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Saturday, May 18, 2013


This team is circling the drain.

Man this offense + bullpen outside papelbon/adams is terrible. Both bottom 5 in league.

Said during the broadcast today the last time the Phils had a lower OBP (4th inning) was in '91.

Last time the Phils had scored less R/G was in '72.

This has been a really putrid offense so far that for the most part has had all of its regulars.

Time to start mixing and matching the bench a bit more and take a roll of the dice on calling up a guy like Ruf.

It doesn't help that the Phils keep making WTF roster moves with the bullpen including playing a man short and calling up guys like Rosenberg, demoting Valdes, and keeping Horst/Durbin on the roster.

Rosenberg is one of the worst relievers to put on a Phils' uniform in the last 25 years. Straight as an arrow 93-94 MPH 4-seam fastball with average command at best and no credible offspeed pitch or fastball variation. In almost every organization, he wouldn't be pitching above AA.

I meant season marks vs where the team stands today.

Unsure why Rosenberg deserved a call up. I thought the goal was to make him a starter in Lehigh now he is back to a bad mop up guy. I am not sure this organization has a clue anymore. Nothing makes sense.

Maybe Iceman will say that it is hyperbole about Rosenberg.

You would be hard pressed to come up with 3 worse relievers in the past 20-25 years. If they let him pitch 60-70 IP, he easily could be a -1 fWAR or so player.

And now Valdes has thrown 4 shutout innings in a starting role in Lehigh. What a mess.

Fucking Jew cost us the game.

Even if the offense was average and Hamels was pitching well, you couldn't win consistently with this bullpen right now.

If the Phils were serious about trying to fix and not pinching pennies (I think once again the trades at the deadline are going to be all about moving payroll first and foremost with talent in return as a secondary factor), Amaro would call up the Fish and pick up Rauch for pocket lint in return as long as he picked up the ~750k or so that Rauch was due yet.

Immediately call him up and send down Rosenberg. Call up Stutes too & demote Durbin (or DFA Durbin). Most teams would be likely either DFA or demoting MLB a veteran on a 1-year deal like Durbin who has an ERA over 8.00 in mid-May. Maybe even role the dice with Jimenez too although if the Phils want 2 lefties you keep Horst up.

Cards optioned Boggs and Rzepczynski to T-AAA in early May. Volstad got optioned to T-AAA in late April by the Rockies. Axford is on the verge of being demoted to the minors. My homebody Duke has pitched once in the past 3 weeks for the Nats and is on very thin ice.

Maybe Amaro is just shell-shocked and just yammering about 'Production.'

I am kind of looking forward to the pre-game call-in with Joe Jackson & Amaro tomorrow.

Free Mini Mart!

Well I was coming in here to do the whole FREE RUF thing, but Mini Mart kinda just ruined it.

Another brilliant showing today.

But, hey, if we somehow win tomorrow (we won't), taking 2 out of 3 from a hot/good Reds team is pretty good (even for a sucky team like the Phillies).

Oh crap. I didn't mean 'free me from the roster, man!'

This post is dedicated to Ryan Howard's mandated attendance to Phillies baseball games in order to collect his paycheck. The "gang of 5" or whatever passes for the limited partnership these days should realize that CBP as a money-making entity is a lost cause under the current regime of Amaro; his assistants and the old man in the dugout.

This may not even be a 68 win team; come late July through season's end, no one will come and watch the '13 Phillies twitch like a fishing bobber above the hapless Marlins. What could a progressive GM do to change things?

Too bad Darin Ruf is a huge "maybe". What's worse is the appearance that Ruf on the 25 man is "blocked" by worst contract in MLB - based on recent PAs. I'd love to see Howard's $$$ butt glued to the pine for at least 2 weeks and Darin Ruf given an opportunity to start at first base every day for that time. Come hell or high water.

What would this team lose if Howard were benched? Right now, it appears Howard shows up, waves half-heartedly at pitches, and sits down. Where's the remorse? Actual evidence he gives a s8it? It appears the ongoing Howard non-performance is sanctioned by a FO that insists that a player's playing time is in directly correlated to the $$ in his guaranteed contract. Wow.

What's worse, if he's still got "fire in the belly" (again, this post is dedicated to Howard's mandated attendance to collect his paycheck) are we currently seeing the results of Ryan Howard "trying really hard"?

Well, that's simply incomprehensible. All in all, it appears, the clean up hitter is no longer a big leaguer. He certainly does not play every day for his defense. Geesh.

It takes a very mediocre team to make Bronson Arroyo look like Cy Young.

