October 2, 2014

What the hell happened to the 2012 Phillies? And how to make 2013 better

I’m alive!

While the blog is not officially retired, it more or less is. I write a lot of stuff on Twitter these days (follow me @reclinergm) but simply don’t have the time to maintain the blog here full time for a variety of reasons.

HOWEVER… I do plan on occasionally posting longer stuff here that doesn’t really fit in 140 characters. This blog was originally created because I do stuff like this on my own all the time and thought others might find it interesting. I will continue to do that once a month or so. So sign up for the e-mail alerts if you have interest.

Recently, I’ve been trying to dissect the Phillies 2012 campaign and figure out what I think they should do in the off-season. To do that, we first have to establish what went wrong… Below is a simple chart that compares the 2011, 102-win-version to the 2012, 81-win-model. As is usually the case for me, I’m going to start with WAR. And if you are still skeptical of the value of WAR as a stat, take a look at the team total for 2011 vs. 2012. Phillies team WAR was 21.8 lower in 2012. Their actual win total was 21 less. Not a perfect stat but that’s not a coincidence.

Here is the comparison (it’s comprehensive, obviously. I accounted for every player). I will summarize the main points at the end.

My observations:

  • For all the talk about what went wrong with the Phillies – it seems like there is really one thing that played, by far, the biggest part. Roy Halladay’s ongoing health issues and drop in performance was the single biggest problem for the team as he was worth almost 8 full wins less than 2011. 8 WAR is a huge number for a pitcher for a single-season, let alone a season-to-season drop. I wasn’t expecting him to duplicate 2011, but for him to turn into basically a replacement level pitcher might have been the difference between a .500 record and 90 wins.
  • The rest of the rotation declined, but not necessarily in surprising fashion. Both Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee had excellent seasons but dropped from 2011 and Vance Worley very predictably couldn’t duplicate his 2011 season. The 22.8 win drop in the Phillies pitching is as much an indication of just how historically good they were in 2011 as how underwhelming they were in 2012. But if you want a top-level idea of why the Phillies floundered in 2012, the answer is “they had the possibly best rotation in baseball history in 2011, and didn’t in 2012, and nothing filled in the gap.”
  • The bullpen was among the areas that didn’t fill in that gap. It wasn’t great in 2011, but was still over 4 wins worse in 2012. The only holdover was Papelbon filling in nicely for Madson’s great 2011. Bastardo’s strange year hurt.
  • The offense was actually better in 2012, but this was in large part due to the amazing season of Carlos Ruiz (+1.8 wins) and the unlikely bench contributions of Juan Pierre, Erik Kratz, Kevin Frandsen and others. Even single opening day regular besides Ruiz performed worse in 2012 with the biggest issues being a-still-hobbled Howard, Victorino and Pence.
  • The offensive bench saved this team. The ‘regular bench’ and ‘other hitters’ categories had a 6.3 win improvement over 2011. With 2011′s horrible bench, we are a 75-win team.
  • Don’t mistake the offense ‘improving’ over 2011 as a sign that it is OK. The offense wasn’t great in 2011 either. For a reference point, in our offensive hey-day (2006-2009), our offense WAR for the team averaged 26.2, more than 10 wins better than either of the last two seasons.

So how do we fix this?

