Tag: Domonic Brown

Please?

The Phils came close to winning their fourth straight last night, but Rosenberg and Diekman combined to surrender seven runs in the eighth and ninth, all seven of which came on the four home runs they allowed.

Rosenberg started the eighth with the Phils down 2-1, pitching for the third straight day, and allowed back-to-back-to-back home runs to the three right-handed hitters he faced to put the Phils in a 5-1 hole. They rallied for five in the bottom of the eighth, getting a two-run single from Byrd and a three-run homer from Brown, his first long ball of the year. It gave them a 6-5 lead going into the ninth and Diekman tried to nail it down with Papelbon watching having thrown three days in a row. Diekman walked two of the first three men he faced and Dan Uggla hit a grand slam off of him with one out in the inning, putting Atlanta on top to stay.

Once again it was an ugly performance for the pen coming off a series in which they were very good. Over the weekend, the Phils swept the Fish with the bullpen allowing three runs over 12 2/3 innings in the set (2.13 ERA and an 0.79 ratio).

The Phils are tied for fourth in the NL in runs scored per game and 14th in runs allowed, ahead of just the Snakes. Chase Utley is currently OPSing 1.393, which has probably helped with the tied for fourth in runs scored thing a bit. He may have difficulty trying to sustain that pace.

The Phillies are 6-7 on the year after falling 9-6 to the Atlanta Braves last night. They’ve won three of their last four.

Hernandez got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on four hits and six walks. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double, a triple and a home run. He struck out three.

Six is too many to walk in six innings. He came into the game having walked two in 10 1/3 innings for the year. He last walked six or more in a game on July 17, 2010, while pitching for the Indians.

3.86 ERA and a 1.43 ratio for Hernandez after three starts. Opponents have hit just .222 against him, but his home run rate is high and his walk rate is high. Lefties are just 2-for-16 against the righty.

He allowed a single to Jason Heyward to start the game in the top of the first. B.J. Upton was next and grounded to short with Heyward forced at second. Upton stole second and took third on a throwing error by Ruiz, but Hernandez struck Freddie Freeman and Justin Upton both out swinging to leave him there..

No run for the Braves after they put a man on third with one out.

Seventeen strikeouts for Hernandez in 16 1/3 innings so far, which is way above his career marks. He’s struck out 14 of the 50 right-handed hitters he’s faced for the year, which is 28%. Over his career he’s struck out about 17.4% of the right-handed hitters he’s faced. 13.6% of lefties for the year compared to about 11.8% for his career. Strikes out the lefty Freeman and the righty Upton to get out of the mini-jam in the first.

Andrelton Simmons tripled to center with two outs in the second. Hernandez walked Ramiro Pena behind him, but Hernandez got the pitcher Ervin Santana to ground out to end the frame.

Heyward walked to start the third with the Phils up 1-0. He stole second and took third when B.J. Upton grounded out for the first out. Freeman was next and hit a ball fielded by Hernandez. He threw to third, where Heyward was caught up and eventually tagged out. Freeman tried to take second while the Phillies worked on retiring Heyward, but was thrown out trying to do so to set Atlanta down.

Third straight inning the Braves put a man on third and fail to score. In the first and third they put a man on third with less than two outs and didn’t score.

Hernandez threw a 1-2-3 fourth. It was still 1-0 when Pena doubled with one out in the fifth. Santana grounded to short for the second out before Heyward walked again. B.J. Upton grounded back to Hernandez to leave both men stranded.

Heyward on base again. Two walks and a single in the first five innings against Hernandez.

Freeman walked on four pitches to start the sixth. Hernandez got Justin Upton swinging for the first out before Evan Gattis hit a 2-2 pitch just out to left for a two-run homer that put the Braves up 2-1. Dan Uggla was next and walked, but Hernandez got the next two to set Atlanta down.

The four-pitch walk to Freeman in front of the Gattis home run costs the Phils a run.

Mario Hollands started the seventh for the Phils. He walked B.J. Upton with one out. Upton stole second with two outs and took third on Ruiz’s second throwing error of the game. Hollands struck Justin Upton out swinging 3-2 o leave B.J. Upton at third.

Phils let the lefty Hollands pitch to the righty Justin Upton in a one-run game in the seventh. Works out. Hollands has a 1.42 ERA and an 0.95 ratio for the year after seven appearances. Since an ugly debut on Opening Day against the Rangers, he’s allowed three hits and a walk over six scoreless innings. Opponents are hitting .150 against him for the year — 3-for-20 with three singles.

Rosenberg started the eighth with the Phils still down a run. He entered having pitched two days in a row. He faced three batters. Gattis was first and homered to left-center. 3-1. Uggla was next and homered to left. 4-1. Simmons followed Uggla and homered to left-center. 5-1. Luis Garcia took over for Rosenberg and retired the next three batters.

