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Thursday, March 28, 2013


tti/iceman: Hypothetically, if an offseason surgery would have eliminated Halladay for the 2013 season - or a very large part of it - then I could absolutely see Doc and Phils foregoing the surgery and try to fight through 2013.

The options would be:

#1. Don't pitch in 2013 and likely be better in 2014
#2. Pitch in 2013 at less than 100% and re-evaluate after the season

I think i'd rather them choose option #2, since option 1 guarantees we are screwed while #2 still has a chance.

Again... all hypothetical, but I agree with MG's thoughts that its a possiblity.

What type of season would Wainwright have to have to get 5/95M as a FA this year, after missing 2011 and a sub 100 ERA+ in 2012?

Seems lofty...but a talent like him is the type you take the risk on i guess.

I'm sure this will be dismissed as fantasy fluff, but FWIW I found this writeup from Rotoworld interesting:

Sleeper: Jeremy Horst

Horst is a lefty and doesn't have closer velocity -- his fastball leaves his hand at about 90 mph -- but he has two good secondary pitches in his slider and changeup. His first season with the Phillies ended with tons of whiffs, and he can better the control he showed last season. At 27 years old, he's a decent deep dynasty acquisition.

lorecore- the problem is that back issues do not get to the point of surgery overnight. If he, at 35, is told that surgery is advised, it is incredibly likely that the issues are at the point where he can no longer pitch effectively at all. I would think the medical staff, along with the front office, have to know this. So why would they allow him to try it at all, let alone talk him into it?

There are various contingency plans to delay (or in some cases prevent) surgery- injections, chiro, etc. These plans are almost always exhausted before surgery is suggested. I haven't heard anything about any of this occurring with Halladay, and i have no idea why they'd have motivation to hide any therapy he's getting. Oswalt had back problems and got injections and we all knew about it. Not only has nothing been reported, but there's nothing he's done during camp to indicate that any such therapy is taking place (for instance, he's still doing those stupid boot camp workouts, and they would absolutely be the first thing to go if he's getting ongoing treatment for his back).

There's just nothing pointing to this being a possible scenario, hypothetical or otherwise.

I wasn't a great fan of the Delmon Young signing, but I will say this. He's going to be a welcome change when he's ready to return from Laynce Nix, John Mayberry, Ender Inciarte, Casper Wells or whatever junk they scoop up as camp closes. I haven't seen anything from Nix or Mayberry this spring that tells me there's anything there.

JW: The grass is always greener when it comes to 4th OFs, isn't it?

This site is going to blow up at 100.

"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?"

TTI, I'll ignore the rest of your post for one very simple reason: It's entire premise is wrong.

I am ass-u-ming NOTHING. I simply posted that I would NOT BE SURPRISED. Get it?

I haven't seen anything from Nix or Mayberry this spring that tells me there's anything there.


Wait, I thought spring training stats are meaningless?

actually nevermind... it make a lot of sense after I looked around. They have plenty of $$ coming off the books in Carp and Westbrook, already passed on Lohse, and the top FA next year are:

Josh Johnson
Matt Garza
Time Lincecum

Wainwright might be the "safest" of that entire group, so he probably would have got big $$.

Those who will be watching keep us informed!!

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!

Nix and Mayberry have long established their mediocrity. You hope to see a spark in spring, like it appears we're seeing with Brown. A new approach, something like that. It's no surprise the Phils are looking for outfield help and it's no surprise they came to the decision to sign D. Young. Mayberry and Nix don't cut it.

lore, if Wainright pitched to his career averages and put up 200 IP in 2012 he would have easily gotten 5/100+, IMHO.

He probably left some money on the table.

Like all long term contracts for pitchers, it could turn out badly if he gets hurt again, but if he has 5 years that are near career average, it'll be a team-friendly contract.

He probably wanted to stay in 'baseball heaven'.

iceman: "I haven't heard anything about any of this occurring with Halladay, and i have no idea why they'd have motivation to hide any therapy he's getting"

Because he might be on the trading block at the deadline is a possible reason.

