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Friday, March 20, 2009


repeat from bottom of last thread:

Doc: "Suffice it to say that Mayberry is a bona fide stud who has not struggled at any time during spring training."


Mayberry has a BB/K ratio of 3/16 in 55 PAs with probably 40% of them coming vs. minor league or fringe vet pitchers. He is also hitting .269 and has a career minor league BA of .255.

I guess it all depends on how you define "stud."

BP did a study that only tentatively showed what can be projected based on spring training no. I think, with a guy like McClouth as prime example, if you out-SLG or out-OPS you career numbers by 200 (can't remember which) you might be due for a career year.

If I had my laptop handy I'd run through the roster and recheck that study. But I don't.

Happy clout day everyone. GL this afternoon, JW.

Is Clout a pirates fan?

I'm going to Opening Night April 5th and would love to meet up with any BeerLeaguers or WSBGM's readers that will be there too.

Weitzel, you must be a freaking mindreader because that's exactly how I always pictured clout. Get out of my brain!

By the way, for those of you that click on the WSBGM's link for the Phillies Roundtable discussion, it's the second post down on the site. I featured JW in purple, thought he'd like that.

Well, I came out of my burrow, saw my shadow and ran back to my den. I refuse to say anything inane for another 10 days.

Happy Clout Day!

For some perspective about the significance of ST performance . . . last year's unheralded spring stud was one Casey Smith, a then 29-year old minor league utility infielder, who suddenly hit over .300 with a couple of homeruns and several huge games. If Doc had been at those games, he undoubtedly would have been on Beerleaguer proclaiming, "You can cite stats all you want, but I actually saw him play and this kid is the real deal."

Casey Smith, incidentally, went on to post a .436 in 300 AAA ABs last year. .436 sounds awfully impressive until you realize that it wasn't his batting average, but his OPS. His batting average was .170.

Not sure why this even matters or why am am even chiming in on this, but...

Mickey Morandini was called up Sept. 1, 1990. The Phillies incumbent 2B was an aging Tommy Herr who was hitting .264 on a bad team. Morandini at the time was viewed as one the the Phils better prospects and potentially the 2B of the future.

The fact that he was a Sept. call up that year was neither an emergency call up or a surprise to anyone (well anyone except for Doc I guess).

bap, ouch!

I doubt it was in honor of Clout Day, but Murphy took a shot at picking out the Opening Day roster.

Pretty reasonable although I don't know if the Phils will go with 12 pitchers if Hamels is healthy and ready to go.

If they do as Murphy suggests, this is his bench:

C Chris Coste, 3B Greg Dobbs, IF/OF Eric Bruntlett, OF Geoff Jenkins, IF/OF Miguel Cairo. *

That is a pretty crummy bench. Besides the glaring issue of a right-handed bat off the bench, it really is limited in several other ways too. No one capable of playing CF, no real speed off the bench, and 1 decent PH option.

Frankly the one thing I don't understand is why the Phils would insist keeping a player like Cairo on the roster when they already have a guy like Bruntlett who can play 2B/SS.

I guess "versatility" is one of the buzzwords for the Phils even if they will take a player (Cairo) who hasn't been a useful MLB player in at least 2-3 years and another one (Bruntlett) is looks like he might be done being able to contribute at the MLB level last year offensively.

If this is the bench on Opening Day, then Amaro did a pretty crummy job of assembling it.

Jason, I propose that in future years "Clout Day" not be a hard and fast date. With the WBC this year and continuing, it moves the season back a week.

I propose that Clout Day be either a) after a certain number of ST games, or b) a set day (1 week?) before the start of the season.

As such, this being a WBC year, I will not make any roster predictions for at least a week.

Wes: Exactly right. I mentioned this at the tail end of the previous thread:

Doc: "Mickey Morandini hit over .300 the first year he came up with the Phils. He was brought up as an emergency short-term fill-in from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he had been hitting in the low .200s and thought to be on his way out."

Doc, you need to check this chit out before you post.

