76 thoughts on “Box Score Recap, 4 May 2011

  1. Hernandez trying to stay below Myers and Hanzawa. Good competition. I think when Mattair returns Hernandez needs to move to either Lakewood or XST just to give him a break. Let Geancarlo get some time at 2B or 3B.
    Friend seems like a good pickup.

    1. Atleast Myers has a reason. He gets one at bat most of his games and he gets taken out of his games early, he does not get the chance to redeem himself like the rest do. James 3 for 7, Castro 1 for 7, Singleton 0 for 1. He did not even play in several games before this one. He plays in one game then his next game he will only get one at bat. Iam sure that if they had the same play time as Myers their numbers would be different too. Myers gets no consistent playing time. If you lok at his spring training stats when he had consistent playing time you will see he had a very good spring training. so let’s not be to hard on Myers.

  2. IMO they will stay with Cesar for awhile, believing his injury had crinkled his Mojo and that he will smooth his way forward both in the field and at bat given some time. The season is still plenty young to extend his play.

    They seem to see a lot in him, and a less than adequate trial would do more harm than help.

  3. Watching Worley, he isnt overpowering, but seems to me to really stay out of the middle of the plate. just wondering how good people think he can be a third ,or fourth starter you think. I know we cant know a lot after two starts,but just would think he is a better starter than kendrick, to replace blanton after season. Wonder when we get back lidge or blanton if they release baez, who I thought would help them, but not so sure now. like the way james is hitting near three hundred at clearwater,

  4. Dont forget last year’s work. I have seen a few pitchers that don’t stand out on TV but get batters out. The only way to find out is let him pitch and absorb the big four. Some one suggested that Worley go back when and if. You rarely see a guy sub 1.00 ERA go back. In fact your rarely see a guy sub 1.000(sorry I am saving the good jokes for later)
    With Romero back (and they rushed that didn’t they) go for the insurance on Lidge.
    I wasn’t a big Madson-the closer fan but being wrong is nice sometimes.

  5. Not to be missed is the fact that Worley walked no one and could of gone another inning but the pen needed work. Last start wasn’t the cruise this one was since they scored four after he left. But being able to “cruise” is not a quality all pitchers share especially young one.
    It would be great if James could advance say in July.
    BIG nine days coming up.

    1. You sound like a James fan, nowheels. I have hopes for him also. However, I’m not thinking of fast-tracking him until he provides dominant play for an extended period. He needs to light it up big-time. If he plays just pretty good, he needs a full season at each level. Just my view.

  6. The rain in Reading sucked. I left CT and it was overcast and dark (but it always is at 5:30am). Didn’t hit rain until I’d crossed the Tappan Zee. Realized the game was a washout because it rained harder and harder the closer I got to PA. I hope the field is playable today. The sun came out in the afternoon. I’m wonder if Zeid or Ramirez will start today?

    It was nice to see Worley’s outing yesterday. Stutes did just fine too. Bastardo/Stutes/Worley are making a nice impact on the big club this year.

    Pettibone continues to impress. After a lousy outing last time, he cam back with a nice one. Barnes is where he belongs. Small sample but I think he got his head on straight when they moved him to CLW.

  7. Read a cool stat on a farm alumni, Bastardo. He has the highest swinging miss rate in mlb. Pretty impressive. He looks like a back of the bullpen arm. All three farm arms have been really impressive this year. Stutes and Bastardo in particular are so valuable. If they provide cheap, yet high quality 7th and 8th innings, that gives big club much more payrole flexibility. What has been most impressive about those guys is that even when they give up base runners, I never lose the confidence that they will get out of it. They both seem in such control and have confidence and great stuff. They both seem to have another level. And will only get better.

    P.s. Nice articel on JC Ramirez in Inquire today.

    1. HEY RUBEN, Baez and Herndon need to go, and Stutes and Worley need to stay. @PPFan, Bastardo is downright nasty and could easily be our closer in the future.

    2. I just read the JC Ramirez article, thanks for bringing it to our attention. It drives me crazy when pitching coaches tell players to pitch to contact. What does that mean? I hope it is a way of saying “don’t nibble, don’t try to be perfect, trust your stuff and throw strikes.” But I would much rather see strikeouts. The article cites opponents batting .187 against him, 90 points lower than last season. That seems to me to be an aberration, not proof that he’s a better pitcher. Ah well, we shall see. Maybe when he tightens up his slider again the strikeouts will come.

