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Saturday, May 11, 2013


I will say that, even though the bullpen blew a lead (again) and ultimately gave up the deciding run (again), this is the one time I would lean heavily towards blaming the offense despite that fact.

Kennedy was mediocre at best tonight. He didn't have strike-out stuff, had trouble with his command all night- left various pitches out over the middle of the plate that they didn't take advantage of. Somehow he stumbles into 7IP/2ER. That's a joke. A competent team scores 4-5 runs at least and chases him after 5 or 6 innings.

cloyd optioned to AAA, DeFratus up.

They have the 3rd fewest runs scored in the NL on a per game basis, and the 3rd most runs allowed per game (I believe, I'm eyeballing the math).

This isn't a team that's just a few breaks away from being a contender. They're a lot closer to the bottom than the top.

Love that Halladay felt the need to apologize despite the countless great memories he gave us in 2010/2011. He doesn't owe anything to anyone.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for my apology from the offense for wasting countless hours of my life for the last month and a half while they go out there and mail-in AB after AB. Even in that case, though, the joke's on us for continuing to invest time in them.

Phils are 16-21. If you figure that it will take a minimum of 88 wins to at least have a solid chance to get the 2nd WC, that means the Phils have to go 72-53 (.576) the rest of the way.

It isn't impossible but it is pretty damn inconceivable too. Even last year when they played better in the 2nd half, they only went 44-30 (.543).

Just not a team capable anymore of putting it into 5th gear in the 2nd half nor are there any key player returning or any help coming via trade.

Cloyd pitches well and gets optioned? De Fratus finally gets called up but Durbin/Horst stay.

More baffling roster moves by Amaro.

MG: This ties into my fear that r00b thinks finding an outside option for SP somehow saves the season.

Phils aren't in 'check' yet but if they go into early June or 6-7 games under .500, the rumors will begin circling on Cholly and this team will be shaping up as a seller.

Shame is that there might be a few other clubs too who are positioning themselves as sellers (Dodgers, Blue Jays, Angels) who will have plenty of wears to potentially push too.

I concur..

"Cloyd pitches well and gets optioned? De Fratus finally gets called up but Durbin/Horst stay.

More baffling roster moves by Amaro."

Dave - But where does that pitcher come from though? At best the Phils are going to get a marginal starter at this point. No team is going to concede this early unless it is a team that is clearly out of it and in rebuilding mode.

Maybe a guy like Feldman on the Cubs but even then why should the Cubs trade him now instead of waiting a bit.

MG: I have no idea where he'd come from, which is why I'm worried. The schedule is such that the Phils don't need a 5th starter right now, but I'm not sure why they'd send Cloyd down only to recall him in a week or so.

MG, your math makes me depressed.

Ruiz can't hit.
Howard can't hit.
Rollins pops-up.
Revere can't stand still while at bat.
Mayberry is someone still magically manages to stay with this team despite his just poor performance.
Delmon just swings.
Michael Young's second name is GIDP.
Dominic is shaky in the outfield.

Who is left?
Utley of course. He looks like he is 28 and he is gooooood!


Dave - They don't need another 5th starter right away (skip over Cloyd's next start with Lee on normal rest for the 17th) and probably figured they could benefit from having another reliever.

MG: I hope so. And I hope when/if Cloyd returns, it's not DeFratus who's leaving.


He is 1-3 and his average is slowly starting to climb (up to .232 now).

His SLG is .259 though which is 179th out of 181 qualified hitters in MLB. Only A. Hicks and Keppinger are worse.

Revere's complete lack of arm hurt them yet again in the 7th tonight. He has great range but doesn't get a great jump on balls & run good routes. Negates his great range a bit.

He's really a guy who would be in LF or RF where his arm wouldn't matter quite as much and his range would make him a superb fielder but his power is so meagre he is miscast as a starter there.

Phils need to play him in CF this year to see what they have but I think Amaro overpaid for a guy who is really a role player and isn't a guy should be starting in CF unless you have an above average offensive around him where you only need a fast/defense/high average guy to hit 8th or 9th. That was this offense say 3 years ago but not anymore.

