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Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Go team!

So, Cole leads the league in walks, and he's the first NL pitcher to lose 6 games. He's 1-6.

Should have traded him last year for Trumbo.

New thread.

Oops, I thought I'd gone back to the game thread. Obviously this IS the new thread. Mea culpa.

One step forward and all that.

I'm annoyed with Cole for making it necessary for us to watch the BP put the game out of reach.

But I know he's frustrated, too.

Charlie: "He might be trying to make too good of pitches." That might be so. I just want him to find himself again, because Cole's starts are generally a pleasure to watch.

Should have traded him last year there is something wrong with him this year. This is far from a troubled start.

We have the guy for another 5 years after this one.

Even if he stinks out loud this season, do we think that's likely his future going forward?

I don't see Cole as trying to be too fine, he's simply lacking command. His mechanics are off, & he looks consistently uncomfortable.

The good news is that after the Reds come to town and likely pound on our bullpen for a few games, we get the Marlins again, to remind us that it could all be worse. What a fun season.

34 runs in 4 games vs. the Indians. That's just wow.

Should have started Zambrano today

Team reminds me of an old car. Multiple parts randomly fail at different times and attempts to fix it and get it running right are short lived and thwarted by further breakdowns.

Limoguy: sounds like you're thinking about a particular vehicle there.

And I'm getting busted on for calling Hammels a joke on twitter. What should we call him after the way he's looked so far? If calling him a joke is to much, then a waste of money is fair.

Buster, yeah, every car my dad ever owned.

I'll probably catch some heat for this, but I wonder if it's time to consider the possibility that Durbin and Valdes will not help the team this season and the Phils need to be looking for replacements.

If Cole is a joke,what does that make Valdes and Durbin?

CS: Are you talking about Hammel or Hamels?

Always seems to be a relationship between the people who exaggerate Hamels' struggles and the people who always spell it "Hammels."

Clout: Man, I don't know... That's pretty far out there as far as theories on this season go.

"Anyone who STILL sees this team as a playoff contender that just needs to hit its stride is delusional. Simply put, you needed Chooch, Dom, JMJ and JRoll to heat up just to put together a 3 game win streak (by 8 total runs). These guys have actually stayed pretty hot today and we still lose by 6 runs.

Basically, you need everything to go right, just to remain marginally better than the competition but only if the competition also doesn't have everything clicking.

Anyone who builds a team with playoff expectations hinged on "as long as everything goes right," clearly doesn't understand the game of Major League Baseball."

WP, when your pitchers collectively give up double digit runs, every thing else can go right - the offense could score 9 runs and look real good and you'd still lose.

Today was a MASSIVE pitching fail. Short of an offensive explosion of double digits, any team loses that game.

That begs the question: In what percentage of games does a team actually score 10 or more runs? Any place to find out?

I'm surprised the "Hamels is soft" posts haven't started yet.

clout, what a profound thought! :)

The Phillies might actually NEED bullpen help.

Hamels a joke? That's ridiculous. He has really struggled so far but let's not go overboard.

It is a bit worrisome that all of a sudden he has lost command on his all of his pitches basically and is using his curveball less. Not good signs.

Man, this Coal Hammels guy isn't very good, is he?

rookie left-hander Tony Cingrani?

NEPP: may as well add him to your "tip your cap" list right now

If Hamels were a rookie, he would have been sent down by now to 'work on things.'

Philibuster, I was tongue in cheek when I said I didn't see the downside of Ryan Howard playing for another team. But, when you said this, you made me think:

"Howard is not a $25MM/year guy, but he's better than a $400K guy"

As depressing as it is, I had to check.

League minimum this year is $490K I think. There are currently 8 first basemen who have played at least 30 games and are making less than $560K in 2013.

7 of them have a better wRC+ than Ryan Howard.

The average SLG of those 8 first basemen is .447. Ryan Howard's SLG is .434 after today.

