Tag: Humberto Quintero

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.


Rate hike

Questions yesterday about whether opposing hitters were more likely to walk in 2013 when Carlos Ruiz was catching for the Phils. That part’s easy — the answer is yes, they were. The harder part is how important that information is and I’m a lot less sure about that. In order to conclude anything, we’d need to look at more complete information about who was doing the pitching, the game situation and the quality of the hitters they were facing.

Still, the overall results were a little surprising to me. The Phillies used five catchers in 2013: Ruiz, Erik Kratz, Humberto Quintero, Cameron Rupp and Steven Lerud. Here’s the total number of plate appearances each caught and the team’s walk rate with them catching:

BF % of BF BB %
All PHI 6213 100 8.1
Ruiz 3251 52.3 9.0
Kratz 2060 33.2 7.5
Quintero 718 11.6 6.4
Rupp 116 1.9 6.0
Lerud 68 1.1 7.4
Not Ruiz 2962 47.7 7.2

So Ruiz caught 52.3% of the batters and during those plate appearances, Phillie opponents walked 9.0% of the time. The other four catchers caught 47.7% of the time and in those chances opponents walked in 7.2% of their plate appearances.

Here’s the breakdown for the three catchers other than Rupp and Lerud for the eight starting pitchers on the ’13 Phils that got at least eight starts.

Pitcher BF Ruiz Kratz Quintero
Hamels 905 61.8/5.9 26.4/5.9 11.8/2.8
Lee 876 55.0/4.1 39.2/3.2 5.8/2.0
Kendrick 800 38.8/4.2 55.1/6.8 6.1/8.2
Pettibone 437 52.6/10.0 21.3/7.5 26.1/7.0
Lannan 332 57.5/10.5 10.8/5.6 31.6/5.4
Cloyd 282 33.9/11.6 50.7/7.7 -
Halladay 282 50.0/16.3 15.2/11.6 34.8/8.2
Martin 190 66.8/15.7 24.7/10.6 -

So, looking, for example, at the top line, Ruiz caught 61.8% of the batters that Hamels pitched to in 2013 and those batters walked in 5.9% of their plate appearances. Quintero caught 11.8% of the batters Hamels faced in 2013 and those batters walked in 2.8% of their PA.

Cloyd and Martin both pitched to Lerud and Rupp. Those numbers aren’t included above.

Of the eight pitchers listed above, six of them pitched to all three of Ruiz, Kratz and Quintero. Of those six, five, everyone except for Kendrick, issued walks at the highest rate while pitching to Ruiz and the at the lowest rate when pitching to Quintero (for Hamels, the 5.9% to Ruiz is a little higher, 5.903, than his 5.9% to Kratz, which is 5.858).

The other of the six that pitched to all three was Kendrick. He walked batters at his lowest rate while pitching to Ruiz and at his highest while pitching to Quintero. It should be noted that Kendrick’s time pitching to Quintero was especially limited. Quintero was behind the plate for just 49 of the 800 batters that Kendrick faced (6.1%).

The other two pitchers on the list, Cloyd and Martin, didn’t pitch to Quintero, but each of them walked batters at a higher rate while pitching to Ruiz than they did to Kratz.

I think it’s hugely important to remember there are a lot of factors at play. For example, Roy Halladay and Ethan Martin each had very high walk rates for the season, regardless of who was catching them. Ruiz caught more than two-thirds of Martin’s innings and half of Halladay’s, which surely contributed to his walk rate being high relative to other catchers on the team. While the rate that each of those guys allowed walks was higher with Ruiz behind the plate, I still think it’s a leap to attribute much of anything to Ruiz without more complete information about the game situation and the quality of hitters the pitchers were facing.

If you look back at the last few years, it’s also not true to say that batters consistently walk more with Ruiz behind the plate than with someone else catching. It was in 2012, 7.1% for Ruiz and 6.2% for everyone else on the Phils, but in 2011 he was way under the walk rate with others catching (6.4% for Ruiz and 7.2% for everyone else). In both 2009 and 2010, the walk rate for hitters with Ruiz behind the plate was just about the same as the walk rate with anyone else behind the plate (6.8/6.9 in ’10 and 7.9/7.7 in ’09).


Phillies fans cannot understand how even a tiny particle of Freddy Galvis got into their left field

The Phillies pounded Tampa Bay yesterday, winning 10-1 on a day in which they started Freddy Galvis in left field and Galvis played very well, handling left and delivering two hits, including a two-run homer.

The pitching was fantastic for the Phils as they held the Rays to three hits and two walks. Valdes, Stutes, Horst, Bastardo and Papelbon all pitched well for the Phillies.

It was a little hard to notice with all the Freddy Galvis starting in left field going on.

There are a whole bunch of reasons you don’t want to ever see Freddy Galvis starting in left field for the Phillies in a game that matters. One is that he has a career on-base percentage of .292 in the minors. Another is that he has a career on-base percentage of .254 in the majors. A third would be that he’s not an outfielder.

