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Monday, April 28, 2014

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Not that .600 on the road is sustainable but that was an impressive West Coast swing.

SSS, but they'll need to improve their home performance YTD and even improve versus last year's .531. 43 wins at home isn't likely to get them into the WC race. Last year's 2nd WC team (CIN) had 90 wins total.

They actually need their May home stand(s) to be even more impressive than this recent West Coast swing if we're to take them seriously as a contender this year. Interesting that with the disproportionate number of home games that only 3 of the home series are divisional. The next two series will go a long way in that regard (also odd that the first Mets series is just a 2-gamer).

An enjoyable month of baseball. I like the sound of that.

Cyclic: We could do fWAR, bWAR, and OPS+. You need to win 2 out of 3 categories to declare victory. I don't know what the stakes would be, though.

From th eprevious thread:

"Admittedly, Nelson Cruz has his own set of PED questions. But he also has a pretty long track record of being a good bat. It's not like he suddenly had a good year, just after being suspended for PEDs. That is pretty much what happened with Marlon Byrd."


bap, we aren't disagreeing, really, but you correctly pointed out Cruz's PED problems, and we don't know if his ENTIRE career track record has been PED enhanced and that Byrd only had one season of enhancement.

Point: At least Byrd gives you good defense, so I'm not sure I'm going to use 100 PA from each guy after they both had PED issues to make a determination as to who the more valuable player will be.

I'm firmly in the camp that is realistic about this team's chances to "contend" this season. It's not a well-rounded team, and any tinkering that RAJ can do isn't going to be sufficient enough to change that in the short term. Also, due to their age, it's likely that injuries will eventually catch up to them (they've actually been extremely fortunate this season, so far, in that not only have they been healthy, but they tend to catch opponents bitten by the "injury bug" at the right time, as well).

However, it doesn't change the fact that they have been, and are likely to remain, very fun to watch. It's a likable team, and they seem to be playing with some intensity (chip on their shoulder?) and the late game heroics of late are reminiscent of the "glory years" teams who you could never count out. So, I guess if I'm being honest, as a fan I'm somewhat happy that RAJ didn't "blow it up" and go into rebuild mode. Though, I suspect I'll be singing a different tune in the next year or two. I'm just going to enjoy entertaining baseball for as long as they'll let me.

Anyway, the stakes are probably irrelevant because, 5 days from now, we'll both forget we ever made the bet. I must have had a dozen internet bets going last year, and the only one I remember was one about J.P. Howell. And I don't even remember the particulars. I just recall that I said he would suck. Considering that the bet was with Iceman, I'm surprised I haven't taken more grief over that bet.

(Repost) Here is a graphic of Byrd's GB/FB rate for his career.

http://www.fangraphs.com/graphs/950_OF_season_full_9_20140427.png

In 2013 his GB rate drops from 50% to 39%, and his FB rate goes up from 25% to 37%. The only 2 years he had a higher FB% was in '05 when he played in 5 MLB games, and '09 when he hit 20 HR. More flyballs = more HR, no PEDs required.

"we don't know if his ENTIRE career track record has been PED enhanced and that Byrd only had one season of enhancement."

All true. Still, if Cruz's entire career has been PED-enhanced, then he must have found some stuff that doesn't show up on the tests -- in which case, he can keep taking it & keep posting the kinds of numbers he has posted throughout his career.

A new-- wha-- well I don't even. I don't even. Wow.

And I won't forget the bet, bap. But I can't think of any worthwhile stakes, so a gentleman's wager sounds good.

I think I'm on record, even before this, as being irrationally optimistic about Byrd. Hope he helps the Phillies compete and therefore doesn't let me down in the process.

Bullpen is fine. It's the starters that are the problem.

BP - 8 wins
SP - 5 wins

Post of the day.

But wait, Mr. Amaro. It's not quite a clear cut as you think. Allow me to analyze the data:

There are seven relief pitchers and only five starting pitchers. Therefore:

1.0 wins per starter
1.1 wins per reliever

In looking at the schedule Wizniski posted above I see a couple of "trap" series in there.

Given that this team has a HR-prone staff (1.09 HR/9) and that struggles a bit to hit HRs (0.72 HR/9) and is a bit power deprived overall, I can't see playing at CBP being that beneficial.

