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Thursday, March 07, 2013

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Howard takes a day off. Our great national nightmare is finally over.

Ruf DH'ing - maybe his struggles in the field are weighing on him at the plate, wouldn't be the first time i've heard that logic used.

Maybe let him DH for a few days, get a big HR under his belt, and then ease him back into LF with some confidence.

or at 1B with Howard off finally.

Not enough Mini-Mart in that lineup.

Common sense prevails.

Not enough Mini-Mart in that lineup.

Posted by: Jack | Thursday, March 07, 2013 at 10:35 AM

Funny, I was thinking that there was just the right amount of Mini-Mart in the lineup.

Furcal out for 2013, tommy john surgery.

If they signed Ty Wigginton to a $5M contract, would they be willing to trade for Yuni?

I'd love to see Ruf get some homers and feel more comfortable, but unless the wind is blowing out I don't think that's necessarily probable.

Yes, he had a ridiculous August 2012, and some nice HR power when he got called up, too... But weren't something like 20+ of those HRs in the last month of the season? It was a ridiculously hot month, but it also was only one month (maybe bump that to 1.5 incorporating his 33 ABs in the bigs).

Also: Blurgh. Galvis hitting 2nd. I suppose it's better than Wilson Valdez in the 2-spot, but only marginally.

Yuni for Oscar Taveras and Shelby Miller. Get it done!

I would say the odds are better of trading him for Willy Taveras.

Philibuster: If there's one thing that amuses me on Beerleaguer, it's complaining about Spring Training lineup construction. What's the point?

It's hard to find something to complain about if you're going to be rational about things. Geez, KAS.

buster, I'd much rather see Freddie than Exxon. At any spot. Galvis has a chance of getting better. Valdes is what he is until he isn't any more.

I was thinking if you pull the DH, and slide Rollins into the SS and second place you might have the opening day line-up.

Andy: I'd probably rather see Valdez in the bullpen than Galvis, but that's just because Freddy there probably doesn't have the same sinking action on his fastball.

I could see Revere/Rollins as the leadoff tandem, but I really want Ben to prove he's going to post an OBP in excess of .33x before making him that every day. If the OBP difference between Rollins and Revere is only about .015, the power difference more than makes up for that - especially considering Jimmy is about 2/3-3/4 of the threat to steal that Revere is, and is probably smarter about it (but since he's not as fast, the results come out similarly a la CS%).

If Kyle Lohse were to drop down to a 1 year deal in the $10-12 million range, would you want the Phillies to make a run at him? It'd push Lannan into a swingman role but it would solidify our rotation while costing us a mid-1st round pick (a real concern obviously).

***Andy: I'd probably rather see Valdez in the bullpen than Galvis, but that's just because Freddy there probably doesn't have the same sinking action on his fastball.***

That game is easily a Top 5 moment for me for this current core group of guys (2007-Pres pretty much) It was just a great game to watch.

NEPP: Agreed. In fact, while I'm not always a big fan of player sound bites, the interview with Howard about Valdez shaking off Chooch's pitch selection is a must-watch classic, in my mind.

"If there's one thing that amuses me on Beerleaguer, it's complaining about Spring Training lineup construction. What's the point?"

Ah, I'm glad you asked because, while it does seem frivolous on the surface, there actually IS a point. The point is: spring training or not, Cholly doesn't arrive at these lineups by picking names from a hat. He arrives at them because, on at least some level, he is thinking about how that lineup construction might work in a regular season game. That's why, for instance, Chase Utley always bats 3rd and Ryan Howard always bats 4th -- even in spring training games.

Therefore, when he trots out a lineup that is totally bonkers, like one in which Yuni Betancourt leads off or Mini-Mart bats 2nd, it's perfectly appropriate to: (a) ask what the hell he's thinking; and (b) infer that, if he does it in a spring training game, he could do it in a real one too.

Huh, I totally forgot Chooch had been moved to third at that point, and Sardinha was the catcher.

No wonder Wilson shook him off.

Now people will have to find something else fake to get upset about.

One of the things I regret about last Sept is never getting to see Chooch or Utley take in-game reps at 3B.

Weirder?

Getting upset about a large player in his 30s coming off a major injury being overextended in early Spring Training games

OR

Getting upset about people that get upset about a large player in his 30s coming off a major injury being overextended in early Spring Training games?

I have the sneaking suspicion that we'd be begging for PADMYs after watching Chooch at third for significant action.

Also, unless KK goes down with something, I don't think a Lohse signing is really worth it at this point - especially because of the draft pick.

Less than a full year of Lohse for $10MM and losing our first respectable pick in half a decade? That's a tough sell.

Is it really fair to say he's coming off a major surgery when that surgery occurred 2 calendar years ago?

I'd sign Lohse...after the draft in June.

