Tag: Cole Hamels

I hear there was a time when candy bars were two for a nickel, too, it doesn’t necessarily mean we should count on Ryan Howard to OPS 1.200 again

If we’re bringing stuff back from the great beyond, I’d like to put in a vote for the pig-footed bandicoot as well. Mostly just cause it has a cool name. I’d hate to think we were able to do that kind of thing and I forgot to put in a vote.

I love the notion that there are so many bandicoots out there that humanity just wouldn’t have been able to get by without differentiating some of them as “pig-footed.” Not the regular bandicoots. The pig-footed ones.

Second win of the spring for the Phils yesterday as they topped the Braves 10-5. Ryan Howard doubled home a run in the first and hit his first spring homer in the fifth. His 2-for-3 day ups his spring line to 533/556/933 (8-for-15 with three doubles, a home run and two walks) and he leads the team with five RBI. Howard obviously isn’t going to double in 20% of his at-bats in 2013, but he hit 11 doubles for the season in 2012 and his results early in 2013 remind that there was a time when a hot and healthy Howard could put the Phillies on his shoulders and carry the offense himself.

We might have forgotten those days, but if we did it’s our own fault. Because they happened and it wasn’t that long ago.

From August 22 to the end of the season in 2008, Howard got 151 plate appearances in which he hit 15 home runs, had 27 extra-base hits, 42 RBI and 20 walks, OPSing 1.216 in that stretch. 2009 he OPSed 1.078 over his last 216 plate appearances with 19 home runs. In 2010 the tear came earlier, a 50-game stretch from the start of June to July 27 — 323/387/651 over 217 plate appearances.

Mayberry homered yesterday as well. 1-for-1 with a walk in the game and extra-base hits in two straight games after an ugly start. Utley was 2-for-3 with a double. 3-for-6 so far.

Ben Revere got the job done in the leadoff spot for the second straight day, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and two more runs scored. Don’t look for him to deliver a walk and an extra-base hit in the same game too often, though. His average is suddenly up to .385 (5-for-13).

Brown 1-for-3 with a single and a walk to drop his average to .417 (5-for-12 with a double, two home runs and three walks).

Inciarte finally made an out. He struck out to start the seventh and is 1-for-2 with three walks so far.

Michael Young had his first hit. He was 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBI, making him 1-for-10 in the early going.

Galvis 2-for-2 but with yet another error. Ruf got a hit but also made another error, his second in limited time in the outfield. He was 2-for-3 with a double and is now a walkless 2-for-12 in official action.

Hamels started the game for the Phils and allowed an unearned run on four hits over three innings while striking out five. He allowed one hit and struck out four through the first two innings. He started the third up 3-1. Ramiro Pena singled with one out, took second when Ruf misplayed the ball for an error and scored on a single by Tyler Pastornicky.

In two starts, Hamels has now allowed one unearned run over five innings, throwing to a 0.00 ERA with a 1.00 ratio and striking out six. He hasn’t walked a batter yet.

Mike Adams followed Hamels, making his Phillie debut, and threw a scoreless fourth. He allowed one single and struck out one.

Diekman threw the fifth. He gave up a leadoff walk, but got the next hitter to line into a double-play before Jason Heyward grounded to Utley to set the Braves down.

Second outing for Diekman. This one better than the first, but he still needs to stop walking so many people.

Pettibone followed Diekman and allowed four runs on three hits and a walk over two frames in his first spring outing. He allowed a solo homer in the sixth. In the seventh, the first two Braves reached on a walk and a single before Pastornicky hit a three-run homer.

Ethan followed Pettibone, also making his first appearance, and threw two scoreless innings.

Manuel suggests he wants Mayberry to be more aggressive in this article from the Phillies web site.

Halladay is expected to pitch this afternoon as the Phillies face the Yankees. He allowed a run on one hit, a solo homer, over two innings his first time out.


Play ball! Not especially well, but whatever!

The Phillies have played three games since the last post. They played an intrasquad game on Friday, Houston on Saturday and Detroit on Sunday.