Let’s start with some housekeeping items…

  • Decline the options on Ty Wigginton, Placido Polanco and Jose Contreras
  • Non-tender Nate Schierholtz and Michael Martinez
  • Do NOT trade Cliff Lee. Your bad contracts are Howard and Papelbon, NOT the guy who just pitched 440+ innings at a sub-3 ERA over the last two seasons for you. Cut it out.
  • Do NOT trade Jimmy Rollins. He’s still a top-5 SS and a consistant 2-3 win player. Freddy Galvis CANNOT hit. I repeat, Freddy Galvis CANNOT hit.
And some in-house improvements
  • Actually find out what is wrong with Roy Halladay and do everything you can to have him healthy for Spring Training. Maybe have him talk to his buddy Chris Carpenter who is on his 2nd or 3rd “back from the dead” routine.
  • Figure out whatever Utley did starting in April and have him start it in February. He was excellent once he got on the field.
  • Have Ryan Howard talk to David Ortiz and find out how he can be an effective player into his 30′s.
  • See if Darin Ruf can play a serviceable OF. He’s not the savior, but he might be a cheap starting option.
Getting Halladay right, having Utley for a full season, and turning Howard around could be 8-9 win swing on it’s own. But I have my doubts about all three.
And now… what would the ideal off-season look like?
  • First and foremost, RAJ not making a panic signing and overpaying greatly. We have no more room for bad contracts. As you will see below, there are plenty of options out there in our areas of need with the exception of 3B.
  • Second, more Gillick-y moves like the Juan Pierre pick-up last year. No, it’s not easy to do, but getting 2 WAR value from a 1-year small contract is INCREDIBLY valuable. Juan Pierre was just as valuable to the Phillies this year as Jonathan Papelbon.
  • Getting into specifics, there are 3 main areas the Phillies need to focus: 3B, OF and RP.
  • At 3B, a trade for Chase Headley is a pipe dream, but I’ll never rule anything out. The best FA option/fit is Kevin Youkilis. Could we get him on a shorter deal? Would he need 3 years? I’d love Scott Rolen on a 1-year stop-gap, but I think we’ve burned that bridge. After that, it’s really nothing, though. Could Frandsen be a 1-year stopgap with the hopes that Cody Asche can do it in 2014? Could they sign Eric Chavez and platoon?
  • OF has tons of options. Here they are as I see them…
Very expensive - Josh Hamilton Potenitally very expensive - Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher Not going anywhere, sorry - Torii Hunter, Ichiro (retirement?) Expensive? - BJ Upton, Shane Victorino Bargain Buys (Starters) - Angel Pagan, Melky Cabrera, Cody Ross Bargain Buys (Platoons) - Johnny Gomes, Ryan Ludwick, Scott Hariston, Reed Johnson, Andruw Jones, Luke Scott, Rick Ankiel No thank you - Carlos Lee, Delmon Young
  • I would be open to any depending on the price and length of deal. If you are looking for value, Angel Pagan or a something-to-prove Melky Cabrera on a 1 year deal look nice to me. Pagan is severely underrated and has a WAR over 4 in three of the last four seasons. He can play CF and would be similar to Victorino in terms of production. Melky might be primed for an Adrian Beltre with the Red Sox type deals. 1 year to prove he can play w/o PEDs (In Beltre’s case, it was health-related). If that’s on the table, I’m taking it.
  • Michael Bourn is the best player of this group, but I have no idea what his market value is. It all depends on the price for guys like him, Swisher and BJ Upton. There are enough good options here that you can be patient.
  • The A’s showed how valuable a good platoon can be if used correctly this year. All those guys in the platoon category should be options regardless of what happens with the others.

As for the relief options – Papelbon, Bastardo and Lindblom are the only locks for ‘pen. I think that between Horst, Diekman, Stutes, Aumont, Schwimer and De Fratus you can add 2-3 more. What they really need is an 8th inning guy with experience who will let the young guys fight it out for the 7th inning and beyond. Here’s how I would break down to FA options for relivers.

Too expensive, should have signed last year: Fernando Rodney  Probably better than you think: Matt Belisle, Casey Janssen, Sean Burnett, Joel Peralta  Reliable, not dominant: Jeremy Affeldt, Jamey Wright  Injury comebacks: Mike Adams, Ryan Madson  Too old?: Darren Oliver, Rafael Betancourt, Octavio Dotel, Jose Valverde  Too fluky?:  Jason Grilli  Former closers with good 2012′s: Jonathan Broxton, Matt Lindstrom, Brandon Lyon, Brandon League

Again it comes down price. There are a lot of decent options here, and RAJ shouldn’t have to overpay. Unfortunetly, I don’t see a ton of no-risk, 8th inning guys. Rodney will be a closer somewhere. Janssen might as well. Adams and Madson make a lot of sense, but are both coming off injuries. The Phillies have flirted with Lyon in the past, he would also make some sense. I like Peralta too, as he has had a WHIP under 1.00 each of the last 3 years, but will be 37. Will be interesting to see where they go here.

If I was in charge…

Here’s what I would try to do…

At 3B – Float a 2-year deal to Kevin Youkilis. If he says no, try to sign Chavez as a LH platoon option with Frandsen.

