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Here to save us from the doldrums of another boring AL-style pitchers' duel, Interleague Play is back at last! The Jays will open up the NL portion of their schedule in Philly's bandbox against their 3-4-5 starters.

(And to celebrate, here's a slap-and-dash, 60-minute edition of the advance scout. Weird things seem to sidetrack me when Philly is involved. Apologies.)

Tonight, it's 45-year-old southpaw Jamie Moyer. Moyer's average fastball velocity is down to 80.5 mph, according to Fangraphs. This year, he's getting lots of contact with his garbage, and that contact is much more thunderous than usual: opponents are hitting .335/.374/.549 off the old guy. The Jays have an abundance of players with good to great career numbers against the ancient mariner.

Tomorrow, it's righty Adam Eaton against A.J. Burnett, in another round of the age-old rivalry between Guy Who Knows How To Win and .500 Pitcher. Did you know Adam Eaton has a 64-56 career record, and only two losing seasons from 2000 to 2007? His winning percentage is better than Kelvim Escobar's, and Ben Sheets', and Javier Vazquez's. And, of course, Burnett's. I sure didn't. Pretty impressive list right there. Eaton only has one loss this year in eight starts. I'm gonna stop right here before I say something that jinxes this automatic win. I mean...

Sunday, it's righty Kobayashi Iwamura, who was acquired this spring from the Yomiuri Giants in exchange for 2007 rookie sensation Kyle Kendrick. Kendrick isn't overpowering, but he's a prototypical sinker-slider guy who rode a low walk rate and slightly above-average GB rate to a 10-4 record and 3.85 ERA last year in Philly's chamber of homers. That entrenched him in the Phils' rotation before the Iwamura trade. No scouting reports on Iwamura exist but Brett Myers (who's been re-converted to starting this year) gets a kick out of the fact that Iwamura shares a name with hot dog eater Takeru Kobayashi. And yes I am painfully aware that this is two months old.

Philly's bullpen is rested because Cole Hamels threw a complete-game shutout at the Braves yesterday.

Jayson Werth is one of the most patient players in the league. As Geoff Jenkins' righty platoon partner, he's put up a .300/.375/.600 line against lefties. He's also 6/7 in stolen base attempts.

And MVP Jimmy Rollins missed several weeks with a sprained left ankle, but he hasn't missed a beat in his return. If his 70 PA this year are any indication, the award has not affected his hitting style in any way.

The Credit Section: All offensive stats, pitches per PA for pitchers and league average stats are from the Hardball Times. Pitchers' stats and leverage indices are from Fangraphs. Minor-league stats are from Minor League Splits and First Inning. K% and BB% are strikeouts and walks as a percentage of plate appearances; GB% + LD% + FB% = 100. These are 2008 stats, except where noted.

Mini-Advance Scout: Phillies, May 16-18 | 37 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
tstaddon - Friday, May 16 2008 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#185462) #
And there, ladies and gentlemen, is why we throw strikes.
Maldoff - Friday, May 16 2008 @ 08:22 PM EDT (#185465) #
Rookie pitcher + Flyball tendencies + Home run-friendly ballpark = UGLY!!!
Magpie - Friday, May 16 2008 @ 08:30 PM EDT (#185466) #
OK, I really want a do-over on the Jason Frasor trade.
westcoast dude - Friday, May 16 2008 @ 11:40 PM EDT (#185471) #
Is Kashmir still Chase Utley's music? Does anybody use When the Levee Breaks?
ayjackson - Saturday, May 17 2008 @ 04:40 PM EDT (#185485) #

Some Marcum love over at Fangraphs today.  Also interesting in that piece is that Litsch, Marcum and Halladay are #2,5 & 9 among non-Wakefield MLB starters in non-usage of the fastball.....if that makes any sense.

ayjackson - Saturday, May 17 2008 @ 05:00 PM EDT (#185487) #

More from Fangraphs.....

