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Thursday, February 14, 2013



Pat Gillick is on DSN and said that he thinks Howard should sit at least 10-15 times vs LHP this year. He thinks Cholly will do it because he 'wants to win.'

That would be a sea change for Cholly.

Really? A shot at Donovan McNabb? He was one of the genuinely good guys this city has ever had despite never truly being appreciated. I don't know what was "fake" about him.

But I digress...

MG: Ryan Howard should sit at least 10-15 times this year because he's just not built to play 160 games anymore.

And if he's sitting anyway, it makes all the sense in the world to sit him vs. tough lefties and play either Mayberry or Ruf at first depending on who's on the team and hitting well.

KAS - I completely agree and Cholly should rest him a minimum of 15 G and maybe a bit more.

Gillick finished his brief interview with saying that he doesn't think there isn't any reason why this team can't win 90-91 games.

I would agree but it was pretty much an omission that even Gillick thinks this team doesn't have a realistic shot at winning the NL East.

MG: If we get 140-145 starts out of Howard this year, I'll be pleasantly surprised. I figure we'll get about 30 HR and 90 RBI. The RBI total may seem disappointing, but I don't have great faith in the top of the lineup at the moment.

MG, don't you mean "admission"?

MG, to follow up, what would you say if Gillick had come out and said that he thought they could win 95-97 games and win the NL East?

You would have thought he was nuts, and you would be among the first here to post about it.

KAS -- That was referring to when McNabb would get up and put on a show. There's a general perception in the industry and, unofficially, a large portion of Eagles fans, that McNabb was playing a role and using humor as a defense mechanism. Used that as an example to contrast to Howard, who this morning was genuine and comfortable just being himself.

rolo - Admission and yeah I do think he would have been more enthusiastic about their chances of winning the NL East.

He talked about the 'window' and thought it was this year and maybe next year.

I was pretty surprised about how candid we was with his comments. I guess it is easier to do that in his present role.

"I don’t buy into the old thing. It’s all about how young you feel inside and how well you take care of yourself."

I think every 35-year old boxer has made this exact same statement in the weeks before getting the tar beaten out of him by a 25-year old champion.

"Fake" comment aside, I had the opportunity to work with him at an event in 2009 through my job. He couldn't have been nicer and more genuine. I've spent most of my career around pro athletes and celebs, it's not hard to tell the genuine ones from the ones who are full of it. (And this has nothing to do with McNabb, I never met him. I never got the impression he was "fake" or disengenious like some accuse McNabb of being. I think McNabb simply gave the media answers he thought they wanted to hear. Doesn't make him a "fake" or a bad guy.)

Anyway, maybe it is the spring training hype, but I am getting hyped. Don't sleep on this team, I like it as a rallying cry, as many guys know time is running short and there is a lot to prove. Because let's face it and put the cute window metaphors aside, win it all, finish under .500 or somewhere in between, this team will almost definitely look significantly different in 2014. So the guys who have been through this before know it's "go time." I think we will see an extremely focused team right out of the gate.

rolo: So, if Gillick had said we'll win 95 games, MG would have been the first out of the gate to say he was nuts. Instead, Gillick said the opposite & MG is the first out of the gate to say he's being candid. What's your point?

"I don’t buy into the old thing. It’s all about how young you feel inside and how well you take care of yourself."

I think every 35-year old boxer has made this exact same statement in the weeks before getting the tar beaten out of him by a 25-year old champion.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 05:29 PM

It's good to have the champ back.

Howard gave us a dose of happy horsesh-t. Wake me up when he starts to hit LHPs or learns to lay off a sucker pitch.

Revere has no power and he isn't going to improve much offensively.

Posted by: MG | Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 05:06 PM

Can I borrow your time machine some time?

Can I borrow your time machine some time?

Posted by: Cyclic | Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 05:47 PM

Maybe you already did... In the future!

Can I borrow your time machine some time?

Posted by: Cyclic | Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 05:47 PM

Maybe you already did... In the future!