You can not be a above average defender if an impotent penis has more strength in it.

It has been a steady downfall since Ruin Tomorrow Jr took over. I really do not want to see him rebuild this team. I don't want to see Charlie managing either.

Granted this season is more on RAJ but his gaffes have been highly documented over the years, hidden by player in their prime. Even this season he has done some typical head scratching Charlie moves.

Time to move on. Don't become the Eagles and hang on to the front office too long. Clean that office out.

"You can not be a above average defender if an impotent penis has more strength in it."...

..then your arm. Forgot that part.

Last depressing point:

JRoll had his 5th error of the season already and is on pace for to commit 16 errors (career-high).

Hasn't been the same caliber-defender since his leg injuries but he has struggled this year so far unlike at any point in his career & make some atypical mental miscues/routine misplays.

Almost always a slow starter offensively but even his defense right now has been a bit shaky. It's only 5 weeks in but they need a lot more out of JRoll offensively & defensively if they have hopes of contending yet this year.

As time goes by and the Phils continue to flounder, he is a guy I think the Phils will do everything they can do move at the deadline, let Galvis take over at SS, and use that freed up money to largely try to resign Utley.

Errors are a fickle beast because some plays that SHOULD be errors are not. They hang in the balance of the scorekeeper for that game.

Michael Young should have at least 5 or 6 so far this season and only has 2.

Corn - Agreed especially with the largely idiotic and arbitrary decision in which scorer's assign them.

Still is struggling in the field unlike any time I can remember.

JRoll, Papelbon, and Adams are due $31M next year combined and for a team that already has $78.5M committed to Lee/Hamels/Howard those are 3 contracts I would really like to see the Phils try to move if things come apart on them. No way I see the Phils getting 5.5-6 WAR out of them this year let alone next year.

Phils don't necessary have replacement in the pen but moving Papelbon and getting something of value in return for him would be a real plus.

Hopefully get 1-2 pieces in return that starts to help the club in '14 or '15 too.

They have alot to move.

Young Ruiz Utley are free agents. There is no way they will sign all 3 of them, maybe one of them..being Ruiz because I don't think any catchers in our system are ready for ML ball.

You bring up Ceaser to replace Utley at 2B. Galvis replaces Young at 3B ( or Rollins if he would try it and Galvis at SS )

You know if they resign Utley it is an easy $15 mil per. 10 of that could be used on bullpen.

To me, the guy who sort of symbolizes everything that's wrong with this organization is Adams. Whereas most teams have a cadre of cheap young flame-throwers with which to stock their bullpen, the Phillies, already on the hook for 4 years, $52M for their closer, had to pay $18M over 3 years for a guy entering his age 35 season just to have a second competent reliever in their bullpen. And then, to add a final layer of absurdity to the situation, the guy pretty much sucks. He has 3 times as many losses as high-leverage holds.

Utley if he keeps playing like this is going to be the hardest decision Amaro has made in a while (maybe his entire tenure as GM here) including whether to trade him and if not whether to resign him.

Everything is complicated by the fact that he had a resurgence & is this team's most popular player by far.

Amaro likely should see if Utley will sign a deal here and resign him before the deadline to a 2 or 3-yr extension as long as the dollars are right. If Utley is noncommittal or is hinting that he will take something no less than 3/$45M with an option than you have to strongly consider moving him too.

Last high-end reliever the Phils developed was Madson who came on to the scene in '04. I bet no team has been worse the last decade at developing relievers than the Phils.

I didn't know Rube tacked on a 'mystery year' (that only shows up as an option on the contract) to Adams' 2-year deal like he did with Rollins' 3-year deal. Amaro, you tricky bastard!

Thought I'd be the last one to say this but if things continue like this into June then this organization needs a serious makeover. The GM (the guy who thought D. Young and Revere was the answer) has to go, Charlie, as much as I love what he has done, needs to move on for the sake of a fresh approach and many of the older players need to be exchanged for youth. Most of all, we need a new GM who places at least as much value on statistics as eyeball reports and intuition.

