Archive for March, 2011

Weekend update

The Phils topped the Twins yesterday, winning 6-3 to improve to 11-7.

Michael Stutes started the game for the Phils and again pitched well. He threw three scoreless innings, allowing no hits and a walk. He’s now made five appearances and thrown to a 1.00 ERA and an 0.44 ratio, allowing three hits and a walk over nine innings while striking out nine. Baez followed Stutes with a scoreless inning and Jason Grilli threw two of his own before Matt Anderson struggled in the seventh. Anderson got just one out and was charged with three runs (two earned) on two hits, a walk and two wild pitches. Ryan Edell and Chris Kissock finished the game for the Phils, combining to throw 2 2/3 innings without being charged with a run (although Edell uncorked a wild pitch that helped the Twins plate some more out of the mess that Anderson created in the seventh).

Mayberry started at first for the Phils and went 0-for-3 to drop his spring line to 324/390/730 through 37 at-bats. Delwyn Young played left and went 2-for-3 with a three-run homer. 333/364/452 with a team-high 42 at-bats. Valdez was 2-for-3 with a double and is hitting .519. Barfield 2-for-4 with a walk and a double. He’s 9-for-19 with two doubles, a triple and a home run (474/524/684).

Michael Martinez was 2-for-4 with a double to push his average to .250 (250/250/375 in 32 at-bats).

On Saturday, splits squads of Phils faced the Pirates and Rays. The Phils topped Pittsburgh 11-4 and lost to Tampa Bay 6-2.

Worley started the game against the Pirates, allowing a run on two hits and two walks over 3 1/3 innings. He struck out five and dropped his spring ERA to 3.86. Herndon allowed three runs in the eighth and got just two outs, puffing his ERA to 5.79. Mathieson, Zagurski and Juan Perez combined to toss five shutout innings in the game in which they allowed no hits and one walk. Zagurski dropped his spring ERA to 1.50 in six innings over five appearances.

Cory Sullivan went 2-for-3 with a homer run and two RBI in the game for the Phils. Pete Orr led off and played second, going 3-for-5 with a pair of triples. Mayberry played center and went 3-for-4 with a double, a walk and three RBI.

David Price held the Phils to a run on two hits and two walks in five innings in the other game. Kendrick got the start and was hit hard, allowing five runs over four innings. He allowed three home runs in the game and saw his spring ERA rise to 5.00. Contreras followed Kendrick and allowed a run over two innings. Madson followed that, striking out six in two scoreless frames before Romero threw a scoreless ninth to keep his spring ERA at 0.00 through four appearances.

Martinez was 2-for-3 in the game with a pair of singles. Rollins 1-for-3 with a double.

Friday the Phils beat the Orioles 13-6. Lee allowed three runs in three innings to puff his spring ERA to 5.00. Lidge was hit hard late, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk. Meyer pitched the ninth and allowed a run on a solo homer by Robert Andino. Baez and Bastardo each pitched two scoreless innings.

Lidge has now made five official spring appearances, allowing five runs in five innings on eight hits, two walks and two hit batters. That’s a 9.00 ERA and a 2.00 ratio.

Ibanez, Howard, Gload and Mayberry all homered, plating seven of the 13 Phillie runs. Ibanez was 3-for-3 with a double, a homer and three RBI. Delwyn Young went 3-for-5 with a double. Gload was 2-for-3 with a double and a homer.

Hamels is expected to start today as the Phils face the Astros.

The Phillies signed Ruben Amaro to a four-year contract extension, which means he will be with the team through 2015.

On Friday, the Phils sent 15 players to Minor League Camp and released Robb Quinlan. Andrew Carpenter, Drew Naylor, Carlos Rivero and JC Ramirez were among the players sent down.

This article from the Phillies web site says that Delwyn Young has a good chance to make the team.


