Tag: Adam Eaton

The votes aren’t all counted yet, but I think we can agree that Adam Eaton was not the answer

Here’s the Baseball-Reference calculated combined WAR for pitchers who have made at least ten starts for the team over the past five seasons:

Pitcher GS # Relief appearances WAR WAR/GS
Halladay 90 0 17.6 .196
Lee 74 0 13.5 .182
Happ 30 16 5.0 .167
Oswalt 35 1 5.2 .149
Hamels 160 1 21.4 .134
Worley 46 7 4.4 .096
Moyer 77 5 2.7 .035
Blanton 100 5 2.5 .025
Myers 40 8 0.8 .020
Kendrick 103 41 1.7 .017
Eaton 19 2 -1.2 -.063

Important to remember is that the WAR calculation includes games pitched in relief. So, for example, the WAR for Kendrick over the last five seasons includes his 41 appearances out of the bullpen. His .017 for WAR/GS is his total WAR in all appearances divided by the number of games he started (not the total number of games in which he pitched).

The 11 pitchers above combined to make 774 of the 810 starts for the Phillies over the last five seasons. Not appearing on the list are guys who made fewer than ten starts, including Pedro Martinez (9), Chan Ho Park (7), Tyler Cloyd (6), Rodrigo Lopez (5), Antonio Bastardo (5), Raul Valdes (1), Andrew Carpenter (1), Nelson Figueroa (1) and BJ Rosenberg (1). Those 36 total starts plus the 774 for the 11 guys above gets you to 810.

Hamels is the guy who has made the most starts for the Phillies over the past five years with 160. And he’s been very good. After that, though, there are two guys in Blanton and Kendrick who have gotten a ton of starts over the past five seasons without being very good.

Kendrick is second in starts over the last five seasons with 103. His best year for WAR was 2007 (which doesn’t count for the table above as it was more than five years ago). In 2007, Kendrick made 20 appearances for the Phillies, all starts, going 10-4 with a 3.87 and putting up a WAR of 2.1. Kendrick was terrible in 2008 and finished the year with a -1.7 WAR. In the four years since his combined WAR has been just 3.4 — 3.4 + (-1.7) = 1.7, his mark for the past five years combined.

Blanton has made 105 appearances over the last five years for the Phillies, including 100 starts (more than anyone but Kendrick or Hamels). In the five seasons that Blanton pitched all or part of the year with the Phillies, he had a Baseball-Reference calculated WAR better than 0.1 only once. His best year with the Phillies was 2009 — he made 31 starts that year with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.32 ratio, posting a 2.4 WAR for the season. He had a -0.2 WAR in 29 appearances with the Phillies in 2010 and a -0.1 WAR in 21 appearances with them in 2012. He threw just 41 1/3 innings in 2011, all with the Phils, and put up a 0.0 WAR for that season.

The point here is that Blanton and Kendrick have pitched a lot for the Phillies over the past five years, making about as many starts (203) as Halladay, Lee and Worley (210). Overall, they’ve made about 25.1% of the starts for the Phillies over the past five seasons. And they haven’t been very good.

And while Blanton doesn’t have much of a chance to be not very good for the Phillies again in 2013, Kendrick does.

Gone also from the mix of the last five years are Happ and Oswalt. Both of those pitchers didn’t pitch a ton for the Phillies over the past five years, but put up good numbers overall in their time with the team.

Happ’s 4.83 ERA since he left the Phillies makes it easy to forget that he was great for the Phillies in 2009, going 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.23 ratio in his 35 appearances (23 starts). He led the team in WAR for pitchers that year at 4.0. Hamels made 32 starts for the Phillies in ’09, finishing the year with a WAR of 1.7.

Oswalt threw to a 2.96 ERA in 36 appearances (35 starts) with the Phils between 2010 and 2011. He appeared in just 13 games for the Phillies in 2010 (12 starts), but managed to post a WAR of 3.2, third best on the staff behind Halladay and Hamels.

This suggests Josh Hamilton wants seven years, $175 million.

