Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Just A Reminder

I'm thankful the Phillies are still in first place and I think they'll be in that vicinity for the entirety of the season. But, it won't be because of their offense.

Carson has pointed out recently the consistent mediocrity of the "O." And for all of the Phillies fans who think it's just a matter of time before they "break out," I just wanted to take the time to point out that it won't happen. Here's a reminder why.

1) The obvious reason is that Chase Utley, the Phillies best hitter, hasn't played this season and no one knows when he's coming back. You just can't replace him.

2) Jayson Werth is gone and has been replaced by Ben Francisco. While I like Francisco, this is a definite downgrade.

3) No offensive players were added in the off-season.

[Lets recap. A slightly above average offense lost their 3 and 5-hole hitters without any significant offensive additions.]

4) Jimmy Rollins is batting third. He's an aging middle infielder with rapidly declining offensive skills. And he's batting third. Again, look at this trend for Rollins.

2007 - .296 Avg, 30 HR, 94 RBI, .875 OPS
2008 - .277 Avg, 11 HR, 59 RBI, .786 OPS
2009 - .250 Avg, 21 HR, 77 RBI, .719 OPS
2010 - .243 Avg, 8 HR, 41 RBI, .694 OPS
2011 - .256 Avg, 0 HR, 2 RBI, .643 OPS

This, friends, is your 3-hole hitter. There's only one team that can consistently win with that in the 3-hole and that's because of Roy, Cole, Roy...

5) Raul Ibanez is old. He looks horrible. And he's not getting any younger. Yet, he's on pace for 155 games played and 575 at-bats. Last season - 155 games and 561 at-bats. You think more rest might favor the 39 year old right fielder?

6) Ryan Howard isn't the dominating force he's being paid like and cannot carry this team without Utley. So far he's on pace to have another drop in his power numbers and despite being the only power threat on the team, opposing teams are intentionally walking to preferentially face him.

Again, the sky's not falling. This team doesn't "suck." I'm just reiterating the things that WSBGMs has been saying since the pre-season so everyone here has realistic expectations of this offense.

So, let's all hope the pitchers don't give up more than three runs tonight...


GM-Carson said...

Not having a 3-hole hitter kills this team. Vic and Polly are doing a decent enough job atop the lineup, but J-Roll is squandering all opportunities.

Ruiz has comeback to Earth too. He's a great 8-hole hitter, because he'll take the walk if they're pitching around him to get to the pitcher, or he'll sit on a fastball to hit. He's the 7-hole hitter now, and Valdez is occupying the 8-hole. Not good!

Ryan Howard's contract...ha! Once again, the Phils f'd themselves on this one. Fielder, Pujols, Howard, and Adrian Gonzalez were all set to become free agents after the 2011 season. Amaro outbid himself, and ended up with the lesser of the 4. Idiot.

ACSmitty79 said...

The team is old. I told you all last year Utley should have been traded last year to restock the team (of course he probably wouldn't have passed a physical, killing whatever trade). So here we are.

Still shouldn't sweat Howard's contract at this point either, Carson. Everyone's power numbers are down again this season, but all those FA's will all still get big buckaroos as if their numbers weren't/aren't down.

back to the OP, we'll get another bat or 2 at some point, and i don't mean Utley's. It is a little curious they didn't take care of it in the offseason, but i guess they thought for some reason, Dom Brown was gonna pick up the slack, and as Carson said to some effect last year, "nope".

GM-Carson said...

Excellent post by Todd Zolecki on The Zo Zone.

Raul Ibanez is currently 0-21. Pathetic.

Preserve Jon said...

You're right about the three hole trap. they also don't have much of a 5 hole hitter either. I tried to put together an alternative lineup and it's near impossible. If Chooch were swinging a better bat and Ibanez were a few years younger, it would be easier. I think recall Ibanez filling the 3 spot during his hot streak in 2009 a few times. Right now there are too many outs in the lineup.

My laughable alternative lineup reads


Howard gets a pass in my book because the bulk of his production comes during the hot months. Still, it'd be nice for him to show up early. Lastly, I'd consider giving Ronnie Belliard a shake at second, but isn't Martinez a Rule 5er? Phils are unlikely to give up on him so soon and who else could give up a roster spot?

Bob D said...

At least the team has alot of strike outs:
Halladay 39
Lee 39
Hamels 26
Howard 25
Ibanez 23
Oswalt 21

Anonymous said...

"I just wanted to take the time to point out that it won't happen."

While your post raises valid points, with all due respect, you have no idea that it definitely "won't happen."

GM-Carson said...

I guess WSBGMs is just sick of people thinking this is just a funk/slump. This offense is bad. Corey and I've been giving factual evidence in support of such "theory" for well over a month now.

ripjgarcia said...

Perhaps we could have George Clinton play in left field and then we could say we were in a "funk".

GM-Carson said...

By the way, all these strikeouts from Cliff Lee are great, but I'd prefer his ERA at least a run lower. 7 ip, 4 er is not what he's getting paid for. I know it's the early going, but aside from the 1 gem he tossed, he hasn't impressed.

Don't hate. Go look at the stats, it's true.

Anonymous said...

Hasn't Lee historically started seasons slow?

Dr. Steve said...

I said the Phillies should have improved on Offense with the Cliff Lee money, and I get run out of town.

But I'm glad people are agreeing with me. I just hope it's not too late. And Charlie Manuel will show us his biggest weakness here - he loves his players.

Remember that scene from that one baseball movie, where the little kid is a manager for a team, and has to fire his favourite player because he sucks? Yeah, they have a discussion, the assistant coach and the kid, to fire him, and the kid really doesn't want to because he likes the guy.

That's Manuel. Except he'll never actually fire the guy. Which is going to be a HUGE problem.

What movie was that again?

Bob D said...

Actually hope that Blanton and Kendrick both pitch very well and one of them could be turned around in a trade for a hitter. But last year the team was streaky on offense - even more so during the 2nd half.

Anonymous said...

"I guess WSBGMs is just sick of people thinking this is just a funk/slump."

Well, I'm sick of some people acting as if the mediocre offense is the end of the world/something to panic over.

Larry Jones said...

Little Big league is the Movie.

Billy Heywood was yound Coach played by Luke Edwards and the player was Jerry johnson played by Duane Davis. Great Movie

GM-Carson said...

Anonymous- this offense is something to panic over. Scoring 3 or less runs most of the time is not a recipe for success. Just look at the game now. Oswalt has already surrendered 3 runs and the game might be out of reach of the Phils offense.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous- this offense is something to panic over."

No, it isn't. It's April, and the offense isn't going to be like this for the entire season.

GM-Carson said...

What exactly leads you to believe the offense will turn it around?

Is Raul Ibanez going to find the fountain of youth? Just Jimmy Rollins have leg replacement surgery? Does Ryan Howard learn to layoff outside sliders and high fastballs? Does Harry Potter use his wand to transform Ben Francisco into an everyday player?

GM-Carson said...

Here's a great recap on the Howard extension. Article says exactly what I've been saying, but nobody, aside from Corey, seems to agree with me.