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Sunday, June 30, 2013

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14 minutes post post and nary a comment. Could be a BLer first.

It's like a boycott of the team. Let's not anyone write any posts until RAJ gets some new relievers.

Ooops.

I'm guessing Howard gets another day off against the lefty Locke on Tuesday. Howard's been riding pine in three of the team's last four games vs. LH starters. It's starting to look like a platoon at first, which would be a very good move.

Howard went into today's game hitting .304/.358/.506 vs. RHP. Versus lefties, though, Howard is down to .171/.220/.289 with 39 K and 3 BB in 81 PA. Howard has struck out in over 50% of his at bats vs. LHP. To put that futility in perspective, Phillies' pitchers have only struck out in 43% of their at bats overall.

With those pitching matchups, a sweep is a good possibility.

Tuesday and Thursday are as close to locks as you can get. Not many guys in the lineup can even get around on a 95 mph fastball anymore and Cole touches 98-100 regularly. That could be an ugly game.

Also I'd like to point out that Revere being stuck in the 7 spot, where his skills are entirely negated, while he's gotten on base 39% of the time in June (and 38% of the time since May 1), is a prime example of lineup construction mattering.

Giving away 2 points of ERA in each of the first two games.
Playing @ Pittsburgh were we have trouble winning when we were good and they were bad.
We will likely score 10 runs per game and sweep the mighty Bucs just for the amusement of the baseball gods.

@phlipper
I think you nailed it - there's apathy here for good reason. We have a useless GM, people are tired of Cholly, the bullpen sucks, the rotation outside of Lee and KK is mediocre at best, and the everyday lineup is pretty much abysmal. I think that sums it up

It's hard to get excited about a team that has been mired in mediocrity from the get go. Half the season is gone and it's still one step forward and two steps back. That routine has gotten old. Very old.

Great jimmy quote lastnight after game. True leader of this squad.

Jimmy should just come out and say "I get paid either way.."

I am looking at this series to show me whether this team has any pride, any fight left in them.

Back up the truck.

While I realize the bottom part of the order is not supposed to be the spark, look at ours from last night.

D. Young
B. Revere
C. Ruiz
K. Kendrick

That is striking fear in the hearts of nobody. Howard is a shell of his former self at the moment, and Michael Young is batting leadoff, despite being maybe the slowest person on the roster. I realize the bullpen is a huge issue, but there is nobody in that offense that scares people except maybe Dom Brown.

Nice comparison, ColonelTom, on Howard. I was marveling at how ineffectual he has been against lefties, but had not put the stats together. Thanks. Unreal. Basically, it appears that if you're trying to get a rally going and you're facing a lefty, you would be batter off with Hamels or Lee hitting than Howard.

Revere got on base 12 times in the Dodgers series and scored 1 run.

Theory: at the top of the order, he'd have been driven in more than once.

What was the Rollins quote? I don't pay attention to the postgame stuff anymore. What's the point?

Nevermind just read the Rollins stuff. Seriously though what do you expect the guy to say?

Trade them. Trade them all.

Three in Pittsburgh?

This reeks of a sweep.

My guess is that Boston and NY want Michael Young not just because they think he could help the club a little bit, but because he could be had for basically nothing.

They aren't getting anything of value for Young.

iceman: revere also got himself thrown out twice - but yeah, Manuel's apparent disdain for Revere is embarrassing. He was instilled back into the leadoff spot after racking up hits for a month straight, and again all he did was hit. Then when the lineup needs to change to incorporate Utley, all of a sudden he's causality.

Revere closes out June .354/.390/.414 with 10 SB

I will also say that while what the GM is saying is pretty annoying, I was not offended at all by Rollins' comments. I'm not sure why anyone would be. What else is he supposed to say?

"Yeah, it's over. We're just playing out the string and placing bets over who will be here in 30 days."

and was benched 5 times in 27 games.

Iceman: getting even a C grade relief prospect for M. Young would be great. Remember though, Cleveland got Carlos Santana for Casey Blake, so you never know...

(was on vacation all week and didn't check in with Beerleaguer so forgive me if that point is redundant)

After tying a career high on Saturday, Revere failed to set a new high with 4 straight games with a XBH.

