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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

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Alcoholics Anonymous & the Papelbon Fan Club meetings will be combined until further notice.

game thread comments:

BL - 280
TGP - 804

Come back JW. The blog needs you. Desperately.

Saturday — LHP Cliff Lee (1-0, 14.40)
Sunday — RHP A.J. Burnett (0-0, 1.50)

Simplest example of why Wins is the most overused, misleading stat ever.

Matt Gelb ‏@magelb 7m
That was Jonathan Papelbon's first bases-loaded walk since 2006. His average fastball velo tonight was 91.6 mph.

If Ruben allowed Sandberg to move Howard to the 5 hole, maybe he'll permit a move to the 8th inning for his golden league closer.

Todd Zolecki ‏@ToddZolecki 1m
In 39 games from 6/23/13 - 4/2/14, Papelbon is 5-2 with 4.46 ERA, 16 saves and 8 blown saves. Opponents hitting .302.

Heard Paps was named Star Of The Game by the Texas broadcast team.

Ryan Madson's out there looking to sign with a team.

Yeah, Madson is looking for another team to pay him millions to not throw a single pitch again this year.

JMJr should play first-base .. never.

Worst part is they have probably missed their chance to trade Pap without paying almost his entire salary, let alone actually getting anything of value in return. But even if they do offer to pay almost all of his salary, who would even want him?

Bullpen blows it dang it...Dang it to all heck

Hope jake D will be ready for the closing gig. Only a matter of time

Another loss that can be directly attributed to the myth of the closer.

In almost any other situation in a ballgame, if a relief pitcher is brought in and creates this situation, you get somebody else into the game. However, if its the 9th inning (which, for some imaginary reason, is more important), the rules change and suddenly we must abandon all strategy in favor of using 'the closer'.

It reminds me of a finishing move in professional wrestling. Its done because its in the script, not because it makes any sense, and it has about as much validity as a strategic baseball decision as Hulk Hogan's legdrop has validity as something you might do in a fight.

I know this one hangs on Papelbon, who sucked royally, but the infield should have been at proper DP depth for that Martin at bat. If they were, game over. Papelbon still stinks, but the Phillies win.

I think it's time to stretch him out for spot starting duty and long relief. Hollands is ready!

You know Papelbon might not be the most like able a bit odd and a bit of douche. However i bet the collective left nut of all the Beerleaguer poster's that the guy hates to lose or cough up a game more than anyone.

Nobody gets to the MLB level who doesn't hate to lose.

Some more than others.

Just to repeat something I posted before the season began: The bullpen was the worst part of this team last season and there really is no reason to believe it's any better this season.

I know this one hangs on Papelbon, who sucked royally, but the infield should have been at proper DP depth for that Martin at bat. If they were, game over. Papelbon still stinks, but the Phillies win.
****************
Dead on.

Good thing I been going to bed early latey and avoiding watching these bullpen failures. I might just institute a 7th inning shut off rule for all phillies games.

I wonder how far away Kenny Giles is from being ready for an MLB shot.


***The bullpen was the worst part of this team last season and there really is no reason to believe it's any better this season.***

On paper, it looks a bit worse actually.

If I've learned anything from clout, its that Papelbon is a good closer and his drop in velocity is irrelevant.

Oh and I forgot, he also taught me Papelbon's contract is OK too.

Hello. My name is Bonehead and I am an alcoholic Papelbon fan.

They weren't at DP depth because Martin can fly (36 SB, 5th in the AL last year) and was likely to beat out a DP grounder, especially since we didn't have a legitimate shortstop on the field (Nix is really a 2B).

Hindsight's 20/20, folks.

Not what I signed on for.

Nix is a legit SS.

NEPP: Nix started in the Colorado system as a 2B. He started playing a bit of 3B and eventually SS when it became evident he didn't have the bat to start and needed to make it as a utility player.

I'm not saying he's terrible there, but having J-Roll out there makes depending on the DP in that spot an easier call.

For what it's worth, Martin was only doubled up 6 times last year. I think Michael Young did that in the first week.

