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Wednesday, May 08, 2013


KK strikes again! Anybody notice he fields his position quite well to boot.

Need to try to steal a win tomorrow against Zito.

Hope Cholly is smart tomorrow with his starts. D. Young in RF, Mayberry at 1B, and Frandsen at 3B (M. Young has poor numbers vs Zito).

Howard is going to start though and I wouldn't mind seeing Mayberry in CF again. Revere is still not hitting anything hard.

KK showing how to get er done.

50th time that Howard/Utley have HRed in the same game and a healthy distance from any other current combo.

Kyle had to pitch well tonight.

Now he can take Cloyd aside and say:

"Listen, I get it. I used to be human too, just like you. But you're a member of the rotation now. The Philadelphia Phillies rotation. The same rotation that had 3 Cy Young winners and a WS MVP on it at the same time. You have to be bigger, stronger, better. You have to be the new Roy Oswalt, Tyler, because I already stepped up and took over for the other Roy.

Ball's in your court, Kid."

Funny you say that Philli. Cloyd was often comapred to KK on Bl'er.

Cloyd has no stuff at all, but he's not really as bad as everyone makes him out to be. He did have quality starts in 3 of his 6 starts last year, including 2 really strong outings. And if he throws strikes, he's perfectly capable of having outings like that again. Unfortunately, other than his last time out, he hasn't been throwing strikes this year. And, if he doesn't throw strikes, he'll end up with a line like -- well, like, 2013 Roy Halladay.

Cloyd is a 4.50-5.00 ERA starter in the NL. He's a fringe guy who doesn't have a quality offspeed pitch & when he doesn't have his 4-seam fastball command on the corners he will really struggle.

He's not horrendous. Just not a MLB-caliber starter either.

Feel a lot better if the Phils had at least an above average defense behind Cloyd & he played in a park that was HR-neutral.

So this is how the 2010 NLCS was supposed to go ...

Also noticed over time that Kendrick bunts the runner over well. Maybe he could give some of the other pitchers (and a few of the hitters as well) some basic bunting lessons.

Revere gets on base twice again last night- three times in his start Sunday- and MG wants to bench him again, this time with Pettibone on the mound and a notable defensive drop-off between Revere and Mayberry? Yeah, that sounds real smart.

Let's just platoon the guy after a month and be done with it.

I'd be shocked if today ended up a W. Zito's a lock to baffle them, and Pettibone has been on a razor's edge in his starts. This is the type of team that isn't a great hitting team, but will punish pitchers for making mistakes.

That said, I'm still leaving work early to watch.

Kendrick also didn't 'flop' in the home-opener. He had a respectable start (albeit not great) and the 'totally not a problem' bullpen threw gasoline on the fire.

He's been awesome this year.

***Cloyd is a 4.50-5.00 ERA starter in the NL***

If absolutely everything goes right for him, yes, that is his ultimate upside.

Ben Revere has 1 XBH in 112 PA.

Cliff Lee has a better OPS than him.

No way Cloyd is the long term answer this season.

What is up with this team? Two days ago I was ready for a fire sale. then they go and play like a MLB team against the champs. It is hard to be a phan of this team sometimes.

Funny you say that Philli. Cloyd was often comapred to KK on Bl'er.

And Dan Quayle compared himself to JFK. :)

I have been guilty as charged, referring to Cloyd as the poor man's KK. That was pre-emergent KK, BTW. So yeah, he's been compared ...

just not favorably.

Stat of the year thus far...

"Ben Revere has 1 XBH in 112 PA.

Cliff Lee has a better OPS than him.

Posted by: NEPP | Wednesday, May 08, 2013 at 07:18 AM


Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy!

What is up with this team? Two days ago I was ready for a fire sale. then they go and play like a MLB team against the champs.

Playing just like a mediocre to average team plays, unfortunately. Get within sniffing distance of contention, then lose 5 out of 6. Seemingly fall out of the race then win 6 of 8 to sniff again.

I can't believe what my eyes were seeing last night. That actually looked like a competent baseball team. They were working counts, being selective in hitter's counts and picking their spots to drive the ball. I know better than to get used to this though. Kendrick has really been something else. He was a really good sponge with whatever Doc trickled down to him knowledge wise.


Howard. RYAN Howard.

Hit a home run against a lefty


When did I cross over into THAT Bizarro Universe???

Not only did he hit one off a lefty but he hit it to dead center. Could the big piece be getting that power stroke back?

