Monday, April 30, 2012

Why Do People Like Freddy Galvis?

The crowd cheers "Freddy!  Freddy! Freddy!".  Blogs chart the awesomeness of his defense and improvement at the plate since his 0-12 start.   Me, I roll my eyes and wonder what the hell the big deal is.

Batting Average - .194
On Base % - .229
Slugging % - .299
OPS - .527

No amount of defensive wizardry can make up for that. That's not good. That's not okay. That's not mediocre. That's not slightly below average. That's not bad. That's really f'n bad. We here at WSBGMs are fond of Todd Zolecki and appreciate the love he's shown us over the years, but his excuses and defense of Freddy Galvis are inexcusable. Maybe he's walking the company line, much like organization brown-noser Chris Wheeler, or maybe he just truly believes Galvis can hit. I, on the other hand, look at his poor minor league offensive numbers and watch him at the plate against MLB pitchers that make him look weak and silly and am pretty damn confident when I make a proclamation like this- Freddy Galvis is not a MLB capable batter and will never be. I don't have a crystal ball. I don't have a Delorean to visit the future. Sure, he might develop into an acceptable utility infielder, because his glove is that good, but his bat will never be.

I'm not trying to throw Zolecki under the bus.  He's a good guy and has the balls to defend Galvis, just as I have the cajones to slander him (Galvis, not Zolecki).  For the record, he's not the only blogger drinking the Galvis Kool-Aid. 

I am also not trying to pin all the offensive woes on Galvis.  Watch the games and you know that's a collective epidemic effort.

Some of Zolecki's gems over the past week:
*Freddy Galvis has no reason to hang his head. He has played brilliant defense, and is hitting .214 with four doubles, one home run and five RBIs through 17 games. Those five extra-base hits are tied with Carlos Ruiz for the team lead. Not bad for a guy that had just 121 at-bats above Double-A Reading before this season. It’s the rest of the offense that has played terribly. From- April 24.

*That is a small sample size, much like Freddy Galvis‘ 0-for-12 start was a small sample size (although there were folks who absolutely knew Galvis could not play in the big leagues based on those 12 at-bats.)  From- April 27.

*Freddy Galvis has hit eighth 14 times. He started his career 0-for-12, but is 13-for-51 (.255) since. Remove the first three games of the season and Galvis has a .650 OPS. That would rank fifth on this list.  From- April 28.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Thome, J-Roll, Blanton, Howard & Utley

*Big Jim Thome had to leave last night's game due to back stiffness? This seems like an all too familiar scene. Oh wait, it is, from when he was with the Phillies in 2005. Give the man a DL stint, he's not helping anyway, and call up Mike Fontenot.

*Rollins was back in the leadoff spot last night. Hopefully Charlie keeps him there and bats Pierre second instead. J-Roll just seems more comfortable for whatever reason coming #1 in the lineup.

*Joe Blanton improved to 16-6 at Citizens Bank Park. I gotta crazy idea. How about when Cliff Lee returns, we start KK on the road and Blanton at home. A very creative 6-man rotation.
  *Ryan Howard is heading to Clearwater and may be starting a rehab assignment sometime this week, and his buddy Chase Utley might not be far behind. Having each of them back by mid-May would be nice. Galvis goes back to minor to play every day and attempt to improve is bat. Wiggy moves to 3rd, putting Polly on the bench where he belongs. Orr remains utility infielder, or Fontenot is called up like I mentioned above. Then things are suddenly looking better.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Phillies Make Me Sad

*Don't look now, but Polanco has his batting average the whole way up to .254, but his OPS is still a piddling .595.  Yep, that still sucks! (That was for you Sir Alden)

*Channeling my inner T-Mac...speaking of sucking, J-Roll is killing the team from the 3-hole.  His infield pop-up and GIDP performance last night was horrendous.  He wanted 5 years.  He got 3.  He wanted big money.  He got big money.  We wanted quality. We're missing it- .216/.496 ain't cutting it Jimmy!  No fair weather fan here, just someone who expects more.

*What happened to Doc's swing-and-miss stuff? K per 9 IP: 2008- 7.5, 2009- 7.8, 2010- 7.9, 2011- 8.5, 2012- 5.8.   BB per 9 IP: 2008- 1.4, 2009- 1.3, 2010- 1.1, 2011- 1.3, 2012- 2.4.  Huh?!

*One player that is doing well- Ty Wigginton.  In the midst of a 12-game hit streak, he's batting .320/.875 overall.  How about starting him at 3rd more often and playing Nix at 1st?  Just a thought.

*Bobby Abreu was released by the Angels and they called up uber prospect Mike Trout.

*Ryan Zimmerman was DL'ed by the Nationals and they called up some kid named Bryce Harper.  Never heard of him.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Series Preview - Cubs

Phillies (9-10) at Chicago Cubs (6-13)

Pitching Matchups:
Friday, 7:05 - Roy Halladay v. Paul Maholm
Saturday, 7:05 - Joe Blanton v. Randy Wells
Sunday, 1:35 - Kyle Kendrick v. Matt Garza
Monday, 7:05 - Cole Hamels v.Jeff Samardjiza

Lil Bears Batting:
Runs - 66 (24th)
Avg - .235 (25th)
Slug - .333 (28th)

Bryan LaHair spent 5 years in AAA between Seattle and Chicago, hitting over .300 with 89 home runs in the last three seasons combined. He missed the first three games of the season injured (so I dropped him from my fantasy team...) but has 4 homers and a .364 average since returning. After LaHair, there's little power in the lineup. The Cubs have 7 home runs. Seven!

Lil Bears Pitching:
ERA - 4.37 (24th)
WHIP - 1.37 (20th)
BAA - .242 (13th)

Ryan Dempster has been great so far, but will miss the Phils this series. The rest of the staff has been completely average. This is the type of pitchers the Phils should hit, especially because the bullpen is pretty bad (see below.)

Their Phillies-like Hitter:
Ian Stewart - This is Stewart's second time being in this category. He was Colorado's "Michael Martinez" last season. This year, he's hitting only .175 with a single home run. The last two seasons combined he's hitting .162. Do you think there's a Cubs blogger somewhere asking for him to retire? There should be...

Their Danys Baez:
Almost the entire bullpen. James Russell has an ERA of 0.00 after 8 appearances. After him they have Carlos Marmol (5.40), Rodrigo Lopez (5.68), Lendy Castillo (7.94) and the currently disabled Kerry Wood (11.57).

Their JD Drew:
Jeff Samadjiza - He played football for Notre Dame That immediately makes him extremely villainous. Also, he took this creepy picture.

What I'm Drinking:
Corey - Bud Light Platinum - Anybody that knows me knows that I love cheap beer. High Life, Natty Bo, Keystone Light. Yum. My friends also know that I hate Bud Light. So I was surprised when I was given a recommendation to get it and my brother-in-law showed up with a sixer. The guy at the distributor said they can't even keep it in stock it's so popular. Well, let me tell you, I liked it better the first time when it was called Icehouse. Seriously, while it's better then the alcoholic ipecac that is Bud Light, this beer is good for one thing - getting drunk. It's 6.0% ABV and 99% bad tasting. Avoid.

What I'm Listening To:
Corey - Ryan Adams - iTune Session - A man and his guitar is a beautiful thing. I just wish he would have done more than 8 songs because this is a great example of what makes stripped-down, simple, 'unplugged' music so great. Of course, you could also watch Lil Wayne on 'MTV Unplugged' where he is accompanied by no fewer than 5 amplified instruments. Could someone explain how this is unplugged? I'm surprised a group like MTV would bastardize such a great thing...