Three hitters for Rosenberg, all three right-handed, and all three homer in his sixth appearance of the year. The first three were really bad, although Rosenberg wasn’t charged with a run in any of them. The back-to-back outings before last night were very good — he struck out three in two scoreless innings without allowing a hit or a walk. Last night was obviously awful and the numbers overall are pretty awful for Rosenberg for the year. 6.23 ERA and a 2.08 ratio. Opponents have hit .400 against him with a 1.279 OPS. Righties are 7-for-17 against him with three home runs and a .941 slugging percentage.

Luis Garcia faces three and gets all three in his first outing of the year for the Phils. Heyward lined a ball hard to Asche at third for the third out. He managed a 3.73 ERA for the Phillies over 24 appearances in 2013, but walked 23 in 31 1/3 innings. Walking 23 in 31 1/3 innings isn’t the formula for sustained success.

The Phillies led 6-5 when Jake Diekman started the ninth, filling in for Jonathan Papelbon, who had pitched for three straight days. He walked B.J. Upton to start the frame. Freeman was next and hit a ball to Utley. Utley flipped to second to try and get Upton, but his flip was late and everyone was safe. Justin Upton was next and walked to load the bases. Diekman struck Gattis out swinging 0-2 for the first out, but Uggla was next and hit an 0-1 pitch out to center for a grand slam that put Atlanta back on top at 9-6. Diekman allowed a single to Simmons before getting the next two to end the inning.

Diekman walks two and the Phils don’t get an out on Freeman’s ball before Uggla hits his second home run of the game. The lefty Diekman facing the righy Gattis (who he struck out) and the righty Uggla with the bases loaded in a one-run game in the ninth doesn’t seem ideal to me whether it worked out or not. It didn’t.

8.59 ERA and a 1.64 ratio for Diekman after 7 1/3 innings. He doesn’t give up a lot of home runs, but he gave up a huge one last night. Came into the game having allowed two home runs in 72 innings for this career. He does walk too many — he has now walked 41 in 73 innings for his career, including about 13.8% of the righties he has faced.

Three innings for the pen in which they allow seven runs on five hits, including four home runs, and three walks. Rosenberg has thrown three days in a row. Diekman threw 28 pitches last night.

The Phillie lineup against righty Ervin Santana went (1) Tony Gwynn (2) Jimmy Rollins (3) Chase Utley (4) Ryan Howard (5) Marlon Byrd (6) Domonic Brown (7) Carlos Ruiz (8) Cody Asche. Gwynn starts in center after going 5-for-10 in the last two games against Miami while Revere was sidelined with a rib issue. He has a .314 career on-base percentage, so he’s not an ideal leadoff hitter no matter how many he went for ten in the last two games. On the other hand, he’s now on-basing .500 against right-handed pitching for the year.

The Phillies went in order in the first. Howard led off the second and hit an 0-1 pitch out to center, putting the Phils up 1-0. Ruiz drew a two-out walk, but Asche grounded softly to first to end the inning.

Two home runs in two days for Howard. Three in 13 games puts him on pace to hit about 37 over 162 games.

Gwynn bunted for a single with one out in the third and took second on a throwing error by Gattis. Rollins was next and bunted, presumably for a hit, into the second out, moving Gwynn up to third. Utley struck out swinging to leave Gwynn stranded.

Really hope Rollins was bunting for a hit there, causing bunting Gwynn up to third with the second out doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Byrd doubled to left with one out in the fourth. Brown followed with a walk, but Ruiz lined a ball back up the middle that was caught by a diving Uggla. Uggla flipped to second to double Byrd off and end the inning.

Nice play by Uggla. Byrd didn’t have a chance. I’m sure he’s made bad base-running plays, no hustle plays and mental mistakes in his time as a Phillie, but I don’t remember many of them.

The Phils went in order in the fifth. Utley doubled softly to right with one out in the sixth with the Phils down 2-1, but Howard and Byrd both struck out behind him.

Asche reached on a throwing error by Uggla with two outs in the seventh. With lefty Ian Thomas pitching for the Braves, Mayberry hit for Hollands. Righty Anthony Vavaro took over for Thomas and struck Mayberry out swinging to end the inning.

I think it was a fine time to use Mayberry with a chance against the lefty, even though it was early, but he can’t come through against the righty. 0-for-7 against righties on the year.

The Phils were down 5-1 when they hit in the eighth. Lefty Luis Avilan walked Gwynn to start the frame. Rollins and Utley followed with singles that loaded the bases for Howard. Avilan struck Howard out looking 1-2 for the first out before Byrd singled to right on an 0-2 pitch, scoring Gwynn and Rollins. 5-3 with men on first and second for Brown. Utley moved up to third on a wild pitch before Brown lined a 1-0 pitch from Avilan out to right-center for a three-run homer that put the Phils up 6-5. Avilan got Ruiz and Asche behind Brown.