And as for your back surgery details...I'll take your word for it since I don't know much about.

Bottomline is, I don't think its out of line to wonder/speculate - just like I didn't think its out of line to speculate that Pete Orr has a chance to make the Phillies.

Neither situation is odds on favorite, but neither would be the biggest surprise.

They're going to make Galvis versatile, gosh darnit!

Fatal: Will S has plenty of baseball understanding. He knows what players were good in 2012, so there!

Wait. It's already 10:30 and Halladay still hasn't thrown a pitch over 75 mph!!!!

I don't think Halladay is hurt at all. I think the real Doc died and the Phillies replaced him with a body double. Just like wrestling did with the Ultimate Warrior.
Now I hope AWH and MG can find out the whole truth for us.

"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."

First of all, that is ridiculous hyperbole. Second of all, it is inaccurate. No teenage hitter in the last 100 years has put together a season like Harper did. He obviously needs to continue to improve to meet the sky high expectations that have been placed on him, but could you please tell me why you're so dead set on insisting he won't improve in his 20s (as almost every player does).

Wainwright actually pitched pretty well last year all things considered- his peripherals bear that out. He really hit his stride in the second half and was ace-quality after the ASB.

By telling Pujols to get lost in favor of Craig, the Cards had room to make this deal, which I think is a pretty good deal considering what he'd have made this winter if he'd have his typical #1-type season.

JW: If you think Delmon Young will be a breathe of fresh air, keep holding your breathe.

Everything that Nix, Mayberry, etc. do poorly is exactly what he does poorly. Strike out and never get on base.

Julio Borbon may get released by the Rangers if Daniels can't trade him.

Has anyone seen him play? Worth a look?

They should have held Doc back till tomorrow night in Philly. If he's sweating like a pig in low 30's weather, then we know something is wrong.

lorecore- I'm not against speculation. Last week I speculated with BAP that Doc's got a medical condition that isn't physical in nature.

I just think in this case, the speculation relies on a lot of things that are pretty far-fetched, not the least of which being the complete incompetence of the organization to not only cross their fingers that his degenerative back will magically hold up for 6 months, but also trading away another starting pitcher and acquiring no one as a 'Plan B' for when his back inevitably falls apart. I know we all joke about the FO being incompetent (and a lot of the criticism is warranted), but this would be an unthinkable amount of incompetence.

Much as I enjoy the rare spectacle of seeing awh argue against TTI, WTF is this argument even about? MG said something which he admitted to be sheer, 100% speculation & now we're debating whether his speculation has any basis in fact? Speculation, by definition, has no basis in fact. So what is there to debate?

Then again, yesterday Iceman & I debated, not whether Pete Orr is going to make the team, but whether he has "a good chance" to make the team. So I guess this debate falls under the same category.

Iceman: Agree on Wainwright. He pitched better than his ERA indicated last year, and he got better throughout the year. I'd expect a pretty good year from him, and the deal seems like a fair one, other than the standard concern of signing *any* pitcher to a big deal.

bap, good post.

I can't figure out to what the other guys were objecting.

MG speculated - I posted that I wouldn't be surprised if it were true. That's all.

Reverend: If you play the 2012 Phillies DVD backwards it says "Roy Is Dead"

awh: You managed to get Borbon and Daniels into one sentence. Cool Earl would be proud of you.

Iceman - "the problem is that back issues do not get to the point of surgery overnight. If he, at 35, is told that surgery is advised, it is incredibly likely that the issues are at the point where he can no longer pitch effectively at all. I would think the medical staff, along with the front office, have to know this. So why would they allow him to try it at all, let alone talk him into it?"

Because of the money Halladay is making. You thnk he would just walk away from $20M? There isn't an athlete in the world that would I bet if it it is guaranteed.

I am always amazed on here when people act as if pitchers aren't hurt frequently or often pitching through pain. Just read what trainer's talk about in regards to pitchers or look at the sheer amount of injuries pitchers suffer each year.

As for any news on medical treatment, it wouldn't benefit the Phils in any way to disclose Halladay has had treatment on his back/shoulder/etc.