Magic Number Watch:
The Phils are not in first place. This section is obviously completely unnecessary, but I'm going to leave it here, if only as a painful reminder of the last 5 seasons...

Prediction:
You'd think that the Phils could take 3 fo 4 easily, but then you remember that Kyle Kendrick is going to lose one of the games and the offense is due to go scoreless in at least one. So I guess I'll say split series.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Howard Leader, Pence Commercial & Other Stuff

The Howard- a feat accomplished when a player hits a homerun, strikes out, and commits an error all in the same game.

Congratulations is due to Mr. Wilson Betemit of the Baltimore Orioles as he took over sole possession of The Howard leaderboard yesterday with his second Howard of the season. In fact, the O's have accounted for 4 out of the 16 Howards committed in MLB in 2012. That's 25%. And, in case you haven't noticed, the O's are off to a winning start at 11-7, tied for 1st in the AL East. The Howard wins ball games!

Other Stuff:
*The Washington Nationals were supposed to be an improved club this season. Well, they're showing they've really improved, with a NL-best 14-4 record thus far. And that's without the services of Michael Morse and Drew Storen. Plus, some prospect named Bryce Harper is waiting for an opportunity.

*With their offensive outburst in Arizona, the Phillies have climbed the whole way to 25th in the Majors for runs scored with 63. Yeah, that's still pretty pathetic.

*Phillies pinch hitters are 2-25 (.080) this season. Why not just let some our pitchers bat for themselves instead? Cliff Lee 2-6, Cole Hamels 3-10, Roy Halladay 3-11.

*The Cubs are coming to town for a 4 game set. If the Phillies aren't above .500 after this series, that's bad.

And, as promised, the Hunter Pence commercial...

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Exclusive Q&A with Chase Utley

Chase Utley loves We Should Be GMs.  True story.  That's why he agreed to do an exclusive Q&A with yours truly.  Here are some of the highlights from the interview...

Q: Hitting?

A: I've been hitting the links here in Arizona.  Doctor says it's part of my "rehab".  The ball really flies further in this air.  Something about no humidity and hot-as-balls heat.  I'm talking like 500 yard drives, and that's with two bum knees.  My short game ain't so good, but screw it, putting is for pussies. 

Wait, what's that? You meant hitting a baseball.  Dude, I'm on the DL, so keep this golf business on the DL.  Dammit.  Actually can I have that stricken from the record?

Q: Fielding?

A: Yeah, sure, I've been fielding.  Fielding offers for my dog collection.  Seriously, Jen and I have like 48 or 49 dogs or something ridiculous like that.  What can I say, I've got a big heart. That's a few too many though.  I can't even remember all their names.  People really want to own a dog formerly owned by a celebrity, and we want to find them a good home.  Just as long as the home shells out about 10 grand for my dog.

Q: Running?

A: Nope, no running.  I used to think I was Superman and could feel no pain and push through anything.  But now I know I'm more like R.E.M.  Everybody hurts. 

Carson, stop, please don't sing.  That song chokes me up every time.  Ah, shit, here come the water works.

(about 10 minutes later, we resumed the interview once Chase composed himself)

Q: How much longer?

A: I don't know.  Never.  Ha, just kidding.  Sorta.  Seriously, I have no idea. I'm kinda digging this setup I have here in Arizona.  My physical therapist is boner worthy.  We make day trips to Vegas and Mexico.  Oh, the resort the Phillies have Jen and me in is amazing.  The on-grounds spa has a sand buffering that does wonders for my eczema.  But I'm sure I'll heal and be back with the team soon...or not. 

Q: Compare to how you felt last year at this point?

A: Last year I felt excited to get back to the team, because they were rolling and I figured I could jump into the mix and get some of the love too.  This year, not so much.  Have you seen their offense?  I mean, really, that's not exactly motivation to come back any sooner.

Q: Your body language indicates you’re feeling pretty good?

A: Of course it does, I was simultaneously massaged by 10 different masseuses this morning at the spa.  One for the head, one for each arm, one for each hand, one for each leg, one for each foot, and some small chick that was digging her pointy little feet into my back.  I felt so relaxed that I farted like 20 times.  Don't worry...scentless.

Q: Can you be productive once you’re back?

A: Bet your sweet bippy!  If I come back.  Oops, I mean, when I come back I'll be rocketing balls all over the field and taking this offense on my shoulders and win the whole way to the World F--king Series.

Side note, these anti-depressants are good shit man.  You want some?  My doctor is a huge fan, he'll prescribe medical marijuana if I asked him to.

*Real interview can be found on The Zo Zone.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Blind Melon - "No Rain" [Phillies Offense Remix]

All I can say is that my team is pretty lame
Don’t like watchin' them score two runs a game
And all I can do is just pour some beer for two
And blog my point of view
But they’re so lame, They’re so lame

I just want someone to say to me
We got new hitters via trade
You know I'd like to win more than we lose
So fix Utley and we’ll have it made

And I don't understand why I watch all day
And I start to get bummed when there's no runs
And all I can do is email Carson cuz he agrees
The Phils rip my life away, it's a sick disease
Disease......disease......disease......

All I can say is that my team is pretty lame
You don't like my point of view?
Then you have no brain
They’re so lame… They’re so lame

Monday, April 23, 2012

Series Preview - D-backs

Phillies (7-9) at AZ D-Backs (8-8)

Pitching Matchups:
Monday, 9:40 - Kyle Kendrick v. Wade Miley
Tuesday, 9:40 - The Vanimal v. Josh Collmenter
Wednesday, 3:40 - Ol' Girl Parts v. Trevor Cahill

Snakes:
Runs - 64 (17th)
Avg - .224 (25th)
Slug - .375 (21st)

The Phils are catching the D-backs offense at the right time. Justin Upton hurt his thumb in the first week of the season and still hasn't recovered. He's hitting around .200 with no power. Chris Young started off great but ran into a wall last week against Pittsburgh and is on the 15 day DL. Other regulars (Goldschmidt, Montero, Hill, Bloomquist, Roberts) are all hitting below .240.

Snakes:
ERA - 4.01 (18th)
WHIP - 1.33 (17th)
BAA - .253 (17th)

Wade Miley, eh? He was a first round pick and made his MLB debut last August. Last season between AA and AAA, he was 8-3 with a 4.30 ERA. He made seven starts last year with similar results (4-2, 4.50). All three appearances this season have been from the bullpen.

Their Phillies-like Hitter:
Ryan Roberts - He may have a ton of ugly tattoos, but he can't hit the ball. After a decent season in 2011, he's only hitting .173 after 52 at-bats.

Their Danys Baez:
Joe Paterson - Let's hope this guy pitches every game, because it might be our only chance at happiness. Paterson has given up 10 hits and 6 ER in only 2.2 innings.

Their Chris Wheeler:


What I'm Drinking:
Corey - Turkey Hill Diet White Tea Peach - The container says 'Limited Edition' so I may go out and buy a few cases of this stuff.

What I'm Listening To:
Corey - H2O - 'Don't Forget Your Roots" - NYHC band H2O did a tribute/cover album to their favorite hardcore and punk bands. Rancid, Gorilla Biscuits, Ramones, Sick of It All, Social D, Clash, Madball, Bad Brains, and 7 Seconds all get songs covered. Awesome.

