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Wednesday, April 10, 2013


If the season ended today, the Phils would miss the playoffs.

Was only listening to the game, but it sounded like Revere did steal the bag, but slid past it and was tagged out. So fast, he sometimes can't control it.

revere is striking out outside his norms. he is also walking outside his norms. do they, to any extent, cancel each other out? the old revere would never have watched a pitch on the black, down 0-2. the new one has joyner in his head.

I was at the game therefor I did not follow the game thread so excuse me if this was discussed but Soler attacke the Clearwater dugout tonight? That's pretty alarming.

Nice to see the bats come alive in this series. Take 2 of 3 from Miami and we are at least back to .500. The way we started, I'll take that.

I can no longer say that I have never seen Laynce Nix have a good Phillies' AB.

And of course, the ever-unprepared Sarge called Nix, "A professional hitter, at least pinch-hitting-wise". That's the LN with a lifetime PH line of .189/.268/.268.

Sarge is a tool.

"It was the 28th time in his last 42 starts Kendrick allowed two earned runs or fewer."

That's not bad at all!

Some tough pitching match-ups against the Fish, unfortunately.




The pitching should stifle the Marlins offense- key word being 'should'- but I don't really know what to expect from any of those three starters. I wouldn't be surprised by any result. And when's the last time the Phils beat Nolasco? Ever?

Big series, though. They follow by going to Cincy with these match-ups: Lee-Arroyo, Kendrick-Bailey, Lannan-Leake. Then they get Wainwright and Garcia back-to-back against the Cards.

The goal should be just to get back to .500 and Miami and go from there.

Never mind on Nolasco. He had pedestrian numbers against them last year and not all that great for his career. Why do I remember him being a Phillie-killer?

If Lannan can do what he did in his last start, he should get similar results or better against Miami. He kept the ball on the ground for a majority of the game against KC and MIA's lineup is historically pathetic. If I were MG, I'd bet the Phils in this game.

On behalf of all Carpal Tunnel Syndrome sufferers on BL please reinstate the "jump to newest comments" link.

Vintage KK tonight, in and out of trouble, but gave us 6 innings and set Charlie up for a paint by numbers bullpen usage.

Nice to see the HR's. Remember, not that long ago, that the main complaint about the offense was that they only scored via the HR? I could live with that.

Iceman, Nolasco sucks, Bailey was lit up today and Garcia isn't what he was two years ago. C'mon let's aim higher.

The Hamels-Fernandez match up could be an issue. 20 year-old fireballer with a good curve, that has problems written all over it. As long as they can score against Miami, they should be alright. I wouldn't mind seeing Utley get a day off in this series maybe throw Frandsen or Galvis in there and get them some ABs, probably won't happen though.

Pblunts- I was wrong on Nolasco, but Garcia has gone 5.2 and 1 ER, 6.2 and 3 ER against two good lineups this season. He's 26- it's not like he's fallen off some cliff. He's recovering from surgery and doing so quite well.

Career against the Phillies in 36 IP (5 starts, 2 relief appearances) he's got a 2.00 ERA (1.85 as a starter), 1.00 WHIP, holding hitters to a .548 OPS. 1.38 ERA in 2 starts at CBP.

They're gonna get dominated that night. I believe it will be Halladay-Garcia, too. That's as close to a guaranteed loss as you can possibly get, unless Halladay figures it out overnight.

What's the innings limit to be eligible for the Phillie-killer team? If 35 is acceptable, Garcia has to make the cut. An ERA of a run and a half less against the Phils, allowing them to hit to an OPS .150 off his average.

Something interesting on Slowey. He has lost 10 consecutive starts. In fact his team has lost the last 16 games that he pitched in. The last time he pitched in a game that his team won was Oct. 3, 2010. The last time he got a win was Sept. 29, 2010. Some of those games he came in as a reliever. He did spent all of 2012 in AAA.

add me to those who would greatly appreciate the return of the "jump to latest comments" button. i see that now we have no "previous" button. lol

As Hannibal Smith would say, "I love it plan comes together." This was about as textbook a win as you could draw up with a huge defensive play from Revere, a few hits from M. Young, Brown with a key offfensive contribution, just enough from KK, and the bullpen generally doing their job despite the HR allowed by Adams.