First home run of the year for Brown and it’s a big one off of a lefty. Gwynn and Utley both reach base against the lefty and score in the frame — Gwynn leads off with a walk and Utley singles. The lefty strikes Howard out with nobody out and the bases loaded. Byrd gets to hit against the lefty, presumably cause the Braves were way up and Brown was behind him, and delivers a big single ahead of the Brown home run.

The Phillies were down 9-6 when they hit in the ninth. Righty David Carpenter walked Rollins with two down. Rollins took second on defensive indifference before Utley grounded out to end the game.

Gwynn 1-for-4 with a big walk in the ninth against the lefty. 6-for-his-last-14 with a walk. On-basing .440 for the year and .500 against right-handed pitching.

Rollins 1-for-3 with a walk. Just 1-for-his-last-8, but with a 283/365/478 line for the year. 5-for-12 against lefties with a 417/417/667. 235/350/412 against righties.

Utley 2-for-5 with a softly hit double. Didn’t get an out on Freeman’s ball in the ninth, which helped the Braves score a run. 15-for-his-last-27 with four walks, six doubles and two home runs. A silly 489/549/844 line for the year.

Howard 1-for-4 with his second home run in two days. Three strikeouts, including one with nobody out in the eighth and the bases loaded against a lefty. 4-for-his-last-14 with three walks and two home runs. Hitting just .224 for the year with a 176/263/412 line against lefties in 19 PA.

Byrd 2-for-4 with two RBI. 7-for-his-last-20 with a walk, two doubles and a home run. Hammering lefties (333/412/533) in the early going, but with a 256/275/385 line against righties. 268/318/480 against righties last year and 275/332/410 for his career.

Brown 1-for-3 with a walk and a three-run homer. On-basing .385 against righties and the same .385 against lefties.

Ruiz 0-for-3 with a walk and made two throwing errors. He’s hitting just .225 for the year, but with a .367 on-base percentage thanks to eight walks in 49 plate appearances. Isolated power of .100 so far, which is worse than his career mark of .136. His best offensive years were 2010, when he on-based .400 over 433 plate appearances, and 2012, when he on-based .394 with an isolated power of .215.

Asche 0-for-4 to drop his average to .189. 0-for-his-last-14. Seven hits on the year, three of which came on Opening Day. 4-for-33 (.121) since Opening Day.

Cliff Lee (2-1, 5.50) faces righty David Hale (0-0, 2.89) tonight. Lee was hit hard by the Rangers on Opening Day and has allowed three runs in 13 innings since. He’s walked just one batters on the year and none over his last two starts, but has given up a lot of hits. Even over his last two outings, opponents have hit .327 against him (with a BABIP of .439, so I’d try to calm down a little). Hale has a 2.89 ERA over two starts, but a 1.82 ratio to go with it. He’s walked seven in 9 1/3 innings on the year.


Phillie pitchers don’t manage a lot of O’s against the Orioles

One, actually. You know who they might have asked about that? Baltimore pitchers. I’m sure they would be happy to help. Cause when we work together, everybody wins.

Everybody didn’t literally win today. Just the Orioles.

Baltimore 15, Phillies 4. Burnett allowed four in the third and Gonzalez followed that up by allowing four in the fourth. Those weren’t good moments, but to suggest they were all that went wrong might leave you with an incomplete picture.

A.J. Burnett started the game for the Phils and went three innings, allowing six runs on seven hits and a walk.

He allowed a one-out double to Nick Markakis in the top of the first, but got the next two. J.J. Hardy singled to left on a ball deflected by Asche at third with two outs in the second. Lefty Ryan Flaherty was next and hit a 1-1 pitch out to center. Burnett got Jemile Weeks on a fly ball to center to end the inning. Baltimore scored four runs in the third, all earned. Burnett faced ten batters in the frame. He got three out, hit two, walked one and allowed singles to the other four.

Burnett gave up a home run in the second, but excelled at preventing home runs in 2013, allowing just 11 in 191 innings. That rate of 0.52 per nine innings was fourth best in the NL. His ’13 rate of allowing the long ball was much better than it had been over his career. In 2013, he allowed 11 home runs to 801 batters, which is about 1.37% of the batters he faced. Coming into 2013 he had allowed home runs to about 2.39% of the 9,230 batters he had faced (he also spent six full seasons pitching in the DH-loving AL).

12.60 ERA and 1.80 ratio for Burnett over his two starts. He allowed a run on one hit and no walks over two innings in his other start.

Miguel Gonzalez was next and got hammered. Markakis tripled to right on his first pitch of the frame and it went on from there. He wound up allowing four runs in the inning on four hits (three singles and the triple) and two walks. One of the runs scored on a wild pitch.

