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Spring Training Gameday: Yankees v. Phillies

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, March 30, 2012 06:00 PM | Comments: 31
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Time: 7:05 pm, Legends Field – Tampa, FL
Weather: 20% Chance of Thunder Storms, 75
TV: MLB Network
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The Phils are down to 29 healthy players in camp as they enter the final full week of Spring Training. Juan Pierre leads off in left field while Freddy Galvis returns to the line-up. Mike Stutes was supposed to throw today but instead will sit-out with shoulder stiffness. Antonio Bastardo will start today’s game and is also scheduled to throw tomorrow. If there are any lingering concerns about Bastardo, they will be answered by tomorrow afternoon at the latest.

Phillies Lineup:

1. Juan Pierre, LF
2. Shane Victorino, CF
3. Jimmy Rollins, SS
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Hunter Pence, RF
6. Placido Polanco, 3B
7. Ty Wigginton, 3B
8. Carlos Ruiz, C
9. Freddy Galvis, 2B

Phillies Pitchers:
LHP Antonio Bastardo
RHP Jonathan Papelbon
RHP Chad Qualls
RHP Kyle Kendrick

Avatar of Ian Riccaboni

About Ian Riccaboni

Ian Riccaboni has written 812 articles on Phillies Nation.

Ian's athletic achievements include getting stuffed by NBA center Aaron Gray in high school and hitting .179 over four years for NYU against D-III, NAIA, JuCo, and NCBA schools. Ian hopes his athletic successes will help him achieve his dream of becoming the underground Bob Uecker.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 Joe

    Yes it is on tv. MLB Network

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

    Jamie Moyer made the Rockies opening day roster…a nice story there…

     
  • Posts: 24 TradeDomBrown

    Avatar of TradeDomBrown

    bastardo out after 7 batters? what happened?

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    Paps with a two run bomb. Go away you fin redsox scum.

     
  • Posts: 0 Jeff

    6 5 now. Kendrick and pap is like Corey and pat writing on this site.
    All suck

     
  • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

    Wigginton gonna end up below the Mendoza line for ST.

    Let’s hope Thome can play first. My panic gauge is at a 7. We are going to struggle to score runs big time. I’m thinking the over/under could be 635 for runs this year.

     
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      With the caveat that Spring Training really doesn’t mean much, I’d point out that Wiggy has a lot of company.

      As of right now:

      Wigs: .190
      JMJ : .188
      Nix: .182

       
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        Breaking Update: JMJ grounds into a bases-loaded double play. Down to .186

         
      • Avatar of The Original Chuck P

        Everyone is expecting a regression from JMJ… I think he can give you some pop and some defense but it is very unlikely he has a full season like he finished in 2011. HIs batting average is going to be ugly. I think he’s one of those streaky hitters that can carry you – let’s hope he gets hot coming out of ST.

        Nix is a decent lefty off the bench- he has some power and he’s pretty versatile.

         
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Jeff your crazy my man…Ty and Placido are both playing 3B is this a 5 man field type of strategy…Just joking…

     
  • Posts: 541 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    I watched this meaningless game on Yes network with the sound muted. :-)

    Once we get into the last few exhibition games next week in April, Charlie Manuel will play his all of his regulars in the desired batting order. Fine tuning the lineup in preparation for the season opener. Obviously, there are several question marks that have not been fully answered during spring training. We will not know instantly if the designated players trying to fill their roles in LF and 2B positions wil be the answer for the team. Fans will need patience and tolerance and reserve their judgement until a certain number of games be played.

    As far as 1b is concerned, I feel confident that Thome can be play there for the majority of the games in Howard’s absence. My main concern is in the bullpen (exception is Pabelbon). I’m seeing more questions than answers with one ineffective outing after another with relievers that the team is pinning their hopes on. Again, I have to remind myself it’s only spring training games. So time will tell. And that time is approaching.

     
    • Posts: 0 brooks

      All hist regulars including Chooch who allowed 6 sb tonight? Oh yes, the Phils were caught 3 times.
      I could see a sb or 2, blaming on the pitcher but 6?
      So one of the questions, aside from all the injuries, how much uglier will it get?

       
      • Posts: 0 George

        Ruiz has never been noted for throwing out base stealers. But I wouldn’t be overly concerned with him allowing six in a spring training game, and WOULD be inclined to blame a lot of it on the pitchers. Mostly, the Phils were pitching relievers, who generally don’t have great pickoff moves, and some of the others were pitchers who aren’t making the team anyway. Also, who knows if those guys were even thinking about runners; they were probably focused much more on making their pitches.

        Ruiz is a regular, but he wasn’t working with regulars. It can make a huge difference.

         
  • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    Bruce, I don’t think there is any way at all that Jim Thome plays the majority of the games at first until Howard gets back. His back won’t hold up. Once….MAYBE twice a week at the most.

     
  • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

    I agree with Chuck A. I really do not think that Thome will be able to play the majority of games at first base in Howard’s absence, due to his age and bad back, although I hope he proves me wrong. I understand that when Howard was playing very well that the Phillies wanted to keep him in the pinstripes, but that ridiculous contract extension has only handcuffed the team immensely. Further, any decent farm system first baseman we have had (Singleton and Rizzoti) we have traded away. Sometime the thought process of the management and the GM of this team utterly perplex me. This offense, especially come playoff time, needs much luck and career years from its players, or at least a hit with a defibrillator, to get us back to the World Series, but, again, I hope they prove me wrong.

