Saturday, April 17, 2004
Eric Milton picked up his first win as a Phillie tonite against the punchless Expos. The win was fueled by homers from Thome and Burrell, both of whom have been consistent in an otherwise dissapointing offense. Milton looked strong once again on the mound, recording six strikeouts, and never seemed to be in any real trouble.
Jimmy Rollins is now 0 for 8 in the leadoff spot, and one might wonder how long Bowa will keep with it. Once again, I believe it will take a loss before anything in the lineup changes, except for Pratt's start in the day game tomorrow. All the help in the world from Tony Gwynn isn't going to make J-Roll an effective leadoff hitter, hell, he needs to just work on being an effective hitter period.
Although tonite isn't the night to mention it, but I think I speak for everyone when I say how pleased I am with Bell's play thus far. I really expected a complete disastour from the start, but he hasn't been at all. But then again, things do change.
The Phillies took a step closer to the pennant when Jim Wolf was made a full-time umpire in the majors today. Not only that, but he gets to work Phillies games, just not behind the plate. You can put this in writing, first questionable call he makes that favors the Phils will see no end in conspiracy charges. Personally, I think it's absolutely ridiculous that any umpire can work a family members game, regardless of his positioning on the field; but I'll let it slide in this case.
While Burrell and Thome have come out the gates hitting well, there is one person of note within the organization who isn't. No I am not refferring to Abreu, Lieberthal, or even Rollins, I am speaking of Timothy Moss. Moss was the Phillies first pick in the draft last year, as a speedy second baseman, and he is having his problems so far in Lakewood batting .087 in 23 at-bats, if you really want to know, it's 2 hits. I don't think expectations are that high, considering he was selected 85th overall, but a little offense would be nice. Another speedster the Phillies selelcted, Micheal Bourn (whose speed rated 80 out of a possible 80) has done considerably better, he's hitting .320 with a .419 OBP in the young season. Bourn is also playing for Lakewood.
Millwood vs. Peterson
Kevin Millwood (3.75) brings his 0-2 record home to face-off against the Montreal Expos, who over the course of the past three years is 6-2 with a 2.89 ERA. Jose Vidro (17 for 54) and Orland Cabrera (13 for 46 with 10 RBI) are the only Expos who have given Millwood any trouble. The Expos are batting sub .250 with a OBP of just below .300 in 200+ AB's against him, so things are looking on the up and up.
John Patterson (1-0, 0.00) was once a highly touted prospect within the Arizona Diamondbacks organization, but now neither are true. Patterson was knocked around in the desert last year, and since has been banished to Montreal. He 2 hit the Mets in seven innings, recording six strikeouts, in a 1-0 win in his only appearence this year. David Bell is 1 for 1 facing Patterson, which means nothing, but he's the only baseball player in Philadelphia this weekend who has faced him. The report on Patterson is that he throws in the low 90's and has an excellent curve that bottoms out, Burrell beware.
Friday, April 16, 2004
Where are they now?
Caught a glimpse of the Twins boxscore, and saw Carlos Silva had his second start of the season. Carlos, as you may remember, was part of our unneffective trio in the bullpen last year, Mike Williams and Jose Mesa being the other two. The Twins have put Silva into their rotation, and it's not looking like such a hot idea after two appearences. He is 1-0, but isn't hasn't been easy going.vs. Detroit in a 10-6 loss
6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R-ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 4 K'svs. Cleveland in a 10-6 win
5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R-ER, 2 BB, 1 K
He has a 5.73 ERA, and his strikeout ratio doesn't seem to be improving. He is only 24, however, and has gotten the opposition to hit more ground balls (19) than fly balls (15), which is always a plus. I figure the Twins will stick with him for ahwile, besides Radke no one else has pitched especially well. I'm not saying that they should move Silva out of the rotation, but I would like to see Grant Balfour handed the ball and given some outings.
Some other ex-Phillies are also on the Twins, and this is how they are faring:
4.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R-ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 K, 4.15 ERA in four appearances as a reliever.
I always hoped Roa would turn out to be a decent middle reliever for the Phils, especially after spending so many years in the minors racking up an impressive winning streak. But he failed to improve on his 2002 season, and the Twins marks his fourth different team since the beginning of last year.
.412/ .444/ .412 in 17 AB. He has 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 SB, 1 BB, 3 K's
I was always surprised how highly the Twins thought of Punto, and by highly I mean as an effective bench player. I never saw him producing anything but a pair of really fast legs off the bench, but so far he has done well for himself. Along with Silva he was traded for Eric Milton, it will be interesting to track how the trade turns out.
