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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Comments

Steven Lerud had a nice afternoon.

Yuni Betencourt playing well isn't a positive sign?!

Brown is well below average on defense? Based on?

"Execs and scouts are telling me Brown looks noticeably better at the plate, and better able to drive the ball."

It'd be nice if experts like Mr. Law made some sourced observations that the rest of us non-experts aren't capable of making. Or else, you know, who needs him?

And the Cards just released Ronny Cedeno.

Can anyone answer this question ... Why did Cliff Lee pitch against minor-leaguers yesterday? We're still almost two weeks away from the season opener - are they afraid the Braves will figure something out about him? I mean the Braves know Cliff Lee very well by now after all these years so what does it matter if Lee pitches in a late-Spring Training game against them as opposed to him facing a bunch of AAA players who obviously didn't present any real challenge to him.

Betancourt will be a Cardinal in the next 24 hours.

I'll take your word for it, JW. Maybe they didn't play him today for that reason?

Bittel: Because if he named names, nobody would ever give him insider information again. Obviously, we have no way of knowing if the guys/gals he's quoting have any track record of excellence, but that's just the trade-off for receiving sports info that otherwise would remain behind closed doors.

I must be mistaken that Cedeno is a better SS than Yuni.

"Brown is well below average on defense? Based on?"

Wild guess here, but I'd say it's probably based on watching him play. But I could be way off base.

Eat it Atlanta bullpen!!

The Phillies have the most dominating BP in the land!

Mike Adams is the best 7th inning guy in the league. Then they have Papelbon setting things up in the 8th, so Chad "The Destroyer" Dubin can close it out in the 9th!!!

BOOM!!!!

Wes: You forget, we can even bring them in for a tie game, because Durbin can go three innings with his closer stuff.

lorecore: No, you're not mistaken. Cedeno is head and shoulders a better fielder than Yuni at SS. And every other position.

If Mitchell could hit HRs he might be a threat to Nix. But he can't.

"Brown is well below average on defense? Based on?"

If UZR/150 is any indication, he's dreadful but not nearly as bad in LF as in RF (based on much less time spent in LF.) Or, as someone else mentioned, you could watch him play. (I think he's getting serviceable but will never be great defensively.)

Lee pitched a minor league game yesterday because they did not want the Braves batters to get a look at him.

Questioning...: Teams often don't throw a starter late in spring training against a team they'll face early in the season.

from last thread:

KAS: kyle's looking like a #2 pitcher. what's his salary this year?

BTW, I doubt very much if Yuni goes to the Cardinals. They have a superior utility INF, Dan Descalso, already on the roster. Pete Kozma will start at SS until Furcal is healthy.

No place for Yuni, unless it's Memphis.

bullit: Kyle is in the final year of a 2-year contract. He'll make just $4.5M this year. Incentives could push his earnings to about $5M.

If he starts the season well, I'd hope the Phillies would approach him with some kind of an extension.

thanks KAS. if you saw kk's interview today you saw him smile, at the end, as broadly as i've seen. larud was very praisworthy of kk too.

***If he [Kendrick] starts the season well, I'd hope the Phillies would approach him with some kind of an extension.***

Just a few short years ago, I never thought I'd hear that sentence with regards to Kyle Kendrick. Just goes to show you how players can grow.

Hope the Phillies pitchers have long fuses. Gonna be a whole lot of 4-out innings.

KK has transformed himself from a fringy AAAA guy to a 3/4 starter in the past 6 years. Good for him. Most guys don't develop that 3rd pitch and make that leap. KK did. Good for him and good for the Phillies.

I remember back when the current extension was worked out, there weren't many people in my circle of Phillies fans who were enamored of the move. Mostly because they felt it was too expensive, but a few because they felt there were numerous better arms to be had (in retrospect, perhaps they were blinded by the "Four Aces" setup, and believed every starter should have a track record of sub-3.00 ERAs?).

However, it seemed to me like a pretty solid move at the time, even if only because of his general durability and willingness to be the yoyo guy who filled in for injured SPs. Some of that could have been nostalgia, though (remember when he had his WS ring stolen from his WA house?).