So, no I don't think Ryan Howard would be DFA'd or should be DFA'd. But the statement "he's better than a $400K guy" needs some qualifications to be considered true.

Player wRC+ SLG
Paul Goldschmidt 160 0.577
Mitch Moreland 143 0.578
Anthony Rizzo 132 0.513
Chris Carter 106 0.452
Freddie Freeman 104 0.386
Brandon Belt 105 0.429
Justin Smoak 98 0.311
Eric Hosmer 82 0.333
Ryan Howard 86 0.434

And, unlike some of these other rookies or LH pitchers who have shut us down, Cingrani is actually good. Like, really good. If the Phillies score even a single run off him, I'll be surprised.

It's a shame that Cole Hammel and Roy Holliday have both struggled this year.

That's not good:

Mandy Housenick ‏@inthephilshouse 1m
Mike Adams said he had a setback and felt "horrible" yesterday. Feels better today. Hasn't ruled out asking to have an MRI though.

Maybe if they DL Adams they'll realize they can send others down

Adams was one of those guys I was hoping would rebound and if the team was sellers the Phils could move him (and his salary next year) at the trading deadline for pocket lint.

Phils this date last year:

18-19 5 GB RA Diff (0)

This year

19-22 4 GB RA Diff (-27)

Last year they were playing better earlier and you had the hope that Utley right around the corner and Howard was due back sometime in the summer.

Then Halladay/Contreras got hurt, the pitching turned south, and for the ~6 weeks from Memorial Day to the ASB it was a train wreck.

Put Adams on the DL and call Ruf up. Give Howard some time off against LHP, starting on Friday.

David Aardsma just opted out of a deal with the Marlins' AAA team. If Adams goes on the DL, the Phils should snag him and see if he can help.

Sneed: Swapping Adams for Ruf doesn't give us something we kind of need - an 8th-inning guy.

Bullpen arms:

Still don't understand why the Phils didn't take a flyer on KRod. They apparently are taking flyers on questionable character guys (D. Young, Zambrano) and the difference is that I actually think KRod could have possibly helped this team.

He has looked pretty good in a few minor league appearances for the Brewers who just recalled him today.

Mandy Housenick ‏@inthephilshouse 1m
Mike Adams said he had a setback and felt "horrible" yesterday. Feels better today. Hasn't ruled out asking to have an MRI though.

Posted by: GBrettfan | Wednesday, May 15, 2013 at 05:02 PM

Thank god we're not wasting a DL spot on him. We only get 2 of those and they have to be DL eligible guys. Otherwise, the FFB Commish throws a fit.

'buster, we have De Fratus now. He's the new 8th inning guy! :)

Seriously, though, I hope Adams is OK. Has he ever had back problems in the past, or is this a first instance?

Can't blame Aaaaaardsma for opting out. If you can't get a crack at the bigs with Miami, it might be time to look elsewhere.

Wait...they haven't MRIed Adams yet?


This is striking.

Mandy Housenick ‏@inthephilshouse 1m
Hamels is 1-6 in 9 starts. He didn't lose his 6th game last year until Aug. 2 in his 21st start.

If Hamels/Halladay hadn't cr@pped the bed so far, this team would be at least .500 or even 1 or 2 games over even with all of the offensive and middle relief issues.

I was surprised Adams hadn't had an MRI yet. I also don't know what we're waiting for to DL him, if it's been clear that this injury won't improve in a week. Which, you know, an MRI might have helped them determine.

Corn: Apparently it's very difficult to expect multimillionaire professionals to undergo an MRI. Their fragile psyches can't handle it, or some such nonsense.

At any rate the Phillies will undoubtedly wind up shooting Adams full of painkillers, then pitch him into an even worse injury. If I were a FA I would refuse to come to this club on the basis of their medical staff alone.

*I was surprised Adams hadn't had an MRI yet*
This is what infuriates me about this team. If someone is suspected of having an injury, why sit around and do nothing but wait? Get out the darn machinery, give up 30 minutes, and do the MRI. Geez.