Yesterday the Phils and Tigers played to a 5-5 tie in ten innings. Howard was 2-for-3 with a pair for doubles. Frandsen also had two hits, including a solo home run in the fourth inning. Domonic Brown got just one at-bat in the game, but hit a solo home run pinch-hitting for Ruf in the top of the eighth to tie the game at 5-5. Ruf was 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

Pitching-wise, Halladay was the story of the game as he allowed one run on one hit, a solo homer by Victor Martinez, over two innings. Rodrigo Lopez threw three scoreless innings late in the game, striking out three. Bastardo, Savery and Justin Friend all tossed a scoreless inning. Savery got out of his inning with the help of a double-play after allowing two singles in the frame.

JC Ramirez and Diekman had less luck. Ramirez was charged with three runs in the fourth on a walk, two singles and a double. Diekman pitched the fifth and allowed a run. He gave up a leadoff walk and the pinch-runner came around to score on a two-out single after stealing second.

In 2012 with the Phillies, Diekman walked 20 in 27 1/3 innings.

On Saturday the Phils made four errors as they lost 8-3 to the Astros. Ruf’s was the most memorable, misplaying a single to allow an extra base, as his first chance to impress with his defense in left didn’t go so well. Kratz, Martinez and Revere also had errors in the game.

Pete Orr hit a solo home run for the Phils. Yuniesky Betancourt started at short and was the only Phillie with more than one hit. He went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.

Hamels was rather impressive, throwing two shutout innings to start the game. He allowed just one hit, an infield single, and threw just ten pitches. Rosenberg was next and was hit hard, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk in two frames. Zach Miner allowed two runs on three hits in the fifth, only one of which was earned due to Revere’s error in center. Horst allowed a run over two innings and De Fratus was charged with single runs in both the eighth and the ninth, walking a batter early in both frames.

On Friday, Ruf was 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and Brown 1-for-2 with a double in the intrasquad game. Lefty Adam Morgan also threw two scoreless frames.

Over two official spring training games, Ender Inciarte is 1-for-1 with a single and two walks. Ut oh. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

The Phillies traded Michael Schwimer to the Blue Jays for first baseman Art Charles. Charles is 22 and hits left-handed. He’s spent three years in the low minors, hitting .239, but with a 101 walks and 28 home runs in 706 plate appearances. 239/358/482 so far in the minor leagues.

The Phillies signed 24-year-old left-handed hitting 1B/3B/LF Austin Gallagher to a minor league deal and released Andres Blanco. Gallagher hasn’t made it to Double-A yet, but has hit 285/360/430 over 2,173 plate appearances at various stops in the Dodgers organization. He will begin to serve a 50-game suspension for taking a banned substance on April 1.

Delmon Young will see a doctor this week in the hopes of being cleared for more activity.

The Phillies play the Tigers this afternoon with Cliff Lee expected to pitch.


The best of the rest

Game Score is an enormously flawed stat, but looking at the Start Log data for 2012 does help demonstrate part of what was wrong for the Phillies last year.

The average Game Score for a start by a Phillies pitcher in ’12 was 54.2, which is the lowest it has been since 2009. There were only two starters for the Phils in 2012 who posted an average Game Score for the year better than the team’s average of 54.2 — Hamels averaged 59.74 in his 31 starts and Lee averaged 58.93 in his 30. Halladay, notably, joined Worley, Blanton, Kendrick, Valdes, Cloyd and Rosenberg in the group of starters under the team’s 54.2 average.

In 2011, Halladay, Hamels and Lee all averaged Game Scores above 60.

The Phils had six games in 2012 in which their starter threw to a Game Score better than 80. Here are the teams six best starts for 2012 by Game Score:

April 5, Halladay 83. Phillies beat the Pirates 1-0 on Opening Day as Halladay allows two hits and no walks over eight shutout innings.

