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Thursday, May 30, 2013

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Cesar that's about it

Watching the Phillies during the Bowa years and early Manuel years gave fans hope. It was fun. Finally saw progress and possibly a playoff berth in the future. Then came 2007-2011 and it was a helluva ride. Then 2012 and now 2013 not fun. The rise, the peak, and the fall. The fall sucks. They're just not fun anymore. Bad getting worse. Low getting lower. It's sad, really.

Carson - You here to rip Hamels a new one? He's 1-8. Perfect time for a meltdown from you to say how soft he is.

Sad but true GM. Although i had to admit i didnt they would hit the wall(last year) I thought it would be this year. Not that it mattes just saying. Durbin flat out stinks. You cant even do a fools good hope and say when Utley and Ruiz come back meme.

Carson pretending he did something other than complain all through the winning years gave me a good laugh.

I see on twitter gelb is already talking about how the back of the bullpen issues don't matter. I guess this will be the fundamental argument until they are cut (which may not happen, given the other options): if the bullpen comes in and gives up 5 runs, making a 2-run deficit 7, does it matter?

I don't even see how it's a question, but I guess some people really believe its irrelevant.

Ice - I'd rather have Rosenberg in the pen than Durbin at this point. Horst is a LOOGY. His manager doesn't use him as such.

Iceman: I don't think anyone claims the terrible middle relief is not a problem.

But a team that scores 3 runs a game isn't going to come back from very many of those 2-run deficits anyway.

Both the offense and middle relief are very, very bad. One counts for a lot more than the other. A lot.

What do Horst, Durbin, and Rosenberg have in common?
They just cannot pitch and watching them is painful.

My god, didn't we have enough of the first two this year? It ain't working RAJ, pls do something!

I heard that a lot of teams have a coach especially for working with the pitchers. Maybe the team ought to hire one.

The Mets swept the Yankees?

Wow.

We are pitiful, aren't we.

Really glad I didn't really pay attention to this game. Durbin sucks. Cut him.

The Mets sweeping the Yankees makes the Phillies pitiful?

/confused

No, we're pitiful anyway. The Mets managing to sweep the Yankees is just sadder for me as a Phillies fan to accept. Logical or not. Have we even won 4 games in a row? I think not. We can't even sweep the Marlins.

5-5 over the last 10 games. Sort of says it all for this season. This is not a bad team, this is not a good team, it is the epitome of a mediocre team - .500. The rest of the season will continue to be marked by some exciting wins and some godawful losses. In the end it will be yet another .500 year. Hate to say it but it's looking more and more like it's time for a makeover.

Don't we have sufficient evidence that any move r00b makes that Chollie doesn't like is forever punished by said Mr. Manual?

Like tossing the [hanging] Chad into any and every situation where he's bound to fail?

Insanity.

Where's GTown?

It would take an all-world pitching staff to create a playoff team with this offense.

No, I'm not here to rip Hamels a new one. He's not pitching up to his and our standards for the most part this season, but he'll be fine. He's become an elite pitcher.

Oh, and the complaining through the winning years was always because I wanted the Phils to be the best they could. But whatever, attack me, I'm a big boy now.

It's his 10th season managing the team. You should probably expect people to spell his name right by now.

Coal Hammels and Brent Meyers also spell it like the transmission.

"Like tossing the [hanging] Chad into any and every situation where he's bound to fail?"

The thing is, he's bound to fail in EVERY situation because he's simply not a major league caliber pitcher anymore. He entered a 6-2 game tonight. He promptly made it 9-2. Last time he pitched, he entered in a 5-1 game, which he proceeded to make 6-1. Two games before that, he entered an 8-0 game & made it 10-0. The game before that, he entered a 5-3 game and made it 7-3. For the most part, Cholly really isn't misusing Durbin. If you're losing in the late innings, it's perfectly appropriate to use your worst reliever. It would be nice to have one who can occasionally pitch a scoreless inning, though, because even bad offensive teams can sometimes come back. But when your bullpen turns every 2-run deficit into a 5-run deficit, comebacks become impossible.

I spent the evening 5.5 miles away at the airport training a new driver. I think he's going to work out. Time well spent, in other words, as opposed to well, you know.

When's the last time the phillies scored when they had the bases loaded?

Came up, got two back right away, and then...(insert snoring sfx here.) Not even entertaining.

Carson is going to start Campaign Jeer now.

Redburb: The guy misspelling his name is a lunatic.

