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Archive for January, 2008

Phillies Have Puny Presence On Prospect Lists

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Thu, January 31, 2008 02:38 PM Comments: 0

Keith Law has released his Top-100 Prospects list for 2008.

The Phillies have one representative: pitcher Carlos Carrasco, at No. 53.

Here’s what Law had to say:

“The Phillies’ system is not strong, and Carrasco is the one legitimate above-average prospect in it at the moment. Carrasco’s best attribute is his easy velocity, mostly 90-94 and touching 95 at times, with fringe-average command. His secondary stuff is a work in progress, with his short downer curveball ahead of his changeup, on which he slows his arm too much. Because his arm works well, it’s possible to project him as someone who’ll have three average pitches down the road, and he might pick up a few more miles an hour as he fills out or if he lengthens his stride a bit, all of which would make him a solid No. 3 starter in the majors.”

It’s pretty accurate, and while I’m not the best source on Phillies prospects (this is the best source), Law seems to know what he’s writing. Carrasco should figure to be a No. 3, and it’s way too early to tell if pitchers Joe Savery, Kyle Drabek and Andrew Carpenter have the stuff to make a top-100 list.

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus also wrote out his top-100 list . He has Carrasco at No. 68 and Joe Savery squeaks in at No. 96.

Truth is, top-100 lists can be misleading. You never know where quality will come from. But it’s a good indication of the state of the Phillies farm system — it’s not good, but there’s enough in the middle of the pack that could surprise very soon.

Of all our prospects, I can see Carrasco in the Majors by next season, maybe as the No. 3 starter behind Hamels and Myers. Savery may be projected for late-2009 or 2010, while Drabek and Carpenter seem to be looking more at 2010. Infield prospect Adrian Cardenas could be with the club by next year.

And oddly enough, Law wrote out his top-five prospects for each team. Here’s his Phillies list:

  1. Carlos Carrasco, rhp
  2. Joe Savery, lhp
  3. Kyle Drabek, rhp
  4. Josh Outman, lhp
  5. Travis d’Arnaud, c

Cardenas is not listed here, and maybe it’s a bit high for Drabek?

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Phun Week: Your First Phillies Game

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Thu, January 31, 2008 09:33 AM Comments: 24

With yesterday’s signing of Pedro Feliz, I delayed the start of Phun Week.

Then, the Mets decided to trade for Johan Santana. We’ll have more on the developments of the deal as it happens.

So I delayed the start of Phun Week again.

What is Phun Week?

Basically, I will share with you some of my “fun” memories as a Phillies fan, and present topics that are on the light-hearted side, just to keep those winter blues from slipping in.

So the first of these five Phun Week posts is about your first Phillies game.

I remember the game only because I was told about later on, and researched the exact date through Baseball Reference.

June 22, 1985, Phillies vs. Pirates.

Charles Hudson was on the mound for the Phils (he carried a 3.78 ERA with a 8-13 record in ’85), and gave up two runs in the first inning (including a Johnny Ray home run). Larry McWilliams threw for the Bucs, and was pretty good until a Mike Schmidt double in the fourth. He would score on a Bo Diaz GIDP. (Wow, these teams were bad.)

But Diaz would come back in the eighth, singling home slugger Glenn Wilson to make it 2-2. In the ninth, Don Robinson came into the game and hit Luis Aguayo. John Candelaria replaced Robinson and gave up a single to Tim Corcoran. (Who are these guys?) Then, up stepped Juan Samuel.

Long drive, watch that baby, outta here!

Phils win 5-2 on a Samuel walkoff.

Phils lineup for that game:
Juan Samuel – 2B
Rick Schu – 3B
Mike Schmidt – 1B
Glenn Wilson – RF
Bo Diaz – C
Garry Maddox – CF
John Russell – LF
Steve Jeltz – SS
Charles Hudson – P

Sitting out for this contest, the highly regarded Mr. 5-for-1, Von Hayes.

I was a bit younger than 1 years old at the time, and the first real Phillies game I’ll remember won’ t be until 1989 (seeing the Mike Schmidt “We Love You” sign in centerfield. But for first games, this wasn’t a bad one.

What’s your first Phillies game?

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Follow-Up: Santana Kicks Rivalry Into High Gear

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Wed, January 30, 2008 11:50 AM Comments: 30

For those who haven’t seen it, the Mets exploded the offseason to bits with their trade for Johan Santana.