Cholly might be scapegoated but Amaro isn't going anywhere. He's signed through '15. I still think it would take this year of sub .500 ball this year and next year until Dave Montgomery and Co. really consider the possibility of canning Amaro.

Re: sending down Cloyd, the Phils have two off days next week. Cloyd is eligible to be called back up in 10 days on 5/21, which is the next time he'll be needed in Philly. He'll get a start in LV in between.

Speaking of Madson we lucked out not re-signing him.

I didn't think there was a chance in the world that Michael Young would be here more than one year.

I think the only thing that RAJ and I have in common is that neither of us had ever seen revere play before this year.

I also don't understand the vitriol towards Adams, the phillies already have plenty of high priced "talent" that is underproducing. He fits right in.

The wins in SF were deceptive, but I think I've now moved into the fire sale camp. The window is closed and there is no tweak that will open it.

First to go? Amaro. Get someone who understands that the most important thing to do with a plate appearance is to not make an out.

BLer pro got it right again. AAA no good pitcher Cloyd stinks. A sure loss. Right all the blame goes on Cloyd.

Cloyd loses out on about $30K in salary as a result of the move.

On the other hand, DeFratus gets about $30K in salary as a result of the move.

I agree, 1 start is definitely enough evidence to show us that Cloyd will have a long, successful, MLB career.

Jack will tell you that the bullpen, especially Bastardo, pitched great last night because of his velocity and strike/ball ratio, but the fact of the matter is, the job of the bullpen is to hold the other team in check. When a bullpen is responsible for the losing margin in half your team's losses, that is a serious problem.

I agree that the bullpen is a problem...but they are just toeing the line along with crappy starting pitching (for the most part) and a crappy offense and crappy defense.

Its almost as if they're just a mediocre, crappy team. I dont see what is gained by singling out the bullpen as if it is the sole issue.

They need to stop running those promos and upcoming series "tickets still available" bumpers. My friggin wife is going to ruin Fathers Day and my summer birthday with more of these shitty tickets.

The bullpen is shaky yes, but this offense SUCKs

3-7 in one run games. I think that sums up what the season is shaping up to be.

Be more of them promotions Sad Guy coming people are bailing quick.

They're 27th in Runs Scored Per Game so far but yes, the bullpen is the #1 problem facing this team.

Blaming losses on the bullpen when your offense is this anemic is a wasted exercise.

Expecting pitchers who were not good enough to be major league starters to be perfect every time out is a good way to make sure your expectations are not met.

On the other hand, I do expect major league baseball position players to have OBPs over thirty percent.

Nice thing with the Phillies (for now) is that with a top 5 payroll, it could only take a few smart/lucky moves to really make a difference. It's definitely a buffer having a 160 million $ payroll.

If that well dries up though, yeah we could be looking at Phillies in the 90s again. :)

I agree, Andy.

As we've heard, "you can't fire 25 players."
However, management has to do something--if not now, then soon. If a GM believes that performance could be improved even slightly from a new manager's vision, strategies or motivations, then it's his responsibility to do so. Otherwise, he's not running the franchise, he's just baby-sitting it.

What if the Manager feels that performance could be improved from a new GM's vision?

Michael Young is hitting over .300 with a .380+ OBP. Over 100 of his 140 PA have come hitting 3rd or 5th, where he's hitting to ~.850 OPS. .328/.397/.443 out of the 5th spot.

He has 9 RBI.

Part of that is that he doesn't have much power, but he does have 7 XBH out of the 3rd and 5th spot in 101 AB. No great shakes but pretty much his career XBH%.

Most of it is the OBP of the 1-4 spots in this lineup. We're really passed the point where breaking this down statistically matters, but the Phils have the following OBP 1-4: .272, .300, .340, .298.

It's amazing in the Summer of "I don't care about walks" that this is happening. The Universe is teaching Amaro a lesson.

9 RBI in 36 games puts him on pace for 40.5 RBI on the season. That's just...

A team with a good offense and starting pitching can overcome a bad bullpen. See the 2009 Phillies, who had a great offense, good starting pitching, but a closer that threw 58.2 IP, with a 7.21 ERA and 11 BS. That team won the division.

