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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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Reading through the game thread tonight was much more pleasant than watching the game. Some really good stuff from BAP, GTown, Fatalotti, among others.

The scariest part of all this is the knowledge that Amaro will likely be leading this team's rebuilding effort, and if not, some other anti-intellectual dummy will replace him. The folks who hired Amaro will certainly replace him with another Old Baseball Man who covers his ears whenever statistics are mentioned.

Fats: do I usually use a lower case j? it auto filled on a computer I don't usually use to comment.

You have to take the months/season in segments, and at the beginning of the Mets/Marlins stretch I said 4-2/5-1 would be what they should aim for. They did that.

At the beginning of this series I said that, given the pitching match-ups, 4-3 should be considered a rousing success. That's all but out of the picture now, but 3-4 wouldn't be terrible given what they have lined up after the Cards series for the rest of April:

4 vs. PIT
3 @ NYM
2 @ CLE

Those are 9 games where it's realistic to have a 6-3 or even 7-2 goal (they are going to miss Niese AND Harvey in the Mets series if their rotation stays the same and get Hefner-Gee-Laffey).

Here's the match-ups for the Cards series:

Tomorrow: Hamels-Wainwright
Friday: Halladay-Garcia
Saturday: Lee-Lynn
Sunday: Kendrick-Westbrook

Unless you believe Halladay has truly turned a corner, Friday is basically a loss before the teams step on the field. But 3 of 4 is a remote possibility. A split wouldn't be ideal, but they wouldn't be completely buried.

Lose 3 of 4 to the Cards and they'll be 7-12 and it's 'panic time' if certain guys (Halladay and Howard, specifically) show no signs of improvement.

DH, I'm glad you had a good time. It was rough actually living through that, though.

Zolecki: "Brown left game because of mid-back issue. Will see doctor tomorrow. Lannan had left knee issue. Also will see doctor."

Balsa wood.

I took a good game to skip. What happened to DOM?

I have to give credit to the Reds starters this series, they really were on their game. Didnt walk a single batter.

He tweaked his back striking out.

Rollins/Utley/Young/Howard or Rollins/Young/Utley/Howard just needs to happen so we can get some runs on the board. The former seems to make more sense if Brown bats after Howard. At this point, Young is wasting away in the 5-hole.

Rearranging the lineup isn't going to do much if they continue to put ABs like this together.

One thing to get shutdown by Bailey last night who had a very effective fastball/curve working with great command.

Leake had decent fastball command tonight too but there were pitches to hit that the Phils just did very little with except make a lot of weak outs. Wasn't a ton of hard hit balls right at opposing fielders.

For a lineup with average HR power at best (and less if Howard isn't hitting for power) and below average ability to work BBs, if they are driving the ball and getting base hits their offense will flounder.

"Rollins/Young/Utley/Howard just needs to happen "

Afraid they happened in the aughts. Just oldie shows now.

Injuries:

They can't avoid literally to have almost anyone injured because there is essentially no depth right now anymore.

The only starter who hasn't gotten shelled at LV to start the year is Morgan. There really isn't a clear alternative to call up in the OF if Brown goes on the 15-day DL either.

Easily see Amaro working a trade or hitting the waiver wire. Depth just isn't there.

They'd probably just call up Pete Orr if Dom Brown goes on the DL.

They'd probably just call up Pete Orr if Dom Brown goes on the DL.

Posted by: NEPP | Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 10:42 PM

What's the problem with that? I don't see the problem.

Hello? Who is still hitting over .300 and capable of playing not only all 3 OF spots but 2B/3B/SS?

ugh, DOM struggling out of the gate and then getting a nagging back injury? I have a sinking feeling I'm going to regret driving this bandwagon.

Orr would enhance the 'Bench Scrappiness' factor which is kind of lacking right now.

I think you can't sit around and wait for Ruiz and Young to be activated before you tweak the lineup. I know Manuel wants to give the idea of Revere in the leadoff spot a 'fair' and lengthy trial...but really, that's enough for now. What you can't do is convey complacency by just running the same order out there; even if it doesn't do the slightest bit of good to hit Revere 8th instead of 1st, you have to attempt to shake something up, even if the only purpose is to make it clear to everyone that the results have been unacceptable to date. It really should have been done in this final game of the series after the starting lineup had produced zero runs in the first two games. Manuel likes to project himself as the calm-in-the-storm, stick-with-my-guys type of manager, but what he really is, is stubborn and rigid. Those two qualities are his biggest detriments as a manager, and they inform his every blunder. Still, I'd be surprised if he runs out this initial lineup mold for one more game.