At OF – Try to sneak in and grab Pagan at a good price. Or Cabrera on a 1-year show-me deal. Possibly wait around and sign back Victorino for dirt cheap as I don’t see him having a big market after his sub-par 2012.

At RP – Make a play for Casey Janssen or Mike Adams. Try to get Madson back on a 1-year deal.

I don’t see anyone out there worth breaking the bank for unless you can trade for Chase Headley. I think that the major improvement from this team in 2013 will have to come from within with Halladay, Howard and Utley. If we add 5-6 wins elsewhere, which my plan above would likely do, we could easily be back in 95-win range in 2013.

There are a whole lots of ‘if’s’ in there, but that’s what happens when you sign older guys to long deals, and trade away a lot of your farm system.

So what do you guys and gals think? Who are your targets for the Phils and how can we make sure 2013 is a lot more pleasant than 2012.

If you liked this post...Help Spread the Word:
  • YardBarker
  • BallHype
  • StumbleUpon
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Google
  • Mixx
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Buzz

Comments

  1. I’m going to give myself a high five.  I told my son about a week ago that the main reason the Phils sucked this year was Doc and Lee.  However the Ryan Howard and Vance Whorley drops offs were HUGE and I did not fully realize that.  Shane too…   I’m not certain I understand the Howard number since he didn’t play all year, is that annualized?

  2. Also how in the world does the WAR hitting improve in 2012 when we score 684 runs all year, but scored 713 runs in 2011 ?   Isn’t more offense and more runs better ?

    • And!  Hitting overall was down in 2011 compared to 2012.   So Phillies hitting in 2011 was 3% better than the average team and in 2012 was 2% worse than the average team.  Yet WAR improves ? 

    • Pete says:

      It’s barely an improvement, but the main factor is that WAR measures how many runs you SHOULD score based on a variety of metrics, so it takes out luck, fielding, opposing pitchers, etc…

      If you look at some other metrics, 2011 and 2012 offenses were basically the same…

      OBP: .323 in 2011, .317 in 2012
      SLG: .395 in 2011, .400 in 2012
      OPS: .718 in 2011, .717 in 2012

      • Pete says:

        Fielding is also included in WAR for hitters, so that’s another factor. 

        • WAR defense would be interesting as well

          • Pete says:

            Defense was much better in 2012. 1.0 WAR as a team vs. -5.4 in 2011. Some of this gets reflected in the pitching totals (i.e. they get higher WAR in 2011 for playing with a crappy defense). Replacing Ibanez in the field with Mayberry/Pierre was the biggest difference.

          • Oh my… Having the DH position is so valuable, being able to carry Ibanez and move him to DH in 2011 would have been tremendous.

            What about trading Cooch ?  I love him but he won’t repeat and at $5 million and looking at his 2012 stats, he is a steal.  I wish Phillies would be more willing to platoon guys and I like Pagan, except hasn’t he been bad in the clubhouse ?  Thought he was with the Mets.
            Nick Swisher NO WAY.  the guy is massively overvalued and come October can’t play. His post season AVG and OBP are both 100 points lower in postseason than career.  Subtract his Oakland and White Sox post season ’06 and ’08 and it’s even worse.
            Mayberry is 29 in 2013 and Brown is 26, what are they ?  Platoon players?  so frustrating…

            I don’t even see Brown in the salary chart.  http://www.reclinergm.com/phillies-payroll-analysis-and-organizational-depth-chart/

  3. Ken Bland says:

    Certain quotes sort of stay with you from the first read.  Maybe I read “Gimme Liberty, or gimme death”, or “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country” twice before sticking those suckers in the permamancy of my mind, but it only took 1 time a year or two ago for Doug Melvin to say, “The free agents that are expensive are the ones that sign early.”  I think of that, and boy, do I see a picture of Ruben Amaro.  I see Raul Ibanez and Jonathan Papelbon graphics in my mind clear as day when I think of that quote.

