Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 12/21/11

Jimmy Rollins has a familiar voice in his ear and the Philadelphia Phillies will reap the reward. Do you think this will spark another career year from J-Roll? This could also benefit the new guy in the local duds.

Tal's Handy Caps:


Mr. Anonymous, Thank You:

You might have noticed that I have picked up a critic, who claims I lack originality. He did me a favor because I reviewed the moving parts, discovering my Precap needed improvement. I will be doing the Precap Pitch this season, which is an innovative approach.



I am doing a weekly Baseball-Fix Monday that I’ll start on January 9. Also, I’ll publish after every game that is not washed out during the summer. My format will remain the same in 2012 with Nitecap Insight, The Precap and The Apocalyptic Horsemen. The opening will feature certain players plus participants who warrant mention, good and bad, for what they have done in the contest or clubhouse. Penthouse Occupancy will cover all remarkable plays along with solid performances during critical moments by the red pinstripes. The best of those will receive The Crystal Champagne Toast. Cholley’s Doghouse is filled every now and then with a slacking effort. The Outhouse is for something that stinks, like a bad ump call. The Glass House is a stone’s throw away for a man who blows his opportunity to nail a juicier role. The Miniature Mansion is for off-field excellence, like a locker-room influence. However, these houses don’t have visitors after every battle: Some do and others don’t. The Kangaroo Court House will be added to the review for 2012. Fun House Of Mirrors will also be a new wrinkle this year.

J-Roll Homers In Atlanta On September 26






The Wick, The Stick, The Trick:

  One is the train and the other is on a roll. Together they’ll click. Dontrelle Willis is the veteran left wing for the 6th-and-7th innings against same-side bats. The narrative here is that the D-Train and J-Roll will push each other, which means any less-than-stellar results will be fodder for good-natured incentive-driven banter. I will be revisiting the stats of both players during the season. This could turn out to be a stroke of genius for Rube Amaro on 2 fronts, and a career revival by Dontrelle. He will provide competition for Antonio Bastardo, which might get his attention. Willis, also, could be the 7th starter in case of injury or emergency requirements.

D-Train Pictured On September 25 In Pittsburgh

Willis is a unique puzzle piece because he knows how to motive Rollins, which means that the winning-in-Philly seed will reach new heights. It was the defensive specialist who initiated the current attitude of victory in the franchise. 2012 will be second only to his MVP masterpiece, which indicates numbers between ’07 and last summer. For 2007, his line was .296, 30 HR and 94 RBI with 41 SB in 47 attempts. Last year his log read: .268, 16 HR and 63 RBI with 30 SB in 38 chances. The midpoint is: .282, 23 HR and 78 RBI with 35 SB in 42 tries. I feel that he can come close to the middle range.

The Fish are doing the new-digs splash, the Mets are entering a total rebuilding mode, but the Nats and Braves are looking ahead to 2013-14. They are planning for the hometown 9 to decline with aging. The star cogs have a limited shelf life, which will spur them to reach the Promised Land. The D-Train will be more valuable in this quest than most can divine, and he will be a pivotal ingredient for this squad. He will also have some memorable plate appearances in key situations, and his job out of the ‘pen will expand, while he thrives accordingly.

Os Pictured In Houston On September 12 (Rube Has The $$ To Re-Sign Him.)

The door on Roy Oswalt is ajar with 6 organizations interested in a contract for this summer plus incentives and an employer option. The Yankees, the Red Sox, the Royals and the Nationals are 4 of them. The Cubs and Cards may be the other 2 inquiring parties. Washington and Kansas City are not major contenders, and Boston will not pay more than Amaro. They are up against the soft financial ceiling of $178M. I’m not sure Roy would be happy in the Big Apple or that it would be a comfortable place to boost his value. Also, I don’t see the Yanks overpaying with a 50% tax penalty added to their bulging bottom line. That said, this is an issue for January.

The club now has 11 hurlers, 8 regulars and 5 bench jockeys. There are 2 spots open: 1 thrower and 1 six-week position player until Ryan Howard returns. Oswalt, Brad Lidge, Scott Podsednik or a right-swinging outfielder are in the mix. The $178M Luxury Tax threshold is dropped by $3M (2012 incentive clauses) and $3.5M (buyouts) for $171.5M. 25 slots equal $161.35M, including a 26th man’s prorated $.1M for 6 weeks without Ryno. That produces a balance of $10.15M but $5M could be squirreled away for July 31. The checkbook separates the probable from the possibilities.


















Chooch Ruiz


Doc Halladay



Ryno Howard


Cliff Lee



Chase Utley


Joe Blanton



Jimmy Rollins


Jonathan Papelbon



Polly Polanco


Jose Contreras



Shane Victorino


Dontrelle Willis



Jim Thome




Ty Wigginton




Laynce Nix




Brian Schneider




* The Fix was delayed 2 days by the wait for Jimmy’s 2012 pay, but this may drag on. I will update accordingly. $10M is my guesstimate and not the $11M average.

















Cole Hamels


Hunter Pence



Kyle Kendrick


John Mayberry Jr.



Vance Worley


Wilson Valdez



Antonio Bastardo




Michael Stutes




Happy Crimbel and a Merry New Year to all.

The Path to 25, Conclusion is ( Philadelphia Phillies Storyline: The Talent Trail With The $10M Question ) in my previous publication. The Wick, The Stick, The Trick is the third storyline from 2012 that can be found in my author archives ( Tal Venada ).

The Phillies finished 42 games over .500, which equaled a year of many positives. I have many summer-long highlights of puzzle pieces, especially after drubbings and defeats. I alternated the 2011 ERA For The NL East ( Philadelphia Phillies: 2011 ERA For The NL East At Game 162 And Final ) and 2011 ERA For The MLB 5 ( Philadelphia Phillies: Final 2011 ERA For The MLB 5 At Game 162 ) with the last 2 in the links. Check out The Phillies page by placing the pointer over MLB at the top, and click on the name. Thank you, to all who bookmark my page, because feeds are erratic at times. Many visitors come from these outlets, and it is always obvious when one of those didn’t work. Tal’s Handy Stats is daily coverage.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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