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Wednesday, April 23, 2014


And Hollands gives it up like a prom date.

Phillies bullpen

Rosenberg giving it up again, oh wait that's Hollands.

Ugh. Goodnight

"Now pitching for Philadelphia... Ben Dover!"

It is midnight and Hollands is a pumpkin.

And its Camp, the latest cannon fodder.

Ba ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amazing the difference between good pitching and bad pitching. Seems like the Dodgers have more baserunners against the bullpen tonight than they did all series.

So...Camp's doing well....

Marshall Harris ‏@mharrisCSN 5m
CSN Newsroom: "Get a freakin bullpen!!!"

Ruben should've been taking notes on how to build a bullpen.

Okie dokie. Just need 3 runs here and we're back in it. No, really!

Camp has a 0.00 ERA and a 2.99 WHIP.

Yeah, he only gives up inherited runs :)

This guy Jansen sucks dog balls - we should be able to score *something* off him!

Or not. Good night, John Boy!

Cole gets an LG and an L in his season debut.

Ryan Lawrence ‏@ryanlawrence21 24m
Hamels: "I was at (86) pitches - I had PLENTY in the tank. It was (surprising). I don’t make the decisions."

Weird that Sandberg would be cautious with his $25 million franchise pitcher in his first game back from injury. Very weird.

Was Sandberg only going to use Adams in the 8th inning if they were ahead?

“Well, if we could have gotten through the seventh a little better that would have made a difference," Sandberg said. "But in a minus situation, Hollands has had success against right-handers and left-handers and that was his job tonight."

I realize Hollands has looked decent at times this year (SSS) but that was the (right handed) meat of the order.

Is Adams the “My 8th Inning Guy But Only With Leads Guy”?

Also, I feel like this series will end up encapsulating 2014 in a nutshell - exciting wins that make you believe, followed by head scratching losses with a fielding boner thrown in for good measure.

Could see them leaving town 2-2 after starting on a high note. We need Good KK to show up tonight!

I suppose Zack Greinke "outpitched" Hamels, but damnit, Hamels looked pretty good.

Except for the walk to Greinke. As Whitey would say: "Oh, those bases on balls". It actually appeared that Hamels pitched around Greinke. That was a bitter disappointment, and led to a run.

This team appears to be resilient - hell, even Ryan Howard reached down and took a low outside breaking ball the other way. So good to see.

Sadly, the team's 4 back again. Bullpen, bullpen, bullpen. It would be a huge lift if we could upgrade the Jeff Manships and Mario Hollands of the world into our own stash of quality, sub-3.0 ERA setup guys.

If Biddle keeps up his efficient work, I'm starting the drumbeat for bringing him up for 6th and 7th inning setup work. What could we possibly lose? The Phillies actually appear to be a couple of relievers away from serious contention. Problem is, better teams have been derailed by napalm-infused relievers.

Harry would have said, "Hamels pitched well and deserved a better fate."

i can understand the need he feels to defend his "manliness" on occasion. but it was still a bit inartful for hamels to make those comments.

It is the secondary talent on this team this is brutal. It had been the last 2 years and it will be again this year if you include the bench, middle relief, and the 5th starter snd other starters.

Amaro says they can judge talent and the players they have acquired the last few offseasons show exactly the opposite. Biggest reason along with Amaro's management of the roster in season and how they ineptly handles injuries that he should be fired. You could name a few others too.

Jack: "If there's one thing this team should be doing, it's giving a young guy a chance to play his way out of a slump and establish himself as a starter for the next few years."

Just how good do you think Asche is, Jack? Have you read the scouting reports? If you were talking about Franco, I'd agree with you.

That said, he needs to be playing somewhere every day and if not here, maybe at LV.

Sometimes I think you have too much invested in your doom and gloom predictions.

docjoe: Newcombe, not Newcomb. The guy was a horse. I saw him pitch for the Reds near the end of his career.

my closed captioner spelled it nukum. lol i had to laugh when matt said "no, never heard of 'im."

There seems to be some confusion about Hollands. He really isn't much of a prospect. Never been listed among BA's Top 30 Phillies prospects. His stuff is totally mediocre and his ceiling is lower than a snake's belly. Additionally his numbers at AA and Trip A aren't very good.

But he's got a funky low 3/4s motion that freaks out a lot of lefthanded hitters so maybe - with a captial M - he can have a fringy career as a LOOGY.

Nukum? Sounds like a Cold War reference.

