Tag: Danys Baez

Phils going to need to find some new friends to get by with a little help from

Last week I mentioned that while the Phillies got worse at preventing runs overall last year, using opponent batting statistics they still got better against left-handed batters.

A couple more things about that.

First, a big part of their success against left-handed hitting had to do with some right-handed pitchers that 1) were great against lefties in 2009 and 2) aren’t going to be on the team in 2010. Lefties hit .172 and on-based .262 against Condrey, who faced about as many left-handed batters in ’09 as Scott Eyre (65 for Condrey and 67 for Eyre). Lefties hit 229/283/313 against Tyler Walker. Brett Myers saw most of his action as a starter but also made eight appearances in relief — overall for the year, lefties hit 233/314/360 against him.

Here’s what that trio did combined against left-handed batting in 2009:

Condrey, Walker and Myers combined vs
lefties in 2009
289 .219 .296 .332 .628

They were really good against lefties. Of those 289 batters faced, about 59% were faced by Myers and he saw about 90% of his action as a starter. So we don’t want to overstate the impact on the bullpen. Still, it’s true that the Phillies had good numbers overall against lefties last year and a big part of that was because of the work of some now departed right-handed pitchers.

The second thing about lefties in the pen comes with a small sample size warning, but in his limited action against lefties in 2009, Romero was just terrible. The 32 left-handed batters that he faced hit 308/438/538 against him. He came into the season having allowed about one home run to every 93 left-handed hitters he faced and allowed two to the 32 lefties he faced in ’09. Scott Eyre was the king of getting lefties out in relief for the Phils in ’09 — they hit a paltry 210/269/355 against him. The tiny number of lefties that Romero faced in 2009 makes it hard to worry too much about what they did against him. He’s been fantastic against left-handed hitters over his career, holding them to a fantastic 215/310/293 line. Let’s hope that proves to be the much better measuring stick than what he did in limited action last season.

Chan Ho Park has agreed to a one-year deal with the Yankees worth $1.2 million. Contreras will get $1.5 million from the Phillies this year and Baez $5.25 million over the next two years.

This says the Phillies have maintained contact with Pedro Martinez and considers the possibility that the Phils will add a back of the rotation starter. Moyer looks like a sure thing to me to join Halladay, Hamels, Blanton and Happ in the rotation if he’s healthy.

Help wanted

After having the best bullpen in the National League in 2008, the Phillies’ pen faded to the middle of the pack in 2009. At this point it looks like five of the bullpen spots for 2010 have been filled by Lidge, Durbin, Madson, Romero and Baez. The table below shows what those five combined to do in 2009 and what the Phillies bullpen overall combined to do for the year:

ERA Ratio
Five 2010 PHI
relievers in 2009
294 273 138 253 4.47 1.40
2009 PHI pen 492 457 223 417 3.91 1.38

So if those five guys each did exactly what they did in 2009 in 2010, here’s what the other guys in the Phillies pen would need to do this year to match the overall numbers for last year’s bullpen in those categories:

ERA Ratio
198 184 85 164 3.09 1.36

Golly. That’s a lot of pretty good innings the as yet unannounced pitchers would need to give to match a Phillies bullpen from 2009. They would need to pitch much better than the five pitchers in the pen combined to pitch last year. Even if they did, the 2009 Phillies bullpen wasn’t very good.

The five guys we know are in the pen aren’t going to do what they did in 2009 in 2010, of course. Brad Lidge will almost surely pitch better and if he doesn’t he will almost surely pitch less often. He was so miserable in 2009, though, he could still be a lot better without being good. Romero, too, seems like a good candidate to contribute more in ’10 than he did in ’09. In 2009 he threw just 16 2/3 innings for the Phils — if he does that in 2010 as well the Phils are going to have a whole bunch of problems.

Madson has had very similar numbers over the past three seasons as a full-time reliever. I think it’s possible he gets better in 2010, but I wouldn’t count on it.

Durbin’s 2009 wasn’t impressive, but it’s important to remember that he outperformed his career levels for ERA and ratio. He prevented home runs at a better rate and struck out batters more regularly than he has for his career. He was fantastic in the first half of 2008. Maybe he will be again, but I think it’s more reasonable to expect that his numbers for his career are the more relevant measuring stick.

