Sunday, June 24, 2007

Trimming The Fat

Not since fat-ass Scientologist Kirstie Alley started the Jenny Craig program have we seen a race to 200 quite like this. A few months after Alley surpassed the Mendoza line by dropping 75 pounds and sported a bikini (ugh) on Oprah, Pat Burrell has plummeted his average to an area even Abe Nunez has yet to explore.

After this weekend, Burrell is now down to .205, 75 points lower than it was at the beginning of May. I wrote last week about the end of the Pat Burrell Era, but even so I was still supporting him. I looked at Burrell's Mendoza-hovering average with the rosiest colored glasses of all time, seeing potential instead of reality. I feel like a family member of an addict on the show Intervention, waiting for that bald guy to get hired as a hitting coach, admit Burrell to some sort of hitting detox center, and turn his season around. But I realized on Saturday, after watching Burrell desperately and unsuccessfully try to turn a low and away slider into a homerun to leftfield, that it isn't going to happen. I have to give up on Pat the Bat. The days of me being a Burrell supporter are over. End of era #2 for this week...

It's not helping Pat's cause that Michael Bourn got three hits in the game yesterday, an accomplishment Burrell has reached only twice in 61 starts this year. Bourn has speed, defense and a .304 average; Burrell has a huge contract and the look of an underachiever. I say Bourn has to play everyday in left until, like Burrell has done this year, he proves he can't.

And memo to Kirstie Alley: you're still a fat-ass. The only people who benefited from your cow-in-a-scarf routine were bulimics with broken fingers. I think Oprah was even disgusted, but the gravitational pull from your ass wouldn't let her get away. Jeebus, put some clothes on.



Whelkman said...

I'll repeat myself a bit from Beerleaguer.

Amazing as it sounds, Burrell's stats, both career and season, represent him as an above average hitter, though cold summary statistics obviously don't account for Burrell's streakiness.

While it's easily possible Bourn could match or exceed Burrell's production by year's end, Bourn's slugging thus far is atrocious. Today's triple may be an indicator of greatness to come, but Burrell's walks easily trump Bourn's sub .300 career slugging...for now.

Whelkman said...


I'd tap it.

Pacman said...

Burrell an above average hitter? I don't think so.

His career average is .255 and he has 196 homers. He averages one homer per 19 or so at bats. Not terrible, but definatley not great.

His only two good seasons were 2002 and 2005, in every other season, he hurt the team more than he helped. I think it's time to give Bourn a chance to be a full-time player. 13 million dollars is a lot to spend on a player sitting on the bench, but atleast they would finally be getting some production out of left field on a regular basis.

Whelkman said...

Burrell's career OPS is above average. It may not be the "same" OPS as your run-of-the-mill above average hitter, but, at the end of the day, Burrell's (slightly) better over his career than a standard replacement player. In fact, OPS wise, Burrell's a mere .016 off standard in 2007, believe it or not. Of course, the gap will only increase if his hitless trend continues. He's ruined, for sure, but, at the same time, he's not quite as awful as some make him to be. Werth is no better, and, while Bourn may shape up by the end of the season, he's not better than Burrell now with his .286 career slugging.

Burrell's no longer an every day player, he's not worth the money (not even close), and I'm certainly not a fan--but to permanently bench a player who's still better than two of the team's reserve outfielders is ludicrous.

Corey said...

forget career stats, the guy is hitting .205. and it's likely he will be under .200 if he gets a few more starts. and he's slugging .376, 30 points less than rod barajas. can we really run a guy out to leftfield consistently batting .200 and justify it with some meaningless walks?

and, whelkman, how is a .205 average and .376 slugging percentage, make burrell an above average hitter? that is a bit of a stretch. he has the worst average of any "everyday" player in basball. that alone disqualifies him as above average.

i'm not saying permanently bench him, realistically there aren't better options on this team, but i am saying give somebody else, anybody else, a decent look, because something has to be changed in the short term.

PS - i just threw up at the thought of that getting tapped.

das411 said...

Wow, those six scoreless innings from our constantly bitched at bullpen went uncommented upon here too...hmm...

Corey said...

you're right, those 6 innings sure make up for an entire season of shit. i take back all the negative things i've said about the bullpen, i mean, how could i ever talk badly about a unit that pitches that well for 6 whole innings? wow, 6 innings!! can you believe it? 6!!! yeah!!!

c'mon. despite a good series against st. louis, the bullpen still has given up 11 earned runs in the last 20.1 innings. the lowest era of any regular bullpen arm is 3.86. the only team i can think of with a worse bullpen is houston, and they are 12 games under .500. face it, the 'pen is garbage, and if you think otherwise, you're just plain wrong.

