Monday, March 24, 2008

Phils Predictions - Position Players

Carlos Ruiz
Carson - .271-10-61 - I see him becoming a reliable backstop in terms of defense and handling the pitching staff, as well as turning into a quality 8-hole hitter. He has decent speed for a catcher, so mix in 5 steals and 65 runs scored.
Corey - .277-9-57 - With more big league at-bats, should see average eventually climb to the .280 range. I don't see the power developing this year.

Ryan Howard
Carson - .287-60-150 - Return of the king in 2008; Howard will be the MVP again.
Corey - .284-56-142 - Another monster year. Will strike out less than 180 times, also.

Chase Utley
Carson - .307-33-111 - He's my favorite and will get MVP votes for the next 5 seasons, but he'll have to settle for only being the game's best 2nd baseman rather than it's most valuable player.
Corey - .312-26-101 - Phils 3rd MVP candidate? I don't see it happening. Won't put up HUGE numbers.

Jimmy Rollins
Carson - .295-21-79 - His career year was last year, but J-Roll will still score plenty of runs and I foresee he and Vic swiping over 100 bags collectively.
Corey - .286-24-85 - No repeating of gaudy '07 numbers, back to Earth for J-Roll.

Pedro Feliz
Carson - .259-28-84 - Double plays await Pedro both defensively and offensively. Phans will come to like his ability to handle the hot corner while bringing consistency to the 7th spot in the lineup.
Corey - .251-26-81 - Lots of swings and misses. Small park will increase power numbers slightly.

Pat Burrell
Carson - .249-25-87 - Begin the slow downard spiral. I see Werth and Taguchi getting more playing time because of the sporadic tendencies of Burrell's bat.
Corey - .257-30-96 - Another typical frustrating year from Burrell. We shouldn't expect more at this point. I predict June 3rd as the day I give up on Burrell this year.

Shane Victorino
Carson - .301-16-71 - Huge season for the Flyin' Hawaiian, with 50+ steals and 110+ runs scored...oh, and a Gold Glove too.
Corey - .291-15-58 - Also look for close to 50 steals...if he stays healthy, which I don't think he will. He'll battle Jenkins for leader in DL time.

Geoff Jenkins
Carson - .267-19-73 - He'll do nicely against righties, but Charlie will find some way to F-up the platoon and expose Brett Favre to lefties more than need be.
Corey - .274-22-86 - He'll bounce back from that .255 average last year and be a Phan phavorite by May...or he'll get hurt and we'll see Jayson Werth for 120 gamess.

Tomorrow, the pitchers.


Los said...

Wait, didn't Burrel's downward spinal begin about 3 years ago?

furiousBall said...

I'd be perfectly content if our lineup hits these numbers. I figure our big three will get their usual tallies, someone will surprise us and someone will disappoint. If Shane gets 50 swipes, we're in really, really good shape

Corey said...

i'm sure carson means "continue the slow downward spiral." although his path is more like a rollercoaster where the drops are all the same but the next hill is never as high. at least he's not the mountainclimber from The Price Is Right. i think that is brett boone in lederhosen...

BloodStripes said...

Those numbers will suit me too. No doubt about it the Phils offense rocks. From top to bottom we have it all.

It would be nice to see Burrell up his average a bit to .270 or so. The last few years his OBP has been outstanding so thats a plus. He'll make the pitcher work.

A full season from Vic would be awesome. His enthusiasm has no bounds.

GM-Carson said...

Burrell's past few seasons have been ok in my eyes, but I see him k'ing more and walking less this season, which hurts his value at On Base %.

SirAlden said...

Contract Year!

Burrell is going to rock!

SirAlden said...

Or I will throw rocks at him

Bob D said...

Throw Batteries at him if he doesn't have his career year (Burrell): 295-38-125, 1 SB, 100+ BB & SO.

Ruiz: 275-9-75, with 45 2B. I see him getting alot of doubles with few homers.

GM-Carson said...

I like Burrell, and I'm rooting for him, but I don't trust him.

GM-Carson said...

The Indians just waived our good ol' buddy Aaron Fultz. Hello lefty #2!

GM-Carson said...

Nice lil' story about Grand Pappy Moyer in Buster Olney's blog today-
Pitching is really all about deception, Jamie Moyer said the other day, sitting in front of his locker in Clearwater, Fla. He cited an example from the Phillies' exhibition game the day before: Edwin Jackson, the Tampa Bay starter, was throwing a fastball clocked in the mid-90s -- the kind of fastball that obliterates bat handles and pops a catcher's mitt.

