Part of

« Carlos Ruiz's return comes at the perfect time | Main | Halladay on the hill to open series in Cleveland »

Monday, April 29, 2013


"Ideally, two of these players are ready to contribute at the major-league level in the next two seasons."

Hint: Cloyd is not one of them.

How about Cesar and Cody still hold it down. Justin D has to be here soon.

Well, at least Dom Brown has finally turned things around at the MLB level, & that's what really counts ...

Awww, crap.

Ruf and young doubles so far

Teheran vs. Strasburg: sounds like a conflict between Middle Eastern cities.

One thing that is encouraging about Ruf is that, per the Iron Pigs website, he's doing his damage against righties:

vs LHP (11 AB): .091/.286/.091/.377
vs RHP (67 AB): .269/.306/.522/.828 (3 HR, 8 doubles)

I'd reckon he catches up to the lefties soon enough.

The biggest real concern to me is Cloyd, to the point where I've reset my expectations for him and will be surprised if we see him at the MLB level again. You can't get by with his lack of stuff unless you have that command that Corey mentions. KK at least developed some new pitches and has refined his approach. Cloyd is almost back at square one, with not a lot of weapons in his arsenal.

I think Ruf will come around and I still think we'll see him again at some point this year.

Joseph is a minor concern, but we don't need him this year, so I'm more than fine giving him time to figure it out. He has the skill set to get it right with time.

Never really had high expectations for Martin, so I think you take whatever you can get out of him. Clearly he has to figure a bunch of things out.

If I had to pick two guys to help at the MLB level in the next two seasons, I'd take Ruf and Joseph, and even feel pretty comfortable about it.

Would be great if the Nationals swept the Braves. Would put both teams at 12 losses, and if the Phillies could take both games from the Indians, they'd be all of 2 games back in the loss column.

"vs LHP (11 AB): .091/.286/.091/.377"

Already fits in with the MLB club.

WOW.............that was stupid!

I'll bet Werth taught him that.

The Jayson Werth School of Baserunning

I always do love an impromptu "other teams playing" Game Thread.

Getting a late start on the West Coast, but I'll be sure to dial up Poppa John's with that rare discount for the Phils winning and scoring 5 runs or more and settle in for this NL East battle.

Or is it Papa John's?

You'll have to forgive me, I don't eat sh8tty pizza.

Uh-oh. The Braves are about to be accused of "fake tough"ness.

It kills me to type this, but the only thing Uggla did wrong there was actually try to break up the double play.

He didn't even give it a spirited effort and got lucky that Espinoza had a brain fart.

Way off topic but it's Lee Elia day. The one-time Phillies manager let his now famous rant fly on this date 30 years ago.


Still plenty of good seats available for your Division leading Atlanta Braves...

Jack, I don't disagree with the logic of your post. I just wonder what the probabilities are/were in the case of Dan Haren. The red flags point I was making was that I don't/didn't think the odds of a 5 War season were/are anywhere near 20%. That's why I made the hyperbolic comparison to Prior. He didn't even come cheap.

Bryce Harper ABs have become must see TV, I think.

Wait for it.

I will say this about the Haren signing. In a vacuum, the $13 M value for 1 year for Haren doesn't bother me. But in the context of what other teams seemed to be willing to pay, including the Angels not even picking up his option, I wonder if the Nationals bid against themselves.

gobaystars!: One of the greatest rants in sports history. Hard to believe it has already been 30 years.

I wonder if the Nationals bid against themselves.

Posted by: Fatalotti | Monday, April 29, 2013 at 08:05 PM

Kinda like they did with Jayson Werth?

Kinda like they did with Jayson Werth?

Posted by: Mike G | Monday, April 29, 2013 at 08:06 PM

They most definitely did that. Oh boy...

Sophist: Probably right. I was just making up probability numbers, I agree 20% was high.

The issue is that it's not really binary, for purposes of expected value. So it's not 20% chance of 5.0 WAR and 80% chance of 0 WAR for an e(x) of 1 WAR. It's more of a curve, but not a bell curve--something more like 5% chance of a 5.0 WAR season, 10% chance of a 4.0 WAR season, 20% chance of a 3.0 WAR season, and 65% of 2.0 WAR or below.

I guess you're right that there's a point (<5%?) at which the potential upside is such a small possibility that it's not worth describing as someone's upside anymore. Like, say, Delmon Young being a 3.0 WAR player. I don't know where you'd draw that line--presumably there's some statistically significant point.

Obviously, this sort of discussion doesn't figure into decision-making where you're only concerned about PRODUCTION.

I knew J. Upton wasn't going to hit a HR because the Braves had a man on base.

Bauer scratched from his start tonight. He'll be starting against Lee Wednesday.


Haha, the Astros are blanking the Yanks, 5-0. Go 'Stros!