Of course, I also didn't dislike Blanton too much - though I like to think I acknowledged his faults as much as they deserved...

it seems like just yesterday that "his K/9 rate is too low to be a viable mlb pitcher" was de rigueur.

My point about Law was that, in passing along what "execs and scouts tell him" about how Brown looks at the plate and his ability to drive the ball, he offers no real insight. Anyone can see Brown looks better at the plate, and is driving the ball better. He's likely fully recovered from the hamate and gained confidence at the dish. In fact, I'd say there's very little surprising about what Brown's doing. He looks fully healthy, which is the main variable to consider, and if he stays that way he'll have a big year.

And yeah, he's not a good fielder. "Well below average" takes a bit of an argument, though. Maybe he made it, but I didn't see it.

Kyle Kendrick has a career ERA of 4.30. No doubt he has value, but let's not get carried away.

"If Mitchell could hit HRs he might be a threat to Nix. But he can't."

I don't think Mitchell is a threat to Nix on the roster at all.

But isn't he a threat to Ruf? Right now, the Phils are definitely carrying Revere, Brown, Mayberry, and Nix. I could see a scenario by which they decide Ruf's defense simply isn't adequate enough, and want him to play 50 straight games in LF at AAA, and keep Mitchell instead.

It's not what I would do, but it certainly is plausible, isn't it?

He's got a 3.61 ERA in the last two seasons...so he's peaking so to speak.

bittel: It's entirely possible that Law's article was intended for a national audience, not all of whom have followed Brown's ST exploits every day like we have. For them (99% of the population), passing on word from scouts that he looks great at the plate would actually be new information.

Just a thought.

NEPP: That 3rd pitch helped him rack up a 6.6 K/9 last seasons, well above his career average while maintaining a walk rate just above his career average and H/9 and HR/9 below career averages.

"Kyle Kendrick has a career ERA of 4.30. No doubt he has value, but let's not get carried away."


I hate comments like that, Mr. King, not because they are not true, but because they are devoid of any context.

JR King: A 4.30 ERA isn't horrendous for a 4/5 starter. In fact, that averages out to better than a QS/outing, and the only reason it's that high is because of his really bad 2008(!), when we just didn't have anything better than him available (which explains why he got 30 starts).

I also totally forgot that he came in 5th for RoY in 2007 - the only NL pitcher who got any votes.

Phillibuster: I'm not saying a 4.30 ERA is horrendous. Far from it.

Give him a bit of a mulligan for his age 23 season. Add in his durability and his 3.61 ERA over the past two seasons and you've got a commodity worth millions of dollars.

I'm just responding to the posters who mentioned "four aces." That's getting carried away.

I think I was the only one to mention "Four Aces," actually...

The first time sardonically (last article), and the second time to explain why I think some of the Phillies fans that I know didn't like the Kendrick extension back in 2011 (which is to say that the idea of our rotation in 2011 meant mislead them into believing that all starters should be expected to be CY winners/candidates).

"Most guys don't develop that 3rd pitch and make that leap. KK did. Good for him and good for the Phillies."

Rich Dubee takes a lot of heat in these circles, and he does come off as something of a pompous ass sometimes. But my impression is that he is actually a pretty decent pitching coach. I haven't been able to say that about too many of the Phillies' other skills coaches in recent years.

bay_area_phan: And if Domonic Brown comes close to realizing his potential because of what Wally Joyner did... I'll nominate him for the wall of fame!

Similar pitchers through age

1. Joe Blanton Well, that's pretty good. And it's cool that there's a former Phillie at the top of this list. I wonder if there are any other former Phils on here?

2. Ricky Nolasco
3. Todd Stottlemyre
4. Johnny Marcum
5. Adam Eaton Nooooooooooo!

BAP: Regardless of anything else you say about Dubee, it does seem like he teaches at least one spectacular pitch.

Whether it's KK, Doc, Hamels, Madson, Worley (indirectly), or - apparently - Lannan, it seems like the guys under his tutelage develop some nasty changeups, and carry that with them their whole careers.