16.88 ERA and a 4.50 ratio for Gonzalez in his first two outings, both of which have been awful. He’s walked six and allowed six hits in 2 2/3 innings.

I’ve heard it suggested that Gonzalez needs mound time. I believe the people who think that are right. Not real sure he’s going to be getting a whole lot more mound time in settings where you and I can easily see him pitch, however. Long way to go, but he’s looked like a big, expensive mistake in the early going. If the results are going to be this ugly, the team might decide they’re better off being seen by fewer people. There seemed to be some pretty significant concerns before we saw him pitch in a game. Seeing him pitch in a game hasn’t helped.

Michael Stutes pitched the fifth and allowed two runs on a double, a single and a walk. Howard made an error in the frame. Stutes has been charged with seven runs in three innings in his three appearances.

David Buchanan was next, making his case for early starts after two solid innings in his first appearance. He allowed a leadoff double to Flaherty and Flaherty scored on a two-out single by David Lough.

3.00 ERA and an 0.67 ratio for Buchanan after two times out.

Ken Giles pitched the seventh. He had allowed one hit in a scoreless frame in his only official outing. He gave up a run on a hit and two walks in the frame. Steve Pearce and Quentin Berry were the first two batters he faced and they reached on a single and a walk. Pearce would score on a sac fly by Caleb Joseph. Giles retired former Phil Delmon Young in the frame — Young pinch-hit for
Nelson Cruz and flew to right for the first out.

4.50 ERA and a 2.00 ratio for Giles after two innings over two appearances.

Cesar Jimenez pitched the eighth. He allowed a leadoff homer to Jonathan Schoop, but retired the next three.

Third appearance for the 29-year-old lefty Jimenez. 3.86 ERA and a 1.50 ratio (six hits and a walk) over 4 2/3 innings.

The Phillies scored four runs in the game. Howard doubled Brown home in the fourth and scored when Byrd followed with a single. Cameron Rupp hit a solo homer in the seventh off of righty Alfredo Aceves. Ruf homered off of Aceves in the eighth.

Five home runs for the Phils in the last two games.

Rupp was the only Phillie with more than one hit. 2-for-3 with a solo homer. 3-for-10 with a home run so far. Homered 14 times in 355 plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A in 2013.

Ruf hits his second spring homer in his only at-bat. 6-for-19 (.316) with three walks and two home runs.

Howard 1-for-3 and struck out twice, but raised his average to .188. 3-for-16 with three singles. Made one of two Phillie errors. Andres Blanco made the other, which was his second error in two days.

Byrd 1-for-3 with an RBI to drop his average to .368.

Asche 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. Struck out twice. 1-for-15 so far and hitting .067. The lefty doubled off of righty Miguel Gonzalez, but not the one who pitched for the Phillies.

Domonic Brown was 0-for-2 with a walk. 2-for-19 (.105) with two singles and five walks.

Revere 0-for-3 (.278), Rollins 0-for-2 with a walk (.222), Abreu 0-for-3. Abreu is 2-for-15 (.133) with two singles and five walks.

Roberto Hernandez is expected to pitch against the Astros tomorrow.


But Kendrick wanted to feel good and he accomplished that — I think we can all agree that’s what’s most important here

The Phils were scheduled to play two split squad games yesterday afternoon — the game with the Tigers was rained out and they faced Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees in the other. They took a 3-1 lead into the seventh inning in that game, but lost 4-3. Horst was charged with a run in the seventh and Aumont with two in the eighth.

Tanaka pitched well for New York, holding the Phils to a run on two hits over three innings. Freddy Galvis hit a solo homer off of him in the third.

Kyle Kendrick started the game for the Phils and went three innings, allowing a run on three hits and a walk while striking out two. He set New York down in order in the first and got the first two in the second before allowing a single to Kelly Johnson that was followed by a Brian Roberts walk. Mason Williams grounded to Ultey to end the frame. Ramon Flores homered off of him to start the top of the third and he allowed a one-out single to Derek Jeter two batters later, but retired the next two hitters to keep the Yankees from getting any more.

Kendrick had allowed two runs in three innings in his first spring start. After two outings he’s allowed four runs on five hits and four walks over five innings (7.20 ERA and a 1.80 ratio).

He had a 5.95 ERA and a 1.56 ratio over his last 18 starts to end 2013. Opponents hit .316 against him over those 101 1/3 innings. Started 2013 by throwing to a 3.12 ERA and a 1.19 ratio over his first 12 outings. Opponents on-based .292 against him in those outings.

So his first 12 starts were better than his last 18. Kendrick also came up with a memorable quote in talking about the home run he allowed to the 21-year-old Flores (Flores hit .260 at Double-A in 2013 with six home runs in 620 plate appearances): “It was the same pitch I froze [Brian] McCann on. With an A-ball kid, you can’t do that. But today I was just more aggressive. I was letting it go. I wanted to feel good, and I accomplished that.”

