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Thursday, March 07, 2013


I think that's the longest header post in Beerleaguer history!

Jeebus, finger, there's a game to watch. I don't have time to read all of that...

Best part of this is that Real Crummy couldn't even hit a batter after two tries.

Reverse Beerleaguer Jinx in full effect as our much-maligned 2-hole hitter triples.

Chase brings Galvis home on a ground out to 2nd.

Good God is Bowa annoying. Glad he's gone.

I know criticizing the non-JW thread posters is lorecore's thing, but I do want to sincerely BEG of you guys to please get on the same page, or some sort of rotation, regarding posting ownership/frequency soon - preferably before the real games start. It's a bit frustrating to dig into even a fairly new thread, get some good discussion going, only to have another new thread on an entirely different topic pop up. If it happens during game chats, there are likely to be pitchforks and torches involved.

Howard was fooled on a 1-2 breaking ball and had a very weak swing-and-miss.

I'm not watching on tv but, any time Ryan Howard is up, and Gameday says "Swinging Strike (Blocked)," I can infer that he just swung at a pitch that was 6 feet out of the strike zone.

I'm glad that ten years later everyone is finally willing to accept and admit that Larry Bowa was both an awful manager and person.
Also, is the game on the radio?

Well played by Brown on that single. Maybe the kid is getting it a little bit out there in LF.

While the usual reasons apply as to why I can't wait for the season to start, and for regularly scheduled Phillies baseball to be on TV, the hopeful emergence of Domonic Brown has driven my desire into overdrive.

gobaystars - Yeah he was and as much grief as I give Cholly having a manager who has a solid relationship with his players is a lot more important in baseball today.

wp: hah, damn your lies!

Echo WP on the mid-game thread switch. Love the job the new guys are doing, but this is a trend I hope doesn't continue.

When things are going well...

Domonic Brown with a bad hop base hit. Appeared to be an easy GIDP, but it shot up over the SS.

I really like how aggressive Dom has been on the basepaths this spring. He's really taken the extra base at every opportunity, including just now on a ball that didn't get too far away from the catcher.

Nice baserunning by Brown there, too. As bad a ST as Ruf is having, Brown is more than making up for it (in terms of alleviating OF concerns for 2013).

Now, about that D Young...

That's Ruftastic!!!

That was clearly a reverse jinx for Ruf. Don't worry, I'll be here all season.

That's the beginning of Darrin Ruf's hot streak.

Darin Ruf with 2 men on and no outs.

Worked it to 3-0. Green light swing and miss, then swung at ball four and then a defensive swing punched the ball into right center field for a 2 RBI double.

Thanks for the story, finger. Hilarious.

Get 'em, Ruf!

Good to see Mayberry getting the BB....even if this guy has zero control.

Missed this early today, but it looks like Murphy answered those questions we were asking about Doc's velocity and the gun, relative to Strasburg's velocity:

Ruf isn't too slow for a big guy, but he looks positively Howard-esque on the basepaths.

Everyone hits!!!

Erik Kratz with an RBI hit down the line against a RHP.

I think he finally secured his spot on the roster! ;-)

BAP, you may have just jinxed my reverse jinx on Ruf. Prolonging a Spring cold spell is now solely on you.

When Dom came up in 2010 (I think) I remember noticing that he was so tentative in the field and on the basepaths. The tools were there and there were flashes but he was sabotaging himself with every hesitant step. Meanwhile Mayberry was obviously lacking in talent but threw to all the right bases and did the things that sons of MLBers do. The consensus among my baseball watching friends was that a brain switch was our best hope for Dom Brown. I'm glad to see the doctors worked that out.

Goes for the corner and misses.

I guess it's too late to demand that the Twins move to the NL East as part of the Astros switch to the AL, huh?

Good summation by Murph on the halladay velocity. Couldn't have said it better myself.

The reverse-reverse Beerleaguer jinx.

Our much-hyped 2-hole hitter fails to get a runner home from 3rd with 1 out when he pops out to the SS.

Rough outing for Gibson. Twins have big hope for him. Phils drafted him out of HS awhile back but went to college instead.

Egads. I made the mistake of reading the comments section of that article...

Egads. I made the mistake of reading the comments section of that article...

Posted by: Phillibuster | Thursday, March 07, 2013 at 01:56 PM

Yeah, don't do that.

Another hit from Brown. A really good looking swing sending the ball the other way.

Another RufBI!

Darin Ruf is "heating up." A base hit past the third baseman knocks in a run. Phils lead 6-1.

somethin' fish-ay goin' on here. our below average offense is lookin' good.

Tough to not be excited about what we're seeing from Brown. He looks improved in every phase of the game.

My biggest concern with Dom Brown is that he stays healthy. That's been a major issue for him over the past 2-3 years with all the minor injuries.

