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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

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RIP Roy. Thanks for the memories.

Reposted from the last thread on the topic of whether to judge a trade in hindsight or at the time it was made . . .

Fat/Iceman: The counter-argument, though, is that GMs are ultimately judged based on the win-loss record of their teams. They aren't judged based on how good their moves looked in the off-season.

Obviously, sometimes things happen that are completely unforeseeable, and it's kind of harsh to blame a GM when that happens. But, 3 years after the fact, I think you can objectively say that a trade was a bad trade without passing judgment on the GM who made the trade.

"The plan is for Halladay to throw between 90 and 100 pitches."

So they only plan to give him 2 innings of work tomorrow?

Doc will be 91-92 and will through 8 no-hit innings where he strikes out 17.

Bank on it.

He will also throw 8 no-hit innings...

BAP, you are, of course, correct.

But those are different questions.

Question 1) Was it a good trade to make?
Question 2) Did the trade work out for the team?

You can answer in the affirmative to question 1, while answering in the negative to question 2, and vice versa. Or both answers can be the same.

Either way, they are still separate questions.

I use the Pence trade as an example. It was not a good trade to make, in my opinion, based on the value the prospects had at the time we gave them up, our need for Pence, and the value that Pence legitimately held at the time. Phils overpaid.

That doesn't change the fact that (and I'm going to ignore 2012 for the sake of this point) he put up a slash line of .324/.394/.560 (160 wRC+) when he came here, while compiling 2.6 fWAR in only 236 PA (a pretty outrageous 7.71 fWAR over 700 PA).

Fact is, in 2011 RAJ made a trade he shouldn't have made, but that doesn't change the fact that Pence played like Ryan freaking Braun for the remainder of the year.

Of course, those of us who were against that trade were vindicated in 2012 (much to our dismay, as it coincided with an abysmal season for the Phillies).

From a couple of minutes before this new thread went up:

Going back to some comments earlier in the thread about Bryce Harper,I was perusing Sports Illustrated's pre-season baseball issue. To put it mildly, no comfort there for the Phillies.

Bryce Harper was picked as LF on the pre-season all star team (from both leagues). Just to put it in perspective, Mike Trout didn't make the cut. Harper's first season "put him in a class with greats such as Ott, Cobb, and Mantle".

To add on to last thread's comments, they had gloomy predictions for Halladay. Phils ceiling is wild card if everything breaks just right. And to rub some salt in the wound, the Giants don't miss a beat, predicted to win the NL West with the potential to win their third WFC in four years if Lincecum pulls it back together. Phils could be on a path if not careful to "end up as the Astros".

I've been mostly lurking here since last season but following BL pretty closely. I know SI doesn't have much cred on this blog, but truth to tell, this isn't far off from some of what I've been reading here.

Rhetorical questions really, but with the incredible budget of the Phils, how did the Nationals roar past us so definitively, so fast? How did the Phils find themselves in such a potential dead end so quick after the 2011 juggernaut? And how do the Braves somehow, stay so good, so consistently, without the unlimited budget?

I'd like to see a fast transition to a wiley, crafty veteran for Roy. Maybe flip off an Eephus pitch instead of the HP umpire.

JA Happ just signed a contract extension for 2 years $8.9 million. He's now being paid better than Kyle Kendrick.

Fat: I don't think we disagree. The question of whether a trade was a good idea is not the same as the question of whether it worked out.

***Harper's first season "put him in a class with greats such as Ott, Cobb, and Mantle"***

Trout had the greatest Age 20 season in the history of baseball as a rookie. Literally, the greatest Age 20 season in baseball history.

That's a tall order for Harper to match.

****Rhetorical questions really, but with the incredible budget of the Phils, how did the Nationals roar past us so definitively, so fast***

Crappy seasons lead to great drafting slots...kinda like how we got Rollins, Utley, Hamels, Burrell within a 5 year period via drafts. THey hit gold on several top picks.

As highly as I think of Alex Anthropoulos, this is not a good extension. Happ is a dime a dozen starter. No reason to guarantee him money for two straight years.

Terrible deal for Happ...zero reason to guarantee that type of money.

I'm still stunned that Happ won that last rotation spot over Rickey Romero, who got demoted all the way to Single A. Talk about a fast fall.

