Bullpen

But can they play second?

There’s a lot going wrong for the Phils these days, but one thing going unexpectedly right is the performance they’ve gotten from left-handed relievers this Spring Training.

In yesterday’s game against Detroit, lefties out of the pen for the Phils combined to throw 5 2/3 scoreless innings in which they allowed three hits, no walks and struck out seven. It seemed like a good a time as any to check in on the lefty relievers in camp other than Bastardo.

Here’s what lefty relievers in camp have done in official Spring Training action so far:

IP ERA Ratio K
David Purcey 7 2.57 1.14 5
Raul Valdes 6 2/3 1.35 0.75 8
Joe Savery 5 1/3 0.00 0.94 7
Jeremy Horst 4 6.75 2.00 4
Pat Misch 4 2.25 1.75 3
Jake Diekman 4 0.00 0.75 8
Dontrelle Willis 2 2/3 16.87 3.38 0

Purcey has been good. Valdes, Savery and Diekman have been great.

It’s already clear that several of those guys are out of the running to start the year with the Phils. Willis has already been released and Misch assigned to minor league camp. Purcey and Horst were reassigned this morning.

The Phillies beat the Tigers 4-3 yesterday.

Scott Elarton started the game for the Phillies and was charged with three runs over 2 1/3 innings, pushing his Spring Training ERA to 6.10. Valdes followed Elarton, allowing a single over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Savery was next and struck out three in two scoreless innings. Brian Sanches pitched the seventh, allowing a two-out double but keeping the Tigers off the board. He has a 4.50 ERA and a 1.67 ratio over six innings. Diekman threw a 1-2-3 eighth. Purcey allowed a double with two outs in the ninth, but got Austin Jackson on a ground ball to third to end the game.

Galvis had a two-run triple in a four-run fifth for the Phillies. He was 1-for-3 in the game and upped his line to 282/311/462 with a team-high ten RBI. Wigginton went 1-for-3 with a single and his hitting .219. Nix started in left and went 1-for-3.

The Phillies play Baltimore this afternoon with Halladay expected to pitch.

Chase Utley has left camp to see a specialist about his knees. It looks as if Freddy Galvis may see significant time at second base early in the season for the Phillies. Galvis has a career .292 on-base percentage in the minor leagues.

Jimmy Rollins fires up his own private uplifting quote machine yet again in this article, saying of Utley, “If he doesn’t play again that would be something horrible.”

Other in-house options for the Phillies at second would appear to include Martinez and Polanco, although Manuel points out in the article linked above that he’s having a lot of trouble keeping Polanco healthy at third.

The Phillies released Joel Piniero.


Substitution contribution

The other day I pointed out that Papelbon’s addition might help the Phillie bullpen bring down the huge rate at which their relievers issued walks in 2011. Qualls might as well. Here are the rates of runs, hits, walks and strikeouts per nine innings for the ’11 pen as well as Papelbon and Qualls for 2011 and for their careers (remembering that Papelbon has spent his whole career in the AL while Qualls has thrown all but 21 innings of his career in the NL):

Runs per 9 BB/9 H/9 SO/9
Phillie pen 2011 3.68 3.99 7.84 8.01
Papelbon 2011 3.07 1.40 6.99 12.17
Qualls 2011 3.63 2.42 8.83 5.21
Papelbon career 2.64 2.41 6.75 10.67
Qualls career 4.16 2.49 8.93 7.06

The numbers for Qualls are a little scary overall, but his walk rate has always been under the 3.99 per nine innings that the bullpen posted for the Phils in 2011. Qualls has only had one year for his career in which he has posted a walk rate worse than 2.85 batters per nine — in 2010, a disaster for Qualls, he walked about 3.2 batters per nine while throwing to a 7.32 ERA.

Dontrelle Willis is a different story, of course. Willis has seen his walk rate explode in recent years to the detriment of his career. From 2003 to 2007 with the Marlins, Willis threw 1,022 2/3 innings and walked 344 batters — that’s about 3.03 batters per nine. Since he left Florida, 2008-2011, Willis has thrown just 199 innings in which he has walked 156 batters. That’s 7.06 batters per nine innings. You’re going to have some trouble putting up nice numbers overall if you walk 7.06 batters per nine — Willis’s ERA since the end of 2007 is 6.15.