BloodStripes said...

It's a bit early to be talking career numbers about a guy who has only had 54 AB's. A 3 for 5 effort today with 2 RBI's is excellent and deserving of another start next game. Let's see what Bourn can do with some more game time. Burrell has had a thousand chances. Time to give our young speedster a look.

With the speed of Bourn slugging % or OPS is harder to measure. Get him on base and he can steal a bag with ease. A single or walk can many times be as good as a double. He is quick enough to score from first with a single to the right spot. Give the man some more time to play and see what comes of it, because Burrell sucks right now.

GM-Carson said...

Whelkman- I'm with ya, Kirstie Alley is alright in my book brotha!

About Burrell- Corey and I have both supporter him for a long time, but my support now ends too. He still gets on base via the walk, but his OPS is sinking quickly because he has forgotten how to hit. The only reason he has an acceptable OPS this season is the torrid start he got off to in April, since then he has fallen apart. I'm an advocate of giving Bourn more playing time because his defense is solid, his speed is ridiculous, and although the power isn't there, his hitting is superior to Burrell's right now.

Nice win yesterday with the crappy rain delay and the bullpen did a fine job. Don't be fooled though, our bullpen sucks!!!

BloodStripes said...

Saying Bourn's slugging % or OPS is harder to measure doesn't sound right. What I'm saying is. It doesn't mean as much compared to Burrell. His OPS could be 50+ points lower but he would make up for it with his speed and bag thefts.

GM-Carson said...

Here is a time when OPS can be very misleading. Burrell draws walks, but he's slower than a criple in the 50 yard dash. Bourn gets on base and his speed is dangerous and attention grabbing to the opposition. Burrell will always have more power than Bourn, but power doesn't matter if you don't hit the f'n ball! I'd rather have a bunch of bloop and slap singles from Bourn than 1 homerun every 10th game from Burrell, because the singles can knock in runs too, something that Burrell hasn't done worth shit this season. Burrell has a good arm, but his range is abysmal. Bourn can track down balls in LF and his arm is decent. Burrell's horrible .205 average would be far worse if it were not for his good April, so this is a pointless debate...start Bourn!

GM-Carson said...

By the way, the Braves are "hitting" an all-time low, scoring only 1 run in the past 5 games. In today's offense minded baseball world, that's almost unbelievable.

BloodStripes said...

Wow, thats crap.

I hope the Phils can kick some Red arse next series. Time to get away from the Braves then bury the mutts. The Phils have been rising to the occasion so far this year. Do it again Phils!

GM-Carson said...

Once again the Phils need to take advantage of lesser competition (the Reds) this week and try to make up some ground on the Mets before the huge weekend series.

Bob D said...

We will likely see 4 guys rotate in the OF. Dobbs when they want his left handed bat out there if he is not play 3rd. Burrell when they want his power from the right side. Werth when they want his power from the right side also. Bourn when they want his speed and glove.
We know what we have with Victorino and Rowand - great gloves and awesome arms, they both have some pop with Rowand leading the OF in Hrs (should hit behind Howard). Both have speed with Victorino faster.
Now Bourn is alot like Victorino, only he is faster than Vic. He has a cannon of an arm and he will hit some Hrs, but we will not see too many early in his career.
Werth is one who should get some more time as the Phils may have a good OF there with him. He already has 6 assists from the OF already compared to Burrells impresive 5 assists. He also has power, but playing sporadically he is unlikely to get into a groove.
I see each one of these guys as being pretty even (Burrell, Werth, & Bourn). Manuel should give each one of them a week where they start 5 or 6 games just to see how they respond.

Whelkman said...

For the record, I said Burrell's career OPS is above average, while his season is only a bit off of average. It's the walks that's doing it, not surprisingly, but, until Bourn starts hitting for extra bases regularly, Burrell's walkfest + monthly home run keeps him "competitive". Singles just aren't that much more impressive than walks, even if you're getting them at a .300 clip.

Burrell is now used about as often as needed. I'm no supporter; my comments are directed at those who say he shouldn't play another game ever again. I'd rather seen more of Bourn, too.

furiousBall said...