Here’s what people are saying about the deal:

ESPN’s Keith Law says the Mets are arguably the best team in the National League now. He adds the Twins got a raw deal, not being able to grab Mets’ top prospect Fernando Martinez or young pitcher Mike Pelfrey. I wholeheartedly agree.

Jim Callis of Baseball America also says the Twins got a low hand. The four prospects are all Major League probables, but risks are plenty. Personally, the Twins should’ve taken the Yankees proposal of Phillip Hughes, Melky Cabrera and Co., if that was on the table.

Shane Victorino said the Phillies shouldn’t be considered second rate after the deal. “It’s one significant move, but we made four moves to make our team better. We added in a third baseman, a right fielder, moved me to center, got Brad Lidge. We made our team better. They acquired a great pitcher, but we’re a lot better team, too.” Whoa, Shane, you also lost Aaron Rowand and still need some pitching. But I agree for the most part.

Jim Salisbury of the Inquirer says the Phillies will absolutely feel the effects of the deal.

Ken Davidoff of Newsday spoke to David Wright, who is loving the current Mets rotation. “Not only what he brings on the field, but for our younger pitchers to develop under a guy like Johan, a guy like Pedro, you can’t ask for a better situation,” he said. How true.

Casino Gaming Web (yes, them) are chiming in, saying the Mets should be among the top favorites for the World Series for 2008′s odds. The Phillies? They don’t say, but I’d guess top-8.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer thinks the Santana trade will bring the Mariners closer to dealing for Orioles pitcher Erik Bedard. Hey, Gillick, Carrasco, Madson, Outman and Marson for Bedard?

And Larry Brown Sports says “hold the phone, kids,” because he isn’t handing the Mets the 2008 World Series trophy yet.

Yup, this is why they play the games.

Of course, as I commented in the game thread, there is a huge positive out of all this: The Phillies and Mets rivalry has just been amped up a ton.

Just the volume of our comments section in the past 24 hours (and other Phillies blogs) show that the Mets fans are celebrating in our faces because, well, we are the team to beat. Still are. We won the division last year. Now the target is on our backs.

It seems the Santana deal is working much like the Yankees deal for Alex Rodriguez in 2004. Maybe the Phillies answer at some point with a big deal; maybe they wait until mid-season to pull off a deal involving a Nomar-type player (like Burrell?). Whatever the case, the rivalry is growing evermore.

No longer can we say the Mets and Braves are top rivals in the East. In 2008, it’s all about the Mets and Phillies. Sure the Braves will be in the mix, but we’ve all been hoping for this rivalry to come — the fandom, the slurs, the berating. It’s more fun with these two teams. Way more fun.

A few of the more tolerable Met fans in the comments said that the 2008 race for the NL East title will be tremendous. One said “first one to 100 wins … wins.” I pretty much agree — the race is more heated than ever, and it’s up to the Phillies to answer, both on the field, and in the front office.

Get ready, fans, we’re in for a hell of a ride.

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Mets Trade For Santana

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, January 29, 2008 04:56 PM Comments: 67

Well, crap.

USA Today is reporting a four-for-one swap, as the Mets will send Phillip Humber, Carlos Gomez, Kevin Mulvey and Deoils Guerra to the Mets for the All-World left-hander.

More on this to come, but a few knee-jerk quick thoughts:

1. The Mets stole this one. They didn’t have to give up their No. 1 prospect.
2. The Mets are suddenly the favorite to win both the East and the NL.
3. We’re in trouble.

UPDATE (9:00 p.m.): The deal isn’t quite official yet, as the Mets have a little less than two days to reach a long-term (six or seven years) agreement with Santana. Considering the work the Mets have put into the deal, I’d have to think the agreement will be finalized and Santana will don No. 57 for the New York orange and blue.

Here are Santana’s numbers, in case you’ve been under limestone:

2007: 219 IP / 15-13 / 3.33 ERA / 235 K / 52 BB
2006: 233.7 IP / 19-6 / 2.77 ERA / 245 K / 47 BB / Cy Young
2005: 231.7 IP / 16-7 / 2.87 ERA / 238 K / 45 BB
2004: 228 IP / 20-6 / 2.61 ERA / 265 K / 54 BB / Cy Young
Career: 1308.7 IP / 93-44 / 3.22 ERA / 1381 K / 364 BB

Santana’s a few solid years away from a Hall of Fame enshrinement. His entire career in the Majors has been spent in Minnesota, where he’s been the most dominant pitcher of the last five years.

