Worley Fitting Right In

From Elias Sports Bureau: Vance Worley threw seven scoreless innings in last night’s 1-0 victory over Florida. Worley has a 0.72 ERA in 25 innings in his last four starts, which is the lowest ERA in the National League from June 14 – July 4.

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Elias also reports last night was the Phillies’ 201st game on July 4. They are 101-100.

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Got a tweet from a Phillies fan last night saying the Phillies needed to cut Michael Martinezon the night he got the game-winning hit. My Lord. I understand the frustration, but a little perspective, please. I remember when So Taguchi hit .220 as the team’s fifth outfielder in 2008. I remember when Eric Bruntlett hit .171 and Matt Stairs hit .194 in 2009. I remember when Greg Dobbs hit .196 last season. The 25th man on the roster is not going to cost this team a trip to the playoffs or the World Series. Yes, it’s ideal to have a more productive player in that spot, but there are bigger issues surrounding this team. Is it frustrating? Yes. Is it worth being that angry about? No.

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23 Comments

Ha ha ha – Phillies fans with perspective.

Your blog, your pontification (“…my Lord…”). The fact remains that there are a ton of good utility men that can hit .194 and get the job done without tying up a roster spot for the whole season, and while we’re on the subject of patience one hit does not a major leaguer make.
Your appeal to the deity falls on deaf ears here. As far as Martinez goes my view is take the money and run.

I agree Todd, As far as writers go, your the only one I actually follow. It just kills me that Phillies fan’s think that one guy is going to wreck this team. What really irks me is that the Phillies have the BEST RECORD IN BASEBALL, and fans seem to have no idea. I guess there is just no pleasing some people, even if we had 10 Roy Halladay’s, and our entire defense was made up of players that put up Pujols type numbers, you would still hear complaints.

Sorry Todd, but your minimizing a spot on a 25-man MLB roster is confounding, especially coming from somebody who should know better as a beat reporter who covers MLB every day. The fact that Martinez had a game-winning hit falls under the “blind-squirrel-finding-a-nut” theory. He is not a MLB player, not even on the level of a decent utility player. The fact that he is their first option ot play CF when Vic can’t play is ridiculous, as he has proved he is not a competent OFer.
I am generally very happy with what the Philies have done. They are the best team in MLB. The starting pitching is awesome and the players they have brought up to fill in for injured players have been a revelation (especially Worley, Stutes and Bastardo). But that doesn’t take away from the fact that they are wasting a roster spot on a 27 year old Rule 5 player who CAN’T PLAY!

Aprpeaciiton for this information is over 9000—thank you!

Why is anyone complaining about Martinez? Is he not a young player learning his chops and contributing when he can? How many egregious errors has this kid made? Maybe a small handful? Has he really led to a real downswing with this club? All I see is a young player with potential and plenty of speed, and I like to see him out there figuring things out. Why not enjoy the learning process instead of demanding flawlessness from the outset?

Martinez is not a “young” player, especially for a Rule 5 pick. If he were 22-23 years old with a chance of development, OK, but he is 27 years old and has had many years to prove himself to this point. Victorino was 22, Herndon was 24 when they were picked in the Rule 5 draft. Roberto Clemente was TWENTY. 27 year old minor league players are not the usual model of a successful Rule 5 pick. It is a waste of a roster spot, especially considering the offensive shortcomings the Phillies have had this year. They need a player on the bench who can hit in a pinch and can competently play in the field. He’s not a bad infielder, but neither is Wilson Valdez. Bring up Mayberry, who is an excellent OFer and has had some limited success with the bat.

I think what Todd is saying is, yes you can be concerned about this issue. But why be ANGRY about it. And he also points out that even if that is an issue, it isn’t that big of one since the phillies have done well with even less production in that spot. That’s the issue I have with so many Phillies fans, is the lack of perspective. I have to say, it is so much easier to be a Phillies fan outside of the radius of hysteria that envelops the Delaware Valley sometimes. :)

Why be angry? Deb, let me ask you in all seriousness, how long have you been following the Phillies? Other than this year’s win-loss record, on what do you base your opinion which qualifies you to tell others what to think or to feel?

phan52: just as you mentioned Mayberry….Voila! He’s rejoined the team since Victorino is seeing a hand specialist about his thumb :-( and Worley is back in minors for a brief stint.