Baez could see some improvement coming over from the American League, but he is coming off of his best year since 2005. The 1.13 ratio he posted in 2009 was outstanding, his best mark since 2001. He dropped his walk rate compared to his career levels, but his strikeouts dipped way below his career levels in 2009 and his batting average for balls in play was a tiny .232 on a Baltimore team where the average pitcher had a batting average for balls in play of .309. The .232 mark was the lowest it has been for Baez in any year of his career. I’m not saying that Baez isn’t going to help. Not at all. The Phillies need him. I am saying that he’s not going to have a 1.13 ratio this year.

What if they threw a bullpen and nobody came?

It sure seems like the Phillies are going to need to find a bunch of fellas to pitch out of their bullpen in the next couple of months. Right now it looks like they have five (Madson, Durbin, Lidge, Baez and Romero). Of those five, two, Lidge and Romero, may not be ready for the start of the season.

There were 18 players who pitched in relief for the Phillies in 2009. The table below shows the percentage of the team’s innings they each threw in relief and the percentage of the batters the Phils faced in relief that were faced by that pitcher. For the pitchers that appeared solely as relievers (didn’t start any games), the aLI column shows the average leverage index for the pitcher while pitching in relief as calculated by Baseball Reference. The site talks a little about what that stat means here, but basically it reflects the fact that Brad Lidge pitched in much more important situations for the Phils last year than Sergio Escalona or Steven Register — one is average, above one is more important situations and closer to zero is less important situations. Here’s the list, which is ordered by the percentage of innings in relief that were thrown by the pitcher:


% IP

% batters faced


































































To the degree that there’s good news there, the Phillies will bring back the three guys they used most in relief in 2009 for the 2010 season. The bad news is that of those three, one, Lidge, was absolutely terrible last year and another, Durbin, was pretty bad.

The other thing that sure seems worrisome is that after Lidge there’s a group of five guys, Park, Condrey, Walker, Eyre and Taschner, who all seem sure or almost sure not to return for 2010. So far the Phillies have brought in Danys Baez to help fill in for those guys, but that’s not going to be enough.

Baez isn’t left-handed, either. Hopefully Romero is back and can be counted on early in the season, but it doesn’t seem like a sure thing. Lefties combined to throw 131 innings in relief for the Phillies in 2009. Here’s how those innings were divided up:

  % IP
Eyre 22.90
Taschner 22.39
Happ 16.54
Moyer 14.25
Romero 12.72
Escalona 10.43
Bastardo 0.76

Of that group, Eyre and Taschner look like locks not to return. Moyer and Happ will be back, but I’m not sure you want to count on either of those guys carrying a big load in relief in 2010. Let’s hope JC Romero can be the guy, but that’s another thing I don’t think you want to be counting on. Escalona looks likely to see an expanded role in 2010, but even if he does the Phillies are going to need more.

Right-handed relievers threw 361 innings for the Phils. Here’s how those innings broke down:

  % IP
Madson 21.42
Durbin 19.30
Lidge 16.25
Park 13.85
Condrey 11.63
Walker 9.79
Kendrick 4.16
Myers 1.94
Lopez 0.74
Register 0.55
Carpenter 0.37

Again, Madson, Lidge and Durbin are back, but it’s not clear who is going to make up for the 127 1/3 innings that Park, Condrey and Walker combined to throw in relief in 2009. They were really good, too, combining to throw to a 2.83 ERA and 1.18 ratio. Baez again is surely a big part of the answer — he did throw 71 2/3 innings last year, but didn’t pitch at all in 2008 and had a 6.44 ERA in 2007. I don’t know how much or how well he’s going to pitch in 2010, but I’m guessing against 127 1/3 innings with a 2.83 ERA and a 1.18 ratio. It would solve some problems, though.

First things first

In 2009, Phillies pitchers faced 3,492 batters with the bases empty and allowed 112 runs on 111 solo homers and one fluke play. Against the Mets on August 24, Angel Pagan led off the bottom of the first and popped a ball to second. Utley misplayed it. Pagan went for second and Utley threw the ball into left field. Pagan came all the way around to score and Utley was charged with two errors on the play.