Kratz

Another 0fer with a yet another GIDP and a wild pitch that could have been a passed ball.

He is now at .156/.152/.267 with just 3 XBHs.

Cholly said today that his job wasn't guaranteed when Chooch comes back and he is rapidly approaching a demotion. Maybe even an outright release since the Phils have Joseph/Lerud at Lehigh.

MG: I believe Kratz has an option remaining, which means he'll go back to AAA & Quintero will remain.

I'm definitely on board with putting Revere down to 8th in the order. And moving Young to 2nd - or Utley to 2nd and Young to 3rd, which I think I like even more.

If everyone isn't hitting, what the hell difference does it make what order you bat them in?

Every year with the Phils it's the batting order, not the players.

The problem with moving Revere to eight is that you just gave up centerfield, which ought to be a high offense slot, to a #eight hole hitter. Hell, that makes Mayberry more valuable than Revere, since their defense is comparable and Mayberry is hitting better. So the point is... what the hell was the point of signing Revere if he isn't better than Mayberry?

kuvasz: Up the middle positions are not high slots in the order, its usually corner spots.

Revere and Mayberry are not comparable defensively.

The phillies didn't sign Revere, they traded for him.

But yes...if Revere continues to be a .400 OPS player for the rest of his career then the Phils should have never acquired him

It would figure too that Lannan's biggest positive coming into the season is that he has never been on the DL during his entire baseball career & now he is going to have his knee looked at. Ugh.

I'm curious... is there a way to find out how many opportunities Young has had to drive in Utley so far?

Dear Phillies,

I humbly petition you to please stop doing what you're doing.

That is all.

I guess those spring training stats for Dom and Howard really were meaningless, huh?

Whats funny is that next spring will roll around, and people will once again insist that no, this time, the spring performance really does mean something.

Everyone want to know what is as silly as putting stock in spring training stats? Putting stock in 54 and 58 plate appearances respectively.


But the troll gets to come here and say "I was right..." so there. It's almost as if he isn't a Phillies fan.

TTI: Well, what is the point of ST stats if they don't predict what the guy is going to do in the first month of the season?

Are you really going to sit here if Howard has a good August and say "see, i knew it when he had a good spring!"

No. The point is that ST stats mean nothing. Sometimes guys have bad springs and good starts to the year, and vice versa. It's completely random.

"There really isn't a clear alternative to call up in the OF if Brown goes on the 15-day DL either."


Yes, its the same "alternative" that never should have been sent to LV to begin with...Darin Ruf.

I mean, we couldn't dare lose all the production Carerra and Inciarte have given the team in the first two weeks.

Its also time to send Valdez to the unemployment line. He is a BP pitcher at best. Call up Stutes and get him in uniform by tomorrow.

Troll: Yes you were able to say something and then come on later and tell everyone you were right. I'm sure whoever you tell this stuff too will be excited for you. Maybe they'll buy you dinner.

You are being a jagoff here because you spend weeks telling people spring training doesn't matter but 54 plate appearances do. Neither really matters all that much in the grand scheme of things but that doesn't fit your narrative you try to put forward. So you are just trying to pick and choose when things matter.

TTI: Youre losing it. You really are. I would relax a little bit.

I'm not saying 54 PAs make Howard and Brown bad.

I'm saying these 54 PAs of being bad following directly the 75 PAs of being good in ST shows that the PAs in ST told us nothing about how they would perform afterward. Get it? It's really not that complicated a concept.

denny b. -- Please tell me this is not a 65 win team. Although at this point I'm not sure how anyone can deny that statement.

Geesh. When the "top of the rotation" is Lee and Kendrick there are no words.

Troll: Then there is no reason for you to come into a thread crowing about it and patting your own back for saying something that any competent person already knew.

Other than the fact that you are just a d-bag who is starved for attention.

How bad has Erik Kratz been?

Well, he has the worst average and the worst OBP of any catcher in the league- the fourth-lowest OBP and 20th-lowest average in the league of any player (min: 40 PAs).

Fangraphs says he's only been the 24th-worst player, according to WAR, so far this season. B-R has him as the 15th-worst. He's been the worst catcher in the league by any standard; a -0.4 bWAR through 15 games.

No one player is responsible for this offensive drought, but Kratz, quite literally, could not be any worse in any aspect of the game.

Do 162 G & 485 AB mean anything? And if so, is .235/.311/.386 a good line?