Magic Number Watch:
The Phils are not in first place. This section is obviously completely unnecessary but I'm going to leave it here, if only as a painful reminder of the last 5 seasons...

Kemp Watch:
Kemp still leads the Phils 9-7 in homers after both went homerless yesterday. The Dodgers host Atlanta for three games starting today. The Phils definitely have the stadium advantage this series as the ball flies out of Arizona a little easier than Chavez Ravine.

Prediction:
I'm saying 8 runs and a win...for the series.

And finally, another look at that D-back's employee and a .gif of his crazy eyes after thinking 'Wagner' starts with an 'R.'

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Do Not Vote Phillies for 2012 All-Star Game

Are you f'n kidding me?!?!?!

The image above is some bullshit propaganda provided by Phillies.com

2012 Phillies All-Star Hopefuls Credentials:
Placido Polanco - .192/.434, 3 R, 1 RBI.  His bat is as dead as Dick Clark.   Shouldn't have been voted the starter at 3rd base last year, and sure as hell shouldn't be this year either.  If you vote for Polly you probably like Kool-Aid with no sugar, fries with no ketchup, beer with no alcohol, going to the bathroom with no toilet paper, sex with no partner, etc.

John Mayberry Jr. - .179/.385, 0 R, 2 RBI, 12 K in 39 AB.  I'm not even sure what to say about this.  Voting for JMJ would be like voting for the devil in the 2012 Presidential election.

Hunter Pence - .276/.747, 8 R, 2 DBL, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 SB.  Not bad, but not really good either.   He's fun, but that shouldn't get him All-Star votes.

Carlos Ruiz - .275/.736,  3 R, 3 DBL, 1 HR, 3 RBI.  Chooch is good, but not All-Star good.

Jimmy Rollins - .237/.535, 7 R, 3 RBI, 2 SB.  He's been miscast as a leadoff hitter in the past, and now he's misplaced in the 3-hole.  Ask the Mets who's the team to beat now.

Chase Utley - 2 bum knees, no games played, career in limbo. If you vote for Utley you should probably have your citizenship revoked.

Shane Victorino - .293/.763, 8 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 6 SB.  If you really felt the need to vote for a Phillies player, I'd cut you some slack if you chose The Flyin' Hawiian, but you still shouldn't.

Ryan Howard - no games played, no return in sight, making $20M in the first year of a 5 year extension that might go down as one of the worst in MLB history.  By the time 2016 rolls around, Howard and Utley might both be in wheelchairs.  Voting for Howard would be like supporting inflation, higher gas prices, communism, and a career resurrection for Macy Gray.

*Stats through games played on April 21st.

Good News / Bad News - Sunday Edition

Good News:
* The Phillies scored a run last night.

* The Phillies got three whole hits last night, and two of them were by actual position players. Yeah offense!

* Freddy Galvis fielded a routine groundball and Chris Wheeler, barely able to speak due his 'physical excitement,' gave a five minute dissertation on how great it was. Who needs to see hits when you can watch a second baseman field a groundball 5 time via slow-motion replay?

Bad News:
* Matt Kemp now has 9 homers. The Phils have 7.

* Kemp and teammate Andre Ethier have 43 RBIS. The Phils have 42 runs.

* The Phils have scored 42 runs this season. The Rangers have scored 46 runs in their last five games and the Yankees have scored 41 during that same time frame.

* Oh yeah, and Cliff Lee was place on the DL, retroactive to three days ago, for a left oblique strain. Matt Gelb at the Inquirer has the full story HERE.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Good News/Bad News

Hey, the Phillies just got back to level land (.500 at 7-7).  Let's take a look at some of the good and bad so far.
 
Good News:
*Brian Schneider got his first base hit of the season.

*Jose Contreras worked a scoreless 7th in his first appearance of the season.

*Chad Qualls picked up his 4th hold and hasn't allowed a run in 6 IP.

*Jonathan Papelbon is still perfect in save situations (5 for 5).

*Okay, Freddy Galvis truly is a wizard in the field.  If he played an entire season at 2nd base, he'd get votes for the Gold Glove.  His bat is even coming along.  After starting the year 0-937, he's now 11-37 (.297) over the last 10 games.

*Shane Victorino is batting .315/.817, but is being wasted in the lineup because of Charlie Manuel's lack of vision.  He should be batting 3rd and Polanco should be dropped to 8th. (I guess this is both good and bad).

*Best ERA in baseball, Phillies- 2.20 with 10 quality starts and a 1.08 WHIP.


Bad News:
*Screwy calls- 2 balks (Hamels), called out for bunting in fair territory (Pierre), and a strike called because batter attempted to get hit by a pitch (Victorino).  They were all the correct calls, but that's a lot of screwy ones in one ball game.

*Big Jim Thome.  Good guy, good bat, just not meant for the NL.  Thome needs regular at bats, not something the Phils can give him because of his inability to play the field on a consistent basis.  Thome is now 1-13 with 7 K.

*Phillies pinch hitters are 1-17 (.059) on the season. 

*John Mayberry Jr. is lost.  Completely and utterly lost.

*The Atlanta Braves own the best offense in baseball and have scored 84 runs, that's more than double the Phillies total of 41.

*The Phillies have get more singles than a stripper's g-string.  Extra base "power" is almost nonexistent (only 25 XBH).

*They're still being out-homered by Matt Kemp.  Kemp - 8, Phillies - 7.

*The entire team only has 25 bases on balls.  Shelley Duncan and Carlos Santana of the Indians have 24 combined.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Friday Fun Stuff

Here's a screen grab of the Vanimal's final strikeout last night. It was a curveball that even with only a few inches of horizontal break, got nowhere near the plate. Great effort by Worley (not so much by the offense, again) but he did have an Atlanta Braves mid-90's strike zone to work with. Home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt must have had some place to go.


Charlie Speaks: I know it's not 'cool' to make fun of Charlie Manuel anymore, what with the current state of rampant political correctness and that whole World Series victory thing. But every now and then (basically, every Manuel interview I pay attention to...) I hear something that just makes me chuckle. Sure, it's sophomoric and needless and irrelevant, but I think it's funny. So, here's Charlie Manuel giving us invaluable insight into Roy Halladay after Monday's win.



Transcript: "He doesn't... he always... he always... you, you're always gotta chance to win the game. He's alway, uhh... He always keeps you in a real, uhh, good, close area, you know like, where you have a chance, even, even if you're behind."

Translation: "He doesn't give up many runs so the team always has a chance to win."

Priceless.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Series Preview - San Diego Padres

Phillies (5-7) at San Diego Padres (3-10)

Pitching Matchups:
Thursday, 10:05 - Vance Worley v. Joe Wieland
Friday, 10:05 - Cole Hamels v. Edinson Volquez
Saturday, 8:35 - Roy Halladay v. Cory Luebke
Sunday, 4:05 - Joe Blanton v. Anthony Bass

Padres:
Runs - 48 (20th)
Avg - .217 (27th)
Slug - .340 (25th)

This is a pretty sad bunch of hitters. Third baseman Chase Headley is having a nice season (.283-4-12) but after that, it gets pretty sketchy. Nick Hundley, Cameron Maybin, Jesus Guzman, Jason Bartlett and Orlando Hudson all have at least 39 at-bats and are all hitting below the .200. Add Yonder Alonzo's .225 and you have the majority of the lineup hitting well below what most would consider respectable.

