February 27, 2015

Shane Victorino: MVP Candidate?

Need to get a short Phillies’ post up here so the weekend discussion doesn’t get buried by our recent Eagles’ stuff.

Simple question for this post: Who is the NL MVP? (Assuming, of course, that people aren’t going to start voting for Pitchers)

Let’s take a look at the candidates, and there are A LOT (note: Ryan Howard is NOT a candidate at this moment, but I included him to appease the masses)

Now, like we did with the Cy Young post, let’s see what they look like when we rank them, and tally up the ranks (arbitrary, I know).

A couple notes…

  • Braun and Kemp are the frontrunners at the moment. Kemp is the top player statistically, but is he THAT much better than the rest of the field to off-set the horrible baseball being played in LA right now?
  • Braun was my pick before doing this, and it was validated here. His all-around play (defense and baserunning) separate him from teammate Prince Fielder.
  • Justin Upton is an intriguing candidate, especially if the DBacks hold off the Giants.
  • Victorino comes in at 6th with several other current “darkhorse” candidates.
  • Hopefully this stops any Ry-Ho for MVP talk before it starts.
This really is a wide open race. A hot 2nd half could push any of the top-9 into the lead. Victorino is on the outside looking in right now, but without a break away candidate, he’s in the mix.


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  1. How can you rank 2B vs. HRs equally? Sure the ranking is fun but obviously has major major flaws…And how is Ryan Braun a better defender than Shane? That stat makes no sense. I think Justin Upton has been absolutley incredible this season as the sleeper, especailly if they are able to knock out the Giants (Go D-Backs!).

    Victorino has been the Phillies offensive MVP no question and should finish in the top 10, don’t think he’ll win though because people will sadly compare his HR/RBI totals to these No. 3 hole/cleanup hitters and it won’t match up. Love what Shane has done though this season, hopefully he can STAY HEALTHY and continue to rake come October!

    • Adam B. says:

      Ummm actually in those rankings – which aren’t Pete’s own – the defensive wins above replacement (DWAR) is the same for Braun and Shane. To your other point it would be far too difficult to get into weighing all the statistics, that’s why offensive wins against replacement is included. Kind of evens it out.

  2. The Real Rob says:

    Phillies sign Jack Cust to a minor league deal.  Low risk, potential high reward deal. 

  3. jjg says:

    I’ll speed past Victorino as MVP as he has no shot, and his good Tony Gonzalez year is its own reward.
    At present, coin flip - Braun or Kemp.  A lot can happen in a quarter of a season though. 

    Ridiculous as it is, John Kruk is being honored with a place on the Wall of Fame tonight.  Who’s next?  Rico Brogna, Tommy Hutton, Willie Montanez or Ed Bouchee?  Could put the bat on the ball – like many others.  Still is under the illusion that he’s funny.  A national network talking head nod by the Phillies to glorify that meathead.    

  4. Dude says:

    But Ryan Howard is …. :) . Just kiddin.

    Whether or not Shane gets an MVP, hes been huge for the phillies this year. Good on him for that.

  5. jjg says:

    Hamels:  More denim than diamonds tonight.  Crystal Tea Room persuasion.

  6. jjg says:

    Keith Hernandez couldn’t have played that better.  Nice catch & tag, RH!

    And now he opens B7 with single.  Is looking to signal to phillyfan in the stands.

  7. Dude says:

    Ironic that Werth is here on a night when pence is prevented from catching a foul ball by an overzealous fan. The difference in their reactions (pence tonite & werth last year) were interesting too.

  8. jjg says:

    Nats’ Mgr. Davey Johnson banged out 43 & had 99 RBIs with .546 SLG, .916 OPS as a 2nd basemen for ’73 Braves.  And only finished 13th in MVP voting.  (A fellow by the name of Peter Edward Rose Sr. won; 2nd highest BA of career – .338.)  Davey could play some ball. 

  9. jjg says:

    Storen’s pace and body language says, “I’m rattled.  Light me up.”

  10. jjg says:

    I apologize to Mr. Storen for my lousy read.

  11. Joe says:

    I dont think Shane has a shot, but he may numbers similar to Rollins in the traditonal stats. I know what stuff like Batting Average, HR’s, Runs, RBI’s, 2b, 3b, sb, even OBP, SLG, and WAR, but who cares about a wOBA, brWAR, oWAR, dWAR. I wonder if some of this stuff could keep a triple crown winner away from an MVP.

    • Joe says:

      sorry, but I ment numbers close to Rollins MVP year by the seasons end.  The Phillies most valuable players though (3 of them) all pitch, you can replace any regular and have a good shot of winning if 1 of the aces is pitching, but replace one of them with a avg pitcher, doubt it

  12. bball says:

    I don’t think the MVP voters are looking at these stats too much.   Ops is probably about as in depth of a stat as they use.  No shot for shane to win it.  Howard has a better shot at winning MVP if he can go on a tear.  He very well could end up leading the NL in HR and RBI.  If he does that and bumps his OPS up to .900 he could win if some of the other guys falter.  Not saying it’s likely to happen, just more likely that shane winning.

  13. Dino says:

    awesome start for Oswalt today.
    In case anyone missed it, here’s a link re: Hamels
    http://phollowingthephillies.blogspot.com/2011/08/dubee-not-worried-about-hamels.html  I hope that they take this more serious than what Dubee thinks.

    • Dino says:

      Not good news on the health front today with Polanco going to the DL and Cole missing a start.  Polanco’s injury was labeled by some writers (i.e Lawrence in the Delco Times) as not being very serious about a month ago. 
      Dubee and Hamels seem to think the same way regarding Cole’s shoulder.  Let’s hope that they are correct about Hamels,  but I am always concerned about shoulder problems for a pitcher

  14. Dude says:

    Too bad we have to play the DBacks. We win, SF can gain in the division. We lose, well, it still counts as a loss.