Papelbon is probably my most hated player ever to wear the Phillies uniform.

Bastardo would be a better closer than this braindead hayseed...

Are they still going to play 159 more? Or is this it then?

Papelbon is bad but it's not possible for me to hate anyone more than I hated Adam Eaton. I'd put Papelbon solidly in the top five or six along with Rod Barajas, Brett Myers, Travis Lee, and Steve Jeltz.

"Carlos Ruiz is a nice fit in the two-hole"

That's what she said!

As if on cue, here's Papelbon with the "I'm not sayin'... I'm just sayin'" on the infield positioning:

Obviously I don’t know whether that’s called from the bench or by the middle infielders. But less than two outs, I’m thinking ground ball and I’m thinking let’s get this double play and go home. Obviously I’m not going to second-guess my teammates or my coach. Whatever they decide, I’ve got to run with it and go with it and do my best to do my job. But it’s just one of those weird innings, man.

This team really needs to sign Crash Davis for a master class on cliches. From the book of Crash, here's how that interview should go:

I'm the closer. It's my job to make pitches in tough situations. I didn't make them tonight.

I really thought those .gifs yesterday looked like Papelbon celebrating after a save. Could it be he wore himself out?

"Papelbon is bad but it's not possible for me to hate anyone more than I hated Adam Eaton. I'd put Papelbon solidly in the top five or six along with Rod Barajas, Brett Myers, Travis Lee, and Steve Jeltz."
- WSJ

True. Adam Eaton is so high up my all-time disliked Phillies scrotum pole that it is really hard to think of others. Rod Barajas is definitely there in the top five. I'll have to think further about the others. Papelbon is an ass, but I don't hate him.

If our bullpen did their job we'd be 3-0. It was really sucky to watch the Texas Rangers post game shows the last two nights with them yucking it up about how clutch their hitters are in the 9th inning. I hope they suck bad this year, too!

papelbon still has one more year left on his contract after this season right?

These are 2 games we probably should have won, but lost. It feels bigger since they are game #2 and #3 of the season.

But hopefully over the course of the year, they ending up winning more games that they should lose than losing games they should win. The former will happen at least a few times.

I mean, a game where Cliff Lee gives up 8 runs should probably be a game they lose.

If the Rangers perform against other teams like they did against us, they will Lake Fred.

Also, Crapelbon sucks

The irony is that everyone thinks the bullpen sucks because of the no-name scrubs out there, and that's largely true.

But Mario Hollands did his job last night. Really well. The one part of the bullpen that is supposed to be good, and is being paid $13 million, is the one that screwed up.

I wonder if Amaro realizes what a terrible decision he made signing Papelbon to that contract. Sadly I doubt he even does.

Did Sandberg discuss after the game who made the call on having the infield in?

I felt a disturbance in the force last night...as if thousands of Phillies fans cried out in terror and were silenced...

Think someone (Papelbon?) said it was Bowa.

Papelbon signed through 2015, however, if he starts getting terrible this year, his vesting option won't.

55 games finished in 2015, or 100 over 2014/2015 is getting farther and farther away if he keeps 'finishing' them like last night.

Not that fastball velocity matters or anything but there is this:

2011 (his last season in Boston): 94.8 mph
2014: 91.0 mph

That's the huge issue right there. He's now overthrowing to hit 91-92 mph and he's lost all his control and movement as a result.

Actually, he looked fairly solid in ST and the first game. He was staying slower on the gun, but he was getting good rotation so it rose over bats. He was also showing a fair curveball and a slightly-above-average 2-seamer that dropped.

Sounds like he didn't have any of that last night, though.

Adam Eaton would have said "I don't think I pitched that badly."


The 1st hit was due to a bad pitch; the 2nd hit was a lucky dribbler; the 3rd was due to the positioning...but the subsequent 2 walks are on Paps. He needs to knuckle down there and make his pitches.