Nice hustle by Pagan, but it’s not really the kind of thing you want to build your offense around. Turns out it’s actually pretty tough to score when you come to the plate with the bases empty, especially if you don’t hit a home run.

The Phillies faced 2,769 batters in 2009 with at least one man on base. Those 2,769 plate appearances resulted in 597 runs.

Overall for 2009, the Phillies pitchers faced 55.8% of the batters for the year with the bases empty and those batters accounted for about 15.8% of the runs they allowed. The 44.2% of the batters that they faced with at least on man on base accounted for 84.2% of the runs that they allowed.

Which brings me back to the post from earlier this week about the Phillies pitchers that were most likely to walk a batter when the bases were empty. That’s the kind of thing you want to avoid.

Obviously not all situations with men on base are the same. A man on first is better for the pitching team than having the bases loaded. Still, the difference between the number of runs the Phillies allowed in 2009 when pitching with the bases empty and with a man on first base is pretty significant. Here is the number of batters that the Phillies faced in 2009 with the bases empty and a man on first and how many runs resulted from those plate appearances:



Bases empty



Man on first



In 2,332 fewer plate appearances with a man on first, the Phillies allowed eight fewer runs than in the plate appearances when the batter came to the plate with the bases empty. Had the Phillies faced the same 3,492 batters that they faced with the bases empty with a man on first and allowed runs at the same rate they would have allowed about 313 runs instead of 104. That’s about 2.8 times as many as they allowed with the bases empty.

Clearly how bad a walk is with the bases empty depends on how many outs there are in the inning. I’m pretty sure it’s hardly ever good, though.

The Phillies were better than average compared to the NL average in terms of allowing walks with the bases empty in 2009. The average NL pitcher walked about 8.0% of the batters he faced with the bases empty. The Phillies walked about 6.6% of the hitters they faced with the bases empty.

Here are the Phillies pitchers who walked more than the league average of 8% of the batters they faced with the bases empty (pitchers in bold faced less than 150 hitters for the Phils for the year):

  % of batters
walked with bases empty
Lidge 8.2
Bastardo 9.5
Kendrick 10.6
Durbin 11.0
Carpenter 13.3
Taschner 14.0
Eyre 16.7
Romero 17.2
Register 33.3

And here is the list of pitchers who walked less than 8% of the batters they faced with the bases empty:

  % of batters
walked with bases empty
Martinez 1.9
Escalona 3.4
Lee 3.7
Walker 3.8
Blanton 5.1
Moyer 5.4
Park 5.6
Hamels 5.9
Lopez 6.0
Madson 6.5
Happ 6.7
Condrey 6.9
Myers 7.6

The other thing you want to try to avoid with the bases empty is allowing a hit. Overall in the NL in 2009, pitchers allowed hits in about 23.3% of the plate appearances with the bases empty. The Phillies allowed them at a little higher rate, about 24.7%. Here’s the list of the Phillies pitchers that allowed hits to more than 23.3% of the batters they faced with the bases empty in 2009:

  % of batters
reach on hit with bases empty
Eyre 23.3
Escalona 24.1
Lidge 24.5
Happ 24.7
Madson 25.3
Hamels 25.6
Blanton 25.6
Moyer 26.2
Myers 26.5
Lee 27.3
Taschner 28.1
Martinez 29.8
Carpenter 33.3
Lopez 37.3
Register 66.7

That’s a long list. Much longer than the list of pitchers on the bad side of allowing walks with the bases empty.

It leaves just seven guys for the list of pitchers who allowed a hit to less than 23.3% of the batters they faced with the bases empty:

  % of batters
reach on hit with bases empty
Condrey 16.8
Romero 17.2
Bastardo 17.5
Durbin 18.0
Kendrick 18.2
Park 20.2
Walker 20.5

Again, that list is less impressive than the list of the guys who allowed walks to a lower percentage of hitters with the bases empty than the league average.