    Ruben continues to feed off a reputation, as opposed to a lean toward each new signing is potentially unique to itself, but you kinda get the feeling he’ll advance toward more patience.  Perhaps, anyway.  If he wants Cody Ross, he might need to move pretty quick, if he’s enamored with BJ Upton, a name long associated with the Phils, maybe he moves early, but you kinda get the feeling the largely underattractive market doesn’t push Ruben to shove.

    Two free agents who I don’t look to ink up early are ex Phils, both of whom have found their names circulated in bring em back theme.  Shane Victorino, with pretty limited enthusiasm, and recovering TJ surgery victim, Ryan Madson, less so.  When Vic hooked up with Cole Hamels agent, John Boggs a week ago, I figured maybe Vic was playing the theme of Boggs having kept Tony Gwynn in SD for life, and taking a step toward that with Hamels this past summer.  Vic’s come a long way from making newsprint with about 65 for 5 years within the past year, and you sho nuff don’t get the impression he likes having left here.  Prolly ridiculous to think it was a hiring with a return in mind, specially since the Phils send little signal of missing him (for what that’s worth) but you never know.  Madson, on the other hand, pulled what was perceived here as a surprise in declining his part of the mutual option with the Natti.  Picked up a cool 2.5 mil buyout, but it seemed more reasonable that the Reds would be the ones to decline the option.  Now Mad Dog is a free agent, and the vibes are that closing is still his first choice.  Great as he’d look in Phils attire again, the closing market is gonna have to shut him down to present a decent chance of him thinking of setting Papelbon up.

    So where are these 2 wearers of 2008 Championship rings headed?  Well, they aren’t early sign candidates.  Madson off the injury, and Vic off the big drop in 2012.  Vic’s price drops enough, which should happen, and the Atlanta rumors make a lot of sense.  For some reason, it’s hard envisioning him on the Atlanta club, but what the hey.  It’s a contender, and I suspect he’ll reach a point where he’s fired up about it, even with under 10 mil over 3 years.

    Madson, on the other hand, is likely looking shorter term to rebuild his value.  A 1 year deal closing, even with a crummy, or lower paying club gives him a chance to show good health, and closing skill.
    Honestly, I cannot think of a better match for him than the Mets.  Their bullpen might have been worse than the Phils last year.  I wonder if Boras could con them into as much as 4 mil for a 1 year deal.  Wherever he lands, 2013 will be a better year for Ryan.  Hopefully, 2014 is even that much better.

  4. phillyfan says:

    sounds good to me.  I think they likely win the division next year.  Nats cold see a hangover and they had some breakout years that could be hard to duplicate.  Braves will be very offensively challenged with chipper and Bourn gone.

    Just a reminder that the “ifs” don’t go away if you get younger players.  Just a different “if” related to the word “unproven” or “upside.”  

  5. joe says:

    I like the Phillies moves so far.  Here is I think WAR is a poor stat. Michael Young had a poor WAR last year, but his offensive numbers, even in his worst season, would have been an upgrade for us.  Where are these “replcement players” that War is comparing players to?  Not on the Phillies.  Our 3rd base spot last year we used what I would call replacement players.  Same with 1st base when Howard was out.  Is there a place where you can buy these players?  Anyway, I like the Phillies moves but am afraid we will waste the skills Revere has by batting him 8th, kinda of like the way we poorly used Pierre down in the 7th spot alot last year.  Pierre could find his way on base, but not a threat to drive in runs.  Almost as frustrating as when Charlie would frequently pinch hit for Pierre late in games with Mayberry, when we needed base runners just becouse of the Lefty/righty match up, which then woulnd’t happen anyway after the opposition would change pitchers.  I can’t believe we are still thinking of leading off Rollins and batting Revere 8th.  Jimmy got hot late, but still if you watch the games, how many times do you see a pitcher walk the bases loaded and jimmy pop up the first pitch.  Or I remeber a few games where I reliver comes in and can’t find the plate, walk 2 guys on 4 pitches and Jimmy comes up hacking.  The idea of Revere batting 8th so he can get on, steal second nd have the pitcher bunt him over is very flawed.  1st, 8 hole hitters don’t get pitches to hit and Revere stregnth isn’t taking walks.  Second, several times last few years Pierre, Vic, Rollins would get on and be bunted to second, instead of trying to steal then move him to 3rd with a bunt.  But most importantly, unless your 8 hole hitter steals second on the 1st or 2nd pitch, the opprotunity may not be there.  The pitcher is not the guy to stand there taking pitches until the guy steals, then bunt.  you an waste a pitch with a pitch out when the pitcher is up and run the risk of having 2 strikes before 2nd is stolen.  Rollins had a strong end of the season, but his previous 2, 3 years lead me to think that was not the norm with him.  Jimmy could drive in runs later in the order, Revere not so much.  revere can be a distraction on the bases that would benefit the other batters, but not so much for the pitchers spot.   Please