The Phillies played Houston yesterday, losing 6-5 on a walkoff homer by Brian Bixler in the bottom of the tenth. They are 5-6.

Hamels started the game for the Phillies and was good again, holding the Astros to a run on four hits over five innings without walking a batter. The outing, the third of Spring Training for Hamels, raised his ERA to 1.69.

Bush pitched the sixth, allowing singles to the first two men he faced, but getting the next three to keep Houston off the board and lowering his ERA to 6.75. Lefty Raul Valdes allowed a run on two hits and a walk in the seventh — he’s now allowed a run on three hits and a walk over four innings. Brian Sanches followed him, allowing a run over two innings to lower his ERA to 6.75. Jeremy Horst started the tenth with a 5-3 lead. He allowed a a single and a walk before striking out righty Chris Wallace for the first out. Bixler was next, though, and he hit Horst’s first pitch out to left to give Houston the win. Horst came into the game having not been charged with a run in his first two appearances, but has now been charged with three runs in three innings.

Domonic Brown broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the tenth with a solo home run, his first of Spring Training. He was 2-for-5 on the day, raising his average to .313 (5-for-16 with two triples and a home run). That’s the good news. The bad news is that he’s so bad defensively it’s hard to believe the Phillies are going to put him on the field in a game that counts anytime soon. Brown made another bad miscue reacting to a ball hit to the outfield yesterday, misplaying Carlos Lee’s eighth inning line drive into a double.

Brown had also been charged with a throwing error in the seventh. It was his second error so far this Spring Training, but the reality is that two errors don’t capture just how atrocious his defense has been. He’s now OPSing 1.103 in his 16 official Spring Training at-bats, but there’s little left to the dream he would show up and prove he’s ready to join the team for the start of the regular season.

Michael Martinez was 2-for-2 with a pair of singles, upping his average to .333. Podsednik started in center and made a couple of nice defensive plays in right after shifting there. He was 1-for-5 at the plate to drop his average to .320 (8-for-25 with three doubles). Pierre went 0-for-1 with a walk and is hitting .263.

Mayberry started at first and went 0-for-3, dropping his line to 192/222/269 in a team-high 26 at-bats.

Martinez left yesterday’s game after being hit on the elbow by a pickoff attempt.

The same article says that Nix was scratched from yesterday’s game, but is expected to play soon.

The Phils face the Twins this afternoon with Halladay expected to pitch.


Walk-a-thon

Last week I pointed out that Phillie relievers walked a ton of hitters in 2011. While the average NL bullpen saw their pitchers walk about 9.5% of the batters they faced and about 3.64 per nine innings, the Phils’s pen walked 10.5% of the batters they faced and 3.99 per nine innings.

Here’s how the numbers break down for guys who faced batters in relief for the Phils in 2011:

IP BF BB  % BF BB BB/9
Juan Perez 
Justin De Fratus 
Mike Zagurski 
Vance Worley 
J.C. Romero 
Brad Lidge 
Jose Contreras 
Antonio Bastardo 
Michael Schwimer 
Michael Stutes 
Scott Mathieson 
David Herndon 
Kyle Kendrick 
Andrew Carpenter 
Danys Baez 
Ryan Madson 
Joe Blanton 
Cole Hamels 
Joe Savery 
Wilson Valdez 
Team Total 
5
4
3 1/3
6 2/3
16 1/3
19 1/3
14
58
14 1/3
62
5
57
31 2/3
9 1/3
36
60 2/3
3
3
2 2/3
1
412 1/3
21
17
17
30
75
86
60
225
64
259
28
243
136
44
163
246
12
12
9
4
1751
5
3
3
5
12
13
8
26
7
28
3
24
13
4
13
16
0
0
0
0
183
23.8
17.6
17.6
16.7
16.0
15.1
13.3
11.6
10.9
10.8
10.7
9.9
9.6
9.1
8.0
6.5
0.0
0.0
0.0
0.0
10.5
9.00
6.75
8.10
6.75
6.61
6.05
5.14
4.03
4.40
4.06
5.40
3.79
3.69
3.86
3.25
2.37
0.00
0.00
0.00
0.00
3.99

They are sorted by percentage of batters faced that were walked. Everyone from Kyle Kendrick and above both walked more than 9.5% of the batters they faced and walked more than 3.64 batters per nine innings.