If this were just a blown save in the 3rd game, it wouldn't be a big deal. Well, except that that we have high expectations for a highly paid closer. However, since Papelbon has been less effective going back to last year, pitching with diminished velocity, this blown save feeds our concerns about Papelbon's abilities.


If he is injured, I hope it comes out soon, because he's doing us no favors pitching hurt.

***Sounds like he didn't have any of that last night, though.***

He was overthrowing to hit 91-92 last night and it showed. Lots of fat, flat trajectory fastballs over the heart of the plate.

Here is Leonys Martin's spray chart:

http://www.fangraphs.com/spraycharts.aspx?playerid=11846&position=OF&type=battedball

Note the big empty space where he hit that ball last night, and the huge number of shallow green dots (ground balls) where the fielders were actually playing. Papelbon hit the target perfectly, but Martin managed to pull an outside-corner pitch with enough authority to punch it through. Give Martin credit. Sometimes you execute perfectly and a guy gets a hit.

As for blaming someone for the fielders' position, one of three people likely made that decision - Bowa (one of the best defensive shortstops of his day), Sandberg (a Hall of Fame 2B), or Utley (who would be a shoo-in HoF 2B if it weren't for the late start and injuries). I'm willing to give those three guys the benefit of the doubt on knowing how to position middle infielders.

Colonel: Agreed. I was a bit miffed about the defensive positioning at the time but, with a fast LH hitter at the plate, using a partially drawn-in infield was certainly a defensible tactical choice. It just didn't work out. I'm considerably less forgiving of the pitcher who came in with a 2-run lead & proceeded to lose the game.

Give Lidge a ton of credit...even when he was absolutely terrible on the field, he always manned up to reporters, took the blame for his issues and never passed the buck.

Papelbon is pretty much the polar opposite of that.

Good point, NEPP, about Lidge.

Ryno seems very insistent that guys tow the line, be so-called positive influences, and be the "ultimate teammate" (sign in the clubhouse, I think according to one of the beat writers--Ryan Lawrence maybe?) Therefore, I wonder Ryno he will do anything to address this with Pap or even do something disciplinary to "send a message"

Mikey Miss reported last year it was Jimmy, Cliff, and Paps who had the had so-called clubhouse problems at that time. I wonder if Paps is the only one who hasn't quite righted the ship yet, or if he is just the only one dumb enough not to parrot the appropriate lines to the press.

Team should be 3-0, instead it's 1-2. Here we go again. 'Nuff said.

No, a good team should be 3-0. Over the course of a year this group is only marginally better than 1-2.

It's a damn shame that Aumont is a bonehead malcontent, because there's a door opening wider and wider with each Papelbon 90 mpg flat fastball (that may or may not be anywhere near the strike zone).

I'm all for abandoning the whole concept of a closer entirely and there have been some good posts about just that in the last few days. It's unlikely that RAJ of all people goes against the closer groupthink mentality though. So, I'm curious how they handle Paps and if anyone has the balls to effectively demote him (and impact his precious "games completed" metric), who is the next "closer?" Bastardo? Diekman?

If nothing else, last night's "bake the poodle" episode made me feel better about Tuesday's "bed sh8tting." We debated about the concept of not using 'our best BP pitcher' in the tie game. Turns out, our 'best BP pitcher' that we all we alluding to may be in the midst of a colossal regression towards pitching his way out of baseball.

Yeah this off day feels like sh!t.

If they had gone 2-1, it would be much easier to hang on to my optimism. But now, I have this pit of dread and I'm thinking maybe the "haters" are right and this truly will be a trainwreck of a season.

Ugh.

Cyclic, if the BP blows 2 of every 3 leads we hand them - and we certainly won't be handing them a lead every day - then, yes, it will be ugly.

