Dollars And Sense

The enormous contract extension recently given to Ryan Howard has fans – myself included – wondering if it will have an effect on the Phillies’ ability to re-sign Jayson Werth.  Can the Phillies continue to pay Howard and still keep Werth?  Absolutely!

Jamie Moyer may very likely retire after the 2010 season; if he doesn’t, he will probably have to accept a big pay cut if he wishes to stay with the Phillies (Moyer reportedly makes $8 million in 2010).  I believe Raul Ibañez will be gone after the 2010 season.  Ibañez reportedly makes $12,166,666 in 2010).

If Moyer were to retire and the Phillies were to let Ibañez go, that would give them $20,166,666 to experiment with (barring any decrease in spending).  I believe Werth could be signed for anywhere between $12 million and $16 million.  If I am correct, then this would leave the Phillies anywhere between $4-8 million to spend after signing Werth!  This money could then be used to give raises to other players to be re-signed (Jimmy Rollins).

If this chain of events were to occur, then Domonic Brown would be Ibañez’s replacement.  Ben Francisco will then back up Brown; Werth would remain in right field and Shane Victorino would remain in center field.  Moyer would obviously be replaced by Kyle Kendrick.  If the Phillies feel a need to bring in more relief pitchers, they can always call up players from within the system (Antonio Bastardo).

Domonic Brown 2010
27 games with Reading Phillies to date
.340 AVG
7 HR
21 RBI
.407 OBP
1.088 OPS

The only concern I have with Brown at the moment is the fact that he strikes out more often than he walks.  Nevertheless, he carries an excellent batting average and on-base percentage thus far.  I looked at the prime of Ken Griffey Jr. to get a feel for what type of numbers to expect from Brown.

Ken Griffey Jr. (1996-2000)
.290 AVG
49 HR per season
114 strikeouts per season
83 walks per season

1996-2000 was perhaps the best stretch of Griffey’s career, evidenced by his .290 AVG and 49 home runs per season.  He put up those mind-boggling numbers, despite the fact that he averaged 114 strikeouts to 83 walks during that time.

Don’t read too much into my Griffey/Brown comparison.  I am not insinuating that Brown can become the next Griffey; however, I do believe it’s reasonable to project Brown as a .290 hitter with plenty of power.  I merely brought up Griffey’s numbers to show that even the greatest player of our era had more strikeouts than walks on a regular basis; furthermore, Griffey failed to post a .400 OBP in any season from 1996-2000.

I won’t expect Brown to duplicate Griffey’s 49 home runs per season, however.  Giving a conservative (in my opinion) projection, I believe Brown will be a .290 hitter with 25+ home runs per season in his career.  In other words, he could at least have a career which models that of Fred McGriff.  If he posts numbers which are better than my projections, the Phillies will be extremely happy with his production.

Despite Howard’s enormous contract, I foresee the Phillies as being able to re-sign Werth and let Brown flourish.

Phillies Having Eventful Month Of May

What an eventful month the Phillies are having!  They got hot at the end of April to snap out of a losing funk; now they are first in the NL East with a 20-13 record.  The Phillies are 8-3 in the month of May.  We have seen moronic fans invading the field at Citizens Bank Park on back-to-back nights (one may have ruined a potential Cole Hamels shutout), a coach using binoculars and accused of stealing signs, Ryan Madson losing a fight to a metal chair, and a geriatric pitcher mowing down young hitters.

Jamie Moyer (47 years old) is the oldest pitcher in Major League history to throw a complete game shutout.  Moyer is 4-2 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.08 WHIP on the season.  Moyer is 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in his last four starts.

Moyer is pitching much better at home than he is on the road this season.  On the road, Moyer is 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and a .307 batting average against him; however, he is 2-1 with a 4.29 ERA, 0.71 WHIP and .187 batting average against at home.

A fellow Phillies fan made a picture I found to be funny, and a perfect summation of how well Moyer is pitching at home this season:

 

MoyerDominatesAtHome.PNGThe pitching rotation has been fantastic this month.  The starters are averaging 6.91 innings pitched per start and carrying a 2.72 ERA in the month of May.

Carlos Ruiz doesn’t get enough credit or attention outside of Philadelphia.  Ruiz is having a fantastic start to the season (.345 AVG, 21 BB, .472 OBP) but doesn’t get the recognition he deserves because he is overshadowed by the likes of Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Roy Halladay and Jimmy Rollins.  I don’t believe in ballot-stuffing by voting for players who play for your team; I believe in voting for players who deserve to play at the All-Star Game.  Nevertheless, I encourage Phillies fans to vote for Ruiz, as he clearly deserves to be in the 2010 All-Star Game (so far).

Injuries

  • Madson (surgery on big toe) is on the DL
  • Brad Lidge (sore elbow) is day-to-day
  • J.A. Happ (left forearm strain) is on the DL
  • Brian Schneider (left achilles strain) is on the DL
  • Rollins (strained calf) is on the DL; expected to return next week

Jose Contreras will serve as the Phillies’ closer during Lidge’s absence.  Despite the injuries, the Phillies keep winning games.  The injured players must be happy for their teammates; however, they must also be sad that they are not active participants in these victories.  Perhaps they need an attractive Lebanese nurse/clerk to keep them company until they heal.

