Archive for March, 2009

And the hits just keep on coming, sometimes a little too close together

Yesterday I wrote about how often Kendrick, Eaton and Hamels allowed hits and extra-base hits last season. Here’s what those numbers look like for all the pitchers that faced at least 40 hitters for the Phils in ’08 (they’re ordered by the number of batters they faced):

  PA H XBH PA per hit PA per XBH
Hamels 914 193 75 4.74 12.19
Moyer 841 199 64 4.23 13.14
Myers 817 197 82 4.15 9.96
Kendrick 722 194 66 3.72 10.94
Eaton 478 131 43 3.65 11.12
Durbin 365 81 17 4.51 21.47
Madson 340 79 23 4.30 14.78
Blanton 305 66 24 4.62 12.71
Condrey 303 85 26 3.56 11.65
Lidge 292 50 13 5.84 22.46
Romero 255 41 14 6.22 18.21
Seanez 189 38 11 4.97 17.18
Gordon 139 31 14 4.48 9.93
Happ 138 28 7 4.93 19.71
Eyre 53 8 6 6.63 8.83
Walrond 49 13 4 3.77 12.25

The single biggest surprise in those numbers for me were the extra-base hits allowed by Durbin. Durbin faced 365 batters in 2008 and allowed just 17 extra-base hits, which is one every 21.47 plate appearances. That was the second-best rate on the team after Lidge.

Seanez was very effective at preventing hits. He allowed a hit every 4.97 plate appearances, which was fourth-best on the players listed above after Lidge, Romero and Eyre (who only faced 53 hitters). His rate of giving up extra-base hits was also very good, behind only the rates for Lidge, Romero, Durbin and Happ. His walk rate was very bad, however. If there was a column for plate appearances per walk, Seanez’s rate would be near the very bottom of the list for these pitchers, along with Romero and Gordon.

Condrey gave up a ton of hits, one every 3.56 batters, which was the worst rate of the group. The rate at which he gave up extra-base hits was better than having-an-off-seasoners Kendrick and Eaton, but not by a whole lot. Condrey threw to a 3.26 ERA in 2008. Eaton 5.80, Kendrick 5.49.

Scott Eyre faced just 53 hitters as a Phil, but oddly prevented hits at the best rate of the 16 pitchers and, in what’s just about surely a tiny sample size coincidence, allowed extra-base hits at the worst rate. Opponents went just 8-for-49 against Eyre, but six of the eight hits went for extra-bases (five doubles and a homer).

Finally, Brett Myers gave up a lot of extra-base hits last year. Notably he allowed 49 doubles — only three NL pitchers allowed more. Overall, he allowed 82 extra-base hits to 817 batters. Durbin, Lidge, Romero, Seanez, Gordon, Happ and Eyre also combined to allow 82 extra-base hits, but they allowed theirs in 1,431 plate appearances.

The Phillies made lefty Will Ohman an offer last week. This suggests the Phils are not likely to get Ohman.

The Phils play Team Canada today, with Cole Hamels scheduled to pitch. The linked article also explains that Coste has been limited to one at-bat so far due to a hamstring problem.


Slugging mugging

Adam Eaton and Kyle Kendrick both struggled badly last season. One way to tell was by watching them pitch. There are others, though, and among them is that opponents slugged .484 against Kendrick and .487 against Eaton. By comparison, opponents slugged .384 against Cole Hamels, the Phils’ best starting pitcher in 2008.

Today’s point is that the huge difference between the slugging percentages that hitters put up against the three pitchers reflects that Eaton and Kendrick allowed a lot more hits — not that each hit they allowed was more likely to go for more bases. When you compare the hits allowed by Kendrick and Eaton to the hits allowed by Hamels, ignoring how many there were, the hits allowed by Kendrick and Eaton were not worse than the hits allowed by Hamels.

In fact, the opposite is true. In 2008, a hit allowed by Eaton or Kendrick was a little less likely to go for extra-bases than a hit allowed by Hamels:

Player H 1B % 1B XBH % XBH
Hamels 193 118 61.1 75 38.9
Kendrick 194 128 66.0 66 34.0
Eaton 131 88 67.2 43 32.8

And the extra-base hits given up by Eaton and Kendrick weren’t any worse, either. Again, by the average number of bases allowed from the extra-base hits, the extra-base hits given up by Hamels did a little more damage:

  2B 3B HR XBH TB from
XBH
TB per XBH
Hamels 44 3 28 75 209 2.79
Kendrick 40 3 23 66 181 2.74
Eaton 26 2 15 43 118 2.74

The problem, of course, is not that Hamels, Eaton and Kendrick were all allowing hits at the same rate but Eaton and Kendrick gave up more damaging hits. It’s that Eaton and Kendrick gave up lots more hits.

  PA H PA per H XBH PA per XBH
Hamels 914 193 4.74 75 12.19
Kendrick 722 194 3.72 66 10.94
Eaton 478 131 3.65 43 11.12

Again, Eaton and Kendrick allowed both hits and extra-base hits more frequently and that’s why the slugging percentages they allowed were so much worse. Not cause every hit they gave up was a rocket that went off the wall.

Yesterday the Phils beat the Blue Jays 12-7 to improve to 3-3 in spring training.