Starting five not a hit with hitters

Four more scoreless innings for Halladay yesterday, which gives him 11 scoreless frames over four starts for the spring. The five guys in the starting rotation, Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Hamels and Blanton, have now combined to throw to a 2.49 ERA and an 0.95 ratio. In 43 1/3 innings they’ve allowed just 28 hits and struck out 32.

Twenty-eight hits in 43 1/3 innings is about 5.81 hits per nine innings. In 2010, San Francisco’s Jonathan Sanchez led all pitchers in both leagues in hits allowed per nine innings. He allowed 6.61. Each of the five guys in the group has allowed less than a hit per inning with the exception of Oswalt, who has allowed six in 4 2/3. Lee and Hamels have combined to allow six hits in 16 innings.

The walk rate for the group has been higher. They’ve walked 2.7 hitters per nine innings, with Blanton, Hamels and Halladay combining to walk 11 in 32 2/3 innings (about 3.03 per nine). In 2010, Phillie starters walked about 2.07 hitters per nine and relievers about 3.81 per nine.

The Phils are 8-6 on the spring after beating the Yankees 7-0 yesterday.

Halladay got the start for the Phils and was fantastic, allowing four singles over six shutout innings. New York didn’t have a hit off of him until they got a pair of singles in the fourth. He struck out two and didn’t walk a batter.

After Halladay, Michael Stutes, JC Ramirez and Michael Schwimer combined to throw three perfect innings.

Stutes continues to be impressive. He has now allowed one run over six innings in four appearances, throwing to an 0.50 ratio while striking out eight. Ramirez and Schwimer have both been hit harder. Ramirez has allowed four runs over six innings while Schwimer has been charged with four runs, only three of which were earned, over three.

The game was scoreless when Barfield led off the bottom of the sixth with a triple. He came in to score on a sac fly by Victorino before Polanco plated Rollins, who had walked, with a double. Mayberry hit a two-run homer to make it 4-0 before the inning ended.

In the eighth, Ben Francisco doubled in Wilson Valdez, who had walked, to make it 5-0. Later in the inning, Erik Kratz reached on an error by Justin Maxwell that plated Francisco and Matt Rizzotti to extend the lead to 7-0.

Francisco was 2-for-4 with a double. Mayberry played first and went 1-for-3 with his third homer. Barfield 2-for-3 with a triple, he’s 7-for-13 (.538) on the spring.

Martinez 0-for-1. He’s 4-for-24 with no walks. Orr 0-for-1 to drop his average to .200 (3-for-15). Delwyn Young went 0-for-3 and is hitting .290 (9-for-31), but slugging just .323. He has eight singles, a double and one walk.

Lee is scheduled to start today’s game against Baltimore.

Domonic Brown says he’s going to stop messing around with trying to reposition his hands on the bat when he returns.


Bullpen market

Here’s some lefties that have pitched for the Phils this spring who, even if they don’t have much of a chance to pitch out of the pen for the Phils at the start of the season, sure won’t be in the starting rotation.

Spring IP Spring ERA Spring ratio Career IP Career ERA Career ratio
JC Romero 3 0.00 1.00 624 2/3 4.08 1.49
Antonio Bastardo 1 0.00 0.00 42 1/3 5.53 1.49
Mike Zagurski 4 2.25 1.25 28 1/3 6.99 1.73
Ryan Feierabend 3 3.00 1.67 106 7.22 1.80
Dan Meyer 3 6.00 1.33 113 2/3 5.46 1.55
Juan Perez 3 3.00 1.33 15 2/3 5.17 1.79

Of those guys, Romero is a lock to make the team and Bastardo and Zagurski seem to have a huge advantage over the other candidates. Despite having three fewer appearances, I would guess it’s still advantage Bastardo at this point.

Also, the career numbers on those guys sure are ugly.

Yesterday the Phils topped the Tigers 5-3 to improve to 7-6 in spring action.

Blanton got the start for the Phils and went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a pair of walks. He’s thrown to a 3.09 ERA with a 1.11 ratio over 11 2/3 innings in three starts.