Tired of people ripping his defense like he is running around on his hands. His D isn't "well below average".

Stick him in RF and leave him there. Why waste the arm in LF

Corn: Because Delmon Young needs to play RF, remember?

That reminds me... (evil) LATimes columnist TJ Simers had something of a mini-stroke the other day... but once out of danger he was able to joke about it:

As I lay there contemplating life, I thought about the last question I might have asked as a journalist.

"Is Joe Blanton a part of your rotation?" I asked Angels Manager Mike Scioscia.

"Yes," said Scioscia.

I contemplated the last thing I might have said as a journalist: "I thought you were trying to win this season."

Dubee is supposed to be great at teaching changeups...and KK has developed a solid one.

Not sure what to make of KK. I thought he was going to have a breakout year last year, spend most of the year in the rotation, and win 12 games (my spring prediction).

He did pitch very well after the ASB but he was a huge turd in the rotation in the 1st half when he replaced Halladay.

Like KK and what he brings to the team but expecting him to delever 12-13 wins behind a shaky defense & an average offense is asking a bit much.

Dom Brown is simply a guy who struggles at reading the ball off the bat and takes some really bad routes.

I am hoping that since he finally looks healthy that his overall range & athletic ability help him largel overcome that to make him close to average OF this year.

KK is a very strange example of a major league pitcher. Recall he wasn't heralded in the slightest when he was pulled out of a hat and thrown into the majors at 22. He succeeded, in his own limited way, through luck mostly (3.6 K/9 in '07). He stuck around, because he's never been terrible.

Somewhere along the way he's learned to be a real, live major league starter. Good on him.

Salisbury suggests Lerud is in the running for the backup catcher position behind Kratz to start the season.

Lerud, Quintero . . . I don't really see any difference. If you get even a single hit out of either one of these guys in the first 25 games, he has exceeded expectations.

Halladay is the only thing I really care about this spring. Defensively this just isn't going to be a good team but that was a given after the offseason moves they made.

Phils need a healthy and relatively productive Halladay out of the gate this year to be a strong contender for a playoff spot.

Can't afford 2-3 months of washed up scrubs (Cook, Lopez) or marginal MLB starters (Cloyd) starting games for them. Might be north of .500 but won't be a playoff team. Offense and bullpen aren't strong enough to compensate for it.

I greatly appreciated JR King and Mick O's last posts, thanks guys

Kozma is a .236 lifetime hitter in the minors with 100 career ABs at the MLB level. I don't think Mozeliak is OK with having him being the everyday SS on a team that plans on contending this season.

I think the prospect that anyone would be interested in Yuni to get anything close to full-time reps is ridiculous, which is why I can't envision a trade. But I can't imagine the trade won't happen because St. Louis feels they are set at the position. Descalso will probably be their 2B unless they roll with Matt Carpenter (which would be another huge gamble). There just aren't enough realiable middle IF on the team and Yuni is a, cough, reliable veteran.

While I agree with MG's overall point, I don't think the bullpen deserves a shot. They look to be pretty good with Adams being added.

"Halladay is the only thing I really care about this spring."

What happened to 'Adams Watch' and PAPCON?

Interesting discussion on what matters and what doesn't during spring training over the past two threads, and I am sorry to jump into the fray a little bit after the fact.

Stats are sort of meaningless in spring training. There are a ton of variables like: who did the face, what was the pitcher trying to do, etc. However, what is worth noticing is if guys in spring seem to be patching up holes in their game. Case in point- Dom Brown this spring is showing some of the power that scouts originally thought he had. That isn't the story necessarily though. What is the story is the approach he is taking at the plate which is leading to those better at bats. He is turning on inside fastballs which he never did well in the majors. He is slapping things the other way.

So the stats don't tell you anything, but the approach he is taking does. Just have to hope he carries that over into the season.

MG, I don't care about what the pitchers actual W-L record is as much as I care what teh team's record is in games that pitcher starts.

Also, if a SP pitches fairly well, a crappy team can do well even if their offense and defense aren't very good. Caveat: If the team is really horrendous (100+ losses) then all bets seem to be off.