Posted by: Phillibuster | Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 05:53 PM


It's possible Ben Revere won't improve much offensively moving forward because of his lack of power.

It's more possible that he'll continue to improve as he moves into his peak performance years.

2011 in 481 PAs: 267/310/309, wRC+ 71, WAR 2.0
2012 in 553 PAs: 294/333/342, wRC+ 88, WAR 3.4

So it's *possible* that although he showed solid improvement from his first full year to his second full year that he's already reached his ceiling. It's just not likely.

BAP and his father must be drinking at a bar, iPad in hand. The illogical statements today are flowing like wine (or a good scotch).

KAS- thank you for showing me that I am not the only person on the planet with the insane notion that Revere has not yet reached his ceiling as a player.

Iceman- Are you capable of handling differences of opinion without the personal insults? Your comment was what I would expect from a maladjusted 12 year old.

Not wishing to hijack this thread nor suggesting that it should turn out that way but Donovan McNabb was a "play along with it guy." He never really bought into what the city was expecting or understood what it took to acheive it.

He was and always will be a moderately talented guy with a chip on his shoulder who puts forth the face that he thinks is necessary to keep the chains moving without really stopping to think about what it all might mean. If the contrary were true, he would've been a better teammate, became a more accurate passer and maybe have withstood the pressure better than he did...and oh yeah, might have attained a championship.

So just how much more improvement can you expect out of Revere than last year then?

Just go look at his minor league power numbers. He had a .358 SLG at AA/AAA in '10 and '11 with just 2 HRs in 578 ABs.

Last year it was .342.

His % BB was 6.5% His MLB career total is 5.6%.

This is some marginal room for improvement in his SLG pct if he can hit some more balls in the gap or down the line but not much.

Ditto his % BB. It might improve a bit but he is never going to be a guy that is even a guy who is league average in BBs.

Revere might have a year or two where he hits north of .300 especially if he has some luck on BABIP and can become even a bit of a better bunter.

I would say his max offensive season is .310/.350/.360 at the MLB level and this is his absolute ceiling.

Much more likely is that he never has an OPS that is higher than .700.

Why all the hate on Revere?

Sure, I'd love a Mike Trout, but if Revere can keep up a .300/.350/.350 line, what's not to like? In his 13 years, Jimmy has yet to break .350 OBP (although, 4 times he was at .340) and hasn't been setting the table like he did in his prime. Sure, he's getting older, but it's like Willie Mays Hayes hitting all those damn popups instead of getting on base for Pedro Cerrano.

If Revere can hit himself aboard (as he doesn't take walks) and steals 2nd base, then he's doing his job, plain and simple. We're replacing the production of Juan Pierre with ... well, a younger Juan Pierre, but with potential upside.

Iceman: hilarious. You can use my line about not posting dumb sh!t if you don't want to get called on it. I'll allow it.

Just food for thought, over his career, Juan Pierre has struck out exactly one more time than he has taken a base on balls, 451 to 452.

Only 27 strikeouts last season, something that Ryan Howard quickly surpassed in just 19 games.

Hitman: I didn't insult you. I simply was guessing as to the circumstances of what prompted the rosy comments from you and BAP today.

In fact, if you're doing some midday drinking, I'm quite envious of you.

TTI- if this site had taglines after posts (as some do), I feel ours would be exactly that.

Nothing more enjoyable than BL slap-fights.

MG- no one is confusing Revere with BJ Upton in terms of power. If you look at his numbers in the minors, there is certainly room for improvement relative to his skill set. I also think he has the potential to steal 50 bases.

The guy is 24 with under 1100 PA at this level. His legs aren't going away. If he can improve even just a little bit with average, OBP and up his steal numbers, he will be a very valuable piece for several years at a cheap price.

Howard says he doesn't buy into the "old age" thing, it's about how hard you work and how you feel on the inside?

I wonder if in the hallucination he's having, Steve Carlton is pitching and Schmidt is manning 3rd.

I can't wait until Revere replicates his 2008 single A numbers, and posts a .379/.433/.479 line this year.

