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Friday, February 13, 2009

Stinky Cheese

Philadelphia Daily News sportswriter David Murphy has a Phillies blog on titled "High Cheese". More often than not it is comprised of filler and mainly garbage. His DN column today is titled "Five Fearless predictions as Phillies kick off spring training". Is it just me or do I see more and more newspaper articles that consist of lists? Jim Salisbury also has a "5 point" article today addressing much of the same issues. Let's take a look at the insight given by David Murphy.

1. J.A. Happ will enter the season as the No. 5 starter, but Kyle Kendrick will get their chances to start.

Not a bad first point. As I posted a week ago, I too think J.A. Happ will/ should be the Phillies fifth starter. However, barring another miraculous season where no Phillies starter gets injured, it is quite obvious that the team's 6th and 7th options for starter will probably have to fill in at some point.

2. Shane Victorino will establish himself as one of the premier centerfielders in the game.

Well, considering that Victorino won a Gold Glove last year at the position (GGs can be overrated, see Abreu) that pretty much established him as the premier centerfielder in the NL if not in all of baseball. His winning the award, tracking down long flies, and gunning runners out on the basepath was not a fluke. Many already consider him one of the best centerfielders in the game. Way to state the obvious David.

3. The Phillies will give serious consideration to carrying three catchers.

Isn't this obvious? They got Ronny Paulino, and have yet to deal Chris Coste (the only likely piece if any to leave). I don't see any of these men being sent down to play in the minors. Thus, unless one leaves town, they would most likely keep both of the catchers around to ensure 2 right handed bats on the bench. While I love his story, Chris Coste can be spared. He can hit the fastball pretty well, but he doesn't walk that much, and his defense is often suspect.

4. Chase Utley won't be the Opening Day starter at second base.

Mr. Musser addressed this yesterday. It is looking likely that he will be back for Opening Day. If not for the first game, then he could be back soon thereafter. Our argument isn't that he'll definitely be back for the first game of the season, but rather it's extremely likely that he'll be back within the 1st two weeks. Obviously, we'd prefer for him to play everygame, but if he misses around 10 games, is it the end of the world? I really hope Murphy is wrong about this one for the fact that Utley makes the Phillies better, and because this is apparently a fairly confident prediction.

5. Cole Hamels will be named Opening Day starter early in spring training.

Unless he is guessing the time when this happens, it is complete trash. Hamels should have been the Opening Day starter last season, and will obviously start the first game this season after being the MVP of everything last October. He also did extremely well in the regular season although some people will have you believe otherwise (win total). Thanks Mr. Murphy, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for this to be announced. You have settled all doubt.

Does he really get paid for doing that?

I saw his post on "High Cheese" yesterday, but wanted to take time to research my stuff rather than just come out firing. Murphy lists all of the corner outfielders who have signed so far this offseason, recognizing that Ibanez has signed for the most total cash as of this point. The 6 corner outfielders as of yesterday that have signed are: Ibanez, Bradley, Dunn, Burrell, Rivera, and Abreu. Below are their careers numbers (AVG/OBP/SLG), HR/PA, and their ages. While

Ibanez: .286/.346/.472, .034, and 36
Bradley: .280/.370/.457, .031, and 30
Dunn: .247/.381/.518, .059, and 29
Burrell: .257/.367/.485, .047 and 32
Rivera: .284/.331/.468, .038 and 30
Abreu: .300/.405/.498, .031 and 34

Now, Murphy did not make any judgments about the Ibanez signing. However, he did state that Adam Dunn, "big-power, little- contact lefty" was not what the Phillies needed. First, yes Dunn is expensive. Second, yes Dunn strikes out a lot. However, his OBP and SLG run laps around Ibanez's. He's also 7 years younger. While a left handed bat was certainly not what the Phillies need, isn't a productive left handed bat better than a less productive left handed bat? Bradley is another better statistical option although he is prone to injury. Yet the Cubs were willing to give him a chance (and less money than the Phillies). Burrell, a younger, more productive RIGHTY would have been a great answer. The people in Philly love him, and he loves them (at least so he says). Juan Rivera has similar numbers, was significantly cheaper, and much younger. Abreu is a little younger, another lefty, but has consistently put up better numbers than Ibanez. He also turned out to be cheaper.

Hopefully Ibanez pans out, but compared to the other players who were signed for fewer dollars, he has not been as good in the past.


Anonymous said...

carlos beltran also won a gold glove, because they dont award for LF RF CF, just 3 OFers. so if you seriously think victorino is better than beltran, youre insanse. a better arm, yes. but not even close.

Anonymous said...

and for the mlb? do you know who plays CF in the AL?
Torii Hunter
Grady Sizemore
Vernon Wells
Curtis Granderson

all better than victorino.

Andy Musser said...

Victorino is the faster than Beltran, and while Beltran ages, Victorino will only continue to peak. The word "premier" does not mean best.

Andy Musser said...

is faster*

Scott Graham said...

1/1.. Hamels is named Opening Day starter

Anonymous said... premier-first in rank; chief; leading.

maybe you have a different definition of best too?

and if you want to talk about being faster as a level of comparison, well then i guess willy tavaras and juan pierre are the best OFers in baseball.

Andy Musser said...

Fair enough. However, the word "premier" has taken on a different meaning colloquially (for example: he is a 'premier pitcher'), which is what Mr. Graham applying. If you read the next sentence, you'll see he never made the claim he is the "best." Regardless, the point is Victorino is already at the top of CFs, and Murphy's "prediction" is pretty weak.

And I never said Victorino was better than Beltran now, I implied he will be in the future. Let's not get all antsy in our pantsy.