Agree Iceman that as sad as it sounds the match ups don't really give the Phils a huge end vs Fish. I do think they win 2 of 3 though and 4-2 vs Mets/Fish is exactly what they needed to do this week.

Howard looked like a pregnant walrus running the bases and playing first tonight. It's almost like his achilles is three quarters gone and about to snap again. And at the plate, he looked like a pregnant walrus with a broken flipper against the lefties.

His achilles is obviously still bothering him and it has to be affecting his hitting. But not only is he playing. He is playing every inning of every game. He's even taken to putting the wrong foot on the bag at first. Looks like he's dancing on hot coals over there.

New fearless prediction. We're going to see Darin Ruf at first base within two months and Howard will be visiting the DL at about the same time Doc does.

Anyway, nice win. Kendrick won without his good stuff. Dom Brown can only hit balls up in the zone, apparently. And Utley looks amazingly like Utley. Oh, and Michael Young can still hit. He's got that Jeter right field swing down pat. And Revere seems incapable of hitting. If we were to go off of preseason, the prediction would have been the opposite. But Revere takes an awful lot of strikes for a guy who barely makes contact when he does swing.

aksmith - Howard is 0-12 so far this year vs LHP with 7 Ks so far.

I was dead serious this offseason/spring when I suggested Ruf make the Opening Day roster and get his share of starts at 1B for Howard vs LHP. It was because of the likely improved production from Ruf, better defense, and to give Howard some needed rest.

Howard has these splits the last 3 years vs LHP and includes a very favorable 2010 season:

.230/.294/.414 (.704 OPS) with 21 HRs in 461 ABs.

He also has 165 Ks (35.7% K rate).

It has gotten to the point though where a LHP pitcher doesn't even need a decent slider or changeup to get Howard out regularly either.

Dunno if anyone has seen this, but Joe Blanton, who IIRC some here would have preferred over Lannan, has given up 10 R in 10 IP over two starts for LAA.

"His achilles is obviously still bothering him and it has to be affecting his hitting. "

Smitty, and you KNOW this because...?

AK and MG, good points on Howard. The SNY broadcast last night showed him hobble to first on that laser single to the wall and later when he managed to go first to third. Both shots had the camera on him the entire time and it was hard to watch. Who knows if it will lead to another injury, but it doesn't take a genius to see he shouldn't be out there every day. Whether it is Ruf or Mayberry, someone needs to take time away from him. Chollie probably needs to nut-up and sit him, but he likely won't.

Iceman, garcia may be healthy this year, that is likely key. He was certainly good two years ago and terrible last year. I knew he was young, but didn't realize he was still only 26.

PS I hate off days.

I must give EDGE credit for one of the All-Time PPP comments (even if it was meant in jest):

"If the season ended today, the Phils would miss the playoffs."

BTW, GTownDave, you were in rare form during the game thread last night.

"Remember, not that long ago, that the main complaint about the offense was that they only scored via the HR? I could live with that."

This. Yes, this!

aksmith: And it didn't bother him when he was ripping the cover off the ball in spring training?

Also, Howard always ran with a weird gait. My guess is it is more that than plain out hobbling.

" Dom Brown can only hit balls up in the zone, apparently."

And Smitty hasn't been watching Brown in ST or during the season, apparently.

Wow, awh is batting .750 over the last eight posts.

Phanatic's Phriend: SSS

***"His achilles is obviously still bothering him and it has to be affecting his hitting. "


Um, if that's the case, that's even worse news than "He's just slumping". If its still an issue 18 months after the fact, then he's likely in that 10-15% of patients that never really recover from such an injury (see also MARINO, Dan)

***And it didn't bother him when he was ripping the cover off the ball in spring training?


Howard's career line in April: .254/.343/.455. His worst month by far.

Relax, ladies and gents. Howard is not their main problem right now. Their issue happens to be two "Aces" who have been more of a detriment than Ryan Howard. Howard is way down on my list of problems.

TTI, definite SSS.

And just for grins, Howard's career September/October: .291/.403/.614.

And since I've been told over the years that games in September are more important than games in April, Howard is doing just fine.