Has either of these pitchers thrown a 1-2-3 inning yet?

Iceman: Are you particularly worried about Bauer? He has walked 20 hitters in 21 IP in the major leagues.

I understand that the Phillies lineup isn't exactly known for patience. But I wouldn't sweat it too much. The guy has real control issues. I like our chances against him, as much as I like our offense's chances against anyone.

Jack- if I had faith in the offense to wait him out, I'd be more confident. I'll settle for being pleasantly surprised if they get to him.

Basically, I was hoping they'd get some AAA fodder instead of a guy that has MLB stuff with a high ceiling. But they don't have much of a track record against those types, either.

AAA fodder like Adalberto Mendez, who held us to 2 runs over 10.2 IP across two starts?

There isn't any hard and fast rule to what constitutes "high upside." I think though that spending 13 million on a guy for one year is not necessarily high upside because he is going to have to pitch exceptionally well to earn his money. Haren's numbers have really been going the wrong direction for a while- at least 2009.

Low risk high upside means there has to be a point somewhere on the graph where the price paid meets the ability he can give you.

Is Bauer right or left handed? I hope not, because the Phillies can't hit handed pitching.

The Dan Haren signing was certainly high upside. That doesn't mean it was also low risk. It was moderate risk. Haren would probably have to be about a #4 starter to "earn" his $13 M. There's definitely risk there, and even beyond the money, since if Haren's back issues are the norm for him now, their W/L record will suffer as a result of his continued crappy performance. But if last year was a blip on the radar, then they get a really good pitcher for a one year deal at a decent rate.

Strasburg sucks tonight.

Any Phillies LF of the last 20 years wouldn't have even come close to catching what Harper just caught.

Fatalotti: Galvis would've come the closest.

Fatalotti: Galvis would've come the closest.

Posted by: GTown_Dave | Monday, April 29, 2013 at 08:47 PM

Tell you all you need to know.

Fatalotti: Exactly.

If the Nationals send Strasburg back outt tonight, they're crazy. He did not look good out there, from either a pitching standpoint or a physical standpoint.

Tom V from mlb and CNN sports put him on the list he always puts out. And so far he's nailed this.

Fatalotti: Strasburg has looked miserable all night. I wonder if he's ill.

Fatalotti: Problem is it wasn't necessarily a blip. He was having a less than stellar year in 2010 in Arizona before he was traded to LA. Then with the injuries on top of it the entire thing carried some heavy risk.

Harper had a 229 OPS+ coming into tonight's game.

He might be good.

Vexatious Troll: "if a player is a 'disaster,' it kind of follows that the contract afforded to him was a 'disaster,' because the player sucked."

Actually, it doesn't follow at all. There's no such thing as a one-year contract which is a "disaster" -- especially when it's for only $2.5M. Which is precisely why I never called it such.

In fact, I kinda wish I HAD said that the Lannan contract would be a disaster because, if I had really said that, I'd be saying "I told you so" right about now. Because we damn sure aren't getting our $2.5M money's worth as he rots on the sideline for 2+ months. But since my prediction/gut feeling was in reference to his pitching -- and not the contract -- his injury kind of makes my prediction moot.

It is weird watching Braves games without Chipper at 3B. Chipper broke into the league when I was 9 years old. Pretty much my entire remember life of baseball fandom included him as a Phillies rival.

Chipper had 468 HRs...If my memory serves me, 462 of those were game winners against the Phillies.

WP: I'm surprised by Cloyd's struggles in AAA so far, but wouldn't call it a concern. His best case is being the 'worst case 6th starter' , such as a moment in time when the Phils AAA roster is so empty that he's it by default - like last year.

NEPP, I'm drawing a blank at 458 game winners.

"Strasburg sucks tonight."

Am I the only one who thinks that Strasburg is just a little bit overrated? I mean, he's really good; I don't dispute that. And, given his combination of age & stuff, there's a good chance that he is headed for stardom within the next few years. But he is often talked about as though he's already among the elite starters & he really isn't. He might not even be in the top 20.

Welp, I was wrong about sending Strasburg out for that inning.

1.036 OPS vs. Phillies for his career...100 points above his career line. .441 OBP against us...I mean, damn. He's the Babe Ruth of the Phillies Killers Hall of Fame.

He probably would have been one of the better 3B in baseball had he stuck around another year...I'd imagine he got tired of playing through constant injuries though.

Fata: what's your point? You'd rather face Adalberto Mendez than Bauer?

It would've been more advantageous to face a middling, non-MLB starter than a guy that has ace-potential. Don't see what's controversial about that.

Yeah NEPP, Chipper kind of said he was just tired of living the baseball life. I hope he didn't leave because he felt he couldn't play any more. Ris recent play would belie that.