      1. ***The article cites opponents batting .187 against him, 90 points lower than last season. That seems to me to be an aberration, not proof that he’s a better pitcher.***

        why do you draw that conclusion? the article mentioned he is getting better angles on his pitches. that means they are more deceptive and have a stronger bite. that is enough to make the contact less solid than in the past. i think that you mis-interpreted that point and drew the wrong conclusion. i see this as a sign he has significantly improved. let’s see if he can keep it up.

        1. The article also says “When the secondary pitches get better, he’ll be really good. He’s living off his fastball.” It talks about his slider not being as good as it could be and his change being better. Based on those comments I’m not sure there’s been a significant net improvement in his stuff (though I’m sure there has been some improvement).

          Regarding batting average against (BAA), I was using that as a proxy for his BABIP. I checked firstinning.com and it says his BABIP looks like this:
          2007: .272
          2008: .299
          2009: .316
          2010 (CLE): .326
          2010 (REA): .328
          2011: .190

          His 2011 BABIP also seems like an aberration. Perhaps his stuff is significantly improved from last year, but the article didn’t exactly make it sound that way and I doubt he will maintain this level of BAA and BABIP. Still, he is pitching really well and I hope he keeps it up.

          1. Out of curiosity I checked the league leaders in BABIP for the Eastern League last year. Kyle Drabek was third with a BABIP of .255.

          2. BABIP without knowing fg/fb/ld rates is unfair. would you change your opinion if his LD rate was really low?

            1. Really this is the mirror image of the Savery debate, with the added bonus that pitchers have a little less control over babip than do hitters.

              Could his improvement in babip have a meaningful component? Possibly yes. Would GB/LD/FB data pehaps inform that debate? Yes.

              But we can say, with a level of certainty of 100%, that his success so far this year is massively luck related, and that his lack of Ks are more of a negative indicator than the low babip is a positive indicator.

              All THAT said, the sample size is way to small to draw many conclusions of ANY type. At least his success so far is confidence building, and for young pitchers that’s important.

      2. The game today was pretty ugly. Ramirez wasn’t missing bats but the defense killed them. Ramirez line was 2.2 IP, 2 hits, 6 runs, 3 ERs, 3 BBs and no Ks. In actuality, the 3 ERs were cause by a leadoff error by Fidel Hernandez on a Gose grounder. It got ugly from there, At one point Ramirez gave up 5 runs on 1 hit. The one hit was a monster homerun. I’ll have more to say after the Phils game tonight (Halladay / Lannan). Got to get to the game.

        I sat about 4 rows behind Dallas Green.

  8. Worley is impressive. I am one who didn’t have him ranked in the top 10 but that 2 seam he throws to lefties is almost Maddox-ess! Stutes would also make me comfortable enough to let Baez go.

    I’m not sold that Ibanez is back though. I would still platoon him with Mayberry.

    1. I had him in my Top 10 exactly because he can step in and be a 4/5 starter with no issues. That puts him above “a hope and a prayer” guys.

    2. I’m probably a little higher than some on Worley, but his just okay minor league K rate has always for me suggested 4/5 starter at best. But so far in (granted, tiny sample size) 25 major league innings he has 24 Ks. If – and it is a huge if – he can maintain that, he is a 3 at least, maybe better, given good control and reasonable ground ball/fly ball tendencies.

      I really wouldn’t want to make a prediction – I’m far more cautious in projecting pitchers than I am in projecting hitters. Few pitchers maintain higher K rates in the majors than in the minors. OTOH, the trend in his minor league K rate was upwards so who knows?

  9. I was at “the Bank” for both of Worley’s starts in the last 6 days. My 12yo keeps score and we noted that on Friday night every one of Worley’s K’s was backwards, i.e. looking. Last night when he got the first K my son looked at me and started laughing; yep, looking. I like Worley. But I was also there for Kendrick’s first start and it was similar. I’ll be alot higher on Worley after his second start against some of these teams once they have the “book” on him. Unfortunately that second pass will take another trip to the DL for a starter.

  10. Someone posted this article yesterday, but there are two parts in there that made me a little upset:

    1) Phils’ Latin America budget is $1m and in the bottom quartile. I think we all knew this, but it still sucks. If Agostinelli is so good, why handcuff him? I suppose another question is if he’s so good, why hasn’t he gotten frustrated by his crappy budget and gone elsewhere?

    2) This quote from Arbuckle was so disappointing…”Very few times did [Agostinelli] have the most dollars to spend and even that was curtailed as the major league payroll rose. But Sal has done an excellent job, especially with the resources he’s had to work with.” They reduced the international budget to help pay for a rising MLB payroll???? What did they get, an extra $500,000? I recognize Arbuckle might have a different take on the situation than someone who was in the front office at the time, and perhaps it was a temporary change to try to take advantage of the Phils’ window of opportunity at the MLB level. But to me there is more value for the marginal dollar at the amateur level than at the MLB level (unless it is spent very wisely at the MLB level).