I liked Charlie Manuel's talk after the game. I'm going to take it to heart for myself as a fan, because I found today pretty negative and thought about quitting the Phillies myself, quit watching.

As with last year, I just want them to keep fighting, play with pride, and give us some fun baseball...even if there's no pot of gold at the end of any Phillies rainbow this year.

Link to Zo's writeup of Manuel's post-game:

I don't think the Howard thing is about money. The people in charge believe he's a top tier talent. They really do. They'll stick with him until even the signs they use to evaluate talent shows otherwise. And we'll passed then. He'll be given every opportunity to fail because Amaro and Charlie believe he's the big piece. The money committed is just evidence of that.

Good post, cut. Howard really needs to have a hot streak that's A) long enough and B) good enough to prove it's worth putting up with horrific stretches like this. If he doesn't do it soon, I don't know how they can keep running him out there.

So I take it that we're no longer on a roll?

Cyclic: I had the exact same thing happen to me. Thought I'd give it a day.

Howard had a hot streak. His OPS was around 1.000 for a few weeks. And yet his season OPS is still .700. What matters is the overall picture.

Oh, curses, NEPP, that headline jinxed us!

Either that or our own offense and BP jinxed us.

Howard had a 23 game stretch ending May 7th where he hit .317/.356/.610. Imagine how bad the other 17 games were.

You could even go from April 9th to May 7th and he hit .322/.357/.622 in 25 games.

In the other 15 games I think he's 7-57 with 3 BB and no XBH. 23 K.

Thanks for finding those. I guess maybe I should just hope for the slumps to be a lot less horrific.

Sophist -- Completely anecdotal - however, where's the "stud" who's needling his teammates to "...get him to the plate..." when he sniff's he can make a difference?

I have a completely empirical sense that player's gone forever, his intransigence fueled by dizzying amounts of guaranteed money.

godda88, do I hope I'm wrong.

cut - why make this a personal attack against Howard? I get that you're frustrated but what evidence is there that Howard stopped making effort once he got the extension.

He's 33 years old and screwed up his Achilles. Teams also approach him differently. They started shifting, they use more LHP, they throw sliders and locate in his weak spots. If that player is gone forever that's all the explanation you need. In 2010 when he was 30 and healthy he had an .835 OPS. Even then he wasn't a great player. Now he's older.

The day Howard signed the extension many thought the writing was on the wall. This was when all reports indicated how hard he worked to stay healthy. This is before any thought of how 2010 would end. Given his plate discipline problems, there was some likelihood he wouldn't age well. It probably has zero to do with money and everything to do with how his skill set ages. He's not a Thome, where power and plate discipline would keep him valuable into his mid-30s. He has the power but a terrible approach.

Zambrano & Lannan - Phillies teammates soon: oh no, we suck again.

Anecdotal empirical intransigence. I agree. A few more runs and a little better pitching would also help

Sophist - What exactly is "personal" about my Howard comments? He would not be the first huge talent to be poisoned into a state of torpor by guaranteed money - if that's indeed the case. We can't rule that out. He's that bad.

Again, what's even worse is we, the fan base, might be viewing Ryan Howard's best efforts. The "Achilles" thing is nearly 24 months past.

By your own observation:

In the other 15 games I think he's 7-57 with 3 BB and no XBH. 23 K.

Signing off now. Wishing the Phils had a cleanup hitter. Who gave irrefutable evidence that he cared where his team's going.

You're saying he's failing because he doesn't care. That's personal. You're calling him out for lack of effort. All signs point to players getting worse as they leave their 20s. Howard wasn't even that good at 30. Mike Schmidt hit a wall too. It wasn't because of money or lack of effort. He just got old.

And the comparison with Schmidt, while completely unfair to Howard tells you a lot about Howard too. Schmidt had a 19% BB rate at 33. Howard's pitch recognition skills are doing him in. He just isn't the kind of player with a good aging curve.

Manuel's post-game comments were just more regurgitations from a man who does not have a tactical thought in his head. "Try harder." "Don't get down." "We'll hit." Or, as Ray Rhodes said when HE had no idea what do do, "Someone needs to make something happen."

Replace him with someone who will try some creative and different things based on stats and trends. Hoping and waiting aren't strategies.

All Ryan Howard does is glower at umpires when he's rung up on a called strike 3.

This is a horrifyingly cheap cliche. However, once - just once - I'd love to see Howard bust up the Gatorade jug after a particular humiliating punch-out.