Most people would see Byrd's day at the plate (2 for 3, 1 R, 1 BB) and see that as a reason for him to be batting leadoff. On the other hand, I'm convinced that in Bowa's mind he is thinking that this is a reason for him to keep batting seventh, so he can be on base when Bell gets up.
Went to the game today, and I kept track of every Phillie booed today, and boy did they boo. Placido Polanco, Roberto Hernandez, Jason Micheals, Rheal Cormier, Jimmy Rollins, and Billy Wagner were all not booed. Yes, your right, Thome received boo's at the end of one of his at-bats; seemingly the honeymoon is coming to a close. Padilla was booed after striking out, and Abreu is getting booed for just being in Philadelphia at this point. Almost all of the boo's were outta frustration at the slow start, and not directed towards any of the players, except for one certain rightfielder who is practically under seige, everyone is getting on his case now.
Which makes me think, if we get rid of Abreu, who does everyone exactly think is going to replace him in right field? We all know that either Wade has players dumped into his lap due to salary constraints, or he outright bungles the trade. Polanco is the only person who has produced anything from the Rolen trade, just imagine the group of castoffs he could grab for Abreu.
Best spot in the new stadium may be above the bullpen. If you go early, and have a friend (so you don't lose the spot on food/bathroom runs), just lean up against the wall and watch the game from center. You can enjoy the game, all the food is behind you, as well as the added spectale of opposing pitchers being vicously heckled when warming up, as well as when they aren't. I don't care what anyone says, that has to bother them more than will ever let on, and I am sure we will some "incident" in that bullpen in the coming months, it's almost unavoidable. For instance, the heckling was light at todays game, but the Reds seemed to respond in one form or another to almost everything said, often with just a glance up to see who said it; which in turn, is greeted by more yells. A good possible study would be to see how opposing relief pitchers fare at CBP as compared to other stadiums. Is there any other stadium that allows such close interaction?
I'm starting to get a little concerned about the number of at-bats Glanville is receiving in the early going.
Finally, I think the sound of the bell, when each Phillie hits a homerun, needs to be much louder. Sound seems to get lost in the stadium, maybe it was just the wind today, and the bell especially seems to get lost in all the cheering following a homer. The friend I went to the game with said it should be heard throughout Philly, wouldn't that be neat.
Milton vs. Hernandez
The Phillies have a good chance of taking a sweep this weekend against the Expos, who have been shutout four times in nine games. All the shutouts have come against the Marlins, however, who are currently working on a 30 inning scoreless streak. That's sad, in contrast to the Expos the Phillies are an offensive juggernaut. Jose Vidro is batting .321, and that's approximately 70 pts. higher than the closest Expo.
Eric Milton has faced two of the Expos, it would have been three but Everett is going on the DL. Eniar Diaz is 8 for 31 with three doubles and Tony Batista is 1 for 7. I have come to the conclusion that every Milton matchup is going to be pretty bland for the first go round, so I'm trying to think of something I can shove in here. Most likely I will dig up some "fun facts" or some not so fun facts about Milton and throw them in here. Of course today, I will just dump the customary BP player comment: His peripheral numbers have been either flat or declining for a while, and at this point, the best chance for him becoming a front-of-the-rotation guy is that his arm got reinvigorated during a season off. Ocuh
Livan Hernandez is 4-2 against the Phils the past three years, and has a good success rate against most of the starting lineup. Abreu is 11 for 37 with six walks and a homer against him, Byrd is 4 for 11, and Polanco is 10 for 32,other than that it goes down hill. Thome, Burrell, Lieberthal, Rollins, and Bell top out at a total of 18 for 98, not exactly healthy. Hernandez is a fierce competitor on the mound and when hes on the mound, you can expect him to stay there, averaging 110 pitches per start in his career. Easily the toughest of the starters the Phillies will face this weekend.
Thursday, April 15, 2004
Wednesday, April 14, 2004
Phillies Top Ten Seasons: Catcher
I will be looking at what I believe to be the top ten individual seasons by each position that the Phillies have ever had since 1900. Today, I will look at catchers.
The Phillies have had exactly nine different All-Star catchers since the inception of the All-Star game, and of the nine, only four have gone more than once (Lieberthal (2), Lopata (2), Boone (3), and Daulton (3)). Five of the nine are on my list, while two others were All-Stars when they weren't with the Phillies. But being an All-Star has hardly anything to do with a full season, and each season was looked at independently, with some respect to their different era's. I didn't devulge deep into a different array of stats, just the basic, but now that I think of it, Win Shares would be put to good use here. Alas, I think of this on final edit, and it won't be included at least for catchers. And in case your wondering, they have zero Hall of Fame catchers.