 

KlingerPhillies.PNGThe bad news for the rest of the NL:  the Phillies are playing this well while Raul Ibañez continues to struggle and Howard hasn’t been hitting home runs!

My All-Stars (May 7, 2010)

As you may be aware, voting is open for the 2010 MLB All-Star Game.  I usually wait until the last minute to vote, as I believe it’s too early to set a lineup right now.  The beauty of blogging is that I may voice my current all-star picks without actually casting the votes until I feel the time is right!

Although they never let fans vote for the starting pitcher, I’m going to voice my opinion on who deserves to pitch.  I will periodically post my All-Star selections for the game.  I encourage you to do the same.  You should post a full starting lineup, a DH and a starting pitcher for your teams.  Here are my current All-Stars:

National League
C:  Carlos Ruiz (Phillies)
1B:  Albert Pujols (Cardinals)
2B:  Chase Utley (Phillies)
3B:  David Wright (Mets)
SS:  Hanley Ramirez (Marlins)

OF:  Andre Ethier (Dodgers)
OF:  Matt Kemp (Dodgers)
OF:  Jayson Werth (Phillies)

DH:  Ryan Braun (Brewers)

SP:  Roy Halladay (Phillies)

Tough luck:  Pablo Sandoval (Giants), Tim Lincecum (Giants), Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies)

American League
C:  Joe Mauer (Twins)
1B:  Miguel Cabrera (Tigers)
2B:  Robinson Cano (Yankees)
3B:  Evan Longoria (Rays)
SS:  Derek Jeter (Yankees)

OF:  Carl Crawford (Rays)
OF:  Ichiro Suzuki (Mariners)
OF:  Brett Gardner (Yankees)

DH:  Vernon Wells (Blue Jays)

SP:  Matt Garza (Rays)

Tough luck:  Nelson Cruz (Rangers)

Changes in my future selections?

Yes, there may be a few changes in my selections weeks from now and leading up to the deadline.  Some players are on hot starts and may eventually cool off.

There are plenty of players who can make a case for being worthy of being an All-Star Game starter.  Halladay, Jimenez and Lincecum appear to be NL Cy Young favorites thus far.  Lost in the shuffle is Cardinals’ rookie Jaime Garcia.  Garcia has been fantastic on the mound for the Cardinals, and appears to be an early favorite for NL Rookie of the Year.  Colby Rasmus appears to be on the verge of having a breakout season for the Cardinals.  David Freese is off to a hot start for the Cardinals as well.

In the AL, Francisco Liriano appears to have brought his career back from the dead!  Garza isn’t alone in dominating the AL, as John Danks, C.C. Sabathia and David Price have pitched very well thus far.

I will periodically update my All-Star selections.  Who are YOUR selections?  Feel free to share.

Moyer Sets Major League Record As Phillies Crush Braves

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Maybe Jamie Moyer should be criticized more often.  Many experts felt Moyer should have retired after the 1992 season; Moyer went on to become one of the winningest pitchers in the 1990s.  Now some people – myself included – felt that Moyer should be moved to the bullpen; he becomes the oldest pitcher in Major League history to toss a shutout!  Moyer, 47, pitched his 32nd career complete game and 10th career shutout, allowing only two hits (both by Troy Glaus) in the victory over the Atlanta Braves.  Prior to this game, Satchel Paige was the oldest pitcher ever to throw a shutout (46).

MoyerOldestShutout.PNG
Jamie Moyer
9 IP
2 H
0 R
0 ER
0 BB
5 K

The Braves were 0/0 with runners in scoring position, as both Glaus hits were singles.  Moyer needed only 105 pitches (71 strikes) to get through nine innings.

The Phillies continue to swing hot bats, led by Jayson Werth (2/4, HR, double, 3 RBI).  Werth hit a three-run home run for the second consecutive day.  The 2-6 hitters were a collective 10/19 tonight (.526 AVG) with two walks.

After tonight’s dominating performance, Moyer is now 4-2 with a 4.38 ERA; however, he has an excellent 1.08 WHIP for the season!  Moyer’s ERA can be misleading, as many of his runs were the result of two-run or three-run home runs.

Notes

  • The Phillies have now won four of their last five games
  • Joe Blanton, Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, Roy Halladay and Moyer have combined for a 1.43 ERA in the Phillies’ past five games

Werth Leads Phillies As Halladay Wins Again

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The Philadelphia Phillies are officially on a roll after taking two out of three against the New York Mets and now three out of four against the St. Louis Cardinals.  Jayson Werth wasted no time in putting the Phillies on the board.  Werth (3/4, 2 doubles, HR, 3 RBI) delivered his third three-hit game of the season; he also leads the NL with 15 doubles on the season.  His three-run home run in the first gave the Phillies a 3-0 lead; it would be all the scoring they would need today.