Padres:
ERA - 4.07 (18th)
WHIP - 1.36 (18th)
BAA - .231 (7th)

Joe Wieland will only be making his second career start. The Padres got him from the Rangers for Mike Adams last July and Wieland had a great minor league season. He pitched A, AA, and AAA with totals of 13-4, 1.97.

Anthony Bass was a starter throughout his trip up the minors posting a career minor league ERA of 3.01. He pitched out of the bullpen last season with success (1.68 ERA). This will be his 6th career major league start.

The other two starters you should already know...

Their Freddy Galvis:
There's no more 'O' left in the ol' O-Dog. The "nO-Dog" is well below the 'Sandoval Line,' currently hitting only .128.

Their Danys Baez:
Their least successful reliever so far has been Brad Bach. He's given up three runs in only five innings.

Their JD Drew:
I like the Padres. I'm going to give them a pass on "playa hatin'" today, especially since Edinson Volquez cut that awful hair.

What I'm Drinking:
Corey - Stone Cali-Belgique IPA -Stone has a brewery just north of San Diego in Escondido, CA. If you ever have the chance, get there. They do brewery tours every few hours and there is a great indoor bar and outdoor eating area with really good food. The Cali-Belgique is my favorite Stone beer and probably one of my favorite beers across all categories.

What I'm Listening To:
Corey - The Steve Czaban Show podcasts from Yahoo!!!!!. Sport talk radio generally sucks, but FM radio only plays country music, classic rock and Lady Gaga and I can only listen to "talk radio" for a short time before my head explodes in anger. Thankfully, there's Steve Czaban. Greatest freaking sports radio show out there. Period. Lock it up. He's on from 6-10 but the podcasts are up that morning, split into easily digestible thirty minutes segments.

Magic Number Watch:
The Phils are not in first place. :(

Prediction: 
The Phils score only 7 runs the whole series but still win 2 games.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Polanco Should Pull an Alex S. Gonzalez

Way back in WSBGMs inaugural season of 2006, the Phillies employed Alex S. Gonzalez. He went on to play in 20 games that season and hit .111 with a .269 OPS. Naturally, we called for his release. Instead he gifted the organization with his retirement. It might be time for Placido Polanco to do the same.

2012:
AVG - .179
OBP - .220
SLG - .205
OPS - .425

2011:
September - .280/.349/.344/.693
August - .280/.333/.280/.613
July - .100/.217/.100/.317
June - .213/.279/.266/.545
May - .248/.289/.294/.583

Excluding his set the world on fire April of 2011, Polanco has hit .237 (96-405) with a .295 OBP, .279 SLG, and .574 OPS. During that time he's scored 31 runs, has 32 RBI, 8 DBL, and 3 HR.

At the very least Manuel should drop Polly to 7th or 8th in the lineup. Freddy Galvis is hitting better than him for crying out loud.

Oh, and before you go clamoring on and on about his Gold Glove defense...shove it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Catching The Howard & Other Stuff


Catching The Howard:
Take a moment and direct your eyes to the blog's right sidebar and you will see the 2012 Howard standings. Nothing astounding so far, aside from the fact that there have been 9 Howards committed (a homerun, strikeout, and error in the same game) and 4 of them have been by catchers (Lucroy, Wieters, Posey, and Mauer). That's 44%. Guess you could say "The Howard is catching on." Also, 3 of the Howards have been done by Orioles. Good for 33%.

Other Stuff:
*What the hell is wrong with Washington Nationals fans? They are currently in 1st place in the NL East, one of the most exciting pitchers in baseball was on the mound last night (Strasburg), and it felt like summer out (high 80's), yet, Nationals Park was only a little over a third full (Attendance- 16,245 - 38.8% capacity). Pathetic.

*What the hell is wrong with Tim Lincecum? Some silly schmuck (me) drafted him in the 2nd round and has been blessed with 3 utterly horrible starts, the most recent one suffered at the bats of the Phillies last night. You know things are going bad when the Phils offense lights you up. 2012 stats: 0-2, 3 GS, 13.2 IP, 16 K, 10.54 ERA, 1.90 WHIP. Adam Eaton laughs at that.

*Matt Kemp has as many or more homeruns than 1/5 of MLB teams. Kemp has 6, while the Nationals, Reds, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, and Cubs have 6 or less. He also has 16 RBI, the same amount as Pittsburgh's entire team. Yikes! Hat tip to Corey for turning me onto this on Sunday.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Series Preview - San Francisco Giants

Phillies (4-5) at The San Francisco Baseball Giants (4-5)

Pitching Matchups:
Monday, 10:15 - Roy Halladay v. Big Time Timmy Jim
Tuesday, 10:15 - Joe Blanton v. Madison Bumcover
Wednesday, 10:15 - Cliff Lee v. Matt Cain

Large People Batting:
Runs - 43 (10th)
Avg - .243 (18th)
Slug - .409 (14th)

Large People Pitching:
ERA - 4.21 (21st)
WHIP - 1.29 (15th)
BAA - .243 (15th)

Their Freddy Galvis:
This season, a player named in the TFG portion of the preview has hit a home run in the subsequent series. First it was Pedro Alvarez. Austin Kearns followed for Miami. Then Ike Davis went deep yesterday.

Leadoff hitter Angel Pagan gets the 'TFG' nod this series after starting the season 6-35 (.171) with only 2 RBI and 1 steal. Of course, now he'll hit a home run.

Their Danys Baez:
Guillermo Mota has given up 4 earned runs in only 3.1 innings (10.80 ERA).

Honorable Mention to 'The Freaky Franchise' Tim Lincecum. He can't get his fastball over 89 or his ERA under 12. Ouch. Let's hope his temporary(?) freefall continues tonight.

Their JD Drew:
I can't find a real bad guy on this team. Brain Wilson's schtick gets old sometimes, but the game needs personalities so he gets a pass. Barry Zito dated Alyssa Milano so I hate him a little. But every body else pretty much 'ehh.'

What I'm Drinking:
Corey - Sugar Free Red Bull - Three 10:15 starts?!?! I have Wednesday off so there's a chance I'll catch Tuesday's game but even the Red Bull might not be enough to help me stay awake past 10:30 watching this offense.

What I'm Listening To:
Corey - Justin Townes Earle's 'Nothing's Gonna Change The Way You Feel About Me Now.' While not as good as his last album, 2010's epic masterpiece 'Harlem River Blues,' the latest from Steve Earle's kid is still solid. [Allmusic.com gives a full review here.] Of course, I've always preferred JTE without a backing band or typical studio production. So, give the album a listen but then head over to archive.org and listen to or download (free!) some solo concerts like this one.

Magic Number Watch:
The Phils are not in first place. :(

Win Money:
Remember, go to draftday.com/go/WSBGMs and you could win $5 to  participate in some fantasy sports gambling. All you have to do is hit the link, make a team, sign up, then beat us to get your money. [If you sign up to today, I'll be setting the GM's lineup, not repeat fantasy champion Carson, so get in today if you want to win...]

Prediction:
This depends on how 'Freak' pitches tonight. If recent form holds, the teams split the first two and a game three pitchers duel will decide the series.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Stuff

[Editor's note: If you don't want to read about how bad the offense is, just skip to the bottom for a chance to win some gambling money.]

I'm shocked that the Phillies offensive struggles are a surprise to so many people. To the annoyance of many, Carson and I have been pounding the keyboard since last November about how poorly this year's squad would do offensively. And that was before Chase Utley revealed that he no longer has knees.