For those out-of-towners (mainerob, NEPP, Lake Fred, etc.) who cannot get Phillies games:

If you have not heard of ROKU, it's a little box that you can attach to your TV and stream live from the web. We use it for Netflix and some of the other programming.

I just got an email that says MLB TV is now available through the ROKU box, so if you are a subscriber you can now stream the games right on to your TV instead of your computer.

ROKU is available at Best Buy and some other retailers. It's not hard to set up either.

(Disclosure: I do not own stock in ROKU or Major League Baseball.)

RBill, good point: Howard has never been very good in April, except during his MVP season in 2006.

In 2009 he was horrible: .172/.297/.343

Interesting awh...I shall have to check it out.

I dont mind streaming it on my MacBook but that seems like an awesome option to have. And I've never liked using an HDMI cable to put it on my tv as the quality always seemed lacking.

awh: Do you own stock in or work at Best Buy?

Yeah I'm not hating this long ball approach anymore.

ROKU is god.

Why do the pictures of an empty Marlins Park always make me laugh?

Seidman: "Ryan Howard singled in his first two at-bats. Baby steps in the right direction."

Are you kidding me? That might have been the worst game I've ever seen Howard play....and yes I've seen him K in every PA before.

He blew basically every defensive play possible and his "single" was in play for longer than it took Roman Quinn to hit his inside-the-park-HR. He looked absolutely terrible.

Yes...i've watched Howard struggle mightily before and he almost alwasy bounces back, but he physically looks like a mess. That April line of .254/.343/.455 looks like a prayer more than a career avg right now.

I don't know if Howard is hurt. I just wish he would sit against some LHP pitching.

Mayberry struggled to hit at 1b when he played their last year and right now the Phils roster isn't aligned to sit Howard vs a LHP pitcher amyways really unless the Phils would shift M. Young or Utley over to 1B or even start Frandsen there.

The app on my Samsung "Smart" TV is the only TV app that actually seems to work fairly well. Well, I still can't choose to overlay the radio feed, but the video quality is pretty good.

I don't think they will want to touch Young right now. He seems to be happy about the fact that he only has to worry about 1 position and right now his offensive #s are showing that happiness. I agree on Howard having to sit against pretty much any and all LHP. But as with any change there are the monetary factors to take into consideration. Are they going to be able to justify a $20M platoon player? Oy vey.

The Pirates have a team OPS+ of 24.

Howard may get bat right, (and for him at this point in his career, what does a "right" bat look like?), but his struggles against LHP aren't going away, his miserable defense at 1B aren't going anywhere, was always a bad baserunner, but he looks like a cripple now running the bases.

He's going to have a hard time being an above average player this year, given how much value he loses on the basepaths, in the field and against LHP.

MLB.TV on your TV is also available on Playstation 3 and XBox 360 (for about 2 years now).

Also both capable of Netflix, HuluPlus, and other streaming services.

And if you go for the former, you can also get the best baseball video game every year. Actually, if anybody hasn't gotten it yet, MLB The Show 13 is pretty spectacular. Bonus points for now having to/being able to choose/hire your FO in franchise mode.

I don't get what happened to him defensively. He had a stretch where he righted himself out there but he seems to have regressed. His throwing was always abysmal but now it's everything.

Ryno is out there playing everyday because that's what a mothereffing Philadelphia WFC Phillie does. Right, Chase?

Well, on the bright side, Howard is only under contract for 639 more games.

Joe: If I had to guess, the time lost to the immobilizer boot was a double-whammy to his fielding.

First, he couldn't do anything, so he fell out of practice.

Then, after he could do something, he knew that the most valuable aspect of his game to this team is his bat, so he concentrated on it - to the detriment of his fielding.

I'm not sure he'll ever be able to get back to his '10-early '11 defensive abilities again. I'm also not sure he won't, though, so there's that...

I think more appropriately on the bright side he's a notoriously slow starter. I think what we are going to need with this aging team is for guys to get hot for stretches to carry and mask the shortcomings of others. So up to this point we see Lee picking up the slack for Hamels and Doc. Young and Utley are picking up for Howard. At some point the tables will probably turn. This isn't a team that is going to click on all cylinders at once like it used to.