Amaro mentions Adam Morgan favorably in this article. Morgan is a 22-year-old lefty the Phillies took in the third round of the 2011 draft. He made 27 appearances between Clearwater and Reading in 2012, 26 of which were starts, throwing to a 3.35 ERA with a 1.11 ratio and striking out 169 in 158 2/3 innings.


The sophomore stay-about-the-same-as-you-were-while-the-other-stuff-around-you-changes

The Phillies bullpen was hugely improved in 2008 compared to 2007. There was some overlap of guys who pitched in both seasons. Four pitchers threw at least 25 innings in relief in each of the two seasons, Romero, Condrey, Madson and Gordon. Here’s what they did in 2007:

  IP H BB SO ER ERA RATIO
Romero 36.3 15 25 31 5 1.24 1.10
Gordon 40 40 13 32 21 4.73 1.33
Madson 56 48 23 43 19 3.05 1.27
Condrey 50 61 16 27 28 5.04 1.54
Total 182.3 164 77 133 73 3.60 1.32

They contributed more innings, but as a group they were about the same in 2008:


2008
  IP H BB SO ER ERA RATIO
Romero 59 41 38 52 18 2.75 1.34
Gordon 29.7 31 17 26 17 5.16 1.62
Madson 82.7 79 23 67 28 3.05 1.23
Condrey 69 85 19 34 25 3.26 1.51
Total 240.3 236 97 179 88 3.30 1.39

Romero didn’t reproduce his silly numbers from ’07, but may have helped the team more by pitching more. Gordon was worse and pitched less. Condrey was better and pitched more and Madson was just about the same but pitched a lot more.

For both 2007 and 2008, here’s what the guys in the Phillies pen that weren’t Romero, Condrey, Madson or Gordon combined to do for each year:


PHI pen without Romero, Madson, Condrey and Gordon
  IP H BB SO ER ERA Ratio
2007 337.7 366 172 253 187 4.98 1.59
2008 242.7 220 114 232 85 3.15 1.38

So while the group of four didn’t combine to be hugely better in 2008, the rest of the Phillies relievers were far better than the other guys on the ’07 team.

Of those 242 2/3 innings the Phillies got in relief from pitchers other than Condrey, Madson, Gordon and Romero in 2008, a large percentage (64.7%) came from Lidge and Durbin:

  IP H BB SO ER ERA Ratio
Durbin 87.7 81 35 63 28 2.87 1.32
Lidge 69.3 50 35 92 15 1.95 1.23
Others 85.7 89 44 77 42 4.41 1.55
Total 242.7 220 114 232 85 3.15 1.38

Notably, those guys in the “others” category, the relievers from 2008 who weren’t Condrey, Madson, Gordon, Romero, Lidge or Durbin, combined to throw to a 4.41 ERA with a 1.55 ratio. Those numbers are pretty similar to what the Phillies pen overall pitched to in 2007. In 2007, Phillies relievers as a group threw to a 4.50 ERA with a 1.50 ratio.

Yesterday the Phils played Team USA and lost 9-6.

Kendrick got the start and put up zeroes in the first two frames but couldn’t make it out of the third. Chipper Jones connected for a three-run homer and Team USA scored four runs in the inning, all charged to Kendrick. Antonio Bastardo followed and he was charged with five runs in 2 1/3 innings, yielding three home runs. Condrey went two scoreless innings after that, holding Team USA to a single single. Madson walked two in a scoreless eighth.

Howard gave the Phils a three-run homer and Jason Donald went 1-for-3 with a home run of his own, a solo shot in the sixth off of Matt Thornton. Mayberry 1-for-5 with a single. Ozuna 0-for-3 after an 0-for-2 against Canada the day before. Marcus Giles played third base and went 1-for-2 with a walk.

The Phils made three errors in the game, two by Howard and one by Kendrick.

Kendrick’s reactions to events in the game were unimpressive to some people, notably Rich Dubee.

Rollins went 1-for-2 for Team USA. Victorino 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.

The Phillies play the Blue Jays tonight and a B-game this afternoon.