Fangraphs has Puig with a higher WAR than DOM, in about 200 less PA, however Puig booted more balls in one single series than DOM has the entire season.

Locke is not starting for Pitt on Tues since he warmed up yesterday. Undecided right now who will start for Pitt.

RAJ put down the fiddle and pick up the phone.

Well, since I only got to go to two games in the series, I'm just glad one of them was Friday night.

Does this qualify as the patented BL Monday Morning Funeral Post?

Another knock on what might as well be the worst medical staff in baseball at this point:

They allowed a player with a concussion to return in the bottom of the inning to pitch, and was not removed until he finished the inning with a headache.

Concussions aren't the biggest topic in baseball, but if this was another sport, the staff of the Phillies would be fined and suspended for doing so.

Guess it will be Cloyd again if KK can't go. Too bad Zambrano injured himself out of a possible spot start in the case of KK going on the 7-day concussion DL. Big Z would have at least been interesting.

Cloyd is no doubt looking forward to making his next start here after getting shelled in AAA. Oh, and a tardy hat tip to whoever pitched for the Dodgers yesterday.

Interesting month coming up here.

Everyone knows I don't think much of Amaro, but I don't believe him for a second when he says he isn't going to sell. I think he'll do the right thing and trade anyone who brings back value for the franchise going forward. Will he get the right pieces back in return? Given this regime's talent evaluation track record, that's a legitimate question. But count me among those who think we're going to be among the biggest sellers at the deadline (and hopefully before).

Yeah, Freddie and Cesar will be starting in the infield a month from now. Asche and Ruf won't be far behind. The fans will be thrilled...for about a week.

I fear the Phillies 2013 season will go the way of the 2012 Red Sox season. Could be a lot of bad baseball in the next 3 months.

You lose 3 out of 4, and your supposed "leader" says he's not disappointed.

Whether its in context or not, those comments are stupid. And feed the notion that some on this team are content with their careers and highly paid and are fine win or lose. Many of them may be on the downslide of their careers anyway, but these sorts of implications are hurtful.

Rollins statement is one of the problems with this team. Whether he meant it or not. The perception is real for many.

Yeah, the fans are thrilled with this team as it stands right now. Just think of how many fans come to the game knowing they'll be able to see Jonathan Papelbon spit sunflower seeds in the bullpen while Phillipe Aumont walks in a run in a 7-2 loss.

2012: Just need to tread water until Howard and Utley get back. They didn't.

2013: If HHU are healthy/contributing, we'll be right back in it. They aren't.

Maybe we need better contingency plans.

I'm just gonna watch highlights and read 2011 box scores from now on. At playoff time, of course I'll switch to 2008.

Hopefully end of this month a whole new infield except for Howard. And trade pap for OF and this team will be on right track. I'm not disappointed in this team. A injury to doc and cole being cole and this team is in first and 50
Wins! Counting down to cholly time.

I would pay money to see Cholly club Eskin in the face with a nine iron.

Will Halladay even bother coming back this year?

I guess if it's just an audition for next year, he will.

Chase Utley's HR trot from Thursday's game didn't even come within the top 10 of fastest trots of 2013. 17.5 seconds, 1.3 seconds behind Adam Rosales league leading 16.2

I'm really gonna miss Utley and/or Lee.

:(

Hopefully they get players who make me not miss them as much.

International Signing Period starts tomorrow. The biggest name the Phils are linked to doesn't turn 16 for another month, and therefore can not sign until then. So could be a quiet day.

Phils bonus pool money is 2.3M, and can acquire up to a 50% increase in any series of trades (~3.35M). I don't think any team has traded for bonus money yet, but I hope the Phils find a way since our ownership will likely never exceed the luxury tax, as fans we can at least hope they max out as much intl signings as possible.

I would trade Michael Young for $1.15M of the Red Sox's $3.2M bonus pool money.

Phillies pitching splits, ERA by inning

2012:
1st 3.89
2nd 4.00
3rd 3.17
4th 4.00
5th 3.83
6th 4.06
7th 3.33
8th 4.67
9th 2.99

2013:
1st 4.88
2nd 3.69
3rd 4.01
4th 3.90
5th 4.66
6th 3.47
7th 4.01
8th 5.38
9th 3.36

Even with much worse overall pitching, the 8th inning is still by far the worst. Glad we fixed that.