Roy Halladay pitched another strong game.  In seven innings of work, Halladay allowed eight hits and two earned runs while walking three and striking out nine.  The three walks are uncharacteristic of Halladay; however, two of those walks were the result of the home plate umpire’s incredibly small strike zone today.  In addition to the umpire’s small strike zone, the official scorer of the game had me scratching my head in disbelief upon learning that Halladay was charged with two earned runs today.  In the second inning, Werth dropped a fly ball in right field; rather than being charged with an error, the scorer ruled it a hit and credited David Freese with a triple!

Kudos to Carlos Ruiz on his three-hit performance today.  Because Ruiz is in the lower third of the order and isn’t often in position to collect RBIs, he doesn’t get enough credit for his hitting.  With sluggers like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Werth on the team, Ruiz gets lost in the shuffle.  Ruiz has been an on-base machine thus far this season, now hitting .314 with 18 walks.

Notes

  • The leadoff home run by Raul Ibañez in the fifth inning was the 900th RBI of his career
  • Former Phillies pitcher Robin Roberts passed away today; he was 83 years old

Kendrick Pitches Seven Scoreless Innings For First Win

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Kyle Kendrick pitched seven scoreless innings against the St. Louis Cardinals and received his first win of the season.  He allowed six hits, walked two and struck out three; he now carries a 5.87 ERA for the season.  Kendrick did an excellent job of keeping the pitches low tonight, evidenced by his 12 ground balls and four fly balls.

The Phillies’ starting rotation has had an excellent series thus far against the Cardinals.  Joe Blanton, Cole Hamels and Kendrick have combined for a 2.08 ERA in this series.  The ERA may in all likelihood improve, as the series finale will be pitched by Roy Halladay (5-1, 1.47 ERA).

The Phillies usually post so-so records in the month of April; they managed to do so after a hot start this season!  Nevertheless, the Phillies appear to be over their slump, as they are now 4-1 in the month of May.  Lately, they are showing the typical brand of Phillies baseball we have grown accustomed to for the past three years:  big-inning offensive outbursts, timely/clutch hitting, lights-out pitching and strong defensive play.  The scary news for the rest of the NL:  Ryan Howard is slumping in the midst of this!

While I applaud Kendrick’s fantastic performance, I can’t help but wonder if he is taking years off the lives of Charlie Manuel and Ruben Amaro Jr.  In addition to being inconsistent, Kendrick’s strong performance now brings up more questions rather than answers.  Leading up to this game, fans were speculating that Kendrick would be moved to the bullpen once J.A. Happ returns (no clue when that will be at this time).

Halladay and Hamels will obviously lead the top of the rotation; Blanton is back and was impressive in his 2010 debut; Happ will obviously be in the rotation once he is healthy.  So what happens when Happ returns?  Once again, it looks like Jamie Moyer and Kendrick will be battling each other for the other spot in the rotation (assuming that Halladay, Hamels, Blanton and Happ are healthy).  It appeared that Moyer would be that starter; however, Kendrick’s latest performance raises the issue all over again.  Fortunately, it is a non-issue while Happ remains on the DL.  Kendrick should view the next few weeks as an opportunity to save his job and perhaps push Moyer into the bullpen.  Let us hope this competition brings out the best in both pitchers.

Notes

  • Jayson Werth (0/3, 3 K) failed to reach base safely for the first time this season, snapping his on-base streak at 26 games
  • Jose Contreras struggled to throw strikes in this game; however, he hasn’t walked a batter yet this season (14 K, 0 BB)

Hamels Dominant As Phillies Win In 10th

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Cole Hamels and Adam Wainwright engaged in a spectacular pitching duel tonight.  Hamels entered the ninth inning with a 1-0 lead.  Just as he went into his pitching motion, timeout was called by the home plate umpire.  For the second consecutive night, a moronic fan had left his seat and ran onto the field at Citizens Bank Park.  Minutes later, Hamels lost his shutout bid, and his bid for a complete game also went up in smoke as he was relieved by Brad Lidge.

Carlos Ruiz hit a home run in the 10th to give the Phillies the victory.

Fans need to learn to have respect for the game.  I’m sick and tired of seeing idiots run onto the playing field in various sports, throwing beers at players, and other acts of public idiocy.  Did this fan disrupt Hamels?  Quite possibly, as the slightest thing can disrupt a pitcher’s timing and rhythm.  The athletes are paid to play; fans paid to sit in their seats and watch the game!  Buying a ticket gives no fan the right to set foot on the field of play.  Also, shame on all the fools who cheered this moron on!

Punishments I recommend to deter fan stupidity

  1. Said “fan” should serve no less than 30 days in prison
  2. Said “fan” should be fined $50,000
  3. Said “fan” should be banned from the stadium for the rest of the season
  4. If said “fan” has season tickets, those tickets should be taken back and no refund awarded
  5. If said “fan” refuses to give back the season tickets, then simply make those tickets deemed invalid
  6. Said “fan” must serve 250 hours of community service after sentence is over
  7. Hire former Major Leaguer Albert Belle as on-field security.  Give him one of those little motor vehicles the Phillie Phanatic drives around in and let him mow outsiders down

Harsh?  That’s the point.  As long as fans don’t fear what consequences lie ahead of them, they will continue to be brainless morons who will stop at nothing to gain their 15 seconds of fame.