Drawing some early conclusions

Posted by Mike Frohwirth

The Phillies are off to an excellent start, having swept their first season series. What have we learned from their (very) early season success? Obviously, the 2011 Phillies won't be playing all of their games at home, or against the AAAA-quality Houston Astros. Three games provide a small sample size (SSS); it is possible that Ben Francisco's current 1.269 OPS (.530 wOBA)-pace will prove to be unsustainable. However, there are a few conclusions that we can comfortably draw, even at this early stage of the season.

  • At Sunday's game, there was a Phillies fan dressed in full catcher's equipment, including shin guards, chest protector, and mask. It's unclear how much of an effect he had, in the Phillies' win. On one hand, the Roy Oswalt-Bud Norris pitching matchup clearly favored the Phils. On the other hand, the Phils took steps to mitigate this advantage, including utilizing Michael Martinez as their leadoff man. We need The Catcher to make more appearances in the stands, so we have a larger sample size from which to draw conclusions. But it does seem likely that he'll see playing time before reliever Antonio Bastardo.
  • Kyle Kendrick, the Phillies' $2.45MM long reliever, is currently using Metallica's "Enter Sandman" as his entrance song. While a song detailing nightmares is somewhat appropriate, considering Kendrick's level of pitching competence, it isn't the best choice, even among Metallica songs. Examining the titles in Metallica's catalog reveals better options. "Sad But True" captures the feeling a Phillies fan experiences, when speaking of Kendrick's inclusion on the MLB roster. "One" is an accurate valuation of Kendrick's worth to the Phillies, in U.S. Dollars. Most Phillies fans would agree that being "Trapped Under Ice" would be preferable to watching Kendrick pitch. The best choice may be "The Day that Never Comes", in that it best describes the frequency with which we would like to see Kendrick exit the bullpen.
  • From the Phillies Phanatic's Opening Day performance, one definitive conclusion can be made. The Galapagos Islands native is, without a doubt, MLB's best mascot.