An old Verducci article, but speaks to the point about closers.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130528/closers-struggling-chris-perez-jonathan-papelbon-mariano-rivera/

"There is a myth that only a few brave souls have the stuff and heart to close games. This myth should have died long ago, but especially last year, when the Giants, Reds and Yankees all lost high-profile closers at the start of the season and -- without swinging a trade -- had no problem making the playoffs or, in San Francisco's case, winning the World Series. This year, the Cardinals lost closer Jason Motte and have simply plugged in setup reliever Edward Mujica, who despite never having done the job before has been nearly perfect. The Pirates traded a worn-down Hanrahan and found a gem of their own in Jason Grilli, a first-time closer at age 36 who leads the league with 20 saves. While it may be true that not all relievers can close, many can, and often what makes a good closer is simply having the "hot hand."

"No, a good team should be 3-0. Over the course of a year this group is only marginally better than 1-2."
-Curt

My 63-98 preseason predicted Phillies record fits that 1-2 ratio quite well. The rallying cry used to be, "Get me to the plate, boys!" Now it's going to be "Get used to losing two out of three, boys!"

Just gotta tread water until Mike Adams comes back

It's absolutely amazing how much an entire culture of baseball, game management, and even contract structures have changed, just because of the adoption of some sort of prevalence for the "save" statistic.

In reality, if we didn't measure "saves," the game would be drastically different, and likely in a much better way. The whole notion of a closer is lunacy. I don't need a save metric to know that Mariano Rivera is a damn good pitcher.

"who is the next "closer?" Bastardo? Diekman?"

It's obviously Bastardo. A closer has to be able to get both RH and LH hitters out. Bastardo is the only guy in our bullpen (other than Papelbon) who has demonstrated an ability to do that even reasonably well. Diekman is terrible against RH hitters. The other guys are terrible against everyone (although I'm still a long-term believer in DeFratus).

I just noticed this:

The Cubs have completed 2 full games and 3 innings of another one this season. Their leadoff hitter, Emilio Bonifacio, has 11 hits.

"although I'm still a long-term believer in DeFratus"

As am I, which makes his absence for this first series a bit conspicuous. If Ryne is truly in "let's see what we have" mode, wouldn't you think JD would have seen a batter or two by now? I know he's used the hell out of the lefties already (to the point that Diek/Bastardo were "unavailable" last night). Just a bit odd, is all.

Though, I think that's going to be a running theme, if we can draw anything at all from this first series. A bad bullpen, coupled with questionable bullpen use decisions, is going to make sure that the tail end of many games this season take years off my life.

I posted this before in another thread. Gelb seemed to indicate that until Hamels gets back, Buchanan has the inside track on the rotation spot. But what about Pettibone?

WP: I'm truly flummoxed as to how Sandberg could trust Rosenberg more than JDF. JDF is 2 years younger, was universally regarded as the better prospect, has more major league experience, has better numbers, and (for whatever it's worth) had the more impressive spring training. And Sandberg should be amply familiar with both, having managed them at LV before taking over as 3rd base coach last year. Other than B.J. Rosenberg's mother, Sandberg must be the only guy in the world who thinks he's better than DeFratus.

Cyclic: Pettibone has been injured & has hardly pitched.

BAP, and to further confuse an entire fan base, one could argue that Brad Lincoln is better than both Rosenberg and JDF.

I suspect the Phillies are still trying to figure out what "job duties" they assign to Charlie Manuel in his advisorship ship role. Perhaps one of them could be teaching Sandberg how to use that sh8tshow of a bullpen. /sarcasm

I think that Hollands should be the new closer starting on Friday. Did you see how he was pitching in the 8th inning? I think that Ryne was trying him in important situations the last two nights to see if he was up to be a closer.

"and to further confuse an entire fan base, one could argue that Brad Lincoln is better than both Rosenberg and JDF."

One could indeed. Lincoln pretty much sucks, though. When Sandberg does finally get around to using him, I suspect that the fans who think he was a great acquisition are going to be sorely disappointed. But he's certainly better than Rosenberg.

"I think that Hollands should be the new closer starting on Friday."

Now you are just baiting clout.

Thanks very much, I'll be here all week.

Seth Rosin the game now for the Rangers. Will be interesting to see what the Rangers do. If they keep him, clearly he'll end up winning one of the games next week.

Posted by: pblunts | Saturday, March 29, 2014 at 04:57 PM

BAP: I am sure we will be disappointed by Lincoln.

