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Thursday, August 22, 2013

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Hat tip to Ryno for keeping his team in position to have a chance to win by ditching KK before things got totally out of control. Makes a difference with a guy at the controls who can actually manage a bullpen.

P.S. Bernadina? Sent down for that clown? At least he's versatile -- equally adepting at Ks and popups.

Why does this team insist on blowing a top 5 draft pick? Feels like a loss.

Since going scoreless in Ryne Sandberg’s first two games as manager, the Phils are 4-1

Isn't that a silly way to say "the Phillies are 4-3 with Ryne Sandberg as manager"? Oh, the contortions of a writer seeking a narrative...

291 PA: 8 Homeruns. Signed for his power bat, despite incredible weak defensive skills.


155 PA: 9 Homeruns. Started the year in Triple-A due to inexperience in the outfield. Ended up playing a different position in the Majors.

If Delmon Young wasn't the biggest waste of 300 PA, I don't know who is (Except maybe Mini-mart, for obvious reasons.)


Oh, and in case anyone was too dense to figure it out, Delmon Young was the first, Darin Ruf the second.

It was fun to watch, but let's not get too excited. Let's see what they do against a somewhat better team in Arizona.

"Rafael Betancourt left Thursday's game with an elbow injury and the Rockies are concerned the veteran reliever has a torn UCL, Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports. That injury would require Tommy John surgery and could threaten the 38-year-old's career."

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/08/quick-hits-beachy-betancourt-alvarez-soriano.html

I watched far more IronPigs games last year than Phillies games because they were more entertaining and the local cable carried the games. These last two games remind me of that fun. Maybe Sandberg is the lucky charm.

I hope you are correct about Sandberg. The post All Star slide that led to Cholly's demise, has really gotten me down about the Phillies. I need something to give me any hope about 2014 and beyond. They could get rid of Rube. That would excite me.

Yeah the Delmon Young debacle was probably the worst individual component of this season. There were no excuses for how much of a failure that entire charade was.

Losing a bit of weight is always a good thing with big guys like Ryno, but all this push for him to come in much thinner..idk. You can't maintain or gain strength while losing weight(without steroids), and hasn't everyone been saying how what used to be HRs for him is now doubles?

I think there is probably a happy medium of just getting stronger while not getting fatter.

Good for Ruf. He has turned his season around. Was Delmon Young really signed to be a power bat? Or because the options for RH OFs were pretty slim when he signed?

This front office couldn't judge talent if it jumped up and bit them in the a$$

Crawling around the bottomland to find that diamond in the rough when one was in front of his nose.

Don't make so much of the manager change. This is not a good baseball team (despite the fun the last 2 nights), but they aren't nearly as bad as they were playing coming out of the All Star break. Sandberg may make a minor difference, but the players still have to produce, and it's the players who weren't getting it done for Charlie.

"This front office couldn't judge talent if it jumped up and bit them in the a$$."


Well, they did draft Utley, Howard, rollins and Hamels... oh, wait... that's when Arbuckle was still here.


OK, they did draft Brown, and Ruf, so we need to give them credit for that (though they were both late round picks - Brown mostly because of perceived "sign-ability" issues).

However, they brought in _elm_n despite a better option (Ruf) already being on the roster, they signed Thome despite the fact that Howard was already in the system so they certainly couldn't have thought much of Howard at the time (they got lucky), they subjected, over the course of three seasons, the fans of Philadelphia to an abortion of a baseball player nicknamed mini mart, they signed Qualls, Baez, Durbin...

So, the reality is their track record is mixed, and lately they'd had more misses than hits, hence the losing team.

I hope the Diamondbacks are also a historically bad road team.

Good posts, awh.

Couldn't be happier that Sandberg is the manager of the Phils and I expect him to be so for many years to come.

Player A: .269/.368/.522
Player B: .274/.320/.522

Ruf and Brown.

"hasn't everyone been saying how what used to be HRs for [Howard] is now doubles?"

No, they're flyouts.

Ruf hitting bombs and DOM walking off, can't ask for much more than that over the last 30 or so games.

Great work by Sandberg to tell Zach Minor, BJ Rosenberg, and Cesar Jiminez to pitch 4 scoreless innings. Why didn't Charlie think of that?

dufus who posts as Martinez: "Makes a difference with a guy at the controls who can actually manage a bullpen."

Ah yes... pitching Cesar Jiminez in the 9th inning with a 1 run deficit. Textbook bullpen management right there, I can't imagine that ever not working out.

The current composition of the bullpen is horrifying. Nevertheless, I'm in full agreement with throwing some of these guys out there in any situation to see how they react.