MG: They had all the same problems last year, yet they were 43-38 at home versus 30-51 on the road. Almost all teams play better at home & the Phillies are no exception. So, playing a bunch of games at home is certainly beneficial.

bandbox

Bryce Harper needs thumb surgery. Out until at least early July.

just for fun. Jean Machi, Giants, 4-0 0.84 era, Alfredo Simon, Reds, 3-1 1.30 era. What do they have in common? Both 32 years old. both ex-Phillies farm hands. Both resurrected their careers in the Mexican League. Phillies NEED pitching....who is currently pitching well in the Mexican League, and also and ex Phillie farm hands and pitching well.......Carlos Monasterios and Fabio Castro....easy, pitching problems solved

BAP - I just don't see it being that beneficial to this club and home field advantage doesn't mean much in MLB.

Harper seems to be injured a lot. Some say he's too aggressive. Some say he's made of glass. I get the impression that he's not that smart, and he puts himself in positions where he can get hurt. Like Puig, he's an exciting guy to watch, but they both need to be smarter when they play.

After 2 nice games, Jesse Biddle is back to stinking it up tonight -- and for the same reason as always: he can't throw strikes. 4 IP, 5 earned runs, 5 walks.

Good Phight pointed out the odd similarities between his 4th and 5th starts the last 2 years. Even hoped he wouldn't have a clunker again in #6. Whoops.

Biddle 2013:

4th start: 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 16 K, 2 BB
5th start: 6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 10 K, 3 BB
6th start: .2 IP, 1 H, 3 ER, 0 K, 4 BB

Biddle 2014:

4th start: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 11 K, 1 BB
5th start: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 10 K, 1 BB
6th start: 4 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 1 K, 5 BB

Well.... it's not as bad as last year?

"Carlos Monasterios and Fabio Castro....easy, pitching problems solved"

I'm sure this was posted in semi-jest, but when the alternatives are Manship, Hollands and Camp, the joke quickly gets lost. I mean, I legitimately thought to myself "hmmm, can't be much worse..."

Biddle is still not ready. I cringe a little any time anyone suggest bringing him up. Not that it happens a bunch at least on BL'er.

I think Trout is showing himself to be far, far superior to Harper despite the early hype surrounding them both. Its not even a comparison anymore.

I like John Kruk, but he's on ESPN saying that this injury is the best thing that could've happened to Harper.

I hate emoticons, but I wish I had an eye roll emoticon right now.

One is better than the other one this may be true. The hype surrounding Bryce is warranted. One is more likable than the other. Is Bryce a little arrogant perhaps. Chuckles i think if i was a 19yo phenom i would be a a-hole myself.

I think everyone would take Cruz on his deal over Byrd with his deal simply because Cruz's is only one year. And if there was any time to utilize patience and wait for a bargain like Cruz at the end of the offseason, it would have been this year, in a season that the team isn't likely to compete anyway.

But they are sort of pot-committed to at least trying to compete this year, so I don't know how Amaro could've waited, crossing his fingers until January that a big name RF would fall through the cracks the way Cruz did. People here would've been shredding him for it. DPat and others were upset that he wasn't doing anything the first week of the off season.

I really didn't want Cruz because A) He's horrific in the OF (the team is already littered with God awful defenders), B) The PED questions, and C) He has trouble staying on the field. His only full season (no DL stints) in the MLB saw him accumulate a WAR of 0.7. Even last year he spent significant time on the DL. The team didn't need another injury question.

Either way, it's ridiculous to start second guessing and playing Monday Morning QB after 4 weeks, but BAP has been bringing the doom and gloom on Byrd from the start, so he's got BL dollars invested in his failure.

I tend to think Byrd has done exactly what anyone could reasonably expect him to do...play solid defense and post an OPS+ around 100. Right now, he's doing exactly that.

More flyballs = more HR, no PEDs required.

Posted by: Jake | Monday, April 28, 2014 at 05:03 PM

Except that, as I've posted repeatedly and you seem to insist on ignoring, his HR/FB% almost doubled over his career rate in '13. As in, suddenly, his flyballs to the OF were suddenly clearing the fences instead of being caught for easy outs. That's not "more flyballs = more HRs", that's the ratios suddenly changed for some reason.

Stop being disingenuous about the numbers.

And BAP- I have chided you about the Howell thing every time we see him. That's probably why you remember it. I had one typed the other night but got distracted and never posted it.