Ruf has raised his ST average 70 points today so far...up to the Mendoza line finally.

Brown is batting .429 this spring.

Brown is destined to slump at some point, but man, his approach and timing at the plate right now is fantastic. And his defense hasn't been half-bad.

What are the odds we see a .275/.350/.470 line from Dom this year?

That'd be something like a 120 OPS+.


Well, this Minnesota pitching staff is pretty awful. We already knew that.

Worley is likely to be their staff ace.

I wonder if Murphy even bothers to read the comments under his articles.

He seems like a pretty smart guy, whether you like him or not. Reading things like "Halladay is a power pitcher" and arguments like "Lee v. Halladay: who is the bigger playoff choke artist?" must get to him.

Come over to the dark side, David. We'd welcome you here. We actually watch the games.

re: Furcal TJ surgery

If TJ surgery adds a few MPHs on his throws, Allen Craig better get some more padding in his glove.

Fata- Bill James has Dom projected at .274/.347/.445/.792 (17 HR).

That seems to me to be close to the best case scenario. I'd definitely take that.

Cliff's line:

3.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 2 HR

Wow...just get it up in the wind to right and its gone.

The thing with Dom this Spring is that he's at least shown that he's not over-matched or unqualified to play on the same field as big league players, and that he has the skill set to be damn good.

Whether or not he's able to carry that through to the season and remain productive when it counts is the big question, but there's absolutely no questioning that he has the tools. Pulling for the kid.

Ice, I think best case scenario has him breaking out, and exceeding projections.

I'm thinking breakout, like what Alex Gordon did 2 years ago.

Gordon had a career 95 OPS+ through his age 26 season, and something clicked, and he's put up a 133 OPS+ the last 2 years. (.879 and .822 OPS).

I'm wondering if what Brown's done this ST gives us reason to hope that maybe Brown might fulfill his potential and bust out this year.

It could be that Dom is slumping right now and he's really a .700 AVG hitter.

It could be.

Alright Horst. Time to step up and show something this Spring. I've got the "Horst's arse" nick name waiting if you can't get it together.

Aaaaaaand, he's starts by walking the first batter he sees...

Those comments are ridiculous but remember that only a very tiny pct of people leave comments on a regular news outlet and they tend to be negative.

They aren't representative of the general readership.

Horst's slider today and when I saw him earlier thus spring has no where the late break movement downward it did late last season.

How many times has Michael Young not looked good on a play this spring?

Elite speed my ass...

Revere caught stealing. Was a good throw from the catcher.

Horst is my #1 candidate for middle reliever BP guy who will completely disappoint us in 2013. I fully expect him to be optioned to Lehigh by June.

Ben Revere is actively hurting this team. (see, it works for all Phillies CFs)

"The thing with Dom this Spring is that he's at least shown that he's not over-matched or unqualified to play on the same field as big league players, and that he has the skill set to be damn good."

I thought that was evident even when he was in the bigs in prior years. Obviously had some adjustments to make, but the ability was always there.

NEPP, I'm with you on Horst. Almost expecting JW to offer to buy his jersey if he makes the team at this point.

Have all three of the Twins' runs been of the solo HR variety?

Usually, I would say it's a no-brainer that a player coming off a good year should make the opening day roster. But Horst's good year always felt very flukey to me and he's certainly not making a strong case for himself this spring.

I think Horst will easily make the Opening Day roster as a LOOGY/2nd Lefty in the bullpen.

I just dont expect a repeat of 2012 from him. Too many people have simply penciled him in and assumed he would do that which makes me a bit skeptical.

He's getting his money's worth out of ST, though. Certainly throwing enough pitches.

Flukier 2012: Valdes or Horst?

Jack thinks the 2013 bullpen had no chance of being worst than 2012, even before we got Mike Adams. So I guess his answer would be, neither - both will repeat.

Ho hum.

Howard with another hit off a lefty.

Valdes had a 2.9 ERA last year, but actually had a 3.03 xFIP. That's what a 10.16 K/9 and 1.45 BB/9 will do for you (despite his deporable 23.6% GB rate).

Horst had a 1.15 ERA, but a 3.24 xFIP. He had impressive numbers, too. 11.49 K/9 against a 4.02 BB/9 and 44.1% GB rate.

So, in terms of outperforming their peripherals, the title goes to Horst, but neither pitcher was "fluky" last year, unless of course, you think they're peripherals were "fluky".

Good thing we have Michael Young to break up the lefties.

Howard's swings against lefties look as confident as I've seen in awhile.

I can definitely see an argument that Valdes's walk rate will regress. He had a walk rate above 4 coming into 2012.

Horst was probably who he's going to be last year. High K, high walk LOOGY.

I meant in terms of their actual talent level, not result vs performance.