Ruf: 15 RBI, 16 BB


Unacceptable.

***Great work by Sandberg to tell Zach Minor, BJ Rosenberg, and Cesar Jiminez to pitch 4 scoreless innings. Why didn't Charlie think of that?***

"Darryl, hit a HR."

"Right skip"

~hits HR~

"I told him to do that."

I also look forward to when Sandberg pulls Dom Brown in the 9th inning to PH Bernadina because that's playing the percentages and its what smart managers do to win ball games.

Gregm: I was already going to post this before I saw yours, but to echo your thought:

_elm_n: 291 PA, 8 HRs, .261/.302/.397
Ruf: 155 PA, 9 HRs, .269/.368/.522

Yeah, Ruf totally wasn't ready to play in the majors this year.

Although many, many, many factors contributed to the debacle of this season, this specific point drives me absolutely nuts b/c it had nothing to do w/ injuries or bad luck. Everyone single person but RAJ knew _elm_n couldn't play, yet they wasted half a season w/ him.
Incompetence at its worst.

I'm pretty sure I did this right:

Darin Ruf has more HR (12) in his first 51 Games than anyone else in Phillies franchise history. Don Hurst(1928) and Ron Jones(1988) previously were tied with 11.

Heres to hoping Darin Ruf isn't another Ron Jones.

There was no way to predict what Delmon Young would give you...I mean, if you look at his previous 4 years, he posted a very solid 89 OPS+...and he posted a 91 OPS+ this year.

Defensively, no one could predict he couldn't handle RF...I mean, it's not as if a couple other teams already tried him in the OF multiple times and found him so wanting that he was moved to DH.

Oh wait.

As of opening day, there were reasons to think that Ruf needed some time in the minors.

There was no reason to think that _elm_n warranted time on a major-league roster.

V\"Losing a bit of weight is always a good thing with big guys like Ryno, but all this push for him to come in much thinner..idk. You can't maintain or gain strength while losing weight(without steroids), and hasn't everyone been saying how what used to be HRs for him is now doubles?"


jsanz, I think you're missing the entire point of Howard losing the weight.

The reason his power has been sapped is because he's been playing on bad legs:

- first the bad ankle sprain in August 2010 which sapped his power for the rest of that season (he was on a .280 .375 .622 tear the previous 21 games with 8 HR and 21 RBI in 96 PA)

- then the Achilles in 2011 which tore on the last play of the season,and then coming back too early last season and being a shadow of what we saw before

- then this season showing up overweight and developing a knee problem (and I would say the weight contributed to that).

In short, his power has been sapped by bad legs that he couldn't push off of, so it's been all arms for him for at least 2 - 3 seasons now.

Losing weight will hopefully allow him to stay healthy below the waist by taking some pressure off of his legs, and a Ryan Howard with healthy legs should be able to start parking the ball in the stands again.

"Crawling around the bottomland to find that diamond in the rough..."


Meyer, shouldn't that be "diamond in the Ruf..."

Howard has a chicken-and-the-egg problem with his weight. His weight affects his legs, and the leg problems keep him from working out hard enough to lose the weight. And around we go.

Why does this team insist on blowing a top 5 draft pick?
-
Yeah, I really hate it when these young players pull out come from behind wins. Ruf hitting a clutch 2-out HR? Stupid move - unless we're getting blow out. Brown getting a walk-off hit? Counter-productive! We want a high draft pick! How are we gonna compete in 2018, if we drop all the way down to 13th in the 2014 draft?

Colonel, there's an antidote for that problem: It's called "SWIMMING".

Burns calories, trims people down and it's very low impact on joints, especially the legs.

I wonder if Howard knows "how" to swim? (I had a friend in college who did not know).

I'll grant that ideally, Ruf needed a little time in AAA to start the season. But at least w/ Ruf there was a chance he could play well in the majors.

With DYak, you knew exactly what you would get (& wouldn't get.)

nokwurst - I don't knock the FO for giving Ruf more time to learn the outfield. I knock them for not DL-ing Howard in May, and calling up Ruf to play 1B.

Cutting Delmon Young midseason does not reflect poorly on him. How could it? He played like Delmon Young. It reflects poorly on the person who signed him in the first place, and that person only.

"How are we gonna compete in 2018, if we drop all the way down to 13th in the 2014 draft?"


Yeah, I know, guys like Utley, Hamels, Rollins, Myers, Howard, Ruf and Brown were all picked in the top ten of the first round...

oh, wait...

" I knock them for not DL-ing Howard in May, and calling up Ruf to play 1B."


THIS!

awh, I can't swim, so if that's the issue with Howard, I sympathize. I suspect he'd float pretty easily though.