There were four guys in the bullpen for the Phillies last year who threw more than 36 innings in relief. Stutes, Madson, Bastardo and Herndon combined to 237 innings out of the pen. That’s 57.5% of the total innings that relievers for the Phils threw for the year.

Of those four, Stutes, Herndon and Bastardo were all above the league average in terms of walks for both the percentage of hitters that they walked and their walks per nine innings. Madson was the only guy of the group who was under in either category — he was well under in both, but his ability to prevent walks doesn’t look like it’s going to help the team much in 2012.

Papelbon was great at preventing walks in 2011, walking just 10 of the 255 batters he faced. That’s 3.92% of batters and 1.40 per nine innings, both of which are better than Madson’s numbers. In 2009 and 2010 combined, though, his walk rate was much higher. In those two years combined, Papelbon walked 3.46 hitters per nine and about 9.1% of the hitters he faced.

The Phillies are 5-5 in Spring Training action after beating the Pirates 4-1 yesterday afternoon.

Worley was the story of the game. He started for the Phillies and was outstanding, striking out eight in four perfect innings. Pat Misch followed Worley and he was very good, too, retiring five in a row before walking Eric Fryer to give the Pirates their first base-runner of the game with two outs in the sixth inning. Herndon was next and he allowed an unearned run on a single, a stolen base and an error by Martinez at short. Bastardo and Schwimer followed Herndon and each threw a scoreless inning.

Herndon, Bastrado and Schwimer haven’t been charged with an earned run yet in official Spring Training action.

Hector Luna and Jimmy Rollins both homered for the Phils, the first of Spring Training for Rollins and the second for Luna.

Scott Podsednik started in right for the Phillies and went 1-for-3, dropping his average to .350 (7-for-20). Brown was 1-for-1 with an RBI-triple. Pierre 1-for-3 with a single to up his average to .278 (5-for-18 with five singles). Tyson Gillies went 0-for-3 to drop his average to .158 (3-for-19 with a double).

The Phils face the Astros this afternoon with Cole Hamels and Dave Bush expected to pitch.

Jim Thome played four innings of first base in a minor league game yesterday. Sounds kinda like it wasn’t a problem except for when someone hit the ball near him.

Contreras also played in a minor league game yesterday, getting five outs and throwing 21 pitches.

The same article linked above says that Nix left Monday’s game after just one at-bat because he didn’t feel good. Nix suffered a bruise to his left rib cage in a collision at the plate in Sunday’s game against the Tigers.


Pen happy to offer a little relief for anyone looking to walk

The starters may have been fantastic at preventing walks for the Phils in 2011, but the relievers were a different story. The bullpen walked a whole lot of folks last year.

For each of the NL teams, here’s the percentage of batters faced by relievers that walked in 2011:

Team Batters Faced Walks % BB
COL 
MIL 
STL 
ARI 
NYM 
PIT 
FLA 
ATL 
WSN 
HOU 
SFG 
LAD 
SDP 
PHI 
CHC 
CIN 
TOT
2133
1888
1969
1888
2101
2298
2167
2177
2193
2094
1958
1878
2031
1751
2164
2120
32810
149
139
170
166
199
220
208
209
211
205
197
193
210
183
227
227
3113
7.0%
7.4%
8.6%
8.8%
9.5%
9.6%
9.6%
9.6%
9.6%
9.8%
10.1%
10.3%
10.3%
10.5%
10.5%
10.7%
9.5%

By percentage of batters faced that were walked, the Phillies relievers were 14th in the NL in 2011.