The fact is, unless you're the Angels or Rangers and you have potential All-Stars at six or seven positions, you can't remove your two best hitters and expect to score many runs.

The other fact is, the offense is generally performing at expectations. Pence, Victorino, Rollins and Cooch are all hitting .290 or above. Juan Pierre is doing what we thought. Freddy Galvis is actually exceeding expectations by hitting .222 with one home run. Placido Polanco is washed up so he's doing exactly what I thought he would do. John Mayberry is producing a little less than expected and the "fill in" guys (Wiggy, Thome, Nix) are doing nothing. But if you're counting on a "could've been" left fielder, a 40 year old designated hitter and journeymen utility player to give you a successful offense, I have a bridge for you to buy. Pence will probably start slugging better, but after that, like I said before, what do you expect?

Some quick hits:

* Shane Victorino, despite not having Davy Lopes holding his hand and leading him around the bases, is 4-4 in steals, good for 5th in the NL.

* Freddy Galvis is the team leader in home runs and RBIs.

* Matt Kemp has 5 homers. The Phillies have 5. This is a race to watch.

* In reference to Josh Thole's baserunning blunder on Friday, Chris Wheeler said Jimmy Rollins is not the type of player to be out there "jive talking people." Huh? I don't know if that is racist, outdated, irrelevant, stupid, or a combination of all four.

Gambling Money
Want to have some baseball interest other than the Phillies today? If so, go to draftday.com/go/WSBGMs. If your new to sign up, you can play the GMs (that's us...) in a head to head game of fantasy baseball. If you win, you get $5 dollars to wager further on the site. If we win, we get the $5 and the right to publish our victory on the blog and brag about it. Think you can beat us?

draftday.com/go/WSBGMs

Saturday, April 14, 2012

This Offense Sucks


7 games, 20 runs.

.285 On Base %.

13 extra base hits.

Jim Thome, Laynce Nix, and Brian Schneider 1-18 with 6 K.

Placido Polanco .415 OPS.

At least they're not the Pirates, who have scored a MLB low 11 runs. Of course, the Buccos did take 2 of 3 from the Phils in the Opening Series...
________________________________________________________

Welcome Aboard Fontenot:
Mike Fontenot is a small (5'8" 165 lb) 31 year old left-handed hitting utility infielder with 6 MLB seasons under his belt. The Giants released him near the end of spring training and the Phillies just signed him to a minor league contract. He can play 2nd, 3rd, and SS adequately. I mean, he's no Freddy Galvis with the glove, but who is? With the Cubs and Giants he's hit .263/.738 in 535 games. He's a definite upgrade over Pete Orr and even Michael Martinez and possibly Galvis too. However, big ups to Freddy Galvis on his first career homerun last night.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Series Preview - Mets

Phillies (3-3) v. New York Metropolitans (4-2)

Pitching Matchups:
Friday, 7:05 - Cliff Lee v. RA Dickey
Saturday, 4:05 - Vance Worley v. Jon Niese
Sunday, 1:35 - Cole Hamels v. Mike Pelfrey

Muts Batting:
Runs - 18 (28th)
Avg - .251 (10th)
Slug - .382 (16th)

Muts Pitching:
ERA - 3.00 (11th)
WHIP - 1.39 (25th)
BAA - .231 (13th)

Their Freddy Galvis:
Ike Davis - The former first round pick and 2012 Fantasy Sleeper is not starting the season the way many predicted. He picked up his first hit of the season on Wednesday and he currently is 1-20. That's good for a .050 average and .186 OPS.

Their Danys Baez:
Miguel Batista - It might be time for the 41 year old Batista to call it quits. Sure, he's only pitched 2.1 innings, but he's given up 2 hits and 5 walks in that short time.

Their JD Drew:
All of them. It's the Mets.

What We're Drinking:
Corey - I have plans to plop myself on the couch Saturday afternoon and actually watch a full Phillies game, which can be a rare occasion these days. Since Jon Niese and his gigantic nose is pitching for the Mets, I think I'll head to Wegman's for a sixer of Shoals Pale Ale from Smuttynose Brewing. Delicious! Just hoppy enough so you know you're drinking an American pale ale, but smooth enough to drink the entire sixer without getting that nasty, dry "hop mouth."

Carson - Miller High Life longneck bottles and Yuengling Premium. My buddy from North Carolina is up for the weekend and I have a fridge full fo beer. It will be empty by tomorrow.

What We're Listening To:
Corey - Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses - We built this blog on beating dead horses, so why not listen to some? The latest album from this band, Junky Star, charted in the top ten of the Billboard Country (2) and Rock (8) charts. Wikipedia describes it as 'Americana.' Okay, whatever. It's good, give it a listen, then obtain the whole album by whatever means necessary.

Carson - TBA

Magic Number Watch:
The Phils are not in first place. :(

Prediction:
Sweep? No, not with this offense. Phils still take two from the already-peaked Mets.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pat the Bat to Retire a Phillie


From MLBTradeRumors.com:
The Phillies have announced that Pat Burrell will sign a one-day minor league contract and retire with the club that originally drafted him. The retirement ceremony will be held on May 19th.


*Classy move by the Phils. Burrell is a favorite of this blog and was the first player inducted into We Should Be GMs Hall of Fame back in 2009.

You're my boy Burrell, you're my boy.

*Don't forget to register for free for our $350 prize pool 1-day fantasy baseball league. Click here to enter. Click here to enter.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Galvis Flip

He might only be hitting .125. This might only be his second career hit. But this bat flip is straight pimpin'. You know Jose Reyes was at shortstop thinking to himself, "I like this kid's style."

Things the Phillies Can't Get Away with Anymore

The Philadelphia Phillies have won 5 straight NL East division championships. For that to continue, some things will need to change. But you ask- "Why fix it, if it ain't broken?" Oh, my child, you have so much to learn. The Phils have been able to outhit or out-pitch the opposition for so long that we as fans have overlooked their flaws. Below you will find a list of things the Phillies can't get away with anymore. To paraphrase my homeboy Jay-Z, they've got 99 problems, but losing ain't one. Read, weep, rant, drink...

1. Bad managing. Charlie Manuel's strength as manager is his likeability. His players love him and he loves his players. Love doesn't win games though. Fuqua has already taken "small ball" to the extreme with retarded bunting. Sacrifice bunts in general are bad because they essentially give up an out. Decades of studies have been done that prove the probability of scoring from 2nd base with no outs is higher than scoring from 3rd base with one out. Why should facts get in the way of Chuck's managing style, he's got the gut after all. And that gut feeling he's been going with when writing the lineup card, making pitching changes, pinch hitting, or defensive replacements so far this season has been wrong. Kendrick the setup man? Blanton instead of Papelbon? Bunting Victorino with no outs to move Pierre to 3rd? Batting J-Roll 3rd? Starting Galvis at 2nd?

Do you remember all the managerial blunders Manuel committed in the 2005 and 2006 seasons, and how they lost the Phils games and a shot at the playoffs? Yeah, it might be like that again.

*Side note- sacrifice bunts are okay in final at bats, when the pitcher is hitting, or when Freddy Galvis is at the plate. Hell, having Galvis bunt every plate appearance might actually be beneficial.

2. Inability to stop opponents running game. Brian Schneider is a backup catcher, but he sucks at everything he does aside from calling pitches for Vance Worley. Carlos Ruiz handles the pitching staff with the efficiency of a field general, but he's below average in regards to caught stealing percentage. The opposition can run practically risk free on the Phils and those extra bases will lead to extra runs, which will lead to losses.