Really? Misquoted, maybe? Out of context, maybe, like he was remembering back to a church league softball game from his teen years or something? Can you give it to us in the language that it was originally spoken in so we can do our own due diligence to remove any chance of translation error? Something? Please?

Jonathan Papelbon pitched the fourth. He allowed a single and a stolen base, but kept his spring ERA at 0.00 with a scoreless frame. After striking out two in his inning, he has now allowed a hit over two scoreless innings while striking out two.

Mario Hollands allowed a two-out double to Jerer in the top of the fifth, but retired Mark Teixeira on a popup handled by the shortstop Galvis to end the frame. Hollands came back for the sixth and struck out Alfonso Soriano is a 1-2-3 inning.

Hollands had allowed one walk in two scoreless frames coming into the game. After three appearances, he’s thrown four scoreless innings in which he’s allowed one hit and one walk (0.00 ERA with an 0.50 ratio and three strikeouts in four frames). The 25-year-old lefty made 27 appearances (20 starts) between Clearwater and Reading in 2013, throwing to a 2.86 ERA with a 1.23 ratio. He’s pitched very well so far.

Jeremy Horst started the seventh, making his second official appearance having allowed two runs in an inning his first time out. Didn’t go especially well for him in this outing either as he faced seven hitters in the frame, allowing a run on a double, a single and two walks. He’s allowed four hits and four walks over two innings — 13.50 ERA and a 4.00 ratio. He’s going to have trouble maintaining an ERA under 14 if his ratio stays at or near 4.00 for too long.

Phillippe Aumont started the eighth, having pitched well his last time out after a rocky outing his first appearance. Three of the first four men he faced reached on a single, a double and a walk, which left men on the corners with one down and a run in. Flores flew to right for the second out, deep enough for the runner to score from third and put New York up 4-3. Aumont got Adonis Garcia to line to short to end the frame.

Four appearances for Aumont, two good and two bad. The overall numbers aren’t good. In four innings he’s allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits and three walks. That’s a 6.75 ERA and a 1.50 ratio. Opponents have hit just .214 against him, but he’s walked three in four innings coming off of a 2013 in which he walked 51 in 55 innings between the majors and minors.

The Phillies scored three runs in game, all of which came on solo home runs. Galvis homered off of the righty Tanaka. Carlos Ruiz and John Mayberry hit back-to-back homers off of righty Bruce Billings in the fifth.

Domonic Brown was the batter in front of Ruiz’s homer. He reached on a walk, but was caught stealing before Ruiz homered. There’s a thing you want to avoid if you can. You get more points that way.

Mayberry was 2-for-3 with a double and a home run, which was his second. 5-for-11 with a double, two home runs and an unlikely 455/455/1091 line. He started in center in the game. If the Phillies don’t know that they can’t play Mayberry in center field, they should. It obviously doesn’t matter in spring training games. It matters a lot in game you’re trying to win.

Galvis 1-for-3 with his first homer. 3-for-17 (.176) with a homer so far.

Ruiz 1-for-2 with his first home run. 3-for-10 with two walks, a home run and a 1.062 OPS. You know what’s good for your OPS? Having ten at-bats with one of them a home run.

Byrd had the other extra-base hit in the game for the Phils. He was 1-for-3 with a double to drop his average to .375. 6-for-16 with a double and a homer, still looking for his first walk.

Brown 0-for-1 with a walk and a caught stealing. 2-for-17 (.118) with five strikeouts.

Andres Blanco was 0-for-1 and made the game’s only error. He’s 0-for-8.

Frandsen 0-for-4. Asche 0-for-2. Utley 0-for-2. Utley is 2-for-14 with two singles (.143) and no walks. Asche 0-for-12. Frandsen 3-for-15 with three singles (.200).

Gwynn was 0-for-1 in the game and is 2-for-10 overall with a double.

Maikel Franco was 0-for-1. Really rooting for Franco, but it seems like there’s more excitement about his fantastic spring training than circumstances warrant given his miserable defense and 3-for-15 at the plate (200/294/200) so far.

The Phillies play Baltimore this afternoon with AJ Burnett expected to pitch.


Third time plucky

Phils topped the Tigers 10-6 this afternoon for their first spring victory.

Kyle Kendrick started the game for the Phils and got hit hard in the first, allowing three runs on two walks, a single and a three-run double by Nick Castellanos. He allowed a leadoff walk and uncorked a two-out wild pitch in the second, but kept the Tigers off the board.

The Phils came into the game with starters Cliff Lee and Roberto Hernandez having allowed three runs in four innings pitched in their starts combined. Kendrick goes two innings, allowing three runs on two hits, three walks and a wild pitch. So after three games, the starters have allowed six earned runs in six innings on eight hits and three walks (9.00 ERA with a 1.83 ratio).

