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Tuesday, June 17, 2014


For clout:

Phillies' NL rankings:

ERA+: 12th
OPS+: 13th

It's almost like both the pitching & offense suck.

Really, a team with a 30-38 record is below average statistically? Who woulda thunk?

To be fair it should be:

ERA+: 12th (tied w/PIT)
OPS+: 11th (tied w/CIN & NYM)

If you sort ERA per month, the Phillies have been trending upward.

May: 9th
June: 6th

OPS rank by month:

April: 11th
May: 11th
June: 13th

This is the crappiest Braves team in a quite a while.

Bullpen isn't as deep and aren't any dominant middle relief/setup guys in front of Kimbrel.

Rotation is nothing to write home about and its biggest strength is arguably that it doesn't have a stiff in the 4th/5th spots right.

Even the offense doesn't have a hitter you fear with their best hitter being Freeman. Bunch of mediocre guys in this lineup though too though without a ton of speed.

Just are a very good defensive team thanks in large part to Heyward & Simmons and no real defensive liabilities who play everyday.

Still think they scuffle the rest of the year, Nats get a little healthier, and win the NL East with 86-88 wins.

Rotation is nothing to write home

Can't imagine why...its not like they've had any injuries there or something.

Dickie: I think there's a reason B-Ref ranks one 94 OPS+ team over another. To get OPS+, they figure out the league average OPS in the player/team's home ballpark. Then they divide that number into the player/team's OPS & multiply by 100. In other words, like batting average, the actual number is a decimal. If you go out enough decimal places, the Reds and Mets are probably ranked higher than the Phillies because their OPS+ is slightly higher.

Understand too why the Phils are still talking about the division too. NL East is mediocre up and down this year and that includes the Phils too if they end up with a win total between 70-75 wins. No really good teams and no terrible teams either.

Curious to look back and see what the lowest win total was by a division winner since the current alignment too.

bap is correct in his assumption above.


STL won their division (and the world series) in 2006 with just 83 wins.

I believe that is the lowest since realignment and likely the lowest ever since divisional play began.

.OPS ???...what does Omaha Public Schools have to do with the Phillies...on a different note..I would of waited to Teheran had a few monster years and then tried to lock him for $150 million for 5 years...Them Braves sure are cheap...


The Moronocracy Code is like the MLB Code: we've always got to have our teammate's back.

1972 Mets went 82-79 and won the NL East. Then they beat the 99-win Reds in the NLCS and very nearly beat the A's in the World Series.

Shame Adams went down too because the bullpen has really righted itself too with Bastardo and De Fratus really pitching well the past 3 weeks.

Really isn't a stiff (Garcia, Manship) in the pen for the first time all year of late too. Even Martin who has huge control & command issues at least has strikeout stuff out of the pen.

Been the biggest problem with this team the last few years is the end of the roster is as threadbare as any team in MLB baseball including this year too.

1972 Mets went 82-79 and won the NL East.

Good find...I stand corrected.

Iron Chooch:

Started 55 of the 68 games the Phils have played and is on a pace to start 132 games this year (easy a record a for a C his age).

Nieves is back to being the crappy journeyman catcher he is .229/.245/.354 in 51 PAs and it is pretty obvious Sandberg thinks he sucks too because twice this year already Chooch has played in a day game after a night game.

Chooch isn't going to last though if this keeps up though and I just wonder at what point he inevitably blows a gasket and ends up on the DL.

I am an a-hole who posts under multiple names insulting others and yet I never bring anything to the discussion including my own points/observations/insights.


I am everybody. I am nobody. I am everywhere. I am nowhere.

But that's neither here nor there.

@BAP: Actually, it is sorted alphabetically (CIN, NYM, PHI) because that's what the previous sorting was (default when page loads) before you clicked on the OPS+ column header. Try sorting by 3B, then by OPS+, and it will come up PHI, NYM, CIN.

Good month by month stats Gbrett. Who could've expected a Lee-less pitching staff to improve like that? Anyone have just the bullpen rankings (by month)?

Railing about the bullpen and Chooch on pace to catch too many games.

MG's greatest hits album is out today everyone.

Found it, Jake. I was curious, too.

Phillies Relievers:

April: 4.84 ERA - last in NL
May: 3.35 ERA - 8th
June: 2.93 ERA - 6th

Starting Pitchers:

April: 4.06 ERA - 12th in NL
May: 3.96 ERA - 10th
June: 4.03 ERA - 7th

Furthermore, in Dave Murphy's appropriately headlined "Who are you and what have you done with the Phillies bullpen?" piece today, he reports:

"Since...May 24, the bullpen has a 2.31 ERA wtih 78 strikeouts and 29 walks in 66 innings."

