The Phillies were second in the NL in runs scored in 2010. That’s great news, but the bad news is that their offensive production fell off compared to the rest of the league at an alarming number of positions. Here is the NL rank by OPS for the Phils at the eight positions over the past three years:
Or, to put it another way, relative to the rest of the league and using OPS as the measure, the Phils got worse at six of the eight offensive positions in 2010 compared to 2009:
|Position||2009 to 2010|
One of the positions where they didn’t get worse was right field, where they seem sure to see a drop off in 2011. Given that Jayson Werth is coming off the best year of his career and probably won’t be on the team anymore, it seems like a good bet they will be worse in right in ’11 than they were in 2010.
Right field, catcher and third base have been the positions where the Phillies had the most opportunities to improve since 2008. And improve they did, at least at catcher, where Ruiz has led the charge from tenth-best by OPS in the NL in ’08 to second-best in 2010, and in right.
No such luck at third base, where the Phils have been in the bottom five in the NL for six straight seasons and probably will be again next year. The last time the Phils were better than twelfth in the league in OPS at third base was 2004, when David Bell hit 291/363/458 with 18 home runs.
If they’ve been bad and stayed bad for a while at third, the bigger area of worry may be the places where they’ve been good recently and weren’t in 2010. From 2008 to 2010 they’ve dropped from first to fifth at second base and from sixth to eleventh at short. Ryan Howard hit 58 home runs while batting .313 in his MVP season in 2006. The Phils led the NL in OPS at first base in that year. Since then their rank has fallen every year — third in 2007, fourth in 2008, fifth in 2009 and sixth in 2010.
The Giants win the World Series. The Giants win the World Series. The Giants win the World Series. And they’re going crazy. Heey-ohh.