There isn't a bullpen in baseball good enough to overcome a completely pathetic offense.

RAJ just keeps watching the team implode. Just another wasted season. Hope they can hold off the Marlins.

And that's not to say that this bullpen is just flat out awful. The middle relief is completely unreliable, and the back-end, which is supposed to be the strong part of the bullpen, is leaking oil, or, in Papelbon's case, looking like they could start leaking oil at any moment.

It's just a bad, bad, bad team.

The Universe is teaching Amaro a lesson.

The Universe is attempting to teach r00b a lesson, but I don't view him as the learning sort.

Doesn't matter, Andy, even if the Manager is right about the GM. It's good to be the King.

I don't know about anyone else, but I found last night's loss esp. demoralizing. If Cloyd had come out & gotten destroyed, fine. He shouldn't have even been there in the first place. But the guy pitched more than well enough to Win, & pretty much every other aspect of the team failed around him. It's such a depressing waste.

Yeah, there's no disentangling the blame here (though in the weighted sense the offense, which plays 9 innings to the bullpen's 3 or 4, bears the brunt). The bullpen, perhaps average relative to the league, is plainly inadequate to protecting what skimpy leads they're given, when they're given leads. That the leads, when they happen, are so skimpy--or that the deficits they deepen, from 1 run, say, to 2 or 3, are so frequently game-killing--is a function of a less-than-average offense. The bullpen isn't good enough to surmount the offense; the offense, inter alia, isn't remotely good enough to surmount a leaky bullpen. Let's call it badness feedback--the trademark characteristic of what is on the whole a "bad team."

Phils had 4 hits and 1 walk in the 1st and only scored 2 runs. That's the game - and season - in a nutshell right there. The offense always lets the opposing pitcher off the hook. Any other team would've scored 3 or 4 runs and kept piling on in the subsequent innings...

What time is Amaro's apology press conference?

The Phillies offensive ranks:

wRC+: 83 (28)
OPS: .282 (28)
OBP: .297 (27)
ISO: .137 (23)
K%: 20.6% (18)
BB%: 7.3% (23)
HR: 32 (23)
R: 131 (25)
SB: 16 (20)
BAbip: .282 (24)
GB%: 47.3% (25)
LD%: 18.9% (23)
HR/FB: 10.1% (22)
IFH: 6.3% (14)
O-Swing: 30.7% (23)
SwStr: 9.7% (23)
WPA: -1.34 (23)

Good god. The only category in which we're above the median is infield hit percentage, and that's just barely. Otherwise, the Phillies are just awful at EVERYTHING. It's not like we have lots of power, but don't get on base, but get on bae, but don't flash power, or walk alot, but have a low BAbip.

They're just bad at ALL aspects of the offense.


Amaro's press conference was brief. Here's a synopsis:

Brain Surgeon, base don the stats I posted above, I disagree. This offense isn't bad because they keep letting pitchers "off the hook". It's that they rarely get them "on the hook" in the first place.

And when they seldom do, the odds aren't in their favor that they're going to be able to capitalize.


Thanks for the new desktop background. When the Phils send me my $13k invoice in December, I may just send this back instead.

Sophist Meets RAJ:

Sophist: Nice to meet you, Mr. Amaro. What do you have to say about the fact that Michael Young is hitting .306 with a .386 OBP, that the bulk of his ABs have come in the 3 or 5-hole, and that he still has only 9 RBIs?

RAJ: It's disappointing. Michael is hitting well but we expected more production out of him.

Sophist: But, Mr. Amaro, he's hitting .367 with runners on base. With runners in scoring position, he's hitting .385 with a 1.081 OPS. How can you say that he isn't producing with men on base?

RAJ: I'm sorry. O, P what?

Sophist: OPS. It's just on-base percentage and slugging percentage added together.

RAJ: Right. I guess that's one of those stats cooked up by sabermetricians who think they know how to build a good team. To me, though, it's about driving in runs. OPS doesn't win games. Runs win games.

Sophist: Getting back to Michael Young's lack of RBIs . . . isn't the real problem that the guys ahead of him are not getting on base?

