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Thursday, April 04, 2013

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Over/Under for complete innings tonight for Lee = 6.

Over/Under for Phillies hits tonight = 8

Over/Under for Phillies runs tonight = 3

Prediction: Phils 5, Braves 3

Bring it back to Philly!

Can't be getting swept by a divisional rival, regardless what the calendar says.

Also, if Medlin gets rocked after his playoff start and mediocre spring, then the Braves will join the Phillies as having a very important question mark going forward this season.

Perhaps someone other than Chase Utley can step up offensively tonight. Utley has 10 total bases and five RBIs through two games. The Phillies' other seven starters have 14 total bases and two RBIs.

Amen.

For what it's worth, I expect Lee to pitch a gem tonight.

I expect Lee to be so-so (say 6-odd IP & 3 ER), but it will appear brilliant after the past couple of games.

Joe Blanton is currently being Joe Blanton for the Angels.

Prediction on Lee: 7 IP, 2 ER, 1 BB, 11 SO, 2 HR.

Phils win 5-2.

"RAJ had chances to fix this in the off-season and didn't. The reasons he didn't don't matter, but he didn't nonetheless. He also didn't get a better #5. He did the best he could @ 3b and adding Adams to the 'pen, which will be much stronger was brilliant." - Dpatrone from last thread.


Never change Dpat. Several posters hit the nail on the head this offseason by saying that the plan was not to put this team on the hook for large contracts to aging free agents. The only way to address was through trades, which the team couldn't match other offers from other organizations due to gutting the farm the past few years.

The hope for this season is that the team can get one last go with the current core. If it doesn't work, Halladay/Utley/Young/Ruiz come off the books and you have a rebuild. Locking themselves into more long large contracts for aging superstars was not the way to approach the offseason.

i feel bad posting a business/baseball article before MG gets a chance to, but he's slacking so I'll throw it out there:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/washington-nationals-bloomberg-sports-announce-new-analytic-technology-solution-partnership-2013-04-04

I wonder when the Phillies will announce their deal with an analytic firm?

lorecore - Does it rhyme with sever?

lorecore: I didn't see that it was going to measure "production" anywhere.

So yeah, no go for the Phillies.

Medlen hasn't lost a start since May 2010, but he was 10-1 after the break last year? Was his loss in relief last year?

You'd think us snarky stat nerds would be exaggerating how many times we use "production" as a punchline.

But last night I listed to 94.1 pregame and Ruben was on air taking calls. Every single question he answered with the word "production" about 5-6 times. Someone asked him about Mayberry over Nix even vs a RHP, and he strung together a 50 word sentence about how handedness/etc doesn't matter - its just the "production". Must have endd every sentence with the word - it was sickening.

Medlen is due for some regression to the mean.

I am pretty skeptical that Kris Medlen will turn out to be anything more than a one-year wonder. But I am even more skeptical that the Phillies will be able to hit him tonight.

lorecore: Well, if he was actually referring to a player's overall production, I wouldn't really have a problem with it.

But he's basically referring to RBIs. Which would be funny if it weren't so depressing.

Of all the things Amaro did this off-season (good and bad) the one thing I am glad he didn't do was go nuts in free agency or trades giving out major dollars or dumping big prospects. That would've been a bad idea. He patched enough to try and win this year yet and left room when we have to rebuild in a year or two.

lore: Here's all you need to know: Mayberry had 27 RBIs against RHP last year. Nix had 14 RBIs against RHP last year. Granted, if you extrapolate Nix's RBI total over the 182 extra PAs that Mayberry had against RHP, it would come out to 36. But I don't care about ratios. I care about production.

All this talk about advanced stats is counter-productive. I want pro-productive...b/c these guys are pros, like Michael Martinez is a professional baseball player, he's a pro, so we look for production.

Need a really strong start by Lee tonight (at least 7 IP, 3 ER at a minimum).

Coming back to Philly at 1-2 would be fine.

TTI: Well, I agree that it's a good thing Amaro didn't go nuts in free agency and tie up more years/dollars in declining veterans.