  6. joe says:

    I like the Phillies moves so far.  Here is I think WAR is a poor stat. Michael Young had a poor WAR last year, but his offensive numbers, even in his worst season, would have been an upgrade for us.  Where are these “replcement players” that War is comparing players to?  Not on the Phillies.  Our 3rd base spot last year we used what I would call replacement players.  Same with 1st base when Howard was out.  Is there a place where you can buy these players?  Anyway, I like the Phillies moves but am afraid we will waste the skills Revere has by batting him 8th, kinda of like the way we poorly used Pierre down in the 7th spot alot last year.  Pierre could find his way on base, but not a threat to drive in runs.  Almost as frustrating as when Charlie would frequently pinch hit for Pierre late in games with Mayberry, when we needed base runners just becouse of the Lefty/righty match up, which then woulnd’t happen anyway after the opposition would change pitchers.  I can’t believe we are still thinking of leading off Rollins and batting Revere 8th.  Jimmy got hot late, but still if you watch the games, how many times do you see a pitcher walk the bases loaded and jimmy pop up the first pitch.  Or I remeber a few games where I reliver comes in and can’t find the plate, walk 2 guys on 4 pitches and Jimmy comes up hacking.  The idea of Revere batting 8th so he can get on, steal second nd have the pitcher bunt him over is very flawed.  1st, 8 hole hitters don’t get pitches to hit and Revere stregnth isn’t taking walks.  Second, several times last few years Pierre, Vic, Rollins would get on and be bunted to second, instead of trying to steal then move him to 3rd with a bunt.  But most importantly, unless your 8 hole hitter steals second on the 1st or 2nd pitch, the opprotunity may not be there.  The pitcher is not the guy to stand there taking pitches until the guy steals, then bunt.  you an waste a pitch with a pitch out when the pitcher is up and run the risk of having 2 strikes before 2nd is stolen.  Rollins had a strong end of the season, but his previous 2, 3 years lead me to think that was not the norm with him.  Jimmy could drive in runs later in the order, Revere not so much.  revere can be a distraction on the bases that would benefit the other batters, but not so much for the pitchers spot.   Please

    • Ken Bland says:

      Yo, Joe

      Way to get those post season rips at Jimmy!  The holiday spirit is in full swing!

      Actually, I haven’t really thought much about the lineup, but I do think you make a good point on Revere, and I might take it a step further.

      I don’t know to what extent we’re feeding egos on the ball club, but Mike Young led to this Charlie quote.  Called him a professional hitter.”  Professional hitter is sort of a gray term.  Ruben admitted to Young having an off year, but said he still got “productive” outs.  What an endorsement, huh?  Bet let’s say there’s truth in that, and that’s what makes Young a “professional” hitter.  That description might be arguable, but it’s indisputable that he can still hit the ball with authority.  While I like the deal more than not, they have brought in what the exact reason they dismissed Pedro Feliz a few years back.  So you hit MY 8, take advantage of his decent average, and bat Revere 2, allowing for his high contact, great speed to serve more purpose. 

      I don’t know that Jimmy really has much to do with it.  But I wouldn’t reposition him with hopes of being an RBI guy.            