Just take a look at the Nats' record when Lannan was on the hill:


Year: __JL's ERA___JL's Starts___Team record/season

2007: ____4.15 _____ 3 - 3 ______ 73 - 89

2008: ____3.91 _____ 9 - 22 _____ 59 - 102

2009: ____3.88 ____ 13 - 20 _____ 59 - 103

2010: ____4.65 ____ 14 - 11 _____ 69 - 93

2011: ____3.70 ____ 17 - 16 _____ 80 - 81


The Nats were soooo bad in '08 and '09 that even though Lannan pitched fairly well, it didn't really matter. In the other seasons when they took the field with a little bit better team, the results were different, even in 2010 when he didn't pitch as well.

Iceman - Adams has pitched well and his velocity has been pretty good from the reports I saw. The only question with him yet is when he pitches on consecutive days which the Phils almost certainly won't do until the regular season.

PAPCON only reached a 4 and I haven't see any reports on his velocity. I wasn't concerned about him getting him hard the first 2 time out - only his velocity on his fastball and if he subsequently whether he started using more and more of his splitter.

KK's true value will be his mentoring of a struggling Doc.

A few observations today that no one mentioned.
a) The totally hot ballgirl in Right who let 2 balls go between her legs.
b) The totally clueless ballgirl in Left who didn't move from her chair as one foul ball went by, and then stayed in her chair and nearly got bowled over by the Yanks LF going after a foul pop.
c) A clip of Delmon running(poorly) in the OF, and Sarge telling everyone what a power hitter he will be when he is 100%.

Now that many teams have two hitting coaches, could two pitching coaches be far behind?

rolo: congrats on finding an even more awful way to measure a pitcher, his team's W-L record compared to their W-L record when he's on the mound.

Just because Lannan wasn't as bad as Scott Olsen doesn't give him any more credit then what his own numbers were.

Haven't seen much of Chooch in the past several games.
Have they shut him down to save wear and tear, since he can't play the first 25 games; or is something else going on?

I find it funny that people want Dom in LF because he is a bad fielder but at the same time Young will be playing RF, a position he has never played while being a very bad fielder.

Just doesn't make sense to me then again alot of things that this team does/done doesn't

I'm holding out a shred of hope that the Phils can dump Nix off on the Yankees and go with an OF of Ruf/Mayberry, Revere, Brown and the Rule 5 kid.

Don't really care what happens with Yuni. If they can spin him to the Cardinals for something, great. If not, stashing Galvis in Lehigh Valley for the start of the season and paying Yuni peanuts isn't a horrible idea. For gods sake, what kind of production are you looking to get out of a backup middle infielder?

My question: what Bubba asked.

lore, here's what I don't understand about your answer: It's counterintuitive.

Sure, use all the newfangled stats you want, FIP or whatever. I like a lot of them and use them here.


But your answer is still counterintuitive.

Think about it for a while and maybe you'll get it.

If you cannot, I'll explain it to you on the morrow.

"I find it funny that people want Dom in LF because he is a bad fielder but at the same time Young will be playing RF, a position he has never played while being a very bad fielder.

Just doesn't make sense to me then again alot of things that this team does/done doesn't."


Corn, no offense, but that post is vacuously stupid. STUPID.

It's stupid because your arguing against a position that no one, NO ONE, here has EVER taken: That is, that he wants Delmon Young in RF. NO ONE has ever posted that. No one.

We want Dom in LF because there are better guys to man RF - Mayberry and Nix are both better fielders than is he at this point in time. We all hope that will change.

But your post is stupid because it assumes the same people who want Dom in LF want DYoung in RF.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

AAMOF, some of us don't even want him on the team.

I think Dom is getting ST playing time in RF in the hope that Ruf can play LF.
The jury is still out on that.

Ha! good ones, conway. i was going to make the same joke about kk teaching doc how to pitch to contact.

Young hasn't 'never' played RF. He has almost 1400 major league innings at the position.

Aside of that, I'm not sure there's anyone on BL that wants Young in RF, let alone any part of the OF. Personally I'd like Dom in RF because of his arm. I think most here feel similarly.