  15. jkay says:

    … to make sure that this does not somehow escape your attention.

  16. Dude says:

    The news that Houston chose Domingo Santana as the “player to be named later” got me thinking a bit. Out of ally the guys we traded over the last few years, what have any of them done so far? In fairness, probably too early to tell with some of them, and I don’t really have time to pore over any stats right now. But off the top of my head, Bourne is the only one who really seems to have made an impact. Carrasco? Drabek? Taylor? Even Donald? Not so much.

  17. jjg says:

    Gio Gonzalez has been the most productive of the lot of Phils’ moved minor leaguers.  He went to CHIWS w/Floyd for Freddy Garcia.  This is his 2nd straight strong season as a starting pitcher for OAK. 

    • jjg says:

      Floyd, so-so as starter in 4+ seasons w/CHIWS; has had his moments.

    • Pete says:

      Yeah Gio has been great. 

      Carlos Carrasco has proved a servicable starter this year (4.62 ERA, 1.34 WAR), and is still only 24.

      Josh Outman had his moment for Oakland, but can’t stay healthy.

      Lets take a quick look at the guys we traded for Lee (1st time), Halladay, Oswalt and Pence. 

      Carlos Carrasco – see above
      Jason Donald – doesn’t look like he will stick as a starter
      Lou Marson – see Donald
      Jason Knapp – injured, hasn’t pitched in 2011. still a big arm. 
      Michael Taylor – Been very disappointing in Oakland’s system. Clock is ticking. 
      Travis d’Arnaud – Could be the one we really miss. 17 HR, .951 OPS, .393 OBP in AA as a 21-yr-old catcher. Exploded this year. 
      Kyle Drabek – didn’t fare so well in AL East, back to minors
      Anthony Gose – showed a bit of improvement in minors. still young. 52 steals already this year. 
      Jonathan Villar – in AA for some reason (should be lower), hitting only .236 with a .305 OBP. Does have 9 HR though. 
      J.A. Happ – a disaster this year in the majors. 
      Jonathan Singleton – too soon
      Jarred Cosart – too soon
      Domingo Santana – too soon
      Josh Zeid – never a top prospect to begin with


      • Dude says:

        Forgot about Gio. I guess I was thinking staring with the lidge deal, when we really started to make our run. Fair enough though.

  18. Ken Bland says:

    I’d been curious what the club’s thinking was about a LOOGY even before this Cole deal developed, but this kinda compounds it.  Not to rush to judgement, but ya kinda get the feeling this is gonna require TLC anyway in a best case scenario.  Figuring Doc, Cliff and Cole are a better match late than any LOOGY would be would be reduced to only 2 guys like that, and seemingly create more need for one unless that’s already on the shopping list.  Not quite as simple as just go Roy and Vanimal in the 3 and 4 slots.

    3rd base – what a mess.   

  19. Ken Bland says:

    Interested to see if Josh throws the same slow stuff to Hunter, another wild swinger if he gets ahead.  RyHo’s gonna see that again, and again.

  20. Ken Bland says:

    Ryan Howard’s propensity for getting runners home versus how others would do with similar batters getting on ahead of him.


    • Dude says:

      Seems like it’s a cottage industry nowadays for guys looking to prove their SABR cred to write articles about how good Howard isn’t. It’s an interesting thought exercise, who might hit more RBI’s in his place. But what I always come back to is that Howard actually does produce, in the flesh, year after year, and for the most part injury free. The numbers can say what they say, but it’s all theory until someone else actually does it.

      I’m not really going to get into an extended discussion about it because I don’t really care that much, and it is true to an extent that traditional counting stats overvalue him a bit. But just for fun, let’s look at the RBI leaders and how many opportunities they’ve had:

      Howard – 95/266 PA with runners on base.
      Granderson -94/248
      AGon- 92/281
      Kemp -89/263

      So besides the fact that Granderson is really good, this quick and dirty look tells us that Howard has produced significantly more runs per attempt with runners on than Gonzales, and is about on par with fielder, and very marigonally better than Kemp. It does not show that Howard is head and shoulders above everyone else, but it does show that his number of attempts are in line with what his peers get, and that he’s at least as good as any on the top 5 run producers at converting his attempts.

      • Dude says:

        Actually, I should qualify that. I didn’t use the home run neutral “others batted in”. My reasoning is that I don’t care how you produce runs, as long as you produce them. And at any rate the knock is usually on his RBI’s not his neutral numbers. At any rate , maybe later if I’m still bores I’ll break it out that way.

  21. Ken Bland says:

    that’s a terrific at bat, both ways.  Collmentor, who has really good control as evidenced by his walk rate shows 28/35 control til he starts messing around against RyHo, seemingly purposely, then he sest HP up for an inside pitch some 7-8 pitches in, finally delivering one, and Hunter lets it go by for a close ball 3.  Finally, Josh wears him down.  The Dbacks have a good scouting report on the Phils 4-5, not a bad start to cutting us off.

  22. Ken Bland says:

    We’ll never know if Buster Posey would have fallen to a sophomore slump this year, it’s possible he might not wind up as good as he probably will, but if you look at the inability of some terrific young talents to produce this year, even if it was short term, it speaks that much more to0 Buster’s greatness last year that saw him bat cleanup as a 21 year old for the World Champs.

    Consider – Paul Goldschmidt, who should be very good, but was K’ing like Dick Stuart befroe Overbay came over.
                    J’Hey – I believe he’s hitting .165 against lefties, and might not make the playoff roster

                    Mike Trout – not his time yet.