You kids just need to port your computer out to your TV with an HDMI cable, instead buying all these fancy shmancy gizmos.

Fata - Yeah, but then your CPU is plugged into your TV awkwardly and you can't use it. I use Apple TV. It's great. More functionality than the Roku.

But Philli, what if they got him a stool out there to field on. Odds are he'd have the same if not better range while on the stool.

That only works if your fancy shmancy PC has a fancy shmancy video card with an HDMI-out, Fata.

Sophist, my TV is my third monitor for my computer, and I can still use my TV as a TV by just switching inputs. It's seamless.

Of course, it requires that you have a video card or on-board video in your computer that supports HDMI (or you could purchase a DVI to HDMI converter for like $5).

buster, converter, actually going for $1.92 on monoprice.

And I have one that I'm not longer using that I could give away for free!

I'm still looking for the HDMI cable that makes McCarthy tolerable. I'll let you guys know when I find it.

I thought Roku was a failed adult juicebox drink pitched by Richard Lewis in the early '90s. Oh wait, that was Boku. Carry on.

Joe D, just don't plug it in and TMac goes away!

Fata: While my computer has a distinct VidCard, lots of people buy all-in-ones (or just ones that use an emulated video card via internal memory) that don't have the advantage of a DVI out.

But really, my PS3 cost $300 when it was new (5 years ago), and it could be had for the $200 range now... And it also lets me have a dedicated box for any streaming-to-TV services I want, while also letting me play Skyrim, The Show, X-Com, and any mmid-to-late-'90s Playstation games I want.

Also, supports 1080p HDMI natively.

Full Disclosure: My second job is at GameStop. Although I don't have any stock, or earn any commission, so...

buster, I was just giving people a hard time about porting your computer out to your Tv. You can do VGA to HDMI out as well, but when you use an adapter, you have to port the sound separately, since VGA/DVI only support video. This can be accomplished with a an aux cable run from your computer's speaker system to your TV. If you have direct HDMI out, you can adjust your speaker through your sound control features on your computer.

I have a P23, as well, but I just find it easier to run all my media right through my computer.

Oh, off days.

We need the A's back in Philly so we can have baseball every day.

Fata: I kinda figured. Although really, the loss in fidelity of going through any converter is pretty noticeable, even going to HDMI.

But that's all besides the point. Why are you running all of your fancy shmancy electronics directly into your sub-optimal TV inputs instead of through a high-fidelity, multi-input receiver with Dolby 7.1 capabilities?!?!?

It's almost like spring training was an unreliable predictor of what Howard would do during the regular season.

But it was definitely accurate about Michael Young and JMJ, yes?

Yeah, ST stats are whatever. But Howard's 38 PA so far this year are a whole lot of nothing too. They don't show how unreliable his ST performance was.

Sophist: True. But Howard's career, and more importantly, last couple of seasons, shows how unreliable his ST performance was.

The idea that he was suddenly going to be hitting LHP because he had a few good hits off lefties in ST was a pipe dream.

buster, I watch most stuff through my computer. I'm not an audiophile or a video-phile, so sub-optimal quality has never bothered me, although now I am going directly from an HDMI-out to HDMI-in on my TV. I don't even have HD cable, because SD is more than adequate.

More than that, I just like things to be consolidated. I have almost 2 TB of media files on my computer, and if I want to lounge on the couch and watch one of them on my 42" TV as opposed to my 24" computer monitor, it's just easier to turn the TV on, drag the media player over to my TV, switch the sound, and be done with it.

I sent a request to b-ref a week or so ago about adding "Acquired" status as a sortable feature along with stats. Got a response they are working on adding it as a query/split option, but so far they have added it to "Player Value" stats.

For instance, you can now see that only three players acquired via Free Agency were in the top 20 in bWAR last year (Beltre, Hunter, Aramis).

Should be interesting on comparing over the yeras the shift of value gained from FA vs. internally drafted/traded players. I bet in the late 90s it was heavily FA while beginning to trend towards the draft in more recent seasons.

lorecore: Very interesting.

Nice lorecore, let me know if they update that.