Jimmy Rollins says his health problem was with his rib and not his back. The linked article also says that Feliz took live batting practice yesterday and the Phillies signed Rodrigo Lopez to a minor league contract.

Adam Eaton thinks he needs to prove himself as an elite pitcher in the league. I’m holding out hope he proves himself to be a selkie, just because if he was pitching in seal form the 6.06 ERA in 49 starts as a Phillie would be a lot easier to understand. Trying to get major league hitters out with flippers couldn’t be easy for anyone.


Slugging mugging

Adam Eaton and Kyle Kendrick both struggled badly last season. One way to tell was by watching them pitch. There are others, though, and among them is that opponents slugged .484 against Kendrick and .487 against Eaton. By comparison, opponents slugged .384 against Cole Hamels, the Phils’ best starting pitcher in 2008.

Today’s point is that the huge difference between the slugging percentages that hitters put up against the three pitchers reflects that Eaton and Kendrick allowed a lot more hits — not that each hit they allowed was more likely to go for more bases. When you compare the hits allowed by Kendrick and Eaton to the hits allowed by Hamels, ignoring how many there were, the hits allowed by Kendrick and Eaton were not worse than the hits allowed by Hamels.

In fact, the opposite is true. In 2008, a hit allowed by Eaton or Kendrick was a little less likely to go for extra-bases than a hit allowed by Hamels:

Player H 1B % 1B XBH % XBH
Hamels 193 118 61.1 75 38.9
Kendrick 194 128 66.0 66 34.0
Eaton 131 88 67.2 43 32.8

And the extra-base hits given up by Eaton and Kendrick weren’t any worse, either. Again, by the average number of bases allowed from the extra-base hits, the extra-base hits given up by Hamels did a little more damage:

  2B 3B HR XBH TB from
XBH
TB per XBH
Hamels 44 3 28 75 209 2.79
Kendrick 40 3 23 66 181 2.74
Eaton 26 2 15 43 118 2.74

The problem, of course, is not that Hamels, Eaton and Kendrick were all allowing hits at the same rate but Eaton and Kendrick gave up more damaging hits. It’s that Eaton and Kendrick gave up lots more hits.

  PA H PA per H XBH PA per XBH
Hamels 914 193 4.74 75 12.19
Kendrick 722 194 3.72 66 10.94
Eaton 478 131 3.65 43 11.12

Again, Eaton and Kendrick allowed both hits and extra-base hits more frequently and that’s why the slugging percentages they allowed were so much worse. Not cause every hit they gave up was a rocket that went off the wall.

Yesterday the Phils beat the Blue Jays 12-7 to improve to 3-3 in spring training.

JA Happ got the start for the Phillies and went three innings, allowing two runs that came on a two-run homer by Adam Lind in the first inning. Fellow fifth-starter candidate Carlos Carrasco allowed five runs in the fifth inning, surrendering a three-run homer to Kevin Millar and a solo shot to Brad Emaus. Two of the runs allowed by Carrasco were unearned due to a Bruntlett error. Gary Majewski also tossed two scoreless innings — he’s allowed two hits and a walk in four scoreless innings so far.

Jeremy Slayden and Ryan Howard hit home runs for the Phils. Paulino went 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. Donald started at short and went 1-for-4 with a walk, raising his spring average to .133 (2-for-15). Mayberry was 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and two RBI. Mayberry leads the Phils with 17 at-bats and has hit 353/450/647 in the early going. Pablo Ozuna went 1-for-3 with two walks. He’s 5-for-8 with two walks.

Werth played in the B-game and went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. Moyer and Blanton both pitched and combined to throw seven scoreless innings.

The article linked above says the Phillies signed five players from a tryout last week. They are right-handed pitchers Dustin Cameron and Jonathan Velasquez, lefty Sean Thompson, catcher Brendan Akashian and infielder Corby Mintken. Read about Akashian here. Cameron here.

Brad Lidge has had tightness in his right forearm, but had a good bullpen session and thinks he should be able to pitch in about ten spring training games before the start of the season.

