Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Spring Training So Far.... 

I’ve always thought that people get too excited over Spring Training. “Hey, Joe Blow is hitting .400!” It’s just Spring Training. Remember that. It’s against veteran pitchers just trying to stretch their arms and get prepped for the regular season, or against guys who will be pitching in the minors in the upcoming season. I’m reminded of the scene in the otherwise forgettable Major League II where Hayes hit a home run in spring training and boasted he was going to be a power hitter in the upcoming season, to which his coach tartly observed the home run was off of a pitcher who’d be bagging groceries in a couple of weeks. Yes, some players are playing well. Calm down, take a deep breath.

It’s just Spring Training! That said …

1. This Shane Victorino is doing a nice job. He’s hitting .439 (18-of-41), with twelve runs scored and five batted in. Victorino has stolen four bases in six tries as well. Power? A conspicuous absence in Victorino’s recent past, but he’s hit one home run and three doubles (.585 Slugging Percentage). Good sign for Victorino, who is likely to step up and be the Phillies right fielder and #2 hitter.

2. Michael Bourn is making a terrific argument for staying with the team when it treks up north in two weeks. He’s hitting .389 (14-for-36), with fourteen runs scored. What has me very impressed are his speed scores: so far he’s five-for-five in terms of stolen bases and two of his fourteen hits are triples. You could hardly argue for a stronger spring on Bourn’s part, particularly considering that Chris Roberson, Bourn’s presumptive competitor, is zero-for-ten (.000 batting average) with a single stolen base and three runs scored.

3. Pat Burrell isn’t doing me any favors with his weak spring. Five-for-twenty-five (.200), with three doubles and a home run, three runs scored and four RBIs. I’d expect him to be doing better than that, although I haven’t an idea what his OBP is and his Isolated Power at the plate is a robust .240.

4. If Pat Burrell is struggling, then Aaron Rowand is tanking this spring. Five-for-thirty-nine (.128!!!!!), with two runs scored and five RBIs. Rowand is displaying no speed on the base paths and no power at the plate (.103 ISO). If this portends for Rowand’s 2007 campaign, then the Phillies have a major, major problem.

5. I have a bad feeling about the status of Chris Coste with the team. Bourn is playing well, as is Karim Garcia, and the apparently the team had a meeting with Coste … I see a cold spring in Ottawa in Coste’s future, which is too bad given how well he played with the team in 2006.

6. Jamie Moyer is pitching well for the Phillies, leading the team this spring in innings pitched with a 2.51 ERA. Adam Eaton is also pitching the ball well. Scouts, I’ve read, think he’s really hurling the ball well.

So it’s just Spring Training. But it gives us something to talk about …


7. Cholly is not going to survive the month of May. This team , just like the start of last season, continues to reflect the low energy, laid back approach that doesn't win championships. If there was any doubt, just rewind last night's loss to the Yankees.

Forget about the bullpen worries, outfield questions, and Pat Burrell. Focus on fixing the lack of managerial leadership.
If you don't know PtB's OBP, I'm guessing you're using ESPN for your spring training stats, which is still stuck in the mid 1990s as far as accessibility and content are concerned.

Try the Phillies stats at MLB.com.
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