasn't earned that yet.

And please save the 'Ruiz can't hit without Adderall' argument.

mg: disagree. The lighting in MLB stadiums is pretty good in 2013. And if your argument is day time creates shadows/altered visability... then it would for every pitcher, not just certain ones.

Utley's skills make him such a perfect fit in the two-hole. High on-base guy and your best natural hitter. Why not put him in the most important lineup spot?

Jimmy makes the most sense batting third, too, the spot that sees the fewest plate appearances leading off an inning. Good spot for a low-OBP, high-SLG guy.

Also gives you a ton of speed to play with at the top of the order. And, of course, splits up the lefties.

I'm ready for the Charlie era to end. You just know we're gonna see Rollins hitting leadoff all season and a healthy smattering of Martinez and Nix. JRoll is no longer a leadoff batter.

Revere in the 8hole is such a bad idea to me. Talk about cancelling the guy out. Revere can bunt single and steal all the way to third...all so the pitcher can hit something weak/strikeout?

Corey, I thought Jimmy was going to thrive in the 3-hole last year given his skill-set. Boy was I wrong. He has said though that he isn't hung up on hitting leadoff anymore. Did he want to be hitting leadoff when he underperformed in the 3-hole last year? Was that part of his struggles?

Hamels day/night split difference really has diminished the last 2 years.

What hasn't though is that Hamels is a notably better pitcher at CBP which is kind odd given his tendency to give up HRs in what is a HR-friendly ball park. It wasn't as notable a split last year for the first time in his career.

If Hamels is pitching at CBP at night, he's pretty damn good and I have made nice coin the past few years betting on the Phils depending upon the odds/matchups.

Exactly lorecore. It is pointless to have Revere hitting 8th. He can't drive anyone in down there (unless he singles home someone) and his baserunning bonuses are marginalized. He has to hit leadoff. That's really all there is to it. Or he has to hit 9 with the pitcher 8. That isn't going to happen. So our best bet is Charlie hits him leadoff.

If D young is on the team, then 1 of Brown/Ruf/Mayberry is not. Signs point to Ruf since he's RH and has options to the minors.

Random question: Are there any good baseball radio shows to stream online?

lorecore - I went back and looked quickly at the last 5 years and MLB numbers at equal or slightly better at night than during the day.

Curious to a more detailed look at those numbers over time.

MG: Hamels day/night split difference really has diminished the last 2 years as his career IP increase to a larger sample.

"Iceman, Mini/Yuni are more of a gut-punch, possibly a crotch-punch."

Fatti, are you referring to this:

Shouldn't day games create more offense generally, in part due to warmer game time temperatures?

lorecore- But the home/away split didn't. The reason I always thought that split existed in part is because Hamels has said before that he is very much a creature of habit with his daily regimen during the season and that it was a bit more difficult on the road to stick to it.

What scares me about today's lineup is that I could totally see Cholly batting Betancourt leadoff in a real game.

lorecore: Why Brown/Mayberry/Ruf and not Nix. I feel that if there will be an odd man out when Delmon Young is back it will be Nix.

If Revere can become a better hitter, then he starts to give you a wonderful "dilemma" of how to adjust the best lineup.

I exepct him to improve, but the fact remains that the 2011-2012 verison of Ben Revere is not a better leadoff hitter than Jimmy Rollins.

Alex: Nix is a capable fielder at both corner OF positions, bats LH, and has a guaranteed money. I think he would stay if Young returns.

The best choice is obviously: Don't let Young return in the first place.

But after that, there are varying opinions of who should be the odd man out, and without any performance to go of off at this point in time, I think Ruf would be the likely choice.

Seidman: "Though if Michael Young bats third, there will also be at least a half-dozen first-inning GIDPs with no outs and runners on first and third."

So you're telling me Michael Young will be an RBI machine?

lorecore- if Revere shouldn't hit 8th then where should he hit? He's a singles hitter with an average OBP. If/until he bumps his OBP up to .340-.350, he should be at the bottom of the order.

Ideally he gets on with one or no outs and either steals and is bunted to third, or steals to prevent a double play and get in scoring position for Rollins.

Why not just move Howard to 5?

Until Delmon Young returns from the DL,its a moot point. Ruf will almost certainly make the team unless he has 20 errors in LF this Spring (sadly a possibility).

Hitting Revere 8th is a complete waste because UC will almost automatically bunt him over which negates his speed completely. Bat him 7th at least.

Shouldn't day games create more offense generally, in part due to warmer game time temperatures?

Posted by: jbird | Monday, February 25, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Not if all of the players are hung over from the night before...

***Why not just move Howard to 5? ***

Howard bats 4th and will do so until UC is gone. That's why.

Revere should bat 9th until his OBP improves.

Revere will likely have a higher OBP than our actual leadoff hitter in 2013 if Rollins continues his trend of diminishing OBP skills.

Baseball Musings lineup analysis suggests that batting Ruiz 3rd is a terrible idea. Third is a good place for one of your weaker hitters, although one with mild power.

Ruiz should bat leadoff or second. When Delmon starts, he'd be perfect for 3rd.

NEPP, be that as it may, I'll take the slight hit in OBP from Revere to Rollins to be offset by the probably 80 point increase in slugging that Rollins provides.