3. Carrying bad players on roster. For the past 5 seasons the Phillies were a good enough collective group that they were able overcome the shortcomings of some of the players on the roster (examples- Abe Nunez, Eric Bruntlett, So Taguchi, Juan Castro, Michael Martinez, Adam Eaton, Danys Baez, Antonio Alfonseca, JD Durbin, Jose Mesa, and numerous bad seasons by others). With this current cast of misfits, they're no longer afforded that luxury. Freddy Galvis, Pete Orr, and Brian Schneider can't hit...at all, yet all 3 are on the Phils 25-man roster. Schneider is bad at everything, Orr is versatile, but so what, and Galvis apparently plays earth shatteringly amazing defense, but can't hit or get on base or hit or get on base or hit or get on base or hit...you get the idea.

4. Sign players to horrible contracts. Ryan Howard anyone? If you read this blog you know all the reasons that we detest Howard's contract extension. But let me highlight one reason- his contract is hamstringing this team from making improvements to the roster unless they wish to pass the luxury tax threshold. Let me make this simple for you- no way in hell Howard gets 5 years $125M with a ruptured achilles...but he did, from Amaro. Other bad contracts- Blanton's and potentially Papelbon's.

5. T-Mac, Sarge & Wheels. Okay, this really has no baring on the outcome on the field, but we're only 4 games into the season and I want to stab my eardrums with rusty screwdrivers. Want a drinking game? Kick back a shot for every time Sarge says "for me" during a telecast. You'll need your stomach pumped. STFU!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Win Cash Money Playing Free Fantasy Baseball


Like baseball? Like money? If your answer to both is yes, then register for free to play in DraftStreet.com's 1 day fantasy baseball league for cash prizes. You get to play GM with a salary cap of $100K to build a team of 14 players (C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, 3 OF, 2 UTL, 2 SP, RP, P). Registering literally takes seconds and building a team only a few minutes. 240 seconds of your time is a worthwhile investment, because there is a $350 prize pool and the top 7 get paid.

The 1-day fantasy event is for Friday's MLB games, which begins at 1:05 PM EST. You can spend $17,589 on Cliff Lee or go the cheap route and pick up the Orioles Tommy Hunter at $6,393. If you want a big bopper, expect to pay big (ex- Miguel Cabrera $12,056). Being frugal might be a better approach (ex- Emilio Bonifacio $6,679). It's your choice, because it's your team. Go ahead and test your mettle.

Click Here for Free Roll. Click Here for Free Roll.

Monday, April 09, 2012

So Far in 2012...


"It was the best of times. It was the worst of times." Charles Dickens only had it half right.

Series Preview - Miami Marlins

Phillies (1-2) v. Miami Marlins (1-3)

Pitching Matchups:
Monday, 1:05 - Cole Hamels v. Anibal Sanchez
Wednesday, 7:00 - Roy Halladay v. Josh Johnson
Thursday, 7:05 - Joe Blanton v. Mark Buehrle

Fish Batting:
Runs - 14 (14th)
Avg - .226 (15th)
Slug - .368 (18th)

Fish Pitching:
ERA - 4.46 (24th)
WHIP - 1.37 (22nd)
BAA - .280 (25th)

Their Freddy Galvis:
Austin Kearns is 0-2. A few pitchers don't have hits. Gaby Sanchez is 1-12 and Hanley Ramirez is 2-15, but I foresee those players getting a few hits in the near future.

Their Danys Baez:
Closer Heath Bell gave up 2 runs to the Reds yesterday and his ERA sits at a cool 13.50. No other bullpen member has blown up yet.

Their JD Drew:
Lots of unlikable guys to choose from here. There's Jose Reyes who loves to showboat when his team is losing and 15 games back in the standings. There is Carlos Zambrano who likes fighting with teammates then quitting "retiring" midseason. But my favorite is the drunken idiot manager, Ozzie Guillen. He's often quoted, frequently wrong, occasionally bigoted and homophobic, but always an ass. His latest zinger? He told Time magazine he loves Fidel Castro and respects him for staying in power so long. Well, at least for Ozzie, he's managing in Miami where he's unlikely to find anybody who's been affected by Castro's dictatorship or has any strong feelings about Cuban politics. What a peach that Ozzie Guillen is.

What We're Drinking:
Corey - Beefeater gin and club soda. At 94 proof, it's got that little something extra, namely more alcohol than typical spirits. A 'beefeater' is a ceremonial guardian at the Tower of London. I took a tour of the Tower of London led by a beefeater. It was pretty cool. I saw where Ann Bolyen got beheaded. They didn't give me gin at the end of the tour, which was disappointing.

Carson - Goat Rodeo Brewing's "The Bunny Hop". Created from a carrot cake recipe and adapted it to the brewing process and the rest is history. A nut brown ale as the base with cascade hops, carrots, raisins, toasted coconut and walnuts, vanilla extract, a stick of cinnamon, and lactose (to serve as the "icing"). Perfect for the season/holiday.

What We're Listening To:
Corey - Lucero - "Women & Work" - Memphis rockers Lucero released their latest album three weeks ago. They'll be at the Abbey Bar in Harrisburg (upstairs at Appalachian Brewery) April 24th. I have my tickets. If you live in the area and like real rock & roll, don't miss this show.

Carson - Sarge, T-Mac & Wheels. Yes, I hate myself.

Magic Number Watch:
The Phils are not in first place. :(

This sucks. But don't worry, I have something that will make you smile... or vomit. Remember when Scott Stapp (Creed) did the Marlins theme song? I do. Have a listen.



Prediction:
Maybe it's the crystal meth talking, but I have a good feeling about this series. Phils take the first two behind OGP and Doc and finish the series at .500. Lock it up.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Super Duper Meaningfully Pertinent Poll

Phillies bullpen is shaky, offense is listless, and they're 1-2 to start the season...against the freakin' Pirates. Yeah, not good.

Should I continue bitching? Nah, because I don't feel like reading all the "it's a marathon, not a sprint" bullshit cliches in the comments section. Instead, I'll just kick back and relax and leave you, the reader, to determine this super duper meaningfully pertinent answer to the poll below. Freddy Galvis is 0-10 to start his career, how long before he collects a hit?


2 Games, 2 Runs, That's the Phillies

Pitching and defense wins baseball games. Unless, of course, you don't score enough runs to win.

2 games, 2 runs. Record: 1-1. And don't expect Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and the rest of the gang to only surrender 1 run every turn through the rotation. Basically, expect more wins than loses unless this offense is able to produce.

Problems:
*Lineup Construction - why in the hell is the Phillies best all around offense threat batting leadoff? With Utley and Howard out, Victorino should be batting 3rd.

*Get Juan Pierre in there and Freddy Galvis out of there. Pierre in LF, Polanco to 2nd, Wigginton to 3rd, Mayberry/Nix/Thome at 1st.

New Lineup:
1. Pierre/LF
2. Polanco/2B
3. Victorino/CF
4. Pence/RF
5. Rollins/SS
6. Mayberry/Nix/Thome/1B
7. Wigginton/3B
8. Ruiz/C

Still not formidable, but better. Galvis has a great glove, but he's created 10 outs in 8 MLB at bats. Small sample size? Yes, but I've seen enough based on minor league performance as I documented in yesterday's post. If Polanco truly can't handle 2nd base anymore, then go get Mike Fontenot and let him start at 2nd against righties (.267/.750 career against RHP) and give Galvis the start against lefties, while dropping Pete Orr from the roster.