Romero got demoted A ball??

Really??

They're sending him there to work on stuff...and its A ball because its March and the other options would be freezing. Same with us having guys rehab in Clearwater.

No big deal.

Keep reading that Anthopoulos is such a genius GM but then you keep seeing moves like signing JA Happ to a 2 yr/$9M deal.

Wells trade was one of the best moves by a baseball GM of the past 25 years and maybe more but he's made his share of head scratchers and haven't won much.

It's put up or shut-up time I guess in Year 4 of his tenure there. AL East title or bust.

NEPP: Yeah, I figured there must be an explanation for why it was A ball. But the demotion to the minors is fairly stunning in and of itself.

He's got a 6.9 BB/9 ratio this Spring along with a sparkling 2.077 WHIP.

Time to figure things out in the minors.

Romero's demotion wasn't that surprising. He was horrible in the 2nd half last year and again in spring training this year. 10 BBs/8 Ks in 13 IP (5 GS) and had real trouble just throwing strikes this spring.

He is all kinds of messed up and allowing him to work on his mechanics/delivery is absolutely the right move.

Yeah, to echo BAP, I'm just surprised they demoted him at all, especially in favor of Happ.

Also MG, AA made some really good deals in getting Bautista locked up at a really reasonable rate, getting Encarnacion was a good deal in my opinion, and obviously unloading Wells was Herculean.

I also like the all-in move this offseason. The AL East is wide open, and the Blue Jays have more than a puncher's chance now.

Romero strike percentage this spring - 59.7% (71 strikes/119 pitches)

Not going to cut it at the MLB level especially for a starter.

I liked the move to go all in and AA looks eve smarter now since the Yanks are even more short-handed to start the year.

He's made more good moves than bad ones certainly but a lot of his good press really seems to stem for the Wells deal.

Turned around and gave Napioli away for nothing (~ 8 WAR player the last 2 years) to the Rangers. Rasmus trade hasn't panned out yet and the fans started to get on Rasmus last year. Hill-Johnson move was a real bust last year.

Overall his FA signings have been pretty mediocre. Basically set himself up to make those big deals and now needs to hope they pan out this year or next year.

It doesnt help that Rasmus is pretty much a giant douche by all accounts and that his father is essentially the baseball version of Carl Lindros.

MG, good points.

On the Napoli deal, I think it's pertinent to point out that Napoli's 2011 season is about as flukey as they come. His career outside of that season pretty much paints him as a slightly above average player. 2011 paints him as a top 5-10 player, MVP candidate.

So when a team sends a player down as such, to "work on his mechanics" or what have you, do they send a guy down with him to supervise? Especially if they have big league money invested in the player, it just seems like something you might not want the A-ball staff to handle exclusively.

I think AA is as good as there is in baseball as far as GMs go. That being said, the Happ thing makes no sense at all.

Did Happ really kick up that much of a fuss that he forced AA's hand like this? His eye for talent is pretty sharp. I don't know what he saw in Happ to think he's worth that kind of money.

Come on Doc, and have a 6 inning shutout going tomorrow when you leave the game.
Don't care about velocity, just 18 vintage outs with maybe a base runner or two mixed in, just to leave room for improvement.
Prove all us worry worts wrong.

Ditto, Bubba.

Yes, GM's get praised and lambasted for the trades they make, or sometimes do not make.

In the Pence trade, it was a deal RAJ thought he HAD to make, given the team's need at the time. Fata~ You say he overpaid, based whom he gave up. But how do any of us know that RAJ could've have gotten Pence for less? We don't.

Now, in hind-sight, we can say that yes it was a massive overpay because Pence is no longer here (neither is Schierholtz), and the guy that is penciled in to replace him is Delmon Young, who's noted for being a poor outfielder. And that's how you have to judge it.

Yes many trades are lop-sided in terms of how they turn out. But when they're made, no one has any idea of how they'll turn out. Sometimes they can't be judged for years (Fergie Jenkins and Ryne Sandberg are cases in point). Lou Brock is for Ernie Brolio is another one. John Quinn got killed by the media when he dealt Wise for Carlton. Wise was the Phils' best pitcher. Look how that one turned out.