Yeah. But a lefty RELIEVER? When was the last time THAT happened?

On a related note: I bet Japan is kicking itself for reneging on that bucket of balls they initially offered for Kendrick a few years ago.

That two seamer that Kendrick uses against lefties is a really nice pitch. Also his changeup has developed into a legit out pitch.

Dubee to Cloyd:

"Son, I managed Kyle Kendrick. I know Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick is a frie . . . er work associate of mine. Son, you're no Kyle Kendrick."

Dubee at least will have a new target to direct his steely glance of disapproval at now in the rotation (along with Aumont in the bullpen).

2013 is already KK's second highest bWAR season.

He's up to a 1.8 bWAR so far. Only his rookie year 2.2 bWAR was higher. Mind you its May 8th. He's on pace for an 8.2 bWAR season.

So what is the conventional wisdom on KK now? Is he the 2.50-3ish ERA guy we're seeing now? Is he the ~3.25-3.50ish ERA guy he's been for almost two years as a starter? Or do some still think he'll turn into a pumpkin and be back to a fifth-starter/swing man role with a 4+ ERA in the near future?

I'm not sure I have a definitive opinion on this; only that the KK we've seen this season is not the pitcher we've seen, even last year when he was successful. He's not afraid to throw strikes and is barely missing in the middle of the plate. That Worley-esque two seamer has developed into a real weapon and his change-up is a strikeout pitch. I think the key is he knows all this is true now. He's got confidence to use all his pitches and pitch his game instead of nibbling for fear of making a mistake.

He looked like an ace out there last night. He really did. Whether or not that can continue remains to be seen. But he's essentially Halladay-lite right now.

'Man on Fire' - Kyle Kendrick story?

KK has basically been Roy Halladay for the first 6 weeks of the season.

Which is nice since we dont have a Roy Halladay anymore.

I could see KK as a mid to upper 3's guy. Solid 3rd starter. He's pitched really well this year though. Big boost for the team.

Iceman, I was just perusing his numbers. Over the last two seasons, Kendrick has upped his strikeout percentage; used to be in the 9-10% range, but now it's in the 17-18% range.

Also, he's always been a guy who's been above average with walks, usually issuing walks in the 7-8% range, but this year, he's down to 5.2%. That's stingy, and it's not like he just pumping strikes over the heart of the plate. His control of the edges has just gotten better.

But what you have to start recognizing as a talent, and not as a fluke, is his ability to maintain a suppressed BAbip. He's only had one season of work where he's been a full time starter, and had a BAbip over .300. Every other season in which he's had at least 20 starts (and this season), his BAbip has been below .284. I think that's a trend we can expect to continue.

His HR/FB% is bound to tick up as the season goes on, and sit in the 10-11% range (it's at 8.7% right now), and I don't think he's a sub 3 ERA guy right now, but I wouldn't be surprised if he ends the season floating around a 3 ERA.

The craziest thing, though? If he gets 33 starts this year, he's on pace for 225 IP. If he can give them a low 3 ERA over ~220 IP, that would be amazing.

The only hope I might have for Cloyd's Friday start lies in Arizona's youth. Maybe they'll be overeager and swing themselves out against Cloyd's slow stuff??

Sorry, I couldn't even post that with a straight face.


Nice analysis on Kendrick and the BAbip. I would've assumed his BAbip against was pretty competitive (the reason he's stuck in the show is that he can pitch to contact and get a lot of groundballs with the sinker) but the consistency of the BAbip is telling.

I'm hoping the K rate can stay high. Aside from the control of the corners, which I've always thought Kendrick did a decent job of working, I think the biggest development has been his fearlessness to use his change, not just as an out pitch, but early in counts and to setup hitters. A lot is made the Halladay influence, but I also think there is a lot of Hamels influence in the way that the curveball is used. I have also noticed that with regards to the change, it has matured to the point were it is very difficult for hitters to identify the change against the 2 seemer/sinker. If I had to guess, I would bet that the change that Kendrick is using being throw a lot like the 2 seem/sinker. That's very Hamels-like, in the sense that Hamels changeup is crafted to impersonate his fastball, relying as much on mimickery as it is on pure difference in speed.

Yesterday someone mentioned Ryan Vogelsong as a comparison to Kendrick as far as vast improvement after several years of "not so much." I believe Kendrick is several years younger than Vogelsong. Could the Phillies have finally held on to someone at the right time?