Unless Utley miraculously heals and is ready for action in a couple weeks, we're looking at some sickening offensive production with the team as currently constructed.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Galvis Divide & Minor League Stuff

The Galvis Divide:
Every season there seems to be a few players that WSBGMs take a hardline stance against and then take plenty of flak from blind Phillies fans, until of course we're proven right (Examples- David Bell, Adam Eaton, Michael Martinez, Danys Baez, No-Hit Nunez, Eric Bruntlett, Ryan Howard's contract, etc.). Anyway, that player this season already seems to be rookie second baseman Freddy Galvis. We don't hate the kid, hell we even root for him. Let's be realistic though, he's not going to hit. Thinking he will is foolhardy. What is the biggest concern facing the Phillies this season? Scoring enough runs! Freddy Galvis is not going to help that situation. I know he's only 22 years old and Thursday was his MLB debut, but let's look at the facts. Facts- in 5 minor league seasons he's only a .246/.613 hitter. That does not translate well to the majors. He has poor base running instincts too, having been caught 33 times in 101 attempts. That's a below 70% success rate. His OB% is .292, holy shit that's horrific! His defense might be solid, but his bat is atrocious. He needs to go. Bring in Mike Fontenot until Utley comes back.

Here's a smattering of some of the flak we've already received on the blog and Facebook...
*I believe you need to give Galvis more than 4 ab as a 22 y.o. rookie. Many of the greatest players of all time have looked over-matched at that age, and certainly in their first game. I agree that he doesn't look good hitting, and I don't believe he will be that good, but have you actually looked at the other options. Fontenot's last 3 years OPS .677, .706, .681 with average at best defense. I'll take a chance with Galvis.

*Wow it's one game and your jumping on the kids back. Give him a fair shot. His bat wasn't that bad during ST.

*1 thing I don't care about DPs. All those DPs mean is he is hitting the ball. Just didn't find a hole. I would rather see Freddy or any player on the phils hit into 100 DPs in a season over striking out 200 times.

*He isn't a great hitter I'll give you that, but he isn't here to hit 50 homers. He is here for his glove and to get on base. That is where the whole putting the ball into play comes into it. He will lay down a bunt, he will hit behind the runner, and more importantly he will take a walk. His slugging percentage means nothing. I want OBP and someone who is fundamentally sound.

*Great glove, he'll hit, I'm not worried one bit! Reminds me of Bowa a little, he'll hit plus had a very good spring. He hit Major league pitching yesterday, just hit the ball in the incorrect spots.

*I think it is a little early to give up on a guy after 1 game? He is your 8 hole hitter, what do you really expect for the 8 hole guy?

*Talk about jumping the gun...what a joke. Martinez & Valdez could not hit for crap either. Give him a chance & if he does not cut it, send him down & bring up Luna to play third & put Polly at 2b.

*It was one game. He's not in the line up because of his hitting, he's in the lineup because of his defense. Period. If he hits, it's a bonus, but his defense is why he's not in Lehigh. If it wasn't for the DP that Galvis turned in the first inning on defense, we would have lost the game. No way Polanco has as much range as Galvis at 2nd. You keep Polly at 3rd. You can't determine anything on Galvis by just one game. It's waaaaay too small a sample size. See what he can do, and I guarantee you that Galvis won't hit in to as many DP's as Valdez.

*Freddy sucks and can't hit. Yeah Yeah Yeah. ONE F'ing game! ONE! He hit .270 this spring. Led team in RBI's. Tied for second in HRs. He makes contact. We need his glove and we have enough strikeout kings. It's nice to see a player actually hit the damn ball.

Okay, there you have it. See how conveniently people ignore facts so that they won't be wrong. For example, what in Galvis' past makes that one dude think "he'll take a walk"? Galvis has only taken 123 walks in 5 minor league seasons and gets on base at an unthinkably low .292 rate. Then there are the people leaning so heavily on his "good spring training". Last time I checked, those stats don't mean shit, but hey, what do I know. Also, we're not giving up on the kid after 1 game. Long before he ever made his MLB debut I've thought that Galvis would never hit MLB pitching well enough to warrant considerable playing time, and this has been based on his track record thus far. Another thing, the person hyping him as the next Bowa should check the stats, as Larry was only a .260/.620 hitter, and sadly that's likely far better than Galvis can produce. Coming into spring training Galvis was an afterthought for the 25-man roster. He's only here out of necessity, because Valdez was traded and both Utley and Martinez are hurt. He didn't earn the starting 2B gig, it was given to him because the Phils had essentially nowhere else to turn.

Minor League Stuff:
*The Phillies have a minor league outfielder named Gauntlett Eldemire. That is seriously one of the most bad ass names ever, while being nerdy at the same time. I almost expect to see some morph of Method Man and Poindexter. Gauntlett was drafted in 2010 and just now appeared in a game due recovery from wrist surgery.

*Jose Contreras got lit up by some Single-A batters on Thursday. He started the game for the Clearwater Threshers and only lasted 1/3 of an inning. He walked 1 batter and surrendered 2 hits, one of which was a homerun, for 3 runs allowed. That's a tidy 81.00 ERA. Well done!

*Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs starter Tyler Cloyd pitched 6 perfect frames and took the win. He's not been touted as to having any future in the bigs, but aside from an awful 2010 (5.17 ERA), he's been solid at every stop along his minor league voyage. Stats: 34-21, 3.59 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 471.2 IP, 404 K. This is his first taste of AAA, so we'll see how he does.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Friday Thoughts

Freddy Galvis:
No.

I know it's only one game, but he hit into two double plays and looked absolutely pathetic in two other at-bats. His WAR after one game is already -0.1. If Galvis continues to get significant at-bats, he will not hit above .200.

Polanco should be moved to second with Wiggy at third, then mix and match Pierre/Nix/Mayberry/Thome at LF and first.

I miss Wilson Valdez. I even miss Michael Martinez...

Schedule:
Major League Baseball really knows how to kill enthusiasm.

First, they start the season in Japan and don't even broadcast the game live. I got up early to watch a few innings of the A's-Mariners to find the game came on at 9:00 AM, just when the game was in the 8th inning in real time. Weird.

Second, on Opening Day, only one game started after 5 PM. I mean, I like not watching boring baseball games as much as the next person, and my interest in other teams fades in about one week, but I'd like to see a few games on Opening Day.

Third, the Phils follow a strenuous series of ONE GAME with an off day. Way to build excitement, MLB.

Schedule 2:
The Pirates, if you haven't noticed, have been pretty sucky recently. [Or, as David Murphy would write, "keen observations of baseball related phenomena have allowed discerning intellects to deduce that the baseball organization known as the Pirates has been fundamentally and consistently atrocious."] They don't have the best attendance. Opening weekend is solid. Friday and Saturday games do well. And when the Phils come to town, they sell out. So Major League Baseball, in all of their wisdom, combined all three, essentially robbing the Pirates of a few sellouts. They owe the Buccos an apology and some cash.

Mets:
I don't know if this is a clever spin or just garbage written to fill space on a blog, but over at deadspin.com somebody wrote a piece titled "Mets Fans Should Be Proud Of Not Selling Out Opening Day." Basically, the ownership has "shit upon" the fans" and there is nothing "to get excited about" so not only should Mets fans not feel bad about not showing up, they should take pride in sticking it to the owners.