It doesn't help his trade value down the road later this year if the Phils decide to try to move him at the deadline and more importantly if the Phils try to trade for another starter you don't want other teams knowing that.

The current Borbon is basicalyl equivalent to the best Ender Inciarte could ever be. Borbon potential is much higher, but currently he's a weak hitting speedy OF with good defense in all 3 spots. Should be a better hitter than what he's shown so far.

Weitzel - I have some degree of confidence that Mayberry might contribute later on this season.

Nix is a zero and the more I have seen of him the more I dislike what he brings to the table. Maybe he surprises me and has a good April but I bet it is a black hole in April.

MG/others: Have you seen any prop bets for SB? I am dying to take the over on Revere if its anything in the mid 40's and like him a ton to lead the NL in SB.

I've only seen HR/MVP and Wins/Cy props.

Bref and fangrpahs have unified Replacement Level.

MG: I have pretty much the same read on Mayberry and Nix.

Conway, good pickup. I didn't even realize.

Paging Kool Earl... :)

Everyone agree that Schierholtz would have been better than Nix?

As far as a fifth OF goes, they're probably looking for someone RH since the team has a surplus of LHB up and down the lineup. And if someone like Soriano isn't a trade option (still crossing my fingers on that one), in that case, Casper Wells wouldn't be a terrible idea.

He had an .891 OPS against LHP last year and .838 for his career. That's a reliable power-bat off the bench against a LOOGY that's sent in to face Brown/Nix. He's also adequate defensively and can play all three positions (CF in a pinch).

To be honest, I'm not so sure he wouldn't be a better half of a platoon than Mayberry at this point. I have little-to-no faith that Mayberry will find any of his 2011 magic when his numbers against LHP (.953 OPS) were much better than they were last year (.811 OPS). At the very least, Wells gets on-base at a much better clip than Mayberry against LHP (.364 OBP last year, .349 career) with close to the same power. Mayberry has 19 BBs against LHP in his MLB career- Wells had 19 BBs against LHP in 150 PAs just last year.

I'd rather look to upgrade from Nix and his .744 career OPS against RHP, but it's not like there's much to choose from (Sweeney sucks). Wells is certainly a better option than anything they have in-house right now.

Iceman: We have a right-handed outfielder coming soon in Delmon Young. Aren't you excited???

Totally off-topic - My sister recently gave me a bag full of old, wrinkled baseball cards I collected when I was 9 (Topps 1979). I pulled out about 20 to look at and 3 of those were Carlton, Seaver and Catfish Hunter. Pretty cool snapshot of HOF pitchers. Of the 3, Seaver was clearly the most accomplished through 1978, even though he came into the league 2 years after the other 2. Hunter was teh youngest by 1+ years (32) but, was already 2 years past his prime and pitched 19 more games in the majors. Seaver's career ERA (2.51)was a half run lower than Carlton's, he had more wins, fewer losses, more K's (2756-2470), a better K/BB (3.1 to 2.2), a better K/9 (7.7 to 6.9) and a better BB/9 (2.5 to 3.1) than Carlton. Hunter was more of a finesse pitcher so, hard to compare. They had comparable IP though Carlton had a 29 game edge, which is hard to believe given Carlton's ability to go deep in games. Seaver was good into his 30s but, Carlton was amazing. His run from age 35-39 was probably the prime of his career.

MG: The problem with that train of thought is that Halladay makes the $20MM this year whether he throws a pitch or not. Similarly, unless he shocks the world in the 2013 season, he's not going to get a $20MM deal for next year.

In fact, if he really does need back surgery, the odds of him getting a better 2014 likely increase if he misses the whole 2013 season due to recovery rather than post another 4.00+ ERA while flipping between DL and rotation for months. Teams would be willing to bet serious dough on the idea of him returning to at least 80% 2011 form post-surgery - which wouldn't necessarily be a bad bet if the surgery really is something he needed.

The Phillies, meanwhile, would get to apportion a majority of his salary to insurance, which would free up cash (admittedly, not while remaining under the CBT threshold) to go get a guy who'll at least give you a 3.9x ERA - or pick up, say, an Upton brother's salary.

