Tag: garrett atkins

Touching base (third)

Back in November I looked at some of the available players who looked like they might be a good match for the Phils at third base. The Phillies landed on Placido Polanco and most of the rest of that group has found a home by now as well:

Player Age Status
P Feliz 34

After the Phillies declined his $5.5 million option for 2010, Feliz signed a one-year deal with the Astros for $4.5 million.

     
P Polanco 34 Signed a three-year, $18 million deal with the Phillies
     
A Beltre 30 Signed a one-year, $9 million deal with Boston
     
C Figgins 32 Signed a four-year, $36 million deal with Seattle.
     
M DeRosa 34 Signed with San Francisco for two years, $12 million
     
     
G Atkins 30 Signed a one year contract with Baltimore. The contract is for $4 million with incentives that could earn Atkins an additional $1 million. He will likely play first base and not third.
     
T Glaus 33 Signed with the Braves for one-year, $1.75 million.  He is expected to play first base and not third with Atlanta.
     
     
M Tejada 35 Agreed to a one-year, $6 million deal with Baltimore
     
J Crede 31 Unsigned

I don’t think the Polanco contract looks great in relation to the signings for the group given the length of Polanco’s new deal. I would rather have Polanco for three years at his contract than Figgins for four years at his contract. I’m not as sure about the rest of the group.

After the Phillies declined Feliz’s option for 2010 I would guess they couldn’t have signed him as a free agent for one-year, $4.5 million even if they had wanted to. They might have been better off if they did.

Glaus’s signing may be the steal of the group, cause if he’s healthy he’s a lock to be the best offensive player in the group. Even if he’s not a hundred percent, there’s still a good chance he’s the best hitter in the group in 2009. Let’s just hope he really can’t play third base at all.

I think the O’s got a great deal on Atkins, too. I think it’s much more likely that he will see time at third in the future, despite Baltimore’s preference to play him at first. It’s undeniable that he was miserable in 2009, but including that awful year he has hit 292/359/472 over the past four seasons and averaged 21 homers and 94 RBI. Let’s hope he really can’t play third, either.

I’m definitely rooting for Polanco to hit .320 with 15 home runs. And maybe he will. He’s getting old, though, and he’s coming off a bad year. If I were guessing, Feliz and Crede are the only players in the group that I feel confident that Polanco will outperform offensively in 2010. And that’s in year one of a three-year deal. And maybe he can play third, but he’s not a third baseman. So let’s hope for the best. But the time that’s past since the signing hasn’t done a whole lot to make me feel better about the deal for the Phillies.

Joe Blanton and the Phillies agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal.

Victorino and the Phils agreed to a three-year, $22 million deal.

The Phillies and Ruiz agreed to a three-year, $8.85 million deal.

This suggests the Phillies have agreed to a one-year deal with right-handed pitcher Jose Contreras, which is worth about $1 million. Contreras pitched for the White Sox and Rockies last year, posting a 4.92 ERA with a 1.47 ratio over 131 2/3 innings. He spent most of the past three years with the White Sox and has a 5.09 ERA over the past three seasons. He was traded to the Rockies at the end of the 2009 season and he got his first chance to pitch for a NL team — in seven appearances he threw to a 1.59 ERA over 17 innings but with a 1.65 ratio (his ERA+ while throwing to a 1.59 ERA with the Rockies was 288).


The sixth nonsense

Charlie Manuel finished sixth in the voting for NL Manager of the Year. Sixth?

Moving on, here’s the rates some free agents who could fill the Phils need at third base tallied hits, walks, doubles and triples, home runs and extra-base hits per 100 plate appearances for their last season in which they got more than 450 plate appearances (2008 for Glaus and 2009 for everyone else):

  H/100 BB/100 2B+3B/100 HR/100 XBH/100
Feliz 24.6 5.6 5.1 1.9 7.0
Tejada 29.6 2.8 7.0 2.1 9.1
DeRosa 22.4 8.2 4.2 4.0 8.2
Polanco 26.1 5.3 5.2 1.5 6.7
Beltre 24.9 4.0 5.7 1.7 7.3
Glaus 23.1 13.7 5.3 4.2 9.6
Figgins 25.1 13.9 5.1 0.7 5.8
Crede 20.4 7.9 4.6 4.1 8.7