(He points out it remains to be seen whether this is just a hot streak v. lasting improvement. As well as pointing out that when 3 of 5 starts are by Buchanan, Hernandez, and Kendrick, it isn't surprising that the longest winning streak is 3 games.)


BAP: I agree. Kudos on the first-time mention of the pitching sucking.

GBrett, here's more:

MLB relievers the last 30 days:


7th in ERA - 2.89
12th in FIP - 2.37
14 in xFIP - 3.80,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=15,a

MLB relievers the last 14 days:


1st in ERA - 1.39
1st in FIP - 2.13
1st in xFIP - 2.69

" As well as pointing out that when 3 of 5 starts are by Buchanan, Hernandez, and Kendrick, it isn't surprising that the longest winning streak is 3 games."

GBrett, in fairness to Hernandez, since May 23rd he has had 5 starts.

He was bad in two of those starts (what you'd expect from a 5th starter, no?), but only gave up 2 runs in each start in the other 3 starts.

The Phillies lost 2 of those starts because they score 1 run - IN BOTH GAMES COMBINED.

Hard to fault a 5th starter for that.

awh: Not a shock. DeFratus, Bastardo, Hollands and Papelbon have been very good lately.

"He was bad in two of those starts (what you'd expect from a 5th starter, no?), but only gave up 2 runs in each start in the other 3 starts."

Problem is, we have 3 starting pitchers for whom we keep making the caveat, "It's what you'd expect from a 5th starter."

Reality is trolling again. And you can tell because I never post on game threads during the game. I wonder how much of this blog is just that dope posting and answering himself.

He must have gotten tired of having to manipulate his phallus through a microscope. Not enough magnification, maybe?

That's true, awh.

I think consistency is something we're seeking from all of our SPs not named Hamels. Sometimes we get pretty good starts from them. I would also like it if we didn't give up a run in the first inning as much.

I made a pen is joke.

Got better things to do then to post under your handle aksmith.

While all of the bullpen guys noted are seeing an upswing of late, I'm actually most optimistic about our fireballers Diekman and Giles. Developing both would be a huge boon to the perpetual Achilles heel that is this team's 'pen.

May/June ERA

Papelbon 0.90/1.50
DeFratus 0.00/0.00
Bastardo 3.68/0.00
Hollands 3.00/0.00

DeFratus has not allowed a run in his last 11 appearances. The scouts are starting to look good on their assessment of him.

If I only had a pen is.

Actually, troll, you clearly don't have better things to do. And it's not only me. You're clearly posting under a number of other people's names.

WP: Posters here have a tendency to lump all relievers together as if Diekman, Hollands, Rosenberg, Stutes, Martin are of the same potential quality as DeFratus, Giles, Bastardo.

They aren't.

clout, yep. So, while I'm enjoying a hot streak by the likes of Mario Hollands, my enjoyment in watching our 'pen of late comes in the fact there is some significant upside potential actually being developed out there, for once in a very long time...

It will be interesting to see if Sandberg is able to continue to manage the 'pen to keep these "high upside" guys heading in the right direction.

Though I may be higher on Diekman than you are, in that I'd put him in the same camp as Giles and DeFratus. He's got great stuff and can be developed into one hell of an effective LOOGY, kind of like the ones that we are envious of when Howard/Utley come up in late game situations.

Depressing vote of confidence for Amaro by Montgomery a few minutes ago. He gives Amaro credit for the 2008 championship when all he did was negotiate contracts at that time.

Was that Clout just putting Bastardo in a "positive" column for the first time ever?

Jack: As much as I don't like RAJ, I think Mongtomery is more likely the real problem with this franchise.

Diekman already is one hell of an effective LOOGY. He has held LH hitters to a .190 average, .265 OBP, and .222 slugging percentage for his career. This year, he has held LH hitters to a .234 average, .234 OBP, and .298 slugging percentage. Those numbers are right. He hasn't walked a single LH hitter all year -- which is amazing, considering how wild he is against RH hitters.

It's against RH hitters that he struggles mightily -- to wit, a .359 OBP (.800 OPS) for 2014, and .372 OBP (.780 OPS) for his career. Unfortunately, since he's already 27, I don't see that ever changing. He's just too wild, and not sufficiently deceptive, to get RH hitters out. When the Phillies wake up & realize that he's a damn fine LOOGY, and only a damn fine LOOGY, the team will be much better for it.

A couple of doozies that had me doing a double take:

The Good Phight @TheGoodPhight

The Phillies have had the best bullpen in baseball the last two weeks:,ts&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&sort=16,a

The Good Phight @TheGoodPhight

John Mayberry has 81 PAs, and has the highest fWAR of any Phillies OF.