MM hit .241 the first year he played, not .300, and at the time he was recalled he was hitting .260, not the low .200s. He was also considered one of their top prospects.

The Phils started him off in the Sally League, he hit .338, so they bumped him to Clearwater, he hit .302, so they jumped him to Reading and he hit .351.

The next year (1990) they put him at Scranton and he hit .260 with 16 SB and a league-leading 10 triples when he was recalled and spent the last 6 weeks of the season with the Phillies.

He hit .268/.338/.359 in an 11 year career with 6 seasons of double digit SBs and one of the better gloves in the NL.

And of course, one of Harry Kalas's most famous calls when he'd get a big hit or make a slick play: MICK-EEEEE MORANNN-DEEEENNEEEEE!!!

Tommy Herr . . . that isn't a name I have mentioned in a while. The Thon-Herr double play combo was pretty emblematic of those uber bad late 80s/early 90s Phils team. Washed up veterans galore and prospects (Jordan, Combs, etc) who largely turned almost never panned out.

Any 3 or 4 syllable last name though is generally always fun with Kalas including Kalas glee at announcing Morandini's name.

MG: Agree totally on Cairo. Guy used to be a good fielder, isn't anymore, and despite what his ST stats say, he's a terrible bat as well. He can play 6 positions, but none well. I cannot believe that a better utility guy won't be available when cuts are made.

Cairo OPS+ past 4 years: 64, 55, 66, 75. That is worse than Bruntlett, by the way.

I think of Randy Ready.

AWH: Excellent suggestion. I would further propose that Clout Day be renamed Tuffy Goosewich Day as it would signal the time to begin drawing conclusions about players who, except for spring training, would otherwise never be mentioned.


From now on I'm gonna be serious about this.

It's after clout day, now. So no more messing around.


This is, like, the real season. And all.

So, really; that's it.

Yeah, Miguel Cairo is the 2009 recipient of the Casey Smith Award. Pablo Ozuna was runner-up, but he lost out because he has actually been a pretty decent hitter throughout his journeyman career.

As a guy who owns and wears a Morandini jersey, I can tell you with absolute certainty that he did not hit .300 in any season in his major league career (though he came close a couple of times).

GM: I'll be there for Opening Night. The plan is to tailgate all afternoon so I doubt i'll end up in McFadden's at all.

Ankiel hits a 2 run shot off of Carrasco in the third after two scoreless innings. 2-1 Cards. (Phils run on another Howard homer.)

It just dawned on me that Doc may have confused Mickey Morandini and Kevin Stocker. Stocker's rise with the Phillies does fit almost perfectly with Doc's memory of Morandini.

Randy Ready . . . there is a definitely a guy who would fit into the "versatility" group although surprising his numbers were better than I remember.

One thing I don't get is how Cairo is mentioned as "speedy." Maybe 3-4 years ago.

Howard just needs to strike out and make an error now to be credited with a "Howard" statistically.

Utley gets his second hit of the spring.

How about that Rick Ankiel. He went from stud pitching prospect to to complete mental wash out to solid outfielder with good power.

How can you not like his story. I think Chris Coste should ghost write a book for Ankiel.

This just reinforces my previously posted opinion that, unless they get "WOWED" by a trade offer, the Phillies will not be trading a catcher, and will stash one in Allentown.

From a article by Tracy Ringolsby:

"a game where catching remains the biggest void of any position"


"Spring roster battles still too close to call"

Any "roster battle" requires that someone get hurt and stay hurt. Otherwise, we're basically looking to fill the So Taguchi Missing Man Seat, and to keep Romero's seat warm. Given the lack of new talent in camp, that's a good thing.

In case you missed it, Livan Hernandez has pretty much locked up the 5th starter job for the Mets. Jon Niese was sent down. Tim Redding is hurt. And Freddy Garcia blows.

I'm still down for a meet-up but this date didn't work.

Wes: I can "not like" his story because he's juiced.

"I can "not like" his story because he's juiced"

Well I never thought of that angle. I guess I don't leap to the juiced theory so much anymore because testing has been beefed up. Of course we know that even the beefed up testing isn't so tough to get around. So I will agree that if that is the case, Ankiel is a douche.

