Tag: Albert Pujols

But do those guys know Jared?

Lots of people talking about this great article about how many curve balls Ryan Howard saw last year. Milt Thompson says that given how many breaking balls Howard sees he should be able to walk 150 times in a season. That may be a little optimistic, but it does seem like Howard should be drawing more walks. Howard has been in the top three in all of baseball in home runs for each of the past four seasons. Here’s how his rate of walks compares to the other top home run hitters from either league in 2009:

Player PA HR BB % of PA BB
A Pujols 700 47 115 16.4
P Fielder 719 46 110 15.3
R Howard 703 45 75 10.7
M Reynolds 662 44 76 11.5
A Gonzalez 681 40 119 17.5
C Pena 570 39 87 15.3
M Teixeira 707 39 81 11.5
A Dunn 668 38 116 17.4
J Werth 676 36 91 13.5
A Hill 734 36 42 5.7
J Bay 638 36 94 14.7

The group of players walked in about 14.9% of their plate appearances in 2009 on average. Howard walked in about 10.7% of his. The only player on the list who drew walks less often was Aaron Hill.

The Yankees beat the Phils 7-5 yesterday in a game that featured Jose Contreras allowing six runs on six hits and three walks over 1 2/3 innings. Kendrick pitched very well before that, throwing three scoreless innings. Scott Mathieson struck out two in his inning, but allowed a run on a single and a double. Mayberry went 2-for-4 with a solo home run and Rollins was also 2-for-4 with a solo shot.

It sure seemed like Moyer was a heavy favorite to win the fifth starter job. I still think he is, but it’s great to see Kendrick pitching so well.

Halladay will pitch in tonight’s game against the Yankees. Victorino, who has missed time with a sore shoulder, is expected to play.

Charlie Manuel tops Gene Mauch and Dallas Green in this poll on best manager in Phillies history. I concur.

If you want to see what God thinks of money, just look at all the people He gave it to (Dorothy Parker)

Pat Burrell had a big contract in 2008 and he’s going to have a big contract in 2009. He’s not much of a defensive player, but does he produce offense at levels similar to other highly paid hitters? In 2008, Burrell made $14.25 million and posted an OPS+ of 125. Using the salary data that you can access here, I compared his OPS+ to 40 non-pitchers who made $12 million or more in ’08.

Some problems with this, including: 1) it ignores defense 2) even if Burrell is as good an offensive player as the other guys making a lot of money they could all be overpaid. Nate McLouth, for example, made $425,000 in 2008 and was arguably a more productive offensive player than at least 30 of the 41 players on the lists below and 3) I’m comparing the OPS+ of National League players to the OPS+ of American League players. That’s a problem as the formula for OPS+ compares a player’s on-base percentage and slugging to the on-base and slugging percentages for their league rather than for both leagues combined. I have put the OPS+ for AL players in red.

All that said, here it is:

  Made at least $12M in ’08 but
OPS+ lower than Burrell




Carlos Guillen 12.0 420 114
Jose Guillen 12.0 598 96
Paul Konerko 12.0 438 102
Ivan Rodriguez 12.379 398 87
Mike Lowell 12.5 419 103
Troy Glaus 12.5 544 124
Garrett Anderson 12.6 557 97
David Ortiz 13.0 416 123
Hideki Matsui 13.0 337 108
Johnny Damon 13.0 555 118
Jorge Posada 13.1 168 103
Derrek Lee 13.25 623 110
Gary Sheffield 13.326 418 90
Adrian Beltre 13.4 556 109
Alfonso Soriano 14.0 453 121

Unlike OPS+, sOPS+ allows us to compare a hitter’s right/left splits to all hitters in the major leagues rather than just other hitters in his league. Burrell’s sOPS+ against righties in ’08 was 132, against lefties it was 144.

Looking at some of the players who were close to Burrell, Carlos Guillen’s sOPS+ right/left splits were 110/111.

David Ortiz’s were 136/110, suggesting that Ortiz was slightly better against righties and worse against lefties. Baseball Reference calculates Ortiz’s runs created at 79 for 2008 compared to 106 for Burrell.

Mike Lowell’s sOPS+ for ’08 were 108/146. A little better than Burrell against lefties. More than a hundred fewer at-bats and fewer runs created.

Damon 128/104. Runs created of 104.

Glaus killed righties but not lefties, 147/97. Soriano was the opposite, 114/182. Both had lower runs created than Burrell.