It's just odd that twice the manager would go with BJ Rosenberg over Lincoln. I mean, the reason Lincoln was brought here was that, although he was definitively mediocre, mediocrity was at least a step up from the BJ Rosenbergs of the world.

Salisbury on Pap:

He no longer scares big-league hitters.

The Phillies have been open to trading him since last summer. His salary and performance scared off interested teams. Baseball sources say the Phillies were even willing to eat as much as half of Papelbon’s salary this winter and still, there were no takers.


* * *

More from Salisbury:

• Howard’s struggles against left-handed pitching -- particularly the sweeping breaking balls off the plate that he can’t lay off of -- aren’t the only flaw in his game. He has virtually abandoned the stretch at first. He catches most balls close to his body, costing his infielders valuable inches on close plays. This is something that needs to be addressed.

• Ben Revere’s throwing arm is still below average and opposing teams would always be wise to run on him. Nonetheless, thanks to work he’s done with outfield instructor Juan Samuel and pitching coach Bob McClure, Revere is throwing the ball better this season. According to Sandberg, Revere was throwing the ball like a football and that was limiting his carry. Now he’s throwing more of a cross-seamer and he’s taken away some unnecessary arm movement behind his back.

* Byrd is a hard worker and a real student of hitting. He’s constantly talking hitting with teammates. He’s shared hitting insights with Darin Ruf, even going as far as taking video of Ruf’s swing. In spring training, he shared tips with minor-leaguer Troy Hanzawa around the batting cage. During spring training, he was seen talking hitting mechanics with Howard. (...) So far, Byrd is bringing it, on and off the field.

Here's the link to the article: http://www.csnphilly.com/baseball-philadelphia-phillies/phillie-phodder-takeaways-texas-sized-disaster?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

BAP: Great post. The two big unanswered questions of the season so far: 1. Why would you trust Rosenberg more than DeFratus? 2. Why would you bring the INF in with 1 out and 2-run lead in the 9th inning?

Option 1-Papelbon continues at CL, struggles and causes the demise of this team
Option 1A-Papelbon is so bad that he can be DFA'ed and clear waivers saving the Phillies his entire contract?

Option 2-Papelbon continues at CL, gains some trade value and Phillies can get away paying only 75% of his contract

Option 3-Papelbon is out as closer and were stuck paying 13mil for a 6-8th inning guy, who also happens to be rather angry about it.

Byrd is "hitting buddies" with Darin Ruf? RAJ's Ruf-hatred isn't going to allow for this. It was nice knowing you Marlon.

Just woke up from my afternoon nap. Is Mario the new closer or was that in my dreams?

CS, to expand on your Option 3, if/when Paps is "demoted," thereby jeopardizing his vesting option for 2016, we should expect a nuclear fallout along the levels of "Terrell Owens, malcontent." To say that he is unlikely to take it well, is to say that Ryan Howard prefers to not have to face a tough lefty.

And I don't see Option 2 as viable. There are some dumb GM's out there, but Paps's general performance is one thing. A complete laundry list of "red flags" is something entirely different. He's ours. Lucky us.

My hatred for Papelbon is well established.

But at the end of the day, I find it hard to believe this team's "demise" will be because of him. He will likely settle in to have a decent enough year for a reliever (though bad for him, and for his salary), far from the worst in our bullpen.

And the Phillies will finish out of contention for a whole host of reasons beyond Papelbon.

I believe Sandberg is using the more fringe relievers early on in the season in order to see what he's got, so when it comes time to thin the herd, he knows who to cut loose.

If Papelbon slammed the door last night, we would be singing an optimistic tune about Kendrick, Howard, Hollands, and the possibility of a better than expected 2014 season. Jack is right that Papelbon will probably settle in and have a decent year (with a few inevitable PapelBOMB outings), and the overall success of the team will hinge on the rest of the bullpen.