Wes: I don't think it's a theory. Maybe I'm remembering wrong, but I'm fairly certain Ankiel showed up in a report. Maybe I'm wrong.

Same. I would be up for Beerleaguer event at McFaddens's but tonight was just a no-go.

Wes, Ankiel reportedly got HGH from that
Florida pharmacy that was busted fo shipping nationwide using bogus prescriptions. He reportedly received 8 shipments in 2004. Who knows how many since then?

MLB doesn't test fot HGH yet, even though they've "banned" it. (Yeah, I know!)

Wes, ankiel story is here:

Now that you mention it, I am starting to remember Ankiel's name popping up in some steroid report. I take back my original comment, Ankiel isn't such a great story. Cheater.

John Heyman, in his "Daily Scoop", names the Phillies own Antonio Bastardo as one of 33 prospects "creating a buzz this spring":

Daily Scoop

What does he know that BLrs don't?

Oh, and Jason Donald also is listed in Heyman' Daily Scoop.

(How'd I forget that?)

Wes: Ha!

Carrasco's line today:
4.2 3 2 2 2 0 1 5.52

CJ: "Another" Howard homer? Utley's "2nd hit of the spring?" Have you forgotten that history starts over today? Those 4 homers that Howard hit over the last few weeks? Never happened.

Let's try this again:

Carrasco's line today:

Scott Franski and Larry Anderson: Jason Donald, scheduled to enter the game for Pedro Feliz, came up lame rounding the bases and has been instead replaced by Marcus Giles.

No posts in the last half hour???

Hello! hello! Is this mic still on?? Testing, Testing

20 Phillies in the game so far today- every body in the pool for clout day!

I'm not commenting yet, but tuned into WIP to listen to JW vs. King with no clothes.

Jake Woods with a solid inning of work today. His spring ERA stands at 9.64, but it's a widely known fact that, when Clout Day arrives, he has the ability to kick it into a higher gear.

Clout day should be in the Lehigh Valley at a Pigs game. We will see many of the favorite topics and watch a baseball game which was the our first interest in our youth.

Woo, Jason! He's on now, folks.

I'm listening to JW right now.

Did Jason punch Eskin yet?

By the way, for those of you looking for a 2009 Maple Street Press Annual, the last time I looked, they were for sale at Mr. Food in Kutztown.

The King mild-mannered and respectable? I guess as long as you don't disagree with him or make him think too much about those crazy statistics that try to rate defense . . .

Good work, JW. Although it's a shame that Howard seemed to have no idea that you run Beerleaguer. I was hoping you'd get a mention for that as well.

Coincidentally, I finally ran into a copy of the Annual today. Look forward to digging into it over the weekend.

Just listened to Jason's interview with Eskin. Holy cynical! You'd think the Phils are destined to win 75 games this year!

I'm surprised Howard didn't ask Jason what he thought of the Weaver acquisition...Eskin hates the Phils so he's always cynical of them because they don't give him the access that the Eagles do.

Since the cliche phrase for a tie game is "Like kissing your sister" what can our resident word smiths come up with to describe an interview with the great and powerful wizard of eskin on clout day??

Eskin needs to go nine rounds in the ring with Myers and Cholly. That will show him some Phillies respect.

"what can our resident word smiths come up with to describe an interview with the great and powerful wizard of eskin on clout day??"

A few minutes of JW's life that he'll never get back....

Thanks everyone. It did take a gradual cynical tone, didn't it? Must have been the Eskin effect.

"In case you missed it, Livan Hernandez has pretty much locked up the 5th starter job for the Mets."

This is the best news of the day.

The only things that I hope that substantially happens between Clout Day and Opening Day is that Hamels doesn't have to go on the DL to start the season and that Park struggles in his last start or two so that Happ gets the 5th starter spot/Parks heads to the pen.

15+ innings of solid control still hasn't sold me that Park is suddenly going to become an effective starter for the first time in several years.