These west coast games are killers for the fans. It's tough to stay up late and then lose, better to hit the sack around the 5th inning and read about it in the morning. Let's see how we do today. At least our "better" bullpen pitchers got rested last night.

I agree with NEPP - I don't think you can fault Sandberg for being conservative with Hamels in his first start back from injury. The problem is bullpen depth, particularly from the right side. If Jeff Manship - a 29-year-old journeyman with a 6.49 career ERA over bits of six seasons - is your answer, you're asking the wrong question.

I suspect we'll see Ken Giles up soon, and it can't be soon enough. If he's now throwing strikes at 100 MPH, there's no reason to waste those bullets in AA. I guarantee you he's more likely to get big-league hitters out right now than Manship.

As for other options, what happened to Justin Friend, who was supposedly going to be a bullpen contributor at some point? He pitched a couple of innings in AA, got moved up to AAA, and then was suddenly released by the Phils last week.

One more arm to watch is Perci Garner, the former Ball State quarterback. He's a bit old for his level (24 in AA) but hits the mid-90s and doesn't have a usable third pitch. Sound familiar? Of course, he's being brought along slowly by the Phils as a starter.

CT: Friend was a guy who put up decent numbers at the low level of the minors, but he was never a real prospect.

On another subject, I'm surprised that no one has commented about Zack Greinke 2-out 7th-inning double, on a ball hit only about a foot away from Asche. I looked at the play again this morning on That double was an out if Galvis had still in the game. Greinke came around to score the 3rd run, which meant that Nix's homer still left the Phillies behind by a run. If that third run hadn't scored, the whole game would have played out differently, as you'd have likely seen Bastardo and/or Adams instead of Manship & Hollands. It was a huge play, which provided a pretty compelling answer to the question, "Why does Sandberg keep starting Galvis over Asche?"

Spontaneously decided to hit up last night's game (Dodger Stadium is still a dump, BTW, but at least I didn't get stabbed, so there's that).

Anyway, I didn't get the commentator POV on any of this and I'm just now reading the reactions to the Game Thread and the postgame comments (surely Hamels has to know that he was on a short leash coming off an injury and can't be serious, right?).

I'd never say you pitch around the opposing team's pitcher, but Hamels straight up OWNED Puig in his first two AB's (Puig couldn't layoff that changeup), so I don't know that walking Greinke was the worst thing in the world at the time (as far as walking the poorest overall hitter in the other lineup goes, anyway). But Puig adjusted, broke the game open, and there's really no going back when the ensuing pitchers are Manship, Hollands and Camp. That's just a cavalcade of guys who will be telling random bar patrons about their "cup of coffee in the bigs" in a few years.

The overwhelming weak spots are the obvious bullpen (and the management is getting predictable and not in a good way - the aforementioned poo-poo platter when behind and Diek/Bastardo/Adams/Pap when ahead - almost like two different 'pens), and 3B. When we even have to debate whether the .050/all-glove player should be starting over the .191/limited upside player, you're just talking about a bad option all around.

I jokingly tweeted that "we just need to tread water until MAG/Ruf come back" but really, this is it. We've not been this healthy in years. If this is as good as it gets, we need everything to click all at once just to remain somewhat competitive. I'd love a 3B/bullpen upgrade, but I have no idea how we do that any time soon.

Asche has looked lost this year, both at the plate and in the field. Unless he turns it around soon, my guess is that he ends up back in AAA when Ruf returns and finishes his rehab assignment.

damn it, why do my posts keep showing up under the name sully? I wrote that post as a joke to WP's "Monsters, Inc." reference. I guess the lesson is: stick to one handle. Don't even change it for the sake of making a joke.

Great sentence by Gelb:

"Greinke won the $303 million pitching duel."

* * *
My posting of Hamels comment was to indicate that he felt good...and I suppose that behind my posting was the thought that our starters are better options than most of our BP. After two nights of West Coast games, I dozed off and on through last night's - but from what I observed, Hamels pitched well. Not effortlessly, for it seemed to my limited observation that he had to pitch out of trouble and work for that good outing.

I'm happy to have him back. And no, I can't really fault Sandberg for wanting to ease him back. But our BP sucks - worst in the majors now. And Greinke's good, both on the mound and at the plate.

Seidman has a few small suggestions for the BP, not sure any is great:

Corey Seidman ‏@CoreySeidman 1h
The Phillies don't have many options to improve their MLB-worst bullpen. But here are a few...

sully: "Friend was a guy who put up decent numbers at the low level of the minors, but he was never a real prospect"

100% correct. Garner, though old, is a prospect, albeit not a great one.