Kendrick made 30 starts last year and walked more than two in five of them. Walked three in two innings today.

Righty Sean O’Sullivan struck out two in a 1-2-3 third. He came back for the fourth and retired the first two before hitting Luis Exposito with a pitch. O’Sullivan retired the next hitter on a popup to Hernandez at second to end the frame.

O’Sullivan suddenly seems like he has a shot for some early starts, given the combination of injury questions around pitchers like Hamels, Martin and Pettibone and the miserable early opinions around Gonzalez. The 26-year-old righty had a 6.14 career ERA over 193 2/3 innings in the majors before throwing to a 3.96 ERA in 25 innings for the Padres in 2013. He had a 1.80 ratio to go with his 3.96 ERA last year — 31 hits and 14 walks as opponents on-based .393 against him. He didn’t pitch very well, 3.96 ERA or not. Pitched well today, throwing two scoreless innings without allowing a hit or a walk while striking out three.

Aumont pitched the fifth, coming off of a miserable outing his first time out and set the Tigers down in order.

Luis Garcia made his first official appearance in the sixth and allowed three runs on two singles and a double. Only one of the runs was earned due to a Reid Brignac error at short.

Cesar Jimenez threw a 1-2-3 seventh in his first official appearance and followed that up by setting the Tigers down in order in the eighth. The 29-year-old lefty walked ten in 17 innings for the Phils last year, which is a lot. Had a 0.00 ERA and an 0.89 ratio in nine innings through his first eight appearances and a 7.88 ERA and a 2.00 ratio over eight innings his last 11 times out (and walked seven in those eight innings). Did a better job at preventing walks at Triple-A, throwing to a 3.12 ERA and a 1.31 ratio while walking 26 in 66 1/3 innings.

Justin De Fratus made his first appearance in the ninth. He allowed back-to-back singles to the first two batters he faced before striking out the next three to end the game with runners on first and second.

De Fratus struck out 42 in 46 2/3 innings for the Phils last year. Walking 25 was the problem and it led to a 1.50 ratio to go with his 3.86 ERA. Walk rate of 2.0 per nine innings in 424 1/3 innings in the minors and 4.8 in 61 1/3 innings in the majors. I would guess his walk rate will go down in 2014.

The Phillies scored eight runs in a bottom of the third that featured three walks, two singles, a hit-by-pitch, a Tiger error and a three-run homer by J-Roll.

Rollins’s shot came off of righty Jose Valdez with two outs in the third. He was 1-for-1 with a home run and two walks in the game.

Gwynn started the game in center for the Phillies and went 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s 0-for-3 with two walks so far. Think we should be following what he does offensively and especially defensively when playing center given the Phils seemingly neverending problem trying to backup center field. Things I know for sure: 1) John Mayberry is really, really not the answer 2) Cesar Hernandez, a backup infielder, really, really is not the answer. The Phils have so many problems it’s hard to feel like backup center fielder should go near the top of the list. I think there’s potential for a moral victory here, though.

Utley started at second and went 1-for-3.

Franco started at third and was 0-for-1 with a walk and no errors. He’s seen action in all three official games and gone 0-for-5 with two errors and two walks.

Byrd 2-for-3 with two singles and 3-for-5 with an RBI in the early going.

Howard 0-for-3 and struck out twice. 1-for-5 with a single so far.

Brown 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI. 1-for-6 overall.

Ruiz 0-for-1 with a walk and an RBI. 0-for-3.

Lou Marson doubled to start the bottom of the eighth, which led to a Phillie run. He was 1-for-1 with a double on the day in his first action.

Ruf 1-for-3 with a single that drove in a run in the second inning. 1-for-3 with two RBI on the day. 2-for-6 with two walks so far.

Yankees tomorrow.


What else can Brown do for you?

Field, maybe? Walk every now and again?

First, to be clear: I think the Phillies should start Domonic Brown in left field. This year, next year and the year after that. The reason I think that is I think he’s going to get better than he was in 2013. I also think Darin Ruf doesn’t belong in left field and the Phillies make a mistake when they play him there.

Whether or not we think Brown is going to get better is important, though, because if we don’t, and if you just look at the numbers for Brown and Ruf from 2013, it doesn’t seem clear that Brown is the better choice in left.

In fact, while it’s very close, I think both of these things were true in 2013:

  1. In fewer plate appearances, Ruf was better offensively than Brown, despite the fact that the righty Ruf didn’t hit lefties at all and Brown finished fourth in the NL in home runs.
  2. Ruf was better defensively in left than Brown. They were both terrible, but Ruf was a little less terrible.