  7. To further pat myself on the back I wrote on Oct 18, trade Cooch, now that the drugs explanation is out there, that is off the table.  Dang it, I wish the Phills would just do as I say.   We could have gotten something for him before…

    I love what Revere does for our money situation, Phills really, really, really need 500 at bats from somebody in the OF that doesn’t cost anything.  Now this should have been Mayberry or Brown but such is life.  They are both looking like total busts / at best a #5 OF on a good team or a #4 OF on a bad team

    • Dude says:

      I’m not sure how big a deal the adderol thing is. Personally, I find it hard see how he gets an unfair advantage by using something that 10% of the league is specifically allowed to use. We won’t know for sure how much of an impact this really had until we get a good way into the season ( and take his age into account), but it doesn’t strike me as really even that similar to steroids or HGH… Ruiz is a guy whose offensive value is mostly in his OBP and directional hitting (though there was a power spike last year and it will be interesting to see what happens with that)

  8. Pete,
    I’m not a twitter follower.  I love this site.  Don’t let it die.  Oh and finish you top 50 Philadelphia athletes before the next Eagles head coach gets fired.

    Dave 

  9. Ken Bland says:

    jjg,

    I believe you will enjoy this immensely…

    “it was a real treat to stay up late with my dad and listen to the pitching duels with koufax and short”
    wrong.
    The treat of it is opening this link and hitting the view game link in the upper right. A Phillie winner before under 9,000 announced witnesses at Chavez Ravine. Chris “Wasn’t” Short versus Sanford Koufax.
    http://www.backtobaseball.com/gamesiteregularseason.php?IDindex=LAN196107150

    • jjg says:

      Ken, Thanks.  Looked at link, found simulation & jogging of memories.  We had Bobby Gene Smith and Bobby Del Greco and Ken Walters and Frank Sullivan.  They had Sandy Koufax and Stan Musial and Willie Mays and Roberto Clemente.  How was that fair? 

      Wish I still had my Connie Mack pack of 5×7 or 4×6 B&W glossies of some of ’61 Phillies whom I sentimentally recall to this day for their involuntary exceptionalism and for their being there.

      Knothole Games & peanut shells on concrete, with mustard and mounds of dashed hopes.

  10. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I love the information you provide here and can’t wait to take a
    look when I get home. I’m shocked at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI,
    just 3G .. Anyhow, fantastic site!

  11. Woah! I’m really digging the template/theme of this blog. It’s simple, yet effective.
    A lot of times it’s difficult to get that “perfect balance” between usability and appearance. I must say you have done a great job with this. Additionally, the blog loads extremely quick for me on Firefox. Excellent Blog!

  12. File under OH THANK GOD

    http://bleacherreport.com/tb/d9Afg?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=philadelphia-phillies

    What if the Phillies had signed A-Rod in 2007…Although we’d probably win the 2009 ws … Would that be worth it ?

  13. Chris McC says:

    Say what you will about RAJ’s missteps as GM but, oh man, did he dodge a bullet not signing Chone Figgins (who was deemed not good enough for the MARLINS today). Maybe it was foresight, maybe it was luck, maybe he got out-bid by Seattle; maybe he did his best to land Figgins and failed but at least we, as fans, have been spared the particular misfortune of having to think and talk about Chone Figgins existence for the past three years.

    • Ken Bland says:

      While a person needs a mental deficency to defend Chone Figgins ability at this point, it’s possible that there’s still some ability there.  Eight basehits in 26 at bats this spring’s not necessarily bad (.308 average, but who knows how hard hit they were).  And while a full year is a better measure of a player than a short period, he had 3 3 hit games in the first week or week plus of last year. Whatever he was doing right, who knows why he fell off the face of the earth again. So he probasbly sucks, but maybe it was a numbers game.

      No club is gonna bad mouth a player, so it’s hard to tell if any Phillie interest was thwarted by Figgins high price when he left the Angels, or if the Phils  thought his talent was sewt up for decline.  While Figgins overall drop was fast and furious, it’ll be interesting to see if the club’s read on Shane Vic is perceptive along the lines of credit you’re suggecting they should maybe get for not pursuing Figgins.  Degrees of drop the likes of Figgins are maybe tough to call, but the Phils interest in resigning Vic looks pretty smart so far.  He wasn’t real good with the Dodgers last year, and for what it’s worth, hasn’t had a noisy spring.   

        

      • Ken Bland says:

        And replacing Chone Fig in the Fish organization, none other than Wilson Valdez.

        Apparently, Alumni weekend has been expanded this year to whenever the Phils host the Fish.

        Be pretty cool to see a 16 inning Marlin-Phils game, and Valdez pitching.    