The Phils are working with a razor-thin margin for error. That's why Hamels' walking Greinke was the biggest AB by far. If he gets him out and leaves the game either tied or ahead, it induces Sandberg to draw on the bullpen's first tier rather than the second tier. I imagine sandberg was thinking that, since D, B, A, and P all pithced then night before, he had better not use them in a game where they were behind, since he'd want them available in the higher-leverage situation today should Kendrick leave after 6-7 with a lead.

Razor thin.

Unfortunately, teams with razor-thin margins for error usually wind up with losing records.

I know part of it was probably because of a double switch (my guess from reading the boxscore), but did we used three different players at 3B last night in 8 innings of defense? No wonder RAJ stockpiles all of those UTIs.

from Murphy:

The Phillies have failed to build a major league bullpen for the last three seasons. Over the last three seasons, only four teams have a worse ERA than the Phillies’ 4.17: the Astros, Rockies, Mets and Cubs. They have allowed the fourth-highest OPS in the majors, the fourth highest WHIP, and have walked more batters per nine innings than anybody except the Cubs. That’s what I like to call, “Not good.”

He reviews how the other RPs are doing in the minors, too:


I think you mentioned it last night, but even more so than the Grienke double, the subsequent Puig triple should have been an out. Byrd played it horribly, looking incredibly foolish.

Cyclic: True. Byrd is horrible.

And I'm not sully. That was a one-time wise-crack; I just forgot to erase the name & forgot to log into TypePad. Even though we're all using fake handles, we eventually become known by those fake handles. Hence, I believe it's dishonest to use anything other than one's usual fake handle. On the very rare occasion that I use a different one, it's only to make a joke & I eventually reveal that it was me.

Mhm. Yeah sure, Reality.

I'm onto your game.

Why is Murphy continuing to drone on about the bullpen? It has no bearing on the success or failure of the team.

Keith Law watched a Lakewood BlueClaws game and wrote about it on Tuesday (ESPN Insider subscription required):

The long and short of it:

-- J.P. Crawford still looks like a prospect.
-- Dylan Cozens (2014 2nd-rounder) and Larry Greene (2011 supplemental 1st-rounder) don't.
-- Gabriel Lino (acquired for Thome) has a fantastic arm but little else.
-- Carlos Tocci has talent but should still be in short-season ball, rather than spending his second year in low-A.

In other words, not exactly a ringing endorsement for one of our allegedly more-talented minor-league teams.

I really don't get what this organization has done with Tocci. Here's a Baseball America piece on him from this March:

The money quote from that article:

Tocci hit .209/.261/.249 last year for Lakewood. He didn’t hit a triple or home run all season. Much of the time, he couldn’t sting the ball enough to get it through the infield.

Why on earth was he playing full-season ball in low-A last year?

If Jeff Manship - a 29-year-old journeyman with a 6.49 career ERA over bits of six seasons - is your answer, you're asking the wrong question.

Colonel, I disagree.

I think they know they right question, they just have the wrong answer.

GBrettfan: "Over the last three seasons, only four teams have a worse ERA than the Phillies’ 4.17: the Astros, Rockies, Mets and Cubs. They have allowed the fourth-highest OPS in the majors, the fourth highest WHIP, and have walked more batters per nine innings than anybody except the Cubs."

And, yet, from numerous profilic posters here, when the topic is bullpen all you get is crickets and the chant of how bad the offense is.

ColonelTom: They may not be prospects but, by god, they have tools.

Up to April 24th last year, Byrd did this...

.241/.274/.379/.654, 62 PA, 1 HR

Which is pretty similar to this year's...

.238/.274/.363/.636, 80 PA, 2 HR

Please please please let the rest of this season come close to what he did from April 24th onward last year.

.297/.343/.527/.870, 517 PA, 23 HR

I know he's a year older, so I'm not really holding my breath. Just hopeful that he'll heat up.

Lumping Cozens and Greene together is strange. Considering that Cozens has progressed to the same point as Greene.

With a better bullpen, they would have a winning record. There, I said it. Now back to the crickets.

MG - Awesome map. Incredible how the percentage of Phillies fans vs other fans is 80%+ for a pretty sizable radius.

For the four zip codes adjacent to Nationals Park, the highest percentage is 38% Nats fans.

Red: Really? Cozens has shown far more than Greene, and is, by all appearances, a far better all-around player.