Romero seems to think there’s a lot of blame to go around for his 50-game suspension.

Curtis Granderson appears likely to start in center field for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic (not Shane Victorino, who may see time in right).

No game today. The Phils play Team Canada tomorrow.


Two bad apples can especially ruin the barrel when lefties hit like .320 against them

As we look ahead to starting 2009 without JC Romero, it’s important to remember that even with Romero dominating left-handed batters in 2008 the Phillies still weren’t especially good against them.

Left-handed hitters hit 270/346/425 against the Phils last year. Eight NL teams pitched to a better OPS against them than the Phillies did. The Phils were better against right-handed batters, who put up a .716 OPS against the Phils. Only four NL teams were better.

As you would expect, the bullpen was much more effective against lefties than the guys who pitched in the rotation (for these purposes I’ve counted Happ as a reliever):


PHI pitchers vs left-handed batters, 2008
  PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Starters 1599 .280 .353 .469 .822
Relievers 974 .255 .335 .353 .688
Total 2573 .270 .346 .425 .772

About 62% of the lefties that the Phillies pitched against were faced by Hamels, Moyer, Eaton, Kendrick, Blanton or Myers. Presumably because lefties exit the lineup with Moyer or Hamels on the mound, Myers, Kendrick and even Eaton all faced more left-handed hitters than Hamels or Moyer. For Myers and Kendrick, the number of lefties they faced over the season was significantly higher (again, the chart below does not include the lefties faced by Happ in his four starts):

spvleft425.jpg

That’s a lot of lefties faced by Myers, Kendrick and Eaton. Myers, for example, faced about 150 more lefties in his 30 starts than Hamels or Moyer did in the 33 starts each of them made. Obviously, the more lefties you face the more damage you can do to the team’s overall numbers against left-handed hitters. Myers, who faced more left-handed hitters than anyone on the team, was fantastic against lefties as he has been over his career. Kendrick was not — lefties feasted on him, hitting 334/404/541. Eaton was almost as bad as lefties posted a 318/402/484 line against him for the season.

Among the relief pitchers, Brad Lidge faced the most lefties. He faced 159 left-handed hitters, less than half of what Myers or Kendrick faced.

For the Phillies relievers that faced at least 90 left-handed hitters in ’08, Durbin and Condrey had the most trouble. Lefties hit 311/401/394 against Durbin and 320/370/448 against Condrey. Fellow righties Madson and Lidge were better — 273/354/345 for Lidge and 268/344/384 for Madson. But Romero was the undisputed king against lefties for the Phils last year. Lefties went 10-for-98 against him, putting up a 102/193/153 line for the season.

If you take the 111 plate appearances against Romero out of the numbers for the relief pitchers, opponents hit 274/354/379 against Philadelphia relievers. That .733 OPS is pretty close to Scott Eyre’s career .723 mark against left-handed hitters.

I think there’s a good chance that Happ can be a part of the solution against lefties out of the pen this season. And he was very good against them in 2008 in limited action. Left-handed hitters got 46 plate appearances against him and hit 209/261/395.

If you look back at 2008, a big reason the Phillies had problems with lefties was that Kendrick and Eaton faced them a lot and got blasted by them. That doesn’t mean the loss of Romero isn’t an issue, though, because his effectiveness out of the pen against left-handed hitters is going to be almost impossible for anyone on the ’09 Phils to replicate.

Jayson Werth has not played in the first two spring training games and will not play again today. If you’re wondering why, this may shed some light on the issue. Or maybe not. Apparently there is zero wrong with Werth and “he’s not a whole lot out of shape.” Take what you will from that, but I think what some people might take is he’s a whole lot out of shaper than a bunch of other guys on the team.

Werth staying off the field for the first couple of games has allowed the Phils to get guys like Slayden, Mayberry and Ellison at-bats, which may have been part of the plan anyway.

The article linked above also says that Pedro Feliz hit off the tee yesterday for the first time since his back surgery.