                    Dom Brown -  he was coming along as a hitter, at least.

                    Brandon belt – he’s like Trout, going to be very good, but not his time. 

    and no doubt others.  Stanton at least has shown flashes of following through on last year, power wise.  Probably speaks to how talented Freddie Freeman is, at least this year.     

  23. Ken Bland says:

    About 6 weeks ago, actually 8, mid June, I remember looking at Vic’s OPS right around .900.  It’s one thing to touch a level of achievement.  It’s another to sustain it.  .920 is what you call sustain.  Maybe he can take the suspension over the July 4th weekend.

  24. Dude says:

    By the way, for anyone who hasn’t seen it, this is apropos of this thread:


  25. Ken Bland says:

    Hallways continues to struggle.

  26. Ken Bland says:

    This is too quiet.  Yankee Stadium would be rocking if Clemens were pitching this inning.

    • Ken Bland says:

      That crowd tonight totally sucked.  They got quiter as the 9th inning moved from top to bottom.  Nice home field advantage.

      • jjg says:

        Wasn’t privy.  Caught last 2 outs.  Humid gray weather, Tuesday night, anonymous – not untalented - D-backs might dampen crowd enthusiasm methinks.   

        • Ken Bland says:

          It wasn’t the Dbacks.  That place was quiet at the start of the 9th before they got their rally going.  Hell, it shoulda been rockin, guy goin for a 15K CG.  It wasn’t like the Dbax dropped it from fired up to worried.  If they were going nuts, and then quieted down, I’d give the Bax credit for taking the HFA away.  Really disappointing.

          On the field, they just got beat.  Overbay was 3-10 off Doc going in, average player who I guess sees the ball well of certain people (not sure what the 7 outs were, in fact, better than not sure, I don’t know).  It’s 50-50 if Doc shoulda been in, probably should have.  Just really disappointing the way it worked out, and the crowd really teed me off.  

          • jjg says:

            Crowds have off nights too.  Frenzy fatigue.  Did anybody other than Doc & the Hawaiian puncher do anything worth standing for?  Up to players to make it happen.
            “in fact, better than not sure, I don’t know” – flat out funny.

            Overbay knows former teammate Doc puts pants on 1 leg at a time.  Important insight.   

      • Dino says:

        Charlie sucked tonight-not the fans

  27. jjg says:

     What a Putz.

  28. jjg says:

    Were they bad ABs by Gload and Rollins or was that strong pitching by Putz? 

    • Ken Bland says:

      Putz is good.  Phils considered him either this year or last, think it was this year.  Injuries have killed him last couple,years, ex Met, and the only Met ever healthy was Le Grande Orange.  Anyway, he was a good sign for them, but their pen isn’t real deep.

  29. Dino says:

    WTF Charlie
    ToddZolecki Todd Zolecki

    Manuel, on why he stuck with Halladay: “It’s kind of his game, isn’t it? That’s my ace.”


  30. Ken Bland says:

    A blessing in every curse.

    Here comes Mike Schwimer to add pen depth, replacing Polly.  And in time for the playoff roster, should they see that as the best option.  Nice.  

  31. jkay says:

    Lethargic Phils toss one in the garbage can. your pitcher doubles to lead off an inning and you can’t even get him in. pathetic!
    It’s like they expect Halladay to do everything. Newsflash; he’s not actually a machine. It’s just a metaphor. He can get hit. Not everything an automatic CG shutout. 
    Luckily we have losses to burn.
    (sigh)What a waste of 120 plus pitches!

  32. Stacy says:

    I know Halladay likes to complete games (and is about 99% in getting the win) but this was unnecessary.  On the same day they are talking about getting the starters rest, he goes 9.  The bullpen is rested and they could use some work to stay sharp. 

    • Dude says:

      Normally I’m all for letting Doc finish his games, but in this case I agree. We’re getting close to playoff time now, and have a large lead in the division. I can even understand letting him start the 9th, but once he let two guys on base he probably should glhave been pulled.

      • jkay says:

         hat sounds like hindsight, smells like conventional wisdom but ends up tasting like a judgment call that gets criticized only when it goes wrong?
        I’m not always thrilled that Doc wants to pitch all 9 and Charlie lets him, but that’s his thing. I’d rather keep my pitcher aggressive as opposed to reigning him in. he looked OK going into the 9th, after those nasty curve balls. 1 run was just too little room.

        • Dino says:

          That is not logical jkay; there were at least 4 instances where Roy could  have been pulled; Charlie can’t cater to one player’s selfish desires.  At this point of the season, given our position, our sights need to be exclusively on the post season and getting ready for it.

          • Dude says:

            Well, it’s always a judgement call. As the season wears on, my philosophy is that you try to save your starters a little more. Like I said, he was in good shape going into the 9th, but then he started to get hit a little. At that point, i don’t see a reason to let him keep grinding. Is it a really big deal? Probably not. But it is something to think about, especially the closer we get to October.

        • Ken Bland says:

          I’d rather keep my pitcher aggressive as opposed to reigning him in.>>

          nice to see somebody here who understands that.   

        • Stacy says:

          of course its hind-sight.  I’m just saying, Doc doesn’t have anything to prove.  I’d rather see them cut back the starters a little, let the bullpen take some of the load for a while.  Hopefully get everyone to a point where they’re on top of their game

  33. jkay says:

    Tough ump tonight. Free swinging DBacks = trouble for Lee if he doesn’t have his A game.
    Oops there goes one; darn it!

  34. Dude says:

    Classic Sarge comment: “thats how you can always tell with the pitchers, is you look at that earned run average”

  35. joof says:

    I’m curious if anyone understands why Rollins and Victorino were stealing with 2 out and 2 on?
    I don’t understand why they would risk ending the inning just for a base.