Then you'll all see!!!

Asking Revere to give us a .350 OBP is just asking to be disappointed.

So Mike Trout is playing left field in Anaheim?

Seems like it could be a waste of his talent, but I guess they don't (or can't) move Hamilton out of right field, and they wouldn't dream of moving Bourjos out of CF.

Really takes away from his value, though he'll steal be crazy valuable if he bats around .330/.400/.590 again, with 40+ SB.

Bourjos is a better defender than Trout in CF. It makes sense if you are actually going to start Bourjos that you put him in CF.

Former Phillie Miguel Cairo is now a Special Assistant to the GM in Cincy.

Not too shabby.

NEPP, I get that. That line wasn't sarcasm. They wouldn't dare move Bourjos out of CF. I just wonder if Trout would be better utilized in RF.

Other than arm strength, is there any difference between the corner OFs? My only thought would be playing slices to the opposite is tough, and given there are more RHB, you'd want the better and more athletic defender in RF.

But I could be making that up.

I think Trout would be far superior to Hamilton in RF.

I thought you were talking Bourjos & Trout...sorry.

Honestly arm strength is pretty much the only difference between RF & LF...unless you play in a weird home park like Fenway where you basically need a guy with CF range in RF.

Good point about Fenway, NEPP. Explains why the Sox targeted Crawford two years ago...and then put him in LF...a position I could play.

That just shows how stupid the Sox are...and how weak Crawford's arm is.

If only managers paid as much attention to WAR as they do to saves, then Trout could go to Mike Scioscia and insist that he start in CF in order to maximize his WAR opportunities.

BAP, I get you hate WAR with a passion, and listen, that's cool.

But you do understand that a player is more valuable as he moves up the defensive spectrum, right? So, if you have a player that hits .300/.350/.450, he's more valuable playing a good defensive CF than a good defensive LF, for example.

And while I would love to see Trout put up another ridiculous WAR total this year, my question was more from a what's-the-best-on-field-appropriation-of-resources standpoint. If there's truly not a difference in playing LF vs. RF in terms of athletic ability/speed, then having Hamilton in RF and Trout in LF is fine (assuming Hamilton has a good arm).

One thing that doesnt makes sense is that Hamilton has never really played RF. He's only got 500 innings there in his career while he's got nearly 2000 innings in LF and the rest in CF.

NEPP, I've not watched many games in Anaheim, but is there something unique about their OF where they'd want to have Trout in LF, as he may be able to handle the space out there or the wall. I don't know.

No idea. Its a symmetrical ballpark so neither OF is bigger than the other. Trout has only played 130 innings in RF in his entire pro career so maybe he's not comfortable there for some reason. He's a natural CF.

Also, why aren't they just playing Trumbo in LF and benching Bourjos. His offense would more than make up for the defense lost.

Jared Weaver, Hanson, Mills, and, to a degree, Blanton have some fly ball tendencies (especially Weaver and Mills). Perhaps, they think they have enough offense already, and they figure the increase in defense is warranted to maximize their pitching.

I mean, as it stands, not much is going to fall in that OF this season.

Nevermind, I guess they're DHing him with Morales gone.

Good point. Forgot they traded Morales.

But they could be DH'ing Vernon Wells. He is set to make $21 M this year. He's probably REALLY good.

Fatalotti, NEPP: Hamilton has an excellent arm but average range. Trout has an average arm, but execellent range. Assuming both can play either corner, with those skill sets, putting Hamilton in RF and Trout in LF makes the most sense.

Bourjos has both an excellent arm and excellent range, but his bat isn't in the same area code as the other two. Thus his greatest value is in CF.

Ahh, the problems and headaches of having 3 natural CFs in your OF. Must be tough for Scioscia.

Thanks clout. That is definitely the best alignment for the three of them. They could probably slightly shift both Bourjos and Trout over towards Hamilton a bit, and just have Trout and Bourjos cover more than 2/3 of the OF, and still get good value out of Hamilton's arm, especially beyond this year, when Hamilton's range will start to erode.