RAJ: I don't care about getting on base. I care about production. In fact, one of the really disappointing things about Michael Young's season is that he is on pace for a career-high in walks. That's not productive at all and that's got to change. And I think it will.

Sophist: What do you say about the following numbers: .273, .300, .298? Those are the on-base averages of the Phillies' 1, 2, and 4 hitters this year.

RAJ: Well, like I said. I don't care about getting on base. I care about production. At the same time, those on-base numbers need to improve. A lot of that is on Michael Young. If he would start driving in more runs, I think you'd see the hitters in front of him start getting on base more.

Sophist: Thank you for your time.

RAJ: My pleasure.

Mediocrity abounds man.

I don't want to do this, but here goes:

Phillies bullpen ranking:

ERA: 4.11 (23)
SIERA: 3.82 (24)
FIP: 4.49 (29)
xFIP: 4.33 (25)
WHIP: 1.41 (25)
K%: 21.8% (29)
BB%: 10.6% (27)
LOB: 75.6$ (28)
HR/FB: 12.2% (24)
BAbip: .295 (21)
GB%: 39.6% (28)
LD%: 18.3% (5) (hey, a good ranking!!)
IFFB%: 13.1% (7) (another one!)
IP: 96.1 (25) (SP w/ more IP than I thought)
SV: 5 (29)
WPA: -1.82 (25)

RAJ put together an absolutely sh!tty roster. Even if he fully expected Halladay to be healthy and dominant this year, I'm not sure a healthy Doc would be able to overcome this offense and bullpen.

Speaking of promotions, when do they try to sneak into another random ethnic heritage night or maybe even a 'Four-Legged Friends Night?'

Once again: "Everything you are doing is bad. I want you to know this."

I don't feel like doing the whole charade with SP, but suffice it so say, in terms of ERA, predictive ERA stats and other important categories, they're generally floating around the median.

Two stats that surprised me:

IP: 226.2 (1)
BAbip: .269 (2)

Now, with Cloyd (or someone Cloyd-like) and the 'bone in the rotation going forward, I expect this rotation to remain middle-of-the-pack, or slightly above (I believe in KK, but I do expect him to regress a bit).

So basically, you have an average rotation, a putrid offense, an abysmal bullpen and weak defense on the whole, being led by an incompetent manager and being maintained by a GM with no understanding of how to build a roster, and how to maintain one throughout a season.

I should find something else to do with my time this summer.

Fat, that sounds to me a lot like:

"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

When the pitchers give up three runs and the hitters can only score two runs, its the hitters fault. I'm getting tired of this two runs or less crap.

MR, you quote one of the great words of advice of all time. My wife does not understand why I include Animal House as one of my all time best movies, right in there with Casablanca, It's a Wonderful Life, Lawrence of Arabia, et al.

I was scouring Fangraphs to see if I could find some obscure offensive statistic in which the Phillies are actually good. Well, believe it or not, I found one. And this will come as a shock to those who think the Phillies problem is lack of clutch hitting. The stat is literally called "clutch," and it's defined as "A measurement of how much better or worse a player does in high leverage situations than he would have done in a context neutral environment." It then gives the example of a .300 overall hitter who hits .300 in situations that are deemed "clutch." Such a player would not be considered clutch. Presumably, however, a .200 hitter who hits .285 in clutch situations, would get a high clutch score.

So, guess what? The Phillies not only rank 1st in the majors in Clutch, but it's an absolute landslide. Their clutch score is 1.46; the next best team is Toronto at only 0.83. Relative to their overall numbers, they are, by a massive amount, the most clutch team in baseball. I guess we can rule out lack of clutch hitting as the culprit for their problems.

To augment that last post, there's also this. The Phillies have averaged 6.1 runners LOB this year. Only 2 teams in the majors have left fewer men on base -- Washington, at 5.97 and the WhiteSox at 5.70. Not coincidentally, all 3 teams rank in the bottom 5 in the majors in runs per game. This would seem to go against the theme that the Phillies' offensive woes are due to an inability to drive people home.