Perhaps the Phils (just to be cautious) should put Hamels on the DL until April 15th or so and just use the other 4 starters until then. They aren't playing their top competion (aside from the Braves perhaps) so why not?

Has anyone heard anything on how Hamels is feeling after long toss yesterday?

Poor Doc...I think there's a group of us posters here on BL that have learned a similar hard lesson. The rhetorical theoricians on this site are good...very good. No evidence = no argument, mate...

Good point from the Good Phight:

Ryan Howard has a career OPS of .786 against LHP and had a 2008 OPS of .746 against LHP. The average LHB had an OPS of .699 against LHP in 2008.

hamels had no discomfort or problems of any kind after the long toss.

Howard "can't lefty pitching" does hold some weight and matters. Even in the data presented, Howard is at best mediocre.

More important point about Howard is that teams almost exclusively use a lefty against him now late in games even if the lefty is of marginal quality. Since most teams have at least 1 lefty in their pen, this does matter.

Just look at Howard's splits last year (don't have the time to break out his numbers against lefty relievers but likely they are terrible):

Close and Late: 101 ABs .306/.337/.643
Innings 7-9: 177 ABs .263/.316/.580
Relievers: 218 ABs .306/.431/.737

I am willing to bet if you had the splits for Howard vs a lefty reliever that his OPS would be .650 or lower and that stinks for any MLB hitter.

Basically as long as an opposing manager has a lefty in the pen with even average control, he is better off going after Howard late in games instead of pitching around him or giving him IBB.

Howard was largely neutralized last year vs relievers unless he coaxed a walk. More often than not, he struck out (41% of ABs vs relievers which is really bad even for a power hitter).

Cholly compounds the problem by placing Utley/Howard back-to-back in the lineup and I really hope that Cholly doesn't go with Utley/Howard/Ibanez at all this year.

Don't expect Howard to mash LHP but your cleanup hitter should almost be completely neutralized late in games as long as a team has a lefty left in the pen.

Sophist - I would be curious to see Howard's career numbers against left-handed relievers but in particular his %K.

I am willing to bet that Howard struck out against a lefty reliever more than 50% of the time last season (and maybe closer to even 60%).

The JW/ King interview is podcasted on for anyone who missed it!

5th OF vs. backup INF

Taguchi was the 5th OF last year and had 88 ABs. Bourn was the 5th OF in '07 and had 119 ABs. So basically the 5th OF isn't all that important offensively given that they likely would only get a max of 125 ABs or so.

Nunez was the main backup INF in '07 (along with a part-time starter at 3B) and ended up with 252 ABs. Bruntlett was the main backup INF in '08 and ended up with 212 ABs.
Given that Utley has been injured the past 2 years and Feliz is a question mark, it is likely that the main backup INF on this team will end up with 225-250 ABs this year too.

I know I harp about Bruntlett's offensive limitations but it does matter given that he is likely to get his share of playing time again this year and be used as a PH-option quite frequently again. Maybe he rebounds slightly (.620-.630 OPS) but that is giving away a bunch of outs to 225+ ABs.

It's still Clout Day in Central time. I'm going to bed!

More Hardball wants to know who has the hottest">">hottest fans in Major League Baseball and it's playoff time with the Phils going against the Cubbies for the NL pennant.

Interesting note in Scott Lauber's blog: "4. Cool story from yesterday's game: After pitching 4-2/3 innings, Carlos Carrasco was running behind the outfield fence when he came face-to-face with Albert Pujols. The Cardinals slugger complimented Carrasco on a decent outing, then told him he had been tipping his pitches ever so slightly. Apparently, Pujols noticed a hitch in Carrasco's delivery that gave away whether he was about to throw a fastball or changeup."

I appreciate that Pujols did that but isn't it bad form to help out the competition? Both are NL teams afterall.

Pujols is the consummate professional though.

Which I deeply appreciate as a Phillies fan. In related news, Carrasco has apparently switched his curveball grip from that of a 2-seam grip to a 4-seam grip (brett myers type curve) on the advice of Dubee and Myers.


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