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October 26 2006

All signs seem to indicate that David Dellucci is lost to the Phillies and the outfielder will be playing elsewhere in 2007.  The Phils seem sure to miss his production and one can only guess they would have liked to have him back.  I also think the non-trivial amount of time I invested learning to spell his name could have been better spent.

Dellucci got just 264 at-bats for the Phillies, hitting 292/369/530 with 13 home runs and 39 RBI.  His .899 OPS was third-best on the team, behind only Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.  His .530 slugging percentage was second on the team behind Howard (Utley's slugging percentage was .527).  The Phillies used him almost exclusively against right-handed pitching, 244 of his 264 at-bats came against righties.  Towards the end of the year Manuel came up with a plan whereby he would start Dellucci in right against a righty and pinch-hit Conine for him if a lefty was on the mound even early in the game.  On September 22, for example, Manuel pinch-hit for his starter Dellucci in the fourth inning of a game the Phillies were winning 4-0.  Dellucci, no doubt, found this hysterical and laughed and laughed while finalizing his plan to stay in Philadelphia for as long as possible.

The trade of Abreu opened up an opportunity for Dellucci, but after a huge month he struggled at the end of the year when the Phillies needed him most.  Abreu played his last game with the Phillies on July 28.  Dellucci had an excellent August, hitting 288/393/548 in 73 at-bats, which was the most at-bats he would get in any month of the season.  He tailed off horribly in September as he struggled with a problem with his quadriceps, posting a 234/357/319 line in 47 at-bats while the Phillies were in the thick of a Wild Card hunt.  He had just two extra-base hits in those 47 at-bats.

My point about the Phillies and right field is the same as it has been for a while.  They have a problem.  Last year they didn't, the .816 OPS Phillies' right fielders posted was solid and gave them an advantage over most NL teams.  But of the guys who contributed most to that, Abreu and Dellucci, one is gone and the other is about to be.  Of all the defensive innings in right, Abreu played by far the most, about 58%, while Dellucci played the second-most, about 13%.  Conine played about 12% of the innings in right and Victorino just under 11%.  Roberson, Bourn, Hernandez and Thurston all appeared in right as well and combined to play about 6% of the defensive innings. 

Abreu's OPS for the season was .861, Dellucci's was even better, .899.  Dellucci saw significant time in left as well, more than in right (279 innings in left and 188 in right) and it could be that he just hit much better when he was playing left than right.  He didn't, though -- he posted a .931 OPS as a right fielder an .886 as a left-fielder (his numbers as a pinch-hitter dragged him down, in 60 at-bats he hit 267/313/467).  The guys that dragged the Phillies offensive production at right field down are the ones that will still be here next season.

In the Arizona Fall League, the Saguaros were blanked 5-0 by the Grand Canyon Rafters.  Their record drops to 7-7.  Zack Segovia threw an inning for Peoria and was charged with a run on a hit and a walk.  It was the first run Zegovia has allowed, he's thrown to a 1.04 ERA over 8 2/3 innings in five appearances.  Jason Jaramillo was 0-for-3 with a walk and is hitting .290. 

The Braves may be considering trying to add Japanese left-handed pitcher Kei Igawa to their rotation for next year.  For the non-metric lovers out there, and I assume that means all of us, 87kg is about 191.8 pounds.  185cm is about 72 inches or six feet.  Age 27 means age 27.

The Yankees picked up their $13 million option on Gary Sheffield and the slugger seems surprisingly snippy for a guy who managed 151 at-bats last season and is going to be making $13 million. 

Ryan Howard is the winner of this year's Hank Aaron Award in the National League.

Game 4 of the World Series was rained out last night and will be played tonight.  Jeremy Bonderman will face Jeff Suppan.

Finally, congratulations to Tom at Balls, Sticks and Stuff, who reported yesterday his blog will appear on a list of The Best Ten Local Sports Blogs in an upcoming book written by Glen Macnow and Big Daddy Graham.  Those of us who are daily readers know the honor is well-deserved.

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