He has a 0.7 fWAR by himself last year...the Phillies' bullpen cumulative fWAR was -0.1.

PLM - I wanted Biddle up just because his arm might be better than the Manship/Hollands/Camp (have not seen him pitch yet...) train to the end of game oblivion.

Also, I saw Biddle interviewed in ST, and he was 1 cocky SOB. Sounded like a reliever in waiting to me, especially if he could "start the clock".

Actually, I still like him. BR 'sez before today he's got a 2.86 ERA with a 1.059 WHIP. Bring 'em up, and let him face big leaguers in low leverage situations. Don't the mighty Braves start some of their youngsters in the bullpen?

Oh yea - amazing road trip. I stayed up for all 4 Dodger games, and really paid for it.

Regardless, it was fun to see winning baseball on the road. Young James, Utley and Ruiz all had their moments on this trip with special mention to A.J. Burnettt and Hamels.

Maybe someone gives some "special vitamins" to Howard - just to heal and strengthen his knee and ankle. He's still maddeningly inconsistent.

Hernandez having a rough time at #rd. 6 errors so far.If Perkins keeps hitting someone may need to realise he is as good as Dugan and Altheer.

Speaking of discussions from 2013, I see Alex Meyer (ranked anywhere from #28 to #35 in prospect rankings) is the Twins minor league player of the week after an 11 strikeout performance in Rochester. He could be called up to the bigs in the next few months.

You may remember Meyer from Dave Cameron's masterpiece article 'Nats steal Denard Span.' Span has given the Nats 2.3 bWAR in 750 PAs, batting .272/.322/.370 and costing them $11.25 million & Meyer. He has a $9 million team option next year (hahaha).

MG doesn't like facts.

Cut red is still saying idiotic things in wordy posts.

Dave Cameron is still an idiot but Fatalotti loves that guy

With the off-day, I took the time to look at the standings for the first time this year. Only thing that stood out to me was every team in the AL EAST has a minus run differential. Guess they are not playing each other much.

"If Perkins keeps hitting someone may need to realise he is as good as Dugan and Altheer."

He can seemingly hit a little bit. Too bad he doesn't do anything else. It's kind of hard to imagine any major league future for a high-average, RH corner outfielder with no speed, power, or ability to draw a walk. Upside is basically a right-handed Ross Gload, and I'm not sure such a creature exists at the major league level.

Also, NL EAST teams are 13G over .500. Next best- 1 AL div. is 1 game over.

BAP: "RH corner outfielder with no speed, power, or ability to draw a walk . . . and I'm not sure such a creature exists at the major league level."

You mean besides Delmon Young?

Rally perhaps he can be used as a reliever in the Phils did with JA Happ. I would just hate to derail the kid just for a BP appearances.

J.P. Crawford looks like a pretty legit prospect right now.

Thankfully the Phillies listened to all the experts and finally gave up on those toolsy high school athletes.

Jack: It is nice to have a first round pick that actually knows how to hit a baseball and get on base.

BAP is irrationally down on Byrd, and slightly less so on Diekman.

Byrd has been OK as a defender (far better than DYak), erratic as a hitter, but pretty clutch. Several hits to tie or take the lead mid-to-late in games. The best news is he's seen a disproportionate number of righties, which should normalize a bit going forward:

LHP 24 PAs .364 .417 .545 .962
RHP 78 PAs .253 .282 .360 .642

(23% of PAs against LHP)

Career: 28.5% of PAs against LHP

Wow that Cano NYC boo video from the Tonight Show is really funny. Link right HBTalk.

Good tip, Meyer. Very funny.

Funny clip

Jack, actually Crawford was a toolsy high school prospect, so no.

Pretty sure Jack was being sarcastic.

J.P. Crawford looks like a pretty legit prospect right now.

Thankfully the Phillies listened to all the experts and finally gave up on those toolsy high school athletes

**************************

To be fair, Crawford was one of those weird "toolsy" guys that also actually had baseball skills too...unlike most of the other toolsheds they've picked over the past couple decades...the ones where they'd say "Hes a great athlete but his bat is a little raw" or "He's a great athlete, played two sports in HS but only started playing baseball his senior year."

Huge, huge different there.

Yeah, most scouting reports I read on Crawford said he had great instincts and a good idea of how to hit in addition to the tools...The main issue that got him labeled as "raw" was the fact that he was going to have to develop physically to be able to hit at the professional level.