Since the injury, where's the fire? Signs the guy cares at all? Again, I can't believe I've engaged Sophist this long on such a very depressing topic.

Right now, all I would love to do is witness our .245 average cleanup hitter make a difference. Very soon.

I never understand the assumption that caring and effort equates to playing well, and that if a player is playing horribly, it means that they don't care or aren't trying.

As for the money, you could just as easily argue that earning such a hefty paycheck makes Howard press that much harder, trying to justify the contract.

The Yanks made a roster move, and it did not involve BenFran(.114), as everyone expected. Cashman said he's keeping him around "just to piss everyone off." Why didn't Rube think of this regarding(name the player of your choice.)

Well, when you face a guy like Bronson Arroyo, you just have to tip your cap.

I think the things that were most embarrassing (offensive division) today were the complete lack of patience at the plate against an effective starter who was limited to approx. 100 pitches, and a pinch runner, Revere, not being able to advance to third of a fly ball to deep CF.As bad as Howard was running on that double, he would have been at 3B on that fly.

Defensive division- every pitcher we ran out there was bad.

Sad excuse for baseball today.

I was at the Pawtucket Red Sox game some years back when he threw his perfect game...

cut - So Howard should attack the bat rack and Gatorade ala Paul O'Neill? His lack of effort has diminished since the paycheck despite no criticism from his teammates/manager/front office?

Your a smarter fan than that. That doesn't accomplish anything and questioning his effort/desire is pretty baseless at this point. It is frustrating to watch Howard but you can say that for a few other guys in the lineup right now.

They should hang this above the Locker Room:

'Beatings to Continue Until Morale Improves'

Cholly's postgame comments didn't do a thing for me. This isn't a team that is capable of going on a sustained stretch like they did in years' past after the ASB either. Even last year, they played at only a ~.540 clip after the ASB which is only an 87-win pace.

Just don't know if Cholly realizes that right now or not. I don't think he does. He is really the wrong guy to manage this team right now because he doesn't put enough of the limited pieces in the optimal places often enough. Also been here quite a while, is a lame-duck, and I can't imagine the players really get moved by what he has to say one way or another.

The only reason I don't see advocating for a dismissal of Cholly midseason is that I don't think it will make a difference one way or the other. Amaro has done yet another pretty poor job of surrounding this team with complementary pieces & the core guys (Utley/Howard/JRoll/Chooch) just aren't good enough any more to carry them.

"Amaro has done yet another pretty poor job of surrounding this team with complementary pieces "

Amen to that.

I think we need an infusion of unproven talent to replace the proven mediocre bullpen pieces.
And I think Charlie needs to bench or demote a player every time there is lack of hustle. St. Utley when he doesn't run out a third strike in the dirt; or our "pinch runner" Revere when he doesn't bother to advance because it's a 10 run game.
Since we don't have the talent we need to at least keep trying.

I did think Arroyo did pitch pretty well today. Used his sinker earlier in the game to keep hitters off balance and mixed and matched his slider and changeup all day. All had nice movement on his stuff most of the day too vs RHP tailing away.

Arroyo just pounded the strike zone but the Phils did take the first pitch. In fact, 22 of the 29 batters that Arroyo faced didn't swing at the first pitch.

Phils just don't have the power that they used to drive a ball out like they used to. In fact, the Phils hit a couple of balls to the warning track or deep today but nothing that went over the fence.

Even if they had, they would have been solo shots and no offense would have been able to overcome the bullpen implosion in the 8th.

"Even if the offense was average and Hamels was pitching well, you couldn't win consistently with this bullpen right now."

This is all I'm saying. Even in my delusions of grandeur where the offense becomes average (and it's hard to think that's possible on days like today), the team is still going to have to win a ton of close games to be in contention. And they will simply be unable to hold leads or keep games close enough to stay in contention with this POS bullpen.

I mean, it's reached the point where it's genuinely embarrassing to watch, and I actually took some joy when Votto hit that HR off Durbin. I hope this front office continues to be humiliated by the bullpen they've assembled, because they've completely and utterly failed (and continue to fail) at their job.

They just don't have talent. None of the other stuff matters. The idea that's about effort, or about the manager says, or anything like that is just wrong.

They don't have enough talent. And the GM doesn't appear to have any idea of what talent is or how to acquire it. That's the issue.

I railed on Charlie before the game for making the wrong moves in terms of starting certain guys today, but ultimately it doesn't matter. Its about talent.

That may be true, but it's also true that with a great bullpen, this team still wouldn't be winning either.