  Made at least $12M in ’08 and had an
OPS+ better than Burrell
Player Salary AB OPS+
Chipper Jones 12.33 439 174
12.5 574 151
Carlos Lee 12.5 436 144
Adam Dunn 13.0 517 129
Albert Pujols 13.87 524 190
JD Drew 14.0 368 137

Burrell did have a better runs created than either JD Drew or Carlos Lee, though, because those players had significantly fewer at-bats in ’08 than Burrell. Chipper also had many fewer at-bats but created more runs.

Dunn’s sOPS+ right/left were 143/121.

Here’s the players that made as much or more than the $14.25 million Burrell made in ’08:

  Made as much or more  in ’08 but
OPS+ lower than or equal to Burrell





Pat Burrell



Andruw Jones



Miguel Tejada



Richie Sexson



Jim Thome



Bobby Abreu



Torii Hunter



Todd Helton



Ichiro Suzuki



Derek Jeter



Thome’s sOPS+ was 123/142, again worse than Burrell’s 132/144. Created fewer runs than Burrell.

Torii Hunter 118/122.

The lefty Abreu was better against lefties than righties in ’08, 114/146. His runs created were very similar to Burrell’s — the same using the formula that Baseball-Reference is using and better using the formula used by ESPN‘s baseball stats.

These guys made more money than Burrell and put up a better OPS+:

  Made more money than Burrell and had a
better OPS+





Lance Berkman



Aramis Ramirez



Vlad Guerrero



Rafael Furcal



Magglio Ordonez



Carlos Delgado




Carlos Beltran



Manny Ramirez



Jason Giambi



Alex Rodriguez



Aramis Ramirez comes out on top of Burrell because he pounded right-handed pitching. 163/87. Like Ramirez, Carlos Delgado was better than Burrell, but it was close. Delgado did have a better runs created, but Burrell’s sOPS+ right/left splits are a little better than Delgado’s 133/122. Delgado hit for a higher average, .271 to .250, and outslugged Burrell .518 to .507. He also hit five more home runs (38 for Delgado and 33 for Burrell) and drove in 115 runs to Burrell’s 86.

Burrell created more runs than Furcal, who had just 143 at-bats on the season. He also, however, had a better runs created than Vlad Guerrero (whose sOPS+ right/left were 150/112), Jason Giambi (127/140) or Magglio Ordonez (140/125).

This article points out that Jermaine Dye has a no-trade clause and that the Phillies are one of the teams on his no-trade list.

The Braves are expected to finalize their trade for Javier Vazquez today. This article suggests that the Braves may also offer AJ Burntett a five-year deal and that the Phillies have made an offer to Derek Lowe.

Happ more

JA Happ took a shutout into the seventh inning last night. He didn’t come out with his first career win, but with the help of big hits from Ryan Howard the Phils did snap their four-game losing streak.

Howard drove in two of the four Phillies’ runs, both times tallying the RBI while hitting with two strikes. His home run in the bottom of the eighth put the Phillies up to stay.

The Phillies beat the St Louis Cardinals last night. With the 4-2 win they are 49-43 on the season.

JA Happ got the start for the Phillies and went 6 1/3 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out five.

He walked Skip Schumaker on four pitches to start the first but struck Ryan Ludwick out behind him for the first out. Albert Pujols was next and absolutely smashed a line drive to third that Feliz caught for the second out. Troy Glaus followed with a walk that moved Schumaker to second, but Happ got Rick Ankiel on a fly ball to center to end the frame.

With one out in the second, Jason LaRue singled and the pitcher Brad Thompson bunted him to second. Cesar Izturis grounded to first for the third out.

Pujols singled to left with two outs in the third. Glaus flew to left for the third out.

LaRue doubled to left with two outs in the fourth. Thompson grounded to third to set St Louis down.

Izturis walked to start the fifth and moved to second when Schumaker followed with a ground out to first. Happ made a nice play covering first to take the toss from Howard and tagging Schumaker for the out. Happ struck Ludwick out again, bringing up Pujols with two outs and a man on second. Pujols was walked intentionally and Glaus flew to right for the third out.

Happ started the sixth up 2-0 and set the Cards down 1-2-3 on nine pitches.

He started the seventh having thrown 98 pitches. Izturis singled with one out and Glaus followed and slammed the first pitch of his at-bat into right center. Izturis would have scored easily, but the ball got stuck under the padding and Izturis had to hold third on the ground-rule double. Durbin came in to pitch to the righty Ludwick and walked him on four pitches to load the bases for Pujols. Pujols swung at the first pitch of his at-bat and flew to left, deep enough to score Izturis and cut the Phillies lead to 2-1. Durbin got ahead of Glaus 1-2 before Glaus reached out and dumped a single into center. Schumaker came in from second to score — he probably would have been out if Victorino’s throw had been on target, but it was well up the third base line. Schumaker’s run tied the game at 2-2. Durbin intentionally walked the lefty Ankiel, loading the bases for pitcher Jason Isringhausen. Righty Joe Mather hit for Isringhausen and Durbin struck him out to end the frame.