But I disagree that he patched enough to try and win this year. Well, I suppose he did enough to "try" and win, but I don't think they did enough to actually win.

While I'm glad that r00b didn't give out a bunch of big deals, I do not feel it is reasonable to expect this team as constructed to compete for a Postseason berth. The GM needed to add both a bullpen piece (which he did, in Adams) & at least one legitimate bat (which he utterly failed to do). Additionally, signing players such as M. Young & D. Young will only serve to weaken an already problematic defense. My belief is that the FO knew it would be a long shot for '13, & essentially decided to fold early, w/ an eye toward rebuilding in '14.

While two games is obviously an insignificant indication, the eye test watching Ryan Howard swing the bat is concerning. His swing looks alot like it did last year. I would like to see the Phillies leave Ruf as a 1st baseman which is his only natural position and one in which he appears competent. Bring him up and utilize him over Howard a couple times a week and as a pinch hitter.

Guys we just need to hold tight until our savior St. Delmon arrives.

I don't think Amaro is a fool/idiot etc but when he engages in those conversations talking about 'production' it is utterly baffling since it means that Amaro thinks RBIs are a key stat to evaluate a positiona player.

Quincy: Yes. He started last year in the 'Pen, I believe.

MG: r00b also talks about needing to get younger, & valuing defense, & then he goes out & acquires M. Young. He's full of crap.

Weel, I don't think the team folded early. I think they legitimately think having a healthy Utley and Howard will help to compete in the NL East. Are they correct? Who knows? They just started playing this season but you can see what a healthy Utley can do.

The real question is, if they do start to rebuild, do you want RAJ at the helm of that rebuild?

Gtown: the 3rd baseman Ruben should have acquired is __________ ?

jbird-- DUH! Kevin Frandsen! I mean, come on, he's frickin' batting 1.000!!

Gtown Dave: Sorry, did you mean Delmon Young?

Oh, right. Applies to both. Awesome.

A bad Roy Halladay also is a lost trade chip at the deadline.

Predict that Brown, Lee and Young have good games tonight.
And, of course Papelbon will be unavailable to pitch in a close game, 9th inning.
Is Zach Minor on a plane to ATL, or do we see Bastardo get a save?

A good Roy Halladay means the team is in contention and wouldn't be a trade chip either.

Honestly, I think it's been said before, but I can't understand for the life of me why they didn't give Kendrick the start against the Braves and let Halladay throw the home opener.

Cyclic: Because Doc's performance last night would have gone over real well with the home crowd?

Jack: He had needs- 3b, 8th inning, CF, RF/LF...he went out and got those guys and really didn't pay much or give up much to it.

Would they be better off had he signed Youk, Upton, Adams, and traded Brown for Soriano? Maybe, but they would've been locking themselves into a ton of money and long contracts to do so.

jbird: r00b claimed the club needed youth & defense. As such I don't understand trading for the right to pay an old man who can't play defense $6 million to stand at 3B for a year. It doesn't help the team now, or long term.

Thanks Phillibuster. Actually looked it up after I posted that. Turns out, Medlen didn't take a Loss on 5/23/10 either. According to mlb.com, Medlen has only lost 2 regular season games that he's started, and they were the first 2 starts of his career in May 2009.

His only other loss as a starter was his last meaningful start, against the Cards in last year's playoffs.

Useless information on an 0-2 day.

TTI: That's not what I'm saying at all. I completely agreed with you that signing veterans to big deals and trading Brown for Soriano would be a terrible idea. Please re-read.

What I disagreed with was the idea that the "patches" he made were enough for them to compete this year. I don't think they are. I don't see this as a playoff team. You, obviously, do. All I was saying was while that it may have been the right decision to think long-term, it resulted in a team not likely to win this year. That's FINE with me. But, again, in my opinion, that's what is happening.

Jack-- Yeah, I forgot, the Royals are as good as the Braves. Pitching at home is also the same as pitching on the road in the rain.