Iceman, lighten up. It was a joke.

bap: Apologies in advance, but the next time you call/predict a player is a disaster, I'm going to assume that you disagree the decision to sign/acquire that player as well.

Chipper's career line in MinuteMaidPark:

.400 AVG/.471 OBP/.736 SLG/1.208 OPS in 161 PA. His overall line against the Astros was lower than his line against the Phillies but damn, he really loved playing in Minute Maid.

BAP- so you say that there's no such thing as a 2.5 million dollar contract that's a disaster, and then, in the very next sentence, say that you should have called it a disaster because you'd have been right?

There's just no point with you anymore.

The Braves are retiring his number this June...good for them.

I will continue to honor the memory of Jose Lima by calling Minute Maid Park "Ten Run Field" a play on its previous name, Enron Field.

Once again, people here need to understand the difference between whether a decision is justified vs. how it actually works out.

Iceman: Christ, are you humorless. Not to mention that you're an arrogant, contentious, lying buffoon whose obsession with my posting is nothing short of pathological.

NEPP: "1.036 OPS vs. Phillies for his career...100 points above his career line. .441 OBP against us...I mean, damn. [Chipper]'s the Babe Ruth of the Phillies Killers Hall of Fame."

Nope, Julio Lugo is.

Vs Phillies: .418/.500/.692 in 109 PA
Career: .269/.333/.385 in 5338 PA

Screw you, Nationals.

LOL Werth.

Chipper's not the Babe Ruth of the All-Phillie Killer team. He's more like the Jimmie Foxx:

Chipper vs. Phils: .331/.441/.596 (1.037)
Jimmie Foxx career; .325/.428/.609 (1.037)

Obviously he missed most of 2011, but Strasburg had 250 IP from 2010-2012. And from 2010-2012, from ages 22-24, no starter that pitched 250 innings or more had a lower K/9, FIP, xFIP or SIERA than Stephen Strasburg.

I drone on about how overrated many aspects of the Nationals are, but even I can't say anything about Strasburg. Not sure how anyone could. He's a top 5 guy, at the very least.

Who are people rooting for in this game?

(I know no one is "rooting" for one team. I guess I should re-phrase: whom would people rather see win?)

Jack, the Nationals. They sweep the series ,and both teams will be at 12 losses, just 2 less than what the Phillies have right now.

BAP I am with you. A tad bit overrated yes. And he is the ace and is out of game in 6/7. What is going to happen in sept/ oct when games are tighter and atmosphere changes. And if he hasn't gone past 7 inn? I know philles bullpen isn't great right now. But nats isn't slamming the door shut eiither.

"Apologies in advance, but the next time you call/predict a player is a disaster, I'm going to assume that you disagree the decision to sign/acquire that player as well."

Given the same budget, I probably wouldn't have signed him. So I suppose you could say I disagreed with the move. But I acknowledge -- and have always acknowledged -- that it was a perfectly reasonable signing. In fact, I acknowledged that during the very discussion in which I said that I would not be surprised to see him have a terrible year.

I mean, I don't really have an expectation that every single Phillies signing is going to be exactly the same as what I would have done, and I certainly don't have an expectation that RAJ shares my "gut feelings" about a particular player. This is obviously too nuanced a point for a dolt like Iceman to grasp, but I'm confident that most people can see the distinction.

I still think the Nationals are scarier than the Braves, even with a 3 game deficit. I'd feel much better if the Nats get buried.

Never thought much of Cloyd anyway. Just doesn't have all the pitches to be successful at the ML level.

I agree with Joseph. Let him work out the kinks. Same with Martin.

I was always on the cautious side with Ruf. He came out of nowhere last year and had a good year. Doesn't have a consistent body of work yet to say one way or the other if he is going to be a good major league player.This year he has to adjust to the pitcher's adjustment. Good learning experience for him. We will see how he does.

I wouldn't say that Strasburg is over-rated, but I can understand people feeling like he's gotten too much hype without showing consistent dominance over a couple seasons at the ML level.

Given the attrition rate of pitchers both in terms of injury and performance, it's fair to hold back on a pitcher until you see sustained dominance.

@Buster_ESPN: Rick Sutcliffe asks on our broadcast: Why does Strasburg keep shaking out his arm/shoulder after so many pitches?”

Is Strasburg hurt?

Let the Braves win tonight and then have the Nats win the next 2 while (hopefully) the Phillies win 2. That puts the three teams in the NL East as

Braves 16-11
Nationals 15-13
Phillies 14-14

All three teams are within 3 games of each other and there are a ton of games to go against them. Also, puts us a game behind the Nats in the Wild Card race.

Werth looked really bad after fouling the pitch off his leg.

If Strasburg is hurt that is really bad for the Nats as what looked like a fierce 5 on paper now becomes basically Zimmerman and Detwiler.

