Mets/Phillies Game Thread 4/13/12

The hated New York Mets will open up a three-game set in Philadelphia tonight. Surprisingly, the Mets sit ahead of the Phillies in the standings, but  it is of course still very early and things will certainly change in the coming months. Cliff Lee (2.68 xFIP in 2011) will make his second start against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (3.95). David Wright, suffering from a broken right pinkie, is not in tonight’s lineup and may end up on the disabled list.

I spoke with Ted Berg (@OGTedBerg) on SNY.tv earlier to preview the series. You can watch it below:

Lineups

Mets

Phillies

We’re Calling Him Phontenot Now

Apparently the Phillies have just signed former Cub/Giant/LSU Tiger infielder Mike Fontenot. Fontenot, 31, was absolutely brilliant in 284 plate appearances in 2008, blasting out a .305/.395/.514 slash line for a Chicago Cubs team that won 97 games, then had an NLDS that made the second half of Sunshine look like an episode of VeggieTales, clearing the way for the Phillies to waltz to the pennant and, eventually, the World Series title.

But apart from that, Fontenot has been around replacement level (or beneath it) for pretty much his entire major-league career. He walks some, and is a competent defender around the infielder. But he hit .227 last year and doesn’t hit for any power, so his offensive contributions are pretty much a wash. I guess he can’t be any worse than Pete Orr, so we’ve got that going for us.

Mike Fontenot is what you’d get if you took one of the blanks from the cloning factory in The Sixth Day and asked for about 5-foot-8 worth of utility infielder. He’s about as nondescript a ballplayer as you can get, or he would be if he hadn’t been both a college and professional teammate of Ryan Theriot, who is not nondescript. Theriot is just terrible. I guess he’s Cajun, so he’s got that going for him–at least he’d taste kinda spicy if you ate him. But anyway, it’s hard to get too upset about the signing in a vacuum. The Phillies are without two starting infielders, and they’re relying on a rookie and a career minor leaguer, so Fontenot provides depth.

However, if this is somehow an indication that Chase Utley is going to be out longer than expected, or if Fontenot takes significant playing time away from Freddy Galvis, then I could imagine this signing causing alarm. Otherwise, he’s just a a guy. So while Fontenot doesn’t really do anything well, he doesn’t do anything badly enough to warrant jumping off a bridge. If he’s a 200-plate-appearance bench guy and a set of late-inning legs, this could be a decent pickup. But if Fontenot (who was cut by the Giants this spring, mind you) is expected to start every day, then, well….we might have issues.

Crashburn Alley Podcast Episode 2

 

Click here to download the MP3. (Right click > Save as…)

Topics:

  • (0:00-0:42) Intro music
  • (0:42-2:07) Flyers freakout
  • (2:07-12:00) Should we worry about the Phillies’ offense?
  • (12:28-22:30) Bunting
  • (22:30-32:50) Bullpen usage
  • (33:18-41:30) Phillies prospects with Bradley Ankrom
  • (41:58-47:00) Factors in Cole Hamels‘ free agency
  • (47:00-51:15) Trivia with Baumann
  • (51:15-1:04:10) Twitter Q&A
  • @Major_Hog: YEEEEEWWWWW Mike Stutes
  • @drk5036: Why don’t you get an RBI web you GIDP and a run scores? Does this prove RBI are stupid?
  • @Not_Andre: Whatever happened to Desi Relaford?
  • @uublog: Will any Phillie hit 25 home runs this season?
  • @Frediot: What’s the funniest player/disease combination you can come up with? Cody Ross+scurvy is pretty hilarious to me
  • Click here to see his flow chart that we mentioned
  • @Mayo_Capone: Who’s most likely to win the first bullpen job opening of the year?
  • @ChasingUtley: How low can we go before they call up Dom Brown?
  • @vansantc: Do you think [Chase Headley] is a logical trade candidate this year?
  • @benyarrington: Do you love me?
  • As always, if you have any feedback on the podcast, we’d love to hear it. Let us know what you like and what you didn’t like. Make sure you’re on Twitter and following us next week if you want to ask a question.

    Thanks, as always, to Dirty Ghosts (@DirtyGhosts) for letting us use their music. Please check out their music, their new tour blog, and follow them on Twitter.

    I’ll be doing a spot with SNY.tv shortly, look for that to be posted later today. Bradley Ankrom will be posting a Minor League update as well.

    Today: Draftstreet.com $200 Free Fantasy Baseball Challenge

    If you missed it Wednesday, you still have time to sign up for Draftstreet.com’s $200 fantasy baseball freeroll, exclusive to Crashburn Alley readers. The top six places will earn cash. All you have to do is set up a fantasy baseball roster for tonight’s games. Setting up your team isn’t as easy as it sounds, as you’ll have to balance your roster within a $100,000 budget. Grabbing Cliff Lee at $18,000 means you may have to sacrifice quality elsewhere on your roster, so choose wisely.

    Have fun with it, and feel free to share your results here in the comments.

    CLICK HERE TO PLAY