Phillie starters faced the most batters in the NL by a wide margin in 2011, so it makes sense that the relievers faced the fewest. The Dodgers were the team that faced the second-fewest and they faced 127 more. Despite facing the fewest number of hitters, by a lot, there were four NL teams that walked fewer batters overall than the Phillie relievers did.

Here are the numbers by innings pitched rather than batters faced:

Team IP Walks BB/9
COL 
MIL 
STL 
ARI 
ATL 
FLA 
WSN 
PIT 
SFG 
NYM 
SDP 
HOU 
LAD 
PHI 
CHC 
CIN 
TOT
508 2/3
449 2/3
463
439 1/3
522 1/3
5151/3
520 2/3
526
470 1/3
474
483 2/3
471
439
412 1/3
502 2/3
499
7697
149
139
170
166
209
208
211
220
197
199
210
205
193
183
227
227
3113
2.64
2.78
3.30
3.40
3.60
3.63
3.65
3.76
3.77
3.78
3.91
3.92
3.96
3.99
4.06
4.09
3.64

The Phils were 14th in the NL in walks per nine innings pitched per relievers. Again, this underscores the amazing job the starters did at preventing walks given that overall the team walked fewer total batters than any NL team had since 1995.

The Phils played the Pirates yesterday, winning 5-4 when Lou Montanez hit a walkoff homer off of Michael Dubee in the bottom of the tenth to improve to 3-3.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phils and was fantastic. He went 3 2/3 scoreless innings before allowing back-to-back singles. He should have been out of the inning, but the next batter, Nate McLouth, reached on an error by Wiggington at second to keep the inning alive. Bush followed Hamels and went 1 1/3 scoreless innings before running into trouble in the sixth. In the sixth, the Pirates scored three runs charged to Bush on three singles and a double, puffing Bush’s Spring Training ERA to 8.31. Bastardo, Aumont and Schwimer all threw scoreless frames for the Phils. Lefty David Purcey went in an inning as well and allowed a run on a solo homer by Starling Marte.

Wigginton started at second and made an error, but went 1-for-1 with an RBI-double and two walks. Pence was 2-for-3. Victorino went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer. Still no hits for Nix, who’s now 0-for-11 after an 0-for-2 with two walks. Montanez won it in the tenth — he’s 3-for-6 so far with two doubles and a home run. He has four RBI — Hector Luna still leads the team with five.

Wigginton has seen a lot of time at second over his career. He didn’t play there in 2011, but he started 35 games at second for the Orioles in 2010 with an UZR/150 of -14.3.

The Phillies play Detroit this afternoon.

Domonic Brown has a sprained right thumb. The linked article suggests he will sit for at least a few more days.

This says that Contreras will throw batting practice today, but is not scheduled for any game action in the next week. It also says that Dontrelle Willis has a sore left forearm and will rest a couple of days.


One of these things is not like the other

Given that the three leaders on the team were starters who threw a huge number of innings, you can probably guess that the starters overall were a lot better at preventing walks in 2011 than the relievers did.

Here’s the rate at which starters and relievers for the Phils issued walks during 2011:

Batters faced BB % IP BB/9
Starters 4318 221 5.1 1064 2/3 1.87
Relievers 1751 183 10.5 412 1/3 3.99

By percentage of batters walked and by walks per nine innings, the relievers overall combined to walk hitters at more than twice the rate of the starters.

Relievers overall walk more hitters than starters in 2011, but not twice as many. In the NL overall, starters walked about 7.5% of the batters that they faced last year and relievers walked about 9.5%.

The Phils are 2-2 in official Spring Training games after pounding the Blue Jays 7-0 yesterday.

Cliff Lee started the game for the Phils and allowed a walk and two hits over two scoreless innings. Kendrick followed Lee and struck out two in two scoreless. Horst, Schwimmer, Ramirez, Valdes and Diekman all threw a scoreless frame.