I'm joinging the KK bandwagon. I like how the Cliff Lee aversion to walks is rubbing off on KK. As for the Cloyd call-up, I'm definitely not on the Cloyd bandwagon. I'm expecting losses every time he pitches.

Yeah, Kendrick isn't a 2.45 ERA pitcher (he's getting a touch lucky on all three of home runs, BABIP, and strand rate), but he's a different guy than he used to be.

A few more strikeouts, a few less walks, and pitching from ahead in the count.

He's just better than he used to be. He looks like a solid #2-3 pitcher going forward. I'm probably more surprised than anyone, but it's true.


Mark Reynolds is no longer there, nor is J Upton or Chris Young.

Instead, you have an Arizona squad that is 5th in the league in walks, 4th in OPS.

5th in Pitches/PA. 7th in BB%.

They are certainly a top half of the league offensive team, and not because of luck. Very good peripheral numbers. Not likely to jump out of their shoes against Cloyd.

I'm very interested in today's game, to see what a lineup like SF's will do with a guy like Pettibone. Not unlike the Cloyd-ARI matchup. Pettibone may have an advantage here in the sense that SF may be pressing big time today, after losing the first 2 in a series they figured they would win if not sweep.

Good news today about Happ!

MLB Network Radio ‏@MLBNetworkRadio 7m
Toronto @BlueJays LHP JA Happ is doing well after suffering a head contusion and a laceration to his left ear.

Blue Jays-Official ‏@BlueJays 4m
We anticipate that he will be discharged today after testing and will provide an update later on with further information.

but I also think there is a lot of Hamels influence in the way that the curveball is used.

Curveball should have said changeup.

Also re:Kendrick.

Can't under state the fact that the effects of the "traded to Japan" prank have finally worn off.

Kevin Slowey, Jake Westbrook, Kyle Kendrick, and Travis Wood are 3-4-5-6 in the NL in bWAR.

for pitchers.

Interesting lore,

I don't expect that to be the order of finish.

Does speak volumes to the early season success of sinkerballers. Slower bats, heavier air, colder weather all things that artificially boost their numbers. I am also on the Kendrick bandwagon because I honestly think he's become a better pitcher with a true honest to god out pitch, however, I do expect some rocky starts when it gets really hot and some of the balls that are hit against him are able to hang in the air a bit more.

RE: Vogelsong. He's actually 36 (doesn't seem possible). Krispy Kreme is 28. I'll take Krispy.

MG: Kevin Frandsen should start over Michael Young, the teams' best hitter this past week and entire season, because of his PA vs Barry Zito from 2001-2006 - when Zito was a Allstar/CY young winner?

That's a terrible terrible idea.

Always fun to watch a well-pitched game. Never enjoyed Kendrick's starts much before last season. Now, I don't miss many. Speaking of which, I have 2 seats on the visitor's dugout to see King Felix against AJ Burnett this afternoon. Can't give 'em away.

So, Kyle Kendrick, All Star?

actually Ryan Howard is the best Phillies hitter over the past week (.333/.478/.889) - the other guy you want benched today.

Its good to see that Happ wasn't another Ray Chapman type scenario. Chapman actually walked off the field after being beaned...well, almost off the field. He collapsed after a couple steps...the doctors saw him and he walked off.

Then died overnight as doctors in 1920 had no idea about that type of brain injury. Luckily now we do...and Happ is okay.

It feels like the Cloyd move, complete with delaying it until absolutely necessary (due to 40 man roster adjustment), is Rube just going through the motions here. It feels like even he doesn't want to have to use Cloyd, but it's "the devil you know" rather than some of the other internal options.

I guess his kicking the tires on an external solution hasn't really led to anything. Odd that they'd even make the Cloyd intention known 4 days in advance.

No matter what splits/history show, it really would be hard for anyone, especially Cholly, to bench Howard. He's been seeing the ball well and putting some good wood on it for the last week or so.

Cholly is going to drain that well, and for once, I can't say I blame him.

Considering Howard is batting like .100 against lefties, you at least can make an argument he should be benched (though he won't be, given how hot he is).

But why would you want to bench Michael Young against a lefty starter?

When you have a bat like Frandsen on the bench, you have to find playing time for him.


~shakes head~

How many starters make the all star team, ~5? I don't think he makes it.


are all locks.

And you could basically put the entire Cardinals rotation in the All Star game after those 3 and not be able to argue much.