"Why does this team insist on blowing a top 5 draft pick?


Sources (or whoever you are), have you ever heard of

Mike Stodolka
Corey Myers
B.J. Garbe
Chris Gruler
Clint Everts
Kyle Sleeth
Chris Lubanski or
Matt Bush?

" I knock them for not DL-ing Howard in May, and calling up Ruf to play 1B."

Absolutely This!

Colonel, you Army guys don't need to know (apologies if it's the Corps or Air Force), but if you were in the Navy it's a minimum job requirement. :)

Haha... I'm more of a "Colonel Sanders" kind of Colonel. :)

Howard should have plenty of room to swim in the moat around his house.

Hey d-bag, the biggest thing Sandburg did in managing the bullpen was to dump KK and GO to the bullpen with the score 4-1 instead of waiting for the game to get out of control, Cholly's roadmap of locking the barn door after the horse is out.

I almost think that Mini-Mart is putting on an act with the stuff he's saying. It would be a much more sophisticated troll-job than any other fake poster.

Have you ever heard of:

Bryce Harper
Manny Machado
Stephen Strasburg
Pedro Alvarez
Eric Hosmer
Buster Posey
David Price
Mike Moustakas
Matt Wieters
Evan Longoria
Justin Upton
Alex Gordon
Ryan Zimmerman
Ryan Braun
Justin Verlander
Delmon Young (whoops!)
Joe Mauer
Mark Teixeira

If you get a contest e-mail from MLB that requires you to find the Lipton fan, Wheres-Waldo-style, he's in the front row at the end of the third base line.

lore: I think Mini's got a point. It wasn't Sandberg's brilliant bullpen management that caused Rosenberg & Jimenez to pitch scoreless innings. But he did know exactly the right time to pull KK. I don't think Cholly would have pulled him that early. He would have left him in to allow probably 2 more runs.

What is the general consensus on Asche defensively so far? I have not been able to see too much Phillies action on tv lately. What I've seen has been pretty impressive. He seems to make some spectacular Brooksian plays which bodes well. It seems as if he has booted a number of balls too. I consider the great plays signs that he has the raw materials to be very good. Sort of like a pitcher with a 98 mph fastball. Doesn't make them a pitcher but the raw materials are there. Anybody have any thoughts? As I've said I haven't gotten to see too much of him. The other night on the radio LA was raving about him saying "I don't know about his hitting, but he's a star defensively". I thought this was counter to most scouting reports. I know most here love Anderson but I think he's rarely funny and even more rarely prepared, so I won't take his word on this.

The irony is that even if KK would've been left in to give up more runs; this new, improved, Ryne-led team would just keep slinging 9th inning base hits until the ballgame is won.

donc - I can't speak for a consensus, but as far as Asche's defense goes, I see him much like I see Utley. Head in the game at all times, plays good defense, occasionally misses a play, but makes up for it with the occasional great play.

bap: "I don't think Cholly would have pulled him that early. He would have left him in to allow probably 2 more runs."

Honest opinion.

The facts say that the last time Kendrick gave up 4 consecutive base runners as he did last night, was 8/11/13. Charlie removed him from the game immediately after, in the 5th inning.

P.S. He is head & shoulders above M. Young, but that doesn't say much at all.

and head and shoulders below Utley.

lorecore - Utley now, or Utley after 20 games in the majors?

"The facts say that the last time Kendrick gave up 4 consecutive base runners as he did last night, was 8/11/13. Charlie removed him from the game immediately after, in the 5th inning."

But, in the 8-11 game, he had been ineffective all game long. By the time Cholly removed him, he had allowed 11 hits, 13 base runners, and 6 runs. Yesterday, on the other hand, he was pretty sharp for the first 4 innings. Then it fell apart suddenly. When a guy loses it suddenly like that, Cholly was invariably way too slow to figure it out.

The idea that top 10 picks don't matter because some good players come after the top 10 and some busts were taken in the top 10 is the dumbest argument I've ever heard.

They've done studies on this. It's math.

http://baseballanalysts.com/archives/2009/06/the_draft_and_w.php

The draft is largely a crapshoot after the first two rounds. Heck, even after the first round it is. But inside the first round, the expected value becomes not just linearly better, but expontentially better with each pick you get closer to #1.

Having a top 5-10 pick is basically the *only* valuable part of the MLB draft for most teams in a given year.

Utley career. Utley 20 games in was not revered for his defense either, but what Utley did to his game (vs LHP/defense) from a prospect to pro is almost unrivaled by what anyone else has done in the game since he's debuted. So any resemblance Asche may have as rookie to Utley is barely part of the equation to me.

bap: Don't have a query that allows me to pinpoint all the factors you are including, so I'm not going to be able to find the exact game to compare - if it even exists.