As irritating as it is when they get 2 men on base & then strand them, that isn't the source of their problems. The source of their problems is a notable absence of men on base in the first place; hence, the paltry LOB total.

Four legged friends night? Every night was four legged friends night at Connie Mac, if you considered rodents.

We still got tons of great seats available for Latvian Heritage night...bring your vecmte!

Tmac: Once again, we got a new crowd-pleaser, tickets are bound to sell out fast for "Aryan Pride night"
Wheels: Holy sh-t, I love that night.

I sure hope that Delmon (Amaro: "He's not an anti-Semite") Young is gone before Jewish Heritage Night.

They could hold whatever promotion they like. Hell, they could hold Free Ticket Day and I'll stay home to save the money on gas, tolls and parking.

I was recently selected by Neilsen group to fill out a tv diary for each set in my home. Not one Phillies game was written in the diary despite the fact that I watched most of them. Same reason.

Why? Because if fielding a team this bad with a $160 million payroll isn't enough to get rid of Amaro, the only answer is to stop the flow of money. Once ownership understands that Amaro has turned a highly profitable championship franchise into a money pit, perhaps they'll send him packing.

...and from the looks of the ballpark, I'm not the only one staying home. I wouldn't doubt if the ratings are following a similar trend.

They'll be goosestepping schmucks who will question my "loyalty" and other such nonsense, but if fans don't change their behavior, there is absolutely zero incentive for ownership to change theirs. I'll always be a Phillies fan, but I'm not a sucker who will be so easily parted from my money by a smug, arrogant failure like RAJ.

The Phillies appear to be moving away from ethnic heritage nights in favor of celebrating various ailments & diseases -- Respiratory Asthma Awareness Night, Melanoma Awareness Day, etc. Considering the state of the franchise, it's an appropriate shift. And hey, who isn't totally jazzed for Creutzfeldt–Jakob Night at the old ball game?

Im stoked for Druid appreciation night. I think trees on the field of play can only help the Phillies.

We got such a great response to Irish Heritage Night May the 17 we are making May 31 the game against the Brewers...Ulster Unionist Night!

donc: We already have D. Young.

"Why doesn't anyone want tickets??"

And Ryan Howard too, Dave. I'm waiting for pigeons to start landing on an awful lot of our players. This may be the slowest team assembled in modern times. You could time Delmon Young to first base with a sun dial.

Sophist: here's an add-on to your post about Young/RBIs- his numbers with RISP: .385/.543/.538/1.081 in 35 PAs (with 9 of his 16 BBs on the year).

This shows how utterly useless the RBI stat is. He's only had 26 PAs where the pitcher has actually given him something to hit in a situation where a guy was on 2nd or 3rd. And he's had 126 PAs so far out of the 3rd, 4th, or 5th spot- or as Amaro would probably describe them, 'the production spots.'

I'm not sure what the more stunning statistic is here: that 4 out of every 5 PAs for Young in those spots have come without guys in position where he can realistically drive them in- or that 7 of his 16 walks have come in the 3rd spot, with Howard hitting behind him. Pitchers would rather face him than Young.

M. Young would also have trouble setting off a motion detector when going from first to third.

The Ticket Oak creeps me out. Maybe it's the remarkable resembelance to Larry Anderson.

donc: Hypothetical - If a rare bird nested on a Phillies player, would we be able to call the season? I don't think I can take 4+ more months of this.

I love this stuff. Will S doesn't understand that anybody with a fios or cable box, or any kind of TIVO-like device tuned to the Phillies records some sort if number somewhere. I am sure this gets filtered into the mix.

GTown: I hate to equivocate on the subject but it depends on the player. If the player in question is D Young, I'm pretty sure you can just let them both be. It wouldn't affect the season one way or the other.

In fact, Dave, I envision a day in the not too distant future where D Young is named a dedicated Audobon wildlife sanctuary.

Larry Anderson = Buffalo Bill dancing in front of mirror.

MYoung is actually one of the better base-runners on the team. Not as fast as Utley, but has similar instincts and intelligence on the bases.

He's just bad in hotel lobbies.

Sorry, that's DYoung.

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