Archive for July, 2010


Posted in 2010 Phillies on July 30, 2010 by wechslerh66

He’s obviously an upgrade over Happ as a pitcher, and the two minor leaguers are expendable and arguably no better than what Arizona received in exchange for Haren– no Domonic Browns, Kyle Drabeks, or even Jason Knapps among them.

Will Oswalt/Halladay/Hamels/Blanton/Kendrick be better than Lee/Hamels/Halladay/Blanton/Happ or Lee/Hamels/Blanton/Happ/Kendrick/Kyle Drabek would have been?

I would still take Lee over Oswalt…in 2010.  But Houston gave the Phillies $11M along with Oswalt– meaning per BaseballReference, the Phillies will owe Oswalt approximately $9M in 2011, or less than Lee would be worth on the open market, even with a “hometown discount” (meaning Philadelphia, not Benton, Arkansas).

Also, whatever it’s worth, career ERA+:
Lee +113
Halladay +136
Oswalt +134
Hamels +121

(Note: I’m aware ERA+ is based on each pitcher’s league, and both Halladay and Lee pitched in a more difficult league most of their careers, but Oswalt’s ERA+ is still impressive.  Dan Haren’s five-year NL ERA+ is 120.  Tom Glavine’s career ERA+, all NL, was 118.  John Smoltz’s career NL ERA+ was 125.)


How the Royals became even worse than the Phillies

Posted in Jose de Jesus on July 28, 2010 by wechslerh66

What’s his star potential? Why did the Royals trade him for Steve Jeltz?
Irrational fear. DeJesus had a minor injury, and the Royals were afraid of going into the season with no backup infielder. The Royals a year ago thought they could win, and, perceiving themselves as having a winning hand, were afraid of losing because Frank White was old and they had no one behind him. In retrospect, it would have been wiser to head into the season with Frank White unsupported, and then try to make some arrangements on the fly if White couldn’t cut it.
DeJesus has awesome stuff, but will probably battle his control for several years, and will probably have arm trouble before he finds his control. I’ll be surprised if he becomes a star, and if he does it will be a couple of years yet.
–Bill James on Jose de Jesus, The Baseball Book 1991

Steve Jeltz, 1990: .155/.200/.194 in 103 AB, 0 HR, 12 OPS+ (not a typo)

Frank White, 1990 (age 39): .216/.253/.307 in 241 AB, 2 HR, 58 OPS+

1990 Kansas City Royals: 75-86, 6th place, AL West

1990 Philadelphia Phillies: 77-85, 4th place, NL East


Posted in the de Jesus Era on July 28, 2010 by wechslerh66

Bruce Ruffin as a Phillie: 42-58, 4.16 ERA, 9.9 H/9, 3.6 BB/9, 4.8 K/9, 92 ERA+

¿Por que de Jesus?

Posted in Jose de Jesus, the de Jesus Era on July 28, 2010 by wechslerh66

He’s not the dreaded embodiment of what “Phillies pitcher” meant during my early years of fandom.

That would be Bruce Ruffin, whose Baseball Reference page is sponsored by “HBBL Likes Roughin Up Ruffin,” who writes, “Thanks Ruff of all the terrible Phils hurlers of the 80’s you were the worst. And to think you actually got votes for ROTY once.”

Or Don Carman, who led the NL in losses with 15 in 1989, when he also had an ERA+ of 68 (100 is average; Brad Lidge’s 2009 ERA+ was 59).

Or Shane Rawley, who at least was traded for a 106 OPS+ year of Tommy Herr (who in turn was traded for the immortal duo of Rocky Elli and Nikco Riesgo).

Or Kevin Gross, who led the NL in HR in 1986 and walks in 1988 but really wasn’t that bad.

So other than leading the NL in walks in 1991 with 128 (when he went 10-9 with a 107 ERA+ and led the NL in fewest HR/9 at 0.347– a mere 7 HR in 181.2 IP), he’s not notorious or even especially notable. Why, then, Jose de Jesus?

Because when I was 17 I brought a magic marker cardboard sign that read ¡DE JESUS IS GOD! to one of his home starts, where Veterans Stadium staff eyed me suspiciously but decided I was unblasphemous enough to be allowed in. (I wasn’t normally into signs, though the same season I would bring one to what I thought would be a matchup of hot-hitting pitchers: Phils lefty Dennis Cook, who would later slug .889 for the 1997 World Champion Florida Marlins, versus San Francisco righty Don “Caveman” Robinson, who would hit 13 HRs in his fifteen-year career. Cook would be scratched from the lineup, though, replaced by ex-Giant teammate Terry Mulholland, who would promptly throw a no-walk, no-run no-hitter against his old team.)

Because of his explanation of how he tried to focus on throwing strikes by blocking out everything except his catcher: “me and Daulton, me and Daulton.”

Because being traded for Steve Jeltz (who had a career OPS+ of 61, who was born in Paris, and whose Fan Club was founded by New York Times Yankees beat writer Tyler Kepner as a teenager) is worth something.

Because of how Harry Kalas would always say “HO-zay DAY-hay-SOOSE.”

Because he has a 982 similarity score with someone who actually threw a no-hitter.

Because he missed both the 1992 and 1993 seasons with injuries and was granted free agency on October 15, 1993– the day before the Phillies began their fateful World Series against Toronto. (Maybe he could have pitched the 9th?)

&, last but not least, because, like me, Jose de Jesus actually is a Capricorn. (Oddly enough, so is Ivan de Jesus— no relation. David de Jesus– also no relation– barely missed.)

Jose de Jesus worthy of his own blog? ¿Por que no?

El novato

Posted in Jose de Jesus on July 28, 2010 by wechslerh66

Awesome arm, no control.  Eventually will probably get his act together, but with the Royals having more pitching than most teams he’s not a good bet to surface this year, or to succeed if he does.  My own guess is that he’ll eventually be a bullpen closer, but whatever his role is to be, he hasn’t found it yet.
— Bill James on Jose de Jesus, The Baseball Book 1990