It may well be too early to quit, but there's enough of a sample to say what's been done thus far is not encouraging.

I think what truly sickened me was the very ugly approach the team seemed to have at the plate. So much swinging at the first pitch. And Revere taking the first pitch a strike, then swinging at the next pitch(a ball). Also, Carerra looked like a little leaguer at the plate, pitiful. These ABs were in the 7th inning I believe. I felt like I could have put up better ABs, and I'm not a college caliber baseball player.

Just one question:

If Carrera gets DFA'd when DYoung appears, what will be the World Series shares for both Inciarte and Carrera?

I know you were all thinking it.

This...is going to be a long, painful season

It basically comes down to this:

If you like weak groundouts, and a .260 OBP, out of your leadoff hitter, then Revere should stay in the leadoff spot. If you prefer pop-ups, and a .260 OBP out of your leadoff hitter, then Rollins should go back to the leadoff spot.

That was the first Reds 3-game sweep of the Phils since '96.

Not to worry. The cavalry, in the form of Ruiz and D. Young, is just over the horizon. It's all part of Amaro's grand plan.

"The cavalry, in the form of Ruiz and D. Young, is just over the horizon?"

Like Custer at Little Big Horn get a scant few troops including his one of his most reliable Lts who is getting a bit long in the tooth & the unit derelict who is has been cited for disorderly conduct & failed physical performance evaluations.

I forgot who said that 'No need to fear, Lannan is here' well that hero got clubbed on the knee and might be out for a while. Some hero.

"Nat's Harper has IV, vomits, goes 4-for-5"
of course he did.

This is going to be a long decade.

Hey Ice~ Don't be pissed at me 'cause they'll terrible. None of us are the cause of that. It certainly looks like another 50-loss season by the AS break.

I understand that it's tough to play well when you have lots of injuries (last year).

This year they're (mostly) healthy, but playing without a heartbeat. Inconceivable.

It really doesn't surprise me to see Brown & Howard struggling the way they are, especially with Brown tweaking his back swinging ( can happen to anyone ).

Both these guys got a ton of time in spring. Maybe TOO much, followed by nearly every game so far.

Actually just looking at ST stats. Brown had the most ABs this spring..for all of MLB at 90 (30 games). Howard was 87 (27 games).

Even more startling is Brown Revere Howard are top 3 in ABs for all of MLB during ST. Galvis was 4th 80(30g) and Mayberry & Young were 8th and 9th 78(31g) & 78(26g).

Coincidence that Brown Revere & Howard are struggling? I dunno but it is interesting.

I could easily see another sweep against the Cards. This team's dead.

If there are shake ups to be made, I wouldn't wait long.

Yeah Corn, that's why Brown and Howard have sucked up 'til this point...they've played too much...by April 17th...

If that really is the reason, we're in a lot worse trouble than I thought. And not just for this year, but for the rest of Howard's contract and however long Brown toils around in the majors.

Don't worry boys. A few more shiity games and I'm the lead dawg.

John Lannan was a pretty good 5th starter...till he took an arrow to the knee.

What do 2012 Jeff Francoeur and Domonic Brown's career have in common?

Both worth -1.4 fWAR.

Get THAT out of your head.

Too many games in spring training?!? Too many games in spring training?!?!? Please please please toss that crap out the window

Season's over? Season is over.

The following statements are presented without further comment:

The Phillies have had, what, 4 hitting coaches since 2005? Their team-wide approach at the plate hasn't changed at all.

Ben Revere sniffs .300 last year, comes to the Phils and is advised to change his approach. Now hitting .194.

The Phillies have had 1 hitting coach in that time...he's also the Manager. All the rest are just guys around to take the fall when our hitting guru of a manager fails once again.

2008 was great.

I'm kinda disappointed that I'll be in an all day training because the overreactions are going to be classic today.

This team is really awful right now. I'm a pretty objective observer of baseball and am not a guy who exaggerates how good my team is and devalues others due to my fandom. To me, as constructed (taking into account age, injuries, suspensions, etc.), this was/is a contender. To me, they are not as bad as they are playing. For whatever reason, they stink. They generally look bad in April, but not THIS bad.

I'm a well known Charlie-basher because, let's face it, he's awful. But, I don't even want him to be fired for his day-in and day-out boneheaded decisions that cost this team ballgames. I want him out so there is a change to the stagnant funk that is surrounding this team right now.

The Phillies have had 1 hitting coach in that time...he's also the Manager. All the rest are just guys around to take the fall when our hitting guru of a manager fails once again.