There are just three of the 22 pitchers on the team that allowed both hits and walks with the bases empty at rates that were lower than the average for the league: Condrey , Park and Walker.

When you combine hits and walks there were nine pitchers who allowed hits plus walks with the bases empty at a rate that was lower than the league average. Here’s a list of all 22 players, along with the average for the NL for 2009 and their rank on the team:

0.075 Clay Condrey 1
0.069 Tyler Walker 2
0.055 Chan Ho Park 3
0.043 Antonio Bastardo 4
0.037 Sergio Escalona 5
0.025 Kyle Kendrick 6
0.022 Chad Durbin 7
0.006 Joe Blanton 8
0.003 Cliff Lee 9


-0.001 J.A. Happ 10
-0.002 Cole Hamels 11
-0.003 Jamie Moyer 12
-0.004 Pedro Martinez 13
-0.005 Ryan Madson 14
-0.014 Brad Lidge 15
-0.028 Brett Myers 16
-0.032 J.C. Romero 17
-0.087 Scott Eyre 18
-0.108 Jack Taschner 19
-0.120 Rodrigo Lopez 20
-0.154 Andrew Carpenter 21
-0.687 Steven Register 22

So, for example, with the bases empty Clay Condrey faced 101 batters. 17 of them (16.83%) got hits and seven of them (6.93%) walked. .1683 plus .0693 is .238. The NL average was to allow 23.3% hits and 8.0% walks, which is 31.3%. .313 minus .238 is .075, which is the best mark for the 22 pitchers on the team. At the other end of the list, Stephen Register faced just three men with the bases empty and allowed two hits and a walk.

The Phillies have signed Danys Baez to a two-year, $5.25 million contract. The righty joins a pen that includes Madson and Durbin and will likely include Lidge and Romero when they are healthy.

The 32-year old righty was miserable in 2007, missed 2008 and pitched well for the O’s in 2009, posting a 4.02 ERA with a 1.13 ratio. Believers in batting average for balls in play might want to take note of the .232 mark for Baez last year, which was the lowest for his career.

This suggests that Eyre will not be back and that Joe Biemel and Will Ohman are free agent candidates as lefty relievers in the bullpen. It also says that the Phils would like to add more depth in the rotation.

The Twins signed Clay Condrey to a one-year deal.

Scott Eyre retired.

The Phillies will invite 13 non-roster players to Spring Training, including Domonic Brown, Joe Savery, BJ Rosenberg (who had fantastic numbers last year), Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies.

Walking on empty

During the 2007 season, Phillies pitchers walked 558 batters. That’s too many. Only five NL teams walked more that year. The number of walks the Phillies issued dropped in 2008 and dropped even more in 2009. During the 2009 season, Phillies pitching allowed just 489 walks. St Louis was the only team in the NL to give up fewer walks.

So the Phillies have cut down the number of walks that they issue over the past couple of seasons, which is a very good thing. That’s not today’s point, though. Today’s point is that in 2009 some Phillies pitchers were better at preventing walks with the bases empty than others.

During 2009, Phillies pitcher walked about 6.6% of the batters they faced when the based were empty and about 9.3% of the batters they faced when there was at least one man on base. Not all Phillies pitchers saw that kind of increase in the walks they allowed, though. Some walked batters at a lower rate when the bases were empty in 2009 than they did when there was at least one man on. Of the 22 pitchers who appeared for the Phillies in 2009, nine of them were better at preventing walks when there were men on base than when the bases were empty. The chart below shows, for the nine, the walks they issued per 100 plate appearances with the bases empty, where this ranks among the 22 Phillies pitchers for 2009, the walks they issued per 100 plate appearances with men on base, where this ranks among the ’09 Phillies pitchers and how much higher their rate of walking men with the bases empty was compared to with men aboard as a percentage (pitchers who faced less than 150 batters are in bold):

Player BB per 100
Rank BB per 100
men on
Rank %
Myers 7.6 13 7.6 9 100.1
Taschner 14.0 19 14.0 19 100.6
Carpenter 13.3 18 11.8 16 113.3
Hamels 5.9 8 4.4 4 134.6
Bastardo 9.5 15 7.0 6 136.5
Lee 3.7 3 2.1 2 174.7
Eyre 16.7 20 8.8 11 188.9
Kendrick 10.6 16 4.3 3 243.9
Register 33.2 22 0.0 1 -

So, for example, Cole Hamels walked about 5.9% of the batters he faced with the bases empty (which was fifth-best on the team) and about 4.4% of the batters he faced with men on base (fourth-best on the team). Overall for the year his walk rate with nobody on base was about 135% of what it was with men aboard.

