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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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I have a feeling the Phils will be reluctant to use a 4-man rotation to start the season. I suppose if they were assured of a return date for Hamels they might consider that. Otherwise, they have to have a 5th starter toiling in the bullpen or throwing simulated games before joining the rotation after a few weeks.

OMG, another new thread! WTF has happened?

I've said this several times before, and I hate to beat a dead horse. But there are about a half dozen back-of-the-rotation types still floating around in the FA market -- i.e., Joe Saunders, Clayton Richard, Jeff Niemann, Jason Marquis, Jeff Karstens. There's really no excuse for not signing one of those guys to a minor league deal.

KAS: I imagine they'll think more on it closer to the beginning of the season. Since Hamels has already thrown a bullpen, he could stay down in extended ST for a week and get in another 1-2 starts (which sounds like about how far back he is at the moment, assuming all the things we're being told are true) before coming up ready for the regular season.

If he hits a snag, or doesn't perform too well in his ST appearances (and by that I mean he isn't commanding his pitches or showing acceptable velocity), then I think they'd be more reluctant to go with a short rotation due to fear he'll miss more than the 2 "missable" starts.

O'Sullivan is at least mildly interesting (key word: "mildly"). He's still reasonably young and he put up decent numbers in the PCL last year -- including a big spike in his K rate, without any spike in his BB rate. And when the Padres called him up to make a few starts in July, he didn't disgrace himself. He's certainly a better 6th starter than the likes of Jeff Manship & Barry Enright. Hell, he might even be better than Fausto Carmona.

So what do you guys think... Do we get a "game thread," or is this it?

Also, does the first game of ST deserve a "game thread?"

Phillibuster: "Also, does the first game of ST deserve a "game thread?""

YES!!!

@Phillibuster: we have one every game.

Frank: Not last year we didn't.

BAP - Good point. Amaro said that offseason starting pitching depth was their biggest priority this offseason and they did sign Burnett/Hernandez along with a couple of minor league signings.

Still could have used a veteran swingman type though like a Gaudin or a J. Williams.

I'd honestly look to add at least 2 SP on those ever fun minor league deals with a opt-out by June 30th type options.

I can easily see the Phils having only 4 SPs on their opening day roster, simply b/c it's in Texas so they can have both Abreu & Ruf available for DH.

After that though...they could possibly wait and see how Hamels is progressing, as Buster said, but that seems risky to me. If he's not ready, then you're stuck w/ Martin or someone else who shouldn't be starting. If the Phils are going to somehow squeak into the playoffs, they can't afford to throw away any games, even 1 or 2 in April.

Personally, I'm all for signing one of the guys BAP listed to a MiLB deal. Guess my 1st choice would be Niemann, but any of them will do.

"Also, does the first game of ST deserve a "game thread?"

Even jw didn't have game threads for ST games. If people want to discuss an ongoing ST game, they'll do it. To have a formal game thread would be to lend these games a legitimacy that they don't really deserve.

nok: Niemann would be my first choice too -- though I'm not sure about his health. He had shoulder surgery last year.

nokwurst: I don't think the two are mutually exclusive, honestly. However, the lack of another signing does seem to lend credence to the idea that this is no longer an ongoing issue for Hamels (except that he's a little behind now).

If Cole's looking to be more than a week-or-so behind by mid-March, I won't expect them to go into the season with a 4-man. Whether they bring someone else up from AAA (or one of their current MiLB-y types) or sign some more, I think they'll make a move.

The one thing I dislike most about ST games is I pretty much have to watch them during work without exception... And the network speed here for any one individual is pretty atrocious, to say nothing of the distractions.

"There's really no excuse for not signing one of those guys to a minor league deal."


bap, I agree, except that the reason it may not have happened yet is they're now waiting for the "inevitable" injury to some team's SP in hopes of scoring a major league contract.

Or none of those guys are interested in playing for Lehigh...

NEPP, yeah.

Besides, just like pitchers get evaluated by MLB teams, the pitchers evaluate the teams themselves to see where they might have the best opportunity to score a MLB deal, or at least an MLB paycheck if a starter on the big club goes down.