BAP, candidly, so long as DeFratus, Martin, and the other young guys develop to their expectations, that's really all they need Diekman to be.

Most MLB 'pens have a stud LOOGY, and Diek fits that bill. It's when they see that success and assume it translates into a bigger role that he's exposed (think Bastardo...).

BB - I guess Amaro stays this year and the only way he gets canned is when his contract runs out next year & the Phils take another notch down in attendance especially season ticket sales.

If one didn't know a thing about baseball and looked at Atlanta's team logo for the first time, you might think the team was called the Hatchets. Or Tomahawks.

Grady Sizemore DFA'd by Boston. I guess it's pretty much over at this point.

Jack, it's official:

Montgomery smokes crack!

WP: Yeah, the Phillies could certainly use a good LOOGY. It's just that Sandberg seems determined to make Diekman an 8th inning guy, and 8th inning guys have to face all comers, regardless of handedness. Sandberg doesn't seem to be able to wrap his mind around the fact that, just because a guy can throw 99 MPH does not mean he's cut out for late-inning duty.

I always thought Grady Sizemore was a great name because it sounds like an old-time ballplayer from a century ago.

* * * *

Tonight's lineup. Utley's resting.

C. Hernandez

BedBeard: I've always acknowledged Bastardo's upside potential. Scouts rated him quite highly. It was his horrible command that made me a skeptic. But, as you know, command counts for nothing among you and your friends, so we differed. But if he masters it he'll be very good indeed..

aksmith: You can believe whatever you want to rationalize your shallow minded idiocy. Obviously I can't stop that. But I have other things to do than worry about stealing your screen name. There is nothing legitimate with it so why bother taking it?

Diekman will never be more than a LOOGY. That's his upside. DeFratus can be a closer.

not surprised revere is off too, after hurting his left knee on the wall.

Utley has actually been pretty terrible this month. A day off probably isn't the worst idea in the world, although watching Cesar Hernandez play makes me want to go swallow a bottle of Drano.

Please BAP can you and aksmith share that Drano.

Better yet BAP- just spike aksmith's drink.

Nice try Reality. Stop stealing my name!

Nice try Reality. Stop stealing my name!

This site has become ridiculous.


Todd Zolecki ‏@ToddZolecki 23m
Cliff Lee is throwing his first bullpen session since landing on the DL.

Jim Salisbury ‏@JSalisburyCSN 21m
First round pick Aaron Nola pitched in intrasquad game at minor league complex today in Fla. Could debut in a couple of weeks.

"1972 Mets went 82-79 and won the NL East."

Why can't us?!

More on Lee:

Jim Salisbury ‏@JSalisburyCSN 3m
Cliff Lee threw 20 fastballs off bullpen mound, close to max effort, felt good, believes he could be back before all star break

""1972 Mets went 82-79 and won the NL East."

Why can't us?!"

Probably because us won't go 82-79.

I actually think the Phils have come up with a pretty solid bullpen (don't laugh).

I like what I've seen from DeFratus. He finally looks comfortable and his slider looks really good.

Diekman is getting better. Hollands looks deceptive and has a good mound presence. And Giles has a real chance to develop into a closer.

Well, I posted numbers by the Phillies relievers the last 30 and 14 days.

Here are the starters numbers:

Last 30 days:

19th in ERA - 4.20
21st in FIP - 4.20
24th in xFIP - 4.15

Last 14 days:

16th in ERA - 4.09
23rd in FIP - 4.44
14th in xFIP - 3.77

Three of the Phillies' five starters are named Kendrick, Hernandez, and Buchanan.

Another is A.J. Hernett.

Surprised it isn't worse.

3 Phillies make Fortune's Fortunate 50 (the highest earning American athletes)

#18: Ryan Howard
#23: Cliff Lee
#37: Cole Hamels

Oh man....AJ Hernett! That is gold bittel! Gold!

Some people want the bullpen to NOT be horrible so badly that they will take a month's worth of statistics as proof- against over a season's worth of awfulness- that they have 'come up with a pretty solid bullpen.'

DeFratus + Martin >>>>> Manship & Garcia (that's a low bar), but I'm going to go ahead and wait a little longer before I consider the bullpen to be anything but atrocious.

Phillies the last 30 days: W/L: 12 - 16
Phillies the last 14 days: W/L: 6 - 7

The Phillies offense:

Last 30 days:

109 R, 27 G, 4.04 RPG

Last 14 days:

49 R, 13 G, 3.77 RPG

Phillies pitchers/defense have given up 119 runs in the last 30 days, 20th in MLB, and 44 runs in the last 14 days, 9th in MLB.

In the last 14 days (13 games) they have actually outscored their opponents by 5 runs, yet the bounce of the ball has them with a losing record.