Alex Rios is 67th out of 73 qualified OFers in WPA.  Aaron Hill is 21st out of 24 qualified second basemen.  Our two bright lights are playing horribly of late and failing when we need them most.

brent - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 06:38 AM EDT (#185492) #

In regards to the Frasor - Werth deal, I don't think it would have been worth waiting three years on a player to get a great two months out of him. This three year old spilled milk isn't worth crying over.

game 43- WPA heroes Inglett (2)*, Ryan (8), Rolen (5)        Let downs Mench (3), Wilkerson (3), Barajas (10), Overbay (12)

game 44- WPA heroes none    Let downs Purcey*

game 45- WPA heroes Downs (6), Burnett (4), Barajas (4)          Let downs Benitez (2), Wilkerson (4), Rios (14)

Magpie - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 11:35 AM EDT (#185494) #
This three year old spilled milk isn't worth crying over.

Agreed, absolutely. It was still a good trade, one that addressed the needs of both teams at the time. And I say that as someone who didn't like trading Werth at the time, have persisted in liking him ever since, and as the Bauxite who probably has the least regard for Frasor.
Pistol - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#185496) #

OK, I really want a do-over on the Jason Frasor trade.

Well, Werth was a free agent last year after being non-tendered by the Dodgers so the Jays theorethically could have both Frasor and Werth.

Magpie - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 01:22 PM EDT (#185498) #
Werth was a free agent last year after being non-tendered by the Dodgers

It was actually the year before - he'd had a poor season in 2005 after being hit on the wrist by AJ Burnett in the spring training, and then missed the entire 2006 season recovering from two surgeries on the wrist (one in November 2005, and a second one in August after the first one didn't solve the problem.) The Phillies signed him in December 2006. I still liked him, and said why a few months later:

If Werth is fully recovered, he's a much better player than Victorino. He's obviously got way more power; but he also gets on base more often and is a better baserunner once he's there. And he's a fine outfielder himself.

He was arbitration eligible after 2006, and the Dodgers obviously didn't want to take a chance that the wrist would never get better. The Phillies signed him for $850 K for 2007, and re-signed him this January for $1.7 million for 2008. I would think he's got one more year of arbitration eligibility and is a FA after 2009.

There! The Jayson Werth Story!

ayjackson - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#185500) #
Any word on the weather in Philly and when (if) they'll get back on the field?
Rob - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 04:11 PM EDT (#185501) #
It was still a good trade, one that addressed the needs of both teams at the time. And I say that as someone who didn't like trading Werth at the time, have persisted in liking him ever since, and as the Bauxite who probably has the least regard for Frasor.

Hey, nobody beat the Free Jason Frasor drum more than I did, and I'd still do Werth-for-Frasor today. Mostly because there's not much of a market for righty relievers who turn 9-0 games into 12-0 games.
ayjackson - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#185503) #

Rogers, for some strange reason, has decided that Sportsnet East shall no longer be available in the West region.  Further, they have decided to only show the Jays game on the East network (post rain delay).  You think they would ensure that the enitre country could watch both the Memorial Cup and the Jays.  Leaving the Jays on HD would have been a reasonable option.  Ughhh. 

HollywoodHartman - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 06:09 PM EDT (#185504) #
How are the Jays going to finish this game? 3.1 innings left, only Downs, Beej and Benitez left... Yikes.
Dr. Zarco - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 06:13 PM EDT (#185505) #
Carlson may cost the Jays there.  If he retires either Utley or Howard to end the 6th, I bet this game would be called off, an official game in the books.  Since the Jays went ahead in the 6th, Phily has to finish their half in the 6th to make it an official game, so now if it continues to rain it'll be picked up on a later day from this point.  Tough break.
greenfrog - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 06:34 PM EDT (#185506) #
Game to resume, Halladay to pitch to Burrell. Pretty cool. This should be interesting...
ramone - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#185507) #

Roy won't be pitching on Tuesday now arcording to the fan590.

ayjackson - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#185508) #
Is this Frasor's game to win or is it a Scorer's decision?
Magpie - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#185509) #
It should be Frasor's to win. It was a 3-3 tie, he was the pitcher of record when they took the lead.

Doc surely volunteered for this. Marcum to start on Tuesday? After 1 IP (22 pitches), he should be good to go.

ayjackson - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#185510) #

Roy won't be pitching on Tuesday now arcording to the fan590.