Surprisingly, there aren't a lot of red flags in Horst's numbers last year. I expected there to be something that pointed towards him getting luck, but there's really nothing.

The only two red flags I see:

1) 4.9 BB/9. He can't afford any bad luck when he's walking almost 5 guys per 9.

2) 31 innings. Horst has exactly 31 innings of proven MLB success. He wasn't a prospect before last year, and he's 27 years old.

It's really quite a leap of faith to think that a guy can come out of nowhere, with no real track record of sustained success at this level (or really any level), and all of a sudden dominate the majors with a K/9 of 11.5.

I don't think you can just pencil this guy in to an important role in the bullpen, although I agree he should be in the mix.

***Howard's swings against lefties look as confident as I've seen in awhile.

Posted by: Kendrick Appreciation Society | Thursday, March 07, 2013 at 02:47 PM ***

Howard's "achilles heel" as a hitter has always been hitting LHP. Much like in the esteemed baseball documentary Rookie of the Year, Howard's achilles heel has healed back far stronger than before and he's now some sort of wunderkind at the plate against LHP.

Make sense?

Like most here, I'm not a fan of the roving Gregg Murphy gimmick, but this tour of the new facilities at Bright House is actually pretty cool. Impressive upgrades, to be sure, and it sounds like those new cages give the hitters a chance to work on their weaknesses. I'm envisioning Howard taking cracks at curveball after curveball, and Brown getting a steady diet of balls in on the hands.

Ice, there are plenty of LOOGYs out there who would strike out MLB batters at a 11 K/9 clip if they didn't have obscenely high walk numbers. I have no doubt that Horst can sustain a great K-rate. I have serious doubts that he can keep his walk rate in check to keep K-rate viable.

NEPP: So in this analogy, Howard's mother will whack a can of Campbell's chunky at him to show him how to hit a "heavy" fastball once things come undone?

I would say they were both pretty flukey. Not flukey in the sense that their results were a product of "luck." But flukey in the sense that there is nothing in either pitcher's history to suggest that he has the ability to sustain last year's performance over a prolonged period of time.

Iceman, where are you getting that 4.9 BB/9 figure? I see Horst at 4.02 last year.

Ruf quickly slumping again. He is batting .000 in the last 2 innings now.

Valdes had a .214 BABIP last year and a drastically improved walk rate. He had a 7.0 K/BB!

I actually like his stuff, but like Horst, he shouldn't be penciled in to a spot.

Think the official scorer had "GiDP" penciled in the moment that Kratz's "hit" left the bat.

This is the beauty of bullpens in baseball. "Great" bullpens often times get fluky performances from out of nowhere. And sometimes "terrible" bullpens get awful performances from pitchers they expected to be good for them.

Horst's recent minor league K/9 numbers:

2012 (AAA): 7.5
2011 (AAA): 7.4
2010 (A+, AA, AAA): 9.4
2009 (A+ and AA): 6.8

Doesn't strike me as a guy who can sustain an 11.5 K/9 rate at the major league level.

I'm guessing JRoll has been giving Ben Revere some plate approach tips. Swing early, swing often.

Fata- my fault. I went back to look at his walk rate and actually looked at his ST statistics instead of 2012.

The reason I'm skeptical that Horst can continue to K 11.5/9 is his minor league K-rates:

2010 (72 IP): 9.4
2011 (51 IP): 7.4
2012 (LV: 38 IP): 7.5

11.5 is quite a jump from those numbers.

11.5 is quite a jump from those numbers.

Posted by: Iceman | Thursday, March 07, 2013 at 03:07 PM


Doesn't strike me as a guy who can sustain an 11.5 K/9 rate at the major league level.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Thursday, March 07, 2013 at 03:06 PM

LOL...good work gentlemen.

Yeah, 11.5 is probably way too high, but he didn't make it up last year because of his control. The team obviously liked his stuff, so there's a reason to believe that he could maintain at least an above average K-rate.

The walks, on the other hand, are what will probably keep him from ever being a BP mainstay.

Did BAP and I just make almost simultaneous posts making the same exact argument? Somebody mark this date in history.

Although to be fair, I left out his 2009 numbers because he was a starter.


By the way, I'm not aruing that Horst should make the team, ST performance be damned.

I have no affinity for or invested in Horst making the team. I just want the BP to not suck again this year. Whoever is back there is irrelevant if that's the case.

I thought there wasn't anything wrong with giving potential backups reps in ST? Wasn't that part of the argument for why Howard should be resting?

Horst vs. lefties last year in 52 PAs

170/250/191, 17 K, 4 BB, 8 H (1 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR)

Those numbers certainly suggest a guy who could be a very effective LOOGY for us.

5 innings in spring training doesn't tell me more than what he did last year.

KAS- who is saying that they are making their judgment based on 5 innings in spring training?

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