Going over each of the 103 seasons was pretty easy, most were able to be knocked off but with a quick glance. The final ten came from a list of 17 seasons, by 12 different players, who seemingly stuck out from all the others. If there are any other lists of this sort, which I am sure there has to be, I honestly haven't seen it, so my answers are only biased by malfunctioning brain.
10. Bob Boone, 1977 & 1978
I avoid cheating the top "ten" list on this account: There is almost no difference between these seasons, and I mean none. And if he played 130 games in 1979, that would probably be here too. Not the best hitter of all the catchers, but certainly the best defensive.
'77: .284/ .343/ .436 with 55 R, 26 2B, 4 3B, 11 HR, 66 RBI, 42 BB and 54 K's in 440 AB (132 G)
'78: .283/ .347/ .425 with 48 R, 18 2B, 4 3B, 12 HR, 62 RBI, 46 BB and 37 K's in 435 AB (132 G)
9. Benito Santiago, 1996
The best Phillie that season, and the best power numbers he would ever post, by far. And the power is what gets him here.
.264/ .332/ .503 with 71 R, 21 2B, 2 3B, 30 HR, 85 RBI, 49 BB, 104 K's in 481 AB (136 G)
8. Mike Lieberthal, 2003
This was Lieberthal's repeat year of 1999, with one major exception, no power. That sentence is called foreshadowing.
.313/ .373/ .453 with 68 R, 30 2B, 1 3B, 13 HR, 81 RBI, 38 BB and 59 K's in 508 AB (131 games)
7. Andy Seminick, 1950
Andy was a Phillie for the better part of 12 seasons, his '49 and '50 seasons were similar with the exception that he was able to get the bat on the ball considerably more in '50.
.288/ .400/ .524 with 55 R, 15 2B, 3 3B, 24 HR, 68 RBI, 68 BB and 50 K's in 393 AB (130 games)
6. Virgil (Spud) Davis, 1933
Virgil was top in the top ten in the league with AVG, OBP, SLG, OPS, Adjusted OPS, and Hits.
.349/ .395/ .473 with 51 R, 28 2B, 2 3B, 9 HR, 65 RBI, and 32 BB, 24 K's in 495 AB (141 G)
5. Virgil (Spud) Davis, 1932
This year however, he had a little more power.
.336/ .399/ .522 with 44 R, 23 2B, 5 3B, 14 HR, 70 RBI, 40 BB with 39 K's in 402 AB (125 G)
4. Stan (Stash) Lopata, 1956
Lopata had a better years going for him in '54 and '55, but he only played in 86 and 99 games respectively. In '56 he was in the top ten of almost every offensive category.
.267/ .353/ .535 with 96 R, 33 2B, 7 3B, 32 HR, 95 RBI, 75 BB, and 93 K's in 535 AB (146 G)
The top three, is where things get a little tight. With certainty you can argue a flop of 2 and 3, and I won't disagree with you. Lieberthal hit better, Daulton got on base more; Liberthal had better defense that year, Daulton had MVP votes. Simply put, Lieberthal is where he is for his defense.
3. Darren (Dutch) Daulton, 1993
Daulton played fourteen years in the majors, only four of them he played over a 100 games as a catcher, and of those four, two were worth writing home to mom about. He finished 7th in MVP race this year, one lower than the previous year, and he ranked in the top ten in a couple of offensive categories.
.257/ .392/ .482 with 90 R, 35 2B, 4 3B, 24 HR, 105 RBI, 117 BB, and 111 K's in 510 AB (147 G)
2. Mike Lieberthal, 1999
Lieby is still here, but this year isn't. And if it was, we wouldn't have had to worry about Burrell last year. Sigh. Oh well, it was surprising to see him and Lopata had such similar seasons. Lieberthal also kicked in a GG this year, something else you shouldn't ever expect again.
.300/ .363/ .551 with 84 R, 33 2B, 1 3B, 31 HR, 96 RBI, 44 BB, and 86 K's in 510 AB (145 G)
1. Darren (Dutch) Daulton, 1992
As good as '93 was it is '92 that receives top bill. He placed higher in more categories and led the league in RBI's.