As i said, honest opinion, but factless at this point.

Sandberg says that Howard's returning before the end of the season would be "counterproductive":

http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/phillies/20130823_Sandberg_says_Howard_s_return_in_2013__would_be_counterproductive_.html

lore: Ok, here are a few facts to support my opinion.

Before last night, there were 7 occasions this year in which Kendrick was removed from a game before he had completed 6 full innings. In 5 of those games, he had already allowed 6+ runs to score. In the other 2, he had already allowed 5 runs to score. Yesterday was the first time all year in which Kendrick was removed from the game before he had pitched 6 full innings, without having already allowed at least 5 runs to score.

bap - "But, in the 8-11 game, he [KK] had been ineffective all game long. By the time Cholly removed him, he had allowed 11 hits, 13 base runners, and 6 runs. Yesterday, on the other hand, he was pretty sharp for the first 4 innings. Then it fell apart suddenly. When a guy loses it suddenly like that, Cholly was invariably way too slow to figure it out."

Nice piece of analysis, bap. Honest opinions are like a$$holes...

Looking further, the last time KK was removed before he had pitched 6 full innings, without having allowed 5+ runs to score, was on 9-15-11. In that game, he was removed after 5 innings & 4 runs allowed, because the Phillies were down 4-0 & Cholly went with a pinch hitter. To find a game in which he was removed mid-inning, before having completed 6 innings & allowed at least 5 runs, you'd have to go back further still.

Utley 20 games in was not revered for his defense either - lorecore
-
10 years later Utley is still not "revered" for his defense. He is very good but not great, and he makes up for the occasional error with an occasional great play. I see Asche growing into that type of defender.

Asche has no chance to be as good as Utley defensively.

Over almost 9 full seasons of data (2005-2013), Chase Utley ranks as the single best defensive player in baseball by runs saved according to UZR. Just ahead of Beltre, who everyone agrees is one of the best defensive 3B in baseball. Other guys in the top 20 include defensive stars Carl Crawford, Ichiro, Brandon Phillips, Andruw Jones, Michael Bourn, and Jimmy Rollins.

Quibble with small samples all you want, or the order of the ranking. But no matter how you slice it, this is nine full seasons of data saying that Utley is one of the best defenders in baseball.

Chase Utley has been a fantastic defensive player over his career. Cody Asche stands virtually no chance of equaling that, because almost nobody does.

Correction to my 12-17 post: 9-15-12, not 9-15-11.

In case anyone cares . . .

jake: Yes he has. Utley's fielding statistics are among the best in baseball over his career.

bap: I'll take your word for the KK gamelogs, and concede.

With the caveat that the next time KK gets pulled, Zach Minor won't pitch two scoreless innings afterwards.

Asche has no chance to be as good as Utley defensively. - Jack
-
Classic Jack.

Pedro Feliz is #10 in UZR since 2005 and he hasn't played since 2010.

At least when the phillies used to have players that couldn't hit, at least they were really good defensively.

Utley must be a better defender than Pedro Feliz, because UZR said so.

Pedro Feliz: .699 OPS with the phillies + very good defense.

Michael Young: .714 OPS with phillies + very bad defense.

Well actually their uzr/150 is pretty similar. 13.8 and 13.3

Asche's logged all of 18 games at 3B in The Show, so it's a little early to making pronouncements on his defense. That said, he's flashed some range and some leather thus far, notwithstanding looking horrible for his first three games and then looking shaky for another couple after that. If his bat can reach the lofty heights of those lofty heights of Michael Young after he finishes adjusting to MLB pitching, he should have value to the squad as a starter going forward. (Either as the dominant part of a platoon or as the true everyday starter.)

The funny thing re: Asche's defense is that his range, which gives a lot of people the warm fuzzies, is actually what advanced metrics hate the most about him. As he's sporting an impressive .643 RZR and -2.2 RngR in 160 IP at 3B. Whether it's just the wonkiness of advanced defensive metrics in small sample sizes, a tribute to how horrible Young's range is, or all of the above, the world may never know.

Jack, "Sources" (or whichever regular troll here is afraid to use his normal handle) didn't specify 1st or 2nd round of the draft, but "top five".

I merely pointed out that not all top 5 picks work out.

Your point about the value of the first and second round picks is correct, and no one would take issue with it.

I do, however, think that lamenting not being able to chose in the "top 5" is a little silly, considering guys like Hamels and Utley (among many others) were not top 5 picks. Mike Trout wasn't either. But "Sources" can be as silly as she likes.

