A Chase Utley Replacement Flowchart

Starring: Chase Utley (not pictured), Michael Martinez, Pete Orr, Darin Ruf, Josh Fields, and Cesar Hernandez.

The Phillies, stunningly, opted to bring up Michael Martinez to replace Utley. The switch-hitting Martinez is carrying a .226/.297/.274 line through 118 plate appearances with Triple-A Lehigh Valley. As the following flow chart will show you, the decision doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

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Chase Utley Shows the Proper Way to Deal with Injuries

In macho sports culture, it is considered an attribute if you’re willing to play through an injury, even one that debilitates you enough to hamper your performance. If a player sits out a game with an illness or light soreness, he is lambasted on sports talk radio for being wimpy and effeminate. Teammates, themselves ascribed to macho sports culture, grow weary of players who take games off with minor ailments and wear their own injuries as badges of honor.

What players, and the culture at large, never seem to learn — after reaggravating an injury, making a current injury worse, or creating a new injury due to overcompensation — is that it never pays to play through pain. Kirk Gibson moments are incredibly rare and never worth the otherwise poor performance caused by the injury.

Chase Utley, though, is smart. You have probably gathered this with the precision with which he steals bases, the way he positions himself at second base to have more opportunities to make plays, and his prowess at the plate. It has been unfortunate that we haven’t been able to see him play as much over the last four years due to his knee problems (patellar tendinitis and chondromalacia). Now 34 years old, the potential Hall of Famer will likely miss some more time, now with a midsection injury. Via Matt Gelb:

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The Wednesday Ten: Doubles Will Find Me

So, the Ten is a day late. And Paul Boye, your usual curator, is out of pocket, so I will be pulling together your Tuesday Wednesday 10 today. Plenty happening with the Phillies and around the league, so let’s get right into it.

10. Delmon Young plays the sport of baseball professionally (for money) in an organization known as Major League Baseball

OK, look. This isn’t that bad. Sure, there are countless other .gifs documenting Delmon’s tragilarious defense in the outfield, but that one hit off the wall! He could’ve played it better, or gotten to it quicker, but it bounced kinda funkily. It’s not like he botched a routine fly there. And, more importantly, it’s not as if the Phillies signed Delmon to be early-2000s Andruw Jones in the outfield; he’s here for his stick. He’s a role player, and it’s unfair to- actually, now that I’m looking at it, he’s hitting .214/.292/.393 in 65 plate appearances. That’s really bad. I mean, it’s only 65 plate appearances, and it’s not like the Phillies bet the house on him, but dang. He’d better pull some kind of streak together quickly.

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Lass Uns Verstecken Spielen: Brief Findings on Julsan Kamara

We live in an age where we can find pretty much anything we want (and lots of things we don’t want) on the internet with relative ease. This was not the case when the Phillies inked 17-year-old German outfielder Julsan Kamara to a seven-year minor league deal on May 13th. Google results yielded very little on Kamara, let alone the sort of in-depth information I look for when I begin to build a foundation of scouting information on an unknown international player.

I have since made a few calls and got in touch with Phillies Director of International Scouting, Sal Agostinelli, who was gracious enough to tell me a little bit about Kamara. Continue reading…

Some Brief Thoughts on Cole Hamels Not Speaking to the Press

Cole Hamels pitched perhaps his best game of the season tonight, but his feckless comrades in arms failed to score more than one run against Alex Sanabia, one of the worst pitchers in baseball. So they lost. And the man who signed the richest contract in franchise history left Jeffrey Loria’s Taxpayer-Funded Stately Pleasure Dome without speaking to reporters.

Considering that I haven’t gotten tomorrow’s copies of the Philadelphia papers, I don’t know for sure that someone’s going to write a pointed opinion piece about Hamels’ failure to answer to the press this evening, but I hope nobody does. Continue reading…

Time to Use Freddy Galvis

In a rare start in yesterday’s series finale against the Cincinnati Reds, Freddy Galvis went 2-for-4 including a walk-off solo home run to right field off of flamethrower Aroldis Chapman. The performance boosted his weighted on-base average to .387, the best mark on the team (min. five plate appearances).

The Phillies have tried to find a way to use him, but haven’t been able to justify giving anyone in the infield more than the odd day off. Galvis has started more games in left field (four) than at any other position except third base (also four).

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Crash Bag, Vol. 54: Clean, Comfortable Undergarments

I’m going to see Star Trek: Prepositions this weekend. I told myself I wasn’t going to do it, but I will, and it’s going to be terrible and I’m going to be immensely grouchy and it’ll ruin my weekend.

I’ve spent way too much of your time already badmouthing J.J. Abrams’ attempt to figure out what it would be like if Michael Bay produced and directed a Star Trek fan script written by Dave Callaham. But let me say this–the “Trek” in Star Trek isn’t a verb. Whenever there’s a titular line, as far as I can remember, it’s used as a noun. For instance: Q in the TNG finale: “It’s time to put an end to your trek through the stars.” And Zefram Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact: “And you people, you’re all … astronauts … on … some kind of star trek.”

NOUNS, ABRAMS. NOUNS, YOU SELF-IMPORTANT, LAZY, SANCTUARY-DESECRATING HALFWIT.

The Star Trek universe can’t be rid of him soon enough.

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So Much for “Clubhouse Atmosphere”

For years, we have heard the importance of a good clubhouse atmosphere, particularly from proponents of old-school baseball (and usually opponents of Sabermetrics). Despite years of mediocre offense made to look gaudy by a .300-plus batting average, Michael Young earned high marks from many across the sport for providing leadership in the clubhouse. Ostensibly, Young’s “intangibles” were part of why the Phillies acquired him from the Texas Rangers.

The reasoning behind the Young acquisition, now, looks very questionable as the Phillies have since brought in Delmon Young and Carlos Zambrano. Young was arrested last year on a hate crime harassment charge, and had previously thrown a bat at a Minor League umpire in a fit of rage. Zambrano is famous for having fought with teammates (namely Michael Barrett), beating up a Gatorade cooler with a bat, and flipping out at umpires regularly.

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