But Jackson spent the better part of his outing mixing in a breaking ball to create doubt in the minds of the hitters, to make them adapt to the velocity of his fastball while worrying about his other pitch, a spinning baseball veering away from them at diminished speed. "Really, it doesn't matter how hard you throw," said Moyer. "The hitter really dictates what kind of stuff you have, with his reactions."

There are few exceptions to this rule. Mariano Rivera of the Yankees is one, a pitcher who has been throwing a cut fastball for more than a decade. The hitters know he'll throw one pitch at one speed, and they still cannot do anything about it. Joel Zumaya threw his fastball at 100 mph in the summer of 2006, and hitters could do little with it.

But most pitchers are like Moyer, trying to find a way to confuse the hitter -- although most pitchers throw harder than the Phillies' left-hander, who is having a good day if his fastball reaches 85 mph. Moyer's means of deception are unusual, however: his legs.

In the early '90s, when Moyer was bouncing from team to team and still developing the style of pitching that would help him win the bulk of his 230 career victories, he inadvertently developed the pitching style he uses now. During a start in which Moyer tired and struggled to drive off the mound in delivering his pitches, he found himself somewhat dead-legged -- and the hitters struggled to adjust to his diminished speed. So Moyer began experimenting with a dead-legged approach to changing speeds.

Many pitchers change speeds by adjusting their grip on the baseball. Instead of propelling it with their index and middle finger, they will throw it with the last three fingers of their pitching hand, the standard method of throwing a changeup, while maintaining their arm speed. Or they will tuck the ball deeper into their palm -- choking it, to use the pitcher's parlance.

But Moyer alters the speed of his changeup with his legs. As he throws his fastball, he will drive off the pitching rubber. In taking velocity off his fastball and his changeup, he will fall forward in his delivery rather than pushing off the rubber -- while being careful to maintain the same arm speed, same stride, and landing in the same spot. It's a dead-legged delivery.

"It's all about feel," he said. "For me, it's pushing off the rubber more, or pushing less. It's something that the hitters can't see, and the camera can't see it. 'Let's see if the pitcher has tension in his legs.' They can't tell, when you have a uniform on."

When some pitchers change speeds with their hands, the best hitters can discern their grip, at the apex of their delivery -- a flap of fingers, perhaps, flashing past through, past the pitcher's ear, a sign of a changeup. But the engines of Moyer's changeup, the decelerators and accelerators, are hidden.

When Moyer plays catch, he works on maintaining the feel for this skill, just as a knuckleballer works constantly on the feel of his signature pitch. "It's about trying to produce the same mechanics without pushing off the rubber," he said. "If I have a bad game, and everything gets hit, then obviously I wasn't doing what I needed to do."

Moyer does check on his velocity readings with pitching coach Rick Dubee from time to time. But he does it not to see how hard he is throwing, per se, but how much differential there is between his fastball and his changeup. "Was my changeup too hard?" he asked rhetorically. "Or was my fastball too soft? Or was I not locating my fastball, or was I overthrowing?"

Moyer is 45 now, having survived on his understanding of his own strengths and weaknesses, his moxie. There is something distinctly middle-aged about him now; he and his wife adopted two children, giving them six altogether, and Moyer jokingly acknowledged that when those kids head off to college, he may be pushing a walker -- he will be in his early 60s.

Moyer isn't sure exactly who changes speeds the way he does with his legs, and mused with a reporter about possible candidates. Greg Maddux, perhaps. Pedro Martinez almost certainly, given the experimental nature of how he works, changing arm angles and grips and speeds. When Moyer was with Seattle and Martinez pitched for the Red Sox, Moyer liked watching Martinez work. "He's an enjoyable guy to watch, because when you see someone pitching like that, you're kind of tickled," said Moyer. "You appreciate and respect what the guy is going; you just hope he doesn't have success against you. But that's pitching. That's what pitching is all about."

Bob D said...

I could see Aaron Fultz back.

Brad Lidge put on 15 day DL, will miss first 5games.

Rumor Tyler Yates (or another Brave RP) for Helms.

BloodStripes said...

Fultz has been getting smashed all spring. Now he is the kind of garbage off cut we need.

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