Posts Tagged ‘Philadelphia Phillies’

Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard and Albert Lang from 1.09.12

Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard and Albert Langhttp://www.blogtalkradio.com/thefantasyinsiders/2012/01/10/baseball-daily-digest-radio-with-joel-henard-and-albert-lang

We discussed the Hall of Fame results, Barry Larkin, Jeff Bagwell and Jack Morris.

In addition, we focused on  the Cubs latest moves, the fate of the Oakland Athletics, Jorge Posada’s retirement and his Hall of Fame chances, Ryan Braun, Brett Lawrie, the Baltimore Orioles, the Reds 2012 prospects, the Chicago White Sox, Tyler Chatwood, the Phillies line-up issues, the Marlins and Josh Johnson, and went through some fantasy baseball and roto projections/ranks.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thefantasyinsiders/2012/01/10/baseball-daily-digest-radio-with-joel-henard-and-albert-lang

Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard and Albert Lang at 7:00 PM ET on #HOF

Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard and Albert Lang http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thefantasyinsiders/2012/01/10/baseball-daily-digest-radio-with-joel-henard-and-albert-lang.

We’ll talk the Hall of Fame results, Barry Larkin, Jeff Bagwell and Jack Morris. We’ll also talk the Cubs latest moves, the fate of the Oakland Athletics, Jorge Posada’s retirement, Ryan Braun, Brett Lawrie, the Baltimore Orioles, the Reds 2012 prospects, the Chicago White Sox, Tyler Chatwood, the Phillies line-up issues, the Marlins and Josh Johnson, and go through some fantasy baseball and roto projections/ranks

h2h Corner ~ Check You out on the Flip Side: Len Matuszek

As you read this on a Kindle or iPad, remember that, not too long ago, it was odd that someone was into “audio and video recording.” Hell, I made three videos of my puppy last night. Fellow 1987 Flip Sider (and one-time Phillie), Dan Schatzeder also had a thing for video recorders.

Things sure have come a long way since 1987 – it does seem like the “nerds” have taken over. I’m not just talking about stat geeks, but if you watch commercials for the latest video games, some of the biggest stars (Kobe, Jonah Hill, etc.) are itching to be in them. It is, quite frankly, cool to play video games. Of course, I play MVP Baseball 2005, NCAA Football 2010 and GTA Vice City, so I might be behind the times.

Matuszek is a Pong-esque relic from a different era, a no-hit corner guy. He was drafted by Philadelphia in the 5th round in 1976.

He toiled in the minors from 1976-1980, touching double digit homers once, but showing a decent ability to get on base (he never posted an OBP below .345). He made his debut in 1981, but saw just 14 plate appearances. He got triple the plate appearances the following year, but hit horribly (.077/.119/.103).

He got significantly more run in 1983 (87 plate appearances) and looked good (.275/.306/.525), at least by 1983 Yuengling-goggles standards.

Following that small sample size opposition pitching drubbing, the Phillies installed Matuszek as their starting first baseman in 1984. He just happened to be replacing Pete Rose. He didn’t do so hot, though, hitting just .248/.350/.458. That OBP could play but the lack of power couldn’t.

He was shipped to the Blue Jays in April of 1985 and then from Toronto to the Los Angeles Dodgers in July for a broken down Al Oliver. He didn’t do anything for the Dodgers, aside from appearing in three games in the NLCS and going 1/1 with a run.

Two years later, he went .067/.125/.067 after 16 plate appearances, and his major league career would be over.

Hey more time for the AV club.

 

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h2h Corner ~ Check You out on the Flip Side: David West/Frank Viola


And I thought the grammar on the back of the Topps cards were bad. Man, Upper Deck, which was so hot in 1990, really flubbed this one. There are so many missing words in this that it’s ridiculous. How hard would it be to write: “West was key part of 5 pitcher deal to the Mets for Frank Viola. He was drafted #4 by Mets in June ’83.” And, by #4 they mean a fourth rounder, not that he was the fourth overall pick.

So he wasn’t as big of a bust as you would surmise. He did spend 10 seasons in the majors, finishing with a 4.66 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 1.41 K:BB rate in 569.1 innings. He had one decent year for the Twins, in 1991, when he started 12 games and finished with a 4.54 ERA and 1.32 WHIP. He really helped the Twins get to the World Series that year, as he threw 5.2 innings in relief in the ALCS without allowing a run. Of course, his World Series was terrible, as he finished with an ERA of infinity (he allowed four runs without recording an out).