Case in point: Mini-Mart

In 2011 spring training, Cholly would use Mini-Mart in the leadoff spot or 2-hole. "No worries," many figured, "Mini-mart is not even going to make the team, let alone bat 1st or 2nd." But make the team, he did. And he ended up starting 2 games in the leadoff spot & 21 games in the 2-hole.

Case in point No. 2: Pete Orr

Cholly uses Orr all over the lineup in spring training games. But he would never bat Orr high in the order in a real game, would he? He would. He started him in the 2-hole once last year and once in 2011.

NEPP, I'm not against how they've used Howard this spring, but none of us on here really knows how long it ought to take Howard to be fully healed.

BAP, surely he won't do it THIS year, right?

So 2 games started by Pete Orr where he batted in the 2 hole over the course of two years? This is something to be worried about?

Philibuster: Actually, I'll change my opinion. If the worst we can come up with to complain about this spring training is the lineup, I think that's great news! :-)

TTI: Why are you so outraged that Howard has the day off tomorrow? He has played plenty of games in a row already and its only ST. Why must you throw a tirade and bash Charlie for his managing abilities just because he wants to give Howard a day off.

NEPP--what makes you think, given how tight the payroll situation seemed to be this offseason, that the team would suddenly drop 10 million on Lohse?

Not that Lannan's feelings need to drive a team's roster decisions, but I assume he took the deal with the understanding that he would be given a fair chance to compete for a spot. He's looked fine so far, too.

If a starter goes down in the next two weeks and the team's chances of competing this year look imperiled, then perhaps the team decides to consider paying luxury tax and forfeiting the pick. Doubt it. They would more likely roll with Rolo in that scenario and hope someone on the farm lights it up in the early going rather than spend on Lohse.

Aside from the risk inherent with playing in a game, there are many more strenuous and intensive activities than actually playing for 3 hours. It is possible that the game is actually a break for Ryan and that he further benefits from playing live.

So 2 games started by Pete Orr where he batted in the 2 hole over the course of two years? This is something to be worried about?

Posted by: RedBurb | Thursday, March 07, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Don't forget the other 23 games he mentioned involved Mini-Mart.

Doesn't that say more about the Phillies depth than lineup construction though?

RedBurb: What's your point? KAS asked: what's the point complaining about spring training lineup construction? I said, "The point is: if he does it in spring training, it means we could see it in a real game too." Then I backed it up with some examples.

"Doesn't that say more about the Phillies depth than lineup construction though?"

Not really. I am not going to go dig up the 23 different lineup iterations in which Mini-Mart batted 1st or 2nd. But I can say, with 100% confidence of being right, that even those injury-depleted lineups had better options for the 1 and 2-hole than Mini-Mart.

Fatalotti: I know being facetious doesn't come across well on the Internet so I will let you slide on that one.

lorecore: I'm not outraged. Just saying all those begging he get a day off finally get it.

Not everything has to be taken so seriously guys.

Thank you TTI, for bestowing upon me such gratuitous mercy.

tti: exactly - neither were mg, rbill, and I - despite you claiming we were multiple times.

lorecore - Exactly. Only that Howard should have probably rested one day last week (playing 6 days) and once this week. Next week and the following week the Phils at least have an off day in the schedule.

Considering that in many lineups, the pitcher would have been a better option than Mini Mart, yes, batting him 1st or 2nd is NEVER the right move.

One could make the argument that batting Mini anywhere, in any lineup, is never the right move.

Mini Mart is one of the truly unifying topics on here. Whatever the question, Mini Mart is the wrong answer unless it is a list 'Worst Phils' Players'

Lineup construction has a negligible effect on the outcome of baseball games. Baseball Prospectus, for example, looked into this issue a few years ago with this conclusion:

"With regards to lineup structure, this was far from exhaustive research on the subject, but it appears that bunching better players together and sorting by descending OBP yields the best results for run scoring with similar lineups. However, the differences between those lineups and the traditional lineup structure are minimal."

Yet baseball fans spend countless hours arguing over this very issue.

KAS: Again, if we didn't have this to complain about, we'd have to complain about something else... And really, I don't know if I'm ready to expend the effort necessary to do so.

I mean, I'd sound silly complaining about it being too effort-intensive to complain about something else, wouldn't I?

Maybe one way to illustrate the difference between the way the Nats and the Phils have built their respective organizations is that the Nats let Mini Mart go and the Phils have held onto him.

Ouch. The ugly truth.

Limoguy: Eh, I wouldn't really say that. I mean, yes, sure, he shouldn't have ridden out the 2011 season on the 25-man (although with 102 wins that year, it's hard to say we needed someone better).

However, the context is important, and when the Nats let him go it was at a point where they needed guys who were going to be starters in 1-2 years, which is why he didn't get roster protection. When the Phillies picked him up, they were hoping to hit on a long shot, or at least turn him into a passable utility guy with higher upside than ol' Brontosaurus Bruntlett, because they had the rest of their roster essentially locked up.

