Thursday, March 31, 2011

Time To Get Real

The Offense:
The Phillies are an old team. Everyone in the lineup will be 30 or older, save Ben Francisco who is a ripe 29. What does that mean? Increased chance of injury, more rest needed, prime years faded. Two major cogs are missing in the form of Chase Utley (out until the All-Star break, possibly longer) and Jayson Werth (struck it rich in DC). Francisco will not make up for the loss of Werth, and any combination of Wilson Valdez and Player X won't even scratch the surface of what Utley brings to the field. In other words, they're screwed. Carlos Ruiz had a career year with the bat in 2010, don't look for him to come close to that this year. Shane Victorino might bounce back with the stick, but other than that this lineup is stagnant. Ryan Howard will likely produce about the same. Placido Polanco will be lucky to avoid the DL and not clock in with a sub .700 OPS. Raul Ibanez might bat .250ish this year. I just don't see where the runs are going to come from. Honestly, this offense might end up in the bottom third in the NL in 2011.

The Bench:
Brian Schneider is a capable backup catcher, no complaints there. Ross Gload is a good pinch hitter. John Mayberry, if used properly (ie- against lefties), should be a valuable asset off the bench. Wilson Valdez is going to be leaned on far too much again this year because of the brittle bones of the starting infield. Not sure which of Pete Orr, Delwyn Young, or Michael Martinez makes the club, but none of them are worth much. Young is a decent pinch hitter, but isn't as versatile as Boat Orr of Mini-Mart.

The Rotation:
Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Cole Hamels, and Joe Blanton should be great. They might end up being great like Felix Hernandez though, whereas they have great ERA/WHIP, but the won/loss record is shit due to lack of run support. Phillies fans want to be cocky now with this false bravado like the team is untouchable because of the 4 aces. Guess again, and reevaluate that. Fans keep saying all the offense needs to do is score 2 or 3 runs a night and the Phils win. Bullshit. Ask Hamels if that gets the job done. He won 12, loss 11 last year with a itty-bitty 3.06 ERA. You need run support!

The Bullpen:
With the loss of Brad Lidge (3 weeks or more, likely until All-Star break) the bullpen is stretched thin with Jose Contreras bumped to closer and Ryan Madson remaining in the 8th inning setup role. Who pitches the 7th? Oh, that's right we're pompous Phillies fans and the 7th inning belongs to the starting pitcher, unless it's Blanton's turn. C'mon, get real! Average innings per start: Halladay- 7.2, Lee- 7.2, Oswalt- 6.2, Hamels- 6.1, Blanton- 6.1. Doc and Cliff are straight up beasts, but even as good as the rest are the 7th inning remains a crucial swing inning for relief. Is the answer the erratic JC Romero, the catastrophic Cuban Baez Sucks, the unproven Antonio Bastardo? Yeah, not so arrogant now are we? Wait, there's Kyle Kendrick. Sorry, had to throw a funny in there for some levity.

The Manager:
Philadelphia loves Charlie and Charlie loves Philadelphia. He's grown on us. Hell, he's grown on me. His once nail-to-the-chalkboard hickish delivery has turned into one of his endearing traits. He knows how to handle the men that are the players. Lets not be foolish and anoint this man a super strategist though. His in-game management will really be tested this year, as he'll have to mix-and-match with both the lineup and the bullpen. He does have the comfort of an excellent rotation, but as discussed above, that alone is not enough.

Prognosis- true to form I once again play the role of Debbie Downer and highlight the flaws rather than focus on the positives. I call it realistic, others call it masochistic. Whatever. I think this team is good, playoff worthy. However, I went from expectations of a 100+ win season to a high 80's/low 90's campaign with the injury report. I'm saying 91 wins and the NL Wild Card. The Braves are the better team in all aspects aside from starting rotation, and theirs ain't too shabby either.

38 comments:

Matty said...

I can't disagree with all you said. And that being said, if the Phils can find a way to produce more offense than you think they will, they will take the NL east hands down.

Preserve Jon said...

This is entirely unrelated to your post. I would like to point out that Roy Halladay is a Phillie and will start on Opening Day. I would also like to remind you that in 2002, the Phillies opening day starter was Robert Person who would be out of baseball 14 months later.

Harry Leroy Halladay III.

That is all.

Corey said...

i agree with the prediction. i say wild card in a close call with the rockies or giants.

i wouldn't call you a masochist though carson, because you don't enjoy predicting/watching the phils lose, it's more of a skeptical pessimism that most phillies fans have been conditioned to feel.

GM-Carson said...

I want to be cocky and poof out my chest and think this team is a shoe-in for the playoffs, but it's gonna be a fight.

Corey said...

phils already in second place...

Mike D. said...

Jeez, you guys make me sick. The Phils will win the division and the NL and the World Series. You heard it here 1,437,512th!!!

GM-Carson said...

I honestly didn't almost post this today, because I know a bunch of Phillies homers are going to say I'm just being silly and there's no way the Phils don't win the East. Look at the lineup and tell me what is good about it. Not much.