Crawford has, so far, shown pretty much the most important skill any young hitter can have: plate discipline/pitch recognition:

2013: 228 PA, 32 BB, 35 SO
2014: 94 PA, 13 BB, 15 SO

That's a fantastic SO/BB ratio for a young hitter to have and a pretty high BB% both years.

Will they get tonight's game in, I wonder?

Doesn't seem like it. Boo.

Weather Channel shows constant showers from about 4:00 today, turning into rain & thunderstorms until Thursday morning. So, the whole series may get wiped out.

Is it too early to ponder the 26th man option if they become day/night doubleheaders? I would go with another versatile infielder.

Definitely go with Reid Brignac...that way we can be 4 deep at both SS, 3B and 2B.

Definitely don't pick anyone who knows how to hit. The offense is fine.

Maybe it could be an extra reliever...

Or why even bother.

You're right. One of the starters will probably be day to day with a minor thing anyway. Available for pinch hit duty. They'll be fine.

I always wondered how the Phils ended up with Larry Greene who is the complete opposite of the 'toolsy athlete' the Phils have loved to select.

Greene is off to a horrendous start at Lakewood already (.167/.237/.241) with 0 HRs. Now has an impressive 7 HRs in 711 ABs in his minor league career along with 257 Ks. Supposed to be a power hitter but hasn't shown any power so far and well on his way to 'bust' status.

Its hard to have power when you cant make contact.

Greene is like a big raw turnip.

IIRB, Greene was a "signable" pick. Also everyone knew he was incredibly raw and not really a great athlete. Also from what I understand he hasn't been at his listed weight of 235 since high school...has a Fielder-esque type of bad body and hasn't put in much effort to rein in the weight.

His only real "tool" he's ever had is BP power.

So happy the Phils drafted him instead of Jackie Bradley, who went literally one spot later...

how the hell are the Mets 14-11? Their only two good hitters are David Wright, who is off to a poor start and Granderson is making BJ Upton look like a bargain, while they're 11th in the league in team ERA.


Doesnt Greene also have diabetes? Was that known or unknown before the draft? I simply dont recall anymore.

The Cano video is awesome. I wonder what former Phillie they could best re-create that with.

I was thinking Delmon Young, but he would actually get booed more loudly upon revealing himself.

WSJ: Jayson Werth (who shouldn't be booed anyway).

He can seemingly hit a little bit. Too bad he doesn't do anything else.

Right can't see anyone with a OBP of .425 and OPS of 1.013,12 of 30 hits for extra bases finding a place on any MLB team.
How many times have you seen him play? Defense only 1 error this year. I know that doesn't tell the whole story.To me he's as good defensively as any OFer the Phils have starting now. Guys get a label and that's all people look at.

Jack: "Thankfully the Phillies listened to all the experts and finally gave up on those toolsy high school athletes."

They released Anthony Hewitt and Larry Greene?

Who the heck is jr talking about?

Honestly, I dont know that I'd even consider Greene as "toolsy" as he only had 1 supposed "plus" tool coming out of the draft. He was basically drafted on the understanding that he'd have realize his massive power potential and his only route to the Majors was at 1B.

I always think of "toolsy" as guys have multiple plus tool potential, not big fat guys that can supposedly crush the ball.

Lineup: Revere CF, Rollins SS, Utley 2B, Byrd RF, Howard 1B, Ruiz C, Brown LF, Nix 2B, Cole P

Think it will be rained out anyway, but really thought we'd see Mayberry instead of Howard.

"So happy the Phils drafted him instead of Jackie Bradley, who went literally one spot later..."

Jackie Bradley Jr. looks like a Ben Revere with a better throwing arm and better outfield instincts. Definitely would have been a better pick over Green. Teams that draft poorly see very few postseasons.

Better plate discipline as well.

Be pretty cool if Revere had a 10% walk rate

The ever rare "2 2B" lineup.

Odd.

Revere with a better arm and 10% walk rate is a borderline AS player at his peak.

Ha, NEPP, I didn't catch that. I cut & paste it from one of the beat writers.

Bradley also has significantly more power than Revere will ever have:

.471 SLG in the minors (Revere had a .404 SLG in the minors)
.337 SLG in the majors so far (193 PA) but already 3 HRs compared to 0 that Revere will ever have.