Mind you, Rollins isn't a good leadoff hitter, but unless Revere can get his OBP above .340, Rollins is probably a better leadoff hitter than Revere.

Now if Rollins OBP dips below .300, we'll talk.

Fata: Revere should indeed bat 9th, behind the pitcher.

What skills do you value in Rollins more? His ability to drive the ball or get on base?

Rollins is walking much better in recent yeras, sadly his avg has been dropping moreso. I can't whine about his crappy BABIP recently either, because its his own fault he has the most infield flies in the entire league over the past two years.

I'm making a leap of faith that Ben Revere will add .10 to .15 points to his OBP in 2013. Based on that leap of faith, plus my long-held desire to get Rollins out of the lead-off spot, I'm taking the view that Revere should bat leadoff.

I want to see more of Enciarte. Few times I've seen him he's had a good eye at the plate and we know he can cover it in CF. I think he's a darkhorse to make the team.

Nik, fortunately, they have another month to decide about Inciarte.

Worst case is that they have to offer him back.

Actually, worst case is Revere gets injured and Inciarte makes the opening day roster as the starting CF. He's never played above high-A ball so he's probably not MLB ready.

Darkhorse? Only if he magically starts tearing the cover off the ball.

"Actually, worst case is Revere gets injured and Inciarte makes the opening day roster as the starting CF. He's never played above high-A ball so he's probably not MLB ready."

If your hypothetical doesn't include Mini-Mart in the starting lineup, it doesn't qualify as the worst case scenario.

While there is a small marginal value in maximizing your order by lineup spot, the much more important step would simply be to put your best hitters in the first few spots.

Once you've done that, then you can tinker and try and maximize the value of the order. But whatever best order you put your 2-3-4 hitters probably provides less positive value than the decision to, say, hit Ben Revere leadoff and Carlos Ruiz 6th would provide negative value over the course of the season.

I'd say 80% of lineup construction is just that--putting your best hitters at the top of the lineup. The rest is tinkering at the margins.

Very nice play by Utley there... ranging to his left, going to the ground, jumping up to get Torii Hunter.

Cliff walks the third batter he faces.

Season = over

"If your hypothetical doesn't include Mini-Mart in the starting lineup, it doesn't qualify as the worst case scenario."

bap, I stand corrected.

Well, here we go.

So... is Betancourt competing for the utility IF role with Galvis and Mini Mart?

Wow, what a surprise!

Utley tried to pull a ball on the outer half.

If he had ever learned to go the other way he could have hit .400. :)

KAS, mini is no longer on the 40-man.

I suspect an Act of God could get him a spot on the 25-man, and it would probably take that.

I absolutely love the way they made teh pitcher work that inning.

... was Victor Martinez pitching?

***I absolutely love the way they made teh pitcher work that inning.***

How many pitches? 7?

Howard pulled a ball against a lefty through the shift for a base hit.

Optimist: Hit against a lefty!
Pessimist: Ground ball into the shift against a lefty.

With his speed, Howard should be hitting the ball on the ground and legging them out.

How are you guys watching this? No one works?

How long will Ruf have to stink up the joint in ST before BAP bails on him? Will the betrayal come before clout day? I say yes.

Joe D: Sometimes it pays to be the boss :-)

I'm a consultant, and even if I was at a client site, I'd probably have the TWC streaming the MLB Network feed on the browser.

Back to important things, seems everybody is wanting to test their swings early, that last inning seemed to go 7-8 pitches as well. Howard saw a few, Ruf DP'd like the 2nd pitch, as did Ruiz.

rolo: As it happens, RAJ says that the reason he traded Schwimer was because they need the space on the 40-man roster. Lest you needed any more reason to hate that trade: it could be the impetus for adding Mini-mart back to the 40-man roster.

Not to jump on the spring training nit-picking bandwagon, but what could they possibly need to see from Tyler Cloyd at this point to throw him against the Tigers starters? Don't they have one of the younger relievers due to throw today that they could put out there to face this type of competition?

All anyone needed to see was Cloyd's first MLB start last year to know that he's not going to be anything more than a fringe starter at best. Let him school the AAAA guys, which is what he'll be doing most of the year (barring an injury) and give someone who has a shot at making the roster an opportunity to make an impression against Detroit's starting lineup.

Iceman: I won't bail on him based on spring training performance. But I'll certainly be concerned that the Phillies will bail on him.

Iceman: Really? 33 innings is enough to make a declaration on a pitcher? That doesn't make any sense at all.

Who is this team's 6th starter this year?

KAS- it shouldn't be Cloyd. I'd like to see them give Pettibone a chance.

I'm usually all for giving guys more of a rope than just a few outings. But the writing is on the wall with Cloyd.

Tyler Cloyd is Org Filler...moving on.

Cook and Pettibone are probably above Cloyd on the depth chart.

I wanted to give Ethan Martin a chance last year in Sept for God's sake. I'm all for letting guys try and fail repeatedly, as long as they have the stuff there that, if they ever do figure it out, will play at the MLB level. Aumont comes to mind as a guy that hasn't 'figured it out,' but has the stuff to be dominant if/when he does- so I think he should get extended looks on the big-league team.

Cloyd has basically figured out how to pitch. It's his stuff that's the problem.

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

Top Stories


Rotoworld News

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Facebook

Contact Weitzel