JA Happ got the start for the Phillies and went three innings, allowing two runs that came on a two-run homer by Adam Lind in the first inning. Fellow fifth-starter candidate Carlos Carrasco allowed five runs in the fifth inning, surrendering a three-run homer to Kevin Millar and a solo shot to Brad Emaus. Two of the runs allowed by Carrasco were unearned due to a Bruntlett error. Gary Majewski also tossed two scoreless innings — he’s allowed two hits and a walk in four scoreless innings so far.

Jeremy Slayden and Ryan Howard hit home runs for the Phils. Paulino went 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. Donald started at short and went 1-for-4 with a walk, raising his spring average to .133 (2-for-15). Mayberry was 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and two RBI. Mayberry leads the Phils with 17 at-bats and has hit 353/450/647 in the early going. Pablo Ozuna went 1-for-3 with two walks. He’s 5-for-8 with two walks.

Werth played in the B-game and went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. Moyer and Blanton both pitched and combined to throw seven scoreless innings.

The article linked above says the Phillies signed five players from a tryout last week. They are right-handed pitchers Dustin Cameron and Jonathan Velasquez, lefty Sean Thompson, catcher Brendan Akashian and infielder Corby Mintken. Read about Akashian here. Cameron here.

Brad Lidge has had tightness in his right forearm, but had a good bullpen session and thinks he should be able to pitch in about ten spring training games before the start of the season.

Romero seems to think there’s a lot of blame to go around for his 50-game suspension.

Curtis Granderson appears likely to start in center field for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic (not Shane Victorino, who may see time in right).

No game today. The Phils play Team Canada tomorrow.


No idea what his secret is, but whatever it is let’s hope he gets some of it on Kendrick

Last week I mentioned that Brett Myers has been very effective against lefties over his career. He has, and with a consistency that makes it a little tough to believe it’s a fluke. Myers has played seven seasons and thrown at least 68 innings in each of them. By the OPS that opposing hitters have posted against him, Myers has been better against lefties than righties in five of the seven seasons:

myersleftright425.jpg

In 2007 he pitched primarily out of the pen as the Phillies’ closer. In ’04 he floundered, throwing to a 5.52 ERA with a 1.47 ERA in 176 innings. As mostly a reliever in 2007, lefties did almost nothing against him, hitting 183/269/304 in 130 plate appearances.

Myers has faced 4,781 batters in his career. 2,501 (52.3%) of them were right-handed and 2,280 of them left-handed. Overall, the righties have hit 270/324/461 against him and the lefties 250/331/416 against him. He has walked left-handed batters at a higher rate than right-handed batters, but allowed hits and extra-base hits at a lower rate and struck them out more often:

  PA H % H BB % BB K % K XBH % XBH
vs R 2,501 618 24.7 154 6.2 485 19.4 234 9.4
vs L 2,280 501 22.0 236 10.4 451 19.8 189 8.3
Total 4,781 1119 23.4 390 8.2 936 19.6 423 8.8

Also, when he allows a hit, a hit to a left-handed hitter hasn’t been more likely to go for extra-bases than a hit given up to a right-handed hitter. By a small margin, just the opposite is true. Of the 618 hits he’s allowed to righties, 234 have gone for extra-bases (about 37.9%). He’s given up 501 hits to lefties and 189 of them have gone for extra-bases (37.7%).

Shane Victorino will play in the World Baseball Classic, taking the spot vacated by injured Grady Sizemore.

Adam Eaton signed a minor league deal with Baltimore.

The Phillies have played three games since the last post, going 2-1 to put their spring training record at 2-3.

Today the Phils beat the Braves 7-3. Coming off of a nice outing by Kendrick on Saturday, Chan Ho Park pitched well hisownself. Park allowed a run on four hits over three innings. The run came on a solo home run by Brian McCann. Brett Myers got the start and pitched well, too, giving up a run on three hits over three.

Giles was 2-for-3 and stole two bases. Donald went 0-for-1 with two walks — he’s 1-for-11 so far this spring training. Ruiz was 1-for-3 with two RBI. Mayberry had another hit, he was 1-for-3, and stole a base.

Yesterday the Phils beat the Rays 12-5. Jayson Werth was scheduled to see his first action of spring training, but was scratched from the lineup with an issue with his right shoulder.

Kendrick saw his first action as he makes his bid for the fifth starter job and allowed a run on four hits over 2 2/3 innings. Mike Koplove gave the Phils another scoreless inning in relief as he tries to find a way onto the team.

The Phils scored five runs in the first inning, getting home runs from Howard, Mayberry and Cairo. Mayberry went 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI in the game. Ronny Paulino hit a solo shot in the sixth.

On Friday, the Reds beat the Phils 10-3.

Andrew Carpenter had a rough day. He got the start and was charged with four runs without getting an out. Sergio Escalona fared only a little better. Escalona went an inning and a third and gave up four runs on four hits and a walk. JC-coming-to-a-game-that-counts-around-the-start-of-June-Romero allowed an unearned run over two innings while walking three and Madson tossed a scoreless frame. Dave Borkowski struck out two in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Pablo Ozuna went 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Victorino had a pair of doubles in three at-bats. Ibanez went 1-for-2 with a double and a walk and Dobbs was also 1-for-2 with a walk.

The Phillies play the Blue Jays on Monday with Carrasco and Happ both scheduled to pitch. All four of the candidates for the Phils’ fifth starter job have now pitched once and pitched well.


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