Tag: Aaron Rowand

I don’t know of too many arbitration cases that have been won because the guy could hit triples (Tony Muser)

Ryan Howard and the Phils are headed to arbitration. Howard asked for $10 million and the Phillies offered $7 million.

This article suggests that the Royals are the front-runners to land Bartolo Colon.

This from Friday’s Inquirer says it’s very unlikely the Phillies will sign Kyle Lohse. My guess would have been the chances are more unlikely than very unlikely.

The Astros avoided arbitration with Geoff Geary by signing him to a one-year, $1.125 million contract.

Article about Aaron Rowand here, the catch in center and his struggles during the 2003 season.

On with The Show

Ryan Howard will be the cover athlete for MLB 08: The Show. Hopefully Michael Bourn was managing his personal expectations in this arena given the intersection of his life goals and spot on the roster in Major League Baseball 2K7 as described in this article.

This article suggests that Rowand may appeal in San Francisco as the anti-Bonds. It also, in the same paragraph, points out that Rowand bristles at the suggestion he is injury-prone and that he missed a game last year due to a shoulder that was sore from playing tag.

Sidelined by tag or not, Rowand appeared in 161 games for the Phils in 2007 and 109 in ’06. Rollins was the only Phillie to appear in as many or more games in ’07 (J-Roll played in 162). If I was going to guess who was third in games played for the Phils in ’07 it would have taken me a while — Pat Burrell played in 155, which was his highest mark since 2002. Utley and Howard would have played more but both hit the DL.

Don’t know for sure, but if you think Victorino is going to play 161 games in center this year I’m guessing you can get some pretty nice odds somewhere. I’m not ready to give up hope the Phils are willing to use Werth to backup center (although I’m not sure why I’m not, cause the tea leaves aren’t looking so favorable (tea leaves in this case meaning the team’s addition of another backup center fielder)).

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Pat Gillick is a genius. With the Phils making the playoffs after the long, bleak period of bleakness, Gillick’s time in Philadelphia is already a success no matter what happens in 2008. That’s not making the Freddy Garcia or Adam Eaton signings look any better, though.

This suggests the Braves may have interest in Mark Kotsay or Corey Patterson. I’m holding out hope for all Josh Anderson all the time.

And if you think the Braves getting Corey Patterson is a problem, you might just want to avoid this article about how the Mets might get Johan Santana altogether. I’m holding out hope for anyone but Johan Santana all the time.

Rowand’s departure takes some of the Aaron out of the Phillies’ sails

Aaron Rowand has agreed to a five-year, $60 million contract with the San Francisco Giants.

In two years with the Phillies, Rowand posted a 290/353/479 line with 39 home runs and 136 RBI in 1,017 at-bats. He was an All-Star and won a Gold Glove, both in 2007. His contributions on the field have been significant, but there’s no question that the Phils are also going to miss him off the field as well. Rowand was one of the driving forces that helped forge the Phils into a team that was fun to watch in part simply because they played hard day after day, even seven games behind with 17 left to play. Whatever it is that’s in Aaron Rowand that makes him lead with his face when he meets the wall in the pursuit of the ball, some of it got on the Phillies. And it’s not just that he went after the ball like he did, either, it’s that he caught it.

Rowand has played for two teams in his career and played a significant role in getting each of them to the next level — that isn’t a coincidence.

With all that said, however, the news of the day from yesterday that would have been worse for the Phillies is that they had signed him to a five-year, $61 million contract. With or without Rowand on the team, the Phils seem committed to playing Shane Victorino regularly — if he’s going to play regularly it needs to be in center field.

Rowand’s absence brings new challenges to an organization that has had a weak off-season. Victorino should be able to handle center defensively without much of a dropoff, but he’s not going to hit 27 home runs or slug .515. An injury to Victorino would be catastrophic for the Phillies if it forced Roberson, Bruntlett or Brandon Watson into regular playing time in center. The Phils are going to need to make up for some of the offense they’ve lost, and it appears the places they could do that are in right field and at third or catcher.

For the players on the field the challenge is going to be to continue to play like Rowand does now that he plays for another team.

Mike Costanzo and Luke Scott were two of the five players that the Astros sent to Baltimore for Miguel Tejada.

This article says that the Phillies offered contracts to all their arbitration-eligible players: Ryan Howard, Brad Lidge, Jayson Werth, Ryan Madson, Eric Bruntlett and Chris Snelling. Among players not offered contracts by other teams it suggests the Phils may be interested in Josh Towers, Mark Prior, Dallas McPhearson, Morgan Ensberg and Willie Harris.

Now that you Menchion it

The Brewers designated outfielder Kevin Mench for assignment. Mench is a right-handed corner outfielder who can hit lefties. Despite his connections to the area and his time at the University of Delaware, it’s hard to see the Phillies having a place for him with Werth and Burrell on the team.

Aaron Rowand’s house is for sale.

This mailbag from the White Sox web site says Chicago is still interested in Rowand and estimates his chances of returning to the team at 50 percent.