ISO would be more apt, because Revere hits for a much higher average than Bradley (in MLB at least, haven't looked up Bradley's MiLB)

Ha, NEPP, I didn't catch that. I cut & paste it from one of the beat writers.

Posted by: GBrettfan | Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 03:28 PM

LOL...I just figured Sandberg was finally committing to shifting 100%.

I assume Nix is actually playing 3B.

Utley doesn't have the arm for 3B...

Is there seriously no one out there that is better than Jayson Nix? I'd rather play two 2B's than see him in the lineup. Man do I wish Galvis could hit just a little.

Hey remember that time Nix hit a HR?

Who the heck is jr talking about?

Posted by: Cyclic | Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 02:59 PM

--------------------------------------------

He was replying to this post:


"If Perkins keeps hitting someone may need to realise he is as good as Dugan and Altheer."

He can seemingly hit a little bit. Too bad he doesn't do anything else. It's kind of hard to imagine any major league future for a high-average, RH corner outfielder with no speed, power, or ability to draw a walk. Upside is basically a right-handed Ross Gload, and I'm not sure such a creature exists at the major league level.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Monday, April 28, 2014 at 09:52 PM

Thanks Mike. I was wracking my brain it was killing me

jr.: If Cameron Perkins continues to hit .375 with an OPS over 1.000, then you are absolutely right that he has a major league future. As for me . . . I tend to think that he'll end up closer to his .300 career minor league average, with around 4 or 5 homeruns. Can you name a single RH major league corner outfielder whose sole attribute is an ability to hit for high average? Even among bench players, I struggle to think of one.

There was a guy who used to play in Seattle then NY for a bit

Mayberry has had a lot of success against Niese.

I guess they'll save him for a more favorable matchup in the 8th inning against a RH throwing 98 MPH instead.

How can you not be happy with what the Phils have done through 25 games with a bad bullpen, one start from Hamels and a streak of 20 straight games on the calendar, including 13 straight between a series against the Braves and a 10 game west coast trip?

The 20 in a row, by the way, is an interesting oddity to star the season, when the first month normally features more off games. Check out May, the schedule is littered with them. And the only other time the team plays that many in a row is another stretch later in the season. Sandberg played it smart utilizing his bench and for the most part, it worked out well when he mixed it up.

And if Nix is the most this board whines about the first half of the season, I will be thrilled, because it will mean we are playing decent baseball and hanging around, which is about the most you could hope for, even for the biggest optimists.

Chris Branch ‏@ChrisBranchTNJ 2m
Sandberg says it’s a “strong possibility” Hernandez’s next start is skipped due to off days. If so, he’ll be in bullpen until next start.

&
Darin Ruf will get some game action in the next couple days, Sandberg also said, presumably in extended spring training.

Cameron Perkins is a classic middle-rounds college draft pick, 6th rounder with limited tools, but some polished hitting skills.

His number one problem is lack of HR power. He can't field or run, so his value lies on offense. The only positions you can hide him are 1-3-corner OF, but he's not good at any of them.

That said, the high BA and OB are not flukes. Also, he's got doubles power and sometimes with experience that matures into HR power. He's been old for each level, so he'll have to duplicate these numbers in Triple A. If he does, I think he'll wind up on a major league bench somewhere.

pblunts, the board is whining about Galvis too, who has been pretty good in the field but below horrible at the plate.

The board has also been whining about the bullpen - and rightfully so.

Unless you think they've done well?

Ethan Martin, bullpen savior, coming soon

I'd hate to have tickets to tonight's game. This might be the kind of night where it doesn't start raining badly enough far in advance of the game, that they cancel it. And you're stuck wondering what to do. Best case scenario seems to be if they do play the game, that you are going to get thoroughly soaked and cold.

Per Jonah Keri:

Since the advent of the WC, the average W-L record of teams to make the WC has been 14-11 after 25 games.

Adam Rubin ‏@AdamRubinESPN 18m
Mets informed by Phillies game expected to start on time. Should be heavy showers about 5 PM, light rain during game with stoppage possible.

BJ is a bullet (no a sidewinder missile )that we lucky we missed out on. On a slightly different note. Im not a Mayberry hater i actually rarely "hate" a player. Upon Ruf's return how do the Phillies work him in the roster. Do they release or trade Mayberry? If that is so do you really trust that Gwynn to be as a viable(CF'er) backup. Who's next in the depth chart after Gwynn? Scary isnt it...

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