      1. SHHHH . . . don’t let FREE AC see this or we’ll be getting bombastic posts for a month.

        Seriously, when the team can afford payroll in the $170 million range, it’s just crushing to read things like “we can’t afford to compete” when the teams they are competing with are the Royals and the Blue Jays. Now, I have no doubt that the people given the budget can only spend within their budget, but the decision to hold fast to some arbitrarily small limit, is just insanity.

        Now, if they have a general philosophy to spread the talent money, I could live with that provided that: (a) the overall dollars committed are significant; and (b) they have the ability to go over budget to sign a special talent. It sounds like they are going down to see a kid who is a top dollar prospect, so we’ll see. But for them to be on the low side with the signing budget would seem to me just to be kind of stupid. One great signing will pay for everything else. But it’s not my money and I certainly can’t complain about the product on the field right now, it just does not seem like the most wise use of their resources.

    1. I don’t know if this upsets me at all. As a fan I understand we are never going to spend what the Yankee’s spend. I guess I tend to look at the whole picture whether that is the domestic draft, latin american or Free Agents.

      This group has done well to keep talent flowing into the organization and for me the end product is well worth the price of admission these past 4-5 years. In a few years when and if the payroll starts coming down maybe the budget shifts at that point.

      I think timing dictates more how and where you spend.

      1. Surely we could spend what the Mariners, Blue Jays, Royals, and Cubs spend ($5m on Latin America).

        I agree that if you have a chance to make a deep playoff run you should focus your resources on doing so. But really, $1m hardly moves the needle at all at the major league level but would make a massive difference in our Latin American operations. For sure it is a risky $1m, but as you said the group does a good job. Why not enable them to do their job even better?

        I don’t mean to be a whiner, as these past few years have been about as good as it gets for a Phils fan. This just looks to me like a misallocation of resources.

        1. LOL without a doubt we could. I think if you could get Ruben to be honsest with you he would agree.

          At this point Rubes has some bigger fish to fry. Imagine what he must be thinking as he weighs what Worley could give them as a 5th vs. Big Joe and his hefty contract.

          Or did Worley just put himself on the radar as a chip we can parlay into a legit OF bat?

    2. I completely agree. While the Phillies are clearly doing very well with the current resource allocation, I think they need to investment more in the draft and internationally.

    3. Boston, the Phillies are looking to get younger through the bullpen/outfielders and I am sure that some(hopefully most) of the savings will go to the International Market setup and bonuses. However; I doubt you will see a change of going to many high dollar signings from their current approach of drafting projectable athletes.

    4. You are so right. It’s like not paying your electric bill so that you can go out and buy a luxury car.

    5. You do wonder what the thinking is. Part of the reason we get the absurd and infuriating “Phillies are cheap” comments is that no clear rationale presents itself. I’m guessing that the team DOESN’T believe that dollars spent on securing amateur talent are such a good value relative to dollars spent at the minor league level – i.e., that good scouting and development are far more important than dollars spent.

      I know there has been some research on this & it tends to not support the Phillies’ strategy. Yet I think more research is needed – I haven’t seen any studies, for example, regarding money spent in Latin America.

      In terms of the draft, I actually think the Phillies’ first round strategy is defensible for a team drafting toward the back of the first round, and I suspect that last year they planned to spend more but had some bad luck with regard to the signing decisions of a couple of the draftees. Still, the draft is one area where the research seems to really support the high value for the dollar thesis.

      I do think, though, that the “Surely we could spend what the Mariners, Blue Jays, Royals, and Cubs spend” argument is flawed. One reason those teams spend so much is that they (except for the Cubs) CAN’T compete for Free agents so developing talent internally is a higher priority. You would expect as an equilibrium solution that the teams spending most on the minors/amateur talent would actually be the small market teams. (Yes, the Cubs are not a small market team, but the others are small or medium (Seattle) market teams.) That said, I would like to see them spend more.

      1. Larry, it was more a statement of fact than an argument (technically, the Phils could spend as much as they want, right? ha ha). I agree that teams that cannot afford free agents should designate more of their player budget to non-free agent talent sources. However I think it makes sense for it to be a higher percentage of their budget, not a targeted dollar amount, e.g. small market teams should spend 15% of player budget on amateur talent and big market teams should spend 5% (or something like that). This is going to be crude, but assuming 2011 MLB payroll approximates a normal spending year, Toronto’s ratio of LatAm spend to 2011 payroll is 0.08. Phila would have to be at a ratio of 0.03 to spend $5m in LatAm this year. The portion of our budget spent on MLB players should be higher than Toronto’s, Seattle’s, and KC’s because we are now a high-revenue team that expects to compete for a WS championship this year. But I think the portion of our budget spent on MLB is too high at this point to be a good use of resources. So surely we can spend more than those teams and still justify it as a good use of money.