And here are the same numbers over their careers:

  H/100 BB/100 2B+3B/100 HR/100 XBH/100
Feliz 23.7 5.3 5.3 3.3 8.6
Tejada 26.4 6.3 5.5 3.6 9.1
DeRosa 24.4 8.4 5.2 2.6 7.8
Polanco 27.8 5.2 5.1 1.5 6.6
Beltre 24.7 7.0 5.4 3.6 9.1
Glaus 21.7 13.5 4.9 5.2 10.0
Figgins 25.6 10.1 4.9 0.8 5.7
Crede 23.3 5.9 4.9 4.1 9.0

Feliz is a very weak offensive player. He has never on-based over .308 for a season and has a .715 career OPS. Doesn’t walk, doesn’t hit for average and hasn’t hit more than 14 home runs in either of the last two seasons.

Tejada is a career .289 hitter and hit .313 for the Astros last year. He walked just 19 times in 673 plate appearances in ’09. He does deliver a ton of extra-base hits. He’s hit 30 or more homers four times in his career, but just 27 in 1,339 plate appearances over the last two years. He’s not a third baseman, either. He may be in the future, but so far he has appeared at third in zero games over his 13-year career.

DeRosa comes off of a weak season in which he hit 250/319/433 for the Indians and Cards. His walk rate is good, better than everyone on the list except for Figgins and Glaus. Through his age 32 season his career high in home runs was 13. Over the past two years he has hit 21 and 23.

Polanco is the least likely member of this group to walk in a given plate appearance over his career and that’s saying something. Pedro Feliz is in this group. Joe Crede is in this group. Adrian Beltre is in this group. The .303 career average is impressive, though. He’s the worst power option in the group behind Figgins.

Beltre has on-based .330 or better in one of the last nine seasons. He does have some power, but he’s hit under .270 four of the last five years.

The problems with Glaus are that he had terrible injury problems last year and probably can’t play third base anymore. Everything else is just ducky. He’s the least likely of the group to deliver a hit or a double or triple, but he has monster rates for drawing walks and hitting home runs. He’s a career .255 hitter and a big right-handed bat that would look fantastic in the Phillies lineup, but if he really can’t play third base it’s going to make it tough to make him your third baseman.

Figgins walked 101 times last season, leading the American League. Second-best walk rate for his career of the group behind Glaus. Worst power numbers of the group by a lot. He just doesn’t homer. His rate of delivering doubles and triples is actually a little better than the rates for Glaus and Crede. He also has stolen 40 or more bases in four of the last five seasons.

Joe Crede hasn’t gotten 400 plate appearances in any of the past three seasons, so I’d be pretty surprised if the Phillies think he’s the guy to hand the third base job. He doesn’t hit for average or draw walks. He is right-handed and can hit some home runs — his home runs rate is second for the group behind Glaus. Career on-base percentage of .304.

I think the guys on the list that have close to no chance of being the player the Phils go after are Crede and Glaus. They are both the kind of player the Phillies need at third — a righty who can hit for power. I would be tempted to take a chance on Glaus if there’s any way he can play third. I don’t think the Phillies will.

Beltre, Tejada, Figgins and DeRosa all seem like they would be an upgrade over Feliz. I hope the Phillies do not consider Polanco to be a real option. I think it would be a big mistake to give him the third base job this year and it could reasonably be argued that Feliz would have been the better choice.

I still think there’s a good chance the Phils get their third baseman through a trade rather than a free agent signing.

Garrett Atkins has been told by the Rockies that he will not be released, but says he knows he will be with another team in 2010. Atkins comes of a miserable season in which he hit 226/308/342 and lost his job to Ian Stewart, but I would be quite pleased to see him as a Phillie. 289/354/457 career line. Hits lefties hard (301/384/486). And yes, he’s been better at Coors than away from it by a lot, but he still has hit more home runs away than he has at home for his career. Where do I sign?