Madson, Romero and Herndon followed him with scoreless innings before Zagurski allowed a run on a double, a single and two walks in the ninth.

Romero hasn’t walked a batter in three innings so far. Madson’s allowed one hit in three shutout frames and Herndon has given up two hits and two walks over four scoreless innings.

Brian Schneider homered for the Phils, a three-run shot in the second. It was his second home run of the spring. Jeff Larish also connected for a solo shot, he’s 2-for-10 with a double and a home run.

Ibanez went 2-for-3 with a double, raising his average to .240. Martinez 0-for-2 and hitting .174. Rivero 0-for-1 and hitting .308. Dewlyn Young 1-for-3, raising his average to .321 after 28 at-bats. No Phillie has more plate appearances than Young this spring — he, Polanco and Rollins all have 30.

I think it’s a lot more likely that Delwyn Young is going to start the year with the Phillies than I did a few weeks ago. I do wish we were seeing more of Josh Barfield in official games — he’s 5-for-10 with a walk and a double. I think both those guys are better bets to help the Phils than Martinez or Rivero.

Halladay starts today against the Yankees.

I don’t know when you’re going to see Chase Utley playing baseball next, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be soon. In the linked article, Amaro says, “We don’t know exactly when he is going to be playing for us, but I expect him to be playing for us at some point — hopefully in the early part of the season, maybe even the beginning of the season.” That’s not good.

Amaro says that Utley would be replaced by Wilson Valdez if needed in this article. There’s some drop off there, given that Valdez has a career on-base percentage of .289 and never had 150 plate appearances in a season coming into last year.

The Phillies have come to a deal with Charlie Manuel that will keep him managing the team through 2013.

This says that the Phillies hadn’t contacted the Rangers about Michael Young as of yesterday morning. Moving Polanco to second and trying to get a third baseman makes a lot more sense to me than trying to get a second baseman.


Rivero cruise

The Phils beat Baltimore yesterday, winning 4-3 on a two-run walkoff single in by Carlos Rivero.

Hamels started the game for the Phils and allowed two first-inning runs on two walks and a double. After the first, he set down nine Baltimore batters in order. He has now made three spring starts, allowing three hits and four walks while throwing to a 1.80 ERA and striking out seven over ten innings. If he were to allow 2.7 hits per nine innings in the regular season, it would be notable.

Contreras, Baez, Meyer and Carpenter all threw scoreless innings in the game. Despite a rough early outing in a B-game, Baez had now thrown 3 1/3 scoreless frames in official action. Contreras and Carpenter have now both made two appearances and each has thrown two scoreless innings. Meyer had an ugly outing early and has allowed two runs on two hits in three innings overall.

Lidge pitched the other inning and allowed the other run. He hit Nolan Reimold with one out and Reimold came around to score on a two-out double by Josh Bell. Lidge has now made four appearances and allowed runs in three of them, throwing to a 6.75 ERA and allowing five hits, a walk and hitting two batters over four innings.

Howard homered in the fourth, his third of the spring. 292/346/708 after 24 at-bats.

Victorino doubled in the fifth to plate Josh Barfield for the second run. Victorino was 2-for-3 in the game to raise his spring average to .333. Barfield started at second and went 0-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored. He’s 5-for-10 so far.

The Phils started the bottom of the ninth down 3-2. They loaded the bases on walks to Barfield, Dane Sardinha and a bunt single by Michael Martinez before Rivero lined a two-run single into center. Martinez played center field in the game and went 2-for-2, raising his average to .190 (4-for-21 with no walks). Rivero played third and went 2-for-2. He’s 4-for-12 so far.

Mayberry doubled in the second inning. He was 1-for-3 on the day and has a 280/333/600 line for the spring (7-for-25 with two walks, two doubles and two homers).

Rollins was 0-for-3 to drop his average to .185 (5-for-27 with a double and no walks). Polanco is hitting .208 after going 0-for-3. Ibanez 0-for-2 with a walk to drop his average to .182 — he’s 4-for-22 with four singles.

