Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pointless Spring Training Update #1

*Appears that the Phillies starting rotation is already numerically slotted into place- 1. Hamels, 2. Halladay, 3. Lee, 4. Kendrick, 5. Lannan.

*Yuniesky Betancout and Ryan Howard, each batting .500, are swinging the hot sticks early on in camp.

*Rule 5'er, Ender Inciarte, is carrying a 1.000 OBP, with 3 walks and 1 hit in 1 at bat.

*The Phillies are 0-2-1 through the first few Grapefruit League games.  Oh, no!!!

*Darin Ruf is 0-8 with 2 K.  This will not earn him a job.

*When Jonathan Papelbon isn't busy complaining about the lack of leadership in the clubhouse, he can be found serving up a shit-storm on the mound.  Through 2/3 of an inning he has a 81.00 ERA and 10.50 WHIP.  Best check yoself, before you rickety wreck yoself.

*Michael Stutes recorded 3 outs yesterday, all on deep fly balls to the warning track.  Also gave up 2 runs. 

*Delmon Young will likely begin the season on the DL, and there is where I hope he remains.

*Chase Utley has played in 2 games already.  That is 2 more than the previous 2 spring trainings combined.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Adios Schwimer

Seems the Phillies grew tired of Michael Schwimer schtick and decided to part ways with him yesterday by shipping him north of the border to America's hat (aka- Canada).  He has annoyed/angered the organization over the past two seasons with tweets about not being called up from the minors when he believed was the right time and his grievance against them for shipping him back to the minors when he claimed to be injured and therefore should have been on the MLB disabled list collecting a MLB paycheck and accruing service time.  In other words, a pain in the ass. Just look at that picture...so melancholy and disgruntled.

The Toronto Blue Jays get a 27 year old reliever with a 4.62 ERA over 47 appearances, 48.2 IP, with 52 K, and a 1.40 WHIP during his time with the Phils.  His minor league stats are much more impressive- 185 G, 252.1 IP, 332 K, 2.60 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 55 SV.

In exchange, the Jays sent first baseman Art Charles to Philly.  He's 22 years old, hasn't played above low-A ball yet, and has a .239 batting average over parts of 3 seasons.  In other words, not a prospect.  He does have power and on base skills though, so maybe he'll have some redeeming value, but not likely.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Charlie Manuel is a Liar

When asked about whether to bat Jimmy Rollins leadoff or not, Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel replied with...

"I don't think you guys ever see the value in Jimmy Rollins. He's averaged 75-90 RBIs a year. That's what he averages. He scored [102] runs last year. Who's he knocking in? He's knocking in the eighth and ninth hitter. Why does he knock them in? Because he can hit doubles and triples and homers. That's why. He gets extra-base hits. Those guys [on base] are usually not good runners and they're slow, and they're not good baserunners.  We had Juan Pierre last year. You were always asking why Pierre didn't lead off? Because for me, Rollins is a better leadoff hitter. And you can say Pierre hit .300 and Rollins hit .250 or .260, but Rollins' .250 or .260 had more value to it than Pierre's .300.  He's been my leadoff hitter ever since I've been here. When I see Ben Revere hit and see him play, we'll sit down and talk about where he's going to hit and where he's going to help us the most. I've got an idea. We'll find out where we want him. Nobody is going to tell me where to hit somebody. I don't care who you are."

That's a lie!  Jimmy Rollins career thus far has been 13 MLB seasons.  Two of those seasons he missed considerable time, so I won't factor them in to the math.  That means in 11 years J-Roll has collected 747 RBI, for an average of 68 per season.  That is inflated due to his huge seasons of 2006 and 2007, when he knocked in 83 and 94.  I hate to beat a dead horse (that is sorta our thing here at WSBGMs), but Manuel is a freakin' idiot if he equates 68 RBI per season as an average of 75-90.  That's really bad math. 