"Well, it's going to be a struggle. He's got to reinvent himself. And that's going to take a while. But I don't think he's done. I wouldn't go that far."


_____________________________________________

I said this last night in offering up that Halladay may be stubborn and thus it is not allowing him to pitch differently. I was assured by resident BL scout MG that my notion was completely implausible. What it really is according to scout MG is a phantom injury that Halladay is hiding and the Phillies have buried their head in the sand and refuse to check him out basically pulling off the old "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.." routine.

Amaro is signed through '15 and I would be stunned if he goes anywhere anytime soon. Not how this ownership group behaves.

Conversation is ridiculously premature and unwarranted 2 games into the '13 season. If this team completely collapses this season and loses 90+ games and isfacing what is going to be a rebuilding process, then it is worth revisiting.

Cyclic: For what it's worth it looks like the Phillies will be playing in the rain tomorrow, too.

Also, they would've needed to have a weather report about two weeks ago.

I get the point about the Royals/Braves, and maybe the home/road thing (although isn't Turner Field a better pitcher's park than CBP?). But the rain doesn't really make sense.

Is this the closest the Phils are to 1st place the rest of the season?

Jack: The difference in our opinions is that yo seem to think "winning now" and "planning for the future" are mutually exclusive ideas. I would wholeheartedly disagree with that.

I think Amaro believed that with everyone, or at least 2 of the 3 big guns from last year healthy this team could compete. Even if Halladay is average you are running out a rotation with Cliff and Cole out front. He felt he should try to patch some things up short term. I am very happy he did that without giving out big contracts or trading Brown for Soriano which to be honest- I was completely scared he was going to do this off-season. it reeked of an Amaro style move.

The moves he made to me are trying to do two things at once. I don't know if it will ultimately work though.

"Bull Durham", Phillies-Style: "Sometimes you lose. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains."

TTI - Yeah I do think Halladay is not completely healthy as he continued to reassert yet again last night.

If I had to play 'conspiracy theorist' what I would bet is that Halladay experienced an injury setback this spring that the Phils didn't disclose (compounded by his flu-like illness) and is struggling to deal with its lingering effects.

Where I bet Halladay is now is that he doesn't feel 100% but he is trying to pitch through the pain/discomfort just as he did last year.

Halladay is being closely monitored by the trainer/medical staff but since he doesn't have anything structurally wrong & says he feel well enough to pitch the Phils are continuing to let Halladay pitch.

Wow. 2 games into a 162 game regular season and not only are the fans panicking, they're claiming that management clearly threw in the towel on 2013 months ago.

Totally rational.

MG: If there were something not structurally wrong yet he still looked hurt or unhealthy out there pitching they would do something like shutting him down or trying to figure out what it is. I know the joke is that the medical staff is inept but if they were that bad and blatantly reckless with a player why would any free agent sign there in the future.

Joe Blanton's line this afternoon: 5 IP, 5 runs allowed (4 earned), 3 homeruns surrendered. Stands to be the losing pitcher.

If the Phillies' play provides us no reason to celebrate, at least we can celebrate others' misery.

Chris in VT: My opinion isn't based on the 2 games played, but on the team as assembled this past off-season. There's nothing reactionary or irrational about it.

Joe Blanton's line this afternoon: 5 IP, 5 runs allowed (4 earned), 3 homeruns surrendered. Stands to be the losing pitcher.

That line sounds somewhat familiar ...

Sorry I mentioned the rain. I didn't mean to say that was a reason to swap Kendrick and Halladay.

Incidentally, isn't the reason they kept playing in that slop last night that they thought tonight would be worse? Looks like it might not even rain now.

TTI: You still don't seem to understand what I'm saying (and apparently Chris in VT doesn't either).

I agree with you that he was trying to do two things at once. AGREE 100%.

What I'm saying is that I don't think it worked. I don't think his "patches" for this year resulted in a team that will succeed. He ended up with a guy at 3B who can't play 3B and the Nixberry platoon in RF until the worst everyday OF in baseball gets healthy. If he was relying on all of his top players to be fully healthy and at their peak performance for the entire season, that's a pretty unlikely scenario. 2007 Chase Utley and Ryan Howard aren't walking through that door.