At the bottom of that list, Stephen Register faced just 11 batters all year long for the Phils. He walked one of the three he faced with the bases empty, giving him the worst rate of walks per 100 plate appearances on the team with nobody aboard, but none of the eight hitters he faced with men on base.

Being on the list above doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily good at preventing walks, just that in ’09 you were at least a little bit better at it than you were when there were men on base. Eyre, for example, gave up way too many walks overall, but cut down his rate considerably when there were ducks aboard.

Hamels and Kendrick are the pitchers of that group that seem likely to impact the Phillies in the future. Hamels saw his walk rate drop in 2009 while the rest of his numbers went up. He had a lot more success in 2007 and 2008 than he did in 2009 — in each of those years he rate of walking batters was better with the bases empty than with men aboard, which is the opposite of his results for 2009 (in 2006 his rates were nearly identical).

Kendrick didn’t face a ton of hitters in 2009, but was much better at preventing walks when their were men on base than when there weren’t. His walk rate overall was lower than his miserable 2008, but worse than his mark for 2007 when he was very effective. By opponent OPS, Kendrick was the Phillies best pitcher in 2009 with the bases empty. Opponents hit 203/288/203 against him (12-for-59 with 12 singles and seven walks and a .491 OPS). By comparison, they hit 287/321/393 (.753) against Cliff Lee with the bases empty. Since he didn’t walk anyone with me on base you’d think Kendrick would be pretty much invincible, but sadly despite not walking anyone Kendrick allowed opponents to hit .375 against him with men on base, which will mess things up in a jiffy.

Here’s the numbers for the 13 pitchers who allowed walks more regularly when there were runners on base:

Player BB per 100
Rank BB per 100
men on
Rank %
Romero 17.2 21 18.2 21 105.5
Madson 6.5 10 7.3 8 113.3
Moyer 5.4 6 7.2 7 133.8
Condrey 6.9 12 9.6 12 138.4
Happ 6.7 11 10.1 15 151.2
Lopez 6.0 9 10.0 14 167.5
Durbin 11.0 17 19.7 22 178.5
Blanton 5.1 5 9.9 13 193.9
Lidge 8.2 14 16.2 20 198.2
Walker 3.8 4 8.3 10 216.7
Park 5.6 7 13.4 18 241.5
Martinez 1.9 1 6.9 5 358.6
Escalona 3.4 2 12.9 17 374.2

Remember that overall the Phillies walked about 9.3 batters per 100 plate appearances with men on base and about 6.6 batters with the bases empty. So the average pitcher had a walk rate that was about 141% of his walk rate with the bases empty.

Again, being on this list doesn’t necessarily mean you issued a lot of walks. Pedro, for example, issued walks at about 3 1/2 times his bases empty rate with men on base. His rate of allowing walks with men on base was still fifth-best on the team despite how much more regularly he issued walks with men aboard.

Looking again to the guys who will impact 2010, the rates that Durbin and Lidge issued walks with men on base has to be the scariest data from the chart above. Durbin walked nearly one in five men he faced with runners aboard and Lidge was nearly as bad.

Blanton also saw his rate of walks increase dramatically. With nobody on he was among the best on the team at preventing bases on balls. When men got on base he gave up a lot more and fell to the middle of the pack. Happ started in the middle and saw his rate increase at about the rate that was the average for the team.

Romero just walks a ton of folks regardless of the situation.

Madson and Moyer both walked more with men on base, but not a whole lot more and their rates for allowing walks in both circumstances were pretty good compared to the rest of the team.

This suggests that the Phillies may announce the signing of Danys Baez if he passes his physical this week. Baez missed all of 2008 after Tommy John surgery, but threw to a 4.02 ERA and a 1.13 ratio for Baltimore in 2009.

