Friday Morning Links: 2/25

Sean O’Brien of Yahoo Sports lists his 6 “Phearless Points” that should get them to the World Series.

Ryan Lawrence discusses Tyson Gillies’ desire to turn the page on a disappointing 2010.

Henry Schulman, of the San Francisco Chronicle, feels that the Phillies postseason success will have to go through left-handed reliever, Javier Lopez. He forgets the Giants still lack an offense.

If you’re going to Spring Training games, expect to see Domonic Brown more often than not, according to Matt Gelb.

Below the jump, watch a video of Jim Bowden from FoxSports.com thinks of the Phillies in 2011.

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Chad Durbin Rules Out Phillies

Comcast Sportsnet has reported that Chad Durbin has ruled out the Phillies and he is picking between two teams, one likely being the Cleveland Indians.

In 2010, Chad Durbin has arguably his best season of his bullpen career with the Phillies.  He had a 1.31 WHIP, 3.5 BB/9, and a 8.3 K/9 rate.  Durbin was definitely a valuable member of the Phillies bullpen, but they now they plan to look David Herndon, Scott Mathieson, or Justin De Fratus to fill the void Durbin leaves.

Durbin’s departure likely stems from the fact Danys Baez was given a two-year deal as opposed to anything longer than one month.  Baez will have to show his worth this year.

Spring Training Game 1: 10 Quick Hits

I am going to try a new way of recaping games where I leave you with 10 short notes on what took place.

Phillies 8, Florida State 0.

  1. Phillies pitchers allowed only 4 hits and struck out 11.
  2. Mike Stutes threw 10 pitches, all strikes and struck out 3 batters in one inning.
  3. Ryan Howard’s first hit of the year was a 2-run double.
  4. Jeff Larish and Josh Barfield each committed an error.
  5. Top prospect, Domonic Brown, went 1-3 with a misplayed single.
  6. Phillies went 6-9 with RISP, scoring crooked numbers in the first, sixth, and seventh.
  7. Justin De Fratus and Scott Mathieson each struck out 2 batters in an inning of work.
  8. Placido Polanco was the only regular to strike out.
  9. Shane Victorino was the only regularer not reach base.
  10. 3,915 people attended the Spring opener.

Rollins: What changed?

Yesterday, Mike Schmidt called out Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino for under-achieving last year.  Quite frankly, Rollins has under-achieved the past two seasons, but we will just stick with last year.  Today, I will discuss the abnormal Rollins 2010 season.

 

Let’s dive into what has gone wrong with Jimmy Rollins.  For comparison purposes, we will compare his numbers to his 2008 season, his last “successful” season at the plate.  Now, I know Rollins was plagued with injuries last season, but there are some numbers to consider with what went wrong with Jimmy Rollins.

 

First, the good news.  Rollins walked more often and struck out less than normal, at 10.2% and 9.1% respectively.  For his career he has a walk rate of 7.4% and a strike out rate of 12.7%.  So at first look, you’d say to yourself, “Wow, Rollins really improved his discipline at the plate.”  His 1.25 BB/K rate was the highest of his career and the first time he had a rate over 1 in his career.  So really, what happened?

 

Plate Discipline:

Last year, Jimmy Rollins swung at pitches out of the strike zone 23.1% of the time.  The highest percentage since his MVP season in 2007.  However, he swung at only 59.7% of the pitches he saw in the zone and only swung at 40.2% of the pitches he saw in general.  Last year, was the first season of Rollins career where he was dealt with seeing pitches in the zone lower than 50% of the time at and astounding rate of 46.7% of the time.  Because of seeing less pitches, Rollins seemed to get a little antsy at swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone, even if he made contact 77.4% of the time on those pitches, the second highest percentage of his career (2008).  In fact, Rollins made contact 89.7% of the time, second to only his 2008 season again.

 

So far, Rollins has walked more, struck out less, and made contact more often than usual in his career.  Seriously, what went wrong?