Wainwright and his astounding 48/3 K/BB ratio has the highest ERA(2.72) on the team! Shelby Miller is scary good already.

The Cloyd move is something I don't understand. If it's just for one or two starts, then ok. But if it is long term, it isn't the right call whatsoever.

Cardinals starting pitchers have a 2.22 ERA. No other team's starting pitchers have an ERA under 3.

Results from Halladay's exam have not yet been finaLIEzed.

r00b must have been all night putting this whopper together

A Cardinals starting pitcher has given up more than 3 runs and got the loss one time this entire season.

Jaime Garcia vs Phillies.

lore: Last year 8 SPs made the NL team & like 10 made the AL team (though some of those may have been injury replacements). It's kind of early to be talking about All Star rosters, though.

Another guy probably ahead of Kendrick:

Pat Corbin - 8th in WAR among pitchers/5th in ERA (1.80)/4-0 record

"Results from Halladay's exam have not yet been finalized."

How does one finalize an MRI that occurred 2 days ago? Do they have to run it through spell check & prepare a bibliography?

"The Cloyd move is something I don't understand. If it's just for one or two starts, then ok. But if it is long term, it isn't the right call whatsoever."

This, exactly.

Cloyd is the type of org filler that has me nervous about the impending Ruben re-build. Hopefully he agrees with conventional wisdom that someone like Cloyd is just that minor league filler that everyone knows him to be. If he's in the starting rotation next year, I don't have very high hopes for the next 5 years or so.

The results have to be in MLA format

I think Cloyd is only here until Lannan returns.

Andy: You forget, it wasn't just a bag of balls.

Japan would have had to trade us Kobayashi, which was a pretty steep price back when he was winning championships every year.

I don't understand the fuss over Cloyd.

You were expecting the Phillies to call up Matt Harvey?

all 3 of the Cuban FA are still hitting the crap out of the ball in their respective levels. Dumbass Phillies.

Jack, while I wasn't in the camp who leaned as extreme as Biddle, I definitely would have preferred Morgan. One of the younger guys with some more upside would have been nice. I never really did believe that an external candidate was going to happen.

Though, GBF is likely right in that it's just a stopgap move until Lannan is back. Which, I suppose, means that Pettibone is sticking around?

Anyway, I guess all options are pretty much underwhelming, but why not give one of the actual prospects a shot?

Does the Halladay injury mean that we can forget about the firesale trades involving Utley and Cliffie? I hope so. It's truly strange that the pitching staff runs as follows: KK, Cliffie, Pettibone, Hamels and sacrificial lamb (Cloyd?).

WP: Doesn't Morgan have all of 10 starts above A-level? I'm ok with him taking a little more time to develop at AAA. Especially considering how he's fallen back to Earth the last couple of starts.

Maybe it's naive of me, but I 100% believe Cloyd is a stopgap and not the long term replacement.

Prediction: I could easily see Cloyd out-performing Pettibone over the next 4 to 6 weeks.

Is it still a prediction if it includes the phrase "could easily"?

Cyclic: No. That was a failure in editing, due to lack of sufficient caffeine intake. I had intended to delete the word "prediction."

Then I agree.

By that same token though, I could easily see Cloyd being a disaster (but not quite Doc 2013 disastrous).

Cloyd had a better ERA than Pettibone last year, therefore BAP's scouting report has Cloyd above Pettibone. Its pretty simple stuff.

I'd prefer Morgan at this point, too. However, (stupid question --mainly because I'm too lazy to look it up myself):

They haven't started the clock on Morgan, right? They have on Cloyd. Don't you think that plays a huge role in their decision-making process?

lorecore: It's not just Cubans, the whole International FA operation the Phillies run is pretty underwhelming. What do they have, 3 guys who are the product of their own over seas scouting, Galvis, Bastardo, & Ruiz? One starter a middle reliever and a utility infielder. On top of that, of their preseason Baseball America top 10 prospects, only Franco & Tocci (#'s 8 & 10) are foreign players. Sickles top 20 only has 2 guys as well, Franco at 9 and Valle at 12. You'd think the raw athletes that come out of the latin countries would appeal to the Phillies. Guess not. Can Amaro even find the Dominican Republic on a map?

Controversial off-season move to discuss:

Non-tender Chooch (or QO if market is good).
Sign McCann to 2-year deal.

Billingsly: No, they haven't started Morgan's clock. In fact, he's not even on the 40-man roster, I don't believe.