Anyone at all want to at least see how DY does before shitting all over him? I think he can easily be a 2.5 WAR player as long as the weight loss and healed ankle allow him to play average defense. With his pedigree, entering the prime year of his career, and re-dedication to conditioning I think he deserves a chance.

i do.

"Anyone at all want to at least see how DY does before shitting all over him? "

Huh. You must be new here.

the anti-dyoung harangue on here has been excessive. as far as i'm concerned, he's a philly, therefore he's my guy. i will root for him to succeed.

philly=phillie

"I think he can easily be a 2.5 WAR player as long as the weight loss and healed ankle allow him to play average defense."

2.5 might be a suitable over/under if we were making bets on how many times Delmon Young will get arrested during the 2013 season. But it sure as hell isn't a suitable over/under for his 2013 WAR.

I think Brown's glove will be fine after a few months of regular play at a regular position in the majors. The initial tracking of fly balls in major league stadiums is a little different than in any other playing facility due to the higher stands. Bryce Harper getting bad jumps and taking bad routes early last season and I attribute it to the same thing. It takes a little longer for the ball to hit the sky and I think that throws new big league outfielders off initially.

limoguy: Sandberg's pitching coach from LV is the new bullpen coach, so we already have 2 pitching coaches. Billmeyer has moved to the bench, where he doesn't need binoculars.

Face it, defense will not be the 2013 Phillies long suit.

"the anti-dyoung harangue on here has been excessive."

It's the perfect storm of the normal "we shouldn't have signed that guy" sentiment from a certain group of fans/commenters that say it almost every time an acquisition is made, and the fact that Young is pretty much as bad as these same people claim most acquisitions are (John Lannan comes to mind). Broken clocks, etc. etc.

It reminds me of something the immortal Phlipper said (I think it was him) sometime last year when the team was bottoming out and the negativity here was at an all-time high. The team was finally as bad as many here claimed it had been for years, and they were bound to be right eventually. These same people are probably right about Young (though nobody is right about him being guaranteed a starting job).

There's also the obvious point that Young is being piled on because of his arrest last year, as it allows people to use that incident as an indictment on him as a person, which is icing on the cake of his failures as a player (as if the two have anything to do with each other).

I don't know what he said to get arrested. I'm sure it was bad. I also don't particularly care in the context of rooting for the Phillies. I care that he is a lousy player, I care that Manuel doesn't start him in RF, and that's about the extent of it.

i'd be happy if all he did is DH in inter-league games.

"2.5 might be a suitable over/under if we were making bets on how many times Delmon Young will get arrested during the 2013 season."

I nominate this to replace "Alternative Viewpoints on the Philadelphia Phillies" on the header.

For Nik:

The HIGHEST fWAR that Delmon Young has posted in his career is 1.7, and that was in 2010. Beside that year, he's posted 0.9, 0.4, 0.0, -0.6, -0.7 and -0.9 fWAR seasons.

Given his career averages, if Young were to get 500 PA this year (unlikely as it is), you want to know how much WAR we should expect out of him?

0.1

Delmon Young is a crappy, crappy baseball player. I don't want him on the Phillies. He does seem to have one good skill, and that's an ability to hit LHP, but on a National League team, where he has to play the field, he probably cancels out that skill due to his atrocious fielding. If he has any future in this league, it's in a platoon role as a DH on an AL team.

And if a platoon DH is your calling card, then that means you're a sucky baseball player.

rolo: "I don't understand your answer"

Thats beause I didn't give an answer, i just told you that your opinion of "I don't care about what the pitchers actual W-L record is as much as I care what teh team's record is in games that pitcher starts" is awful.

You take a poor metric(W-L) and make it even worse by including events that happen after the starter is pulled. I ignored it the first ~5 times you've posted it over the last few months, but eventually someone needed to tell you to stop for your own good.

Happy Clout Day, all!

What are you doing to celebrate? Me, I'm going to look at everyone's ST stats, because they now have relevance.

Hope it's a great one.