They may be looking at the Phillies' situation and asking themselves how much real opportunity there is if they're #8-9 on the depth chart.

Buster: that's true, they don't have to be mutually exclusive. If they can get one of those 5th starter types on a MiLB deal right now, they should do so anyway. If Hamels is ready in time, great, you've got good depth for later in the season when another SP goes down (b/c someone will at some point.)

awh™ is prob right though, that those guys are still holding out for MLB deals. So, we wait and obsess for a few weeks.

nokwurst - or at least a split contract.

T Mac looks like he's spent an intimate winter with Chunky the Monkey.

On a team that's set to win 70 games, you would think opportunity would not be a barrier to someone signing.

Well, I've already seen enough of Fausto Carmona to confirm my pre-existing belief that he's wretched.

That's Jose Bautista's 209th spring training HR against the Phillies.

I can't believe I'm excited for a spring training game of a team that's not even expected to do well this season. But I am!

Excited to hear Schmidt will be in the booth for 13 Sunday games, excited for Moyer and Stairs to be in the booth - who seem to be doing pretty well so far.

2 outs, then a HR given up by Hernandez.

Bautista just crushed a meatball (sinker that didn't sink) deep to left CF.

Unfortunately that is going to be something you see a lot of this year. Just hope they are mostly solo shots and he lite up at CBP especially once it warms up.

Hernandez just misses giving up another HR.

Color analysts who actually provide analysis and feedback will be a very pleasant change this year even if Moyer/Stairs struggle a bit to find a cadence and rhythm for working on TV.

Those were some horrid pitches by Fauxto/Hernandez. Pure batting practice. I'll keep reminding myself he's just getting some work in at this point, but that was an ugly inning.

Schmidt should be great on the Sunday games. He doesn't need the money, so he won't give a hoot if management doesn't like what he says about the team.

"Color analysts who actually provide analysis and feedback will be a very pleasant change this year"

Yep.

I have to admit that I am following on Gameday.

Was Revere's leadoff single a powerful line drive? I seem to recall a lot of debate last year over whether or not Revere was a "slap hitter."

Nice level swing by Howard there to go opposite field on a fastball and drive in a run.

Jack - Hard to say. It wasn't smoked like Howard's ball but it wasn't a bleeder that made it through the INF either.

Jack: it was a 2-3 hopper over the mound.

Are we allowed to question lineup construction decisions in spring training games? If so, why the hell is Dom batting 7th?

Going back and forth between enjoying Franzke/LA again and checking out the new TV crew. Either way, it is great to be playing ball again, not to mention envying those in shirtsleeves out in the sun.

I like Stairs' comments, but he needs to work on his diction....He's clearly not a graduate of the Columbia School of Broadcasting.

Scoring 2 runs in an inning is actually a pretty monumental accomplishment for this offense. But it should have been more.

stairs is trying to cram to many words in. and he does need to work on his enunciation.

Another near-homer.

Can't get too upset about it at this point, but it's concerning.

I would love to hear Stairs' audition tape. Moyer sounds find, but Stairs is mumbling and stepping all over himself. Maybe he'll calm down as the season goes on, but he and McCarthy might fill up every second of each inning with word salad.

As far as I'm concerned, Stairs drinks for free any time he comes to Vegas. But it's already looking like I'm heading back to radio if this keeps up. I find myself wishing the Wheels was still in the booth with Moyer and anyone but McCarthy for play by play.

AK: I can't imagine the trend of having one hitter and one pitcher as color guys would get broken up. They just like having the juxtaposition too much.

Million empty seats and almost no one sitting out on the OF grass.

Doesn't surprise me given the lack of general interesting in the club.

Hernandez is definitely not going to get a 'LG' today. His sinker has been complete cr@p and Stairs/Moyer have both mentioned it.

On the plus side, Revere's throws don't look as weak as I remember them.

Minus: He's been shafted positioning-wise. Starting out too far on the shallow shots, and in too far on the deep ones.

34 pitches through 2 innings in the first ST game isn't too bad.

Although the results of those pitches could be better...

That was a pretty poor bunt.