    • Ken Bland says:

      First of all, you don’t know what the risk is.  Maybe they saw something in Patterson that made it a low risk move.  Setting Chase up for 2 ribs, and putting the game above a grand slam ties it level’s pretty good thinking.
      Didn’t work out, but it’s definitely a terrific option if you think you can execute the steal. 

      • joof says:

        On second thought I thought it mightve happened bc Chase had 2 strikes, and they wanted to distract the pitcher, and if caught stealing chase comes up next inning with a fresh count.
        I get what you’re saying about it possibly being a low risk move that only the phillies knew. However, he did almost get picked off at 2nd, and the throw to third was relatively close so it didnt appear to turn out to be low risk. Thanks for the input ‘)

  36. Ken Bland says:


    This is Jim Rockford.  At the tone, leave a message, I’ll get back to ya….


    Jim, It’s Charlie Manuel.  Been busy with my own team, what’s goin on around the majors? Best to Angel and Gretchen.   

    • Ken Bland says:


      Same story, different day. Several teams without x’s and y’s besides their names in ths standings tantilizing fan bases to speculate on rest or push, playoff rotations, and the like. Messin’ with my calendrical mind as it’s 2 weeks left in Dog Day month. The Crew’s W’d 19 of 21, but it’s mostly against teams John Mayberry, oops, I mean Ben Fransisco could start for. Sorry, I pulled Bennie Fresh’s name from an April rerun. The schedule calls for you to play a team from The AL in the last series of the year, so I’ve been checking out the Texas Rangers. Mike Young’s 9 of his last 14, only 2 XBH, but its hitting .342. Maybe you should get Ryan Howard to demand a trade so he can experience a rennaissance. Another possibility’s the Yankees, who’s fans are in a debate over who they miss more, Cliff Lee, or Ian Kennedy. Boston is hitting like your team’s supposed to according to most people, as in NOT. I looked for you in the Missing Persons section at the Manager of the Year Office, I found Clint Hurdle instead. I’m investigating a case of false impersonation against Jim Thome. He said you were like a father to him, and the Feds are after him for impersonating someone young enough to be anybody’s son. Rocky’s got breakfast read, I’ll get back to ya.

      Distributed by Viacom. 

  37. Dude says:

    Too bad about the rain. Worley looked at least as sharp as I’ve seen him all year – really hitting both corners. Oh well. Good job by Herndon to come in and give and go a couple scoreless innings.

  38. Ken Bland says:

    With meaningful baseball of a different scheme fairly close to here now, we can expect a continuation of some of the themes that have been presented over the last 2 weeks now.  Redt, or push, where is this team headed historically, the usual rhetoric that’s discussable, but way overplayed by bored/mindless types.  One thing that might perk my interest a tad, and not much more than that is the comparison to this year’s Best Team in baseball to it’s predecessors that cranked out the superlative records in one particular regard.  Difficulties overcome.  For example what sort of ratio of players on those teams had career years, what sort of injuries did they overcome.  Did they record their chapter in history off an everything went right plot, or have to overcome a good amount of injuries as the Phils have.  I’m not overly into hypotheticals, but just to pick 2 samples, if the Phils had Chase healthy all year, we’re talking another 5 wins, or a record of 85-37, which would still not better the Yanks or Mariners of the 90s, but it’s still north of the highest stratosphere.  Not to pick on him, but Jamie Moyer won 20 games for the M’s when they won 116, and that starting pitching rotation probably skews to the overachieved by majority opinion in a poll, whereas the Phils haven’t, having faced well chronicled adversities that obviously were not insurmountable. So that might be a little interesting at best.

    What is far more interesting is the case of John Canberry.  The only thing clear to me is he’s very solid fundamentally.  But his talent, I just can’t get a handle on.  He doesn’t appear to have overwhelming natural ability, so you can’t look at him and say he’s turned into a late bloomer.  I’m inclined to guess this is largely, if not entirely, Charlie wisely picking spots for him, but the guy can hit righties or lefties.  His diversity might hurt him in that supersubs aren’t plentiful, and it makes him a real good choice for a 4th outfielder next year, but his all around play has to at least make him a consideration for the left field job on a regular basis next year.  At least to this point, which includes a near 2 month robust presence now.


    • dude says:

      I’m not sure that we can assume Brown will be ready to go next year.  He still needs a lot of polish.  Its a long way away to speculate on now, but Mayberry is a good insurance policy against a slowing blooming Brown. 

    • joseaulait says:

      Ken,  Did you post this from your phone or did you “have one too many” before pushing SEND. Despite your frequent misspellings, undoubtedly the result of the hands going slower than the thought, your prose is usually pretty clear, and often insightful. The first part of the first paragraph is virtually unintelligible. Lack of coffee?
      As to “Canberry”, he really is an interesting guy. You may well be correct in your assessment of him. I don’t have the BB knowledge to judge his long-term abilities though he has “produced” far beyond what expectations for him have been ( at least as best I can figure from comments on Recliner). 
      Natural ability? Hmm..’ He fields very well, runs the bases well, throws well, appears to hit for power, if not average. The latter could all change next week if someone notes a glitch in his swing or an inability to hit a particular pitch. Then again…
      A similar “take” goes for Worley, a guy swooned over on the street but given little credence here. I think he suffers a bit from a post-Happ analysis, and probably is less an overachiever than Mr Happ was (and he is a LOT younger).
      Again, I have to plead a certain amount of ignorance. As much as I love BB, work demands make me unable to devote much time to it and less to its analysis. I had never heard of Fangraphs until this Spring. I catch a few games when I am home, only to be away for 10-20 days at a time, a casual glance at the box scores often my only connection. Although I have enjoyed every season since my childhood, this and the last few seasons have been extra special (watching the final game of 2008 from 6000 miles away was beyond description).
      Hate to add even more gas to the post, but got to note my great pleasure in John Jr’s recent success. May it continue! I find both him and Pence to be very likable and great additions going forward. 