The only possible benefit to having him skip surgery would be trade value, but if he's getting pulled in the 4th/5th regularly with 4+ ER given up, he won't have any of that anyway. After all, he's in the final year of his contract, and no team is "just a 4.00 ERA starter away" from making the playoffs.

Does it feel to anyone else like the fate of the 2013 season will be decided today?

hugh: talk about a dead industry. The $$ i blew as a kid on baseball cards was such a waste.

Does it feel to anyone else like the fate of the 2013 season will be decided today?

Posted by: Cyclic | Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 11:20 AM


anyone know if the game is on TCN today? I might have to take a late lunch and catch a few IP.

"After all, he's in the final year of his contract, and no team is "just a 4.00 ERA starter away" from making the playoffs."

Not to quibble, but there are lots of playoff-contending teams teams that are in dire need of a 4.00 ERA starter to replace the 5+ ERA starter they run out there every 5 days. The 2007 Phillies, before they traded for Kyle Lohse, and the 2008 Phillies, before they traded for Blanton, both spring to mind. Of course, 4.00 ERA starters who cost $20M are an entirely different matter. Not to mention that the Halladay whom we've seen since May of last year is more like a 5+ ERA starter, at best.

lorecore: The big money was in those dental bills from chewing all that sugary bubblegum.

BAP: Right, but you don't need to trade anything of value to get a 4.00 ERA starter. You promote your MiLB guy who's close to ready. You sign someone off waivers. You trade with a team who's out of contention and give them some C+-level prospects who've spent too long in AA.

That said, I do concede that 4.00 ERA starters are useful. Although I'll bet you they got Blanton in the hopes that his ERA would drop coming to the NL (it did, but not back to '07 numbers).

Also, yes, Halladay looks significantly worse than 4.00 at this point.

Really? I got the feeling most on here believe that Halladay's performance this season is the difference between a shot at the playoffs and 80-82 wins or fewer.

conway: I was a younger generation of card collector, I think I only opened one or two packs with gum in it - and i think that was the only reason I bought it, just so I could witness it.

I was collecting in the late 80's/early 90's when you prayed for a Ken Griffey Jr or a Frank Thomas card. Once the invention of the "insert" came, it was all down hill from there. By the late 90s, you threw away any card that wasn't a "special edition". Beginning of the end.

lorecore: Yes it is TCN. I would hate to be a business owner in the Philly area. 1PM will be like the movie "The Day The Earth Stood Still".

This season will depend more on the Offense than on Halladay.

Cyclic: I think the point is that if today doesn't go well, that doesn't mean he won't manage to turn the season into an overall positive (say, 3.60 ERA?). Similarly, if today does go well, that doesn't mean he's going to put up the same kind of numbers the rest of the year.

We may want to see improvement right away, but it's no less Spring Training for being the last ST game in Florida.

Philibuster - Halladay doesn't get the dough if he retires or he refuses to attempt to pitch.

It wouldn't surprise me if Halladay thought (and quite possibly what the trainer and Phils' medical staff) that with a rigorous offseason of stretching and core strengthening that he would be able to deal with any back issues & pitch 225 IP triggering his option for next year at $20M.

"This season will depend more on the Offense than on Halladay."

2/5 of the Phillies' starting rotation is comprised of John Lannan & Kyle Kendrick. I'd say Halladay is pretty damn important to their hopes.

The "offense" is made up of a ton of moving parts. You can isolate Roy Halladay down to a single person.

MG: Halladay gets his full salary if he goes on the DL due to surgery. If the team doctor says he needs surgery, then there is no way the team can claim this isn't the case. If the team doctor says he doesn't need surgery, presumably at the team's request, and he then gets a second (and possibly a 3rd) opinion that he does, he could file a grievance against the team - one that he would win.

Also, I don't think Halladay's option actually can vest at this point. Even if it can, he needs more than 225 IP in 2013 to reach his $20MM option. His option states (according to ROTOWorld) that all of the following have to occur for it to vest.