I'm totally fine with starting Michael Bourn in left. The only thing that worries me is third base is such a hole in our line up lately. I'd like to see Dobbs get the majority of starts over there.

Notice Oprah's eyes right on Kirstie's coochie snorcher?

Jacobin said...

If only John Lieber had slimmed down like Kirstie Alley, maybe he wouldn't have blown out his foot running (well, the fat walk/jog) to cover first. All kidding aside, Lieber is now claiming that he had been pitching four to six weeks on a sore foot prior to his ruptured tendon injury. Personally, I think he's full of shit. Considering this is the last year of his contract, it's awful convenient from a soon-to-be free agent standpoint to claim to have been injured during your run of 5 out of 6 games giving up at least 5 runs in an inning.

Now my question is what the hell are they going to do to replace Lieber in the rotation? Ruben Amaro Jr. (the face of the team's GM collective) insists that Myers will remain in the bullpen when he's back from the DL. Condrey was called up to take Lieber's roster spot (and he is not a starter). Jamie Moyer has volunteered to go to a four-man rotation (and that won't be happening). Ryan Madson volunteered to return to the rotation (that put a little bit of vomit in my mouth, just like the Kirstie Allie in a bikini picture).

So no one, including the Phil's GM trio, knows who will be this team's fifth starter (they're still trying to figure out if Kyle Kendrick can replace Garcia for the entire season). But someone had better figure it out for Friday's doubleheader against the Mets.

Whelkman said...


Given the alternatives, Dobbs belongs starting at third. Realistically, Nunez is "stealing" more from Bourn than Burrell by forcing Dobbs to the outfield.


"Jamie Moyer has volunteered to go to a four-man rotation (and that won't be happening)."

I knew Moyer would be up for that, despite his age, and Hamels is so hungry I'd bet he'd go for it, too. It's the team's best option. We don't even have four reasonable starters, let alone five.

goDuke said...

I predict we'll be seeing JA Happ up in the big show Friday.

GM-Carson said...

I have strong doubts about J.A. Happ's ability to come in and be an effective starter. I actually think he'd get blown up Gavin Floyd or Scott Mathieson style. Another option, Carlos Carrasco, is only 20 and has 1 Double A start to speak of...needs more time, as does Happ. Bring up J.D. Durbin and see if he can do anything worthwhile, or call up Dave Noggin Coggin and see what he's up to.

Pacman said...

I'm not saying bench Burrell forever, just use him as a fourth outfielder and as a pinch hitter.

BenJah said...

they ought to go back to san fransisco like they did in the beginning of the season. just give them burrell and few million for nothing. they can rotate the rest of their guys since all of them need more playing time.

GM-Carson said...

From The Phillies, meanwhile, have inquired on both Dontrelle Willis and Buehrle and found the price unreasonable. They're going to need to acquire a starter one way or another.

The Phils are also interested in Rockies closer Brian Fuentes, but he may not be available.

GM-Carson said...

I'm not saying bench Burrell forever either, but certainly don't keep playing him regularly if he can't up his average some. Basically, he's going to have to show me something doing pinch-hit duty and during spot starts, because what I've seen of him the past 2 months is complete crap.

Whelkman said...

Whatever happened to Dave Coggin? He seemed serviceable enough--at least moreso than his "sign-release-sign-release but never play" transaction record would indicate. He did okay in 2001 as a replacement starter (was it for Wolf?).

GM-Carson said...

Not sure where Dave Coggin is. But since I'm wondering about ex-Phillie starters that may be serviceable for the time being, how about Nelson Figerora?

GM-Carson said...

Or if you want to go lefty, how about Omar Daal?

Bob D said...

Traschel, Grienke, and Chad Cordero are more likely to become Phillies than Buerhle or Willis.

My guess is Happ and Carrasco will start Fri/Sat. And Happ will likely stay with the team after that in the rotation.

Where's Bobby Munoz when you need him?

GM-Carson said...

How about our stated buddies, Pittsburgh, swing a deal with us for some middling minor leaguers in exchange for rotation filler Shawn Chacon...that would be okay with me.

BloodStripes said...

J.D Durbin is slated to start one of the games friday. Phillies aren't sure which one. Won't matter though. He'll probably get pounded. I hope not. Hopefully he can fight it out like the Phils have done all year against the mutts.

Jacobin said...