At least the good news this year is that we have so many more problems there's a chance RAJ might luck out and at least fix one.

Look, I hate Amaro more than the next person but what was he supposed to do about the 8th inning given the available options? Adams was one of the most coveted free agent arms out there. He just flat out didn't work out. I wanted Uehara on a one year deal like Boston got him for because one year deals really are the way to go with bullpen arms because they are always so hit or miss. The bigger problem is that this farm system still hasn't delivered a good bullpen arm. What was the last one? Madson? And that was after they basically lucked into it because he failed as a starter. They just don't know how cultivate arms down there and it's incredibly frustrating. If you can groom someone from within and pay them pennies then you don't have to worry about free agency bombings.

Joe D: "And that was after they basically lucked into it because he failed as a starter."

I agree with almost everything you just said. The only thing I would say is that's not really luck to have a failed starter turn into a good reliever--that's actually how most of them develop. And it's why you should basically focus your farm system on starting pitching prospects, with the idea that if they don't work out, some can become very good relievers.

On a positive note, to add a little light to today's doom & gloom, Delmon Young's current hot streak might give him some trade value. Maybe we could trade the Young's as a BOGO deal for something...anything.

And, Franco is looking like a real deal hitting prospect. Haven't seen one of those in a while.

So, status check time. A lot of what this team needed to go right to achieve success has fallen completely to sh!t:

Halladay: hurt
Howard: mostly ineffective save for a couple of weeks, hurt (but still playing)
Utley: was hurt
Hamels: bad
Adams: hurt
Yak: bad
Bullpen: bad
Lannan: was hurt

Positives? Lee has been great. KK has been good for the most part. Revere is starting to hit and get on base. Dom has shown power no one thought he would. Pettibone has been competent filling in for Halladay. Durbin was mercifully released.

Net result? TBD, but it doesn't look like it includes the playoffs.

Jack: then the question becomes why haven't our many, many failed starters turned into useful bullpen arms?

Well yeah Jack pretty much all relievers are failed starters or once promising starters who suffered a setback and now can only work as a reliever. The Phillies have just done an incredibly poor job in teaching any of these guys one definitive outpitch. Something nasty. As a reliever you can live off of one truly devastating pitch. You aren't going through a lineup 2 and 3 times.

"what was he supposed to do about the 8th inning given the available options?"

Sign more relievers. There were plenty of guys who all signed for a couple mil and were even available late into FA that all could have helped.

We just watched one this series(JP Howell). Signed for under $3M in January. I don't feel like naming the half dozen or so names I already have for the past 9 months, but they're all there.

What's funny is that the biggest question mark coming into this season is probably the only true bright spot. The outfield. Young is still dreadful but Brown and Revere have shown you can use them as cornerstones for the future.

Also strikes. Strikes seem to be a problem for our relievers. Behind in the count, walks, get me over meatballs.

jbird: Yes, that is the question. I don't have an answer for it, but I would agree it's one of the key failures of the Amaro regime.

I agree that Amaro blew it in terms of depth with the bullpen. He shouldn't have packed it in after signing Adams especially with his injury history being what it was.

@Sil

Its funny you listed those players. The only hurt player that was a surprise was Lannan.

As the others have been dealing with injuries the past few seasons. Adams isn't a surprise considering he was coming off a serious injury himself.

Halladay hasn't been right for a while now no thanks to the medical staff. Same with Utley & even Howard.

This medical staff is just atrocious.

Brown - Cornerstone

Revere - Good enough piece until he becomes too expensive

Corn:
For what it's worth, that looks like what the plan was for 2013: pray that all these guys somehow stay healthy and give you some semblance of their prior career Production™.

Pretty much bonehead. If Revere continues to perform he could end up getting Bourn money.

Rollins sucks so far. I know outside of his MVP season he doesn't really light it up offensively, but his 88 OPS+ is still well below his usual 100-104.