Also, it retroactively makes the decision to sit Strasburg out last year look worse.

The main reason I say he's overrated is this. He has made 50 starts in his career; he has NEVER pitched into the 8th inning, and has pitched into the 7th inning exactly 10 times. That is weak sauce for an "elite" starter. By my count, Kyle Kendrick has pitched into the 7th inning 11 times in his last 30 starts.

BAP, Strasburg was purposely held from going deep into games last year. When I looked at his game log last year, there were several games where he had less than 80-90 pitches, hadn't given up more than 1-2 runs, and was lifted from the game.

Amendment: I should have probably said that he has never recorded an out in the 8th inning, and has recorded an out in the 7th only 10 times. He may have pitched into those innings, but not recorded an out; I can't tell just from looking at the game logs.

But I agree BAP, to become "elite", he needs to be able to regularly pitch into the 7th/8th innings of games.

"Given the attrition rate of pitchers both in terms of injury and performance, it's fair to hold back on a pitcher until you see sustained dominance."

And that list becomes really small. Pitchers so often get injured or lose it, that a couple years may be all you get in terms of sustained dominance. By the time someone has proven it, they're likely just about to lose it. Guys like Halladay are the exception--it seems like more often, a story like Lincecum is the norm. I mean, take a look at the best starting pitchers by WAR in 2010:

Cliff Lee
Ubaldo Jimenez
Justin Verlander
Josh Johnson
Roy Halladay
Francisco Liriano
Jered Weaver
Adam Wainwright
Felix Hernandez
Jon Lester

Lee, Verlander, Wainwright, and Felix are still studs. The rest have some sort of question mark, whether injury or perfomance-related or both.

TTI - Gonzalez has still been solid enough. Starting pitching depth though was the Nats' biggest weakness going into the season and remains so. They have a notable failoff between anyone in their rotation and their #6 starter.

@Buster_ESPN: Rick Sutcliffe asks on our broadcast: Why does Strasburg keep shaking out his arm/shoulder after so many pitches?”

Is Strasburg hurt?

Posted by: MG | Monday, April 29, 2013 at 09:47 PM

MG, he was doing all kinds of strange things with his arm after pitches. Things like holding his arm down by his side and shaking it, windmilling it over his head like he couldn't get loose. That being said, he finished with a 98 MPH fastball so who knows.

Lester? He had a down year last year but has otherwise been great and off to a solid start thus year.

bap: strasburg has pitched into the 7th 10 times, and only 3 times was he over 100 pitches. I don't think you can hold it against him that he's never made it past the 7th.

Fat: Yeah, I figured someone would bring that up. But I consider that to sort of fall under the same category as Ryan Howard's injuries; it's just part & parcel of who he is. Besides, Strasburg has had 22 starts which didn't come in years when he was on an inning count -- and he hasn't recorded an out beyond the 7th inning in any of them.

I'm pretty confident that Strasburg will be an elite starter -- and probably quite soon. I just don't think his body of work, to date, justifies his present inclusion in that list. How can he be called one of the top starters in the game right now when he has never recorded an out beyond the 7th inning?

Jon Lester is a stud too with a weird blip last year when basically everyone in Boston was under-performing.


Honestly, a pretty nice play by Simmons there after slipping.

Think he was safe, by an inch.

Also unfortunate for Lester that he's a lefty in Fenway.

BAP, what happened last year has no predictive value to how Strasburg will be handled going forward.

But I agree with you. He's a good pitcher as of now, but to be an elite pitcher, you have to rack up in the innings. You have to have 5-10 starts where you virtually make your team's bullpen irrelevant.

MG: Gio has not been near as dominant this year so far as he was last year. His ERA is sitting at 4.50 and his home runs and walks per nine are up while his K/9 is down.

He's faced 3 good lineups and been torched by 2 of them this season so far.

I find it difficult to feel bad about any Nationals loss. To misappropriate a college football related quote, they have "the arrogance of Notre Dame, and the tradition of Wake Forest."

The Harrell/Astros were +250 tonight vs the Pettite/Yanks, one of the biggest lines you will ever see in a single game - and just won by 8 runs.

MG/Preacher/etc.: Can you ever remember a +250 team beating a team by 8 runs? Thats gotta be one of the rarest events.

lorecore - No. I would be curious to go back and look though at the past 5 seasons say though and what the numbers would come out if you bet the exact same amount (say $10) on the underdog with a line of +200 or higher.

I bet you would come out a behind but not by all that much.

Good MG - Wants Strasburg healthy and productive since he is a fun pitcher to watch pitch and he's a unique talent.

Evil MG - Hope that Strasburg has a shoulder injury and will be headed to the DL sooner than later.

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

Top Stories


Rotoworld News

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Facebook

Contact Weitzel