Murphy used both 'feeling good' and 'looking good' to describe Hamels pitching workout. Haha.

Jimmy watched a fat one on his first pitch that AB. Maybe taking working the count to heart for now?

I think that's more along the lines of the Phillies innings we can expect.

O/U on number of walks this inning?

i feel bad for Jack. this Gameday is barebones. no pitch speed or location.

Bullit: Is it at least better than last year? Back then, it was either 1-pitch BiPs, 3-pitch Ks, or 4-pich BBs.

Aumont walked the first batter on a pitch on that bounced in front of home plate and went to the backstop.

Nice block by Carlos to prevent a second WP.

Philli: Well, it did show a 4-pitch walk for Aumont. But I just assumed that was because it was a 4-pitch walk.

He has no idea where the ball is going

Ugh. O/U of 4.5 looking adequate.

Well, Aumont is in mid-season form. Doesn't need spring training to throw that ball

Nice grab by Chooch. Aumont still has no idea where the ball is going and neither does Chooch.

Tons of movement especially horizontally.

BAP: Nah, it took him a good 7 pitches. 5 for Bautista.

Wasn't it only like 2 days ago that the Phillies were talking about how great Aumont looks?

I'm surprised Aumont gave up a hit. He strikes me as a 2-true-outcome pitcher most of the time.

Only problem is one of them is a walk.

Just end this misery and cut him already.

Gameday was far superior last year. the arc of each pitch was shown to where it crossed the plate. and was described as to type. it was even assigned a nastiness factor. i hope this is just the SI version.

McClure is busily asking for Dubee's phone number, so he can find out the most effective insults to use on Aumont.

Aumont's delivery is really different though. Much more straight up and a higher release point.

Few good pitches but a lot of crummy ones/ones well out of the zone. Aumont better pitch well early in camp or he won't even make the first cuts.

The Phils stats guy isn't going to have a 'LG' tally in the box score after Hernandez or Aumont today.

> http://deadspin.com/atlanta-braves-pitcher-had-surgery-on-his-dickhole-1531194222
> That's a tough injury to deal with there.
> Posted by: NEPP

I loved the one comment calling it "Tommy Dong" surgery.

Wasn't part of the reason Schmidt didn't end up as a long-term coach with the Phillies because he was extremely introverted?

I feel like that might not play so well in the booth...

Well, I've already seen enough of Fausto Carmona to confirm my pre-existing belief that he's wretched.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Wednesday, February 26, 2014 at 01:11 PM

No, no, HR rates are totally random and have nothing to do with the pitcher just sucking. Remember, he had that good season back in 2007...the rest is just statistical static.

Those balls won't be as much of an adventure with less wind, but I'll take it as a good sign that he took it to LF, at least.

Aumont is the best Rube could do in return for Cliff Lee in his prime. I can't wait to see what he gets for Cliff a few months from now.

BL always had a few spring training attendees report after games (Greene Bros?). I hope that resumes this spring.

At this point, I'm really excited at the thought of Fausto Carmona taking the ball every five days, at least until he's released in June.

***At this point, I'm really excited at the thought of Fausto Carmona taking the ball every five days, at least until he's released in June.***

Its part of the Phillies new promotion of giving every outfield seat a souvenir game-used baseball every 5th day...should sell plenty of tickets that way.

That would be "Torn my Dong" surgery, and that would be tea-spittingly hilarious.

Just think about the Braves' organization's hazing that can cause that kind of damage but also churn out above-average pitchers year after year.

Manship not looking too ugly yet.

manship is the best looking pitcher so far.

Definitely the best sounding.

Would would be the Manship fan section have been called at the Vet?

Would he have been a part of the Padilla Flotilla?

To be fair, I always felt like they missed out on "Wolfpack" by using the werewolf outfits instead of submarines.

Seen on Blue Jays Beerleaguer:

"Drabek is the best Anthopoulos could do in return for Roy Halladay in his prime."