Alex Rios has the highest WAR for a Waiver Claim.

awh - Apparently, a lot of other people saw what I saw from Howard yesterday. Unlike earlier in the season, he was actually hobbling around the bases, unable to make turns around bags without taking a bunch of half steps and almost coming to a stop. He was using his right foot on the bag at first, which looked awkward and left him off balance receiving throws. I hadn't seen that either. Protecting his left ankle? Of course, he's always had trouble throwing, so I didn't see anything new there.

He's clearly having trouble with his left leg, so I am assuming it's his achilles still bothering him. It could be something completely different, but in med school, you're taught that when you hear hoofbeats, your first thought shouldn't be zebras. Just playing the odds.

I actually feel for the guy. He didn't look like this in ST.

And about Domonic Brown. The only balls he's squaring up are way up in the zone. I didn't actually see a lot of his ST at bats. But since the season started, that is definitely the case. His swing hole used to be inside. That is no longer the case. It's anything down.

On one of Howard's base hits, Wheels said kind of sadly, "He can't run."

Either Howard is still injured in some capacity, or he just simply can't run. Net result's the same. You have a station to station batter who is going to horribly clog up the base paths.

If his achilles isn't 100% by now, it likely never will be.


aksmith - I always enjoy a different perspective on things and good points about Howard foot's on the bag & Brown's swing.

So on the "Utley, Halladay, and Howard are healthy this year!" checklist, we have:

Utley: healthy
Halladay: Uh
Howard: Uh

Jack: So "UHH" becomes "HUU?"

buster, huh?


Fatal: Third base!

Kevin Frandsen has 1 less total base than Jeff Keppinger does in 28 less PA.

Per Andy Martino (remember him?), the Mets are eyeing either Cargo or Stanton as a trade option...

To acquire four years of Stanton, the Mets would likely have to part with their two best prospects, pitcher Zack Wheeler and catcher Travis D'Arnaud. An associate of Alderson's told Martino the GM "did not have any extra attachment to those players, simply because he traded for them."

Would that not be a perfect storm of suck for us?

"awh: Do you own stock in or work at Best Buy?"

TTI, unfortunately, no.

NEPP: Really? I would figure the Mets are closer to contention than the Fish. Stanton is awesome, but if they have to give up 2-3 of their best prospects to a team that isn't about to compete, suddenly their future looks a lot less rosy too.

buster, Stanton is 24 and already a superstar. Would you NOT make that trade if you were the Mets?

Fatal: I almost definitely would - especially since their outfield is ridiculously bad. My point was more that it wouldn't be "the perfect storm of suck for us," because that won't put the Mets over the top on its own.

Plus, the advantages to an amazing star now - when the team is not close to contention, and will not reach the "almost there" stage by obtaining one player - are potentially outweighed by the loss of a star-caliber starter and a star-caliber catcher who would be available at a time when they could be in contention. Especially since I don't think the Mets have he cash to lock Stanton up long-term yet, so they're only guaranteed 3-ish years of him.

When you think about it, that would be an impressive trade for the Mets if it came to fruition. They'd essentially have traded 2 months of Carlos Beltran and a 38 year old knuckleballer for 4 years of one of the best young players in baseball.

***My point was more that it wouldn't be "the perfect storm of suck for us," because that won't put the Mets over the top on its own.

I meant it more in the sense of him being traded within the division but not to us...

NEPP: I would bet there are a lot of teams that would be in on either of those guys.

NEPP: Ahh. Well then yes, that I definitely agree with.

I think the perfect storm of suck would be him moseying on over to the Nats or Braves. The Braves could even afford to trade BJ or Heyward, then, and pick up a better starter than what they've got.

An outfield of JUpton, BJ/Heyward, and Stanton definitely scares me (mostly the JUpton/Stanton part, admittedly).

If I'm the Marlins, I'd have to get Harvey included. He's far from "established" but you can not move Stanton for a package of players that have 0 MLB experience.

Arguably the best power hitter in the game at age 24 is worth 3 top tier prospects.

And I don't see the Mets in any position to be trading away such.

Lorecore: Normally I'd agree, but this is shallow-pockets Loria we're talking about... I think he'll always favor prospects over guys who will cost more, sooner.

Harvey is still pre arb, he is exactly what loria would target.

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