Point is, if Pence were to have remained here, and helped lead this team to the WS instead of the Giants, would whom we gave up even matter? I don't believe RAJ was pressured into making that deal, but probably felt it was the best option then. If he somehow knew he wasn't going to keep him, then yes he shouldn't have made the deal.

DPatrone - You have a really valid point about how the Pence trade is viewed. If the Phils had won the WS in '11 and Pence had a big postseason Amaro would have been viewed as a genius.

Sadly, I think we are going to find out tomorrow that Halladay, Dubee, and the Phils FO have been lying now for 3 weeks and that Halladay is hurt.

Just a question of how badly and if it forces the Phils' hand to put him on the DL to start the year.

Even if Halladay labors through his start tomorrow but is able to get through his 4 IP-5 IP, I don't see the Phils putting him on the DL.

"Yes, GM's get praised and lambasted for the trades they make, or sometimes do not make."


Yes, and GM's get praised and lambasted by DPat for the signings they make, or sometimes do not make. :)

MG, I'm not sure Halladay is hurt. If he's hurt, I'm not real worried. He could bounce back from that.

If he's in rapid decline, I'm worried.

I should add that by being "hurt" I mean not to the extent that it will require surgery and he'll miss the season.

awh - This is complete and utter speculation but I bet Halladay skipped having surgery this offseason that would have cost him a decent chunk of the season because it is a walk year for him & the Phils wanted him to try to get through this year.

Hope I am wrong but I am not suspecting Halladay to suddenly look good tomorrow. Best case scenario would be is able to go throw 5 IP throwing less than 80 pitches, uses his changeup, is at least at 87-88 on the gun consistently, and has adequate command on his sinker/cutter.

This whole Doc thing is an ever tightening knot in my stomach.

Every time a reliable #4 starter with a 90ish ERA+ signs a deal for $5M-$7M annually, people blast the overpay for a fungible, dime-a-dozen starter. Isn't that the market value for that kind of pitcher?

A glance at MLBTR's free-agent tracker shows that Scott Baker, Joe Blanton, Kevin Correia, Scott Feldman, Jeremy Guthrie, Brett Myers, Mike Pelfrey, and Joe Saunders received similar deals or better. Why is a $5M extension with a $6M club option a terrible deal for J.A. Happ?

At what point tomorrow do people go..oh crap. ?

probably around 1:30 EST.

No one has commented on the header notes that the Phils value according to Forbes has gone up $170MM this year. Also they are CURRENTLY negotiating a new TV contract.
Where can I find a printable season schedule including all TV coverage.
THANKS in advance.

"Harper's first season put him in a class with greats such as Ott, Cobb, and Mantle"

This may be the most ridiculous thing ever written about a player.

He had a good season. Not a great season, but a good season.

I know that the media and the internet fans love to fangirl over him because he's 19, but his age is completely irrelevant aside from the fact that it affords him a greater opportunity to accumulate stats than, say, a player who makes his debut at 22 or 25.

I don't care how old he is. If he can duplicate his 2012 performance for the next six seasons, I'll say he's a worthy comparison to Jason Bay in his prime. Ott? Cobb? Mantle? Give me a f'ing break! You're embarrassing yourself.

DH: Happ has an 84 ERA+ since 2010 and a 77 ERA+ the past two seasons. He has been trending downward significantly since his rookie year.

The market for mediocre starting pitching was ridiculous this off-season, but Happ isn't even in a mediocre class. He's been flat-out bad for a while now.

Although in Happ's defense, last year his K/9 & groundball rate went up significantly, and his SIERA & xFIP were both under 4. Along with a BABIP spike, his results don't necessarily reflect his performance- it actually looks like he pitched OK last year. He also had a 4 ERA after the ASB.

I still think it was an unnecessary move, but there's at least some reason to believe that Happ took a step forward last year from his disastrous 2011 (-1.9 bWAR).

@MG Halladay skipped off season surgery on what? Elbow? Shoulder? Back? Why would he/Phillies do that? I get that nearly everyone thinks something is wrong, but that makes no sense if you say both he and the team knew/know something.

Having said all of this, if he really usn't hurt or has some chronic medical condition, the decline will be looked at as breathtakingly quick.

Pblunts: you're right, it makes no logical sense for numerous reasons. Thus, MG will defend it to the death.