      • Ken Bland says:

        So you know, and maybe this will answer your question in part, I don’t often write here to participate in dialogue.  It’s more a (gosh, this sounds so formal, but it’s not), it’s to record sentiment, or information, to give me the option of what I’m thinking, or feeling regarding The Game, or the Phils to look back on.  If I write an essay, you can count on that being the case.  When I do partake in dialogue, my comments are usually more concise and don’t require much thought.  Or st least that’s the intent.

        In this case, since you asked, the first part does make sense to me, which was the intention.  The meaningful baseball of a different scheme applies the get ready for the playoffs, not the playoffs themselves. The continuation of the themes gets thrown off by a typo for rest (or push), the rhetoric is the typical talk crap of is this the best Phillies team ever, who to worry about in the playoffs, how do you set the rotation, etc.  At this time (i’ll guess at around 9/7ish as to when it should change) I think it’s a bunch of crap about holding guys back in innings (for the sake of it), already KNOW this is the best Phillies team ever, and feel 1000 per cent sure that the only team the Phillies need to worry about is themselves.  So that’s how I view a lot of the wasted talk time as crap.  And that’s what I expect to continue  Doesn’t make me right, or them wrong, but that’s how I perceive things, and convictionally so.  So it’s the platform from which I view things.  

        On Canberry, you said I might be right in my assessment of him.  The point I was recording was that I can’t assess him.  It’s glaringly obvious to me he’s fundamentally sound (let’s not forget I’m a fan, not a scout, so it’s limited as to what my perception of him is anyway).  But the talent just blows by me.  Most guys are easy to formulate takes on.  Hell, practically all guys.  But this young man escapes that ability with me, for whatever reason.  It’s not a great talent so much as one I just don’t have a handle on. And I’ve been aware of that the entire season, it wasn’t like it was a new conclusion, but about a month ago, I started thinking he might really be good, and it just reached a point of it being even being better than that after watching him another time last night. So i recorded the ongoing sentiment of this guy’s good, but I’m missing something.

        Regarding Vance, I think that’s excellent that he has come across to you as having been a lot better than the opinions here expressed, myself included.  Part of my logic was based on very elementary sabermetric type stuff (a lack of K’s, ball/strike ratio, ground ball rate, that sort of stuff), but there never has, and never will be getting around the fact that this is a human game driven by the hearts, minds and attitudes of it’s participants.  It’s obvious Vance has heart and fortitude.  His settling down in LA was terrific, following a pathetic 2nd inning.  I assume Dubee is a good help to him.  Exposure to the other starters is like winning a lottery ticket.  I still see him with limitations, but there are never more than maybe 15-25 really outstanding pitchers in the sport, so that’s no crime. Worley, I feel comfortable having an opinion on, flexible, though it might be, right or wrong.  But Canberry is just a different story.


  39. Ken Bland says:

    Having set a goal of an in the ballpark comparison start matched to Petey Martin’s Sunday night ’09 thing against the Mets. it’s silly to have too many opinions on what’s transpiring between his comeback, and then.  But it’s interesting to measure the steps, and levels of confidence that it might happen, and develop confidence toward an even more confidence inspiring final month.

    It ain’t exactly there.

    Nor should it be through 2 starts.  I thought he was about a C in game 1 against the G men.  Last time was better.  Notably would be pushing it.  The question is can they be viewed as steps back.  Time will tell.  If we’re targeting a 5th start back as a measuring stick, and we get signs of better command tonight, that’s good.  What would really be inspiring would be falling behind by a run or two, but shutting the door and enabling the offense to regain the lead.  Last time was his 1st 7 inning stint all year, just over 100 pitches.  He doesn’t have to go 9 in the playoffs, but peaking at 115, maybe even 120 would make the 90-105 in the playoffs easier.  Like to get over 100, less than hit an inning (that’d be an overachievement for this year, but we have to get there sometime), and another trend up on the whiff percentage.  The K’s will follow.  I suspect that coming back without the extra day off works in Roy’s favor.  Vegas has 4.5 as the O/U’s on the K’s.  The under would be a disappointment.  The K’s hopefully follow to at least that amount.  That’s seen as low.  It’d be outsatdning if he doesn’t give up a homer.  Little paranoid about that.  Let’s go Roy.  Get it done.


    • jjg says:

      I’m a Roy II guy, but he ain’t not the same pitcher.  If the matter of time gets his ball jumpin’ again, great.  For now, his edge of confidence looks like it’s been dulled. 

  40. jjg says:

    Hasdoneafewthingsbutwillitcontinueberry is up on Greg Golson by 16 HRs & 46 RBIs, careers.  Phils win that agate type swap to date.  What’s not to like about the lanky spot player who accepts his part-time role and occasionally comes through with surprising performances that tease eternal optimists?  John won’t be featured on the Media Guide or Yearbook cover anytime soon.  A handy part for Manuel’s tool box though.  

    • Ken Bland says:

      Judgement remains withheld on The Berry Man until he stands in the box, and has a strike called by Dutch Rennert.  He goes through that experience, and he’s a real man.

      Laughable that peeps think they understand baseball if they never saw The Dutchman in action. 

      • jjg says:

        Remember the name, forget his game … pitcher-favored strike zone, short fuse, pronouncedly healthy lungs or look-at-me call gesticulations?  