My apologies..he played RF back in 2007 and hasn't since.

@Rolo when I said people I should have been more specific and used "the phillies", as in management and such.

"We want Dom in LF because there are better guys to man RF - Mayberry and Nix are both better fielders than is he at this point in time. We all hope that will change."

Will JMJ or Nix be starting in RF ( at least when Young is healthy )?

Between Young, Nix, Mayberry & Brown. Brown has the most innings in RF in this decade. While JMJ, Young & Nix have primarily been LFs.

Like I said above, my fear is the phils will plant Brown in LF because of Young.
I agree with jtj06, give him one position and have him stay there. Hopefully it is RF.

Prediction: Dom Brown will be our starting RF this year.

Delmon Young will not.

NEPP: Agreed. I read somewhere that Delmon just recently "ran on flat surface" for the first time since being injured. Not exactly a ringing endorsement of how close he is to returning to starting in the mlb.

The best part of Brown's spring isn't that it necessarily portends a great regular season, just that it virtually guarantees he will have a starting OF spot, which is a necessity for this team and his development.

Robert Morris beating Kentucky in the 1st round of the NIT is kind of like the WBC. Robert Morris players was playing in the biggest game of their entire lives, while Kentucky just didnt want to get hurt while playing.

Iceman: This is why I love Beerleaguer. I get to debate the Cardinals middle INF situation.

Kozma is indeed a .239 minor league hitter. He's also an .878 OPS MLB hitter (albeit in just 104 PAs.)

I don't think the Cards are under the delusion he can keep that up, but he does have a plus plus glove and they get to see how long the mirage lasts. Even if he hits .250 he's the starter because of his glove.

Matt Carpenter will be the starter at 2B, with Descalso as backup at 2-S-3. I doubt they'll carry two UT INF, but they may want to stash someone like Yuni in Memphis to cover a future injury. I'm not sure who's been assigned to Memphis so don't know their depth there.

"There's also the obvious point that Young is being piled on because of his arrest last year, as it allows people to use that incident as an indictment on him as a person, which is icing on the cake of his failures as a player."

It's true. Every time I find myself debating the Delmon Young signing, and I've run out of things to say about why he sucks as a ball player, I just think of him shouting anti-semitic remarks and suddenly I have a whole new set of reasons for not wanting him on the team. If you're anti-Delmon Young, that incident is like the gift that keeps on giving.

The funny thing is that if the Cards were to get Betancourt, it would inevitably work out for them. They pretty much always seem to have those little moves work for them.

Yeah, unlike Milton Bradley, who was gracious enough to gift us with a couple 4+ WAR seasons to go with his heaping does of crazy, Delmon Young possesses the rate attribute in a professional athlete of being both a total asshat and being absolutely putrid.

It's rare combination because you generally have to be halfway decent to at least let the public forget, if for even a fleeting moment, that you're a total asshat.

Delmon Young spits on your tradition.

A little optimism:

- Howard looks healthy. Utley looks healthy for the first time in three years.

- A lineup of Nix, Brown, and the rest of the regulars is actually pretty good against right handed pitching. Play JMJ against lefties and maybe have Ruf spell Howard at 1B.

- The bullpen looks great. The most surprising news from Clearwater is a healthy Mike Adams looking downright unhittable.

- Hamels, Lee, and two durable league average starters.

Looks like these Phils could be pretty darn good if ....

if ...

if ...

if Halladay, Howard, and Utley are healthy.

If Halladay sees his shadow on Clout Day, does that mean 6 more weeks of diminished velocity?

If taking an analogy test, this would be a good question. What player is to the Phillies as Michael Vick is to the Eagles. Answer: Delmon Young.

Ok, maybe not a perfect analogy but it works for me.

Ryan Jackson was the starting shortstop for Memphis last year. Before being promoted, Kozma played 2B when Jackson was in the lineup. Jackson's put up better offensive numbers than Kozma throughout the minors and fields the position well. He's more likely to be a long-term answer than Kozma, but he struggled mightily at the plate in a brief call-up last year and this spring. He needs a bit more time in AAA.

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