April 18, Lee 85. By Game Score, this is the second-best start of the year for the Phillies in 2012. Lee strikes out seven in ten shutout innings. Bastardo started the bottom of the eleventh in a scoreless tie and the Giants got an unearned run on two singles and a Wigginton error.

May 3, Blanton 87. Best start of the year for the Phillies by Game Score. Blanton throws a complete-game, three hit shutout and the Phils top the Braves 4-0. He threw just 88 pitches in the game.

August 7, Hamels 83. Best start of the year for Hamels as he throws a complete game, allowing five hits and no walks while striking out six. Howard hits a two-run homer in the top of the first as the Phils score three runs on their way to a 3-0 win over Atlanta.

August 10, Halladay 82. The only pitcher to make two starts with Game Scores over 80, Halladay allowed a run on two hits and no walks while striking out eight as the Phils topped the Cardinals 3-1, breaking a 1-1 tie in the bottom of the eighth on a two-run shot by Utley.

August 19, Kendrick 82. The third Game Score of 80 plus in a 12-day period for the Phils. Kendrick makes his best start of the year, allowing three hits and a walk over eight shutout innings while striking out seven. The Phillies score five runs charged to Randy Wolf in the first three innings and roll to an 8-0 win.

For the Phillies it was their first season since 2008 in which they didn’t get a start with a Game Score better than 90.

In 2011, Lee threw a complete-game shutout of the Nats on April 14, allowing three hits and a walk while striking out 12 and posting a Game Score of 92.

Halladay threw a perfect game on May 29, 2010 with a Game Score of 98.

There were two starts with a Game Score above 90 in 2009. On August 19, Lee struck out 11, walked none and allowed two singles in a complete game against the Snakes. The Phils won 8-1 and Lee’s Game Score was 92. On September 1, Hamels allowed two hits and a walk while striking out nine in a complete game shutout as the Phils topped the Giants 1-0. 91 Game Score in that start for Hamels.

This Q&A from the Phillies web site speculates that Michael Young could play some first base against lefties this year if Howard continues to struggle against them. Mayberry and Ruf seem like good candidates as well. Mayberry seems like the one of that trio who would not be terrible defensively at the position he was playing (left field, presumably) if he was in the lineup and not at first, which presumably makes it less likely he would be there than Ruf or Young if Howard was on the bench against a lefty.

This suggests that the Phillies and Bastardo have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $1.4 million deal.

Article on 22-year-old lefty Adam Morgan here. Morgan threw to a 3.35 ERA in 158 2/3 innings over 27 appearances, 26 of which were starts, between Clearwater and Reading in 2012.

This article discusses the possibility that Michael Young will hit between Utley and Howard in 2013.

This article suggests the Phillies are seriously considering signing Delmon Young.

Update: The Phillies signed Delmon Young to a one-year, $750,000 deal. I would have guessed he would get more money than that. At least on paper, that’s a really good deal for the Phils to land the MVP of last year’s ALCS. No word yet they plan to play on paper next year, though. So brace yourself for the possibility there might be a bump or two ahead.

This says Young could earn as much as $3.5 million if all incentives are reached.

Young earned $6.75 million in 2012.


Fans hold out hope that 2012 Halladay and maybe all of 2012 turn out not to have been real, either

And our outfield, too. Don’t forget that.

Moving down the blue band in the middle of the Start Log for 2012, you’ll find the section on quality starts. The biggest surprise from 2012 in that area is that Halladay made 25 starts for the Phillies in 2012 and only 15, 60%, were quality starts.

Here’s the percentage of starts that Halladay, Hamels, Lee and everybody else have made over the past three

2012 2011 2010
GS QS% GS QS% GS QS%
Halladay 25 60.0 32 78.1 25 75.8
Hamels 31 74.2 31 77.4 21 63.6
Lee 30 70.0 32 78.1 - -
Everyone else 76 52.6 67 50.7 96 50.1

So all three of Halladay, Hamels and Lee delivered quality starts in a lower percentage of outings in 2012 than they did in 2011. But Hamels and Lee were down a little and Halladay was down a lot. Over the last three seasons, the trio of Halladay, Hamels and Lee have combined to make a quality start in 72.5% of their outings. From 2012 to 2011, the percentage for that group dropped from 77.9% to 68.6%, thanks mostly to Halladay’s drop.