The turning point in the game was Eric Kratz's pathetic at bat with the bases loaded down 4-2 against a struggling pitcher.

Morales walked J Roll on 5 pitches and walked Frandsen on 4 pitches around a D Young K and Dom Brown single to load the bases with 1 out. Kratz had a 2-1 count (which was 8 balls thrown out of 11 pitches) and swung wildly at a changeup that nearly bounced on the plate. So with a 2-2 count, instead of 3-1, Kratz grounds into a double play feebly protecting against a strike out.

To me, that was game over.

The retention of Durbin and Horst is acceptance of management and recognition that mediocre is the best they can do with $ 180 million dollars. Maybe the fans ought to vote with their wallets that we should be better than that! It may be time for Reuben today good bye if this is the best team that he can put on the field. I would think that the entire team would get upset when you keep giving up 2-4 runs every night when middle relief pitches. this discussion doesn't even touch upon the ineptness of the offense. Wow!

KAS: Exactly- People can talk bullpen and offense (both valid) but at times the problem is the team coming up small in big situations and just not playing sound fundamental baseball.

Kratz should absolutely know the situation there and what he is dealing with in Morales. He helped Morales out and it essentially killed the inning.

C'mon, people. Glass half full:

All Hail Cesar!

One word for this organization: desultory.

Our problem is that we are searching for rhyme and reason when there is none.

I can't get too mad about splitting a 4-game series with BOS. They got beat last night, nothing wrong with that every once in awhile.

An important two weeks coming up. The Phils' next 13 games are with teams below .500 and the Braves have a few tough series in that span (WSH, PIT, SF).

Perfect time to make up a few games perhaps.

With a 3-game series against one of the worst teams in the NL, another chance to get over .500.

Cole certainly has a shot to start turning things around, but Gallardo is a tough matchup for the Phils tonight.

We've got a relative unknown in Mike Fiers against our weak link, Tyler Cloyd. Phils got to Fiers for 4 runs in 5 innings in a game last year. Will likely need a lot of offense to win this one.

On Sunday, it's one of the best matchups the Phils have had all year with Cliff Lee against Wily Peralt and his 6.35 ERA.

"Desultory" is a perfect word to describe the current state of the Phils, limoguy. It's true on both a micro and a macro level, as well.

Honest question for everyone:

If the Phils were, say, two games over .500 and only 3.5 games behind the Braves (assuming they beat the Braves in one of those hypothetical wins), would everyone's attitude change? Would all of the sudden this be a quasi-successful team?

R.Billingsly: For some people, the attitude changes game to game. A win, and everything is great... a loss, and everything is a disaster.

Then you have the group that will be miserable no matter how good things are going.

And, of course, there is the group that will insist everything is okay, just wait and see.

Then there is the 1% Beerleaguer that can be rational about this season... but they are hard to find.

Horst,Durbin,Mini,DYoung,how many teams would have them on their roster? Hard to put them in order they should be released but:
!.Durbin
2.Mini
3.Young
4.Horst,needs to be used correctly.

I was figuring a split with Boston over the 4 games but I didn't anticipate them winning the two they did and losing the two they did.

Tough first inning for Morales, but settled down™ nicely after that. Sometimes you just have to tip your cap™

At the game last night, I was talking about D.Young with some people in my section. They were singing his praises that he is the best hitter on the team, plays a good outfield because he takes good routes on balls and has a strong arm. One guy even said -- I kid you not -- that he gets to more balls than Revere because he takes better routes. They couldn't believe that we got the ALCS MVP for $750K.

It was a pleasant discussion, as no one got loud or aggressive, but it was like talking to brick wall. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Then, wouldn't you know it, he hits a HR in his first AB and throws out a runner at 2B.

It was a tough game.

After yesterday's freak out about D Young being in the lineup and hitting 4th, his HR was about the biggest guarantee possible.

KAS: "Then you have the group that will be miserable no matter how good things are going."

Just because I've decided to not believe this team has a chance at the playoffs, regardless if they split with Boston or win a series in SFG, doesn't mean I'm miserable.

I honestly don't see how this team could make the playoffs, and think they should be making decisions with 2014 and forward as their priority. Not sure why that's considered an unreasonable mindset.

bap: "someone - probably lorecore - will tell me that 4-21 with a -87 RD isn't that much worse than most teams when their worst pitchers enter the game"

I looked it up and found out that the Phils numbers when Durbin and company pitch are historically terrible.