I also find fault in his logic for batting J-Roll leadoff.  His OBP was .316 last year.  Juan Pierre's was .351, and he's equally fast.  Ben Revere is faster than Rollins and had and OBP of .333 last year.  I'd rather have Jimmy further down in the lineup, even perhaps in the 2-hole.  That would be a lot of speed in the top 2 spots of the lineup with the thunder of Utley and Howard following them.  Just a thought...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ryan Howard is a Liar

The custom of interviewing star players when they arrive at Spring Training brought an interesting quote from Ryan Howard.  When asked about his hitting skills against left-handed pitchers, he said the following...

“A lot of it was kind of mental. I told myself this winter, I'm not even going to stress it or worry about it. I know it's in there. I just have to let the inner me come out at the plate and be relaxed. I have to trust myself, trust my ability, and let it fly. It's a combination of listening to the noise and trying to please people. People say, 'Oh, he can't hit lefties.' I have to show them I can hit lefties. Obviously, to get to the big leagues you have to hit lefties and righties. It's putting all that stuff aside and just trusting my abilities. I know I can hit lefties. It's just a matter of being relaxed.”

Um, sorry to burst your $125M bubble, but no you can't.

Evidence:
Year - AVG/OPS
2004 - .111/.222 (9 plate appearances)
2005 - .148/.421 (63 plate appearances)
2006 - .279/.923
2007 - .225/.826
2008 - .224/.746
2009 - .207/.653
2010 - .264/.826
2011 - .224/.634
2012 - .173/.604
Career - .227/.739

Aside from 2006, when pitchers still didn't know how to approach him, and 2010, he's been a poor hitter against lefties.  At age 33, with deteriorating skills, I do not foresee much of a boost coming to his performance against them in 2013.  But it's his lie, he can tell it how he wants. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

No Juan Cruz

Juan Cruz has decided he would rather remain unemployed than attempt to win a spot in the Phillies 2013 bullpen. Back in mid-January, Cruz was "signed" to a minor league contract. However, he never officially put his John Hancock (oh, so dirty!) on the dotted line. Apparently he didn't like that Amaro went out and signed Chad Durbin to a guaranteed contract, essentially leaving him to battle in out with a bunch of youngsters for rank in the Phils relief corps.

Below you will see my edited post from January 16th that welcomed Juan Cruz aboard. Bon voyage bitch!

Matt Gelb, of the Philadelphia Inquirer, says that this was a mutual decision.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Another Warm Body

Welcome aboard Matt Tolbert.

Who?

Some 30 year old utility infielder that spent 4 seasons with the Twins, appeared in 247 games and hit .230/.607 while playing adequate defense at 3rd, 2nd, and SS.  Last year he was with the Cubs Triple-A team in Iowa and hit a paltry .240/.617, so he's really just another warm body serving as minor league "depth".

On the bright side, just like Yuniesky Betancourt, he too might knock Michael Martinez down the depth chart.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Name that Phillie- Dud Department

This player has been previously mentioned on the blog 4 times before today's post, all in the form of a gripe.  He was involved in a trade that included two other high hope players turned complete losers with the Phillies.  His legacy will go down as one of miscast hype.  Take aim with your scud and name that dud...

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Good Read- Auditioning for Cooperstown

Auditioning for Cooperstown: Rating Baseball’s Stars for the Hall of Fame

This is a book in which all 3,000 plus qualifying players are systematically evaluated for the Hall of Fame. Using only regular season careers, players are equally rated by total career production, peak seasons (their top 5 seasons) production and positional dominance (were they the best players at their position when they played?). This system compares players of differing strengths by leveling the playing field between disparate players such as Sandy Koufax and Don Sutton, both equally qualified for the Hall of Fame.

This book uncovers (and corrects) the reason why 19th Century hitters, particularly those from the 1870’s and 1880’s, as well as Dead Ball Era stars are underrepresented in the Hall of Fame. This plus adjustments to the imbalance between starting pitchers of various eras allows for a truly even-handed comparison of every player’s Hall of Fame credentials.

The raging issue today concerning players (e.g. Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens) now eligible for the Hall of Fame is steroids. That issue, as well as gambling, is discussed in the player commentaries section for the affected players. These and other observations make the 550 player commentaries memorable reading. 

Author- Andre Lower
Website- Baseball by Positions
Buy the Book- Click Here, Click Here, Click Here