Seen on Mariners Beerleaguer:

"Smoak is the best Zduriencik could do in return for Cliff Lee in his prime."

hash error on typepad

rain delay

wow

I look forward to Schmitty in the booth 13 games this year. I always enjoy listening to him talk baseball, and as somebody has already pointed out Schmidt will say what's on his mind. He won't carry water for the team like some of the past homers they've had in the booth.

Been watching game off and on. One observation: Fausto's fastball is straight as a string. No movement at all. Hope that's not normal.

clout, I'm glad you mentioned that, because I was sitting here thinking "I really shouldn't even attempt to draw any conclusions whatsoever based on the first practice game of the season."

But giving it some thought, I was thinking the same thing - his fastball had almost no movement. Even though totally a practice game to get work in, if he was even tinkering with something new, etc., it's extremely unlikely to be with his fastball, and if so, it's even more unlikely to be something to creates almost zero movement. So, if I do draw anything at all from today's game, it's similar to BAP's insight in that Fausto Carmona isn't likely to be something to get our hopes up for this year.

I believe they're showing the 2013 Phillies Yearbook ("Adjustments", I think it's called) on TV right now. How sad to see Doc accept his bottle of champagne from Jimmy and Chase and to hear him say "I want one that says 'World Series' on it," knowing how the year was to end for him. Too bad we couldn't get him one of those.

"It wasn't pretty", says Chase about the early Cleveland series. He might want to stop there, LOL.

I think Moyer and Stairs sound terrible. Their debut has been awful, IMO. Obviously, there's a learning curve, but I expected better. Even being their first game, they're pretty terrible.

As for the game (or what I saw anyway). Revere, Rollins, Howard, Byrd looked pretty good. Howard was running hard a couple of times and seemed to be running much better than the last few years. At least that's a positive.

Fausto looked terrible. Ugh.

Losing 4-3, get used to it this season. =)

Looking at Fausto's entire career I don't know why anyone would have been excited about him in the first place. In 8 years he had one very good season (2007, ERA+ 148) and one decent season (2010, ERA+ 105).

The other six seasons his ERA+ has ranged from 67 (I'm ignoring the 2012 season where he had only 14 IP) to 83 in his rookie season. The last 3 years it's been 78, 53 & 75 working backwards from 2013. He's shown very little and my expectations are the same.

It would be great if our international signing of Cuban star pitcher Mysterious Alfredo Gonzalez could step up and take the 5th spot - if not right out of camp then shortly thereafter.

He is now in line for the biggest percentage raise in MLB history, when he signs his next contract for $350 million.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

While the rumored long-term deal has yet to come to fruition, the Angels and Mike Trout agreed to a record-setting one-year deal, according to Bill Shaikin of the L.A. Times. Trout will earn $1MM in 2014, marking the largest payday in Major League history for a pre-arbitration player. Trout's deal surpasses the $900K guarantee achieved by Ryan Howard in 2007 and Albert Pujols in 2003 (though as Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register tweets, Howard's deal was farther north of the then-lower league minimum salary).”

As we got rained out, I find myself watching the Dodgers/Diamondbacks game. And I'm reminded why there'll never be another Vin Scully: As our old friend Seth Rosin came out to pitch, Scully lamented that it was a pity Rosin's name wasn't pronounced the same way as "rosin bag", because that'd be an awesome name for a pitcher.

As far as the game went...one almost wishes we could have a bench of Ruf and Abreu, because we'd always be able to make snarky quips about how our bench was full of Unproductive™ bums.

I thought Stairs & Moyer were had interesting comments. Stairs never has enunciated well; it was one thing I thought when I heard he was being interviewed. But I think he can be funny so I didn't mind that...although I don't think much humor came through this first broadcast, and I agree that there was still too much talking.

I did notice that when I was listening to the radio during errands, how Franzke and LA sound much more polished. But they've been at it a while. I suspect this is a "spring training" for Moyer and Stairs, too.

(I fully admit that lingering fondness for the two of them may positively influence my opinion of them, at least for a while.)

I love sucking cock.

I've seen several references to Matt Stairs not "enunciating" to the degree that most would like. Not throwing any stones, or anything, but you guys do remember that one of the guys he and Moyer is replacing is Sarge Matthews, right?

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