        • Ken Bland says:

          oh my gosh!  You forget the Dutchman?  You remember him, just need your memory jarred.  Think the emphaticness of his strike call!  You absolutely remember him.  When Lefty would face Blyleven, or Seaver, it was great.  Dutch would totally wear out his lungs by calling strike after strike after strike.

          He was an absolute trip to watch umpire. 

          It’s not so much even remembering the name as I know you have that exact image of how he was, and just can’t remember it. 

  41. jkay says:

    I am not in front of a TV, but I can declare that the Washington Natonals’ ground crew must be a tad bit incompetent. I mean who starts a game and runs into a rain delay after 10 minutes. Do you not have eyes? Or weather forecasts? Or some short term memory of how thiis week has played out meteorologically?
    At least we didnt have to burn Oswalt.

  42. Joe says:

    I know this is a couple days late (on vacation), but Roy H had a perfect record at saving his own games.  I have no problem with sending him out for the 9th.  But, I have always felt since I was a kid, you send the starter out for the 9th, he is going for a shutout lets say, but you need to be ready to get him if he gets into trouble.  Let him go for it, but with a short leash.  Dont care if you are Halliday or Kendrick, the goal is still to win.  Same with Madsen last night.  Didnt see it, but he was clearly struggling, once it was 4-3 or tied, he should have been gone…Dont let guys have such a long leash in the ninth of a close game. 

  43. Ken Bland says:

    The post season roster, early as it is to discuss is avery interesting contemplation at this point.  I mention that triggered by Kyle’s very good effort last night.  if I remember correctly, he was off at least 1 of the 2 rosters, last year, and I think herndon was left off also.  Both guys have done pretty decent jobs, Herndon more so the last 2-3 months than earlier.  Kendrick, who was involved in shock therapy whe n he was signed for more caiche than ManRam, and has almost proved a bargain is pulling a Mayberry, and doing a pretty good job of forcing his way on the roster.  Add to that the timing of Mike Scwimer’s recall, as in eligible for post season by the timing, and it makes for some tough decisions.  Add to that the possibility of telling Willie Valdez he’s off, if Polanco is eligible, and Ross Gload, who has gamely, if unproductively battled hip difficulties, and there’ll be some unwanted but gotta have em meetings with players who have had contributing roles to this monster season.  Nice little problem to have.  I guess.

  44. Dude says:

    Was messing around a bit with Fangraphs today…  Just for fun, I’m throwing a few stat lines out there.  They’re all pitchers in their rookie years from 2006-present.  The first one is Worley.  Who are the other ones?  again, just for fun.  not trying to make any particular point here.
    K/9    BB/9    HR/9    BABIP    LOB%    GB%    HR/FB    ERA    FIP
    7.29   3.05    .059    .256       76.8      39.6     6.1        2.76   3.32
    7.68   2.14    1.10    .237       86.3      30        8.4        2.56   3.90   (Player A)
    5.67   3.62     .71     .230       79.3       44.6    6.7        2.83   4.22   (Player B)
    7.15   3.79     1.19   .268       79.4       50       11.1      4.42   4.59   (Player C)
    8.45   4.11     .85     .263       69.8        35.6    7.1       4.15   3.96    (Player D)

    • Dude says:

      Hit:  Player A rookie year = 2006.  Player B = 2006, Player C = 2008, Player D = technically was 2005, but Worly already had a lot more starts than he did that year.  First full year was 2006. 

      • Dude says:

        Apparently nobody cares, but here are the answers. Player A is Jered Weaver. Player B is Anibal Sanchez. Player C is David Price. Player D is Matt Cain.

        The question that lead to this was to see what happened to other guys with aberrantly low Batting Averages on Balls In Play. BABIP is one of those stats that are supposed to regress to mean, and Worley’s does seem to be the most aberrant of his regressible stats. So I was just curious to see what happens to guys in this situation, so I ran a search on rookie pitchers over the last 5 years and sorted by BABIP. All if these guys were in the bottom third. League average is .290-.300.

        Now, the guys I featured were cherry picked because I was curious to see if guys could overcome the regression. Plenty of others did not overcome it. But what struck me as I was putting the numbers together is how many similarities you see between these guys, and how, if you out stock in these sorts of things, Worley has the second lowest FIP (which is supposed to be predictive)

        This was really just a curiousity sort of thing, I’m not trying to say that Worley will be like any of these guys, but i thought the comps were interesting enough to share.

  45. jjg says:

    The Revampers:  Houston is 40 games off the Phillies’ pace; Baltimore, 32.5.  Minute Maid Park and Camden Yards, 2 sporty venues, are waiting for ML teams.

  46. Ken Bland says:

    Sometime in October, fans will participate in 1 of 2 debates.  Just how great is this team in the history of baseball, or if the tournament doesn’t go well, was the season a disappointment.  Let’s say the latter occurs.  Memories will fade on the tremendous greatness of this regular season.  And the fireupedness is more than completely off the charts tonight.  Roy Oswalt pitched a terrific game.  No doubt somewhere along the lines, if not less of a Sunday night in August.  When Pedro had the crowd at his back, and shut out the Mets in a vintage performance.  Tonight is a regular season game I will long, long remember.  115 pitches, as Charlie effectively stretches Roy out.  9, I say NINE K’s, and 15 count em 15 swings and misses.  It’s Washington.  It’s not the Crew, Cards, Yanks, or BoSox.  Ask me if I care.  It paves the way for a final regular season goal of getting ready for the playoffs.  Being looked at as a potential starter that can be assigned with confidence.  Sparking debate of if he should go in Game 3 if it’s a matchup favorable to a righty.  Ending the rush to judgement that have many hastily concluding that there is NO WAY his 16 mil option will be exercised.  The irony is that Roy Oswalt is back.  Back and all.  And it’s a regular season performance that is right up there with the rarest.  Now, just play off it, and let the good times roll. 