Fat: It actually wasn't really a commentary on WAR. It was a commentary on saves, & how the statistic drives managerial decision-making in a way that no other stat does.

And, for the record, I don't hate WAR at all. I actually like it. I think it's a very nice all-around snapshot of a player's value. What I hate is when people use it as though it's some sort of perfect, formulaic representation of the number of wins that a particular player brings to his team. To me, WAR should be thought of as a points system -- kind of like QB rating. Used in that way, it's a very useful stat.

Fat: As for your question . . . obviously, a centerfielder with Trout's numbers is more valuable, in the abstract, than a corner outfielder with Trout's numbers. But from the Angels' standpoint (which is all that matters right now), he's more valuable moving over to LF, thereby making room for an even better defensive centerfielder.

It's kind of like A-Rod moving from SS to 3rd when he went to the Yankees. It decreased his WAR but his ability to make the positional switch actually INCREASED his value to the Yankees, who already had a shortstop.

From Rotoworld:

Athletics OF Michael Taylor is taking ground balls at first base this spring to increase his versatility.


BAP, I'm quite fine with Bourjos playing CF over Trout. Bourjos is a better CF.

I was just wondering Trout would be better utilized in RF, but per clout's response, that does not seem to be the case.

***Athletics OF Michael Taylor is taking ground balls at first base this spring to increase his versatility***

Will that improve his bat?

NEPP, unfortunately, it automatically makes his bat, where ever it may be at this point in time, less valuable. So if it wasn't good enough for him to stick before, he's got even farther to go.

It's not hate on Revere its just not realistic for a guy who has had below average patience his entire career and a guy with limited ability to drive the ball into the OF for a lot of hits to have a .350 OBP. That is not what Revere does or will do. This isn't a guy who is going to get bigger and stronger.

He's a slap hitter who is great at making contact but doesn't work counts or drive the ball.

"I can't wait until Revere replicates his 2008 single A numbers, and posts a .379/.433/.479 line this year."

Fata- I usually love the hyperbole, but please tell me you aren't dense enough to believe that's what I was saying.

Iceman, you don't love the hyperbole, at all.

I like that Howard was loose in this interview and confident in his abilities and in the health of his achilles.

I hope his reality in 2013 is worthy of this attitude. He has carried this team at times in the past and I would like nothing more than see him do it again.

"Athletics OF Michael Taylor is taking ground balls at first base this spring to increase his versatility."


I bet Revere hits 6 HR's this year....

"I bet Revere hits 6 HR's this year...."

I'll, ahem, cough, cough, ah, take the under on that.

MG: Revere dosn't walk, but it's not because he is impatient. Pitchers know he can't drive the ball, so they throw it right down the middle. They have a better chance of getting him out on a pitch down the middle that he might hit solidly to someone, than a pitch on the corner that he might hit weakly, and beat out. He has excellent contact rate, so why should they run up their pitch-count on him?

Good to hear that Dom Brown is in the best (mental) shape of his life.

Conway, I think your reasoning makes sense, but I don't think it completely aligns with the facts.

If you go to Fangraphs and sort last year's players by ISO (ascending), you'll find that, among qualified hitters, Revere had the lowest ISO in baseball, with a 5.2% BB rate.

But right below him you'll find these players:

Player: ISO/BB%
Carroll: .049/9.7
Furcal: .082/8.3
Weeks, Jermile: .083/9.8
Escobar: .091/5.8
Andrus: .092/8.0

As you keep moving down, you find plenty of players that have very low ISOs, and yet carry league average or better walk rates.

Also, if you have little power, but great contact skills, it works the other way if there are men on base, or if there are already two outs (and you are super fast). A pitcher might be less likely to throw you a strike, because he knows you'll hit a strike, and have a good chance of getting on base.

In short, Revere can, and ought to, improve his poor walk rates, despite his lack of power. It's not impossible, and in fact, it seems that quite a few players devoid of power do it.