It's a mediocre team, at best. At best.

Jack - Sadly I agree. In spring training, I thought this team would have at least an average offense, be competitive, and end up with 84-86 wins (I had 85 wins in my preseason prediction I think) with the biggest reason thinking Halladay would be a huge disappointment this year. If a fair amount broke their way, maybe even win a WC spot.

Things always shift the long course of baseball season but this is a team right now that just can't build up any momentum even though they are pretty healthy. It has taken Adams' injury to expose the complete lack of depth in the pen & injuries to Halladay/Lannan which will likely force Zambrano into the 5th starter spot I bet until Lannan comes sometime in June.

Can someone please explain to me how you can have a guy (M. Young)that's played every game hitting 3rd or 5th in the order and only have 10rbi and on pace for a whooping 40 for the season?

ThE DuDe: Rollins (.305 OBP), Revere (.286 OBP), Howard (.283 OBP), even Utley (.327 OBP).

Turns out "production" takes more than one player.

By the way, speaking of Michael Young, his 22 walks in 42 games are totally playing against type (58 walks is his career-best). Hard to imagine how ugly this offense would look if he was closer to his '12 numbers.

Arroyo is actually a pretty good pitcher. He's quirky and he throws strikes with all of his pitches. I can at least sorta understand getting stymied by him. Its some of the other below average starters this team hasn't hit, that is really pathetic.

The Reds are simply a better club in every area then the Phils. The difference in bullpen's is startling. Votto and Phillips are what Howard and Utley were 5 years ago.

They have a bit of a hole in LF because of injury, but that team is solid. Everywhere.

How does Aumont still have an ERA in the low 2's? Seems like he's pitched very poorly for a while now. But compared to Horst and Durbin, he looks like Mariano Rivera.

I'd say DeFratus is going to be the new 8th inning guy for a while. If they ever decide to DL Adams, I'd say Stutes has to be up soon. And considering the options, he'll be thrown right into high leverage situations too. Probably ahead of Aumont at the beginning.

One of the failings of Ruben in his "mini firesale" of last year was not getting a competent bullpen piece back in any of those deals.

I wonder how long they keep starting Ethan Martin at LV? He looks more like a major league reliever to me, then starter. He's got a nice arm and has swing-and-miss stuff. And with Biddle coming (and if Adam Morgan can get straightened out, possibly him too), not much room in the future big league rotation in Philly. The Phils need help in the pen and Martin could be a possibility down-the-road....maybe even this year.

So when does Howard retire or get to the point he is forced to retire? I am guessing within 2 years,

Im thinking something along those line Corn or a buyoff. Im not really sure how that works. Contracts buyouts and provision. Howard, once a Hero now a Eaton?

I blame this travesty of a game entirely on jrfinger for his last article. "Phillies are on a roll." Really? A roll? It's bad enough that people jinx the team when they really ARE on a roll. They don't need to be jinxed when they've barely made it back to mediocre.

As soon as the Phils look to dump Howard, a team will be found who will take him for unproven A level filler and (major portions of) money to pay him. The hitting coach will, immediately, finally convince Howard to make adjustments. He'll start going the other way with enough pitches to eliminate the shift and return to productivity.

My prediction.

Oh. Plus, it'll be a NL team and he'll eat the Phillies alive for the rest of his life.

Can someone please command howard to bunt down the third base line every freaking at bat until they stop that motherfresking shift?!?!?!?

The fact that winning 6 of 10 is 'on a roll' tells you all you need to know about this team. What a lazy comment.

Howard crushed a meatball at the end of the game yesterday--for a double short of the wall. What a joke of a power hitter.

Howard hr/fb down to 14%. What's more pathetic, that or his 5 BB% ?

Mayberry with the golden sombrero yesterday - trust the gut.

He became the 65th Phillie in franchise history with a true golden sombrero(4K in 4PA). Last done by Ibanez in 2011. Dick Allen leads the franchise with 9 sombreros.

Scott Rolen the last of 4 Phillies to ever wear the platinum sombrero (5K).

lorecore- and he'll be back in the lineup today as the starting CF.

The offense has been putrid this year. Absolutely horrible. And yet somehow the Nats have fewer runs scored in the same number of games. WTF?

I expected them to regress more than most, but even I couldn't have envisioned them having this kind of prolonged slump with the depth they have at seemingly every position. Espinosa has a .502 OPS. Beerleaguer favorite Denard Span is cooling off after a hot start, hitting .188/.264/.271/.535 in his last 13 games. LaRoche was awful until heating up recently.