Well, I just wasted a half hour of my morning writing this on TGP, so I feel like I need to post it here too.

Sung to the tune of "Pinball Wizard:"

Ever since I was a young boy,
I've seen the Phillies suck
From Ozark down to Sandberg
We’ve all said, “What the f*ck?”
But I ain’t seen daily lineups
That have run so far amok.
Those bullpen decisions
Sure cause me to upchuck.

He stands like a statue,
Becomes part of the dug-out
Greeting all the starters
As he mills about.
He goes by intuition,
Today Nix is in luck
Those bullpen decisions
Sure cause me to upchuck.

He’s the Phillies’ skipper
He plays the hand he’s got.
The Phillies’ skipper
And Rube didn’t give him squat.

Which crappy pitcher to use? I don't know!
All of them suck so much.

No distractions in the clubhouse
No cancers on this team
No felons or anti-semites
All good guys, it seems.
Team chemistry is perfect
Not a single schmuck.
Those bullpen decisions
Sure cause me to upchuck.

I thought Cholly
Was a bungler supreme
But I just handed
The bungle crown to him.

Even when the opponent’s crappy
The Phillies cannot win
The offense leaves them stranded
The bullpen is a sin.
But Sandberg is a-schemin
Which reliever will he pluck?
Those bullpen decisions
Sure cause me to upchuck.

(Note: composed during a discussion about Sandberg's bullpen management).

"Which crappy pitcher to use? I don't know!
All of them suck so much."

This is ace!

I got a good laugh out of that. Thanks, bap.

I mean, I wish it didn't exist and that our bullpen were at least mediocre instead of atrocious. But a good laugh nonetheless.

BAP - That was great. I enjoyed re-reading it with this playing in the background.

Red: Really? Cozens has shown far more than Greene, and is, by all appearances, a far better all-around player.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 03:34 PM

Lumping them together as non-prospects is strange because Cozens has shown a good deal more in less time than Greene.

Why wasnt the Severino kid mentioned as possible bullpen help? I personally would leave Giles down jut for a bit longer before bringing him up

Cyclic/Jake: Glad you liked it. I'm a big believer that you need to laugh at your misfortunes.

Red: Ah, ok. I understood you to be saying that, even though Cozens has progressed, he's still at the same non-prospect level as Greene.

Hopefully we hear more about his rehab soon, because I still think Ethan Martin is the x-factor who will make or break the Phillies bullpen once/if he returns.

I'm actually leaning toward the optimistic side.

"Why wasnt the Severino kid mentioned as possible bullpen help?"

I like prospects with gaudy stats, because I figure that anyone headed for a decent major league career ought to be killing his minor league competition. But something tells me that Severino is going to be one of these guys whose minor league numbers don't translate to major league success. The ERA has risen, and the K-rate has dropped pretty precipitously, with each step up the minor league food chain.

Martin resembles Zagurski. Lets hope they dont pitch alike.

"I still think Ethan Martin is the x-factor who will make or break the Phillies bullpen once/if he returns."

I Don't share your optimism, Cyclic.

Martin has the same problem that the other young guys have: He has trouble walking people.

He averaged 5.5 BB/9 in the minors, and hasn't been any better in the Show.

While some point to his stats and peripherals as a reliever last season, I'm not ready to anoint him based on a sample size of 31 PA.

Bap i know what you mean Zagurski, Schimwer, and Mathieson come to mind. I wouldnt want to call him up today as i can see his ERA has recently reason. However, i dont know of his last outing. Last i checked prior to today his ERA was sitting in the 2's. Still i would keep a eye out on the Kid. I never been sold on E. Martin myself.

IIRC, he has had most of his issues (runs, hits, walks) during the 2nd, 3rd, 4th times through the lineup. My optimism stems from the belief/hope that that wouldn't be the case if he's used for 1 inning at a time.


Yeah he might not have a viable MLB slider yet but what is the value in having a 'future closer' who is potentially very good on a team in say 2 years that is in the mist of rebuilding (75-win max) team.

Is that the same argument now for having Papelbon on the team? The team is trying to win now and this isn't trading away prospects but rolling the dice because the alternatives are so crummy in middle relief?

It is the exact same thing the Phils did with KK in June '07 when they were desperate for starting pitching help & reached to pull him up out of AA.

The ERA has risen, and the K-rate has dropped pretty precipitously, with each step up the minor league food chain.

bap, yes, but Gonzalez's BB rate appears to be stable, so the guys at least throws strikes and can command his pitches.