Here's my imagined conversation in the Phillies front office regarding the need for a starting pitcher:

Rube Amaro Jr.: With the donut eater out, we really need another starter.
Fatty Arbuckle: What about putting Myers back into the rotation?
Patty G.: (on the phone from his home in Seattle) What, admit we were wrong to put him in the pen?
Rube Amaro Jr.: Yeah, we know more than the fans. And we're always right. What about brining someone up from the farm system?
Fatty Arbuckle: Shit, you nuts? The farm system is a mess. We've been calling kids up from AA.
David Montgomery Burns: It's too expensive to fly them in from Ottawa. It only costs us $20 to buy a bus ticket from Reading for the last two guys we called up.
Fatty Arbuckle: Who the hell ran the farm system into the ground anyway?
Rube Amaro Jr.: *cough*cough*
Fatty Arbuckle: Shit... never mind. We didn't have draft picks to stock the system with anyway. Really, who can blame me... not my fault.
Patty G: (on the phone from his home in Seattle) Zzzzz.... zzzz... zzzz...
Rube Amaro Jr.: Oh, it's the old man's nap time. Damn. PAT!! PAT!!! WAKE UP!
Patty G: (on the phone from his home in Seattle) Eh? Wha... Cito, is that you?
Fatty Arbuckle: Well, can't we trade for someone? How about Dontrell or Buehrle?
Rube Amaro Jr.: Who'd we trade for them? Marlins will want minor league prospects, last time I checked we don't have any of those.
Patty G: (on the phone from his home in Seattle) The White Sox really want Joe Carter back.
Rube Amaro Jr.: You mean Rowand.
Patty G: (on the phone from his home in Seattle) Oh yeah, him too. Keep forgetting I'm with the Orioles now.
Fatty Arbuckle: Maybe we could package Rowand...
David Montgomery Burns: Okay, give the White Sox a call and see what you can *GASP* *CHOKE* [he grabs at his throat]
Darth Vader, dark servant of the Gang of Seven Ownership Group: You will not take on salary. Don't fail me again, David Montgomery.
David Montgomery Burns: No trades for high paid pitchers!
Rube Amaro Jr.: Guess that means we'll call someone up from the minors.
Fatty Arbuckle: Reading is really tapped out. We could get someone from Ottawa, they're in Columbus right now.
David Montgomery Burns: That should be a pretty cheap Greyhound ticket, so what if it takes three or four days, we don't need anyone until Friday.
Rube Amaro Jr.: Who should we call up? J.A. Happ or J.D. Durbin?
Patty G: (on the phone from his home in Seattle) When I was a boy, my father wore a derby when he would drive us in the carriage to see the newfangled electric lights. Ha! How do they do such magic?
Fatty Arbuckle: Okay, Durbin it is.

SirAlden said...

We signed 4th Round Second Baseman Tyler Mach and 30th Round 6-4 LHP
Jacob Diekman today.

That means we have signed 23 of the top 33 rounds with just 10 to go.

Diekman was considered to be a very diffiult sign a later round flyer with top talent. He is only 20, has a great pitcher’s frame, and was pitching at Cloud County CC. has some really good things to say about his velocity (up to 93-94 this spring) and makings of a good slider. Athletic build, size, arm strength, this is everything you look for in a prospect, especially a lefty.

SirAlden said...

The Phillies paid way over slot to sign him

Pacman said...

I don't think Willis would be a good pickup. He's having the worst year of his career and he always plays poorly in the second half of the season.

GreggyD said...

Major props to you jacobin. That was one of the funniest posts that I have read in a long time. Too bad that's how the conversation probably goes. I honestly cannot stand Patty G and think we need someone young to take over the GM position and someone that has a fresh opinion. However, we all know that the old fogies in the front office will keep Patty (look how long it took to get rid of Ed Wade) or they will at least bring in another old fogie to take a job that agrees with their thought process. I mean honestly, Pat Gillick, Charlie Manuel, Jimy Williams, Davey Lopes (whom I love). We just need new faces in this place. I'm tired of the old ways.

Jacobin said...

Thanks Greggyd! I had a shitty day and needed to waste some time distracting myself... if only I actually had that much time to kill!

GM-Carson said...

Jacobin- that was fantastic. This winter when Corey and I are busy with work and new babies, and can't blog every day, we'll surely turn to you to do a guest piece every now and again. Thanks for the laughs.

Jacobin said...

Thanks Carson!

Josh Abel said...

Dave Coggin is now writing for RyanHoward.ORG.