Well if Marcum wasn't injured and only left due to the delay, I imagine he'll go on Tuesday.  With the double header last Monday, and relief appearances by Burnett, Litsch and Halladay this season, it's been a wacky year for the rotation.  And it's only Victoria Day.

tstaddon - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 06:48 PM EDT (#185511) #
Wow. Is there anything Doc can't(/won't) do?
Magpie - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 06:58 PM EDT (#185512) #
They're talking about Doc's last relief appearance, in July 2001. Which I remember vividly, I was working the game. It was Doc's first game back after his odyssey down through A ball and AA as he re-invented himself. We were quite eager to see what he had.

He came in for Lord Voldemort in the first inning, with 5 runs already in and only one out. And it was obvious from the get-go that he was a completely changed pitcher from the guy who'd posted an ERA over 10 the year before. He dismissed the next five batters, casual and dominant. He then gave up six earned runs in the third inning - but he still looked great; it was all a matter of some routine grounders finding holes and and some bloops falling in. It's not often a guy looks impressive when he's giving up six runs in an inning.

And he's been pretty good ever since.

tstaddon - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 07:04 PM EDT (#185513) #
Well I certainly didn't expect THAT. Dobbs-Rollins-Werth-Utley-Howard due up... Downs in the pen...two men on... middling righty on the mound... Inglett on the bench... and Gibbons leaves Halladay in to hit, and hurl the 8th. Wow. No matter the outcome, we're going to be talking about this game for a long time.
Magpie - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 07:12 PM EDT (#185514) #
I suppose that once you've got Halladay off his rotation schedule and into the game, you might as well get more than four outs from him. And if you bat for Doc - which you would obviously do if you didn';t already have a two run lead - you have to bring in Downs for the 8th and Ryan (who pitched yesterday) for the 9th, because neither of those guys are normally used for two innings. Which would be do-able. Gibbons seems to have already figured out that you don't allow Benitez near the mound when there are LH batters in the house.
tstaddon - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#185515) #
WOW. What a game! I haven't seen this team truly assert their will on an opponent and simply, boldly say: We Are Winning Today in...maybe years. Wow.

So many heroes in this game. Halladay. Overbay. Frasor (who gets tacked with an earned run after stranded all three runners he inherited from Tallet). Barajas. Stewart. Camp, for some answering the bell with gutsy work.  And, though it got nervous, Ryan. It's easy to overlook how truly incredible his early return (and the early returns its provided) truly is(/are). BJ, it's great to have you back. This fan is amped!
Dr. Zarco - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 07:40 PM EDT (#185516) #
Well I sure misread the radar.  I was way off about the likelihood of calling the game.  Sure turned into a nailbiter though.  BJ was a bit human, but hung on.  Great conclusion to the road trip, and a much deserved day off.  Hopefully the Jays have seen the last of under .500. 
westcoast dude - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 07:44 PM EDT (#185517) #

This was their finest hour. Six runs on six hits beats 13 hits. Doc holds. Lyle rocks. Stewie gets his groove back.

JaysFanInNYC - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 07:53 PM EDT (#185518) #
Yes.  Probably the Jays best game so far this year.  This might be the turning point.  Plenty to be proud of - a true "team" effort.
krose - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 07:58 PM EDT (#185519) #
Tuesday's game against LA should be McGowan's regular start. He started last Thursday's game. I wonder if the rotation for the coming week might look like this; McGowan-Tues., Marcum- Wed., Burnett-Thursday, and then Halliday starts the first game of the KC series. There are four days off in June, so resetting the rotation should not be a problem.

New rotation sequence when reset?? Halliday, Marcum, Burnett, Litsch, McGowan. Breaks up the soft tossers and rewards performance.
Frank Markotich - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 08:31 PM EDT (#185520) #

Not having seen or heard the game, I'm kind of curious about what the weather outlook was at game time, seeing as it lasted an inning and then came a lengthy rain delay. I'm talking about the decision to start Marcum.