This suggests that Nomar Garciaparra is deciding between playing for Oakland or retiring. Neither of those options would have him making much of a contribution to the Phillies this season.

The Phillies released Adam Eaton.

Yesterday the Phils dropped to 0-2 in spring training with a 6-2 loss to the Blue Jays.

The best news of the day is that Carlos Carrasco and JA Happ both pitched great. Carrasco struck out three in two perfect innings while Happ gave up just one single and also kept the Jays off the board for two frames. Justin Lehr gave up back-to-back homers in the fifth and Toronto scored four runs in the eighth inning, all of which were charged to Blaine Neal. Gary Majewski struck out two in two perfect innings in his first action with the Phils.

Offensively, the Phils scored two runs for the second straight day. Again they had just one extra-base and again it was a double, this time off the bat of John Mayberry against former Phil Fabio Castro (who I continue to be certain is about to break out any day now). Dobbs and Rollins were both 1-for-3 with an RBI. Donald 0-for-3. Giles 0-for-2 with a walk. Paulino 0-for-1 with a strikeout and was hit by a pitch. Coste did not play.

The Phils play the Reds today.

Jamie and Karen Moyer will be hosting a fundraiser on March 17 in Clearwater to benefit Camp Erin. Details available here.


Wake up stall

Given that the Phils and Mets scored the same number of runs last season, I thought I’d look for any area where the Phillies could improve. One is early in the game.

Here’s the runs scored for each of the teams in innings one through three, four through six and seven through nine:

 
Phillies

Mets
Innings Runs
scored
Per inning Runs
Scored
Per Inning
1 through 3 266 0.55 342 0.70
4 through 6 302 0.62 253 0.52
7 through 9 221 0.50 191 0.43

For each team the runs scored in innings one through nine does not equal 799. The Phillies scored ten runs in extra innings while the Mets scored thirteen.

In both the inning four through six and seven through nine categories, the Phillies outscored the Mets. For the season, after the third inning the Phils outscored the Mets 533 to 457.

The Phillies were actually better than the Mets in the second inning as well:

 
Phillies

Mets
Inning Runs
scored
Per inning Runs
Scored
Per Inning
Second 71 0.44 68 0.42

That means there must have been a big problem in the first and third innings. And there was:

 
Phillies

Mets
Inning Runs
scored
Per inning Runs
Scored
Per Inning
First 109 0.67 139 0.86
Third 86 0.53 135 0.83

The Mets clearly were getting out to a better start in ’08 in the first inning. Here’s at least part of the reason why:

First batter of the game

Team PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
PHI 162 253 290 344 634
NYM 162 346 370 532 902

Rollins was miserable in the first plate appearance of the game in 2008. He got the first plate appearance in 126 of the 162 games and hit 242/278/342 in those plate appearances. Victorino and Werth were the only two players on the team to get more than ten plate appearances as the first Phillie hitter of the game — Victorino hit 429/429/571 and Werth hit 300/417/300. Taguchi went 1-for-8 in the eight games where he hit first for the Phils.

Jose Reyes, on the other hand, was a terror for the Mets as the first hitter of the game. He got the Mets going by hitting 340/365/529 in the 159 times he got the first plate appearance of the game for New York.

It’s a lot less clear what happened in the third inning, but for whatever reason there were a lot of Phillies that just didn’t hit in their plate appearances that came in the third. Burrell hit .130, Werth .104, Victorino .211 and Ruiz .160.

Also possible is that the Phillies’ problems in the first inning forced them to send their 7-8-9 hitters to the plate more often in the third inning while the Mets were sending the better hitters at the top of their order. Here are the Mets hitting splits in the third inning.

The Phillies signed Miguel Cairo to a minor league contract and invited him to spring training. He may be part of the competition to fill in at second if Utley isn’t ready for the start of the season.

Adam Eaton, who has made 49 starts for the Phillies over the past two season in which he’s thrown to a 6.06 ERA, suggests that the reason general managers might not be jumping all over the chance to trade for him is that he will be available without having to make a trade if the Phillies release him.