Anonymous said...

Sooo, you're telling me Utley missing half a season is equal to 20 less wins? Stupid.

David said...

You sound like a vagina really...take some pride in your damn team and stop second guessing because one or two guys aren't starting the season right away...

think about this..compare today's line up with the line up in 08 minus Utley..

2008
Rollins
Victorino
Werth
Howard
Burrell
Feliz
Ruiz
Bruntlett

2011
Victorino
Polonco
Rollins
Howard
Ibanez
Francisco
Ruiz
Valdez

Doesn't really seem to me that the line up has that much LESS of production. Utley will be back too.

Now compare your starting pitchers.

2008
Myers
Hamels
Blanton
Moyer
Eaton

2011
Halladay
Lee
Oswalt
Hamels
Blanton


Make no mistake...this team is good. Just because Utley is out to start the year doesn't mean this team won't produce runs. You can over analyze this entire situation all you want...but until it is June and the Phillies are shitting the bed....you points have no validity.

GM-Carson said...

20 less wins? Who is the stupid one dipshit? I expected a 100+, which means roughly 100 or slightly over. I predicted 91 wins. So, that's 10 win swing. And it's not only missing Utley. It's missing Utley, Werth, and Lidge.

GM-Carson said...

Yeah, I'm a vagina.

Ok.

Wake the fuck up!

2008 Rollins > 2011 Rollins
2008 Victorino > or = 2011 Victorino
2008 Feliz > or = 2011 Polanco
2008 Howard > or = 2011 Howard
2008 Werth > 2011 Francisco
2008 Ruiz < or = 2011 Ruiz
2008 Burrell > 2011 Ibanez
Bruntlett hardly played. Invalid comparison. Utley is likely out for half the season.

2008 is far better than 2011's version. But, I guess I'm not arrogant enough or rockin' my rose colored glasses, because this starting rotation is superior, the offense is not, and you have to remember, you have to keep up with the Joneses. The Joneses (aka Braves) got better this offseason.

But I'm a vagina.

GM-Carson said...

Damn, now I'm pissed. In case you can't actually read, this vagina predicted the playoffs for the Phils so cool your jets.

GM-Carson said...

Phils signed Ronnie Belliard to a minor league deal. Fransden, Martinez, Orr, Castillo, now Belliard. Yeah, Utley's knee is bad!

It Places the Lotion in the Basket said...

Barring injury, the Phillies have got to win 95+ games. The league just seems so weak. Except for the Giants and Braves, who has really improved themselves? A much different picture in Pittsburgh I'm afraid.

SirAlden said...

I agree completely except Howard and Ibanez will be up a notch from your prediction.

Long lost Brown at the All-Start Break, with a marginal Utley back,
and a Trade of one of our Power Minor League arms for a Bat - could be the difference between success and failure this year.

Get out you John Kruk and Darren Daulton Bobble Head Dolls and make a Shrine like Jobu's Rum knows how to.

David said...

First of all...you can't say that anyone from 2008 is better than 2011. WE HAVEN'T EVEN PLAYED A GAME YET! And Pedro Feliz better than Polonco...that's very questionable. Oh yea and Bruntlett play 120 games...not really the definition of "hardly played". Get your shit right.

The point I'm making is that your over analyzing this team to the point where you are willing to accept a wild card. I understand it is a prediction...but you make the whole article seem like you are shitting on the team...and then say they will win high 80's to low 90's in games. Kinda of contradictory.

And how about this line up....

Andres Torres
Freddy Sanchez
Buster Posey
Pat Burrell
Cody Ross
Aubrey Huff
Juan Uribe
Edgar Renteria

That line up won the fucking world series. Compare that line up with out 2011 starting line up and tell me how much better the giants line up was...you can't.

Fact of the matter is that pitching wins. We have 4 #1 pitchers. Our line up will straighten it self out from now until September. Stop being so pessimistic and enjoy the season!

Today - the Doc is in!

GM-Carson said...

David- Bruntlett only had 238 plate appearances in 2008. He was Burrell's caddy in left a large portion of those games. He also was in for Rollins when he was DL'd.

By the way- Pat Burrell and Mike Aviles with the first Howards of the 2011 season.

And, looking back Polanco is better than Feliz. That's the only mistake I made though.

Mike D. said...

Part of my positive vibes comes from the fact that I think Francisco is going to put up some good numbers this year. Maybe Brown comes up mid year and shows everybody why he was rated so high. Also I think the management group will come through once again before or at the trade deadline to pick up whatever our most glaring need is at that point - infield bat or closer. Yes they are some ifs but when you have the rotation we have and the World Series winning veterans on this club I think it adds up to what I said yesterday. All that said I really enjoy your web site and look forward to it everyday. Yes I disagree sometimes, however that is a part of what makes sports great, but I think the name calling of some other posters is totally uncalled for. And no I didn't really get sick, apologize for the overdramatics.....GO PHILS!

GM-Carson said...

It's cool, I am a vagina. I shouldn't get so defensive/sensitive.