What Phillies fans need to know off the bat:

1. Johan Santana has pitched in the American League. Now he comes over here. Crap.
His career numbers against the NL: 182.7 IP / 16-4 / 2.27 ERA / 191 K / 46 BB
Of course, he’ll be facing many young and poor offenses, and often (Washington, Florida, Pittsburgh, Houston, Saint Louis). Other teams are filled with players who haven’t seen him much (Phillies, Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles, Chicago, Milwaukee). Simply put, at least in 2008, Santana could demolish the National League for 25 wins.

2. Santana is a lefty. He punishes lefties.
His career numbers against lefties: 1192 PA / .223 AVG / .283 OBP / .371 SLG / 289 K / 84 BB
Before anyone makes the joke that the line resembles Pedro Feliz’ career line, I have to admit, righties actually hit worse against him. Seriously. Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Geoff Jenkins will struggle, no doubt. And, well, Feliz, Pat Burrell and Carlos Ruiz will likely struggle too. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino will just have to guess which side will be best.

3. Santana is durable.
Since 2005, Santana has only once pitched less than five innings in an outing, and that was his last start in 2007, when the Twins were way out of the playoff race. He’ll go six and seven without any problems, and at the very least, he’ll keep his team well in the game as the late innings approach. If the Mets offense gets the clutch monkey off their back, it could be smooth sailing for Santana.

4. There is a chance.
Santana’s not a fly ball pitcher or ground ball pitcher; in fact, he tends to give up more flies than grounders for his career. At least in Citizens Bank Park, there’s a chance of jumping on him with the longball. Of course, that’s if the Phils can lay off him. What Santana is … is a strikeout pitcher. And the Phillies have a slew of free swingers.

This has the possibility of ending up like the A-Rod deal for the Yankees. Just speculation, really. There’s been precedent with adding the best player in his league, then coming up short for years on end afterward. Is it a chemistry thing? Is it a karma thing? Is it a performance thing? I don’t know. Chances are Santana will gel right into that clubhouse and he and Pedro Martinez will make an unstoppable, 35-win duo in 2008. But then again, there is a chance that could all come to naught.

How do I feel about the deal, really?

Johan Santana will make the Mets better. As long as he’s healthy — absolutely. He could improve the team by 10 wins. If this Mets rotation stays healthy, or finds the pieces along the way (if injury were to strike other pitchers), they should win the East. As strong as the Phillies offense is, I can’t see the pitching overcoming what now looks to be a very even Mets club.

Now, if the Phillies can turn around and respond to this deal with pitching (Erik Bedard seems unlikely, but there’s something out there, right?), I could definitely say the Mets and Phillies are dead even. But at this moment, if Santana were to sign after a long-term deal is finalized, the Mets are the team to beat in the National League East.

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Follow-Up: Feliz Isn’t The Necessity

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Tue, January 29, 2008 12:11 PM Comments: 3

Yesterday’s signing of Pedro Feliz showed that Phillies fans are divided, with many of the same points surfacing:

Good deal:

  • Feliz will give you more power than Greg Dobbs and Wes Helms.
  • Dobbs is a much better pinch hitter than third baseman.
  • Feliz’s glove will help the pitching possibly as much as adding a back-end guy.

Bad deal:

  • Feliz has a terrible on-base percentage and hacks at everything.
  • Helms should turn around at least part of his bad play in 2007.
  • Funds should’ve been allocated toward pitching.

Details of the deal have him at $8.5M over two years, with a third-year option that could make him $15M over the three seasons as a Phillie.

My main argument against the deal is it hamstrings the Phillies from making any type of pitching deal. What little money they seemingly had remaining without including Ryan Howard and Eric Bruntlett has now gone toward a position where we could’ve done without what many are calling “a slight upgrade.”

Could the Phils have survived with a 3B platoon of Helms and Dobbs? Yes. This year’s offense will closely mirror last year’s, and even if it falls off, it won’t be anywhere near the NL cellar.

The Phillies weakness is pitching; currently there’s a 45-year-old, a 23-year-old primed for a sophomore slump and a guy who toted a 6.00+ ERA last season in the rotation. The bullpen includes an aging and shaky Tom Gordon, a wildly inconsistent JC Romero and a “who knows what you’re getting” Ryan Madson as soldiers in front of Brad Lidge, who has performed well lately, but in small sample sizes.

I’m nowhere close to confident in our pitching staff. Hopefully they’ll prove me wrong, but finding some experienced arms (David Riske, Jeremy Affeldt) would’ve been strong medicine. Instead, the NL’s No. 1 offense received “a slight upgrade,” while a cellar-grazing staff is hoping for gold from Chad Durbin. One can only hope there’s something in that pot.