Delwyn Young played right and went 1-for-4. 320/346/360 over 25 at-bats (8-for-25 with a double and a walk).

Blanton pitches today as the Phils face the Tigers.

Ben Francisco has a stiff neck.

No new news on Utley, except that we keep getting closer to games that matter and he keeps not playing.

This article from Sunday wonders if the Phils might be interested in trading for Mike Cameron. I’m going to be surprised if the Phillies trade for a right-handed outfielder.


Right fielders without partners

Idea day at Philliesflow. Not good idea day, though. Just idea. You’ll have plenty of advanced notification before good idea day arrives.

Idea one: Switch-hitter Delwyn Young should platoon with Francisco in right field. Idea two: lefty Brandon Moss should platoon with Francisco in right field.

Numbers to the rescue — here’s some career numbers against right-handed pitching for Young, Moss and Francisco:

PA BB % SO % AVG OBP SLG OPS
Francisco 867 6.7 19.0 262 323 440 .762
Young 567 7.2 23.8 260 317 393 .710
Moss 604 7.6 22.5 236 298 387 .685

It really seems like Brandon Moss sure ought to be the answer to this question. But he’s not. There’s not really any case to be made that Moss has been better against right-handed pitching to this point in his career than Francisco has. It seems like Moss ought to be a lot younger than those other guys, too, but, again, he’s not. Okay, he’s a little younger. Moss turns 28 in September, Francisco 30 in October and Young 29 in June.

Of course, if you want to worry about Francisco against righties, I hope you won’t let anything you read here stop you. A good place to start would be Francisco’s numbers against righties in 2010:

PA BB % SO % AVG OBP SLG OPS
Francisco 101 5.9 19.8 253 310 330 .640

101 plate appearances should go a long way there towards making you feel at least a little better. Not all better though, cause a .330 slugging percentage isn’t really what you’re looking for from your corner outfielder. Jayson Werth, for example, slugged .556 against righties last season. So if Francisco’s was to slug .330 against righties and play regularly in right in 2011, I think it wouldn’t take too long for us to notice a difference. He was miserable against righties in 2010 and the Phillies are going to have a big problem if those numbers don’t improve a whole lot against them in 2011. I think they will, but finding a corner outfielder that can hit lefties doesn’t seem like it should be too daunting a task. At the same time, the Phillies haven’t done it yet and their best candidate just broke his hand after going 1-for-16 with nine strikeouts.

Yesterday the offense was shut down and the Oswalt scuffled as the Phils fell to the Yankees, 7-1. The Phillies are 5-6 in official spring games.

Oswalt got the start and didn’t fare well, allowing five runs over 2 2/3 innings. Eduardo Nunez hit a three-run homer off of him in the second and Curtis Granderson connected for a two-run shot in the third. Worley finished off the third and threw a scoreless fourth before allowing a pair of runs on three singles and a walk in the fifth. After Worley, Drew Naylor, Brian Bass and Ryan Feierabend combined to give the Phils 3 1/3 scoreless innings.

Worley has now allowed ten hits and two walks over six innings.

The Phils had two hits through six innings, a single by Victorino and a solo home run by Valdez. Rollins had a single in the seventh and Pete Orr doubled in the eighth. Joel Naughton had a pinch-hit single in the ninth for the other Phillie hit. Polanco was 0-for-3 with an error. Howard, Francisco and Gload were all 0-for-3. Gload continues to not play the outfield, what with not being an outfielder and all. He started the game at first.

Among the regulars who haven’t had a great spring, Rollins is hitting .208, Ibanez .200 and Polanco .238.

Hamels starts against the Orioles today.

This says that Ibanez would likely hit third if Utley were to miss a lot of time.

This says that the Phils now don’t expect to know how the much the cortisone injection has helped Utley until the weekend. It also says that Brown will have surgery on his hand today in Philadelphia.