.270/ .385/ .524 with 80 R, 32 2B, 5 3B, 27 HR, 109 RBI, 88 BB, and 103 K's in 485 AB (145 G)
Honarable Mention: Henline '22, Davis '30, Burgess '54 (probably would have been on if he played more than 108 G), Boone '79, Virgil '84, Diaz '82
I encourage all insightful and hateful posts as to what you think about the list. enjoy
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Final Innings: Roberto Hernandez
Last year the Phillies organization sent off the Vet into oblivion with a season long campaign of rememberence titled "Final Innings". I too would like to send something off into oblivion with a season long (hopefully it won't take that long) campaign of rememberence. The rememberence will only be as long as his last outing, and the subject will be Roberto Hernandez. In the preseason I wrote him off, and I will stand by that, right or wrong, throughout the season. So sporadically, depending on the number of his appearences, during the season I will update you on his performance.
Shortly after I wrote about his demise, Hernandez had some good outings in Clearwater, but he fell apart at the end. Likewise, his first outing was solid, and he impressed me with the movement on his fastball in the first game against the Pirates.
2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K
His second outing was not so pleasent, entering in the 7th inning of a 2-1 Pirate lead, he was smoked for three runs. Phils lost that game, 6-2.
1.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R-ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR
Once again he appeared against the Marlins with the score 3-3, with a runner already on base. And once again, he would seal the victory for the opposing team.
.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R-ER, 1 IHR, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HRSporting and ERA of 9.82 with no decisions, Roberto is probably due for another appearence in the next couple of days. Phillies-Fan is keeping a tally of credit/blame during the season, and while it has no statistical value whatsoever, it's fun to check out. Unless your Roberto Hernandez.
Padilla vs. Acevedo
Talk about nothing to build on for Wednesday's matchup...
Jose Acevedo has only faced two current Phillies, Polanco and Millwood. So you can take Millwood out of the equation (1 for 2), and that leaves Polanco who is 1 for 3 facing Acevedo. He sports a career ERA of 5+ and lets up the long ball, but his last five starts (which is all of last year and this year) have been markedly better and in this year's Baseball Prospectus they state, "Acevedo is someone to watch in 2004".
Vincente Padilla has faced the current Reds only slightly more, the most being Jimenez with 6 appearences. So here it goes: .179/ .256/ .282 in 39 AB's with 10 K's. I'll combat Acevedo's BP quote with one about Padilla, "How he handles the events of this past season- Padilla walked away from a car accident in Nicaragua that killed his best friend- is pretty much uncharted territory for a baseball analyst, and more in the wheelhouse of another type of analyst." Hey, it was either that one or one about not pitching in the Mexican league.
I'll be in attendance on Wednesday, hopefully for the Phillies first win at CBP, or the Bank, or the Cit..whatever.
The Phils are now 1-6, and that isn't what anyone expected from this team in the early going. Offense, or lack thereof, is the culprit so far for the slow start, and Bowa's impatience has already begun to show. In only seven games this year, the Phillies have featured five different batting lineups, talk about not allowing everyone to get settled. I understand Pratt starting the day game, he always does, as well as sitting Bell for the game, but Bowa has a knack for switching everything around until he gets a win, keeps it the same, then switching it up again once they lose. This has always bothered me, and I tend to perfer the lineup (Abreu, Thome, Burrell) he put out there today; traditionally I would want to break up two lefties, but having Abreu bat fifth never quite sat right with me. Just a thought.
Monday, April 12, 2004
Wolf vs. Wilson
Such high expectations, and after a week of baseball, the Phillies are 1-5. Not good, but at least it's the first week, right? Not much has gone our way, solid starting pitching followed by awful appearences by Cormier and Hernandez, and the lineup isn't knocking in any runs. But we are turning a page today, Citizens Bank Park officially opens today when the Phillies face the Reds. Adam Dunn pretty much decimated the Phillies last year, but Carlos Silva got his revenge, thanks to a Lieberthal ankle tackle. The Phillies are desperate for wins and Dunn probably doesn't have a short memory, so it could be an explosive series. Now wouldn't that be a way to open up the new park.
Randy Wolf against the Reds sums it up as this: 5-0 2.40 ERA. No one in the lineup has hit Wolf well except Dunn, who has six hits, homered, and struck out four times in 16 AB's. There's nothing really to expand on, so I will give you the lump sum of damage, the current Reds "hit" Wolf at this rate: .195/ .246/ .314 with 36 K's in a total of 118 at-bats. Five of those at-bats are against pitchers, watch out, Josh Hall is 1 for 1.
Paul Wilson has faced only two Phillies more than three times, they are Thome and Bell. Bell is 0-8 against him, but there is a silver lining in every cloud because he has yet to strike out facing him. Some lining, huh? Thome is 3 for 11 with 2 Hr, 3 BB, 3 K, so maybe Thome can get something done...maybe. Otherwise, here is the meager sample size of the Phils against Paul Wilson: .205/ .279/ .410 with 6 K's in 39 at-bats.