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Antonio Bastardo: Behind Schedule

Antonio Bastardo still behind schedule.

According to Matt Gelb of Philly.com, Phillies left-hander, Antonio Bastardo is still behind schedule and will continue to throw bullpen sessions instead of live batting practice.

If you fail to remember, Bastardo was shut down in the Dominican Winter League because of arm stiffness.

Antonio Bastardo is expected to be an integral part of the bullpen this year.  The 25-year old would likely be the first left-hander out of the bullpen this year, especially with his high strike-out rate (12.5 K/9).  Bastardo needs to work on his walk rate in hopes to lowering it below 3 BB/9 (4.3 BB/9 in 2010).

In first full season in the bullpen, Bastardo posted okay numbers (4.34 ERA, 1.5 WHIP), but he certainly has plenty of room to improve.  Mostly, a fastball/slider pitcher, Bastardo saw an increase in velocity on both of his pitches as a reliever.

It remains to be seen if he will return to hitting 93-94 MPH after this set back.  The Phillies have J.C. Romero for insurance.

What they said: Dempster calls our staff “Incredible”

Ryan Dempster was asked about how his “Big Three” compares up against the Phillies’ pitching staff.

“We’ve got three really good pitchers at the top of the rotation, but we’ve got to play the games,” Dempster said. “With the competition we have at the back end of the rotation, we’re going to have two other guys that are really capable of winning games and helping us a lot.”What they have over there in Philadelphia, it’s a really, really incredible pitching staff. Not just 1 through 4, but 1 through 5 (including Joe Blanton). But we can’t concern ourselves with that.”

Many experts are handing the National League pennant to Philadelphia, and Dempster said he jokes that he already has a tee time for Oct. 4 “because everyone says we’re not making the playoffs.” But he believes the Cubs can do the unthinkable.

I hope you are correct,  Mr. Dempster.  It is interesting to at least see the intimidation factor a number of teams from around the National League are feeling.

Weekend Pitching Round-Up

EDIT: Looks like Roy Halladay will go on Monday, Cliff Lee on Tuesday.

David Murphy has released the upcoming pitching schedules for the first four spring-training games.

Thursday vs Florida State
RHP Drew Naylor
LHP Juan Perez
RHP Mike Stutes
RHP Mike Schwimer
RHP Justin DeFratus
RHP Scott Mathieson

Saturday at Yankees
LHP Cole Hamels
RHP Vance Worley
LHP Ryan Feierabend
RHP Brian Schlitter
LHP Mike Zagurski

Sunday vs. Yankees
RHP Joe Blanton
RHP Justin DeFratus
RHP Michael Schwimer
RHP Ryan Madson
LHP J.C. Romero
RHP Brad Lidge

Monday at Blue Jays
RHP Roy Halladay
JC Ramirez
Michael Stutes
Juan Perez
Scott Mathieson

Tuesday vs. Tigers
LHP Cliff Lee
RHP Kyle Kendrick
RHP Eddie Bonine
LHP Dan Meyer
RHP Danys Baez

Looks like it will be entirely kids facing Florida State, so I am sorry Seminoles players, you will not be facing the likes of Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee.

Hamels will pitch in Tampa on Saturday, and Joe Blanton will get the first start by the Phab Phive at Bright House Field.  Cliff Lee will make his spring training debut on Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers, which I believe is televised.

The Day of Resistance? Nats Fan Dreams.

Pretty sad that Nationals fans are left to mimic former WWF Superstars in a “Call to Arms” attempt to keep Phillies fans out of their park.  Get over it.  New Stadium.  A lot of money.  No Fans.

Video posted by user, Evolution33

Oh, he even made a second gem.  He called Phillies’ fans fat, but look at him.  He also references Washington, D.C. standing for freedom and equality.  Yo, where was the constitution written, moron.

I guess he realized the leather jacket was incredibly lame.