I recall a game at Exhibition Stadium many years ago in a similar situation, where Bobby Cox started a reliever, expecting a rain delay early on.

Magpie - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 08:50 PM EDT (#185521) #
I recall a game at Exhibition Stadium many years ago in a similar situation, where Bobby Cox started a reliever, expecting a rain delay early on.

A Saturday afternoon
in June 1985, to be precise. It was Dave Stieb's turn but rain was in the forecast. Cox started Ron Musselman instead, not wanting to waste his ace. Musselman did OK, the bullpen (Acker and Lavelle) lost in the late innings.

Stieb got his turn the next day, and dismissed the Red Sox in a game that is best remembered for George Bell's charge of Bruce Kison after being hit by a very high and tight pitch to him, and Ernie Whitt's grand slam off Kison later in the game. During which he circled the bases screaming invective at Kison every step of the way, while the pitcher slowly rotated so he was looking elsewhere the entire while...

Good times!

You have to like the 6 runs scored with two outs this afternoon. And it looks like Shannon Stewart's consult with his old hitting coach may have done him some good.
HollywoodHartman - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 09:05 PM EDT (#185522) #
Any official word what the rotation is going to look like? I'd imagine McGowan on Tuesday, Marcum Wednedsay, Roy Thursday, Burnett Friday. Thoughts?
tstaddon - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 09:09 PM EDT (#185523) #
I'd think that's about right but I wouldn't be surprised to see AJ on regular rest Thursday with Roy going on four days rest himself Friday. What's an extra day? And, besides, wouldn't Doc look sharp in those powder blues...
China fan - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 10:48 PM EDT (#185525) #

     According to, the new rotation for the next few days is:  McGowan, Marcum, Litsch, Burnett, Halladay.

     It's great that Halladay helped the Jays to win today, but it means a four-day delay in Halladay's next start.  I guess the team didn't have much choice, but it's unfortunate that the Jays are now facing the West division leaders without their ace. 

Mike Green - Sunday, May 18 2008 @ 11:02 PM EDT (#185526) #
Hmm, 22 pitches for Marcum, 23 for Halladay, they could come back in the LAA series. I guess Gibbons doesn't want to put the others too far off rotation.

Overbay's homer might have been the biggest hit of the season so far. It hasn't happened often over the last year and a bit that the offence has come to the rescue.

tstaddon - Monday, May 19 2008 @ 12:08 AM EDT (#185527) #
I wonder if holding Burnett back a day has anything to do with the two teams' baserunning philosophies. You've got to figure the Angels would run wild on him, especially with Figgins due back Tuesday...
90ft_turnleft - Monday, May 19 2008 @ 03:25 AM EDT (#185529) #

How can you not be excited when you see night after night(or day)the depth and talent of this years pitching staff,starters and relievers.

More so now with the return of Ryan,even though more than a few nights he is walking a very fine line,which I attribute more to rust than mechanics or lack of velocity.

There are some games still, in which I truly question some of Gibbys decisions,both with the pitching and replacement choices, but it must be a hard life to live,as a baseball manager,either being second guessed daily by the fans,media,or his own players.No refuge from the storm so to speak.

Take Burnetts' last start when Gibby comes to the mound to take him out,when I believe his pitch count was around 107 with a man on 1st and one out in the 7th,the cameras' focus is on Burnett as he's walking off the field and he mouthes the word 'Wow'.A small but priceless moment in this fans eyes at how tough a balancing act it must be to be Gibbons( seeing of course the look of disdain on Burnett a time or two before feeling he was being yanked too soon)

I have to admire if not respect the evidence I see most games in the conviction of Gibbons to win,even if it means to forego the obvious effort to mollify those in his charge...............unless his name is Roy Halliday of course.

And thanks Magpie for a trip down memory lane.I do indeed remember good old 'calm' George storming the mound that day.Those are moments I will definetly not........ahem......'misremember'.(HGH that day,at least to Kison,with George steaming towards him,simply meant 'hit George higher' next time.)

And yes,I too found it extremely positive at 'our' clutch 2 out base hits today(well yesterday I guess now)



Mini-Advance Scout: Phillies, May 16-18 | 37 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.