By the way, Jamey Carrol had the exact same ISO as Revere, but nearly doubled his BB%.

For Carroll's career, he has a .067 ISO, but a 9.9% BB rate, even having 5 seasons where it was above 10% (2 above 12%).

It can be done.

Fatii, good post.

Murph tells us this morning

"Don't write off Domonic Brown"

@jaysonst: Jose Reyes says 2 days before he got traded had dinner with Jeffrey Loria & Loria told him to get a nice house in Miami. 2 days later: gone


Jeffrey Loria is a selfish POS sociopath who loves to buy millions of dollars of artwork but wont invest in his club.

Not surprised in the least that he did that.

Loria: Jose, I just want you to know that we are going to be trading you to the Blue Jays. Winter in Toronto sucks. You might want to buy a nice house here in Miami for the offseason.

Reyes: Thank you for trading me away from this horrible team Mr. Loria. And thanks for the real estate advice.

It could have happened that way. Who knows.

That would be a bit nicer.

"Chase Utley talks tomorrow"

I'm sure that'll be a rivetting conversation.

Conway Twitty - If you look at some of his numbers on FanGraphs and his hot zone last year at Fox Sports, that is not necessarily true.

Revere certainly wasn't a guy who killed fastballs last year but he did improve against them and has shown steadily improvement since '10. Big reason why I bet his numbers have notably improved since then.

Revere actually posted good AVG numbers everywhere in the zone except on the inner part of the plate too.

You can tell Seidman comes from a more public Philly forum with his McNabb comment. Regardless of the stupid arguments beerleaguer gets into, its never on the level of arguing a player's percieved 'fake' character in interviews and subconsiously using it to discredit the players on field achievements, like the majority of eagles fans do with mcnabb.

objective person: "mcnabb had 17 4th Q comeback wins in his career"

Seideman: "But he vomitted in the superbowl!"

17? Pfft.

John Elway had more than that in one season!!

lore, yeah, just like he talked about that 30+ game hitting streak when it happened. ;)

Twitty: "Revere dosn't walk, but it's not because he is impatient. Pitchers know he can't drive the ball, so they throw it right down the middle."

There's something to this theory. His walk rate in the minors was much higher.

BTW, Revere has no shot at hitting 6 HRs while playing at CBP due to shorter alleys and little foul OF territory. If he played in a stadium with deep power alleys and lots of foul territory he could hit 6-8 inside-the-park HRs.

clout, he'd hit a few at Coors.

And AT&T. Yikes...he could run wild there.

lorecore: Your post reminded me of the year that every WIP talk host and virtually every caller clamored for Kevin Kolb because he was gonna be a stud.

My last word on McNabb:

He's the best QB the Eagles have ever had, in my opinion. Yes, better than Jaws. And frankly, once you go too far back, there's no way to do real comparisons.

He lead the Eagles to their most sustained success in the franchise's history. And you need only look at our "success" since he left to see the difference.

He wasn't a perfect player and he made mistakes. But the idea that he wasn't a good teammate??? Laughable. That he wasn't genuine with the city or the media? Whatever.

Here's a guy who got booed by a bunch of mouth-breathing neanderthal "fans" the day he was drafted but didn't let it faze him.

Sorry to hijack the thread, but since McNabb was mentioned in the post, I guess we're not too OT.

And that's my last word on McNabb.

Fata: He might hit 10 in AT&T.

Common sense would mesh with the theory that a player with extremely low ISO would have a hard time walking, since the risk of throwing a strike is hardly worse than a walk.

10 players had ISO under .100 last year.

Player -------- BB%
Ben Revere 5.2%
Jamey Carroll 9.7%
Rafael Furcal 8.3%
Jemile Weeks 9.8%
Yunel Escobar 5.8%
Elvis Andrus 8.0%
Michael Young 5.1%
Alcides Escobar 4.2%
Marco Scutaro 5.9%
Alexei Ramirez 2.6%

Thats an average of 6.8 BB%, while the league average is 8.0% - so looks to be a correlation.