  47. Ken Bland says:

    Pedro game http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHI/PHI200909132.shtml (130 pc)

    Cole Hamels, on Roy Oswalt: “He’s back. I think that’s pretty much it. He’s back. When he has the velocity you know it’s game time.”
    Roy post game   http://blogs.delawareonline.com/philledin/ (changeup needs work)

  48. Ken Bland says:

    Ouch.  Howard Eskin took his share of shots this week.But I don’t think anything was as eye popping as this tweet from Globe/Sox beat guy Pete Abraham about the former Capitain Philadelphia

      <<Too bad Stu Nahan is not calling this game. Because what started out as a joke has turned out to be a disaster>

  49. Ken Bland says:

    I think the last pitcher to rack up 300 W’s was Glavine, and even as early as when Clemens and Maddux nailed the landmark, the talk was common about the 300 W club closing it’s doors in the near future.  Expensive as pitching has become, leastwise at the top, you get the feeling the next trend in baseball might be to follow Japan’s lead of 6 man rotations, which would make it even harder.

    Despite that, while he’s still a longshot even in a 5 man scheme, the case of Justin Verlander is worth a mention.  He’s been a very good pitcher for the Tigers for several years.  He’s blown by that this year, probably the first really serious contender to take the torch from Doc.  No disrespect to Josh Johnson. If this were the old days, of 1 CY winner, Doc would finally know what it’s like to be second best this year. 

    At age 28, JV is a mortal lock to win 20 plus for the first time.  But off seasons of upper teen consistency that put him at 101 and counting, he might have a shot.  He’s certainly got a shot at being discussable when his twilight years come to be, which is more than might have been expected from the tone of 300 winner talking heads when Glav hit the mark.

    Perhaps it speaks more to how great 300 really was by pointing out that 8 more consecutive 20 win years would still leave JV about 40 short of the mark.  But 40 wins, between 36 and 40 seems awfully reasonable.  And the 20 over 8, even in a 5 man rotation, rare as 20 winners have become is the part that seems optimistic.  Until you consider that as he’s matured to the level he’s at now, Verlander has won 17, 18, 19 and 18 before this year when he should win 22 (currently at 18).  20×8 would put him at 263ish at age 36.  

    Verlander has been linked to Cole in growth terms over the years.  It’s not exactly like a Nikkei/Nasdaq chart in similarity, but both have bounced back from strong starts to a bad year, to comin on strong.  Using JV’s 85/5 deal was seen as a barometer from which to extend Cole, whenever the Phils get around to it.  That might have been reasonable as recently as early this year.  Terrific as Cole’s been this year, he’s still gonna have to climb yet another notch to equal the stratosphere Verlander’s climbed to now.  Course Verlander doesn’t have any rings.  He could equal Cole’s total by year’s end, but it’s at least more likely (for whatever that’s worth) that Cole has the rings, and JV has everything else by season’s end.  The ring’s the thing, but if it does come down to consolations, Justin’s tracking a helluva package.  And while still a bit of a longshot, not too far from the cusp of a select group that people enthusiastically thought was closed.  That, in and of itself, would be tres special.          

    • jkay says:

      192 GS, 1267 IP lifetime. You should factor injury history into your projections. throwing 95mph (avg. fastball) is strain even on a 225lb body. One or two of those seasons may be halved by a DL visit.
      Call me crazy; I’d give CC the better chance at 300. If he can go on a tear in the 5-6 yrs left of his prime (stretching?), his longevity will do the rest. Considering he is a lefty, even losing velocity he will still be somewhat effective. Yes, at age 43, a virtual clone of Antonio Alfonseca, old man CC will notch his 300th win for the Montreal Marlins.

      • Ken Bland says:

        Theme of the piece wasn’t intended as who’s the next 300 game winner, or is it a dead concept.  Was a reaction to reading a note that the last 3 times the Tigers won The Series, they had the League’s MVP.  Pitchers, no less, Newhouser, Hernandez, and McClain in between, 1945, 1968, 1984.  So I was looking at Verlander a little, and realized he could have a shot.  That’s the only point I was capturing.  Didn’t check on Sabathia, haven’t in a while.

      • Ken Bland says:

        CC’s at 174 wins, age 31.  so i talked about Verlander being at 260 at age 36, based on numbers, if he could do 20×8.  So from that standpoint, CC leads by a less than healthy, but advantageous margin.  As the “barrage ” of 300 win guys winded down over the last 10 years, and the subject of who else might do it, I remember CC’s name coming up as a possibility.  I’d say he’s tracked it pretty favorably since and positioned himself pretty nicely to take a crack at it.  Too bad that if he does it, nobody will care about pitchers wins, but that’s another story.  Verlander would have been about 23 at the time, so it would have been really conjectural to think of him.  Kershaw’s 23 now, and you’d think he might be discussable, but Verlander’s upper teen consistency seems more of a platform from which to build.  Kershaw should reach that platform by JV’s age, but it’s a little conjectural yet.  The points about Verlander’s style as a health risk might be true, but this is just based on age/numbers.  Injury predictions are out of my element.

  50. Ken Bland says:

    I assume this delay will be a while, ending Doc’s day.  Way i figure it, his next start is on 6 days rest, so this’ll be a nice little break for him.

  51. Dino says:

    Charlie gets trumped by the rain and the schedule…no chance to over work Halladay for now

  52. jjg says:

    This just-completed series should leaven the cockeyed optimism of some.  Aside from Roy II’s (1 gm) resurrection, not much to write home about.  