  • 3 Comments
 

Phillies Sign Pedro Feliz

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, January 28, 2008 05:13 PM Comments: 18

The Phillies have signed 3B Pedro Feliz.

ESPN.com is reporting a two-year deal for $8.5M (with a third-year option), pending physical.

Feliz, 32, hit .253 with 20 HR and 72 RBI in 2007 for the Giants. For his career, he is a .252 hitter with marginal power (20 HR per year) but slick defense. Last year he rated as one of the Major League’s top third basemen.

I will only like this deal — and not much — if Wes Helms is dealt for relief or starting pitching. He won’t get much, though. I honestly think the Phils could’ve spent this money better ways, but supposedly the dearth of relief pitching made it possible to grab Feliz. As it stands, this signing may hamper the team somewhere (whether it’s getting more pitching or bolstering a re-signging of Howard).

But in all honesty, the Phils offense could’ve gone another year with a 3B platoon. This pitching staff can’t go another year with shoddy relief and starting pitching. I feel as if this is more a name signing than anything, which, well, is the norm in Phillies land.

UPDATE (2:03 p.m. Thursday): The deal has been finalized . It’s $8.5M over two years with a third-year option that would make it a $15M total deal. Well, at least the offense is all shored up.

  • 18 Comments
 

John Kruk On “Aqua Teen Hunger Force”

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Mon, January 28, 2008 01:30 PM Comments: 1

Kruk

For those who missed it last night:

You’re a potential Hall of Famer! .300 batting average. I can totally have sex next to you!”

John Kruk is not a good singer, evidently.

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2008 State Of The Nation Address

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Sun, January 27, 2008 11:45 PM Comments: 5

Good evening, fans, respected colleagues and officials. I would like to begin tonight by saying the state of the Phillies Nation is strong. Well, actually, strong to an extent, like a tire without its capacity in air. You know it’ll ride, and probably ride the whole way, but there’s always that feeling the tire will blow completely, stalling you on the road, wondering why you didn’t just fill that damn tire previously.

Of course, we must recognize the feats of our 2007 brand, a team that defied expectation (or did they?) and captured the hearts and minds of Philadelphia, and the United States of America. Standout players such as Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Cole Hamels, Aaron Rowand and National League Most Valuable Player Jimmy Rollins stood side-by-side with sturdy role players such as Jayson Werth, Greg Dobbs, Tadahito Iguchi, Kyle Lohse and JC Romero.

Together, the 2007 Phillies were able to dethrone the New York Mets in the National League East, and bring solidarity back to our wary division.

We must remember our 2007 Phillies, but we must also look ahead to 2008, a year that we believe could be a special year. Not just a year in which the team can win the division, but a year in which they can go all the way to the World Series and win the World Championship.

This offseason, the Phillies lost a few cogs of that 2007 team. Aaron Rowand has left for San Francisco. Abraham Nunez is now in Milwaukee. Tadahito Iguchi will man the fields for San Diego. Michael Bourn and Geoff Geary will be in Houston. Rod Barajas will play in Toronto, God Bless Him. But for what they lost, they stepped up and matched it with men such as Geoff Jenkins, So Taguchi, Eric Bruntlett, Chad Durbin and most of all, Brad Lidge.

So as we look into 2008, we must see that the Phillies look stronger than in 2007, and seem poised to defend their National League Eastern Division championship.

Thank you.

And now, the dissenters will give their rebuttal:

We must remember, however, that the Phillies received career seasons from Jimmy Rollins, Aaron Rowand, maybe even Pat Burrell, and JC Romero. They also got very lucky with Kyle Kendrick, who got out of enough jams to win 10 games for the team. And the luck continued with re-treads such as Dobbs, Werth, Iguchi and Lohse. To be blunt, the Phillies of 2008 were a lot like the Phillies of 1993: They caught fire at the right time.

Lest we forget, the Phillies took advantage of the greatest collapse in modern sports history. The Mets lost the division. They’re still the better team. They have a potent offense, a strong bench with veteran role players, a formidable rotation and bullpen, and guess what – they may have Johan Santana leading the whole wagon in 2008. How can the Phillies compete with that? You think a Wild Card would be in order? Wait until the Phillies tussle with Los Angeles, Colorado, Chicago and Atlanta. This team is destined for a downfall of epic proportions.