2012: Pitch at least 225 innings (failed - 156.1).
2012-2013: At least 415 IP (258.2 IP in 2013 required).
2013: Do not end season on DL.

MG: yeah... your reasoning behind "walking away from $20M" doesn't make sense.

If Doc's decision was driven solely on $$, he'd bank the $20M guaranteed to him this year and get surgery in time to recover for 2014 and hit FA.

Even assuming that he makes 33 starts, that would mean he needs to average 7.2 IP every time he takes the mound. If he loses only 3 starts to the DL, or just his spot in the rotation getting skipped, that increases to 8.2 IP/start.

If he misses 5 starts, he will need to pitch into the 10th inning in every single game he starts.

lore/Phillibuster: thank you for pointing out the obvious, re: the $20 million.

awh: If you don't understand what I was saying you have two choices:

1.) Ask to clear up any confusion.

2.) Begin blindly posting nonsense.

You chose 2. Very cagey you are!

"Iceman: We have a right-handed outfielder coming soon in Delmon Young. Aren't you excited???"


Philibuster - Didn't read on Cots that it was all of the following. Thanks.

Still back surgery would be pretty severe especially if it was a disc fusion procedure which might place Halladay's career in doubt. There is also a good chance that Halladay doesn't have that degree of disc or Cartilage degeneration to warrant a surgery at this point anyways.

As for back surgery and its success, the actual results we have from medical records/registries kind of sucks and even the medical literature is pretty mixed. There is only one registry in the US that has been up for more than a decade (National Spine Network Spine Registry).

I have lower back issues and but I will everything I can to tolerate the pain through stretching, strengthening, and chiropractor stuff. Outcomes are too mixed on what I have seen from spinal disc implants/fusion surgery and orthopedic surgeons in general are borderline crazy on how much zeal they have to cut generally. Should be an option of last resort.

Surprised no one has mentioned that Miguel Olivo was recently released.

He fits the Phillies pretty perfectly in that he's a backup catcher they could use and also he never walks.

Miguel Olivio is like the all time alltimer at nonwalking.

lorecore: Which is why it's surprising he's not already in Clearwater.

MG- I think the best plan is to get at least 2 or 3 opinions on your MRIs/test data. I went through three doctors before I found a guy who said 'I think surgery will help you.' The two surgeons I visited initially said they didn't want to give me the fusion I needed because I was still in my 20s (risk factor for a second surgery increases 2% each year or something like that).

Three months out of surgery and it's like they gave me a whole new back. Therapy for basically the rest of my life kind of sucks but it's a great trade-off for not being in pain all the time.

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

AWH~ You are correct in your assessment of me , my friend. But like everyone else I call it as I see it. We all do. Everyone advocates or bemoans different players, sees what could be, and sees what is. That's the beauty of it.

Lets me just say this, The Phils are very lucky in the fact that Howard & Utley are healthy & that Brown has had a terrific Spring. Brown eases the OF situation and will should provide a nice bat in the lineup. What kind of shape would their OF be in if Brown's stats were poor?

MG: Even without the "all of the above" approach, he'd still need to toss 258+ this year, which is more than any year since '03.

All surgery is inherently risky, and back surgery all the more so. However, even if he couldn't come back from it, he'd still make the 20 (extra) big ones this year, because he'd be on the DL. That would help the Phillies also, because then they could allocate a majority of that (probably in the 15+ range?) to another player who'll be more useful than 2012's 4.50 ERA Doc.

I can't speak to the exact odds, but if I had to bet one side or the other, I would think he'd be in for a bigger 2014 payday by having the surgery and missing a year than by having a mediocre-to-poor 2013 and refusing recommended surgery.

I'd hold off on surgery as long as possible too, but the amount of money he can throw around to get the absolute best-of-the-best medical care makes a recovery seem more likely than not. The question of what that recover would look like is a valid one, but I know I would be more willing to wager on that than what he'll look like in 2014 if he manages 200 IP with a 4.50 ERA this year.

DPatrone: "What kind of shape would their OF be in if Brown's stats were poor?"

