Saturday, March 11, 2006

Phillies @ Astros 3/11/06

Real quick thoughts after watching the Phils beat the Astros 4-3 today in Kissimmee:
  • Very nice to see starters going 3+ innings, isn't it? It is a sure sign that spring training is moving along nicely and the regular season is right around the corner. Brandon Backe went 4 innings for the Astros today and Ryan Franklin went 3 2/3rds.
  • Franklin was okay - the results were good enough, but his iffy control will be something to monitor closely as the season progresses. We know he'll give up a ton of hits, so he really can't afford to walk anybody on top of that. He was pitching inside effectively this afternoon and piled up the strikeouts...I wouldn't expect that trend to continue, but you never know.
  • Alex Gonzalez looks a lot like Pat Burrell to me - nobody I know has been able to confirm this for me, but I stand by it.
  • I don't know how I didn't start with this, but Ryan Howard is really something. His two homeruns today (though the wind was pushing everything out) were the only hits the Phillies had until a Shawn Garrett single in the 8th. It's only spring training and all small sample caveats apply, but his awesome start is definitely encouraging to me - exhibition ball and small samples be damned.
  • Great catch in leftfield by Garrett (reputation as a good hitter, bad fielder type) to save Gavin Floyd a whole lot of trouble...
  • I'm always surprised when I see Danny Sandoval these days - I assume he is much smaller than he really is whenever I think of him, but he really seems like a pretty well built guy to me. He is listed as 5-11, 190 and he looks bigger than that to me. Maybe I'm crazy. In any event, he sure looks like he could pass for Placido Polanco's long lost brother, no?
  • Mike Lieberthal gets a thumbs down from me today - the guy swung at the first pitch twice this afternoon. If you've seen two pitches in two at bats AND the result is double play and a fly out, you've had a rough start to the day.
  • This was the first local broadcast I've seen this year, so it was the first time hearing Harry Kalas, Chris Wheeler, and Larry Andersen all chitchat together. It's always fun when LA is announcing in a game when Jeff Bagwell is involved. By the way, HK called Wheeler "Wheels" and not "Chris" for anybody wondering...
  • Andersen also mentioned Baseball America when talking about some Astros minor leaguers - always appreciated. It would be nice for them to mention Baseball Prospectus, but I'll take what I can get.
  • When I mentioned backup infielders I would rather see on the team than Tomas Perez earlier today, I brought up Sandoval, Matt Kata, and Chris Coste. I think I'd also throw Joe Thurston into that group - not for anything he did, but more so because of what I think of Perez (nothing personal Tomas, I swear - you seem like a great guy, but you really aren't a big leaguer)
  • They did in the dugout interviews with Franklin, Howard, and Geoff Geary - all awkward interviews that didn't really add anything to the broadcast. Still a good idea for spring training games though, since I think the idea itself is good (the execution needs work)...
  • There was an Eric Munson sighting today (not to mention a Kevin Orie sighting, I'm shocked he is still hanging around - good for him). I wrote about Munson way, way back when:
Munson is a left-handed hitter, right-handed thrower and former third baseman of the Detroit Tigers. He was originally drafted as a catcher, but was moved off the position for defensive purposes (he wasn't very good) and because many a young prospect struggles with the responsibilities that come from the demands of catching to the point their hitting suffers. The Tigers considered his bat too valuable to subjugate to any kind of potential harm, so they moved him to 3rd. He never really hit enough to stick and after 5 years, he was gone. He went to ST with the Twins this year, didn't make the team, signed with Tampa, didn't make the big club, and only had 18 at bats in the majors this year.

His turned 28 last week (Oct. 3rd) so 2006 will be his age 28 season (No, I don't think you are too dumb to figure that out on your own, I'm just reiterating. Don't take it so personal). Stats were big in my argument for LeCroy. It didn't hurt that they were in favor of my argument. Stats will not be big in my argument for Munson. Take a wild guess whether or not they support my pro-Munson stance. Since 2005 was a wash, here is his line from 2002-2004: .224/.302/.437 in 652 at bats. That's not pretty. But then again, neither is Julia Roberts and she's a big star. Therefore, I can root for Munson being on this team stats be damned.

The reason I choose to ignore logic in Munson's case is the old risk/reward idea. Munson should be a non-roster invitee to camp. Why the heck wouldn't you take a chance on every possible lefty third baseman available? Unless we are happy about David Bell hitting .199 against righties (I've talked it over and we are definitely not happy about that)? Take a chance on Munson - a guy who can play 1B (did I forget to mention that?) and 3B, pinch hit, and, maybe, just maybe, you can reach him and tap some of that potential all the scouts raved about not so long ago.

He hit a homerun off of Gavin Floyd today. Just saying...
  • The only thing worse than all of those Subway commercials during the Yankees games on YES has got to be all of the W.B. Mason commercials on any Phils broadcast (today was UPN's turn). W.B. Mason had some clever spots last year, but need to pick it up in '06 if they want my business...I could use some printer paper too, so they better hurry if they want my ten bucks.


Blogger Adam said...

I too was suprised to see Kevin Orie still trying to catch on with someone.

10:26 AM  

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