Two years later, he had arguably his best season (2.92 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 1.71 K:BB) for the Phillies. Thanks to Mitch Williams, his utter relief failures are not as heavily remembered. In the NLCS, he allowed five runs/four earned in 2.2 innings and in the World Series, he allowed three earned runs in just one inning of work. He made well over $2.5 million in his career, tasted victory and defeat and even played in Japan. Still, he was by no means the key part of the Frank Viola trade (at least in hindsight).

In addition to West, the New York Mets sent Rick Aguilera, Tim Drummon and Kevin Tapani to the Twins.

Adding in those elements makes this not a particularly astute move by the Mets (but what else is new). While West was worth -0.3 WAR for the Twins, Aguilera was worth 16.1 WAR, Drummon was worth 0.7 WAR and Tapani was worth 17.5 WAR. At the time of the deal, Aguilera (who has an awesome beard) was 27 and owned a career 3.58 ERA and 1.29 WHIP for the Mets over 473 innings. Aguilera was especially valuable in 1991, posting a 2.35 ERA with 42 saves and a 1.07 WHIP – heck he even received some MVP votes. He also threw 8.1 innings in the play-offs, earning five saves and allowing just one earned run.

Tapani also turned in a banner season in 1991: 34 starts, 244 innings, a 2.99 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 3.38 K:BB rate. He finished seventh in the CY Young voting, but you could make the argument that he deserved to be top four, at least. Tapani didn’t fare so well in the 1991 ALCS, getting shellacked by the Toronto Blue Jays. But he redeemed himself in the World Series: he started two games, pitched 12 innings and went 1-1.

That’s a blueprint for building a championship there. The Twins gave up one decent starting pitcher who was near 30 for a bunch of younger cheaper pieces.

So what about Viola? At the time of the deal, Viola was 29 and would be worth 9.6 WAR for the Mets. He was effectively done after 1993, just four years after the deal.

Still, he had a fantastic career. He gave up the 3,000th hit to Rod Carew in 1985. When it was all said and done, Viola started 420 games, the 27th most in baseball history by a southpaw. He won 176 games of those games, the 43rd most by a lefty. Of course he also lost 150 games, tied for the 34th most by a southpaw (with Hal Newhouser and Ken Hotlzman). Viola finished with 1,844 Ks, the 26th most all-time by a lefty. Not bad.

I always love looking at these types of deals – it seems that giving tons of young cheap talent for near-30s “stars” comes back to bite the team giving the young talent more often than not. Still, you have to give the Twins credit for dealing Viola who had just helped them win a World Series two years before.

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h2h Corner ~ Check you out on the Flip Side: Ron Roenicke

I think, initially, this card stuck out for two reasons. One, I love Gary Roenicke (more on him later) and, two, tennis is one of the more exasperating sports (second only to golf in my opinion). What is it with rich people and bizarrely intricate athletics?

When I was a kid, it was important to my parents that I be fluent in the art of the hardcourt. They had grown up without much money, put themselves through school and ascended to the upper middle class. So, on vacations, I’d always have to take tennis lessons. Mostly, during these lessons, I pretended I was Ken Griffey, Jr. or Barry Bonds and tried to hit every return over the fence. Exasperated, the tennis “pro” would send me off to the wilderness to retrieve the balls. Repeat this for one hour and you get the gist of my lessons. (Why I always emulated lefties is beyond me – maybe because I had a horrid backhand).

Anyway, I’d also play my father in tennis at the end of every trip. While he isn’t all that athletic, he was better at tennis than me. I was faster/quicker and in better shape, but I could never get the ball to go where I wanted (maybe it had something to do with those lessons). My dad would play well enough to keep me around in the match. Invariably (because we’re both poor losers and intensely competitive), though, he would put me away and I would get frustrated. I knew it was happening and couldn’t stop it. Well, I knew one way to stop it. I would slam my racket on the ground like a petulant child. Consequently, tennis is not relaxing but anxiety producing – worse than swinging a driver and missing the ball completely.

Roenicke had no problem with hand-eye coordination though, so tennis must have come easily to him. After all, he was a first round pick of the hometown Los Angeles Dodgers in 1977. He never really lived up to that billing though. He wouldn’t make it to the majors for four years (1981), when he was 24-years-old and he didn’t fare well in 22 games that year.

However, he did show some promise the following season, going .259/.359/.336. Sure, you’d want more power from a corner outfielder, but this was 1982 and he did get on base.