Really? The fans should have "pride" in only going to the stadium when things are going well? I know what Jimmy Rollins would call this sort of fandom...

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Series Preview - Buccos

Phillies (0-0) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (0-0)

Pitching Matchups:
Thursday, 1:35 - Roy Halladay v. Erik Bedard
Saturday, 7:05 - Cliff Lee v. Jeff Karstens
Sunday, 1:35 - Vance Worley v. James McDonald


Their Michael Martinez:
Pedro Alvarez - The second overall pick in 2008 is a complete train wreck. He hit .191 with a whopping .561 OPS last season and so far this spring, things don't look much better. He's already struck out 20 times and is hitting about .160. General manager Neal Huntington said two days ago that Alvarez will not be sent down to AAA to start the season. That's good new for the Phillies...

Their Danys Baez:
Last year's bullpen workhorse Daniel McCutchen was absolutely brutal this spring, giving up 14 runs in 11 innings. So he's been sent down to the minors. The rest of the bullpen doesn't seem to have another Baez

Their JD Drew:
Rod Barajas - Carson called him a "fat lazy dog." Brett Myers' arm wrote him a letter. And we all still hate Rod Barajas.

What We're Drinking:
Corey - Blackmaker Root Beer Liqueur - When you mix this 70 proof liqueur with club soda, you get... well, root beer that gives you a buzz. If you think you could just poor vodka into a Barq's, you're wrong. It's not the same. This drink is delicious and refreshing and just perfect for sitting on your deck listening to the Phils on the radio on a warm Sunday afternoon.

Carson - Yard's Beers of the Revolution. General Washington's Tavern Porter, Thomas Jefferson's Tavern Ale, and Poor Richard's Tavern Spruce Ale. They are all very tasty, but I highly recommend the spruce ale if you're in the mood for something unique and fantastic.

What We're Listening To:
Corey - Son Volt. One of two bands that emerged from the breakup of alt-country pioneers Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt is much less popular and acclaimed that the other (Wilco) buth they are my personal choice. Their latest release is "American Central Dust," released in 2009. However, their best album might be "Trace," released waaaaaay back in 1995.

Carson - Machester Orechstra's "Virgin". Can't get this song out of my head!

Magic Number Watch:


Prediction:
The Pirates, no matter how bad they are, seems to buck up and play the Phillies well. And the Phils may not be able to score many runs. But I can't see the Phils losing a series when the Big Three all make starts. So, Phils take two in Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Confidence Meters - Pre-Season 2012


Halladay. Lee. Hamels. Until I have some reason to think otherwise, I'm feeling pretty good. [Considering I didn't feel too bad about Myers, Wolf and Padilla ten years ago...]



There are threats of Juan Pierre getting hundreds of at-bats. A minor league shortstop is starting at second base. Jim Thome is playing first base and it isn't 2004. Needless to day, things don't look too good.



This group has potential but there are some concerns. Bastardo's velocity has been down this spring with rumors of "arm problems." Contreras is old as dirt, coming off of arm surgery and will start the season on the DL. Stutes also might start the season on the DL.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Moneyball: Mabry for Giambi

I finally got around to watching the critically acclaimed Moneyball this weekend; I read the book many years ago. Overall the movie was enjoyable, but honestly the book was better. Anyway, I am not a film critic and I am not here to delve into the inaccuracies of the movie or the over dramatizing of it all. Nope, I want to revisit the John Mabry for Jeremy Giambi trade between Billy Beane and Ed Wade that was depicted as a major turning point in the Oakland Athletics 2002 season in Moneyball.

Giambi was portrayed as a goon that didn't care whether the team won or lost and his troubled past with the law and strippers and wild nightlife antics were brought into light. Beane was tired of losing and didn't like the vibe Jeremy was radiating in the clubhouse, so he got the Phillies GM on the phone and made a trade happen in less than a minute (because that's how it really works...). Phils sent the struggling Mabry to Oakland where he went on to hit .275/.846 in 89 games. Meanwhile, Giambi .244/.974 in 82 games. Funny thing, I did not remember the "little Giambi" as such a potent producer. With only 38 hits with the Phils, he hit 10 doubles, 12 homeruns, scored 32 runs, knocked in 28, and walked 52 times. The Phils didn't have the same success for the rest of the season as the A's did though. The A's went on to win a MLB record 20 straight games and make it to the playoffs with a minuscule payroll. Whereas the Phillies sputtered to a losing record under Larry Bowa. In 2003, Wade flipped Giambi to the Red Sox for Josh Hancock.

Monday, April 02, 2012

U2 - One (Juan Pierre Remix)

[In light of Juan Pierre making the Opening Day roster, I remixed U2's "One" to honor his best skill - leading the league in caught stealing. I picked caught stealing over his second best skill, having a small head but wearing a large helmet, because that didn't fit into song easily. Enjoy.]

Does he make them better?
Or are they still the same?
It will make it easier to blog now
We’ve got someone to blame
I say...

Juan runs
Juan swipes
When it's Juan’s speed
It’s all hype
Juan runs
But it’s not rare that
He gets caught often, we
Don't care for it

Did I disappoint you
Thought Podsednik with a tear
You act like you never saw Juan
Get caught stealing every year
Well it's...

Too late
Tonight
To drag his stats out into the light
He’s Juan, but he’s not that good
He will get
Caught stealing
Caught stealing
Juan...

Have you come here for a pennant?
Why is your bat so dead?
Have you come here to play left field?
Why not Dom Brown instead?

Do we ask too much?
More than a lot
You give us nothing
Now that’s all we got
You’re Juan
But you’re not that good
Well we'll
Boo you daily
Then we'll do it again

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Blanco Signed, Moyer #2, Me Fast?

Blanco Signed:
The Phillies infield has more injuries than a MASH unit during the Korean War. Last week Joe Thurston was signed for depth and now Andres Blanco has been added as well. The 27 year old switch hitter is best suited for SS and 2nd base, but he's manned 3rd and some outfield too. In 6 seasons with the Cubs, Royals, and Rangers he's hit .255/.634 in 235 games. He opted out of his minor league deal with Nationals because he was informed they wouldn't be putting him on the 25-man roster. This makes 2 years in a row we've taken the Gnats trash (Michael Martinez last year and now Blanco).

Right now the Phils have Hector Luna, Freddy Galvis, Pete Orr, and Blanco to pick from for starting 2nd baseman and utility infielder. Luna might have the best bat of the lot, but he can't play SS, so that eliminates him. Galvis has been knighted at 2nd to begin the season, so that leaves Orr and Blanco for UTL. Not sure it makes a difference which one they choose, because this offense is going to struggle no matter what.

Moyer #2:
Congratulations to Jamie Moyer. Grand Pappy is now 49 years old and is coming off a major injury and went into spring training on a minor league deal with the Rockies and has earned the #2 spot in their rotation. I will be rooting for him anytime he's not playing the Phils. I hope he's able to pitch into his 50's and win 300 games and force the Hall of Fame voters to make a tough decision. Moyer is one of only two players still active in the Majors from the 80's, the other being Omar Vizquel.

Me Fast?
I'm co-author of this blog, so I'm going to take the opportunity to pat myself on the back for running the Phillies Charities 5K yesterday in a time of 24 minutes 10 seconds. Pretty damn good for a 6'3" 270 lb. 32 year old.