Howard and sixth spot in the lineup plan reunion for 2014
January 5 2007
Here's a look at how Phillies' batters compared to hitters from the other National League teams by position in the batting order:
|#||AVG||OBP||SLG||OPS||OPS Rank NL||Most at-bats|
|2||332||396||524||920||1||Utley 300, Victorino 246|
|3||284||395||467||862||8||Abreu 305, Utley 289|
|4||287||418||561||979||1||Howard 273, Burrell 248|
|5||266||356||544||900||4||Howard 234, Burrell 148, Conine 73, Dellucci 48, Rowand 47, Utley 46|
|6||264||334||414||748||11||Rowand 256, Dellucci 73, Howard 63, Victorino 54|
|7||284||345||461||806||6||Bell 413 (including Milwaukee), Coste 98, Lieberthal 93|
|8||244||315||344||659||12||Nunez 215, Fasano 114, Lieberthal 113|
The biggest surprise for me was in the three-hole. Abreu and Utley combined to get 594 of the 630 at-bats there for the Phillies in '06, yet the team was still in the middle of the pack compared to the other teams in the NL. Utley was far better hitting second than he was third last season. In the two-spot he hit 340/403/573 in 300 at-bats. As a three-hitter he posted a 291/370/488 line in 289 at-bats.
While we're on the second spot in the order, on Wednesday I suggested that Rollins and Victorino were partly to blame for all of Utley's solo home runs. Maybe, but Victorino was good while batting second. He hit 305/369/416 there.
The other thing I wasn't
prepared for was how little the Phillies got from the sixth spot in their
order. Most probably expected the Phillies to be miserable in the eight and
nine spots, but I hadn't realized that Rowand had struggled there as much as
he did. In his 256 at-bats as a #6 hitter Rowand posted a 230/292/363 line,
significantly worse than his 262/321/425 mark for the season overall. His
655 OPS at that spot was abysmal -- of the 20 NL players who got 115 or more
at-bats as a #6 hitter, only one (Juan Encarnacion) posted a lower OPS.
Rowand shined in other spots in the order in limited time, hitting
323/364/532 in 62 at-bats hitting second and 298/389/532 in 47 at-bats
In the eighth spot, even Rod Barajas' career 692 OPS (240/282/410) would be an improvement for the Phillies. Last year it would have been good enough for 9th in the NL.
And the Phillies' pitchers can't hit at all. Or at least they didn't last year. Among the additions, Eaton, a .191 career hitter, can actually swing the stick a little. Garcia is a .195 career hitter in 41 at-bats. Jamie Moyer is at 149/212/159 for his career, with two extra-base hits in 195 at-bats. By comparison, Myers is a career .129 hitter, Lieber .142, Lidle .129, Madson .143.
Mike Lieberthal is pleased as punch to be back in Cali.
An article here on some of the big names that will be free agents after 2007.
The Nationals may be interested in Ryan Franklin for their rotation.
Armando Benitez may be looking for a way out of San Francisco.