This is exactly what executives do when they bag someone shortly after it.

More telling things are Montgomery's refusal to answer any questions related to his health, '80% of his time is spent on business operations' which means he spends 20% of his time on other things including meddling in baseball operations, and his emphasis on the 2016 club.

Montgomery basically told fans today he won't fire Amaro after this season (he just won't renew his contract next year if they have another losing season) and that he plans on having a meaningful role in baseball operations health-permitting.

2015 is going to be a 'rebuilding' year too and a lean year too.

Makes sense. Hope that by 2016 that some of the high-ceiling prospects in the system start to arrive including Franco at 3b (or 1st since that will certainly be Howard's last year here), JP Crawford at SS, and possibly other (Joseph at C, Quinn in CF, Nola and Biddle in the rotation, etc).

Vital the Phils get a prospect or two that will help them though when they sell off at the deadline this year or in August deals. Ditto on drafting well again the next 2 years.

MG, here's the key quote, and why I have said that Montgomery is as much of a problem as Amaro:

"Ed and I were probably as close as a club president and general manager can be, as far as lockstep in thinking."

It's in interviews like that and little comments like that that one can see that the organizational philosophy comes from the top, and is unlikely to change even if Amaro is gone.

From csnphilly:

Hamels has made three straight starts of 7-plus innings, 0 runs, and no more than five hits allowed. No pitcher in the last 12 seasons has had a longer streak.

Jake, Cole has been on a roll.

He's pitching like an ace, CY contender - at least tight now.

"right now".

The lack of wins and lack of run support has Cole on the verge of mental collapse.

awh - pretty damning quote and just frustrating that a marketing major with no baseball operations, statistical, or even real executive experience is at the locus of all important baseball-related decisions.

I believe that we will win.

Some people want the bullpen to NOT be horrible so badly that they will take a month's worth of statistics as proof- against over a season's worth of awfulness- that they have 'come up with a pretty solid bullpen.'
That "seasons worth" is about 7 weeks this season, and included 35+ innings from pitchers never to be seen again (Manship, Garcia, Camp, Aumont) and pure back-enders (Lincoln, Rosenberg).

Feels like a loss.

If Montgomery is looking to the future well the future starts with Amaros canning, then his replacement.

Exactly, bittel.

I wasn't sure if Iceman was including the performances of last year's BP or not. I completely understand having reservations about the BP and annointing it solid for the rest of the season. All those blown saves of the past few years do burn, and as David Murphy wrote, this could simply be a hot streak.

I've only started to feel cautiously optimistic about our BP in the past few weeks. I wanted to check today to see whether month-by-month numbers had improved since Cole has been strong and the BP has been doing its job. I still worry that Adams' absence will affect the 'pen, whether Bastardo will start walking everyone again, and whether any one of them will implode on any given day.....but things have been trending up, at least!

Bittel, I'm not sure I understand. Are you stating that the bullpen still stinks?

bittel- the bullpen was atrocious all of last year. Martin, DeFratus, Diekman and Bastardo all had starring roles on that group of losers. Hollands has pitched in the MLB for two months.

Even you can't be this dense. They've been great the past month. That does not wipe away ~200 games of awful.

Howard sucks

Nice start Big Man!

Funny to see that girl embarrassed by the guy (guessing her boyfriend) sitting next to her and having brought a glove to the game.

Any person over the age of 12-13 shouldn't be bringing a glove to a game either.

Well, that was unexpected.

I'm talking about Dom Brown actually making solid contact, mind you, not Howard's homer.

Brignac's approach to the plate:

- 'Just swing hard, just swing hard'

Glad Upton wasn't ejected there. We need his sorry ass in the lineup.

I did just see KK strikeout Jason Heyward on three pitches, didn't I? That wasn't a hallucination or something that's the product of my fevered mind, right?

And get B.J. Upton looking, too? Something is very, very wrong with the universe right now...

...oh, there's Freddie Freeman clubbing a meatball. All is right again.

If I'm sitting in an area will a high probability of a screaming line drive, I might bring a glove.

Why is JMJ starting tonight in CF?

- Santana has huge split differences this weaker (much worse vs LHB) this year and in generally is weaker vs LHB

- Neither Revere nor JMJ have faced Santana in their careers

- Byrd has terrible career numbers vs Santana in 30 PAs

If anything Revere should have started in CF and Mayberry should have started in RF and give Byrd a well-needed night off.

MG, it sounds like Revere is getting tonight off because his knee is swollen from hitting the wall last night. That's what TMac said, FWIW.

KK's favorite park to pitch in and an ump who has a rep for calling a generous strike zone.

Everything's coming up Kendrick!

Nice to see Hernandez hitting more like I thought he would

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