      • Ken Bland says:

        The Cubs could be on the lookout for a spare infielder, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports. Manager Dale Sveum likes the recently-released Chone Figgins, saying Figgins “is one who would be interesting because he switch hits and plays the outfield.” But don’t count on the Cubs acquiring him, since Sveum would rather have a lefty hitter with power.

  14. Hi, I do believe this is an excellent website. I stumbledupon it ;) I am going
    to revisit yet again since I saved as a favorite it.
    Money and freedom is the greatest way to change,
    may you be rich and continue to help other people.

  15. Ken Bland says:

    Tonight’s Opening Day ballgame between the Phils and Bravos has been cancelled due to lack of interest.

    Well, it is April Fool’s Day, after all.

    From Atlanta, Georgia to the Gulf Stram waters, from the Baja Peninsula to the Candian Rockies, from downtown Bangor to the southern shore of Florida, and from your head to your toes, the Opening Day experience is upon us once again.

    The Phillies mission is no longer to stay injury free.  And, like the Dodgers and Giants, coming up in a little while, it’s bigger than most challenges faced by clubs across the MLB landscape in that it’s against a division rival that figures to be a challenge in the standings.  With that backdrop, the Phils mission is to win 2 of 3 at a minimum.  Lose 2 of 3, and we might look back from a tight end of season finish and if it’s a game behind the Braves, whoa is me.  Games will slip away mysteriously over the course of the year, and that’s life, but you’d just hate to dig a hole early.

    The only thing that might constitute a surprise in Charlie’s lineup tonight, featuring Ben Revere leading off, is John Mayberry playing right and batting 7.  He’s had a little success against Tim Hudson, 2 of 7 with a couple walks as I remember it a day after looking at matchups.  Nix is 1-5.  Heroberry knocked in the game winner on Opening Day 2 years ago when the Phils came back to beat that troublesome Houston club, maybe he’s got more Opening Day magic in his stick.

    Hudson is well stretched out from his spring work.  He was 15-20 pitches ahead of most guys a month ago, and off that buildup, with decent stuff, should be in the game a while.  Cool Hamels is no doubt ready and raring to go.  If the Phils can grab a lead, Charlie wouldn’t figure to push hum past 110 pitches with a day off tomorrow, and Adams and Papelbon very capable of handling innings 8 and 9.  In that regard, it’s a 7 inning game for the Phils.  Atlanta’s bullpen makes it the exact same for them, so getting a lead and holding it is important.

    Through the magic of copy and paste, here are the results of matchups versus the respective pitchers that I checked on yesterday…

    A look ahead to what it’s all about…OPENING DAY…..
    Among the most appealing differences between the now past exhibition season and real baseball is the way pitchers work. It’s business time, and the possibility of watching the Halladays of the world symphonically peak and back off and find a point to get strongeris truly good stuff. Matchups matter, although past results don’t insure repeat results.
    Here are some numbers versus bothe Cool, and Hudson, who if he’s looking for a distraction, can relish in the glory of what might well be his last ever OD assignment in a just outstanding career.
    Versus Hudson
    Fransden is 5 for 10, all singles, no walks.
    Piece is 5 for 13, plus a walk. 1 double, 1 homer included
    Jimmy is 5 for 14, with 2 shots, no less, and a double. Add a walk if you’re an OBP fan.
    Now you’d think based on opposite hand, Nix’d start in right. For what it’s worth, he’s 1-5 (single), which, off Huddy, isn’t exactly terrible. Bangberry, on the other had, is 2-7, and walked twice additionally.
    Chase. Don’t ask. 1-11 with a single. But no K’s, so he’s put the ball in play, and has 2 ribs.
    Amazingly, Cole has never batted against Hudson. That is weird.
    Cole, facing Atlanta has never been a picnic in the park for the ATL. Heyward is 2-8 with a coule 2 baggers, Freddie Freeman (not a bad selection as a player to watch this year) is 3-10, but has struout 5 times against Cole. No Chipper, no McCann, and no other noteworthy results. Well, one. Uggla, relative to other pitchers he’s facedf, has done superble against the Phils hurler. 5 at bats, 3 K’s. My man.
                      