Atkins is also a close friend and former college roommate of Chase Utley. I’m just saying.


Taking stock of the Rox

My hot-or-not opinion on the eight Rockies who have the most plate appearances over the past 14 days:

 

Season

 

HOT

AVG

OBP

SLG
 

Helton

325

416

489
Fantastic year
for Helton all-around.  If you’re looking for a flaw, he slugged just .372 against lefties, but hit
.311 against them with a .369 on-base percentage.  He hit .300 or
better every month and on-based at least .400 in each of the last four
months of the season.  He was on a huge tear to end the season, going
14-for-30 (467/529/667).  Bright spot number two may be that he has just one home run in his last 119 plate appearances.
         

Tulowitzki

296

377

551
Hit 342/421/619
in the second half, so he’s got to be playing pretty well. 
411/488/781 over his last 84 plate appearances.
         

Torrealba

290

351

379
Hit .322 with a
.379 on-base percentage in the second half after hitting .225 with a .309
on-base percentage in the first half.  Just two home runs on the
season, but has hit 321/372/389 since the start of August and is
8-for-his-last-22 (364/360/545).
         
Hawpe 285 384 519 The
lefty Hawpe struggled against left-handed pitching this season, hitting
.243 with a .337 on-base percentage (he hit .303 with a .403 on-base
percentage against righties).  He smoked 42 doubles on the year,
which tied him for fifth in the NL.  After a 320/396/577 first half,
though, he hit 240/370/442 in the second half.  He hit just .208 in
September in October, but managed a monster .394 on-base percentage in
those months by drawing 21 walks in 94 plate appearances.  He
finished strong, going 8-for-his-last-24 with three home runs.  He
was ice cold before that, though.  Going into those last 24 at-bats
he was 7-for-47 (.146).
         
Gonzalez 284 353 525 The
23-year-old lefty fared well against left-handed pitching this season,
hitting 276/343/466 against them.  Like Fowler his numbers at home
were a lot better than his numbers at home.  He hit 305/361/582 at
home and 263/344/467 on the road.  Most of the action he saw on the
year came in the second half — after hitting 202/280/333 in 94 plate
appearances before the break he hit 320/384/608 in 223 plate appearances
after the break.  He went 9-for-28 (333/357/593) to end the regular
season.
         
  Season  
NOT
AVG

OBP

SLG
 

Stewart

228

322

464
Stewart hit .178
against lefties on the season.  Twenty of his 25 homers on the year
came against right-handed pitching.  He’s 3-for-his-last-20 with
three singles.
         

Barmes

245

294

440
Career highs for
Barmes in home runs (23) and RBI (76).  Hit 279/323/478 before the
break but trailed off after, hitting just 205/259/394.  He was
atrocious away from home, hitting 207/251/380 for the year.  He went
5-for-28 to end the season (.179).
         
Fowler 266 363 406 The
switch-hitter Fowler didn’t do much against righties this year, hitting
240/357/372 against them compared to 321/377/482 against lefties.  He
also hit just 236/331/387 away from home.  He comes into the series a
chilly 4-for-his-last-25 (160/222/280).

Assuming the Phillies start Lee and Hamels in games one and two, I would guess there’s about zero chance you see those eight players on the field for Colorado in both of the first two games.

Here are some of the other players that could be a factor for Colorado and what they’ve done recently:

Righty Ryan Spilborghs always kills the Phils, he has a career line of 420/464/660 against the Phillies in 56 plate appearances. He didn’t hit either righties or lefties well this year, though, and managed just a 241/310/395 line for the season. 3-for-23 to end the year.

Righty Chris Iannetta hit just 228/344/460 this season, but his 296/406/580 line against lefties should scare you. He’s another Rockies player that was much better at home than away from it, hitting 295/389/576 at home and 167/302/353 away. He went 5-for-16 (.313) to end the season.

Garrett Atkins is yet another of the Colorado righties. He hit an ugly 226/308/342 on the year, but 268/363/428 against lefties. He hit .200 with a .298 on-base percentage away from home. He was also 5-for-16 to end the season.