This is where Ethan Martin losing his control this year and JC Ramirez never developing really hurts. But, throw Cloyd out there for a start or 2 while you work out other options.

For two games, would you rather the Aaron Cook of spring training vintage or Cloyd?

"Cloyd had a better ERA than Pettibone last year, therefore BAP's scouting report has Cloyd above Pettibone. Its pretty simple stuff."

Yeah, clout, er, I mean lorecore, that's all there is to it. It's actually because Pettibone has been getting by on smoke and mirrors, whereas Cloyd has actually had 2 major league starts in which he looked very good. Of course, he has to actually pitch like he did last year in order to have a chance at succeeding. If he pitches like he has for most of this year, it will be ugly.

None-stuff Cloyd somehow managed a 30K/7BB ratio over his 6 starts last season, but also gave up 8 HR in those 33 IP.

Only 12 Qualified Pitchers have given up more HR than walks in a full season. The last being Bronson Arroyo (46HR/45BB) in 2011.

Interestingly, the first to ever do it was Robin Roberts (46HR/40BB) in 1956.

bap: ok - i stand corrected. You are not basing your opinion on last year's season, you are basing it off of two of Cloyd's starts vs three of Pettibone's.

If Gillick was still the GM, I think you would see Morgan out there.

I understand the Phils reluctance to rush him though with little experience above AA, erratic performance this year so far, and still developing his offspeed arsenal.

Corey Seidman: "Kyle Kendrick has made 17 starts since Aug. 14, 2012. Over that span, the only SP in baseball with a lower ERA in as many starts? Cliff Lee.

Kendrick 2.44, Clifton 2.39"

MG: He has little experience above A, much less AA. He had 6 starts in Reading last year (after 20 in Clearwater) and he has 6 starts in AAA this year.

I'm probably with the FO in thinking he's not really ready for MLB starts yet.

bap - When you say Pettibone is getting by with "smoke and mirrors" what exactly do you mean? Nothing really jumps out at me if he is pitching above his head. He does rely on defense, which with this team isn't exactly a good thing to do. His BABIP is around .313 so it's not like he's getting lucky. Admittedly he's only had 3 starts but if he gives you 5-6 IP, 2-4 runs every time out, he is a solid 4-5.

Things that are "above" his minor league career average for Tyler Cloyd at AAA this year:
H/9: 10.3 vs. 8.7
BB/9: 3.1 vs. 2.1
HR/9: 1.3 vs. 0.8
ERA: 5.40 vs. 3.38
WHIP: 1.486 vs. 1.197

Of course he's under on this one:
K/BB: 2.67 vs. 3.47

Based on this data I will forgo the "could easily" dodge and simply predict that he will get hammered.

The Phillies' reluctance to call up young talent, even for a few games, is a continual irritation.

To expand that thought, I do not at all buy into the idea that playing a few games at the MLB level will hinder development. Rather, the experience can prove useful, highlighting areas in which a player needs further refinement, as well as giving said player the reward of a taste of the big leagues.

"KK has basically been Roy Halladay for the first 6 weeks of the season."

If Roy Halladay could've just been Kyle Kendrick, we might've had something.

lorecore: I'm basing it on the totality of the evidence, including last year's AAA numbers and his 6 starts in the majors.

RedBurb: Opposing hitters have slugged .540, and OPSed .853, against him in his 3 starts. But he has a strand rate of nearly 90%. No one can tell me that's a sustainable model for success. In fairness, though, he was good the last time out. In his first 2 games, he was considerably more lucky than good.

Morgan has 12 starts above A-ball, and hasn't exactly lit up AAA so far this year. If the Phillies don't want to rush him, and think he needs a little more time to develop, that's more than fine with me.

This isn't an Utley/Howard situation, where guys had conquered AAA ball and were sitting there at age 24/25 not being used. This guy just turned 23 and has yet to show any dominance at AA or AAA.

GTown: In much the same way it did for Domonic Brown in 2010?

I'm not saying bringing a player up early is always a bad move, but if the guy isn't a "finished product" (or at least close), the loss of morale at doing poorly at what is your eventual desired job can be pretty devastating to a career.

Factor into that the conditioning differences between MiLB and MLB, and the lack of one-on-one time between coaches and players, and premature cups of coffee could definitely result in medium-or-long-term harm.

I could easily see where Cloyd might win the Cy Young this year, depending on how he pitches and how hitters do against him.

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