The Dodgers would release him in the middle of the following (unproductive) season, however. He bounced around for awhile, catching on here and there and not really getting to prove himself. From 1984-1986, he played for three teams and posted a .252/.389/.379 line in 535 plate appearances. That had to have been the highlight of his career (and he even played in a post-season with the Padres). It’s a shame he never got to show what he could do on the field. He finished with a .238/.353/.338 line.

So, why did the name Roenicke stick out (I pulled this card from a pack before he became the Brewers manager)? Well, his brother, Gary Roenicke, was acquired by the Baltimore Orioles in 1977 (along with Joe Kerrigan and Don Stanhouse) for Rudy May, Randy Miller, and Bryn Smith. He was an Earl Weaver type of player.

From 1979-1985, he appeared in 823 games for the Orioles, posting a .250/.356/.447 line. He hit lefties really well throughout his career (.255/.363/.454) and did a ton of damage for Earl Weaver as a platoon player. Gary finished with a .247/.351/.434 line, appeared in two World Series and won one. His final numbers are eerily similar to his brother.

I like to think that what Gary learned from Earl Weaver maybe had a little to do with how Ron Roenicke manages. But really, I just like to see Weaver and they heyday of the Baltimore Orioles in any successful baseball squad.

h2h Corner on twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/h2h_corner

Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard and Albert Lang Tape From yesterday

Baseball Daily Digest Radio with Joel Henard and Albert Lang taped from yesterday for your mind’s enjoyment. Download it and see if we got the future of the play-offs correct. Also, some prospects for you to check out in the Arizona Fall League and we slammed the Red Sox and other squads for being too reactionary.

Have a listen! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thefantasyinsiders/2011/10/03/baseball-daily-digest-radio-with-joel-henard-and-albert-lang

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Ed Wojna

wojna backwojna front (1)We have another entry for bizarre job a ballplayer did in the 1980s to make extra money.

We also have another entry for bizarre phrasing on the back of a baseball card. Why didn’t they just write: Ed has experience as a draftsman?

Anyway, if you were me reading the card, you’d think a draftsman was pretty cool. Of course, you wouldn’t really know what it was. In my mind, a draftsman is someone who pours a draft of beer, or potentially brews beer – either way, pretty cool jobs. Of course, now that I think about it, this would be another (redundant) name for brew master? Ok, I guess brew master is better. But draftsman isn’t half bad.

So what is a draftsman, if not a purveyor of fine hops and barley? It’s someone who turns a design idea into a physical picture. Typically draftsmen produce guides for builders – specifically pictures that are incredibly detailed and capable of being used as specifications for manufacturers. Apparently you have to know a lot of math to be a draftsman…the occupation gets lamer by the second eh?

As for Wojna’s career? Let’s just say it was good he acquired experience as a draftsman. He was a 5th round selection by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980. He was part of a deal from Philly to San Diego for Sixto Lezcano.

He’d put up iffy minor leagues numbers for the Padres from 1984-1987. He’d pitch best in ’86, going 12-7 with a 3.59 ERA and 1.37 WHIP and earn a promotion during which he pitched 39 innings and posted a 3.23 ERA and 1.49 WHIP with a 1.19 K:BB rate. Unfortunately, he’d only pitch 18.1 innings the following year in the majors and post some horrible ratios: 5.89 ERA and 1.69 WHIP. He was then shipped from the Padres to the White Sox for a player to be named later (Joel McKeon). Then from the White Sox to the Indians.

He’d pitch just 33 innings for the Indians before being released and never toeing the rubber on an MLB diamond again.

Maybe it was a good thing he needed to acquire experience as a draftsman!

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h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Tom Foley

tom foley backtom foley frontAt first glance, there isn’t anything odd about this card, right? Well Foley was a left-handed high school quarterback, yet he played infield – and we aren’t talking about first base. Most infielders throw right handed – almost all, like 99.9%. So, somehow, Foley could throw a football with his left hand and a baseball with his right. I find this incredibly odd.

He wasn’t all that bad either. According to Fangraphs, he was 15 fielding runs above a replacement player for his career. However, most of that comes from a +9 in 1994 when he appeared in just 59 games, so the numbers might not 100% explain his defensive capabilities. Still, it appears Foley was no slouch. Certainly he passed the eye test of major league managers (for what that’s worth), as he played for 13 seasons: 463 games at shortstop, 385 at second and 90 at third.