This mailbag from the Phillies web site says they won’t trade Helms unless they first upgrade their third base situation.

The Nats have agreed to a one-year contract with Paul Lo Duca. The key for Manny Acta this season may be less keeping the players who hate him away from the ones who are undecided and more making sure everyone has access to comprehensive medical care.

This suggests that reliever Matt Wise may become available by Wednesday. The 32-year-old righty didn’t have a great 2007, throwing to a 4.19 ERA with a 1.45 ratio, but could help the Phillies’ pen.

If there’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear

The Winter Meetings rarely fail to disappoint and this year was no exception. The Phillies leave Nashville will all the same problems they arrived with and a little less time to find solutions. Their right field, center field and third base situations remain murky, but they’re small problems compared to the Phillies’ need to add at least one and hopefully two quality pitchers before the season starts in April.

As if not on cue, the Phillies picked up pitchers Travis Blackley and Lincoln Holdzkom in the Rule 5 Draft.

Blackley is a 25-year-old lefty from the Giants organization who was 10-8 with a 4.66 ERA and a 1.38 ratio in 28 PCL starts in ’07. He walks a lot of hitters, 67 in 162 1/3 innings this season, which is 3.77 per nine innings. In Phillies’ starters terms that would put him between Moyer, who walked 2.95 per nine innings this season, and Eaton, who walked 3.95. He’s made eight career starts at the major league level in which he’s gone 1-3 with a 9.35 ERA. Righties have hit 336/433/664 against him. He missed the 2005 season after shoulder surgery.

The linked article suggests he’s in the mix for fifth starter, but I would guess there’s little chance that he starts the season in that role. The Phils already have five starters in Myers, Hamels, Kendrick, Moyer and Eaton for one thing. I would guess that when one of those guys goes down, and it’s not going to take long, Durbin would get the first shot given the choices the Phillies have now.

The other addition is Lincoln Holdzkom, a 25-year-old right-handed reliever. He strikes out a ton of hitters but walks way too many. Between Double-A and Triple-A in the Red Sox organization this season he threw to a 2.97 ERA in 63 2/3 innings. Opponents hit just .231 against him but his ratio was 1.54 cause he walked 44 in those 63 2/3 innings. Over his minor league career he’s walked 5.19 per nine innings. He had Tommy John surgery in 2003.

This article says the Phils will be one of nine teams to watch Kris Benson pitch on December 17 in Arizona. Not the whole team, though.

This article says the Devil Rays are interested in Houston’s Luke Scott who you would guess would also be of interest to the Phillies.

This article suggests that it hasn’t been a real good couple of weeks for the Mets. It hasn’t been for the Phillies, either. It has been for the Braves.

This article suggests it’s the Phils, White Sox and Rangers in the hunt for Rowand and that Texas will not give Rowand five years, $75 million.

This article suggests the White Sox would be better off trying to add Juan Pierre than Rowand. I’d really like that to be true so I’m trying hard to see that one, but it’s just not happening.

This article says that the Yankees are discussing a one-year deal with LaTroy Hawkins for about $3.5 million. Nearly all the talk has been about a starter for the Phils, but they need help in the pen as well.

Now wait just a secondary

Despite his strong offensive year, Aaron Rowand’s secondary average this season was just .288, 43rd best among the 75 National League players that had at least 500 plate appearances. That was especially surprising to me given his .515 slugging percentage — his secondary average was lower than Shane Victorino’s. Someone needs to get to the bottom of this and I’m here to help.

The Phillies were a tremendous offensive team in 2007, which can be demonstrated in a bunch of different ways. One of them is this: among NL players with 500 plate appearances this season, the Phils had four players in the top 20 in secondary average:



NL Rank













Fantastic. Way to go, fellas. Alert the press. Would probably be even better if we knew what secondary average actually was or understood what it meant. A moment, please, and I’ll give it my best shot.

Another way to demonstrate that the Phillies were a fantastic team is this: among the NL players that had 500 plate appearances, the Phillies had four of the top 20 players in slugging percentage.



NL Rank













Five good offensive players, but the lists aren’t the same. Burrell was third in the league in secondary average and not in the top 20 in slugging (he was 21st). Howard dominated the league in secondary average, but three players posted a higher slugging percentage. Utley’s slugging percentage was way better than his secondary average and you have to look hard to find Rowand’s secondary average (43rd of 75 NL players with 500 PA) despite that fact that he was 18th in the league in slugging.

What secondary average is is easy. Secondary average is TB-H+BB+SB-CS/AB.

Understanding what it means isn’t quite so easy, but secondary average measures a player’s offensive contribution. Players that walk a lot and get a lot of extra-base hits have high secondary averages. But players that have high slugging percentages don’t necessarily.

Singles hitters, especially ones that don’t walk or steal bases, get hammered. Singles don’t help your secondary average, but, unlike slugging percentage, walks do. For example, a player that is 10-for-10 with ten singles and no walks or stolen bases has a slugging percentage of 1.000 and a secondary average of .000.

(continue reading…)

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