Good thing that scout's take on Halladay didn't surprise me at all. I've been conditioned to expect the worst and hope for the best. It really sucked to see Doc struggling like he did last night.

GTown: Reactionary, possibly not. But irrational? Definitely.

If the Phillies won Monday, in stunning comeback fashion against Kimbrel, and were sitting with a 1-1 record right now, it seems unlikely there would be as much negativity towards the season.

And yet that wouldn't have been any more indicative of the entire 162-game season than the 2 losses thus far are.

Philibuster: Once again, the two games played have NOTHING to do w/ my opinion. The Phillies could be 2-0 right now & I'd still think this was a mediocre roster which will have plenty of free time on their hands come October.

TTI - No they wouldn't. In pain mgt, a provider is often is heavily reliant upon what the patient has to say and in this case if Halladay insists he is healthy enough to pitch I can't imagine the Phils will place him on the DL.

Yeah, people who think myself and Gtown and BAP are overreacting to two games should go back and read the predictions.

I'm pretty sure we all predicted an under .500 season. So I'm not sure how we can be accused of having our opinion affected by the 0-2 start.

GTown: If it weren't for the fact that a majority of the posts you make - in recent and not-so-recent past - were negative towards the Phillies, I would probably disagree with you there.

I'm not saying they're likely playoff participants either, but they're easily the 3rd-place team in this division on paper, and less than 10 games out of 2nd in all likelihood. That's one serious SP injury away from contention for 2nd-best record in the NLE - even assuming everything breaks the way it says on paper.

RedBarb~ I didn't say anything about large contracts. I was talking about fixing/upgrading areas of need. Some needs were taken care of, some weren't. I also said that RAJ's hands may have been tied. Maybe you didn't read the entire post, maybe you did. They filled some needs and will be better than last year (I think). But they did not do enough to overcome the Braves and Nats, and I think there are too many other teams in the league that are better. And it is my opinion, that the way this team is constructed, they will not make the playoffs, and someone will have a lot of questions to answer. Until that time, we'll see what happens, but so far (it's early), they look like nothing more than a .500 team.

You may not agree, and tell me I'll never change, but that's the way I see it. I hope I'm wrong, believe me, but I don't think so.

More Halladay analysis and a look at his arm angle over time:

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/roy-halladay-doesnt-answer-the-question/

Jack: I get what you are saying. i think we are talking past each other a little because my point of contention is a little different.

Agreed with TTI - they made mostly the best patches possible with the least amount of long term commitments.

I'm on board with that strategy, since the huge question marks with utley/howard/hallday have the potential to sink any of the marginal upgrades that could be acquired for additional resources(years/money/prospects).

MG: You are 100% delusional if you think the phillies would treat their business and a 20 million dollar a year investment by saying "Well he says he is good...."

Dom brown and Howard homer and philles win 6-1. And someone pays for that bat flip the punk catcher did last night.

Overreacting after 2 games is ridiculous. Thinking that Halladay might well be cooked is a different story entirely. It's been a year plus of this now with continued struggles this spring & his first outing.

I'm on board with the strategy too.

I just don't see a playoff team. Again, that's OK. It's better than sinking the team even further in the future. But it is what it is.

Can we stop with the "2 games don't mean anything" stuff? Do 164 games mean anything?

As for doom and gloomer, if this team is sub. 500 after that end of that 4-game series vs Fish in May, then yeah I will officially join the 'doom and gloom' crowd and the Phils' playoffs chances this year.

And someone pays for that bat flip the punk catcher did last night.

I wish. However, something tells me this particular group of tired millionaires only really gets ticked off when a careless valet almost scratches their new Bentley.

2 games mean a helluva lot when the team you're playing is a team you have to beat. Thy got 2 poor pitching performances, and their offense can't overcome those.

