Here’s what the players that saw the most time at first base and second base for each of the teams in the NL East did last season with the bat:


Team

Player

AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS
PHI Utley 530 .332 .410 .566 .976
PHI Howard 529 .268 .392 .584 .976
PHI Total 1059 .300 .401 .575 .976
WAS Belliard 511 .290 .332 .427 .759
WAS Young 460 .320 .378 .491 .869
WAS Total 971 .304 .354 .457 .811
FLA Uggla 632 .245 .326 .479 .805
FLA Jacobs 426 .265 .317 .458 .775
FLA Total 1058 .253 .323 .471 .793
NYM Castillo 199 .296 .371 .372 .742
NYM Delgado 538 .258 .333 .448 .781
NYM Total 737 .269 .343 .427 .770
ATL Johnson 521 .276 .375 .457 .831
ATL Thorman 287 .216 .258 .394 .652
ATL Total 808 .255 .336 .434 .770

The Phils’ dynamic duo of Utley and Howard were the class of the group. Nobody else was real close. When looking at the overall numbers for the pairs you should remember that the numbers for the Mets are skewed towards Delgado because he got so many more at-bats than Castillo. Ditto for Kelly Johnson with the Braves given the number of at-bats for Scott Thorman.

Notably absent is Mark Teixeira, of course, who got less time at first for Atlanta than Thorman in ’07. Here’s what the numbers for Johnson and Teixeira look like (includes Teixeira’s numbers with both teams, not just the Braves):


Team

Player

AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS
ATL Johnson 521 .276 .375 .457 .831
ATL Teixeira 494 .306 .400 .563 .963
ATL Total 1015 .291 .387 .508 .895

And here is what the numbers look like if you use all of the players that got at-bats as first baseman and second baseman rather than just the players that saw the most time at the position:


Team

Player

AB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS
PHI 2B 662 .325 .400 .535 .935
PHI 1B 616 .268 .383 .547 .930
PHI Total 1278 .297 .391 .541 .932
WAS 2B 663 .267 .316 .404 .720
WAS 1B 627 .297 .359 .437 .796
WAS Total 1290 .281 .337 .420 .758
FLA 2B 655 .246 .327 .475 .802
FLA 1B 619 .265 .337 .430 .766
FLA Total 1274 .255 .332 .453 .785
NYM 2B 618 .278 .348 .405 .752
NYM 1B 622 .260 .344 .453 .797
NYM Total 1240 .269 .346 .429 .775
ATL 2B 653 .289 .373 .455 .828
ATL 1B 601 .248 .318 .449 .767
ATL Total 1254 .270 .347 .452 .799

Thanks to Teixeira, Atlanta’s numbers surge up to second best in the division.

For the Phillies it’s interesting to note that the non-Utley guys who played second, led by Iguchi, outpaced the non-Howard guys who played first (hence the second basemen were better offensively overall using OPS as the measure despite the fact that Utley and Howard hit to the same .976).

For the Nationals, the guys other than Young and Belliard who manned first and second, Robert Fick and Felipe Lopez especially, were much worse and brought the numbers for the team down overall.

The Marlins numbers overall were pretty close to what their primary guys did. Ditto for the Mets, who saw Valentin, Easley and Gotay all get a lot of time at second base.

As you look to 2008, Utley and Howard seemingly guarantee the Phils will lead the pack. I’d guess Teixeira and Johnson will have Atlanta second. The other three teams were closely packed last season and it looks like there’s a good chance they will be again this season. The Nationals add Nick Johnson to the mix at first, which could be a significant boost, but the group went Flordia-New York-Washington last year and I think there’s a good chance they go that way again.

The Phils did not play yesterday. Chad Durbin pitched in a minor league game and allowed two runs on six hits and a walk over three innings.

Scott Mathieson was not actually demoted to the Phils minor league camp in the first big wave of moves. The Phils tried to demote him but were prevented from doing so because of his injury status during the 2007 season.