Bad news if you had Drew Naylor in your office Phillies opening day starter pool. Looks like the Phils may be going to go with that Hamels guy.

Rich Dubee suggests Kendrick is the favorite to win the fifth starter job in this article.


Better halves

Looking back to last week’s post about the areas where the Phillies improved their pitching last season compared to 2007, one of the areas of improvement is what they did as a group before the All-Star break.

This does not come at as a big shock considering that, in 2007, the Phillies were simply miserable before the All-Star break. It left huge room for improvement and the Phillies improved hugely. In ’07, the Phils had the worst pitching in the National League in the first half the of the year. They went into the break with a 4.91 ERA (16th in the NL), having allowed 463 runs (16th) and 432 earned runs (16th). Their ratio as a team was 1.46, which was second-worst in the league behind the Fish.

Adam Eaton and Freddy Garcia were the biggest culprits in the miserable first half for the Phils in ’07. Eaton made 18 starts in which he threw to a 5.69 ERA with a 1.50 ratio. Garcia tossed to a 5.90 ERA in 11 starts with a 1.60 ratio. That duo can’t take all the blame, though, as the pen was bounced around pretty hard in the first half of ’07 as well.

Here’s what Phillies’ starters and relievers have done before and after the All-Star break in the last two years:

 
Before All-Star break

After All-Star break
  ERA Ratio ERA Ratio
2007 Starters 4.99 1.40 4.80 1.45
2007 Pen 4.85 1.57 4.15 1.42
2008 Starters 4.48 1.38 3.84 1.31
2008 Pen 2.71 1.31 3.94 1.48

In 2008, the Phils put up a fourth-best 3.90 ERA in the NL before the All-Star break, allowing 403 runs, which was also the fourth-best. The starters were better, but not by as much as you might think. Hamels and Moyer both had nice first halves, Hamels made 20 starts and threw to a 3.15 ERA and Moyer made 19 and threw to a 3.95 ERA. But Kendrick was off from his ’07 pace, putting up a 4.47 ERA in his 19 starts before the All-Star game. And despite all the room for improvement that Garcia and Eaton had left from the year before, the Phillies starters didn’t exactly capitalize. Myers struggled terribly in his return to the rotation, making 17 starts with a 5.84 ERA and a 1.56 ratio. Eaton was awful again: 19 first half starts, a 5.71 ERA and a 1.61 ratio.

So while a miserable first half from the Phillies starters opened the door for improvement before the break in 2008, it was largely an outstanding performance by the bullpen in the first half of last season that was responsible for the difference between what the staff did in the two seasons.

Finally, I think it’s also interesting to note the significant drop off of the bullpen performance in the second half of the season in 2008. As a group they pitched about as well as they did in the second half of 2007 (but we much better in 2008 in the playoffs than they had been the second half of the year). As I mentioned in last week’s post, Phillies’ pitching overall allowed runs at about the same rate in the second half as they did in the first half in ’08, but that was in large part because the starting pitchers performed so much better after the break than they had before it. By ERA, the Cubs had the best starting pitching in the NL in 2008. Chicago starters threw to a 3.75 ERA, making them the only team whose starters for the year threw to a lower ERA than the Phillies’ starters pitched to in the second half of 2008.

Carlos Ruiz won’t play in the World Baseball Classic.

This suggests Adam Eaton is not in the mix to win the fifth starter’s job and that the battle will be between Kendrick, Happ, Park and Carlos Carrasco. I would be surprised if Carrasco started the year in the rotation.

Bill Conlin writes about the Phillies battle for fifth starter, giving Park the best chance to win the job, followed by Happ, Carrasco, Kendrick and then Eaton. As long as there’s one lefty in the pen I see Kendrick and Park as the front runners ahead of Happ, with Carrasco as a long shot and Eaton as a really, really long shot.

Utley says his rehab is on schedule and hopes he will be ready for opening day.

This from the middle of last week projects the Phillies’ payroll for ’09.

There’s a new Phillies blog at www.truephan.blogspot.com


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