        1. So, if they are so bad at allocating of resources, hows the farm grade out to you, Boston? Also, hows the big club grade out?

          1. Strawman argument chief. No one is saying the current talent levels aren’t very competitive. The argument is “imagine how much better it could be” if they allocated resources in slightly different ways.

            But wait, we won a World Series 3 years ago! Those who question that must be communists.

            1. None of that makes any sense whatsoever. just plain old verbal diarrhea. Good luck with that.

            2. was at the bar celebrating cinco de mayo, so i apologize for being rude. Ill clarify. The whole debate is ridiculous because any theory that the phillies underspend on Latin American talent is unprovable because the phillies could easily have looked at the market at the time and said, “lets not spend any money on LA this year cause there is better talent elsewhere.” Any argument that they spent the right amount has one enormous, provable fact supporting it (my straw man). Well sorry if we cant all base our questions and theories on speculation and presumption and assumption, Will.

          2. By the way, while we are “imagining just how much better it could be,” name me one team that has spent more on LA and now has a better combination of farm and big club talent. THINK HARD.

            1. While I am enough of a defender of the front office & ownership that cranks like AEC think I’m totally in the tank for the front office, this is not at the end of the day a fully convincing argument.

              (1) Much of the team’s recent success is attributable to decisions made a decade ago. That’s of marginal relevance in judging the current front office. (2) Any discussion of the team’s success that neglects the fact that Philadelphia is a high revenue team with a high payroll is deceptive. I think it’s fair to say that without such factors this team would have been out of the playoffs the past 2 years and out of contention this year. (3) Looking at the aggregate results is incomplete – at least in theory a team could make up for poor resource allocation with excellent scouting and development. And in fact that seems to be the case here. It’s reason perhaps to concluded that front office performance as a whole is good, but doesn’t answer complaints about resource allocation.

            2. A better response for sure, though you lost me at the end. Doesn’t change that you are responding to an issue solely about allocation of resources by retorting, “but the Phillies are good!”

              That’s fine. No one disputes that the Phillies are good. Further, no one disputes that they must be doing something right to be so good, as far as that goes.

              “But the Phillies are good” does not add (or detract for that matter) from whether the Phillies are optimally allocating resources among MLB, MiLB, the Draft, L.A., etc. ad nauseum.

              I have my own opinions, which I haven’t even bothered to voice, but I can’t help but call it out when you (and others who have done the same) rebut a perfectly valid line of questioning with the anti-intellectual “But the Phillies are good!” You are rebutting an argument that isn’t in dispute; that the Phillies haven’t amassed talent. That chief, is what is known as a Strawman. That is a different, silly argument. No one is making it. No one disputes it.

              THINK HARD ABOUT THAT, sir.

            3. Larry, on point number 1) the signing of cliff lee and trading for Roy Halladay are significant factors contributing to the current team’s makeup and success, disagree? 2) agreed, they spend big on the big club, which in turn robs them of funds for other allocation 3) the aggregate result is the only evidence we have…….

              Will, any argument “that the phillies have misallocated their resources correctly” is based entirely on individual, subjective opinion. On the other hand, it is entirely probative and directly supportive of the argument that they indeed have allocated resources correctly by stating that the current teams are very good. It is not a straw man argument, so stop using that analogy. I have not changed the debate by mistating the other sides position. Its not a straw man argument because the other side has weak or no evidence.

            4. further, Ill argue they have could not have spent more wisely based on the strong EVIDENCE that they have good current teams over your OPINIONS that they spent unwisely, all day long.

            5. It is a strawman and you are restating the argument.

              That the Phillies are good is evidence that the Phillies have amassed talent. Again, no is argueing that the way they have allocated resources has led to a good 2011 baseball team compared to the rest of the league, and for that matter a currently strong farm system.

              The argument is whether by making small changes in the allocation strategy would lead to a more sustainable model of success.

              Nuance is a bitch, I know.

              It is what it is. But “the Phillies are good!” We are lucky for that.

            6. Essentially, your evidence consists of “what has not happened enough of.” This leaves infinite possible neglect, while no measure of success will satisfy.