Players I won't miss:
Rollins
Papelbon
DYoung (if only)

Players I'll miss a little, but mostly don't care:
MYoung

Players I (as a stupid fan) don't want moved and would miss immensely:
Lee
Utley

Sil: Honestly, that's not even that bad of a plan. You understand there's a small chance of it working, but you give yourself that chance without hamstringing the future by signing FAs to big contracts.

But the key to that plan has to be recognizing that there was only a small chance of it working, and being willing to move on when it doesn't. If you're going to worry about the future last offseason, you *have* to focus on the future now that your chances for this season have failed.

All of which is to say, they need to be willing to sell assets at the deadline.

I can somewhat agree to those names Cyclic. However I want Lee moved because it's just fair to him to keep him around this drek. It's how I feel about Doc too. These guys need to move on and get the rings they deserve. I'll obviously miss Utley but I know he needs to be moved. Whether or not he'll be moved for good pieces is a completely different story but something we need to find out.

*not fair I mean

I agree with Joe D. Rube should of signed more guys. Especially ones not name Durbin.

I'll miss J-Roll...Never forget the hit he had against Broxton...Frack the numbers aside for a moment...Plus he had a few good years in there.

Interesting debate on constructing a bullpen. I think the problem the Phillies have had over the past few years is that the guys who are doing well as starters and move fast through the organizations (Pettibone, Happ, Worley, possibly Cloyd) is that if they fail at starting, they don't profile as bullpen arms.

Think about Madson. He had a devastaing change. That was a true "out" pitch. None of those guys I just mentioned have a true "out" pitch.

I truly believe in building a bullpen from within but those guys who have devasting stuff (think Aumont or to a lesser extend Ethan Martin and Trevor May) are failed starters because they can't consistently throw strikes. That doesn't help when they move to the bullpen because you still have to throw strikes.

"Whether its in context or not, those comments are stupid. And feed the notion that some on this team are content with their careers and highly paid and are fine win or lose."

Ha, it feeds a 'notion.' And why does that notion exist to begin with? Because it doesn't look like he runs hard down the line all the time?

This is so stupid and why it's impossible to discuss things with a lot of fans. Basically you have made up your mind that he's lazy and 'content' with his money, so whatever he says will be twisted to fit that 'notion.' This is bottom of the barrel stuff.

I'm content with the fact that the hole they've dug isn't as deep as last year (yet).

I certainly didn't see 16 runs coming on Friday night and I certainly don't see any kind of legitimate playoff run in this team.

Maybe something miraculous will happen, maybe not. It's much more depressing to think about the reality.

Regarding the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals for comparison's sake.

After 81 games on June 29, the half-way point of the season, the team was 43–38 (.531) only 1 game behind the Milwaukee Brewers at 44–37 (.543). The Cardinals played very poorly for much of June, going 3–12 from June 10 to 26.

It's very obvious we don't have much shot at the playoffs but I thought the 2011 Cardinals were much worse than this and they snuck up on the league at the very end. Turns out they were quietly in the mix even at this point in the season. The Phils are not.

Ice - yes, J-Roll's comment plays into an established narrative. Yes, that narrative may be unfair. The comment was still breathtakingly tone-deaf coming from a veteran "star" given the team's current woes. I suspect, and hope, he'll hear about it from Cholly.

Yes, but he'll look like a genius when the Phillies play .700 baseball in the 2nd half.

Yes, because if there's something Charlie should be focused on right now, it's not the terrible offense, or finding the right guys to pitch in the bullpen, or what do with his $25 million 1B who can't hit a lefty to save his life.

It's working on the PR skills of his shortstop.

This team would be much better if Rollins said he was completely depressed, disgusted by the team, and called out some players in particular and called them quitters.

As fans we'd all love for Rollins and Manuel to call players out but you know that's not going to happen. This is the old boys network.

As someone whose primary loyalty is to the Red Sox, I read with amusement the posts about Boston going after Michael Young. I can't imagine this happening unless Mini Mart gives Michael Young photography lessons and tells him where Ben Cherington hangs out...

Is there anything short of Rollins saying that he sucks and is not worth his contract, nor do any of his sucky teammates, that would qualify as 'good enough' for some fans?

Yeah.. keep holding out for that quote.

"Because it doesn't look like he runs hard down the line all the time?"