If this team is World Series bound (as we believe they are) that is when the 25th man will become important. True, their fate will rest on the regulars, but when you introduce the DH, this team has issues. It also shortens the bench since you are using one of those guys as the 10th man.
Until then, it would be nice to have players that we feel can come in and contribute. Now, with Shane out for who knows how long (you can’t believe anything they say about injuries) guys like Martinez will stop being 25th men and will suddenly become starters.
That’s why we get worked-up.

Todd, I love you man, but your point on Michael Martinez is wrong. In the NL all 25 roster spots matter. I could understand the purpose of Martinez if the Phils didn’t have Wilson Valdez, but they do, so Martinez is pointless.

You mentioned all those other guys as not hurting the team, but Martinez is worse than all of them. OPS is more telling than batting average and Martinez is lower than all of the players you mentioned. OPS 2010 Dobbs- .583, 2009 Stairs- .735, 2009 Bruntlett- .462, 2008 Taguchi- .580, 2011 Martinez- .457.

He’s versatile, that’s it. He is 28 years old with 5 minor league seasons under his belt and a .263 average and .683 OPS.

The Phils pitchers deserve better pinch hit options.

Gotta disagree Todd. If Mayberry had been on the roster all this time, we could have been spared seeing as much of Ben Francisco as we have this year. Maybe Mayberry would put up similar numbers, but he fields and runs a whole lot better (than Raul also). And by the end of the year, we would know if one or both were worth keeping. And what value do we place on Martinez? Rube couldn’t get a bucket of old baseballs for him.

jimmymack, the scary thought is that they are keeping Martinez as a possible replacement for JRoll. I’ve seen enough of the likes of Steve Jeltz and Desi Relaford. That’s the high end of Michael Nartinez.

A scary thought indeed and probably the reason Junior took Martinez. But who would not be disabused of such idea by now? Uhhh…Junior.

Right now I am more concerned with the performance of Raul Ibanez then that off a lesser role player like Martinez.

Ibanez is what he he is- a 39 year old player. Other than the first half of the 2009 season, what has he contributed? It seems to me that having cut his teeth in management at the tail end of the Steroid Era, Junior did not weigh the possibility of such a fast and precipitous decline as shown by Ibanez? But worse yet, I fear that he is about to misapply what has learned from the Ibanez situation to the J-Roll and allow J-Roll to walk because at 33 J-Roll is too old.

I think JRoll might be a different situation. He’s “home grown”, still a great defensive SS, granted his BA is not what we’d like. Plus he’s a leader in the clubhouse.

We would hope that J-Roll is a different story but so far there are no indications that that is the case. It is disturbing that we have not received any indication about what is going on with J-Roll. I would expect that Todd would get the scoop on this story at least and I would not have to hear about it on ESPN or from FauxSports’ Buster Olney.

You’ll most certainly hear about it on ESPN or some other national outlet. Our local reporters don’t break many stories. The agents and players go to the national guys first because they can get the most coverage that way. The latest example being the story on the pending sale of the Sixers.

My issue with Martinez is simple. I agree that, being the 25th man, he’s not expected to be a superstar. What bothers me is that there is absolutely no faith in him to hit right now. He’s never called upon to pinch hit unless the pitcher is pulled before the 5th inning or the game is a total blowout. And with Wilson Valdez also on the roster, it’s not like Charlie is holding MM on the bench in case of an injury. I’d call on Lee, Hamels, or Worley to pinch hit before I call on MM. So what happens when the team gets into one of those long games that uses up an entire bench? MM is the only one left and when the pitcher spot inevitably comes up with the game on the line, you’re screwed. He’s bound to have a good moment every now and then (like last night), but he’s too old to be a project and there are more deserving guys (Pete Orr & John Mayberry most notably) that should be on the team. I wouldn’t say I’m angry over it, since his impact is expected to be minimal, but he’s taking a roster spot another guy did more for and lost.

Great Blog, Todd. I really enjoyed reading everyone’s comments on the 25th man’s importance to the team. Maybe during the AllStar Break you can write an article about every team’s 25th player and his stats.

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