    • jkay says:

      so what have we learned this weekend? :
      1) our back end is human.
      2) when one of our starters does not go past 6, our chances of winning go way down.
      3) the Phils have an unhealthy habit of scoring a couple of runs and then parking the car to take a nap.
      4) Valdez, Martinez and Mayberry are productive back ups.
      All things that have been quite evident throughout the season.
      We blew games on the last pitch and a rare Madson off night.
      As much as #3 bothers me, the point at which any concern comes in, is yet to be seen.
      For now, I will give Zimmerman and the feisty Nats the credit they deserve for a tough road series win. 
      … and to the McCann-ergized Braves = +2 games. (keep going lil engine)

    • Ken Bland says:

      Not to get carried away off 1 game, but when you say other than Roy O, not much to write home about, you forgot at least 1 thing, and that’s Mike Schwimer yesterday.  To my way of thinking, at least. He gave up a homer to Espinosa on his 2nd pitch, but if his 3 inning stint isn’t an encouraging sign, for either now, or the future, if not both, then he’s being shorted credit for yesterday.  Maybe you didn’t see the game, but that was a real solid effort, and while the echo of Espinosa’s shot was loud and deep, my viewpoint is kudos to the young man for regrouping, settling down, and getting it done.

      Hopefully, JRoll is a short term loss.  Day to day was encouraging.  Hopefully, accurate.  If that’s the case,  I don’t see the weekend as anything more than a bump in the road.  

      • jjg says:

        Yeah, Schwimer gets credit for a nice 3 after Espinosa clout.  Will he matter in the stretch & Oct?  Bullpen has lost some rhythm due to injuries, roster moves, rain and Manuel’s loyalty “tactics.”  39 gms to find order, get the locomotive chuggin’.  ERAs are skinny but some fat pitches lately. 

        3 at home against Mets isn’t castor oil.  Gee against Lee should be a ’vee’ for a return to Philly glee.  CBP, Chicken Broth Park.          

  53. grahamcstrouse says:

    I’m more then a little concerned by Manuel’s late inning pitching maneuvers of late. He doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing.

  54. Stacy says:

    You can’t blame Charlie for Madson and Bastardo having off nights.  Both of them are normally lights out.   They’ll get back on track. 

    • Dino says:

      I interpreted that post as questioning Charlie’s decisions to keep Halladay and Madson  in against Washington.

  55. The Real Rob says:

    Rain, rain, please go away!!

  56. Ken Bland says:

    Some years ago, I guess, when he was with Cleveland, someone involved in the emergence of Cliff Lee said, “If he ever goes back to the National league, he’ll win a CY.”  Maybe at the start of his ’08 kick ass year. The Groundhog done one better.  He won one in the American League.

    Now, completing his 1st full NL year, maybe a bit older than when that visionary statement was made, Phifer has kinda quietly crept back in the race for said award.  Kinda, of course shows respect for the dude’s for dreamers only June when he wham bam thank you maamed his way to 3 straight shutouts, 1 measly earned run, and an honor of Player of the Month.  Off an ERA of 0.21, no less.

    Tonight, Cliff will match The Good Doctor, no, scratch that, the GREAT Doctor on season starts at 26.  Often compared, never equalled, Cliff actually has a shot at competing with Doc for this year’s CY.  Not bad when some godforsaken soul appeared on this very message board when Cliff was not on his game and suggested an over/under season win total of 11.  Doc’s landmark definition is innings pitched.  Cliff, headed in, is 10 behind him.  Do I hear 11 innings anyone?  Doc has whipped Cliff’s Arkansan butt in the WHIP field by all of 1.05 to 1.07.  Based on last year’s effort where Cliff walked batters as often as Pluto sees sunny and 72, it’s amazing that he’s so far behind in a Doc specialty of walks, at 36 to 23, and there can be no forgiveness for fact, but the fact is Cliff got nailed in 1 single game for 6 in St. Louis, when whoever the ump was, Jim Something (?) called a tighter strike zone than a foxette in sexy Calvin Kleins.  Pfifer, who got mauled in 1-2, maybe 3 starts still has given up 20 some fewer hits than Philly’s best pitcher since Steve Carlton.  The Doctor, who last year at times thought he was playing Home Run Derby, giving up like 18, pre Cody Bleeping Ross, has about halved that total this time around, leading Cliff by 9-15.  Again, subtract one day, when Cliff pitched batting practice in Toronto, and it’s a respectable difference.  Course that wasn’t exactly sompletely Fluke City up there as Joey Bats went soyonara off Kyle Kendrick, and people laughed at Double K, but then Bats followed up the Canada Day weekend with four ply swats against both Doc and Cliff.  K’s are separated by a measly 2, Cliff on top with the game in hand.  Doc has rolled 6 complete games, 7 if you count yesterday’s 1st game of the doubleheader where rain was the between games entertainment.  Groundhog has 5.  Five freaking complete game shutouts.  ERA goes to the medical department, like 2.6, to 2.8.  Let’s just say it’s close.  Pretty darn close.  There’s a yellow light on Kershaw Boulevard, and a red light on Hamels Lane that Cliff needs to drive around, through, or with to get to the Doc’s house, but on a clear day, you can see forever, and CYs in both Leagues is, as the Doc knows, are legendary stuff that puts you in memorable light forever.

    It’s a sub plot within a far greater backdrop.  For both guys.  But you have to think that the challenge burns Cliff’s soul.  Let’s see if he can get it done.  He might not, but he’s gonna give it his best shot, colorfully so, and with the greatness of his “whatever” attitude.  Bring it on.            

  57. Ken Bland says:

    JimmyRollins11Jimmy Rollins

    by Ken_Rosenthal

    Soooooo this is what we got…mild grade 2 strain. DL

  58. Dude says:

    At this rate, brown is gonna have to win the left field job from Mayberry.