Philadelphia Phillies Storyline: King Of The Mound-tain

Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies enters 2012 at the summit. There are 4 hurlers behind him, forming the 5 in the first tier. Who are the candidates with a shot to join the highest level in the sport? Will 2 drop from the zenith of their craft?

Tal's Handy Caps:

 

FORECAST FOLLOW-UP:

Roy Oswalt has lowered his price tag to $8M, but many teams had dropped out of the bidding beforehand. Off the board are 4 of 8 clubs: The Twins (Jason Marquis), The Nats (Gio Gonzalez), Miami (Carlos Zambrano), and New York (Hiroki Kuroda). The Cards don’t have a spot open, while Texas is only a fallback for Yu Darvish. Boston signed Aaron Cook to a minor-league deal, and they are concerned about their arbitration hearing for Big Papi Ortiz with $14M anticipated. They are working on a contract for Vicente Padilla, who also could relieve. They have a new general manager, a new manager, and are pushing hard to stay under the $178M competitive-balance-tax mark. There is a one-time reset in the new CBA that would revert to a first infraction, when they limbo under the pole now or down the road.

Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos is leaning heavily toward an in-house solution of: Kyle Drabek, Henderson Alvarez, Dustin McGowan–shoulder surgery and 3 lost years–or Drew Hutchison. The Rangers, Jays and Sox are only peripheral possibilities, which means that an agreement with a number-of-starts clause would be worth intense discussion in the front office. Texas is the most interested but that’s only a back-up plan for Darvish. Some of the brain trust want to bring back Little Roy, and the organization has added Joel Pineiro as Triple-A inventory, which is a secondary option for Joe Blanton’s elbow. The offer here should be $4M guaranteed and a prorated $4M for 17 starts to a entire average season.

$178M Threshold:

EXPENDITURE $ AMOUNT
Inked Bats

& Arms

Subtotal

70.65M

64.35M

135.0M

Estimated Wings

& Sticks

New Subtotal

17.5M

9.75M

162.25M

Buyouts (Oswalt & Lidge)

Prorated 26th Man

‘12 Incentives Achieved

3.5M

0.1M

3.0M

TOTAL

AVAILABLE

Minus For July Reserve *

$168.85M

$9.15M

$5.00M

* If Possible

The Apocalyptic Horsemen

 

BASEBALL-FIX MONDAY:

 

 

The Best Of The Aces:

 

The elite class earned that distinction with more than 1 high-caliber summer, which shows Doc (1) and Cliff Lee (2) as fixtures. Cole Hamels (3), Tim Lincecum (4) and Felix Hernandez (5) also occupy the peak for studs. This year Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw and Jered Weaver are the prime number ones with a toe on the rubber. Josh Johnson and Adam Wainwright have top-of-the-heap talent, but may have to link consecutive 162’s for entrance. That said, King Cole joined the group last season with consecutive stellar results, and he seems to be a safe bet for the premier status he currently enjoys. The Freak had a drop off in his fastball, control issues and an excess of undesirable outcomes. He relied heavily on his changeup, spotting his heater sparingly. King Felix’s ERA ballooned by more than a run per game from 2010 (2.27 ERA) to 2011 (3.47 ERA). Both stars could fall back into the pack this season.

INN+ = Minimum frames

CONV = Minimum times innings plus were converted

OFF = Poor Outing 

#

ACE

W – L

ERA

INN+

CONV

CG

SO

OFF

1

Halladay

19-6

2.35

6.1

26 of 32

8

1

02

2

Lee

17-8

2.40

6.1

25 of 32

6

6

04

3

Hamels

14-9

2.75

6.1

23 of 31

3

0

04

4

Lincecum

13-14

2.74

6.1

23 of 33

1

1

10

5

Hernandez

14-14

3.47

6.1

26 of 33

5

0

06

 

Justin Verlander Pictured During ALCS Game 5 In Detroit On October 13

 

 

Did Verlander have a career summer? He had solid number 2 stats in 2006 (17-9, 3.63 ERA) and 2007 (18-6, 3.66 ERA). He finished 2009 (19-9, 3.45 ERA) and 2010 (18-9, 3.37 ERA) with better results, which is a 1 or a 2. Another ‘11 will push him over the edge. Josh Beckett has alternated between stud and dud years since 2005, which could mean a disappointing next horizon. Matt Cain was a strong 2 for 2009-2010, but his recent 3-year record is resembling a 1 with ‘12 as a decider. Jon Lester has been a powerful 2 for the last 4 seasons, and Dan Haren has done that in 4 of his most recent five 162’s.

 

 

#

ACE

W – L

ERA

INN+

CONV

CG

SO

OFF

1

Verlander

24-5

2.40

7.0

26 of 34

4

2

05

2

Beckett

13-7

2.89

6.2

14 of 30

1

1

07

3

Cain

12-11

2.88

6.1

20 of 33

1

0

07

4

Lester

15-9

3.47

7.0

12 of 31

0

0

07

5

Haren

16-10

3.17

6.1

25 of 34

4

3

07

 

Clayton Kershaw Pictured During The 8th Inning In San Diego On September 25

 Kershaw seems poised to become a select member at the top after 2 robust summers, and a continuation of 2011 will assure that. Weaver is in approximately the same place. David Price produced a 19-6 ledger with a 2.72 ERA but did not repeat those statistics in ‘11. Ian Kennedy probably overachieved last year, but will have a better follow-up 162 than Ubaldo Jimenez, who was 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA in ‘10. Jimenez fared even worse in the AL at 4-4 with a 5.10 ERA after last July’s trade.