Does this team actually have a medical staff or do the players just self-diagnose?

Someone please drag out the "Cole is .500" during the day stats to prove he doesn't really absolutely suck during the day, because I still don't believe it.

Steve - A shaman who put on a mixture of mud, berries, and insect larvae on Adams' lower back which apparently didn't do the trick although most acute back pain does go away for almost all patients in 90 days.

I don't know what you guys are nitpicking about. This is the medical staff and FO that assures us that Doc is going to get surgery, and be back to the same caliber of stuff he had three years ago, before this season is even out. Clearly Adams is in good hands.

In 76 Day GS, Hamels is 26-24, w/ a 3.95 ERA.

What are his daytime stats with and without a big breakfast?

Expecting to hear news about Hamels being hurt any day now. Something is up with him, not sure I buy it being a "funk".

Aardsma has pitched all of 1 inning in the big leagues in the last 2 years. If they want to give him a AAA contract & see how it goes, fine. But, on paper, he does not look any kind of potential cure for our bullpen issues.

Maybe. Dave Murphy thinks he's still the same pitcher, Bob Brookover said it's his command, and Hamels says he feels strong.

Here's Murphy:

I've watched him pitch and I've looked at the numbers and I've listened to him talk and I cannot find an obvious sign that Cole Hamels is anything other than a pitcher who is slightly out of rhythm.

Thank you for making me feel better, GBrett

I think where Murphy is missing the point is that in 2010 we largely attributed his struggles to bad ball in play luck. You can't say that right now - his BABIP is .250, a career low. His average is .280.

His BB% is 10.1 versus 8% through the same period of 2010. The fewer called strikes are also not all due to bad luck & bad umpiring.
He's making worse pitches.

Is it a big difference? Not huge, but it's meaningful. Should we write his contract off? No, that's crazy. Cole Hamels is a great pitcher and will get back to that, but unlike in previous years where he went through bad stretches, this is a lot more on Cole and a lot less on things out of his control.

Free Ruf.

On the positive side, as soon as Hamels gave up the two run homer, I turned the game off and played with my granddaughter. Had a lot of fun. How about you guys?

I've watched him pitch and I've looked at the numbers and I've listened to him talk and I cannot find an obvious sign that Cole Hamels is anything other than a pitcher who is slightly out of rhythm.

Well, that's enlightening.

Braves lose again. Take out the one win streak an that team is right where we are now.

Braves have a +28 RD. Phils have a -21 RD.

After today, it's Braves +26; Phils -27.

I await the announcement that Hamels is having an MRI on his left shoulder/elbow/back. Pick one. And that way, they can get a discount when they MRI Adams' back at the same time.

And when I say "await", I'm thinking about three months from now.

"I think where Murphy is missing the point is that in 2010 we largely attributed his struggles to bad ball in play luck."

sneed, that, and I also attribute his troubles - or part of them anyway - to the Verducci Effect.

Hammulz iz stoopid.

I think he'll work through it.

You don't have to agree with Murphy on Hamels, of course. I'd read the rest of it, though, if you didn't.

It made me hopeful that Hamels can still turn it around.

* * *
Our old friend Rauuuuul hit a 3-run HR last night v. the Yankees and a grand slam in the 1st inning today, tweets a friend of mine who's a Mariners' fan.

Good for him!

GBF, did he happen to mention how he hit those HR's with men on base??? Because if so...

No, I don't know, WP. I thought it was bad form to hit a HR with men on base.

Looking at the Game Day summary for today, looks like Phil Hughes struggled more than Hamels in the 1st. Fly out, walk, single, single, single, coaching visit, walk, Raul's grand slam, single, force-out, double....and then his day was done, having pitched 2/3 of an inning.

Last night, Raul hit the HR off CC. Looks like my friend was mistaken; it was a 2-run HR.