Heck, it’s not as if the offseason moves made the Phillies an instant contender for the World Series. Geoff Jenkins should change his middle name to Tappan with the amount of cold air he blows forth. Eric Bruntlett can’t hit. Brad Lidge is a gigantic question mark. And Chad Durbin? Vic Darensbourg? What is this – the 2010 panel for “Baseball Tonight?”

Do we really think we’re going to get another big year from that offense, along with improvements from a static pitching staff? Did they improve? They got Brad Lidge, but they gave up Geoff Geary (a serviceable sixth inning guy) and Kyle Lohse (a No. 4 starter). Tom Gordon is a year older. Jamie Moyer is almost 50. JC Romero isn’t completely consistent. Heck, what do we know about Kyle Kendrick? Can we really be positive about the pitching staff going into 2008?

We can laud the 2007 Phillies all we want, but the fact remains: If the 2008 Phillies want to win 100 games, the National League East – whatever – they’ll need a gigantic improvement from the mound while remaining a top-five offense. I can’t see that happening.

Thank you.

And now, the assenters will give their rebuttal:

Ah, but this is the National League! Last year not one team eclipsed 90 wins, so all is not lost. Does any National League team look like a runaway to lock up a division? Arizona’s offense is – ahem – snakebitten, the Dodgers’ youth could bite them far more than the Phillies, the Padres can’t hit worth a lick, the Cubs are a time bomb every time they take the field, the Brewers lack any real force outside of Ben Sheets, the Braves are starting Project Youth, and the Mets actually regressed from last year’s choking team.

To put this bluntly: When comparing the Phils to the NL, “favorite” is definitely an option.

Even if the Phillies offense regresses a bit (which it may), they’ll still remain one of the league’s best. And yes, the pitching has to get better. It can’t get worse. Adam Eaton- if he’s not healthy- will not infect the team 30 times like he did last season. We don’t have bad options such as Freddy Garcia and Jon Lieber. We know what we’re getting from Cole Hamels, Brett Myers, even Jamie Moyer. And the bullpen is much more improved from the start of last season. Now we have a full back end with Brad Lidge, Tom Gordon, Ryan Madson and JC Romero. Statistically, that’s one of the best in all of baseball!

Sure there are some unknowns – such as Durbin, the final bullpen spot and Eaton – but no team, absolutely no team is without unknowns. Look at the 2007 Red Sox. JD Drew was a disaster for them, but they found hope in Jacoby Ellsbury. Manny Ramirez had an off year, heck, Daisuke Matsuzaka wasn’t all he was cracked up to be. But they found positivity in spare parts, and they were the best team in baseball all season.

Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. Having the best team on January 27 doesn’t make you World Champions. Every team will change its roster between March 31 and September 1, and multiple times. The Phillies will find their spare parts, whether it’s through the arm of Carlos Carrasco, the bat or Jason Jaramillo or the glove of Brandon Watson. Give this team time. And right now, as we stand, the top-20 players on the 2008 Phillies surpass the top-20 players of possibly every National League team.

The state of the Phillies is strong. Give them time.

Thank you.

So, where do you fall?

  • 5 Comments
 

Odds And Ends: Jan. 27

Posted by Tim Malcolm, Sun, January 27, 2008 02:40 PM Comments: 0

Good Sunday, Phans at the Nation. I haven’t posted in a few days, but for good reason. Starting tonight, I’ll be posting everyday, doing some fun things, some serious things, basically, a little of everything.

Tonight I’m going to give a State of the Phillies, in honor of our State of the Union address tomorrow night. For now, here are some notes:

  • Pedro Feliz allegedly turned down a two-year offer from the Giants.

It’s possible that the Phillies could find a way to sign him to an incentive-laden deal; already the Phils have been said to offer Feliz a deal. He would play third base regularly and open Wes Helms to the trading block.

I never disliked Nunez as much as some, since defensively, he’s one of the games best corner sackers. On a team with such a deep offensive arsenal, cheap defense becomes prime territory. Hopefully Eric Bruntlett will fill those shoes well.

As far as Phillies catchers are concerned, Lieby is a top-five all-time guy, and supplied a nice drawer of memories during his tenure at backstop. He caught seven full seasons, posting two very good offensive campaigns:

In 1999, Lieby hit .300 with 31 HR and 96 RBI out of the six spot, gaining the first of two All Star trips. Though his power quickly evaporated, Lieby showed his hitting prowess in 2003 when he hit .313. In the future, it’s likely Lieby will more be remembered for being one of the foundations of the Ed Wade era, joining Bobby Abreu, David Bell, Jim Thome and possibly Pat Burrell as players who didn’t strike gold when we all expected it.