Anyone who thinks UZR is bogus should look at the correlation between team UZR and BABIP against.

"With the caveat that the next time KK gets pulled, Zach Minor won't pitch two scoreless innings afterwards."

I'm not giving Sandberg any credit for the fact that a bunch of stiffs came in & pitched well after KK's removal. That was dumb luck. But it does serve to illustrate why "Our bullpen sucks" is not a valid reason for keeping an obviously ineffective starter in the game. Sometimes even bad relievers pitch well, whereas a tiring, ineffective starter rarely turns it around.

The other thing I neglected to mention: Sandberg actually had to react well before KK had allowed 4 straight hits because, by that time, Minor was already warmed up & ready to come in. How many times this year have we found ourselves remarking, with incredulity, that the starting pitcher was getting battered and Cholly didn't even have anyone warming up in the bullpen? It has been a frequent occurrence.

I'm with BAP on Chollie/Kendrick.

"because UZR said so."

other than "because Jake said so", what exactly would you like to add?

I think if Ryne had left Kendrick in last night he would've spontaneously combusted on the mound 3 pitches later.

What's that...we can't just pitch random hypotheticals?

I'd like to add that Pedro Feliz was a better defender than Chase Utley.

A rousing "Amen!" to b_a_p's 12.49PM post.

Jake: Yeah we know.. "because you said so". I said if you have anything else to add, please do so, not just repeat your factless opinions.

Not sure where Jake is coming from on Utley's defense. I don't think I can name a single guy who is so consistently positioned in the right spot by hitter and count and, who also makes the same amount of consistently intelligent plays with the ball in his hand.

pretty easy to watch the difference between a worthwhile debate (me/bap over kk getting pulled) and a worthless debate (most involving Jake) over the last page of comments.

lorecore - So Feliz is no better than Utley defensively, because UZR/150 said so?

Jake: No i do not think so. Utley plays a more important position, and played it at a level above his peers moreso than Feliz did. Many fielding stats, such as UZR, DRS, and +/- support that.

I understand you think otherwise, but until you tell me why outside the fact that you saw him make a really cool play one time, then I really don't see what there is talk about.

From Utley's excerpt in the 2010 Fielding Bible Awards:

"After being atop the three-year Runs Saved leader board in each of the last four years, Chase Utley wins his first Fielding Bible Award in 2010. Utley has saved 60 runs with his defense for the Phillies in the last three years. Far behind him are Mark Ellis (33), Dustin Pedroia (30) and Aaron Hill (26)."

Its not like UZR is some weirdo stat that doesn't match up with anything else. Multiple outlets all claim the same thing: Utley has been one of the best defenders in baseball. Feliz has strong defensive metrics, but not in the class of Utley.

They almost traded Howard for a pitcher from Pittsburgh.

Good on Sandberg for calling out Cliff Lee a little bit last night. The guy has been boo boo facing and mailing it in for a month of starts now. He looks like he anticipated being traded and was upset when he wasn't.

I'm sure people will defend him to the death but the guy has not been great for the last few weeks.

I'm not familiar with the term "boo boo facing", but Lee in August has 9.0 K/9, 1.7 BB/9, and 0.7 HR/9. The ERA is 3.81 because of a .370 BABIP.

The "boo boo facing" doesn't seem to be affecting his pitching.

Cliff Lee put himself on cruise control after the all-star break

Oh good, Nationals traded DeJesus to the Rays. Now they can take Bernadina back

Lee had a few bad starts before the deadline where he had serious HR problems. Other than that, he's been typical great Cliff Lee, including in August.

The bullsh*t narrative that is supported by the evidence is that he was nervous in July about all the trade speculation but has since settled in because he's relieved about not being traded.

main story on milb.com is d'Arby Myers(now with Oakland) trying to extend his hitting streak to 29 games tonight. His overall numbers are pretty bland, so im assuming he's just been slapping a hit or two every night without much else.

Somehow Myers is gone but yet we still have Jiwan James wasting a roster space down in Clearwater.

DH: Disaffected, detached- one of those words would work.

In July Lee was 1-2 with a 6.05 ERA and just did not pitch well.

In August he has been better but I expect more from him than an almost 4 ERA.

Ever since he got told about the dugout stuff he has been like this pretty much. He needs to be better for the amount of money he is making.

I forgot..we can not speak ill of Cliff Lee. He can blow a 4-0 lead in a playoff game- not his fault.

He can pout his way through a month+ of a season (in a time where the team needs him as they are free falling) not his fault.

Please tell me what can we expect from a guy who gets 25 million dollars to pitch every 5 days? What is a reasonable expectation for him? Can we at least have him look like he gives a sh!t?

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