Happ's not being paid a market rate. He's being overpaid based on his track record. It was an unnecessary move for Toronto. It's not going to hamstring them, but it was likely wrongheaded.

"awh - This is complete and utter speculation but I bet Halladay skipped having surgery this offseason that would have cost him a decent chunk of the season because it is a walk year for him & the Phils wanted him to try to get through this year."


MG, didn't they say that he had an MRI on his shoulder last season and that there was "normal fraying" on his labrum?

You're right, it's speculation, but I wouldn't be surprised if your right. there was specualtion about it last Spring.

It can't be enough that Halladay may be hurt or just that he is scuffling in changing his pitching style. No, he has to be a guy who avoided off-season surgery and the Phillies asked him to do that because they wanted him to get through this year.

Am I the only one that would watch a show on MG's life? I imagine his room is filled with bulletin boards that have newspaper clippings pinned to them and he is highlighting quotes from Dubee or Manuel on players so he can connect pieces.

TTI, no one is saying he IS hurt.

I'll let MG speak for himself, but what I posted is that "...I wouldn't be surprised...".

On Happ vs. Romero:

Romero, despite his potetial, isn't throwing strikes.

awh- it's one thing to think he's hurt. It's another to think the Phils know he's hurt and needs surgery, yet tell him to stick around this year to get killed and sink the team. It makes no sense at all.

awh: What Iceman said

Am I the only one that would watch a show on MG's life? I imagine his room is filled with bulletin boards that have newspaper clippings pinned to them and he is highlighting quotes from Dubee or Manuel on players so he can connect pieces.

MG's house:
MG's House

http://www.digitalmediatree.com/library/image/12/beautiful_mind_3.JPG

The entire bulletin board on the left there is 'connecting the dots' on Dubee's irrational hatred of Aumont.

"awh- it's one thing to think he's hurt. It's another to think the Phils know he's hurt and needs surgery, yet tell him to stick around this year to get killed and sink the team. It makes no sense at all."


Iceman, a couple of years ago Hamels pitched through bone chips in his elbow which he had cleaned up AFTER the season. He pitched through it, and through the discomfort because 1) it was determined that continuing to pitch would cause no further damage, and 2) the "Hello Kitty" Hamels many here (myself included) joked about a couple of years back simply doesn't exist. Rather, he's tough, ballsy and will pitch through pain.

Do you think it's within the realm of possibility that Halladay has something wrong with his shoulder that surgery would help, but the medical diagnosis is that he'll cause no further damage if he tries to pitch through it?

So, again, because you don't seem to have grasped my point: I did not post that I thought he IS injured to that point. I did post that I would not be SURPRISED to find out that he is.

The reason Halladay wouldn't have had surgery is because it would have been a procedure that would have cost him a decent chunk and he/Phils thought he could deal with it through conditioning and strengthening certain areas. Happens all the time. Happened with Blanton who avoided elbow surgery by rehabbing and strengthening his arm.

As it what it is, it very well might be a bulging or disintegrated disc in his lower back. Phils disclosed this spring for the first time that it was the source of his injury issues last year. Not uncommon at all that a bad back caused him to alter his delivery and placed additional stress on his shoulder which resulted in his lat muscle injury last year.

No fixing a bad disc but most times you can treat it with conditioning, stretching, and chiropractor which enables normal activities just fine. Just not an activity like pitching which places a ton of stress on the elbow, shoulder, and even more so if a pitchers mechanics and delivery are flawed.

MG, good point. It might be his back and not his shoulder.

Hence, that's why he did all the work inthe offseason on strengthening his "core".

MG- you are talking to someone who has DDD and recently had fusion to his lower back. It took over 3 years to get to get a surgeon to finally say that surgery was the best viable option, after chiropractics, PT, injections, a cocktail of meds, etc.

I do agree with you that if he's got real back problems, it explains a ton- maybe even all of what we're seeing. But there is no way that Halladay "skipped" having surgery on his back after 6 months of problems. It's a measure of last resort. It would make a lot more sense for him to get a series of injections or nerve blocks to alleviate the problem over the course of a long season. I'd think that would help at least a little bit (they did for me for a few months).

Will S: "his age is completely irrelevant aside from the fact that it affords him a greater opportunity to accumulate stats than, say, a player who makes his debut at 22 or 25."