Galvis was 1-for-2 with a double yesterday and is 3-for-10 with two doubles in the very early going. Victorino 1-for-3 with two RBI. Wigginton started at third and went 1-for-1 with a double. Ruiz 2-for-2 with a pair of singles in his first official Spring Training action. Laynce Nix went 0-for-3 and is 0-for-6 with a walk and three strikeouts so far.

The Phils play Houston this afternoon with Vance Worley expected to pitch.

This suggests that the Phillies and Cole Hamels are trying to negotiate a long-term contract extension.

Didja know that Todd Zolecki and Jim Salibury wrote a book about the 2011 Phillies and their rotation? They did. You can buy it here or here.


Up, up, up

As I pointed out in this post from last January, in 2010 the Phillies asked their relievers to throw just 421 innings. Not only was that the lowest number of innings for any NL team in 2010, but it was also the fewest number of innings any NL team had thrown since the 2005 Cardinals bullpen threw 397 2/3.

In 2011, the Phils again threw the fewest relief innings in the NL, but dropped their bullpen innings even lower to 412 1/3.

Here’s how many innings the starters and relievers have thrown for the Phils over the past ten years:

Year IP Starters IP Relievers Total IP % Starters % Relievers
2011 1064 2/3 412 1/3 1477 72.1 27.9
2010 1035 1/3 421 1456 1/3 71.1 28.9
2009 963 2/3 492 1455 2/3 66.2 33.8
2008 966 2/3 483 1449 2/3 66.7 33.3
2007 938 1/3 520 1458 1/3 64.3 35.7
2006 921 1/3 539 1460 1/3 63.1 36.9
2005 957 478 1435 66.7 33.3
2004 922 1/3 540 1/3 1462 2/3 63.1 36.9
2003 969 474 2/3 1443 2/3 67.1 32.9
2002 949 1/3 500 1/3 1449 2/3 65.5 34.5

So in 2011, 72.1% of the innings thrown by the Phillies were thrown by their starting pitchers. That’s the highest percentage it’s been for the team over the past ten years. In four of the past five seasons, the starters for the team have thrown more innings (and a higher percentage of the innings compared to the relievers) than they did in the previous season.

The percentage of innings thrown by starters presumably would have been higher in 2011 had Oswalt made more starts.

While we’re reminiscing about posts from last year, remember this one where I looked at the average number of starts the group of Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Oswalt had made over the past five seasons? I’m guessing you don’t, but the range for the group for the previous five years going into 2011 was 107-138, the average for the previous five years was 124 and the average for the three previous years was 138.

In 2011, Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Oswalt combined to make 118 starts. Halladay and Lee made 32 each, Hamels 31 and Oswalt 23. Oswalt came in to 2011 having averaged 31.6 starts a season over the past five seasons.

Charlie Manuel said that Ryan Howard had a “little setback” in his recovery. Pretty much everyone in the from trainers to GMs went all there’s-nothing-to-see-here after that.

The article linked above also points out that both Joel Piniero and Juan Pierre can ask for their release if they’re not on the major league-roster by March 31.

Forget the Howard setback-not-a-setback stuff. In the things that should absolutely terrify you category, I offer the following quote from Amaro on Juan Pierre: “He had a very, very good year last year. He had more hits than anybody on our team.” In 2011, Pierre on-based .329. He hit .279 and slugged .327, posting an OPS of .657 in a season where he got at least 700 plate appearances for the second year in a row. As I pointed out in this post, his isolated power of .049 was 146th of the 146 players in either league with 500 plate appearances. He’s really not a good choice for left field, even if you don’t have John Mayberry, Domonic Brown and Laynce Nix in your organization.

This says Cliff Lee threw on Sunday, showed no signs of an abdominal strain and will throw again tomorrow.


  • Calender

    April 2014
    M T W T F S S
    « Mar    
     123456
    78910111213
    14151617181920
    21222324252627
    282930  
  • Online Marketing
    Add blog to our blog directory.



    Web Directory

    Blogging Fusion Blog Directory

  • Copyright © 1996-2010 Philliesflow.com. All rights reserved.
    iDream theme by Templates Next | Powered by WordPress