Doesn't "look" like he runs hard all the time??? You would have to be Ray Charles to not be able to figure that out. Most guys on this team bust their ass. A few don't all the time. Its not hard to tell who does and who doesn't.

Rollins comments play into many fans notion of him....he's content, he's selfish and he's become a dog. What day this year does Cholly bench him for poor effort??? July 10th? July 20th? But maybe the major league coaching staff doesn't "get it" either, right?

"As fans we'd all love for Rollins and Manuel to call players out."

Cholly, maybe. But if Rollins called players out, we'd say he's a bad teammate & that a guy with a .689 OPS should be taking a look in the mirror. That was exactly the reaction a few weeks ago, when Papelbon blew a save, then called out Ryan Howard.

"he's selfish"

Please enlighten me on what a selfish ball player is, and how it is a bad thing.

I'm having a hard time trying to figure out why a player whose out trying to rack up as many positive stats as he can is somehow a bad thing.

bap-- I was thinking the same thing.

And then Papelbon went out and fell on his face, after "calling out" Howard.

Rollins comments cannot be defended. "We were close in a few losses" doesn't cut it. Not when your payroll is one of the highest in baseball and the goal each year is to play in October.

Maybe if some of these players were doing the 'little things', they wouldn't be losing so many close games and be battling with the Mets for 4th place. Good teams win close games. Bad teams make excuses for why they are losing close games.

Hmmmm Bap is that about the same time Howard started slumping just crossed my mind.

BAP, yes there would a collection of us that would say Rollins needs to look in the mirror. He could also include himself in his calling out of players. But this stuff just isn't realistic. It's rare that guys air their dirty laundry through the media. I don't even know what goes on in that clubhouse these days. I'd be interested to hear from beat writers what the general sentiment around the clubhouse is.

LA was hinting at some of the "selfishness" on this team this weekend.

It doesn't take a brain-surgeon to figure out who a few of the players he was talking about.

Take that for what its worth. Of course, what does Larry Anderson know?

Jimmy Rollins is a selfish player. He tries to score runs on offense and make good plays on defense. How dare he!

Somebody had a post yesterday that made me laugh. It was short and sweet and succinct. "Everything Sucks". Indeed.

one underrated great moment from the 16-1 game...

Puig's bat flip while hitting a single off the wall in RF

The Phillies would have a 5-game lead in the division right now if only their players stopped being lazy and selfish & started working harder, playing with more energy, unity, and heart, and understanding what it takes to will their way to victory. They are 9.5 games out of first place because they all got fat contracts and they don't want it enough.

(Lest there be any ambiguity, that was sarcasm)

Larry Anderson doesn't know nearly as much as Larry Andersen.

2-1 PIT
3-0 ATL
3-1 WSH
0-3 CWS

Good for 8-5 over the next 13. I "could easily" see this happening, leaving them 47-49 at the ASB.

These guys are losing all kinds of life on their care-ball.

I can't get over how bad Hamels is this year. Is Heidi pregnant again?

Sil-- Isn't Dubee supposed to teach that pitch?

Cylic - I hate to break it to you - but I think the exact opposite is far more likely.

5-8 leading up until the break and 11 or 12 GB the Braves depending on the head to head.

Season = Over.

Yeah I would welcome cholly and his 9 iron. I would def win that battle. My entrance music in the press conf will be final countdown. Cause his time is ticking. Tick tick tick.............

"Please enlighten me on what a selfish ball player is, and how it is a bad thing."

It depends on whether it comes at the expense of the team. A player I was always conflicted about was Wade Boggs. One of the best hitters in the history of the game, but he cared about nothing but his personal stats. I remember a game where there was a hot shot to 3rd, and he was flagged with the error. Resulted in a couple of unearned runs, if memory serves. Between innings, he actually went and bitched at the official scorer to the point the guy changed the call to a hit. Result? Boggs got one less error and Clemens got a couple of 'earned' runs.

"I'm having a hard time trying to figure out why a player whose out trying to rack up as many positive stats as he can is somehow a bad thing."

Oh please. I realize this is a stats-driven crowd, but surely you can gague the negative effect of a batter trying to hit a home run (and popping up - sound familiar J. Roll?) versus just putting his bat on the ball for a single to score the runner from second? I mean really.

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