Your opinion conflicts with basically every single baseball mind in the industry, and basically common sense. Age is incredibly important when evaluating a players' skill level. Theres a reason why the list of teenagers having success in the majors is miniscule and theres a reason why that list correlates to players with great careers.

Over the past few years on this blog, your baseball insight has been strictly "if a player hasn't done it yet, then I don't think they will". Thats the most worthless opinion you can have - strictly wait for things to happen and then decide afterwards how you feel. What a useless viewpoint to have.

If Doc doesn't look right then they better be prepared to give him more work before giving him a major league start. I know April is important but without the long term health and effectiveness of Doc nothing is going to really matter.

awh: You are not grasping what I am saying and you and MG are ass-u-ming things that are kinda ridiculous.

Yes it is possible that Halladay is injured. I never debated that. What I do debate is that Halladay was presented with off-season surgery to correct the issue and he said, "No, it is my walk year so I wanna pitch." I also reject the idea that he was presented the surgery diagnosis and the Phillies said, "C'mon man. Do us a solid and pitch through it. Avoid the surgery."

You do see how that is crazy right?

And aside of the medical aspect of it, it makes no sense from a baseball standpoint. If Halladay has back problems that are serious enough to even consider surgery, there is little chance the team would even let him talk them into letting him give it a go- let alone the team convincing HIM to stick around and get shelled again. At the very least, we'd have seen them go out and get a 'Plan B' knowing there's a real chance that Doc is going to, more than likely, fizzle out again with degenerating discs in his back.

We saw no such contingency plans, whether it be through acquiring another starter (they actually traded one away) or tapering down Halladay's workload this spring. He came in here like he was perfectly healthy. If the guy was on the cusp of back surgery, and the team knows about it, there's very little chance he'd be treated like just another guy, no matter how dumb we think the medical staff is.

I wonder if that tool on the Pirates is still going to emulate Doc's delivery now? What was his name again? I already forget. I mean it is the Pirates so forgive me.

It's not so much that the Jays think Haap is great, but that Romero is currently lousy. I believe Haap was upset about missing out on a rotation spot. Then the Jays were forced to turn to him, and Haap was all "How do you like me now?"

Happ in the AL is a frightening proposition. He got shelled facing the weak hitting NL central for most of his starts.

iceman/tti: Hypothetically, if an offseason surgery was to eliminate the 2013 season - or a very big portion of it - I could easily see the discussion between Doc and the Phils to forego it.

Will S's lack of baseball understanding is severe.

The confidence with which he posts and flaunts said understanding is awe-inspiring.

Yep, Harper's season at age 19 was meaningless. Lots of 19 year olds would do what he did last year, if given the chance.

Fact is, if you look at all players through their age 20 season, Harper's fWAR of 4.9 ranks 17th all time.

Sounds pretty impressive, right? Until you realize that included a season in which he HASN'T EVEN PLAYED YET!

I don't get the point of the Happ extension for the Jays, much as I didn't think the Kendrick extension made sense for the Phils last year. If Happ stays healthy, it'll be fine. He showed signs of significant progress last year, pushing his K/9 up to 9.0 and his BB/9 down to 3.5. That said, I'm not sure they're saving much compared to what he'd likely get in arbitration after a good 2013, and the Jays are taking on the risk of injury or regression.

That said, if Happ stays healthy, the extension will probably look fine, as Kendrick's does now.

Every time I see the Dubbe/Aumont as irrational thing I realize I need to explain it for people.

When he was a young boy, Dubee watched from his front porch as a tall Canadian, drinking Molson and wearing a touque ran down his fluffy puppy (mistaking it for a small antler-less moose) in a case of hockey-induced road rage. He will never forgive Canada.

Ever.

If you've noticed, when Halladay pitches poorly, he looks "gassed" out there - excessive sweating, borderline dehydration stuff. It wouldn't surprise me that he is suffering from a chronic illness, not unlike lyme disease.

And, for the record, I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

If you've noticed, when Halladay pitches poorly, he looks "gassed" out there - excessive sweating, borderline dehydration stuff. It wouldn't surprise me that he is suffering from a chronic illness, not unlike lyme disease.

And, for the record, I did not stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

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