Raul must be heating up because: "After a 1-for-23 slump dropped his batting average as low as .148, Ibanez entered Tuesday having gone 5-for-13 over his last six games to inch his average up to .194." He hits well in Yankee stadium, too. That short porch.

Raul + New Yankee Small Park is a perfect match.

Yes, it is. Just got a tweet from friend that he hit another HR (2-run) in the 5th.

I am newish to Beerleaguer, when am I supposed to conclude Cole's woes are because he is a California candy-ass.

It would seem that the book on the Phillies is work the count on the starters, run up their pitch count, and then feast on middle relief.

Every time this team gets on a roll, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay ruin it.


Adam Morgan: 3 innings, 10 hits, 10 runs. Yikes. Through the fortuity of a couple of errors, only 3 of the 10 runs were earned. Still, he is a complete mess right now.

From a game in July...

Tmac: And with that dinger, the night will be over for Zambrano.

Wheels: Big Z looks pretty steamed at Charlie. And nobody wants to see a repeat of June 20, when he Charlie and Carlos traded punches on the mound...

If Hamels and Halladay are not right the Phillies will not make the playoffs. I don't think anyone would have disagreed with that prediction at the start of the season, and lo it has come to pass.

Its been said before (by me even) but this was the game where it really hit me: this not a playoff team.

Harper was benched tonight due to "nausea"...pretty huge indicator that he gave himself a concussion with his wall running play.

Sad Guy: pretty sure the WFC MVP gives him a pass for the rest of his f8cking life.

Everything had to go "right" for this team to contend. So far only Utley, Papelhead,Lee and possibly Bastardo meet that criteria.

In addition to a not-right Hamels and Halladay preventing us from making the playoffs, I would that we also need Ryan Howard to be at least a portion of his former Big Piece self.

Before they signed Adams the Phils had a doctor examine him, the same guy who examined Freddy Garcia. I'm not sure what the problem is here.

Hamels injury history (Not saying he is hurt but just listing it):

July '05: Minor league DL, back & out for year

May '06: 15-day DL, left shoulder strain/inflammation

Aug '07: 15-day DL, left elbow strain

Apr '09: Missed a start/No DL, left elbow stiffness but no structural issues

Aug '11: 15-day DL, left shoulder inflammation

'11 offseason: Elbow (remove loose bodies) and hernia surgeries

Hamels has been some time on the DL but never missed any appreciable amount of time.

If there has been something that has given him more issues, it is his left elbow. Didn't have structural damage in '09 when he started out slow & missed a start. Didn't have structural damage either in '11 but did have it cleaned out that offseason.

clout - The Phils never had their own medical people do a physical exam on Garcia. They only relied upon the White Sox medical records/evaluation.

Gillick tried to lie about that too and did so on the record & only backtrack after it came out that the Phils hadn't really done through due diligence on Garcia prior to the trade.

The Phillies are one of only four bullpens in the league with a negative fWAR. Counting inherited runners- which I think is fair, since the bullpen is letting in a cartoonish 43% of their inherited runners to score- 70 of the 165 runs scored against the Phillies this year scored with a member of the bullpen on the mound. That's 42.4%. They've pitched 103.2 innings out of 351- which is 29.5% of their total innings. I mean, that's almost a 13% difference between the two. That is just stunning to me. I thought it had to be the biggest gap in the league, so I checked up on it.

By comparison, the worst bullpen in the league statistically by far- the Astros (who have a 33% strand rate, 10% better than the Phils, btw)- have allowed 114 of their 248 runs to score with a member of the bullpen on the mound. That's 46% of their runs. They've pitched 157 innings out of 351- which is 44.64% of their total innings. So for the worst bullpen in the league, they've allowed just 3.6% more of their team's runs while pitching in 15% more of their team's innings.

The team just ahead of them (Milwaukee) has these ratios:

Bullpen innings: 118.1/330 (35.9%- 6.4% more than the Phils)
Bullpen runs: 74/182 (40.7%- 1.7% less than the Phils)

I have a feeling if I kept going through teams, it would be similar results.