Jack, perhaps "team's demise" is a bit hyperbolic, yes, but Paps hasn't exactly demonstrated patience with a mediocre team (for examples, see last season's spout off about "not signing up for this" and despite directly stating that he wasn't second-guessing his IF or coaches, that quote last night about IF alignment was doing exactly that). Basically, if the Phillies are going to be mediocre, I'm not sure that's something Paps is well-suited to deal with.

Couple that with a potential scenario where the "no nonsense/play-the-game-the-right-way" manager makes an inevitable statement sooner or later if/when Paps craps the bed again (verbally, or by supplanting Paps, even if temporarily, and potentially jeopardizing that vesting option) and I just feel like there's a time bomb ticking here. We're always so quick to have 20/20 hindsight to say "we should have seen that coming." I guess what I'm saying is that I can potentially see this coming. I just don't think that there's much that can be done about it, though.

To be fair, it will be up to Paps alone to dictate how he handles any of his own, or the team's, adversity. Or better, maybe he'll help to avoid a bunch of adversity in the first place by finding another 3 mph and that inherent "nastiness" on his fastball/splitter. Though, judging by whomever edited the "Pitching Style" section of his Wikipedia page, I don't think I'm on the only one who sees that as a long shot.

Maybe he'll shut up and pitch. Here's hoping.

I was excited to see Hollands rebound and throw a 1-2-3 inning last night. I'm looking forward to seeing whether he can do that with any consistency.

"and the overall success of the team will hinge on the rest of the bullpen."

Um, no. The overall success of the team will hinge on an offense that finished tied with Houston for 4th-worst in baseball last year, a pitching staff currently featuring...well, I'm not sure who exactly are the 4th and 5th starters right now (though obviously we'll only be short a 5th starter once Hamels is back), team defense that already has appeared shaky, and, of course, the bullpen.

There is this myth out there that the bullpen is the key to the team--that if they just had a better bullpen the last couple of years, they'd have won 30 more games. It's simply not true--the entire team has been bad, with the exception really of the starting pitching. The offense, the defense, and the bullpen--they've all stunk.

Option 4 - Papelbon blows 6 or 7 saves, coverts 32 other chances, finishes with a WHIP of 1.1 and an ERA around 3.00 and two or three more BL posters just the 5 others who understand a season lasts 162 games.

Jack - We had this long-running argument last year, and I'm not interested in repeating it. In short, I disagree that a shutdown bullpen would not have improved the team's record by 15-20 wins, and I'm sure there are stats to prove it.

Jake: Ok, sure. And if the offense scored 900 runs, they would've won 15-20 games more as well.

Where is the condemnation of Brian's antwhite "hayseed" comment?

Okay, off day after a let down (game and series that we should have won), but I'm gonna shake it off. Here's my first series take, rejuvenated BL-style:

What I liked:
- The team as a whole showed an energy and enthusiasm that I was not anticipating. It was nice to see this team of "old dudes" playing with a chip on their shoulder.
- Game 1 when they got up they didn't take the foot off the gas. Refreshing and shades of the championship teams.
- Marlon Effing Byrd. I was admittedly somewhat bearish on bringing in another "old guy" in a stop gap role (especially when we don't know who the subsequent solution is...), but he's here to play and adds a legit RH bat and RF defense that we haven't seen in quite some time. I'm extremely optimistic about his contribution potential.
- Sandberg "trying new things." Yeah, we can poke a ton of holes, but we've been clamoring for something, anything, different and I think we have it. Lineup shifts, new guys in new spots, etc. Hopefully he figures things out and it feels a bit less like throwing sh8t at the wall to see what sticks, but at least we appear to have what we wished for (despite his "he's my 8th inning guy" comment).
- Howard played three games and it hasn't yet resulted in a full body cast. Yep, he still pretty much stinks against LH pitching, but for a guy who is yet to have a meaningful number of AB's as of yet, I'm cautiously optimistic.

