Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Thirsty Thursday

Rudy Seanez - Beck's Dark

A few weeks ago I popped into Westy's Beverage in Mechanicsburg (great store, if you are so inclined) and while perusing the aisles I came across a case of Beck's Dark for $9.99. I scooped it into my arms and ran like a little girl through a field of daisies to the front counter. The salesman informed me that the beer had been on the shelf too long and it needed to be sold. "Fine with me," I said, knowing that unless that beer had been on the shelf since the Carter administration, it would taste fine.

I was even more assured of my buy when I read the bottle - "Best if used by Nov 08." Sweet. Needless to say, they taste just fine. And they taste just a little better since I got them on the cheap from the unwanted bin. I bet Pat Gillick has a similar feeling when he watches Rudy Seanez pitch.

Seanez has pitched for 8 organizations in the last eights years (BOS and SD twice...) and while he hasn't been great, he hasn't been Brian Sanches either. His 3.79 ERA with LA last year doesn't look great, but when you consider that he did pitch in over 70 games, only 2 pitchers in last year's Phillies bullpen had lower ERAs, and he's only making $400K, he looks like a significant upgrade at a bargain price.

So here's to Rudy Seanez, the too-old, real-cheap, quality reliever.



GM-Carson said...

Enjoy the off day today and get ready for one helluva series this weekend at the Cit with the NL East leading Marlins coming to town with a 1/2 game lead over the Phils.

Adam Eaton was good last night. I wanted Charlie to leave him in to go 7.

Chase Utley is Mr. Awesome, he deserves to be the NL's leading vote getter for the All-Star squad.

GM-Carson said...

Happy BDay to Charlie Hayes!

Jacobin said...

At first I felt the same way about wanting them to leave Eaton in... then I thought with the off day it wouldn't hurt the bullpen to pitch a few innings, and it might just be good for Eaton's confidence for him to leave a game having surrendered only one run. I mean, he looked good last night, but how would it have played out had he stayed in one more inning, gone over 100 pitches, and given up a run or two?

furiousBall said...

utley has the best swing ever. ever.

GM-Carson said...

Utley's swing is what will keep him a .300 hitter for his career. It's compact and powerful.

Stephanie Grace said...

His swing is so damn clean. Just look at how long his bat is in the strike zone. He's so balanced, his hands are so fast...and you can tell how much tape he watches. He's always prepared, he never looks off-guard.

Chase works so hard, it's inspiring. For his team, for this town...

Is May too early to utter the words Most Valuable Player?

GM-Carson said...

You can utter the words "Most Valuable Player", but I think Lance Berkman and Chipper Jones might want some respect in that regards too.

SirAlden said...

MLB has an interesting provision written into the collective bargaining agreement called “Super Two.” Most players have three seasons of pre-arbitration (where they can be paid whatever the team chooses to pay them, so long as it’s above league minimum), and three years of arbitration (and usually, players receive a raise from the previous year in the second and third year of arbitration).

However, “Super Two” players become arbitration-eligible after two years of service, and thus have four years of arbitration, rather than three.

According to MLB rules, Super Two players must meet two criteria: “(a) he has accumulated at least 86 days of service during the immediately preceding season; and (b) he ranks in the top seventeen percent (17%) (rounded to the nearest whole number) in total service in the class of Players who have at least two but less than three years of Major League service, however accumulated, but with at least 86 days of service accumulated during the immediately preceding season.”

It is likely that major league teams keep track of service time for all players. Thus, they could make an estimated guess as to how to avoid having a player achieve super two status by keeping track of the service time of all other players. It is no coincidence, for example, that Jay Bruce is being called up on May 27; last season, Ryan Braun was not called up until May 25, although he too was mashing in triple-A.

Is this worth it? Certainly, it’s worth it to keep a prospect in the minors for a week or two in April in order to extend his services one additional year (thus keeping him cost-controlled for nearly seven whole years). However, is it worth it to keep a prospect in the minors for two months in order to avoid his achieving super two status?