 

#

ACE

W – L

ERA

INN+

CONV

CG

SO

OFF

1

Kershaw

21-5

2.28

6.1

25 of 33

5

2

07

2

Weaver

18-8

2.41

6.1

25 of 33

4

2

05

3

Kennedy

21-4

2.88

7.0

20 of 33

1

1

06

4

Price

12-13

3.49

6.2

20 of 34

0

0

11

5

Jimenez

10-13

4.68

6.1

13 of 32

2

1

14

 

C.C. Sabathia Pictured During ALDS Game 5 In New York On October 6

 C.C. Sabathia has the credentials but he struggled against his main rival at 1-4 with a 6.39 ERA, having half of his bad appearances by their hand. Tim Hudson was 17-9 with a 2.83 ERA in ‘10, which was like his Oakland days. Chris Carpenter (17-4, 2.24 ERA for ‘09) has declined in 2 straight seasons. Zack Greinke improved in the NL but he is nowhere near his big 2009 (16-8, 2.16 ERA). Oswalt had respectable numbers even with physical difficulties on his slate.

#

ACE

W – L

ERA

INN+

CONV

CG

SO

OFF

1

Sabathia

19-8

3.00

6.1

26 of 33

3

1

06

2

Hudson

16-10

3.22

6.1

18 of 33

1

1

10

3

Carpenter

11-9

3.45

6.1

24 of 34

4

2

08

4

Greinke

16-6

3.83

6.1

13 of 28

0

0

08

5

Oswalt

9-10

3.69

6.1

10 of 23

0

0

07

 

Josh Johnson Pictured On May 5 In St. Louis

 Johnson, if healthy, is certainly a formidable foe, when he is on the hill for an entire 162, like 2009. Jake Peavy has had 3 consecutive summers with restricted health. Wainwright might not leapfrog to the capstone even with another stellar 6 months, but he’ll be back on track for that. Johan Santana missed ‘11, will not be ready in April, and he still may need some time to compete with the best.

 

 * Last played in 2010

#

ACE

W – L

ERA

INN+

CONV

CG

SO

OFF

1

Johnson

3-1

1.64

7.0

07 of 09

0

0

01

2

Peavy

7-7

4.92

6.1

05 of 18

1

1

11

3

*Wainwright

20-11

2.42

6.1

22 of 33

5

2

06

4

*Santana

11-9

2.98

6.1

21 of 29

4

2

06

 

Jered Weaver Pictured In Los Angeles On September 23

Johnson and Peavy might require a full year of ace results to get back in the conversation. Price and Jimenez will have to bounce back with 2010 stats for consideration at the top again. Lester and Haren are just a tad short of the solid 1 status, which means they need to turn it up a notch. Carpenter and Hudson have recently not done their choicest work, and I don’t expect them to return with glory-days production. The final count comes down to Lincecum, Hernandez, Verlander, Cain, Kershaw and Weaver as the best 4-through-9 arms in the majors. C.C. would be 10th to round out the front of the 24. The questions are will they all make it, and in what order will that be?

In 2011, I did the Apocalyptic Horsemen due to 4 number ones, and I’m doing it for 2012 with the top 3 MLB pitchers. Last season Halladay (1) and Lee (4) were at the crest of their position, while Hamels was in a select group with the potential for membership.

 

 

WELCOME, NEWCOMERS:

I am doing a weekly Baseball-Fix Monday until the end of March. Also, I’ll publish after every game that is not washed out during the summer. My format will remain the same in 2012 with Nitecap Insight, The Precap (restructured as the Precap Pitch), and The Apocalyptic Horsemen. Cap-Size Hindsight will feature certain players plus participants who warrant mention, good and bad, for what they have done in the contest or clubhouse. Penthouse Occupancy will cover all remarkable plays along with solid performances during critical moments by the red pinstripes. The best of those will receive The Crystal Champagne Toast. Cholley’s Doghouse is filled every now and then with a slacking effort. The Outhouse is for something that stinks, like a bad ump call. The Glass House is a stone’s throw away for a man who blows his opportunity to nail a juicier role. The Miniature Mansion is for off-field excellence, like a locker-room influence. However, these houses don’t have visitors after every battle: Some do andothers don’t. The Kangaroo Court House will be added to the review for ‘12. Fun House Of Mirrors will also be a new wrinkle this year. Big House Key will lock some in and reveal The Rising Son on others.

Critic’s Choice:

You might have noticed that I had picked up a detractor, who claimed I lacked originality. He hasn’t commented in 2012, yet. He did me a favor because I reviewed the moving parts, discovering my Precap needed improvement. I will be doing the Precap Pitch this season, which is an innovative non-stat-oriented approach.

 

Familiar Reinforcements is ( Philadelphia Phillies Storyline: Amaro’s 3 Ifs ) my previous publication. The Best Of The Aces is the 8th storyline for 2012 that can be found on the Phillies page ( Phillies | isportsweb ) or my author archives ( ).

The Phillies finished 42 games over .500, which equaled a summer of many positives. I have many year-long highlights of puzzle pieces, especially after drubbings and defeats. I alternated the 2011 ERA For The NL East ( Philadelphia Phillies: 2011 ERA For The NL East At Game 162 And Final ) and 2011 ERA For The MLB 5 ( Philadelphia Phillies: Final 2011 ERA For The MLB 5 At Game 162 ) with the last 2 in the links. Thank you, to all who bookmark the Phillies page, because feeds are erratic at times. Many visitors come from these outlets, and it is always obvious when one of those didn’t work. Tal’s Handy Stats is daily coverage.

Note:  A site format change slightly altered the original ERA postings, but I’ll adjust my material accordingly for 2012. Two photos were used for game 162 on both, where 1 to 161(1 picture) experienced only minimal distortion, unlike the finals.

 

Trackbacks

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>