Oh well. Can't say it upsets me to see it happening.

Just a day ago I was ranting how DeFratus has a "setup man" prospect was #1 on my list of dumbest things this team has done. Revere being benched vs RHP has quickly replaced that.

At least the Phillies accidentally got the move right after awhile - DeFratus is better than Durbin/etc. - so it makes the stupidity of not calling him up until the set up man was hurt more tolerable since he's rightfully being used now that he is here.

The Mayberry over Revere stupidity does not have any such consolation, as evidenced by his beautiful PAs yesterday. Some of have speculated that Revere is in Charlie's doghouse for his baseball IQ/fundamentals, but even if that is true, this is a case where the GM has to overrule the manager.

You can't trade for this kid as your future CF and then bench him after a bad month/on field blunders for freakin John Mayberry who sucks now, sucked before, and will continue to suck.

I was really hoping Revere would at least be a shell of Kenny Lofton, but he can't bunt, steal bases uncontested, hit line drives, or provide any power

One of the headlines on this morning: "Revere looking to regain power swing"

Regain?! That's rich.

At least the Nats have the second lowest ERA in baseball. They had a top ten offense last year. With that awful offense they're still over .500.

Mayberry's 4 ABs yesterday were some of the worst I've ever seen, in MLB or any other level. He looked like a complete fool and deserves his large golden headpiece.

yesterday's game is destroying the resale on my tickets today. Going to have to eat them most likely.

I'd say the all day rain is what's destroying your resale, although the team's play all year is a big factor.

I really do love that after Sarge ripped Votto for "walking too much", Votto has 6-8, in 10 PA, with 2 BB, 1 2B and 2 HR. for a measly 2.425 OPS.

Oh, and Votto now has a puny 1.004 OPS (170 OPS+), which includes a league leading .473 OBP.

But, you know, he only has 20 RBI.

What a bum.

It amazes me that there are still people who imagine Revere as the CF of the future after having watched him play. When opposing scouting reports tell burners like Placido Polanco to tag up at First Base on routine flies to CF, you're going to have to find a new CF. That would be true even if the guy could hit the ball to the outfield.

Wow, what a creative lineup today! Mike Young at 1st, Galvis at 3 rd

Is Galvis batting 3rd to replace Young or cleanup because Howard is sitting

For ME, Joey Votto is a guy who walks too PARTICULARLY often, you want your power guys going up there looking to hit the ball OUT of the BALLPARK and EXPAND the strike zone in a PARTICULAR at-bat.

Sophist- obviously, as evidenced by the fact that they're currently above .500. All I'm saying is nobody projected them to be this bad offensively. They were touted as the most complete team in the majors. Having an offense that's been worse than the Phils is truly an accomplishment. That's all.

Every alleged damning thing I said about Ryan Howard yesterday evening would be neutralized by 1 simple thing: Changing his approach with a 2-strike count!

Sure, dropping a bunt down the 3rd-base line is not a long-term strategy for a guy with an Achilles’ tendon injury -- Howard will never again be fleet of foot, if he ever was at all. Regardless, that does work once in a while, especially if the opposition is napping.

Better still, can’t Howard learn to? get better at? fouling off pitches with a 2-strike count? This is a laughably simplistic argument for a guy who once hit 58 HRs in a season. Too bad those days are waaay gone. Why can’t Ryan understand that the more pitches he sees, the greater the chance he gets a pitch he can drive, and implement a strategy to do just that?

This is on Charlie – if Manual is truly the “hitting guru” that people claim, or more to the point, that Manual thinks that he is, it’s clear that he’s done nothing to change Howard’s approach over the years. For that reason alone, I say fire Manual if things don’t pick up by June 15th. What’s lost?

An 1 more thing. The days of big checks as the primary tool for solving problems are over. If Amaro can’t improve the bullpen by September, that should be reason enough to fire him, too. Let a stats-savvy guy oversee the rebuild of this sorry troupe.

If they get the game in, I'm predicting a similar result to yesterday. Bailey's coming off a CG against the Marlins where he struck out 10. He dominated them a month ago. Whatever money you have in your savings account, withdraw everything the bank will allow you to on a Sunday and put it on the Reds to win today.


I won't complain letting howard get a day off, but at this point I'd make sure it was purely vs LHP, but ah well, losing his whopping .767 OPS vs RHP isn't even that big of a deal. Freddy Galvis' glove at 3B probably makes it an even move anyway at this point.

Good lord, this offense is awful. We're actually trotting out this lineup for an actual game?


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