    • jkay says:

      A Happy Opening Day to you KB!! And jjg, or whomever may still be hovering the Recliner’s deserted hallway.
      While studies and graduation beckon me, I am not too busy to watch some ball.
      Go Phils.
      RyHo has good numbers against Hudson. lets see some fireworks tonight.
      Shut ‘em down Cole!

      • Ken Bland says:

        Back atcha, jkay.  Been a fun game to watch tonight, even though the results haven’t been great.

        Hope school’s going well.

        I seem to be the only non bot left around here, certainly close to that, but I’ll be around here and there long as the site stays up.

        Be well, and safe, and Happy Opening Day!       

  16. Ken Bland says:

    Here are some matchup highlights for Wednesday night’s ballgame.
    Weather vs Umpires
    60% chance of rain. Money line terms, I guess that’s bet 120 to win 100. Or vice versa. This is a baseball board, not a junkie board. Daytime, cloudy, high of 60, overnight low, 48.
    Guesstimated game time temp, 54. Check out of town listings for celsius equivalentss.
    Players versus the house
    Paul Maholm is a 119 (maybe it was 117) favorite over Doc.
    Pitchers versus hitters
    Regretfully, The Mart that’s known as Mini is no longer with the ballclub. Relatively speaking, Mini’s success against Mahom was among his highest peaks during his Philly stay. Maholm retired Mini only once. That’s in one career at bat, by the way.
    Mini’s replacement on the most hated list, Del Yerah Mon Young is 4 of 6.
    What’s seriously interesting is that Humberto Quintero is 6 out of 17 against him, including only 1 strikeout. We’ll see what Charlie makes of that.
    Mike Young and John Juniorberry are both 2 for 2 against him. Both have a single, and an extra base hit, Yioung’s a homer.
    Chase is 6 for 18, Jimmy and Piece are both in the 5 for 20 range.
    Maholm pitched toward the end of spring against the Phils. What I remember about the particular game was he threw a good amount of breaking stuff to Howard and Brown. Brown had a couple at bats, and saw several breaking pitches, not picking them up real well. I believe Howard tried going the other way in 1 at bat, we’ll see if he can script some success agaiunst a breaking ball lefty with his adjustments unlike that hard and in stuff he got crushed on last night.
    For Doc, regular work now extends to his 4th straight assignment on regular rest. Whether that plays any factor remains to be seen. And in light of where he’s at of late, consistently hit around, I don’t know if matchups on a career basis matter. But one guy who has demonstrated ownership of Doc, even in better times is Freeman at 7 for 15, with 3 shots..
    BJ is 15 for 42, with 4 goners, but 13 Ks. Uggla has 13 Ks in 34 at bats, but 11 hits, and 4 homers. These are pretty much the guys Doc can’t let beat him, add Justin, who’s 2 for 6.
    Should be a fairly high scoring game. I don’t know abiut 17-10, but we might see more than the 7-5 opener. Win 10-8, and the worry warts will be out arranging Doc’s funeral. It’d be a concern, but it’s about winning. Progress every start is what matters on the comeback trail as the big secondary factor.
    And for a wrap, here’s a team of Braves announcers and former announcers over the years.
    Pitchers
    Tom Glavine
    Don Sutton
    Dizzy Dean
    Ernie Johnson, Sr.
    Al Downing
    Catcher Jeff Torborg
    1B Brian Jordan
    2B Frankie Frisch
    SS Mark Lemke
    3B Darrell Cheyney
    LF Ron Gant
    CF Dale Murphy
    RF Number 44, Henry Aaron
    Closer John Smoltz

  17. Ken Bland says:

    Royals pitcher Ervin Santana shrugged off Chicago’s three homers.
    “I don’t know,” he said. “The best pitcher in the league gave up three homers on opening day. This is baseball. Anything can happen.”
    Pressed to identify the “best pitcher,” Santana said, “Cole Hamels.” And, yes, the Phillies lefty yielded three homers Monday in a 7-5 loss to Atlanta.

    plagerized with no permission frpom the Kansas City Star 

    Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/04/03/4159948/royals-shields-is-puzzled-disappointed.html#storylink=cpy

  18. Thanks to my father who told me regarding this blog, this web site is
    actually amazing.