Huge out for Durbin. St Louis had two lefties on the bench in Chris Duncan and Adam Kennedy. I think you have to conclude LaRussa liked Mather against Durbin better than Duncan against Romero. Think I would have rather had Ducan/Romero if I was him. Either way, Durbin scraped through a shaky inning. Getting Pujols on the fly ball to left was huge.

With game tied at 2-2, Condrey pitched the eighth and struck out the side.

Condrey lowered his ERA to 3.82 on the year, appearing in one of the bigger spots we’ve seen him in in his time with the Phils. He has walked two hitters since April 27 (in 29 innings pitched).

Lidge started the ninth with a 4-2 lead and walked Schumaker in a ten-pitch at-bat. It brought Ludwick up as the tying run and Ludwick struck out for the third time in the game. Lidge’s nemesis, Pujols, was next. Pujols got ahead 2-0 and then popped one up to right for the second out. Glaus walked to put men on first and second. With the tying run on base, Lidge struck the lefty Ankiel out on three pitches to end the game.

The pen went 2 2/3 innings, allowing a hit and four walks. Durbin allowed two runs that were charged to Happ but came into the game in a tough situation with men on second and third with one out. Condrey had a strong inning against a weak part of the order, but it’s nice to see him pitch to well and get to throw in big spots. Lidge threw 29 pitches throwing for the second straight day. 24 for Durbin, 14 for Condrey.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Mark Mulder went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Ruiz. Werth in right against the lefty. Ruiz sure gets a lot of chances.

Victorino walked with one out in the first and stole second before Utley drew a walk. Mulder had to leave the game and righty Brad Thompson came in to pitch for the Cards. Howard hit into double-play to end the inning.

Burrell walked to start the second, but the Phils went in order behind him.

Happ struck out for the first out in the third. Rollins was next and hit a high fly ball into left that sliced towards the line. Schumaker made a nice play, catching the ball as he slid into the wall for the second out. Victorino drew a two-out walk but was caught stealing to end the inning.

With one out in the fourth, Howard walked and Burrell moved him to second with a single. Werth lined to short and Feliz grounded to third to leave both runners stranded.

Ruiz led off the fifth with a single and Happ tried to bunt him to second but struck out. Rollins was next and he split the gap in right-center with a triple that scored Ruiz to put the Phils up 1-0. Victorino chopped a 2-2 pitch to short. Rollins came home but Izturis fielded and made a solid throw to the plate. Rollins was out for the second out. Utley was next and he singled to right, sending Victorino to second. Howard followed and lined a 3-2 pitch into right. Victorino scored from second to make it 2-0 and Utley went to third. Righty Russ Springer came in and struck out Burrell to end the inning.

Ruiz walked with two outs in the sixth. Happ hit for himself and grounded to second for the third out.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the seventh.

They started the bottom of the eighth with the score tied at 2-2. With lefty-killers Burrell and Werth behind Howard the Cards left righty Kyle McClellan in to pitch to Howard. Howard got behind 0-2 and then blasted a ball out to right to put the Phils up 3-2. Second time in the game Howard drove in runs while hitting with two strikes. Closer-to-be righty Chris Perez came in and struck out Burrell and Werth before Feliz lined a 1-2 pitch out to left for his 11th home run of the year. 4-2 Phils. Ruiz flew to right for the third out.

Rollins was 1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. He has three triples so far in July.

Victorino was 0-for-2 with two walks.

Utley 1-for-3 with walk.

Howard was 2-for-3 with a home run, a walk and two RBI. He’s hitting 361/439/778 in July. Sometime this season he’s going to have an absurd month where he just hits day after day. There aren’t that many months left.

Burrell was 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.

Werth 0-for-4 and struck out twice. Werth has been great in July, hitting 320/414/440 so far. He hasn’t been good in the last two days, going 1-for-8 with three strikeouts. He’s played nine days in a row and it’s hard not to wonder if he’s tired.

Feliz was 1-for-4 with a home run.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk.

Jamie Moyer (7-6, 4.12) faces righty Bradon Looper (9-6, 4.15) this afternoon. Looper has allowed three or fewer earned runs in eight of his last ten starts. In his five starts during the day he has thrown to a 6.75 ERA. In 13 night starts he’s thrown to a 3.39 ERA. The Phillies have lost the last four games that Moyer has started, but Moyer has pitched pretty well. Righties are hitting .306 against him on the season, lefties just .215. Pujols is 0-for-7 against him in his career.

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