Archive for July 29th, 2009

NiceLee done?

This says that the Phillies have “reached agreement with the Indians on a trade that would bring them left-hander Cliff Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco for Class A right-hander Jason Knapp, Class AAA right-hander Carlos Carrasco, shortstop Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson” and that “the deal is pending a review of medical records.”

That would be very good news for the Phillies.

Ben Francisco is a right-handed outfielder who can play all three outfield positions. He turns 28 in October and has a career 261/332/437 line. He’s played regularly for the Indians this year and has posted a 250/336/422 line in 308 at-bats with ten home runs and 13 stolen bases.

He’s hitting 269/383/463 against left-handed pitching this year.

Lefty Cliff Lee turns 31 next month. He won the AL Cy Young in 2008 and is 7-9 with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.30 ratio in 2009.


Rate increases

In yesterday’s post I pointed out that the Phillies have scored a lot more runs per game in July than they have in other months of the season. It also seems that the dramatic increase in the number of runs they are scoring isn’t because they are hitting more home runs — it’s because they are getting more hits and especially more walks.

Here’s a look at what the eight Phillies starters have done in July and in all of the other months of the season. In addition to their plate appearances, average, on-base percentage and slugging, the chart also shows the rate at which they have gotten walks, hits, extra-base hits and home runs per 100 plate appearances (nothing in this post includes results from last night’s game):

 
PA

AVG

OBP

SLG

BB/100

H/100

XBH/100

HR/100

Rollins July

112

327

402

582

11.6

28.6

14.3

3.6
Not
July

325

207

250

322

4.9

19.4

6.8

1.8
                 

Victorino July

111

381

455

536

9.9

33.3

9.0

1.8
Not
July

337

294

360

441

9.2

26.1

8.6

1.5
                 

Utley July

102

303

382

517

9.8

26.5

8.8

4.9
Not
July

324

304

432

567

14.8

24.7

10.5

5.2
                 

Howard July

97

299

423

571

18.6

23.7

9.3

6.2
Not
July

329

259

331

541

9.1

23.1

12.5

6.1
                 

Ibanez July

53

286

340

612

7.5

26.4

15.1

7.5
Not
July

280

312

371

656

7.9

27.9

14.3

7.9
                 

Werth July

100

278

460

583

24.0

20.0

10.0

6.0
Not
July

318

267

362

487

12.3

23.0

9.1

4.7
                 

Feliz July

97

303

354

360

5.2

27.8

3.1

1.0
Not
July

285

295

340

425

7.0

27.0

8.1

1.8
                 

Ruiz July

54

208

283

417

5.6

18.5

9.3

3.7
Not
July

173

243

349

378

12.7

20.8

8.1

1.7

When looking for explanations for the Phillies offensive improvement in July, the on-base percentages for Rollins and Victorino atop the order are surely a big part of the answer. Rollins has on-based .402 in July after on-basing .250 before the start of July. Victorino has been on base even more. He has a .455 on-base percentage in July (and that’s before he went 3-for-5 last night) and a .360 on-base percentage before the month started. Also of note with the pair is that they’ve improved their on-base percentage for the month dramatically in different ways — Rollins’ increase in on-base percentage has more to do with improving his walk rate while Victorino’s has more to do with increasing the rate at which he’s getting hits.

For each of the eight players, here’s how their rates of walks and hits per 100 plate appearances for July compare to their rates for the other months:

Player BB per 100
PA
Player H per 100
PA
Rollins 236% Rollins 147%
Howard 204% Victorino 128%
Werth 196% Utley 107%
Victorino 108% Feliz 103%
Ibanez 96% Howard 103%
Feliz 73% Ibanez 95%
Utley 66% Ruiz 89%
Ruiz 44% Werth 87%

So, for example, Rollins has walked at a rate of about 11.6 walks per 100 plate appearances in July after walking at a rate of 4.9 walks per plate appearance before July. That’s about 236% the walks per 100 plate appearances in July (or about 2.36 times as many) compared to the other months of the season. His increase is the most for the group but that doesn’t mean that he has walked at the highest rate for the month. It just means that his rate increased the most for the month compared to his previous rate. If you look at the chart at the top you’ll see that Howard and Werth both walked way more regularly than Rollins in July, about 24.0 per 100 PA for Werth and about 18.6 per 100 PA for Howard compared to 11.6 per 100 for Rollins, but they also had much higher walk rates coming into the month and the change was not as dramatic.

Here’s the change in the rates for extra-base hits and home runs:

Player XBH per
100 PA
Player HR per 100
PA
Rollins 211% Ruiz 214%
Ruiz 114% Rollins 193%
Werth 110% Werth 127%
Ibanez 106% Victorino 121%
Victorino 105% Howard 102%
Utley 84% Ibanez 96%
Howard 74% Utley 93%
Feliz 38% Feliz 59%

Ruiz makes an appearance atop the home runs per 100 plate appearances list for hitting two of his five homers on the season in July.

Of the eight players, two, Rollins and Victorino, are up in all four categories. Howard and Werth are each up in three of the four (Howard’s extra-base hit rate is down and so is Werth’s rate of getting hits). Ruiz is up in two (extra-base hits and home runs) and down in the other two. Utley, Feliz and Ibanez are up in one of the four categories compared to the rest of the season and down in the other three — Utley’s up in hits, Feliz up in hits and Ibanez just up in extra-base hits.

Pedro Martinez may start for the Phillies Triple-A team on Friday and could be with the Phillies as soon as next week.

Update: This says Carlos Carrasco was scratched from his scheduled start today and Donald and Marson are not in the lineup. It also suggests the Phils may be discussing Carrasco, Marson, Donald and Knapp for Cliff Lee and another player.


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