[in the spirit of optimism, omitting that "What I disliked" portion]

What's next:
- The bullpen has no where to go but up, and I feel confident that the new field level regime will prioritize fixing it as best they can (I just wish the FO would do the same).
- Dom Brown will either pull it together, or find himself on the wrong side of the rebuilding plan for the next few years.
- Cliff Lee got his stinker out of the way and will likely throw some CY-caliber outings very, very soon.
- We have a series against an absolute tire-fire of a franchise coming up to build on.
- [sorry, have to include this] TREAD WATER UNTIL HAMELS AND ADAMS COME TO THE RESCUE!

"It's simply not true--the entire team has been bad, with the exception really of the starting pitching. The offense, the defense, and the bullpen--they've all stunk."

True, but with Byrd replacing Delmon, and Asche replacing Young, there was at least a pretense of trying to improve the offense & defense. The bullpen was the single most glaringly wretched area of the team last year & RAJ's entire plan to improve it consisted of bringing in a single additional reliever who is just like all the others that we already had (young, live arm, no history of success at the MLB level.)

Personally, I'm not particularly bothered by this approach. The last thing this team needed were more expensive multi-year contracts to "veteran relievers" at the end of their careers. I'd sooner just let the young guys stink it up, in the hopes that 1 or 2 decent ones actually emerge out of the wreckage. But RAJ is going around telling people that the team aspires to contend this year. If he truly believed that, and was trying to sell that to the fans, it's beyond comprehension that he wouldn't have signed some reliable bullpen arms. There were certainly guys he could have signed on one-year deals.

Getting rid of Papelbon:

Talk about 'cutting off your nose in spite of your face.'

What uberstud would the Phils bring up from Lehigh to replace him? Journeyman like Camp? Aumont? Horst? Garcia?

Papelbon blew a save, it was ugly, and he stuff was crummy last night. Phils are stuck with though one way or another and they don't have a viable option to either take over the closer role or would be an upgrade.

Option 5: Papelbon pitches all of 2014 like he did from June 1st last year and has a very poor year overall:

June 1st on: 41 IP, 18 Saves, 7 Blown Saves, 3.73 ERA, .280 AVG/.313 OBP/.700 OPS with a 1.341 WHIP.

That's when his velocity began to dip and that's when he's started to suck as a closer.

But yeah, I'm sure he'll be just fine all year this year given that his velocity has dropped further and he has zero movement on his fastball now.

15-20 games? No way. And if you have some stat to prove it, let's see that stat. Saying, "I'm sure there is some stat to prove it" is a meaningless statement.

Just like with the sacrifice bunt, you can't assume that the alternative would have worked to perfection. Even good relievers blow games sometimes. If the Phillies had a 60th percentile bullpen last year, they might have won 7 or 8 more games.

clout/MG, I get that Paps is better than internal alternatives and that a season is 162 games. I guess my question would be, are you not even a bit concerned about the drop in velocity, uptick in blown saves, and general communal non-interest from other teams? Are these things to be ignored since "it's only one game he blew" and "we don't have any other alternatives?"

BAP: In fact, the bullpen gave up the winning margin more than 20 times last year.

Nieves and signing a veteran reliever

Amaro didn't do anything to really address the bullpen this year and instead resigned Frandsen ($900k) and wasted at least $1.25M on Nieves.

That isn't a ton of money but it would have given the Phils $2M but it would have given the Phils money to go after a veteran FA reliever on a 1-yr deal. Yeah the Phils guessed wrong about Durbin and Qualls but those were 'no harm, no foul' deals and the last few years have quieted the champions of the ridiculous and bogus 'average replacement reliever' (notion of where a guy with good numbers at AA/AAA can be an effective MLB reliever).

BAP: Although you are correct, it doesn't mean all of those games would ultimately have been Phillies wins. But they were losses because the bullpen gave up the runs that made them losses.

Williard Preacher - Yeah but look at the bums and no-talent/marginal talent prospects the Phils have right now in the bullpen at AA/AAA.

There is a single guy (Giles) who might be an above average reliever at the MLB level. That's it.

It is going to likely unfortunately be another season where the Phils cycle through bullpen pieces due to ineffectivness/injury with the problems compounded by a less effective Papelbon.

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EST. 2005

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