Phillies Weekly Review
Each Monday I plan to select several Phillies who performed well the past week, and one who didn't fare so well. It will be kept within the following format of this post during the course of the season. I won't do a full team review, hopefully posts during the course of the week will give insight on how the team is faring. As of this posting, Phillies-Fan has offered a weekly review, if more are to come I will edit this post and link everyone.
Pitcher of the Week: Kevin Millwood. Millwood is the beneficiary of having two starts this week, and peformed well in both of them, but he failed to pick up a win (but what starter has?). Both starts were good enough to produce a Phillies win, 2 and 3 run performances respectively, but as the case so far, the Phillies are excelling at missed opportunities. The anemic offense only was able to manage a single run in each of his outings, leaving Millwood and a perpetual deserted island. The only knock on Millwood is that he has let up three homers so far, which always is not a good sign. A WIP host said this tonite, "Millwood needs to start shutting more teams out", I guess he is going to have to. The line: 12 IP/ 12 H/ 8 K/ 3 BB/ 5 R-ER/ 3 Hr.
Batter of the Week: Pat Burrell. Pat is pretty much the only one in the lineup who could qualify for this. It's very pleasing to see his has been able to get his bat on the ball for hits, but he gets this "honor" mostly because of the lack of hitting down the lineup. I almost gave it as tie with Burrell and Bell, imagine that, the two worst hitters of last year having strong showings in the early going. The team has a total of 13 RBI's and Burrell is responsible for five of them, but a little more power would be nice, maybe Millwood could spare a couple of long balls. The line: .364/.440.409, 1 2B, 3 BB, 4 K in 25 appearances.
Farm system pitcher of the week: Gavin Floyd. Two things, most likely I won't see any of these guys play and there's nothing good about the first week of pitching in the Phillies organization in very limited action. But Floyd makes at an easy choice, especially after being a disappointment during the spring. The line: 1 G, 5 IP, 6 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 0 H
Farm system batter of the week: Ryan Barthelemy and Bryan Hansen. Barthelemy plays for the Clearwater Threshers and is a left-handed first baseman, he was selection #299 of the '02 draft from Florida St. Hansen plays for the Lakewood Blue Claws and is, well, a left-handed first baseman, who was selection number 170 in the '01 draft out of Coram, NY. Barthelemy's Line: .500/ .500/ .722, 4 2B, 4 RBI, 4 K, 0 BB in 18 AB. Hansen's Line: .500/ .611/ .571, 3 R, 2 RBI, 1 2B, 4 BB, 0 K.
What the Hell? Phillie of the Week: Jim Thome. Ok, it probably could of been given to someone else (Lieberthal or Abreu), but I'll dump it on Thome this week. We all know he is a traditionally slow starter, but he has 0 RBI, 8 K, and left at least 9 men on base (I say at least because LOB for two games was zero for all batters...in other words, there was more). Obviously there isn't anything to worry about here, but his lack of "clutch" hitting put a hurtin' on the Phils chances this week. The Line: .261/ .320/ .391, 3 2B, 2 BB, 8 K, 0 RBI
I don't believe there to be any Phillie who was the cause of so much controversy than Dick Allen generated during his on and off again, nine year, career with Philadelphia. I have read everything, and anything, that has had his name in print; and over the course of five years, he has become my favorite all-time Philadelphia Phillie. Dick Allen was everything a baseball player could be, good and bad, respected and misunderstood, acclaimed and yet tragically forgotten.
A lot of the allure that I had of doing this site was to be able to hold a forum, of some sorts, on Dick Allen. Well, Rich Allen beat me to the puch. It's an excellent article, essential if you have never taken the time to reflect upon his career or pondered to what regard, as fan of the Phillies, one should hold Allen's career against, in their long history.
If you don't know, Dick Allen is equivalent to Albert Belle both statistically (I know B-R, doesn't list them as such, but just look at the career stats) and socially. I feel both should be in the HOF, Allen's attitude most certainly scared off his share of the votes, and if you read "Crash: The life and times of Dick Allen" you will find that he tries to make no amends to the way he played baseball. Anyhow, check out the link.
About Belle in the HOF: He was in the midst of a HOF career when he was sidelined by his degenerative hip, if nothing else, he would have made the benchmark 500 Hrs. He put up better numbers than Allen, was younger than Allen, and was still going strong. Voters probably won't remember his career ended to injury, but they will remember how anti-social he was...and that's a shame.
Sunday, April 11, 2004