However, you will see that Revere is well below even that average @ 5.2% - so technically he should have room to improve even if he doesn't improve his insanely low ISO.

People tend to take the positional-scarcity concept into places where it shouldn't go. As BAP says, it's an important consideration when discussing a single player's value, but when you try to apply it to a particular team's situation involving multiple players you have to be careful. Unfortunately Fata falls into this trap here:

"But you do understand that a player is more valuable as he moves up the defensive spectrum, right? So, if you have a player that hits .300/.350/.450, he's more valuable playing a good defensive CF than a good defensive LF, for example."

The issue is that "more valuable" here only means that he'd be harder to replace. It doesn't mean that he would necessarily produce more runs for the team in CF than he would in LF alongside another equally skilled defensive CF. I think this is an important fallacy that people overlook when talking about, for example, Rollins and Galvis on the left side of the infield. Your goal is not to "maximize the value" of a particular player by putting him at the scarcer position, it's to maximize the overall runs saved by the defense.

fumphis: exactly. Just think if Bourjos played CF last year with Trout in CF - all of a sudden fangraphs isn't campaigning for the exact same player to win the MVP just becuase his coach made an informed decision on setting up his defense.

*actually, trout still could have led the league in WAR with his numbers as a LF, who knows*

fatal: just saw your iso/bb% post, if i paid attention i could have saved myself a few minutes before re-creating your work.

Ben Revere has exactly 0 HR in nearly 1000 career ABs. Which means that regardless of how fast he is, he has had 0 inside te park homers. I don't care what park he plays in, he is not going to be getting multiple inside the parkers anywhere.

You still have to have enough power to drive a ball into a gap or down the right field line. Apparently Ben doesn't have it. Sure he might luck into one eventually, but he ain't gonna be doing it on a regular basis even if he was playing in Yellowstone (tip of the hat to Major Leage).

Good posts about Revere. I was in the camp with Twitty thinking that he didn't walk a lot because of pitcher's not fearing him and throwing strikes down the middle to him. Fata's post proved otherwise, and without being a di8k about it. My favorite thing about BL. Someone gives an opinion, someone else explains why that opinion might be wrong, and with numbers to back it up.

On McNabb: Yes he was the Eagles best QB in history. He will be remembered for being the QB through the Eagles best times. The one season where he had a legit #1 WR he had his best year. However his inability to win a Super Bowl, coupled with his 1-4 record in NFC Championship games will be what a lot of people think of when they think of McNabb, fair or not. That, and throwing up in the Super Bowl ;)

Revere is a 40/40 guy if he plays in Petco.

fumphis: I'm pretty sure that Fat was talking about "value" in an abstract sense, though -- as opposed to value to the Angels. If there was any ambiguity, his subsequent posts cleared it up.

But there are definitely posters out there who sometimes confuse the concepts of value in the abstract and value to the team. For instance, back when there was talk about Utley moving to 3rd, I distinctly remember a line of posts which posited that Utley should play 3rd & Galvis 2nd, because Utley's bat could play at 3rd and Galvis's couldn't. I mean, it's the same flipping lineup either way! It doesn't get any better by moving all the hitters to the positions that are most suitable for their hitting skills.

From the Rotoworld feed on the right: "Delmon Young likely to begin season on DL"

Guess that ankle isn't doing so well.

Sil, someo of us think that might be a good thing.

Phillies acquired 3 offensive players this offseason. All have some of the lowest P/PA in the majors in 2012.

Delmon Young 3.41 (2nd lowest)
Michael Young 3.44 (4th lowest)
Ben Revere 3.61 (16th lowest)
Lg Avg 3.83
Phils as a team: 3.79

Yeah I just read about Young being behind schedule. Awesome. Ruf and Brown better be ready to answer the bell. There aren't any scrapheap OFs left are there?

@lorecore, good thing we don't value walks or approach on this baseball team. That's all overrated. How many P/PA did the '08 team see versus the '12 team? I'm curious but also too lazy to find it myself.

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