OK i didn't really look it up, but I'm pretty sure no one wants to bother spending time defending them, so its safe to say this will go down as undisputed fact.

lorecore: Why do you think that particular description was being used to describe you? I listed 4 categories... you could be in one of the other three.

If/When the Phillies play well at times, I still am not buying that they have a chance over the longhaul. I would assume that puts me in the category of people who are miserable no matter how good they play.

I think if it gets to the end of June and the Phillies are hovering around 4-5 games back then they should be looking to buy at the deadline but doing so by rearranging some pieces and planning ahead for the future. Basically hedge bets- move some money but bring in guys that can help you going forward.

The idea of that may be- moving Rollins for something that can help now and in the future and slotting Galvis in at short.

THere are ways to be creative and make moves but I don't think Amaro will be able to pull them off.

I only saw a few innings, plus the highlight of Cesar tagging out Ortiz in basepaths and spinning to complete the DP.

How'd he look overall? Noticed two singles as well.

The Bases Loaded conundrum with this team pisses me off. I changed the channel the last few times this has happened and they fail to score. Atlanta Phil not sure that will work take Andy Reid and the Beagles. I stopped watching years ago until Reid was gone. People had been bringing up that for years. Yet the games continued to be sold out.

TTI: "move some money but bring in guys that can help you going forward."

Wouldn't you always want to do this?

It looks bad for tonight as two losing factors overlap. The Phillies normally lose this year in the game following the game they lost trying to get to .500. They also lose this year when Cole Hamels pitches. I am bearish on the Phillies prospects of a win for tonight. Sorry.

lore: Cesar looked pretty good. Seemed like he hit the ball hard all 5 times; 2 of them just happened to be right at an outfielder.

Defensively, I was less impressed. He didn't really do anything wrong. He just didn't look like he had great instincts. There were a couple singles over the middle in the first inning that were past him before he could even move. Not that he would have likely gotten to them if he had moved. It just seemed like in both cases, he was slow to react.

R. Billingsley - Fair point and a split against the Sox was fine. I guess most people seem a team that has had a very poor offense, also has a chance to win most nights when they get very strong/exceptional starting pitching, is old/banged up, and has several glaring defencies.

I was watching until mid-May to see how this team did and they couldn't even get above .500 early on despite being nearly at full-strength and playing a weaker schedule. Hard to see them making any kind of push either right now with this AAAA lineup too most nights.

BAP: Not all of our prospects can be as polished and developed as Mini-Mart. Give Cesar some time.

A split with the RedSox is fine in theory. But it will look a lot less fine when we also go 6-6, or 5-11, against the three 4th/5th place teams coming up.

bap: thanks. His glove is never going to make his career like Gavlis' will, so I'm more interested in his bat/base running going forward.

Am I understanding Cesar's contract status correctly? He only has 1 remaining option left, so if he sent down this year, the next time he is re-called he must remain on 25 man roster for good, or DFA'd?

Jack: True. Mini-Mart is the gold standard when it comes to prospects.

lorecore: Options are good for a full year. He can be sent down and called up as much as the Phillies want this year.

However, if he doesn't make the team out of ST next season, he'd need to clear waivers to be optioned down to the minors.

So he is a player, in particular, who the Phillies should want to see play as much as possible between now and the end of the season, if/when they fall out of contention and decide to play for the future.

lore: Why would he have only 1 option left? I thought you get 3. Is there a different rule for international signings?

Also, they can call him up as many times as they want this year without burning another option. Each option is good for as many call-ups/demotions as the team wants in any particular year.

BAP: He had to be added to the 40-man early, back in 2011, because he had been in the organization for five seasons as an international signing, I believe.

Jack: Thanks. I figured it was something like that.

ok thanks - so 2014 he's either on the Phils or DFA'd. I don't like to overvalue prospects, but I do think he would get claimed.

TTI - I agree on shopping J-Roll. Shortstop is the only position where the Phils have meaningful depth right now, so RAJ could deal J-Roll for prospects without killing their current chances (whatever you think those are).

The Yankees would be a perfect fit, given the gaping hole left by Jeter's injury and the number of position prospects at other positions (particularly OF and 2B/3B) in their system.

Never trust the Yankees, particularly when they trade prospects.

Heard the Yankees would trade Joba before the deadline.

I'm sure Amaro would trade Rollins for Joba, since the consensus is that we just need to fix our middle relief and we'll be fine.

