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December 8 2006

Ryan Howard kept the ball on the ground more than his fellow sluggers last year, but what about his fellow Phils?

Player SO GO AO SO+GO+AO % SO % GO % AO
Howard 181 124 94 399 45 31 24
Utley 132 133 189 454 29 29 42
Rollins 80 204 213 497 16 41 43
Nunez 58 126 67 251 23 50 27
Helms 55 58 57 170 32 34 34
Burrell 131 75 135 341 38 22 40
Rowand 76 107 111 294 26 36 38
Victorino 54 118 130 302 18 39 43
Coste 31 48 53 132 23 36 40

While it's nice to know it wasn't a mirage that Nunez's offensive game is built on hitting dribblers to third, it is odd that he and Howard are the only guys that made significantly more outs on the ground than in the air.

Most people would probably like to see Rollins hit the ball on the ground more than he does, but I was surprised the ground outs and the air outs turned out to be as close as they are.  Rollins had a tremendous year with the bat in '06 so there's not a lot to complain about.

His fellow speedster Victorino did not have a tremendous year with the bat, however.  You have to wonder if he might wind up with better numbers if he kept the ball on the ground.  I expect we'll continue to see Manuel use Rollins and Victorino as his one and two hitters often in '06 -- they're both guys who are fast, bad at getting on base and who don't strike out much.  In this case, two out of three ain't good.

Burrell looks like a typical slugger.  Not to be lost on anyone should be that Helms strikes out almost as regularly as Burrell.

The Rule 5 Draft was held yesterday.  If the Rule 5 Draft, which boasts alumni like Johan Santana, Shane Victorino and that guy that wasn't  "major league ready" the Phillies put in their pen anyway for most of last year but rarely let pitch until one day they put him in a big situation and he gave up a three-run homer to Matt Diaz in the ninth inning, baffles you, you're not alone.  Baseball America and Wikipedia do their best to lay it all out for you.

In yesterday's draft the Phillies selected catcher Adam Donachie, right-handed pitcher Jim Ed Warren, and catcher Ryan Budde.  The Phillies then sent Donachie and cash to the Orioles in exchange for right-handed pitcher Alfredo Simon, who was also selected in the Rule 5 draft five picks ahead of Donachie.  No team selected anyone from the Phillies organization.

Simon is 25-years-old and has had arm problems.  In the Giants organization last season he threw to a 6.75 ERA at Triple-A.  Throws hard when he throws.

Jim Ed Warren is 27-years-old and pitched in the Indians organization last season.  Of the three he seems like the one with the inkling of hope to play for the Phillies.  The 6'7" Warren threw to a 2.90 ERA in 59 innings last season, allowing opponents to hit just .172 against him.  Throws funky and brings the whole "Jim Ed" thing to the table, which not many can compete with.

Ryan Budde is also 27 and was in the Angels system last year.  He hit 233/324/414 with eight home runs in 215 at-bats at Triple-A in the PCL.

In the minor league phase of the draft the Phillies got 26-year-old Victor Hall from the Yankees organization.  The lefty Hall hit 320/406/453 and stole 35 bases for the Single-A Tampa Yankees in the Florida State League.  Single-A isn't so much a good sign when you're 25.

Talks between Rondell White and the Twins have slowed.

Gil Meche gets five years, $55 million.  Take that, Tim Kurkjian.  (Kurkjian had suggested the Adam Eaton signing was the worst of the off-season).  Five years is a lot of years.  Gillick proves to be the king of not signing anyone to a long contract -- Helms, two years, Moyer, two, Eaton three.  For that we should all be grateful.

Octavio Dotel has apparently signed with the Royals to be their closer.

David Riske is an available free agent you rarely hear mentioned as a possibility for the Phillies.  He is apparently in discussion with the Giants.

Anybody looked at Ryan Church's numbers from last season?  Well now you don't have to.  He hit 277/366/526 with ten home runs in 196 at-bats.  279/380/558 against righties.  He'd be another lefty which may not appeal.  Eric Hinske, another lefty, may also be available.

This article says that Phillies may have given up on trying to get Kevin Mench and maybe all right-handed hitters altogether.

Baltimore may make Aubrey Huff an offer.

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