The article linked above also says that the Phillies have made a minor league offer to Eyre.

Today is the first day that players can file for arbitration. This article talks about what we might expect to happen with Victorino, Blanton, Ruiz and Durbin.

Ooze views

With the ooze just about over, Bobby Abreu, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are likely atop most lists of the best hitters for the Phils over the past ten years. Here’s what Abreu, Utley and Howard did for the Phillies in the 00′s:

Abreu 2000-2006 4634 298/412/510 .922 137
Utley 2003-2009 3813 295/379/523 .902 129
Howard 2004-2009 3145 279/376/586 .961 142

Howard hit 222 home runs, which is by far the most of the trio. Despite getting about 1,500 fewer plate appearances, Howard also drove in about as many runs as Abreu. Abreu nipped him 647 to 640 with Utley lagging behind with 585. Pat Burrell hit more home runs in the decade (251) and drove in more runs (827) than any of the three, but had nine seasons to do it and hit just .257 for the Phils in those years.

Here are the rates that Abreu, Utley and Howard registered hits, walks, extra-base hits, doubles and triples and home run runs per 100 plate appearances while playing for the Phillies in 2000 through 2009:
























Utley and Abreu both got hits at a better rate than Howard and were a lot more likely to hit a double or a triple. Utley doesn’t keep pace with Abreu or Howard when it comes to walks and Howard just buries the rest of the group in hitting home runs.

Howard seems like he’s clearly the best Phillies hitter of the decade, but all those times that Abreu failed to make an out makes it a little closer than I would have guessed. Here’s the percentage of plate appearance in which each of the three got hits or walks, singles or walks, extra-base hits or walks or home runs or walks for the decade:

  H or BB 1B or BB XBH or BB HR or BB
Abreu 40.8 30.7 26.3 19.7
Utley 35.1 24.5 20.0 13.7
Howard 36.8 25.0 24.6 20.0

Looking at the home runs or walks category can obviously be misleading because a home run is a whole lot better than a walk and the fact that he drew so many walks is what allows Abreu to hang with Howard. The fact that he hit so many home runs is what makes Howard the best hitter of the group, though.

Finally, the reason that Utley’s rate of getting hits or walks is worse than Howard’s despite the fact that he had a better on-base percentage is in large part because Utley is so regularly hit by a pitch. He was hit by a pitch about 3 1/2 times as often as Howard for the decade and about seven times as often as Abreu during Abreu’s plate appearances with the Phillies. If we changed the hit or walk column to hit, walk or hit by pitch, Utley would top Howard 37.9 to 37.6. Utley got 668 more plate appearances than Howard in the decade but was hit 107 times compared to 25 for Howard.

On the other hand, Howard was given a lot more intentional walks than Utley was and by a margin that was very similar to the margin for hit by pitches. Howard was walked intentionally 105 times while Utley was passed intentionally just 25.

The middle chart suggests that Howard has walked more often than Utley. He has. The gap shrinks, though, if you take out all of the plate appearances in which Howard or Utley have been given an intentional walk. With all of those plate appearances eliminated, Howard drew walks in 301 of 3,040 (9.9%) of his plate appearances while Utley drew walks in 335 of his 3,813 (8.8%) of his.

The Phillies have picked up their 2011 option on Rollins. Rollins will make $8.5 million in 2011. The linked article points out that the Phillies will have Ruiz, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Polanco, Ibanez and Victorino all under contract for 2011 with Werth as the only position player of their starting eight becoming a free agent. Pitchers Halladay, Hamels, Happ, Lidge and Madson will also remain under Phillies control for 2011.

Fernando Rodney signed with the Angels.

The Phillies may be close to signing righty reliever Danys Baez or righty reliever Mike MacDougal.

This says that the Phillies have an agreement in place with a reliever that will not be announced until the first week of January and that “the team’s recent focus has been on free-agent reliever Danys Baez.”

Adding either of Baez or MacDougal would be good news for the Phils.

This says that Chan Ho Park is unlikely to re-sign with the Phillies.

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