Foley had a pretty long utility infield career, think of a light hitting Mike Gallego. He’d peak when he got to Montreal when this card was printed. He was traded from the Phillies to the Expos in a deal that brought fellow Flip Sider Dan Schatzeder to Philadelphia. From 1987-1989 (his age 27-29 seasons), Foley would post a .260/.318/.381 line and average 118 games.

As peaks go, it was a pretty lonesome valley, but he did put together 3.5 wins above a replacement player during that time. He’d finish with just 3.7 in his career. Still, he logged 1,108 games largely due to his versatility – a versatility that goes beyond your typical utility infielder as Foley was a left-handed football thrower – a definite rarity.

Oh and he even pitched a game. It was in 1989, he got the last out for Montreal in a May 1 contest against Cincinnati. He pitched 0.1 inninngs, gave up one HR and collected one out as the Expos would lose 16-9. Chris Sabo collected four hits and two Ks in that game and a young Paul O’Neil went 3-5 with one HR and five RBIs.

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For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Jamie Moyer

jaime moyer back jaime moyerThis is Jamie Moyer’s rookie card. This card was printed in 1987. It is 2010 and Moyer is still pitching. My gosh, my golly.

Apparently, way back, 30 years ago, Moyer threw at least 27 consecutive hitless innings. It was just high school, but people luck into hits all the time. Surely this foretold of greatness for the young Moyer. He would be a sixth round draft pick in 1984 and would reach the majors in 1986. However, from 1986 – 1991, Moyer would post a 4.56 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. In 1998 the Cubs would trade him and Rafael Palmeiro to the Texas Rangers for, predominantly, Mitch Williams and Curt Wilkerson.

In 1993, he would resurface with the Baltimore Orioles and pitch pretty well over three seasons. He’d then make stops in Boston, Seattle and Philadelphia. In 2003, at age 40, Moyer would finish fifth in the Cy Young voting. In 2008, he would win the World Series while playing for his beloved Philadelphia Phillies – 28 years after he graduated high school.

Nearly 30 years ago, Moyer had a 27 inning hitless streak. If you told that 18-year-old high school student that he would have a 24 season professional baseball career, he would been dumbfounded. Heck, I know it is currently happening and I’m dumbstruck.

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For the history of this series, check out this article: Howard Johnson.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Steve Bedrosian

bedrosian back bedrosian frontJudging by his awesome facial hair and hobbies, Bedrosian seems to be the consummate flame-throwing good ole boy (never mind that he was born in Massachusetts). To me, four wheeling and breeding dogs screams hunter — of course, I’m not a hunter, so I might be completely wrong. Either way, given these three things: awesome beard, four-wheeler and breeds dogs, you would absolutely agree that he is capable of 120+ IPs in (predominantly) relief in back-to-back years.

Bedrosian did accomplish that feat and so much more. Outside of 1985, Bedrosian was basically a relief pitcher. It’s kind of odd because in ’85, he threw 206.2 innings and posted a 3.83 ERA. Of course he had a 4.14 FIP and recorded just 5.84 K/9 compared to the 8.71 rate he posted in the previous season. Another reason he’d start zero games for the rest of his career after posting 37 starts for the Braves? The organization would trade him and Milt Thompson to the Phillies for Pete Smith and Ozzie Virgil. The Phillies saw his ability to strike guys out in relief and kept him there permanently.

It’d turn out to be a pretty smart move. Bedrosian finished his career with the 34th most relief wins all time with 65 — one more than Al Hrabosky, he of the awesomest facial hair ever. Of course, on the flip side, Bedrosian has the 31st most loses (61) in relief in MLB History — tied with Bob Stanley and one ahead of Mike Stanton.

You add up that career and durability and you get the pitcher with the 46th most innings pitched in relief in MLB history — just 2.1 innings behind José Mesa (seriously – what? I’m as confused as you are).

However, the most surprising/confusing aspect of Bedrosian’s career would be the 1987 season. He did post a 2.83 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 7.5 K/9 and lead the league in saves with 40. Not surprising you’d say? A pretty average/above average year? Well, he won the Cy Young that year, yet had only a 2.0 WAR and only 89 IPs. Sure his win was by no means unanimous as he received just 9 first place votes (out of 24). The problem is no one could see through records and recognize the dominance of Orel Hershiser (16-16, 264 IPs, 3.06 ERA, 190 Ks, 1.21 WHIP).

Relievers are often a different breed – fiery and eclectic as always. Bedrosian, while not really remembered and with his Cy Young completely forgotten, is one of the more underrated useful relievers of all time. Plus, you can’t ignore that beard, ahem Brian Wilson.

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For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

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