Lefty Seth Smith put up nice numbers against both lefties and righties on the season, hitting 293/378/510 overall. He didn’t see much time against lefties, though, getting just 69 of his 387 plate appearances on the year against them. He comes into the post-season 5-for-24 (.208) over the last 14 days.

Lefty Jason Giambi had a terrible year overall, hitting 201/343/382 between the A’s and Rockies. He smoked the ball in limited time with the Rockies, though, hitting 292/452/583 over 31 plate appearances. 1-for-9 with five strikeouts in the last two weeks of the season.

24-year-old switch-hitter Eric Young didn’t do much with the bat this season, hitting just 246/295/316 in 61 plate appearances. He was 1-for-10 in the last two weeks of the season. Really fast, though.

Finally, the Rockies were just a miserable offensive team on the road this season. Overall they hit 235/319/399 on the road and 287/367/482 at Coors Field. Iannetta (.656), Spilborghs (.644), Atkins (.624) and Barmes (.631) all had an OPS for the season that was under .700 away from Coors.


Top 25

Here’s today’s guess at the post-season roster for the Phillies:

These 12 hitters seem sure things: Ruiz, Bako, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Feliz, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Francisco, Stairs, Dobbs.

Either or both of Bruntlett and Cairo seem possible. My guess is both, which puts them at 14 hitters.

That leaves 11 slots for pitchers.

These seven are the guys I feel sure about it terms of pitchers on the roster: Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ, Madson, Eyre, Lidge.

That leaves four slots for Condrey, Durbin, Kendrick, Walker, Escalona, Myers and Pedro.

Walker, Pedro, Kendrick and Condrey are my guesses from that group.

So here’s my final guess:

Hitters (14): Ruiz, Bako, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Feliz, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Francisco, Stairs, Dobbs, Bruntlett, Cairo

Pitchers (11): Lee, Hamels, Blanton, Happ, Madson, Eyre, Lidge, Walker, Pedro, Kendrick and Condrey.

The Phillies end the regular season at 93-69 after dropping two of three to the Marlins. They won yesterday’s game on a walkoff single by Paul Hoover.

They will have home field advantage against the Rockies in the five-game NLDS. Games one and two are Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.

The Phils went 4-2 against Colorado this season. They took two of three against them in Colorado April 10, 11 and 12. Harry Kalas died on April 13. The Phils also played the Rockies in early August in Philadelphia and again took two of three.

The Phillies also played the Rockies in the NLDS in 2007. The Phillies also had home field advantage in that series, but were swept in three games.

In game one the Phillies couldn’t touch Rockies starter Jeff Francis and the Rocks won 4-2. The Rockies scored three off of Hamels in the second inning. Rowand and Burrell hit solo homers off of Francis in the fifth to make it 3-2. Matt Holliday hit a solo shot off of Flash in the eighth to extend the Colorado lead to 4-2, which was how it ended.

Kendrick started game two and got hit hard as the Phillies lost 10-5. The Phils took a 3-2 lead into the fourth inning, but Kendrick wouldn’t make it through the frame. Kaz Mastui blasted two-out grand slam off of Lohse. Miserable work from Mesa and Condrey late helped the Rockies score four runs in the eighth inning.

Moyer pitched great in game three in Colorado, but Ubaldo Jimenez was a little better. A Matsui line drive to left that Burrell misplayed into a triple helped the Rockies go up 1-0 in the fifth. Victorino hit an 0-2 pitch from Jimenez out in the seventh to tie the game at 1-1. With two outs and nobody on in the eighth, Atkins singled off of Romero. Hawpe was next and he singled off the glove of a diving Utley, moving Atkins to third. Romero stayed in to pitch to the right-handed pinch-hitter Baker and Baker singled to right, scoring Atkins to make it 2-1. Myers got the last out of the inning, but Manny Corpas set the Phillies down in order in the ninth.

After winning three in a row from the Phils, the Rockies had won 17 of their last 18 games.

Do you know there’s a start log for the Phillies for 2007and 2008? There is.


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