Notably, over the past three years, the percentage of quality starts delivered by pitchers other than Halladay, Hamels and Lee has had a very slender range, between 50.0% and 52.6%. Since 2010, the only pitcher to make quality starts in 60% or more of his starts in any year is Oswalt. Oswalt made quality starts in 60.9% of his 23 starts in 2011 and 75% (9 of 12) in 2010.

One final thought on quality starts and Vance Worley. Whether it was due to his enormously high BABIP or not, Worley was worse in 2012 than he was in 2011. His walk and home run rates stayed about the same while his hit rate skyrocketed and his ERA went from 3.01 in 2011 to 4.20 in 2012. In 2012, the Phillies went 9-14 in the games that Worley started. In 2011, they were 16-5. But for the two years, the percentage of Worley’s starts that were quality starts stayed the about the same — 56.5% in 2012 and 57.1% in 2011.

The Phillies and 33-year-old righty Aaron Cook apparently have a deal and Cook will try to make the team as a NRI. Cook has been awful over the last three years, throwing to a 5.54 ERA in 318 2/3 innings with the Rockies and Red Sox. Prior to 2010, Cook had had four straight years in which he threw at least 150 innings with an ERA+ better than 110.

This article reminds that Ryan Vogelsong was with the Phillies in spring training in 2010. He made two official spring training appearances, allowing six runs in three innings. Didn’t make the team. Went to Triple-A and threw to a 4.91 ERA in 25 appearances and was released in July. Was picked up by the Giants in time to make 61 appearances between 2011 and 2012, 59 starts, in which he threw to a 3.05 ERA with a 1.24 ratio. In 2011 he was an All-Star and finished eleventh in NL Cy Young voting.


Log jog

I finalized the Start Log for 2012.

I think there’s some interesting stuff there that reminds a lot about what went wrong for the Phillies in 2012.

Looking at the blue band in the middle and starting at the top, we see the team’s record by starting pitcher. Some highlights:

  • The Phillies went 14-11 in Halladay’s starts in 2012. Coming into the season, in Halladay’s two years with the Phils the team was 46-19 in the games he started.
  • 21-10 in games started by Hamels, by far the best mark of any pitcher on the team. The Phils finished the year 81-81, so that means they were 60-71 when someone other than Hamels started. That’s a little remarkable given that two of the team’s other starters were Cliff Lee and Roy Halladay.
  • In 2011, the Phillies won 15 or more games in the starts made by four different pitchers (24-8 under Halladay, 18-13 Hamels, 22-10 Lee and 16-5 Worley). In 2012, the team only won 15 or more games in the starts made by Hamels.
  • The Phillies went 23-32 when Lee or Worley started. They were 38-15 in starts by that duo in 2011 (22-10 when Lee started and 16-5 when Worley started). In 2011, the Phillies had a better record in Worley’s 21 starts (16-5 for a .762 winning percentage) than they did in Halladay’s starts (24-8, .750).
  • Despite a nice year from Kendrick, the team was still just 11-14 in the games he started. The Phillies went 1-9 in the first ten games in which Kendrick appeared in 2012 — he started five of those games and appeared in relief in the other five. Over the last two season the Phils are 30-41 in games in which Kendrick appeared and 18-22 in the 40 games that he started.
  • 11-9 in the Blanton starts. The Blanton era ends in Philly with good results for the team. He made exactly 100 starts for the Phils between 2008 and 2012 with the Phillies going 58-42 in the games that he started. Since 2008, the Phillies have won about as many games that were started by Blanton (58) as they have games started by Halladay (60). Blanton has made 100 starts for the Phils over the last five seasons while Halladay has made 90. Hamels is the only pitcher who has started more games that the Phillies won over the past five season — they are 92-68 in games started by Hamels since the beginning of ’08.