“Really, it was whatever the team needed me to do; I was going to do it,” Myers said, though he claimed he wouldn’t mind starting and relieving at the same time. Interesting idea, but that would kill Myers career.

When the Phils signed Brad Lidge, the question of Myers’ role took centerstage, but was answered when the team popped him back in the rotation. At first, I thought a Myers/Lidge back-end would prove potent, as long as the Phils could grab a No. 2 or 3 starter to pair with Cole Hamels. That never happened, and so Myers, back in the rotation, will have to channel No. 2 stuff.

I wonder out loud: Is Myers better as a starter or reliever?

I won’t simply go by Myers’ relief stats last year, since it’s still a small sample size. Instead, I’ll look at career splits:

First PA against hitter: 1600 PA, .225 AVG, .301 OBP, 1.968 ADJ-RA
Second PA against hitter: 1263 PA, .269 AVG, .328 OBP, 3.56 ADJ-RA
Third PA+ against hitter: 1100 PA, .300 AVG, .363 OBP, 3.21 ADJ-RA

(ADJ-RA is adjusted runs allowed; I multiplied games by three and used that for at bats in the ERA formula (ER*9/AB), using runs instead of earned runs.)

So Myers is definitely better earlier in the game, but is he bad later in the game?

I took his highest comparison for his age, according to Baseball Reference, who is Livan Hernandez:

First PA against hitter: 3446 PA, .266 AVG, .328 OBP, 2.82 ADJ-RA
Second PA against hitter: 3069 PA, .274 AVG, .340 OBP, 2.89 ADJ-RA
Third PA+ against hitter: 3745 PA, .292 AVG, .351 OBP, 4.11 ADJ-RA

Livan is very consistent until about the fifth inning, then drops off badly, while Myers usually suffers a bad inning or stretch somewhere in the middle of the game before slightly recovering.

Myers’ current comparable is Aaron Harang:

First PA against hitter: 1547 PA, .243 AVG, .294 OBP, 2.20 ADJ-RA
Second PA against hitter: 1385 PA, .277 AVG, .329 OBP, 2.79 ADJ-RA
Third PA against hitter: 1288 PA, .280 AVG, .336 OBP, 3.45 ADJ-RA

Harang consistently gets worse with each new plate appearance, pretty normal for a starting pitcher. The fact that Myers’ stats jump up during the second appearance shows that if he’s not on his game, he’ll only get about five innings.

The proof: In 2006, Myers started 31 games, finishing with a maximum of 5.2 innings eight times. In 2005, he started 34 games, and again, eight times he finished before six. So 25 percent of the time, he’s going to struggle.

To compare, I looked at his relief appearances in 2007, and figured out how often he struggled (gave up one run or let three or more on base): 13/41 times, or, 31 percent of the time.

It’s pretty close, and if you take into account that one or two of those 13 struggles ended with a save or win, it factors closer to 25 percent. What does it all mean?

Brett Myers is still talented enough to be a regular No. 2 starter, but shows tendencies that make him more of a No. 3 starter. As a reliever, he’s serviceable, but isn’t as reliable as the top closers in the game. Bottom line: He’s good in either situation, but most likely better off as a starting pitcher.

  • 0 Comments
 

MLB.com Article

Posted by Brian Michael, Tue, January 22, 2008 09:00 PM Comments: 2

Cherished mementos part of the game
Every baseball fan has a favorite collectible keepsake
By Mark Newman / MLB.com

Brian Michael is a Phillies fan in Washington whose prized possessions include a few personalized Mike Schmidt-signed baseballs, a rare Steve Carlton ball signed “Lefty,” and one autographed by Willie Mays. But Michael’s keeper of all keepers is a Phillies Phanatic growth chart signed by the inimitable mascot itself.

“Fortunately, since the green guy is so tall,” he said, “I’ve been able to measure up against it for my entire life and thus still cherish it even in my late 20s.”

Ask any baseball fan to tell you about an all-time favorite collectible, and the answer will come to him or her faster than the emphatic nod of a bobblehead on your desk. It may have been a trinket from a first professional game you ever attended, it may have been a ticket stub from a game that meant everything, or it may have been any of a thousand reasons that made a certain collectible so valuable to you.

Continue reading at mlb.com…   (Thanks to We’ve Got Heart for the referral)

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