Yes, because Halladay definitely looked like he just didn't care on the mound yesterday.

DPatrone - They have 16 freaking more games against this team and if the Phils win today they went 1-2. Big deal.

Franzke and LA speculated last nite that Adams and Pap got work because tonite looked like 100% rainout. Now you are telling me it's not going to rain at all?

In related news, Iron Pigs don't get an Opening Day game, instead relegated to Friday.

Nate Schierholtz with a 2 run homer for the Cubs.

Speaking of announcers, is it just me, or did anyone else notice TMac and Wheels incorporating a lot more "dead air" into their first couple of innings last night?

I was watching on my phone in a car, so it wasn't exactly a scientific sample, but the TMac/Wheels duo seemed to end up with about as much silence as the Franzke/LA pair.

Admittedly, I wasn't able to watch from the 4th inning on, so I don't know if that continued once Sarge reached the booth, or if they continued the practice when Wheels came back, but...

Bill: I'm willing to go out on a limb and predict Schierholtz to have a better season than any of Delmon, Mayberry, or Nix.

I'll be happy if the Braves don't score in the first inning.

I agree with GTown. This team doesn't have the sack to put one in somebody's ear. That was a Brett Myers move. I wasn't a big fan of the guy but at least he would send a message when it needed sending. Cliff will just shrug and go "That's baseball."

DPat - I read your whole post. Again, you say the club didn't do what they needed to do in the offseason. What was the only other options other than what was done? Sign free agents. Those free agents were costly and would've been more longer than a year. Do you disagree with this?

What was the organization supposed to do in your eyes this past offseason? Mortgage the future for a shot this year or patchwork in the hopes of contending and if it doesn't work out, no long term damage is done?

Joe - Didn't Doc throw one behind a guy during the Nationals game in Spring Training? Wasn't there a big thing about this? How about when Hamels pegged Harper for no reason last year?

Phillibuster, I noticed some more dead air on Monday night in the TV broadcast and I loved it. Those were the highlights of the night.

Jack/Bill-- Is Schierholtz playing everyday?

Yeah Doc threw at a guy in the spring but anymore we really can wonder if that was on purpose because his control is god awful anymore. And you are right about Hamels. He is a guy that still has plenty of easily seen competitive fire left.

Isn't it "just baseball"?

C'mon Joe. Stop sounding like an ignorant WIP fan. Doc absolutely threw at that Nationals player.

Just trying to make a joke, Red. Trying to find something to keep me from crying about Doc.

Joe: TMac has been an announcer for a long while now, but this is "only" his 6th year doing MLB television broadcasts. He plays much better on the radio, I find, so maybe he's slowly developing a better cadence for visual media.

It can't be easy to get your foot in the door very well when they run Sarge into the booth every game for the middle 3, who either won't say a word without a very overt and direct prompt or won't ever get to the point of his story.

I liked Sarge talking about how Dale Murphy should "definitely" be in the HoF.

Hamels plunking Harper was the highlight of the entire '12 season, & all Cole got for his trouble were r00b & unidentified teammates throwing him under the bus. Sure, he shouldn't have admitted to doing it on purpose, but the lack of support for a very uncharacteristic act of "C'mon guys, let's get this!" was telling.

Red, I commented on Tuesday morning about how the Dale Murphy debate made me dumber just listening to it. That was absolutely terrible.

Haha. Yeah RAJ really threw him under the bus by signing him to the richest contract in team history.

Red: Maybe that was the lawsuit after the bus hit him.

Binder & Binder have a pretty solid success rate...

Now clearly we have the benefit of some serious hindsight here but many of us were very weary of banking on Doc to ever be Doc again. Or even being some semblance of himself. With that said does anyone wonder if the Revere deal could have been made without including Worley? I was fine with the Revere trade but figured I'd ask. I don't think Worley will have a good year or long-term career but now here we sit with the very real prospect of having Kendrick propelled into the #3 spot in the rotation with Lee moving up.

I believe Krasno, Krasno and Onwudinjo worked that case.

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