It'd be nice if Rollins could wake the F up and outhit some of the crappy SS around the league right now, but sadly most teams are going to point to Rollins numbers as just as poor as what they are getting already.

I know you're joking but Chamberlain is a FA after this season so Rube could easily just wait till the winter to give him a 3-4 year deal at way too high of an AAV.

NEPP: I mean, anytime you can lock in an improvement in the 6th inning for 3-4 years, you have to do it.

Screw the offense, just replace Jeremy Horst and we'll be back to winning 95 games in no time.

As long as we have Bastardo we are set with middle fungible relievers. He should pitch every day.

BAP: May have been some nerves with Cesar. Or maybe the ball just jumped a little differently in his first major league game.


Yankees SS in 2013: .206/.278/.278

J-Roll's not setting the world on fire, but he's a big step up from that. He's also a legitimate defensive shortstop, which puts him well ahead of Jayson Nix and Eduardo Nunez.

Play me or trade me!

The Dodgers might need a SS too...depending on whether Hanley ever shows up.

They've got too much invested in this season to just throw it away. IF they're close to contention at the deadline, Rollins would look pretty nice to them I'd imagine.

Oakland too, slide Lowrie to 2B. I'm sure Jimmy would like that.

When you have a chance to move back to Oakland, you have to take it. Downtown Oakland is right up there with Detroit for its culture and nightlife.

Honest question here, because I'm curious as to whether or not I'm in the minority here:

When a game is 4-2, and the middle relief comes in and makes it 9-2- with the offense scoring no runs after the game has reached blowout status- do people believe that everything would have transpired the same way if the bullpen had come in and kept it a 4-2 game?

I know some responses will be 'No, the offense sucks, you just knew they weren't going to score, what the hell are you talking about?' But objectively, do people believe that no choices are made differently, no approaches are taken differently, in a 9-2 game as opposed to 4-2? Especially by a team that knows they are offensively challenged?

I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess that the Rollins family digs are not in downtown Oakland.

Angelo suggested trading Jimmy after that story today. Clearly he misunderstands baseball. The lack of players we have un-injured and the actual value Rollins would have on a late may market. I really have no idea how Angelo has a show.

when hasn't talk radio wanted to trade jimmy rollins?

Jeter has a player option for 2014. Would be surprised to see the Yankees interested in Rollins.

Iceman - Yes things would go differently, and in previous years - with a better offense - I think I'd be right with you. But, with this team, how much differently would things go? Again, they are something like 1-21 when the other team scores 4 or more. The marginal difference between 4 against and 9 against is basically zero with this team.

"But objectively, do people believe that no choices are made differently, no approaches are taken differently, in a 9-2 game as opposed to 4-2? Especially by a team that knows they are offensively challenged?"

I think the offense sucks and would lose the vast majority of those 4-2 games, even if the middle relief held the score at 4-2. I also think that, even with our bad offense, we'd come back to win a few of those 4-2 games if the bullpen didn't habitually turn them into 9-2 games. Pointing to the final 9-2 score and saying, "Look, we wouldn't have come back anyway" is completely invalid. It is just as invalid as when we score a couple of garbage time runs off a garbage time reliever, and then clout calls it a loss attributable to the pen since the final deficit was only 3 runs & the bullpen allowed 4. In both cases, we have no idea how things would have played out if the game had remained close.

When was the last time the Phils had a reliever on there roster yet come June 1 (from Opening Day) who had an ERA above 8 and hadn't been on the DL and pitched say a minimum of 10 IP?

Most of the crime in Oakland is uber concentrated along 880 and a few pockets. The wealthy people up in the Oakland Hills all have private security working there and when they venture too close to the UC Berkeley campus they get pounced on to by the Berkeley/Oakland cops.

Funny how there were cries to play Galvis everyday when he hit that HR on May 19th and since then he has stunk regal:

.108/.154/.108 (.262 OPS) in 40 PA in 10 GS

That is 2 weeks of basically having another pitcher in the lineup and yet there hasn't been a complaint about him on here yet pretty of harping about Kratz and Revere (two guys who have hit this month).

It's 40 PA. Said when Galvis was up with an .800 OPS that it didn't prove he'd come around as a great SS bat. It just shows that he's capable of being an everyday player. Brendan Ryan, in his better years, I'm sure had stretches of .800 OPS followed by poor stretches. That's just what everyday -- but not great -- position players do.

"there hasn't been a complaint about him on here yet"

ok clout.

Til May 21, Galvis was hitting .277/.338/.462.