Nobody foresaw the Utley injury, so we figured we likely had another 3 years of all-star-caliber play at 2nd base, and Rollins was coming back from an injury, so we figured we might need to spell him (turned out to come back much better than expected).

An analysis of lineup construction from The Hardball Times had this conclusion:

"A couple of extra runs doesn't sound like a lot, but if you follow theses guidelines, you could gain 10-15 runs over a full season. About a win a year. And it wouldn't cost you anything except grief from your local media."

Well, one win could mean the difference between the playoffs or not, right?!?!?!

Yes, but this analysis is done looking back on a players performance with known outcomes. It can't take into account unknown future performance. And the actual difference between an "optimal" lineup and a standard lineup varies depending on how close to "optimal" the lineup already is.

KAS: Obviously those numbers need to be adjusted for pitching staffs as well. I mean, on Colorado, 10-15 runs/year is maybe half a win, while on the Phillies it's probably 15-20 wins.

Duh.

lorecore: RBill was the only one who was actually making counter salient points to the argument and I respect that. MG was saying all kinds of ridiculous stupid things. (Just to recap- What is the benefit of them playing Howard everyday? I'm glad they don't let Charlie decide what to do with Utley, etc.)

I don't even remember a word you said.

Outrage was a strong word, but I am far from the only one engaging in hyperbole to make a point on here. That does not mean I think the criticism was legitimate. I think it was people making mountains out of molehills.

Heyman tweeted that " you can't blame the Nats for anything after hamels-harper incident last year"

Jason Werth retweeted "stay out of it Heyman"

Hitting Mini Mart 1 or 2 was Charlie simply looking at his body type and putting him there. If you fill out a lineup card like that then you could very easily have Delmon Young hitting 4th all the time.

Basically there are a number of similar body types to Martinez's that are six feet under and I'd rather have those people hitting 1 or 2.

Heyman maybe needs to remember how many times Nationals pitchers have injured Phillies players.

Although thinking about it: Lannan nailed Utley, and now he's on the team. Lee beaned Rollins in the face and now he's on the team...

Nevermind....I guess that wasn't Jason Werth.

"Outrage was a strong word"

When someone posts complaining about something every day, sometimes multiple times a day (like MG with this issue), I think outrage is a very fair term to use.

Why is Howard getting a day off? See, I told you! He played too much and now he's so hurt that he can't play tomorrow.

(kidding, of course)

Also, aren't the following statements contradictory:

Manager Charlie Manuel says since Howard is feeling good and wants to play, he puts him in the lineup. Howard says he's simply a ballplayer and if his name is on the lineup card, he plays.

Which is it? Does Howard ask Charlie to put him in the lineup? Or does Howard play because Charlie puts him in the lineup?

Is this game on TV anywhere? I actually might be able to catch a few innings somewhere. Phillies.com used to put the channel on which the game was being played, but it apparently doesn't for ST games.

Anyone know?

Which is it? Does Howard ask Charlie to put him in the lineup? Or does Howard play because Charlie puts him in the lineup?

Looks like a little etiquette is at play here as it concerns a baseball manager and a star player on the team. Each is saying they're doing whatever the other says.

RBill- it's on TCN at 1PM.

I thought Howard tore his Achilles in 2011.

Paps is scheduled to pitch tomorrow.

Rex: Yes, it happened in 2011. But I think the cut off for saying someone is coming off of major surgery is like 24 months. We're *only* at 18 months.

We get both Jeremy Horst and Raul Valdes today. Will be interested to see how they perform.

It can't be overstated how terrible this Twins lineup is today.

So naturally, the lead-off guy takes Lee yard.

Great start.

it's on comcast TCN. channel 8 here in Lancaster.

Cliff Lee starts off by giving up a lead off HR to the opposite field.

What Wheeler/T-Mac about Lee blowing leads late is inaccurate, I think. The only lead I remember Lee blowing late in the game because Manuel was hesitant to use the bullpen was that Dodgers game at home. Am I missing any?

anyone know what the reasoning is behind Radio Player Apps for smartphones being unable broadcast mlb games?

You cna listen to 1210 through mutliple radio apps, including the CBS Philly radio one - but yet once phillies come on - they don't allow it.

I am not worried about Howard reinjuring his Achilles. It doesn't make any sense for a veteran guy like Howard to play 16 consecutive days at the start of spring training.

As a litmus test, you could look around at other veteran power hitters & I bet you not a one in their 30s has played every game so far in spring training.

They don't because its simply doesn't serve a point and playing 6/days a week is more than sufficient.

New thread.

lorecore, it's because mlb doesn't get any revenue from those apps. They do via the AtBat app, mlb.tv, etc. MLB contract prohibits anyone else from profiting from their product, which is also why you won't really see highlights on YouTube.

Are spring training games on the radio at all?

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