This bullpen does more harm to its team than any team in the league, especially when you consider the gap between them and the starting pitching. Doing some rough math, they'd have given up 15 more runs with Milwaukee's workload and 36 more with Houston's. And considering the money they've sunk into the bullpen, it's an embarrassment that Amaro has let it get to this point.

Two things:

* How is Hamels not hurt? OK velocity, but no control at all (leads the NL in walks). If this does not match up with the Doc "latissimus dorsi" injury, then I'm as dumb as r00b thinks we all are.

Why else would a pitcher change his arm slot, with the loss of all control?? Why would a veteran change his arm slot except for injury? (what else could be the cause of the loss of control??).

* How the bleep is Ibanez not juicing?

Whatever. Regardless, I'm pretty much sick and tired of all the Hamel's nonsense. Sure, he's this and that prior to '13. Guess what? This year r00b's on the hook for $19mm+ for a guy with 1 win. Makes Freddy look like a bargain.

If Hamels keeps this crap up past mid-June, he needs to be shut down immediately. Not that there's any evidence the pathetic Phil's medical staff buries injuries. Naw.... no evidence of that at all.

How about that double play today?

Golden Glove, baby!!

Iceman - Terrible, but interesting, info on our BP. I keep saying it's an embarrassment to the team. We aren't the Astros in rebuild phase (yet). We should have a more competitive BP.

I think we've seen enough from these guys to know what we're getting. Maybe they can be serviceable if used sparingly - and that's on our SP. But the 'pen shouldn't allow so many runs to score.

No idea if Hamels is hurt or not. He was pitching well in '11 (remember how their was talk in early August about him or Halladay winning the Cy Young) and it came out just a few weeks later out of nowhere that he was going on the DL.

I do find it really unusual though that a guy who has had such good command his entire minor/major league career all of a sudden has a trouble locating every pitch he throws for a strike with any kind of consistency including his 'bread and butter' changeup.

Every now and then a pitcher get 'Steve Blass' disease but it certainly seems like 95% of the time that it comes after that fact that the guy was pitching hurt.

Really hope Hamels doesn't keep quiet and play the 'silent tough guy' role because the team is scuffling.

Anybody else notice how well the pitching has been since Doc came to Dubee's defense on the MitchiePoo slur?
Yeah. me neither.

Speaking of the Doc , wasn't today the day for his surgery?
No news is good news?

Bubba: You mean you didn't notice how well Kendrick, Cloyd, Pettibone and Cliff pitched since then?

Buster- true enough, but all those runs to the Indians over the 4 games we've seen them are coloring my judgement.

Kendrick and Pettibone will just have to carry the load.

Mini Mart is hitting a hard .219 with 5 errors (and he hasn't even been a fulltime starter) at LV.

His versatility of baseball skills continues to amaze.

Sometimes a fat, new contract can make one complacent. Sometimes a fat, new contract can put too much pressure on one to try to justify the money. One way or the other, Hamels is not the same pitcher since the fat, new contract.

Can Zambrano pitch middle relief?!!!

Hamels has proven himself to be a real competitor over the years. He is mentally tough. And he is one crazy talented pitcher.

And so far this season, he looks very little like the guy he has been most of his career. It's disturbing.

It's amazing what a guy can accomplish by throwing strikes that don't split the middle of the plate. Pettibone has mediocre stuff and throws a good number of incredibly fat pitches. And yet, because he's been throwing enough good strikes at opportune times, he's doing much better than I expected. A couple times around the league, and he'd better adjust. But for now, he's doing very well.

But Hamels, with much much better stuff, can't locate at all and he's getting beat up like a poor fifth starter.

Cam Zambrano pitch middle relief?

As well as Ruben Amaro Jr. can assemble talent.

The contract is definitely affecting Hamels. Clearly that's why he went 6-2 with a 2.76 ERA in his 12 starts after signing it last summer.

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