So if Ruf was better at offense and defense and they’re about the same age (Ruf is 27 and Brown turned 26 two months ago), it seems odd the whole world, including me, would think it would be ridiculous to start Ruf over Brown in left.

But just about the whole world does.

First the defense. Both were really bad defensive players in left field. Brown was really bad in a lot of innings and Ruf was slightly worse in a lot fewer innings. Here are their 2013 UZR/150 numbers in left from FanGraphs:

Inn UZR/150
Brown 1123 2/3 -13.6
Ruf 144 2/3 -12.6

Ruf also played 44 innings of left for the Phils in 2012, posting an UZR/150 of -13.1, very similar to his -12.6 in more innings last year. Brown played 141 2/3 innings in left in 2012 with an UZR/150 of -5.6. Brown hasn’t been as hide-your-eyes awful in left as he was in right field in 2010 and 2011, but in 2013 he played his first full season in left and the defensive results were really bad. There were 26 players across both leagues who played at least 500 innings in left in 2013 and Brown’s UZR/150 at the position was 23rd-best.

The point here isn’t that Ruf can play left field. It’s that just because Ruf is terrible defensively in left doesn’t mean that Brown isn’t also. Ruf needs to play first base for the Phillies when he plays. Whichever outfield position he plays, Brown needs to get a whole lot better defensively. And if he doesn’t, it’s going to be close to impossible for him to become an elite player.

Here are some of the offensive numbers:

wOBA % 1B % BB/HBP % 2B % 3B % HR % H/BB/HBP
Ruf .354 12.6 13.7 3.8 0.0 4.8 34.8
Brown .351 15.4 7.4 3.9 0.7 5.0 32.4

Ruf has the slightly better wOBA. A lot more singles for Brown and the pair delivered home runs and doubles at about the same rate, but Ruf was way more likely, almost twice as likely, to reach on walk or a hit-by-pitch. Brown winds up with slightly more power, but a worse on-base percentage despite a better hit rate (the percentage of plate appearances that were hits, walks or hit-by-pitches is the same as the player’s on-base percentages with the decimal points moved. Ruf on-based .348 and Brown .324).

Brown and Ruf both reached base via a walk or a hit-by-pitch 40 times in 2013. Ruf got his 40 walks plus hit-by-pitches in 293 plate appearances and Brown got his in 540.

Other thoughts:

  • There were three hitters on the Phillies with a wOBA better than .335 last year: Utley (.356), Ruf (.354) and Brown (.351). The Phillies don’t have a lot of good hitters and should do what they can to get the ones they do have on the field. Marlon Byrd .364, by the way.
  • Ruf was one of the best hitters on the team despite the fact that the righty was terrible against left-handed pitching, posting a 188/309/348 against them. He seems likely to be better against left-handed pitching going forward.
  • On the down side for Ruf, he finished the season in miserable, worrying fashion. After hitting 303/410/551 over his first 105 plate appearances, he hit just 216/314/407 over his last 188 chances. Those last 188 plate appearances are about 57% of his career plate appearances.
  • Ruf’s walk rate in 2013 of 11.3% was very high, 44th of the 316 players across both leagues that had at least 250 plate appearances. Per the bullet point directly above, Ruf was miserable over his last 188 plate appearances, but still walked in about 10.6% of his plate appearances with good power. The bad news is his BABIP in the 105 plate appearances in which he was good before the 188 when he was terrible — it was .400 for the first 105 and .280 for the last 188.
  • Ruf also got hit by a lot of pitches in 2013, which helped his on-base percentage. He was hit seven times in 293 plate appearances, which is about 2.4% or about 2.7 times the league average of 0.9%.

It seems to me the best approach for the Phillies is to play Byrd in right, Brown in left and platoon Ruf and Howard at first base. I don’t know what they’re going to do, but it’s probably not that. Pretty sure they will play Byrd in right and Brown in left, but first base seems like a your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine kinda situation, especially if your guess involves the guy earning $25 million (whether he hits or plays defense or not) or Kevin Frandsen. I’d play Ruf at first a lot, against both righties and lefties, until he stops being one of the best hitters on the team. That might not take that long, but I’d give it a try anyway.


You wanna build a what?

For 2013, Baseball-Reference calculates the combined WAR for Phillie hitters at 3.7.

I’ll be here all week. Don’t forget to tip your waitress.

What? We have to do more?

There were 32 individual NL hitters last year with a bWAR better than 3.7. As you probably guessed, things aren’t exactly headed in the right direction for the Phils in this area — the team was first in bWAR for batters in 2009 after being second in ’08. They slipped to fifth in 2010 and have been in the bottom half of the league ever since. They were 14th in 2013, ahead of only the Marlins.