Bingo!

RedBurb: I think the reactions are just. Right now this is a bad team getting embarrassed. The reason for the "overreaction" is because they are, in fact, not a bad team and are playing poor baseball. If they stunk and were getting beat, then it would be "overreaction."

But, your point is valid in the sense that the commentary is going to be excellent. Thank goodness it's not an off day.

NEPP: Specious reasoning at best. My guess is that Manuel has only a minor effect on the day to day hitting.

With Henderson and Joyner you can see the Phillies hitters have different approaches at the plate. They are just in an offensive funk right now that they go into every single year.

RBill: Frustration is one thing and everyone would understand that. No one wants to see their team be 6-9 and coming off a flat night and a poor offensive punchless road trip.*

However, dialogue of "I'm giving up on this team," "season=over", "let's shovel dirt on player x..." is silly overreaction.


*Of course that was 98% of the Phillies teams in my lifetime that I followed religiously until 2004, but I'd venture most of the people saying the statements in the second paragraph weren't around during those down years.

Yes...everyone here is a new fan. None of us have been fans for decades and are intimately familiar with this type of suckage.

Highlights of this thread are TTI referring to Jack as Troll: only, and NEPP saying Lannan took an arrow to the knee. The Phillies suck so far =(

Call up Stutes and get him in uniform by tomorrow.

6 walks and 3 wild pitches in 6.2 IP. I don't think he's our bullpen's salvation right now.

Am I the only person that remembers that Stutes was never really good? Even when he was posting nice numbers two years ago for a couple months before he reverted to form, it was all pretty much a BABIP induced mirage.

NEPP -
No. Stutes throws an arrow-straight 92 mph fastball with mediocre to poor control and a so-so slider that was nonexistent in 2012 but supposedly breaks again after his shoulder surgery. Stutes is a younger version of 2013 Durbin. He is not good.

Bring up DeFratus!

Stutes is not the next guy up - but I would argue that he's better than Durbin, and possibly Valdes right now.

Fire up the Lehigh Valley shuttle!

De Fratus: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Joe Savery: 6.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K
Cesar Jimenez: 10.1 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

Diekman (8 BB in 4.2 IP) and Stutes are both having awful control problems, so I doubt they'll see Philly anytime soon.

Aumont's not going to be long for Philly if he can't find the plate - 6 BB in 3.1 IP, with 43 balls and 46 strikes so far.

***Aumont's not going to be long for Philly if he can't find the plate - 6 BB in 3.1 IP, with 43 balls and 46 strikes so far.***

Its a good thing we got Aumont, Gillies and Ramirez instead of someone like Michael Saunders in that trade.

Right?

If you step back, getting swept by the Reds in Cincy isn't a terribly damaging event. They were the best home team in baseball last year, and are predicted to be a division winner by most.

When you step closer however, the fact that all 3 pitchers they faced were struggling RHPs and the team just got swept by the Pirates during their 5 game losing streak - it becomes pretty damaging. Add in the fact that the phils just came off a series where they were offensively inept, and it looks even worse.

In reality, when you look at schedule, its understandable to lose 2 of 3 to a top team on the road - same thing with Atlanta. I count the Phillies right now as a -3 compared to expectations:

-1 in the KC series
-1 in the MIA series(have to sweep that garbage)
-1 in the Cincy series

*best home team in the NL (Yanks had 51 wins, reds+others had 50)

***fact that all 3 pitchers they faced were struggling RHPs***

It looks worse when you consider how bad they looked against Kevin "I invented the term struggling RHP" Slowey too. 4 straight games against pitchers they should be hitting where they looked just terrible.

The season isn't over. There is a ton of baseball to be played. I don't expect the bats to struggle much longer but the hard part is knowing that this isn't the same team that tracked down division leaders in the second half year after year in the late aughts. I don't know if they still have that closing speed to do what they did in 07, 08 or even 2010. That's why these early losses are more frustrating. They can't afford to leave any wins out there.

NEPP: And of course i didn't say everyone and didn't single anyone out, but you took that to mean i was accusing individuals.

I know it has been covered to death but what the heck is up with Revere? He is nothing like the player his numbers say he is. This likely means that a big correction is coming, right?
Speaking of Revere, Worley is really stinking it up in Minnesota. Ruben got that part of the deal right at least.

gobay: revere and worley are pretty damn equal right now.

I personally think Revere is putting a ton of pressure on himself due to being on a new team in the leadoff role. I think either he'll figure it out and start to hit like he did in Minnesota or he'll be dropped in the lineup and then figure it out.