This can only be answered on a case-by-case basis, but I argue in most cases – especially with top prospects – it is in the team’s best interest to avoid super two status. While arbitration still favors the team because it is only a one-year commitment and often pays the player less than he would receive on the open market, arbitration can still be very expensive for a team. For example, Ryan Howard – a super two player this year – will make a whopping $10 million in his first year of arbitration. Howard is likely to receive a raise in his subsequent three years of arbitration. Howard could realistically make at least $52 million in arbitration over four years – and perhaps even more.

Thus, by waiting until now to call up Jay Bruce, the Reds likely ensure that Bruce will only be arbitration eligible for three years. Therefore, in 2011, Bruce will likely make the league minimum of approximately $450,000, rather than somewhere around $10 million. That’s a huge difference, and is well his spending two months in the minors in 2008. Additionally, the Reds are missing out on production of age-21 Jay Bruce for two months this season; in exchange, they are only going to paying age-24 Jay Bruce league minimum. As good as Bruce is likely to be this year, he’s going to be even better in three years.

The Reds were right to keep Bruce in the minors until now. If we had waited a month on Howard he would not have hit 58 Homeruns, but the Phillies would have saved 9.5 million dollars this year and many more over the next 4.

Gillick made this happen for the good of the team. Not for the good of the pocketbook.

SirAlden said...

The 2008 MLB Draft is next week.

I am hoping that we take the top HS/Prep Pitchers available with our first 2 picks, #24 and #34 (for Aaron Rowand thank you very much!).

Ethan Martin, RHP, Stephens County HS, Toccoa, Ga. Considered a power-hitting third baseman coming into the season, he showed that his future will be on the mound when he struck out slugger Eric Hosmer in a head-to-head meeting. Few high school pitchers have been as impressive as Martin this spring.

Jake Odorizzi, RHP, Highland HS, Ill. Odorizzi is not only a pitcher and shortstop, but played football (two-time All-Conference WR) Odorizzi throws both a four- and two-seamer. The four-seamer was thrown at 90-94 mph. The two-seamer came in at 88-92 mph. Good Curve.

Brett DeVall, LHP, Niceville HS, Fla. DeVall is lefthanded and consistently pitches at 92 mph, mixing in a slider as well. A sort of pitchability high schooler, which is rare, but should not be overlooked. He's got the chance to have three outstanding pitches and knows how to command all three.

Gerrit Cole, RHP, Orange Lutheran HS, Orange, Calif. Cole throws 95-98.

Daniel Webb, rhp There are things about Webb that scouts love: his size, his strength, his aggressiveness on the mound. Most of all, there's the velocity, which gets up to the mid-90s.

Kyle Lobstein, lhp A projectable lefty who has the chance to throw three at least average Major League pitches, he certainly will be watched closely all spring. A basketball player as well, Lobstein is athletic on the mound and has a free and easy delivery. He gets started a little late because of hoops, but if he throws as he's capable of as the season wears on, he could be one of the first high school lefties to be taken in June.

Robbie Ross, lhp Ross is a very intriguing high school lefty who is considered to be one of the better prep southpaws in the Draft class. With a fastball that's plus at times, the possibility of two decent secondary offerings, good command and outstanding competitiveness, he's the type of pitcher who always gets more out of his stuff than others might. He may not have a ton of projection, but he's already pretty good.

GreggyD said...

Jayson Stark had a nice piece today (as always) and I found a stat he made up to be very interesting, CUS. CUS stands for "the Criminally Unsupported Start" and a startng pitcher qualifies for this stat when he, "needs to go six innings or more, and his team can score no more than one run for him while he's in the game."

This has been the case for the Phillies 10 times this season! Nine teams have just as many if not more CUS's this season, but unfortunately for our King, 4 out of the team's 10 CUS's have been tallied underneath the name Cole Hamels.

I'm not saying to add this stat to the back of baseball cards of course, but it shows the inconsistency of this offense, and also is a clue as to what Cole's record could be at this point in the season if he got a little support once in awhile. The Phils has looked fantastic at the plate lately, and let's hope it keeps up for the overall sake of the pitchers in our rotation, especially Hamels.

GM-Carson said...

This offense does seem inconsistent, and to a certain extent is, but they're now 2nd in MLB to the Cubbies in runs scored. Hopefully they keep clicking from here on out and get Hamels the victories he rightfully deserves.