     
  • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

    Interesting tidbit:
    http://sports.espn.go.com/fantasy/baseball/flb/story?page=mlbdk2k12_30qphillies
    Just wondering what people thought…

     
    • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

      Avatar of Chuck A.

      Big Ed…. what this tells me is that the Phillies HAVE to play “small ball” more. Guys like Pierre, Pods, J-Roll and Vic MUST work the count, get on base, use their legs. Question is…can they?? Or better yet, can Charlie adjust to that style of managing?

       
  • Posts: 0 brooks

    I don’t know if career years are needed Big Ed but nobody, absolutely nobody can go for long slumps – as the Phils have been prone to do. The offense has to show some consistency this year even with a lack of power.

     
  • Posts: 0 TheDipsy

    I don’t think that the Phils are expecting Thome to play the majority of the games until Ryan returns. I think you might see him play 60% or something like that. I think he will be effective when he plays. He’ll be Edward Scissorhands in the field but he can still hit.

    Chuck A you are right sir – small ball.

    The Dipsy

     
  • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

    Chuck A. and Brooks, I completely agree with you both. I am hoping for the best, and even more so that “working the count”, one of the proposed mechanical adjustments for the Phillies overall, was fixed, or at least, improved. Although I understand that it is difficult to change a hitter’s ingrained hitting style, but I feel that since we will have to play small ball, run, and bunt more than in previous years, it is the best scenario for scoring runs.

     
  • Posts: 2993 Chuck A.

    Avatar of Chuck A.

    How many times over the past few seasons did Shane Victorino unnecessarily swing wildly at the first pitch and pop it up? That has to stop.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Here is the % of time that Vic has swung at the first pitch in each year, from 2006 to 2011:

      26%, 21%, 20%, 17%, 16%, 14%

      The 14% was the 3rd lowest number in the NL among the 66 qualifying hitters.

      Expanding to all players with 400+ plate appearances, there were 105 total.

      Of those 105, 6 of the first 14 were Phillies.

       
      • Posts: 0 schmenkman

        I.E. 6 of the 14 with the lowest percentages of first pitches swung at.

         
  • Posts: 0 schmenkman

    Whenever I read they need to “work the count” more, I always wonder how we will know that they’re doing that more in 2012?

    Here are some stats from last year:

    - 3.80 pitches per plate appearance (8th in NL); NL average was 3.80
    - slightly better than average at laying off pitches outside the zone (Phillies 30.8%, NL avg 31.0%)
    - they took the 2nd most pitches in the NL
    - they were among the best teams in running hitters counts
    - they were 5th in the NL in walks (and 3rd, once Utley returned)
    - they had the 4th highest contact rate (i.e. % of time that a swing results in contact)
    - they had the 2nd fewest strikeouts

    These are overall stats, and there’s an argument to be made that their patience backfired against good pitchers, as they got behind in counts and weren’t able to recover.

    So again, I’m just wondering, what would we look at to track whether they are better at working the count this year?

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Forgot to mention, they swung at the first pitch far far less than any team in the NL:
      Phils 21%, NL average 27%, next lowest 25%

       
    • Posts: 0 Chris

      I agree with your premise here. If anything it might be a good idea for them to start being more aggressive with the first pitch and in counts they are ahead in. People always complain about Jimmy Rollins swinging at the first pitch but it’s also the pitch that he hits the best by far. Sometimes patience can help but other times it hurts. When you get down in the count by looking at a good pitch to hit the odds are not in your favor.

       
    • Avatar of "Big Ed" Delahanty

      While the stats are facts, and, at times, are often surprising and difficult to contend against; however, it would seem the Phils would have performed better in the final stretch of the playoffs. The stat we would have to track, and it would be an almost impossible one, but one that would explain much, is how much of that patience was negated by swinging at a poor pitch. Although I do not have his stats, I think it would be safe to say that Howard might have worked a deep count, but how many atrocious pitches did he swing at during that deep count, especially against lefties? My hope is that the Phillies work the count in their favor and choose to hit the better pitches rather than the poorer ones. I will admit that the stats are very surprising to me, and your argument against patience backfiring against pitches is a strong and excellent one.

       
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        Schmenkman somewhat addressed this point:

        “- slightly better than average at laying off pitches outside the zone (Phillies 30.8%, NL avg 31.0%)”

        So basically they were a better than average team at not swinging at poor pitches.

        The 2011 Phils were actually a very patient team on offense; perhaps too patient, as it turns out.

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        Just because a pitch is not out of the strike zone doesn’t mean it’s a poor pitch to try to hit. If you can’t hit a letter high fastball over the inside corner, you’d better not be swinging at it with less than two strikes. The same could also apply to breaking balls on the outside corner.

         
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr05

    Dipsy if Thome plays 60% of the games than that would be the majority of games??? Ed that doesnt really spell out anything new..i think most people on here realize the offense isnt the same struggles at time and the only .300 hitter is Pence although i think Shane can possibly be another candidate…and certainly Polly is capable of hitting .300 yea i know he isnt the player from before but i believe he still can hit at least .300

     
 
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