I really dont think he's nearly as bad as he's been so far.

Hey you can mock it off the bat but if you look at the numbers there.

Brown: 189ip 30g 90ab
Revere: 182.2ip 27g 89ab
Howard: 158ip 28g 87ab

All 3 were hitting the ball well, Brown especially in ST.

Now for reg season

Brown: 122ip 15g 52ab
Howard: 129ip 15g 58ab
Revere: 130.1ip 15g 62ab

All 3 have died off big time, Howard started slump towards the last week of ST, Brown & Revere both started a few games into the season.

Now you factor in how bad the team overall is playing & yes I buy into that losing is contagious theory, i think the problem is those 3 are tired right now.


may rough start as well.. 10 walks in first 3 starts.

I'm for going back to the "binoculars in the bullpen" era...

NEPP: You are right on Revere. the guy can hit but he is probably putting way too much pressure on himself right now. He is striking out at an absurd rate compared to what he normally does right now. That won't continue.

Corn - based on those 3 examples, your theory is worth looking into, but 3 examples out of ~300 some hitters isn't proving anything.

The very first thing I did was check 2012. Ian Desmond was amongst the leaders last season and he had a career breakout.

Some good news from the stat sheet:

The back end of our bullpen is putting up some outstanding numbers. Combined line for Papelbon, Adams, and Bastardo:

1-0, 3 SV, 1.59 ERA
17 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 HR, 4 BB, 20 K

Also there's Nixberry's slash line:

.259/.344/.500

If we can get that out of an outfield corner all year, that's a huge win.

More likely, it's just further evidence that ST has almost zero predictive power of how a player will perform in the regular season.

However did any of these players manage a 162 game season before then?

The "they're tired" argument 3 weeks into April is up there with 3B need to be tall for stupidity.

interestingly enough. Ian desmond went .250./286/.370 in April.

If Charlie were smart, he would move Revere out of the top spot and let him find his swing. Revere needs to find his swing and stop pressing.

If...

I'll tell you what man if we ever need a weakly hit groundball I hope Revere is up. My man has that skill down pat. I loved the drop in the first game yesterday too. If you aren't going to bring any value at the plate you damn well better make every play. And yes I get that he made an insane catch this week.

An odd statistical note - the Phillies have played 15 games and faced only 1 left-handed starter. Only 16.4% of the Phils' plate appearances have been against LHP. By comparison, NL batters as a whole have faced LHP in 29.4% of their plate appearances.

So what you are saying CT is that when that number evens out and they start seeing more lefties we can expect shutouts every night? Awesome.

The problem with Revere is that since he doesn't draw walks and doesn't hit for power, his hits have to be falling in for him to be anywhere close to an effective offensive player.

The truth is, despite the old canard that "speed doesn't slump," their slumps are even more pronounced in terms of their effect on the offense, precisely because it's all they can do.

If Howard goes 2-20, but both those hits are home runs and he draws a few walks in there, he's in a bad place. But his bad place is much better than Revere's 2-20 with two singles and no walks.

I'm not worried about Revere. He may not hit .300 again, but he's ground balls will find more gaps and he'll hit .260+ with elite defense. His defense alone makes him a 3 win player. His OOZ is already 11 (in 130 innings) -- it was 74 last year in ~1000 innings.

Is Ryan Howard just this bad now? No one liked the contract but not many expected him to be a .700 OPS player at 32 and 33.

Part of me hopes they tank just so Amaro can see the error of his ways.

I am shocked it took almost 3 full weeks for Dom to get hurt.

How'd this guy ever play football? He's made of glass.

It's difficult for Revere's batted balls to "fall in" when they never take flight to begin with.

Sophist, I think before Revere's batted balls start to find holes and get through the infield, he'd better start hitting them harder. Because right now, he's not hitting into bad luck. He's hitting weak ground balls that are being easily fielded.

***Is Ryan Howard just this bad now? No one liked the contract but not many expected him to be a .700 OPS player at 32 and 33. ***

I really really hope not. That contract will be a massive albatross if he cant even hold down a starting job. It was already a major overpay given his decline in skills. If it turns into Mo Vaughn type dead money, it just gets worse.

How'd this guy ever play football? He's made of glass.

Posted by: Randy Ricardo | Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 10:03 AM


Dom Brown=Mr. Glass

Awesome

Maybe the problem is that we're not seeing enough LHP?

Stupider like a fox!

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