Corey said...

i'll help you out carson and take some heat.

THE PHILLIES WILL FINISH IN 3RD PLACE IN THE EAST.

come get some.

GM-Carson said...

You're my boy Corey!

David said...

They didn't have Lee last year. They didn't have Oswalt for most of the year. Rollins, Howard, Utley, Victorino, Ruiz and Polanco all missed significant time. They had the best record in baseball. Just want to make sure you people are clear on this.

I just don't see the big decline.

Anonymous said...

Dear i am a vagina,

You're not a vagina. You are a retard.

Too bad the Phillies came back and won today so you can't tell us how smart you are.

By the way, the lineup you saw today will be far different by the end of the year. Ruben will go shopping and pick up whatever is needed.

Steve said...

To be fair, the Braves have just as many, maybe more question marks than the Phillies...

I definitely see the Braves as a major threat, but to say that they are better than the Phils in every aspect of the game is just silly...

Then again, you're getting blog hits, so I guess that's all that matters...

Rising Sun said...

I try to be fair to this, because I know disagreeing makes me a homer, and I know posting this AFTER the opener makes it worse. You're wrong, and you won't be close to right.

The Braves are just not as good as you think. They're going to miss Billy Wagner far more than we'll miss Werth. Kimbrel? We beat him a minimum of twice this year, have you watched him yet this year(ST or yesterday)? Wagner was very important to the Braves being in the playoffs. Sure, they got Uggla, and they gave up Infante, an All-Star utility man who is as good of a replacement at any spot in the field as you'll see in the game. That'll hurt pretty bad when Chipper, Heyward, Prado, and McCann take their annual DL trips, or when Freeman is exposed as not being Heyward 2.0. Think Gonzalez is going to repeat last year? C'mon man, their offense will possibly be a hair better than last year, but it's not nearly as scary as you think. Their rotation? You think they'll get 30 starts each from Hudson, Lowe, and Jurrjens? I don't. Besides that, Lowe's in decline as clear as can be (see last season's stats), and while that may reverse, he'd be our five. Their bench? Joke without Infante. If our's is thin, their's is bad.

As for us...We'll miss Werth's .300, 26, 85, sure. We won't miss his 0-for-43 with RISP. I think the Phillies are worried about Utley, but not as worried as you. They cut Castillo and didn't trade for Young, so your fears are overkill there. He'll play this season, albeit less, and we will be fine. What was his contribution last year? We'll survive. Do you really think that Howard, Rollins, Victorino, and Ibanez will all have equal or lesser seasons in 2011? I think that's being overly down on this group. With all the DL time for the first two, they should clearly be better just with better health. Besides, even if they just matched last year, so what? We finished on a 49-19 clip, despite scoring 3 runs or less in over a third of those games. We had 3 aces then, not 4. We're replacing 50 Moyer-Kendrick starts with Oswalt and Lee. As for the pen, Lidge didn't break camp last year. A healthy Contreras and Madson is better than an unhealthy Lidge and Madson. We'll be adequate there, especially as our starters pitch longer and longer, as the season goes. I'm a bit worried about our bench, but as we get back Brown and Utley, that will fix some of that problem.

I love your blog, you're just wrong. We win by at least 5 games in the NL East.

PhilsPhanChris said...

ur a dick. i u don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all. write about whatever shitty team u root for cuz they probably have more problems then the Phils do and would KILL to be in their position. people just pay more attention to their problems cuz they like to hate on Philly. and we're not cocky. we understand that the offense needs to step up and guys need to be healthy. that's just fact. just try and deny that rotation. I fucking dare you

GM-Carson said...

Rising Sun- beautiful rebuttal. I mean that sincerely too. You made great points.

PhilsPhanChris- I'm a Phils fan you schmuck! And we're cocky right now, although we have reason to be. This team has been on a roll that past 4 seasons, so swagger comes with that.

Anonymous said...

He is right and you are all to close to see it. Wild card is the correct prediction. Take it from someone who watched an ageing team of stars for almost 7 seasons who were very good but old and injury prone and it takes it's toll over the season. Who cares though? With that rotation healthy come playoff time it is a far differant scenerio. Wild card = playoffs and the wildcard has a great track record recently.

Anonymous said...

Carson,

Its a very very long season. Wouldn't you rather see problems now than in September ? Are there issues, of course. Will they be rectified, maybe but there is a good amount of truth to what you relate - its just not cause to go out and burn you Phillie uniform yet. Stop crying and watch the season unfold....It stands to reason that "this team is all in," and Ruben is not going to let a persistent sore result in an amputation ! Meanwhile, the minor league teams hopefully will produce the future in the form of a number of the "high potential" players coming to fruition - thus solving some of the future.

GM-Carson said...

I'm still confused as to where exactly I gave up on the season. I said they'll make the playoffs for crying out loud!

Rising Sun said...

Carson, thanks. We'll just have to see 99 games from now, around the deadline, where everyone is. Really it's two seasons, before and after that.

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