    6. Well, I don’t think we can say it’s just a matter of the money spent on signing picks in Latin America. I’m guessing the infrastructure costs (travel, running academies, etc) are a big part of the deterrent. In the US, the public education system very helpfully provides a free development system for kids 14-18. Then of course there’s the college system that operates in parallel with the low minors for those in the 18-22 age range. There’s none of that for Latin ballplayers, so teams have to build it themselves, which is expensive. Not saying that the Phillies shouldn’t spend the money, only that the amount of money involved is a lot more than the bonuses alone.

  11. Boston Phan, thanks for the info.

    I think it is so short sighted to casually excuse the Phillies for such a low draft spend (on a relative basis). I think it is a penny wise and pound foolish approach that will eventually hurt them. We aren’t talking about additional $10’s of millions of dollars here. A couple more million on the draft each year, and maybe a couple more million in Latin America each year. Maybe $5M total. That is not asking that the bar be set unusually high.

    The great irony is that the current major league club is built primarily from blue chip Top 150 draft picks. Guys that either the Phillies drafted themselves, or else traded most of their Top 100 picks from the last 6 years to acquire veteran stars that were formerly Top 150 picks. The MLB club of the last 3 seasons was stacked with mostly top end talent.

    The idea that the current juggernaut at the MLB level is going to be sustained by darkhorse picks and blue light specials that are found in the bowels of the draft (because the Phillies scouts are so much more brilliant than the other teams) is an unproven theory that has never been tested to date.

    1. I agree with this wholeheartedly. It seems to me that if you have an area of your organization that is performing really well (like Wolever and his staff seem to do), you want to allocate MORE resources to them rather than less. Maybe the increased benefit is linear but I’d like to find out.

  12. I noticed in the rosters for the Phillies farm teams that Pettis was called up to Clearwater and Manzanillo was sent down to Lakewood.

    1. I believe Manzanillo has only been at Lakewood this year. Think he was sent there from extended ST a few weeks back.

  13. Worley is gonna be a bust his second time thru the league, look at his babip historically

    1. Thanks for the input Joe. Are posting from the Rib Buffet/internet bar again.

    2. Not going to happen Joe. Worley is better than you are and he’s $ 8 million cheaper. Sometime this year you’ll hear the words “welcome to Anaheim Mr. Blanton!”

  14. Isolated power is particularly instructive when it comes to a player like Anthony Hewitt. His ISO over his career is .143, last year it was .125. Not particularly great, but not bad either. The one skill Hewitt always brought was power. This season the ISO is .207. Not a surprise in my opinion.

    The problem with Hewitt is that the plate discipline has not improved. 31 strikeouts against just three walks, and one of those walks was intentional. Flailing away at the ball, Hewitt will not get many good pitches to hit and his batting average may again tumble. What’s sad about Hewitt is that this performance, .250ish batting average with power, was largely his projected upside.

  15. I’m trying to keep the ball down in the strike zone and if I do, I’ll be worth the $8M and then some. Plus I have a ring, how ya like that Volkswagen?

  16. Well, now that Ibanez has rose like a phoenix, I guess this d. Brown to left field full time talk is on hold?

  17. At some point soon, I’d really like to see D Brown up in the majors in a platoon where he is getting more than half the games, along with Raul vs righties, and play Mayberry and Francisco most of the time against lefties. However, as long as Raul is producing (let’s see if it lasts, but historically he goes on these extended hot streaks for a month or two) there is no reason to rush D Brown.

    As far as trading Vance or Joe B for a hitter, I think we have to wait and see how this offense develops over th next 8 weeks first. There are a lot of intenal variables in play – will Utley return as the real Utley and stay healthy? How do our 3-4 corner outfielders produce? I believe we’ll get more out of Chooch than we have and a little less out of Polanco. Shane and Rollins are quietly having nice years at this point.

    The true need on this team could be the back end of the bullpen moreso than offense if Lidge does not come back and if we any other injury to a Madson or Contreras. Having said that, Stutes and Bastardo are looking very capable for 7th and 8th inning type roles if need be. How great would it be this year to have our “trade deadline” additions really be the evolution of Dom Brown, Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo, and another reliever like maybe Schwim or DeFratus.

  18. Mathieson didn’t pitch again tonight. According to MILB.com, his last appearance was April 28. I’m concerned, given his numbers since Spring Training and his arm history. Anyone got any intel?

    1. Hey, if that’s really you (and I’m sure it is) that’s good to hear. Not the flu part, but the bodily health part. I thought you looked great when I saw you in Spring Training–keep up the hard work.

  19. Hey I heard you guys might need a second baseman, how do I try out? I’m very good at picking up objects right behind me after they stop moving, I think I could be a valuable asset to the organization…

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