The Phillies have signed 37-year-old right-handed pitcher Rodrigo Lopez to a minor league deal. Lopez made seven appearances with the Phillies in 2009, ending the year with a 5.70 ERA. He had a 3.09 ERA with a 1.37 ratio through his first four starts and took a 3.99 ERA into his final appearance of the season on August 9. Lopez allowed six runs in two-thirds of an inning in that game, which was also memorable because Shane Victorino was ejected for arguing balls and strikes while he was in center field with the other team batting. Lopez will try to make the team in spring training as an NRI.

This mailbag from the Phillies web site mentions Humberto Quintero and Zach Miner as top candidates to make the team to start the year among the non-roster invitees. I will be surprised if Miner makes the team to start the year and surprised if Qunitero does not. The same article suggests the possibility of bringing Delmon Young to the Phillies and mentions his “baggage” as one of the reasons that might be difficult. Another is he is a bad defensive outfielder and has had two bad years offensively in a row. The mailbag also guesses that Cloyd will start the year in Triple-A.

This article suggests that the Phillies could easily be in rebuilding mode by July. The Phils would have a real tough time rebuilding if they weren’t able to trade Howard, Utley and Halladay. I would guess they would have some difficulty trading Howard at this point unless they were willing to pay a whole lot of his salary.


Doing their part

The last post looked at the Baseball-Reference’s bWAR for the four elite pitchers on the Phillie pitching staff, Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Papelbon, have produced over the last five seasons. Those four haven’t all been on the Phillies over the past five years (the Phils only had all four of them in 2012) but here’s a look at the bWAR the four of them have contributed to Phillie teams over the past five seasons and how their contributions as a group compares to what the rest of the Phillie staff has done:

Year Big 4 bWAR Team bWAR P Not big 4 % ip by big 4 % bWAR big 4
2012 (all four) 10.7 10.8 0.1 45.0 99.1
2011 (all but Pap) 23.0 35.2 12.2 46.2 65.3
2010 (Halladay/Hamels) 13.6 21.2 7.6 31.5 64.2
2009 (Lee/Hamels) 2.7 10.2 7.5 18.8 25.3
2008 (Hamels) 4.0 11.1 7.1 15.7 36.0

The most alarming thing about that table is 2012 — the only year in which the Phillies had all four of Halladay, Hamels, Lee and Papelbon. Last season, all of the other pitchers on the team other than those four combined to do close to nothing. The 16 other pitchers put up a combined bWAR of 0.1.

Over the last five years, the bWAR provided by Phillie pitchers other than that quartet has ranged from 0.1 to 12.2 and averaged 6.9. It’s obviously hugely important that all four of that group were not with the Phillies in any year other than 2012, as the absent members of the group gave others chances to pitch and accumulate WAR. In 2008, for example, Hamels was the only guy in the group with the team.

Over the past two years, the group of Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Papelbon have thrown an average of 45.6% of the innings for the Phillies. Over the past five years, that group’s percentage of total bWAR for the Phillies has been about 1.86 times the percentage of total innings they have pitched. If they threw 45.6% of the team’s innings in 2013 and the percentage of the team’s total bWAR they provided was 1.86 times greater than that, they would account for about 84.8% of the team’s total bWAR for pitchers.

This says that Angel Pagan and the Giants have agreed to a four-year deal.

Nate Schierholtz was not offered a contract and became a free agent.

This article mentions Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Ichiro Suzuki, Cody Ross, Alfonso Soriano, Michael Cuddyer and Dexter Fowler as players that the Phillies could target to acquire.

In the article linked above, Amaro seems to suggest that Mayberry could play center if the team was strong enough in right and left. That would be a disaster. It would look a lot like last year’s disaster.

This suggests that the Phillies have “long coveted” Peter Bourjos, but that a deal with the Angels is unlikely. It also suggests the Phillies might be interested in a trade for Josh Willingham if he were available.

The whole thing is starting to take on the feel of a slow-moving disaster. Not over yet, though.


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