He's 3-29 since then with 1 BB and 6 SO.

Re: Cesar Hernandez

The great news is that Hernandez should have a bat that can play at middle infield. It won't be Chase Utley-like, but few are. He's only 23 now and should develop a little more slugging as he gets older. His contact and on base skills are just fine. He's also got 20 steal speed.

His glove is at least average at 2B and certainly not a liability. He's not a wizard like Galvis, but, again, few are. I'd say his glove is at least as good as Utley's was when Utley came up.

He's not really a utility guy however, having only played 2B since rookie ball. I suppose he's a guy who could slide into 3B and SS in a pinch given some time, but he's more like a guy who should be playing 2B regularly.

Maybe the NL will institute the DH next year and Chase can move to first and Hernandez slide into 2B.

Sophist - Sure all players slump but that is a pretty brutal stretch.

This team is banged up and missing a few key pieces right now with the starting pitching and an improved bullpen performance holding it together.

If the starting pitching goes south a bit this month like it did last June, this season will quickly get away from the Phils.

they've kept Galvis on the mlb roster for two seasons now, there's nothing they can do but play him.

You can't force an undeveloped bat into the bigs, then bench him when he goes cold.

You're also generally in trouble when your middle relief pitches. It means your starting pitcher has failed to do his job. Pettibone went 5 IP and gave up 4 runs.

How many games do teams win, generally, when their starter only goes 5 innings and gives up 4 runs? Willing to bet not very many, regardless of how good their offense is.

Not saying bench Galvis and that isn't a possibility given the injuries/Young being out anyways. Just stating a fact.

KAS: Back when Utley was a .900 OPS hitter, his bat would have played fine at 1st base. But now he's more like a .790-.800 OPS hitter (at best), and there's no reason to believe that number will go anywhere but down over the next few years.

It's really very difficult for me to come up with any sensible reason why Utley should be re-signed. Of course, our GM isn't known for being sensible, so I fully expect that he'll re-sign both Utley & Halladay. Then Beerleaguer will spend the 2013-2014 off-season discussing how this could be a 90-win team if only HHU remain healthy in 2014.

Jeter has a player option for 2014. Would be surprised to see the Yankees interested in Rollins.

That's the catch, but as it stands, they're basically going a player short this season because they're worried about being stuck with a disgruntled Jeter next season (if he's even healthy enough to play). There's also the option of playing J-Roll or Jeter at 3B next season, as A-Rod's likely to be limited to DH duty if/when he returns. Jeter might make the move if the Yankees bump his 2014 salary up from the $8M player option. J-Roll also might be more willing to consider a move to 3B if he's moving for a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer like Jeter rather than a younger guy like Galvis.

MG - That's what it looks like when below average offensive players slump. When better offensive players slump, they at least have a good BB% or a few HR. Galvis is just something like a .650-.700 OPS player right now who doesn't walk much.

They are 7-8 losses out a third of the way into the season with injuries to Utley, Howard, Doc, and Ruiz. Hamels has an 89 ERA+, and this may be the worst Phillies offense since the 1991 team (Dickie Thon, Charlie Hayes -- you want to see some bad OBP). It won't even take the SP going south for the season to get away from them. If they keep running out last night's lineup, they'll only win Lee's starts.

Aribtrary end points are arbitrary.

What we know about Galvis is that he has a .621 OPS in his first 302 plate appearances. That's not good enough. He's still young and can get better, so that's the good news.

If he plays SS regularly, he can still be a valuable part of the team even if he's only generating an OPS of something like .680, because his glove is that good.

The problem is the Phillies offense isn't good enough to carry many players with a sub-.700 OPS.

It's really very difficult for me to come up with any sensible reason why Utley should be re-signed.

Have you looked at the lineup card recently?

By most metrics, Utley is still an elite defensive 2B. As long as he's healthy and not atrocious at the plate, you leave him at 2B.

"If they keep running out last night's lineup, they'll only win Lee's starts."

Yeah, but if the middle relievers give up any runs in the other starts, we'll get to pretend like they would've won all those games. Moral victories, I guess.

I would trade Rollins and resign Utley to a reasonable deal in a heartbeat. Utley is still a very valuable player, and his knees seem to be in check. He's older and will have other ailments, but that's why he should be back at a good price.

As a point of comparison for Galvis...

Andrelton Simmons is one month older than Galvis and is the regular SS for the Braves. He has a .655 OPS but has generated a 1.0 WAR so far because of his glove.

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