There are plenty of guys who have been successful in MLB who have average fastballs with good command.

If you're saying we should temper expectations of the pitcher I don't think anyone here would disagree with you. He's only starting in AA this season and has pitched 29.2 innings there (including 2013) so we'll know a lot more by the end of the summer.

IMHO the big question with him is whether he has the physical capacity to be a starter in MLB (6' 1", 153 lbs.) or whether he'll be relegated to the bullpen.

BTW, his AA peripherals and results (SSS) look eerily similar to another Phillies MiL starter who was converted to the bullpen.

"IIRC, he has had most of his issues (runs, hits, walks) during the 2nd, 3rd, 4th times through the lineup. My optimism stems from the belief/hope that that wouldn't be the case if he's used for 1 inning at a time."

Cyclic, no argument, I'm simply saying we don't know enough yet.

There's promise, for sure, but some people here and over at TGP seem to think he'll be a difference maker and based on the sample size I'm not sure one can make that case.

But, clout said that no one here talks about how bad the bullpen is. I'm confused.

Good point that i left out. Some of the prior more recent internal options have always had high BB. As AWH pointed out I didnt intend on calling him up today but felt the he should be at least been mentioned. AWH are your referring to one Ryan Madson?

awh: I don't think Severino's fastball is even average, though. But, yeah, if he can sustain that microscopic walk rate in the majors, he can be successful. But if his stuff isn't good enough to get major league hitters out, he's going to have to nibble & that walk rate is likely to go way up.

Realistically, if he has a major league future, it's probably in the bullpen (where maybe his velocity would tick up a bit). Fortunately for him, he's in exactly the right organization for an aspiring reliever.

Hilarious song, BAP! Bravo!

This also made me chuckle:

David Murphy ‏@ByDavidMurphy 45m
From that post, please henceforth refer to this scale when when assessing Phillies bullpen performances:

I like the PHuture Phillies quote video game #'s on Severino.


It will be a pleasure to watch Galvis play SS.

Glad to see Ruiz up near the top, but god forbid they use him to break up Utley and Howard. Ugh.

PLM, indeed I am referring to Madson. His K rate and other peripherals improved when he went to the pen.

If Gonzalez moves to the pen will his? Dunno, but I agree with bap that if he doesn't have a MLB FB he won't make it unless it's in the 'pen.

Several years ago the PHillies had a pitcher named Elizardo Ramirez in the system who was a strike throwing machine in the minors, but his stuff barely translated to MLB. He got traded to the Reds.

Here's how he turned out:

As long as Jimmy keeps hitting, I would do

Revere Rollins Utley Ruiz Howard Brown Byrd Asche

Galvis, Asche, KK at least guarantees me time to catch up on some work email without fearing I'm missing anything on offense.

Looks like I picked a good night to watch Game 3 of the Warriors-Clippers series.

BAP, I was leaning the same direction, though it's likely we're not on the same rooting side in that particular event.

"I was leaning the same direction, though it's likely we're not on the same rooting side in that particular event."

It is indeed likely. And it is likely that, when the evening ends, you'll be happier about the outcome than I will.

(Elizardo Ramirez )Yea not good

Was hoping for a new thread before heading home from work, but since nothing yet I'll post this here:

This game feels like a loss.

I love this:

Do Phils have anywhere to turn for bullpen help?

One of our hosts believes Giles can help today. I believe he can help, too. Dammit, he's 23 years old and he throws strikes at extreme velocities. Anything other than the on-again/off-again Manship/Hollands express to late inning heartbreak.

Rollins, Utley Howard, Ruiz and Lee are old, but are playing for pride. This can't be discounted. Nearly every victory the Phillies have this young season "feels" like the scuffling, brawling teams of '06 - '10.

On the other hand, if Mont; er, umm, Amaro trades Biddle for some pack of Wade-sanctioned rag-armed stiffs, I'm turning in my phan card. Maybe for good.

How can you not hope for a great KK performance tonight, and a sweep of the Diamondbacks? That would leave the team 3 games over .500 - with some April still left.

Am I a Phillies junkie, or what?

up to I looked at the check saying $4286 , I didn't believe that my mom in-law realey receiving money parttime at their computer. . there friends cousin has done this for under twenty two months and resently cleared the dept on there condo and purchased Chevrolet . official website........ ­­W­­W­­W­.W­­O­R­K­s6­­­.­C­O­­M

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