The exact same.

Working from home today and I'm feeling a sense of dread watching this game. I almost don't want to watch, and if he's out there laboring in the first inning, I'm not sure I'll be able to.*

*I'll turn the game off for 30 seconds before giving in and turning it back on

You guys and your obsessions with walks. Walks are boring. No one likes walks. What you need is production. Hitters that produce. No one produces a walk. What kind of talent does that take, anyway? You just walk to first base. Any lousy S.O.B. could do that.

And lest ye forget, chicks dig the longball. I didn't have to go to Stanford to learn that.

iceman: its lose/lose really. If doc pitches great, we are all dorks for caring about ST performance. If he looks bad, we are all dorks for caring about the 2013 phillies in the first place.

RAJ is a pitcher's GM. As such, strikeouts are good and walks are bad. He's tried to build his team accordingly, but sometimes he can't help but get a fungible player in there who just doesn't post a high K%. That's not the end of the world, though, so long as he keeps his BB% way, way down.

Consequently, he projects great numbers for the Braves this year.

I will be watching/judging more how he LOOKS and less his results.

Because ST stats/results are, in fact, meaningless.

Iceman - Yeah I talked to 2 docs already. It is more of a matter of just getting myself in shape and doing the daily stretching/working out 60 minutes a day as required. Probably will have back surgery down the road but I will put it off as long as possible.

Live with a little pain and treat with Aleve and a little Johnny Walker Black/Wine at night as necessary.

Everyone agree that Schierholtz would have been better than Nix?

No. Cholly needs the flexibility on his bench, particularly with all the defensive replacements and platoons he's stuck with. Nix is experienced at all 3 OF slots and 1B, while Schierholtz has barely played anywhere but RF. The 1B thing is particularly important because we'd otherwise be stuck with only RH-hitting options (Mayberry, Ruf, and Frandsen) if Howard is injured.

" If doc pitches great, we are all dorks for caring about ST performance."

I don't even think Jack would say that Halladay's performance today is meaningless.

Glancing at CSN Philly, 6% of their poll respondents think that the Flyers are more likely to make the playoffs than the Phillies.

Honestly, I can't decide whether I'm surprised it's that high a number, or that low.

If Halladay looks more like he did earlier in camp (his first 3 outings), it would be a huge positive.

If he looks close to the guy he has the last 2-3 times out, he's not ready to pitch come the start of the season.

BL is once again doing what it does best: putting words in the mouths of others, setting up a straw man and than gang raping that strawman to death.

I never said that the kid was garbage. I said that comparisons to Otto, Mantle, (or anyone else for that matter) are ridiculous and premature. If he replicates 2012 over the next six seasons,,he will have earned the credentials to be compared to Jason Bay.

You're all very quick to jump on the bandwagon and fish over a kid as the next Mickey Mantle. I'm not. Nevermindthe hype... Show me on the diamond. One good season does not earn a kid a HOF plaque... Ask Gooden.

If Halladay looks like he did his last "big league" ST start, somebody's been putting ipecac in his water bottle. I don't expect him to be as good as he was near the start of camp, but as long we see a definite improvement curve, I'll be satisfied (for now).

That said, who's catching today? I imagine that'll be a big factor in how effectively he mixes up his off-speed stuff, which will be pretty important if he's going to be a "fool 'em all" kind of pitcher from here out.

Bluejays are bringing the heat too.


Is typing the word assuming as ass-u-ming supposed to be clever? Because it's not even the proper "makes an ass of u and me" format. Just stupid. Whoever started it, please stop.

As for Halladay, is it reported somewhere that he has a potentially surgical back issue? Because I haven't seen it. Let's say he does. There are literally dozens of conditions that may needs surgery in the low back and even some supposedly surgical conditions can be successfully treated non-surgically or with minimally invasive surgery. For instance, Joe Montana had a micro-discectomy during a season and returned to playing in a hurry. Of course, that is one specific problem.

If he's got something that requires major surgery, then he's not likely to be effective this season. If that's what he's actually been struggling with, then his dropoff in performance is completely understandable.