Madson would like to close and will be a free agent after the 2011 season.


Hand, out

Domonic Brown has a broken hand and will likely miss four to six weeks. Brown hurt the hand fouling off a pitch in Saturday’s game. His spring sure looks over. Assuming it is, he’ll end it 1-for-16 with nine strikeouts.

Ben Francisco seems pretty close to a lock to start in right field on opening day for the Phils.

Yesterday the Phils played a pair of split squad games, falling to Detroit 2-1 and beating the Rays 5-4.

Lee struck out five in four shutout innings in the game against Tampa Bay. Eddie Bonine followed him and got hit hard again, he was charged with three runs over two innings. Justin De Fratus pitched the seventh and allowed a run on three singles — he’s now allowed five runs in four innings over three appearances. Romero and Mathieson each threw a scoreless inning.

Howard and Schneider both had early homers for the Phils. Gload was 2-for-4 with a double. Michael Martinez was 0-for-1 to drop his spring average to .111. Matt Rizzotti hit a solo homer in the eighth to tie the game at 4-4. Joel Naughton delivered a walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth to give the Phils the win. Rizzotti is 2-for-4 on the spring, Naughton 1-for-2.

Kendrick got the start in the game the Phils lost to the Tigers and threw three scoreless frames. He has yet to allow a run or a walk in five innings over two appearances. David Herndon followed him with a pair of scoreless innings, Michael Schwimer threw a scoreless sixth and Juan Perez a scoreless seventh. Matt Holliday homered off of Michael Stutes in the eighth to tie the game at 1-1. Matt Anderson started the ninth and got one out, but allowed three singles and the run that gave the Tigers a 2-1 win.

Mayberry gave the Phils their only run in the game with a second-inning homer off of Phil Coke. He was 1-for-3 in the game and is 6-for-20 with two walks and two homers so far. Valdez was 3-for-3 to raise his average to .533 (8-for-15 with a double). Carlos Rivero started at third and went 0-for-3. He’s 2-for-9 with two singles in official spring action. Robb Quinlan 0-for-3 in the game and 1-for-9 so far. Josh Barfield went 1-for-2, which dropped his average to .714 (he’s 5-for-7 with a double).

Halladay pitched well on Saturday, but it wasn’t enough as the Phils fell to Pittsburgh 4-3. He tossed three scoreless frames and has now allowed three hits and three walks over five innings this spring without allowing a run. JC Ramirez didn’t fare as well. He followed Halladay and threw three innings, allowing at least one run in each of them. Lidge, Contreras and Madson all threw a scoreless inning in the game. For Lidge, it was his first outing in three tries in which he was not charged a run.

Francisco was 2-for-3 on the day and homered off of Paul Maholm in the second, his second spring homer. Martinez had an RBI-single in his only at-bat and Delwyn Young went 3-for-3 with an RBI to raise his spring average to .417.

Friday the Phils topped the Pirates, 7-4. Blanton and Dan Meyer were charged with the four runs the Pirates scored. Blanton allowed a pair of runs over 3 2/3 innings to raise his spring ERA to 2.70. Meyer just went one inning, allowing two runs on two doubles and a walk. Baez, Carpenter and Zagurski all threw scoreless innings. Bastardo made his spring debut, striking out two while throwing a scoreless ninth.

Howard hit his first spring homer for the Phils, a solo shot in the sixth, and drove in two runs for the Phils. Rollins went 2-for-3. Valdez was 3-for-4 with a double.

Roy Oswalt is expected to pitch today as the Phils face the Yankees.

The Phils hope to know soon whether the cortisone injection that Utley received for his right knee helped.

This says that after surgery, Brown will go to Triple-A so he can play every day.

This piece considers options if the Phils have to go without Utley to start the season and suggests we forget the possibility of Polanco playing second. If the season started today, I’m pretty sure we would see Valdez at second and Polanco at third.


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