Series Six Pack with Justin Klugh (That Ball's Outta Here)

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We’ve done it before, and it certainly won’t be the last time either. Justin (of That Ball’s Outta Here) and I sat-down (via email) and exchanged a series six pack about the upcoming Mets/Phillies series. Don’t miss Justin’s opinions about Kyle Kendrick, Ryan Madson, Roy Oswalt, Vance Worley, and more!

1. Kyle Kendrick has pitched pretty well as a starter this season, posting a 3.44 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, and 2.19 K/BB in 12 starts. Do you see him cracking the rotation in 2012?

You know, when Kyle does marginally well, he becomes less easy to pick on, and therefore my job gets a lot harder. He just looks so… clownish out there sometimes. Nobody can trip, overthrow first, give up six runs, then hit a guy in the ribs and trip again like Kyle. But now he’s coming through, and if there’s a spot open on the rotation, I’m sure he will, as always, be first in line for it. It will be his to lose. And that’s a combination of Charlie Manuel’s attachment to players he’s known for a while and Kyle’s ability to appear somewhat capable for some reason right now.

2. Ryan Madson will be a free agent after this season. Will the Phillies cough-up the big payday for the Boras client, or will they hands over the reigns to Bastardo?

Depends on if they get caught in a Hamels-or-Madson gambit. Obviously you go with the starter, and the fact that Bastardo is there to take over is a bonus. Seriously, you know Boras is gonna slam his fist on the table and get all “I’M WEARING A FANCY SUIT GIVE US ALL THE MONEY” on the Phillies, and Ruben Amaro will just be checking his Blackberry and be all “I took this meeting solely out of respect for Ryan. Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go trade the Williamsport Crosscutters for Felix Hernandez.”

3. Hunter Pence has been on fire since the Phillies acquired him (.307/.386/.520 line). Would you like the Phils to lock him up long-term?

Part of the appeal of his deal is that we have him guaranteed through 2013. Or 2012. I often forget these things, but we have him for longer than a rental. It makes it slightly easier to forget who we gave up in Jonathan Singleton and Jarred Cossart knowing that our outfield (Brown-Victorino-Pence) is already set for next year. As far as long term goes; he has already proven to be a worthy component of our war machine. The lineup always seems to do better when a new addition is dropped in (e.g., Chase Utley‘s return), so let’s see if this doesn’t wear off before we do anything rash.

4. Should the Phillies pick-up Roy Oswalt‘s $16 million 2012 club option?

God, you know, I am just way too emotional of a baseball-watcher to give you accurate input on these matters. I was convinced Roy was done with baseball after he went on the DL, then he came back, and then this weekend he just fucking floored everybody with a performance that served as a resounding statement of how he’s feeling. He’s going to have to assure people he’s not seconds away from a career-ending injury, and for a guy who has publicly stated that he can walk away from the game at anytime and feel no regret, that might take some doing.

5. On the surface, Vance Worley has been terrific for the Phillies (8 Wins, 2.76 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 2.38 K/BB), but his .256 BABIP, low 39.6 GB%, high 86.8% contact rate, and 3.79 xFIP point to future regression. Am I right to judge him so hard?

Everybody’s waiting for it. Names like Kyle Kendrick and J.A. Happ are thrown out there in this comparison–guys who convinced us they were young, untouchable phenoms, and then fell backward into a vat of crap. Kendrick managed to stick around (in the bullpen) and Happ we cashed in on for the aforementioned Oswalt. Now there’s this Worley kid, and everybody’s thinking the same thing.

But there’s a problem. Where Kendrick and Happ were sort of blank slates, Worley’s got a persona. Everyone says he’s got Cliff Lee‘s fearlessness and maturity. He’s got “VANIMAL” written on his glove. He’s got a mohawk. He’s got glasses. He’s a lot easier to fall in love with, and many have. His regression seems like a constant threat, but if he gets through the rest of this season without fucking himself, people will be clamoring for his return. Problem is, if were going to trade him, we may have already missed the apex of his trade value.

6. Who will play left field next season? A free agent (who)? John Mayberry? Ben Francisco?

Dom Brown, I would assume. Though I’ve heard he hasn’t gotten through his shit yet in Triple-A. You’re right in throwing Mayberry in there. If he keeps playing like this, he’s going to wonder why he isn’t starting and then possibly wonder why he isn’t on another team in order to do so.

You can read my half of the bargain here.

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