RAJ's affinity for pitchers with good strikeout rates and good walk rates (Halladay, Lee, Oswalt) makes sense in that he searches for batters who don't strike out much (Young, Polly, Revere), but makes no sense when he doesn't search for batters who walk a lot.

it baffles me.

Aksmith: that whole conversation was in response to MG and Lorecore (in the previous article, I believe?) saying they could see Doc's situation being the result of the Phillies asking him not to undergo the back surgery that it was suggested he probably needed until such time as they could trade him (and/or he could reach his vesting numbers).

There has been absolutely no official word that he needs back surgery, or that he's even undergoing significant dorsal therapy.

Per fWAR, Harper's Age 19 season was the greatest Age 19 season in baseball history by a position player. Ott's is 2nd best and Renteria's is 3rd best.

Will S: "BL is once again doing what it does best: putting words in the mouths of others, setting up a straw man "

Will S: "One good season does not earn a kid a HOF plaque"

Yea.. because last thread said that Harper is a HoF already. Congrats on stopping people from putting words in the mouths of others.

akmisth- That is awh's favorite method of typing it. I was trying to be clever in mocking him

FWIW, when your Age 19 season comps are Mantle, Ott, Cobb and Griffey Jr...all of whom you had better seasons than, there's a decent shot for you as an MLB player.

Also, Gooden burned out due to a massive coke and later crack addiction, not lack of talent.

Thanks, Philli. I was wondering where that came from.

Will, let me break it down for you.

What Harper did last year was pretty nearly unprecedented.

NO ONE...not a person....said that guarantees him enshrinement in the Hall of Fame, nor does it even guarantee that he will even get one hit this year.

But, he did what he did at 19 years old, and it's pretty telling that the only other guys who have had such extraordinary seasons (or even were above average players at 19) are all Hall of Famers or will soon be Hall of Famers.

Also, Jason Bay. Jason Bay didn't break into the league until he was 24 and didn't break 500 PA in a season until he was 26. If Harper does nothing more than replicate his 2012 numbers for the next SIX SEASONS, this will be his line through his age 25 season:

.270/.340/.477, 1,008 H, 686 R, 154 HR, 413 RBI

This is Jason Bay's line through his age 25 season:

.283/.369/.546, 141 H, 76 R, 30 HR, 96 RBI

How would they be comparable, AT ALL?

BAP & locore: last season Halladay was mediocre through the whole season. The Phillies were not. .400 wpct first half, .600 wpct second half, more or less. Even with a mediocre Halladay they could have made the playoffs if Utley and Howard had been around all year, assuming a continuation of the 2nd half performance.

If last season taught us anything, it is that we can compete if the Offense shows up despite Halladay pitching like a #5.

TTI - I see. Well, let's hope awh stops. It simply makes no sense.

RAJ, it's not "walks" by themselves, it's walks as a component of OBP.

(Oops, I forgot I was addressing you: OBP means "On Base Percentage" and measures the total number of times a player gets on base not due to an error, fielder's choice, etc.)

OBP has the highest correlation to scoring runs, which is, you know, "producing"?

But, then, you probably already know this, being an MLB GM and all, no?

The last time we had two OFs of Harper & Trout's quality, they were named Mantle and Mays.

I mean Will, do you seriously not understand the importance of age to production? Does that not equate?

If Harper did what he did last season at age 27, people would think he's a good player. The fact that he did at NINETEEN is pretty god damn important. And given that this is baseball, and baseball is steeped in history, it's perfectly reasonable for people to look and see what a NINETEEN year old player did, and compare that to what other NINETEEN year old players did, and then think to themselves, "Gee, pretty much all these players I'm looking, whom Harper OUTPERFORMED were legends. That's an interesting and possibly telling fact."

Colonel Tom, a very logical and lucid evaluation of Nox vs. Shierholz. Kudos.

Are there others besides me who think the 2-hole is the worst possible spot for Rollins to hit?

Did I miss this conversation already, because it seems like it should be discussed.

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EST. 2005

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