Here are the eight non-pitchers on the ’13 Phillies who have both a WAR calculated by Baseball-Reference that’s greater than zero and a WAR calculated by FanGraphs that’s greater than zero:

Player bWAR (NL Rank) fWAR (NL Rank)
Utley 3.5 (36) 3.9 (28)
Brown 2.5 (52) 1.6 (83)
Ruiz 1.7 (78) 1.4 (91)
Revere 0.8 (114) 0.9 (108)
Howard 0.6 (127) 0.4 (143)
Rollins 0.2 (170) 1.6 (85)
Quintero 0.2 (180) 0.4 (151)
Rupp 0.2 (181) 0.1 (199)

That’s not good. Using the FanGraphs data, for example, Domonic Brown has the second-best fWAR on the team at 1.6, which was 83rd best in the league.

Baseball-Reference’s guide on interpreting WAR suggests 5+ for an All-Star, 2+ for a starter, 0-2 for a reserve and less than zero replacement level. The Phillies had two hitters with a bWAR higher than two in 2013 and five of the eight players listed above have a bWAR less than one.

Humberto Quintero is a good bet not to be on the Phillies in 2014. Carlos Ruiz is a free agent that could be back, but I wouldn’t count on it. Ruiz not being back is a blow to the Phils — less because he was good last year and more because, by WAR calculated by Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs, he was the third or fourth-best non-pitcher on the Phillies last season despite on-basing .320 with five home runs

That leaves the Phils with six players on the ’14 team that had a positive WAR at both sites in ’13: Chase Utley, Domonic Brown, Jimmy Rollins, Ben Revere, Ryan Howard and Cameron Rupp.

Utley was clearly the best non-pitcher on the Phillies in 2013. He’s had a bWAR that’s ranged from 3.0 to 3.7 over the last three years and seems like a good bet to be in that range again in 2014. The problem is that he was the best non-pitcher on the Phils in 2013 and was about the 28th or 36th best non-pitcher in the 15-team league. That and there’s a pretty monster drop off behind him.

Again, Utley’s bWAR was 3.5. The total bWAR for all the hitters on the team was 3.7. Milwaukee was seventh in the NL in bWAR for hitters at 20.6 last year and the Padres were eighth at 20.3. So to get to about middle of the pack in the NL last year, the Phllies would have needed to add about 16.7 or so bWAR from their hitters, which is about 4.8 players with the 3.5 bWAR of their best hitter. Obviously it’s more complicated than that, because they couldn’t just add players without taking away some that contributed to their 3.7 bWAR in the first place, but the point is they’re a long way away from being in the middle of the pack in the NL.

Brown impressed with the bat in 2013, but he sure can’t play defense. Posted a positive bWAR for the first time in his career, but fWAR was a lot less impressed. Still, he seems like a good bet to get better and is one of a very few blocks the Phillies have to build on.

Rollins put up a bWAR of 0.2, the worst mark for any year in his career in which he’s gotten at least 100 plate appearances. Coming into the season, his bWAR range for the four previous seasons had been 1.7 to 2.5. If he bounces back, it might not be that high. His -1.0 dWAR was the worst mark for his career. FanGraphs had his UZR/150 at short at -2.7 coming off of positive marks for ten years in a row.

Revere is still young, still never going to walk and never hit for power. The Phillies will need him to be an elite defensive player if he’s going to be good and I’m not sure why you’d think that would happen. He wasn’t in 2013, posting the worst dWAR of his career at -0.4 despite less playing time than he had in the last two years. His UZR/150 in center as calculated by FanGraphs was negative for the second straight year as well. He did hit a monster 407/426/482 in his last 123 plate appearances before injury ended his season. I think he’ll probably be okay on the WAR fronts if he can keep that up. Even assuming he doesn’t, I don’t see center field as one of the biggest areas of concern for the Phillies, where they have a good chance to have a very cheap player who will make a positive contribution. If you want to worry, I’d go with right field, first base and catcher in that order. And cross your fingers about Cody Asche at third base.

Howard on-based .319 in 2013 and his isolated power (.199) dropped under .200 for the first time in his career. Over the last two years his average bWAR is -0.25 and his average fWAR is -0.35. Over his last four years his average bWAR is 0.48 and his average fWAR is 0.45.

The Phillies are due to pay Utley, Rollins and Howard a combined $51 million in 2014 and there’s a real chance only one of the three will put up a bWAR better than one. The trio made $46 million in 2013 with Utley the only player of the group with a bWAR better than 0.6. Per the table above, FanGraphs thought Rollins was a lot better than Baseball-Reference.

Cameron Rupp makes a surprise appearance on the list. Let’s hope for the best, but there are going to be some surprised folks out there if he proves to be more than a backup catcher. He also has 14 career plate appearances. Presumably the Phillies will add a catcher before the season starts, which will prevent them from going into the season with Kratz and Rupp handling the catching duties and, presumably, will mean Rupp starts the year somewhere other than on the active roster.


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