He went 2-for-4 with three RBI in the game, hitting a two-run homer in the fifth and delivering an RBI-single in the sixth. He’s hitting 300/319/586 with 12 extra-base hits in 73 plate appearances. He’s tied with Howard for the team lead in extra-base hits.

Just monster power for Galvis this spring. His isolated power is at .286, which is nutty. Only one player in the National League with 50 or more plate appearances ended 2012 with an isolated power of .286 or better — Giancarlo Stanton was at .318. Galvis’s isolated power in 2,179 plate appearances in the minor leagues is .075. In 200 plate appearances in the majors it’s .137.

Tiny number of at-bats, of course, and if they ask you if that’s likely to go down from here you want to say yes. Several Phils have delivered a higher isolated power than Galvis this spring, including Brown, Howard and Pete Orr.

Frandsen 1-for-4 with a double and three RBI. 283/306/517.

Brown had three hits, going 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles. 373/429/675.

Quintero 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI to raise his spring average to .296 (8-for-27 with a double). He’s been bad defensively, but he’s a very good defensive player and I will be surprised if he’s not the backup catcher.

Howard 2-for-4 with a pair of singles. 338/369/675.

Revere led off and was 0-for-3 with a walk to drop his average to .316. Rollins is hitting .286 and on-basing .429 after going 1-for-4 with a single.

Inciarte was 0-for-1 and is hitting 250/357/292.

Valdes started the game for the Phils was fantastic, striking out five while allowing a run on two hits over three innings. He struck out two in a 1-2-3 first and another two in a 1-2-3 second. He allowed a run on a single and a double in the third.

Valdes allowed four home runs over his first 7 1/3 innings pitched this spring, but has been much better since. After 17 1/3 innings he has now thrown to a 4.15 ERA with an 0.92 ratio. He’s allowed two earned runs over his last ten innings, which is a 1.80 ERA. Again, his ratio with the Phillies in 2012 was 0.74. He allowed 18 hits in 31 innings and opponents hit .168 against him. I think the Phillies would be making a big mistake if they didn’t carry him to start the season.

Stutes took over for the Phils in the fourth. He allowed a one-out walk, but got the next hitter to ground into a double-play.

7.36 ERA and a 1.73 ratio for Stutes. He has walked nine in 11 innings.

Horst followed Stutes and was good as well, allowing a single over two scoreless innings.

Like Valdes, Horst struggled early. He has been even better since. After five innings, Horst had a 14.40 ERA and had allowed four home runs. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in ten innings since and now has a 4.80 ERA and a 1.27 ratio for the spring.

Bastardo started the eighth and got the two men he faced before leaving the game.

4.32 ERA and a 1.20 ratio for Bastardo. Opponents have hit .212 against him.

Papelbon pitched the ninth. He struck out the first two batters he faced on six pitches before getting Mike Fontenot to line to third and end the game.

9.82 ERA and a 1.50 ratio for Papelbon. Like Valdes and Horst, he’s been a whole lot better recently after a miserable start. Papelbon allowed eight earned runs in his first 1 2/3 innings pitched — since then he’s thrown 5 2/3 scoreless frames.

Colby Shreve threw a scoreless inning in the game and Steven Inch faced one batter (who he retired to end the eighth).

Cole Hamels is expected to start this afternoon as the Phils face the Tigers.

This article from the Phillies web site suggests Horst and Valdes are front-runners for two of the remaining bullpen spots and Aumont has the edge over Stutes for the other.

This suggests that Pete Orr and Inciarte could be competing for the final spot on the bench. Orr is hitting 308/308/615 in 28 at-bats this spring (8-for-26 with a triple, two home runs and no walks).

This article talks about who the sixth starter for the Phillies is now that they’ve cut ties with Rodrigo Lopez and Aaron Cook. The answer is probably Tyler Cloyd. Who the sixth starter is seems to be important given the combination of Kendrick being the fourth starter and the lack of certainty around Halladay.


Two-hit wonder

Kyle Kendrick led the way yesterday as four Phillie pitchers held the Yankees to an unearned run on two hits and a walk and the Phils topped New York 4-1.

Domonic Brown hit his sixth home run, a solo shot in the fourth inning. 1-for-3 on the day. 397/465/714. He has 25 hits in official spring games, which is the most for any player across both leagues.

Howard was 1-for-4 with his fifth homer, a solo blast in the seventh. 317/338/633. He’s walked just three times in 65 plate appearances, but now’s probably not the time to quibble.

Nix 2-for-4 with a double. 238/273/333, but with better results if you count the games that don’t count.

Utley 2-for-4 without a double. 227/358/341. You might not think of Utley as a guy who hits .258, but he has hit .258 over his last 816 plate appearances since the end of 2010. So you might want to think about starting.

Rollins started at short and went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks. 3-for-12 with a double and five walks in limited official action.

Jermaine Mitchell started in center and went 0-for-4. 7-for-21 with two walks and five extra-base hits. 333/391/714. No longer leads the team in OPS.

Lerud got the start behind the plate and went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. I’d still guess he’s going to have trouble getting past Quintero for the backup catcher job. Lerud is 3-for-14 with a double, a home run and three walks (214/353/500). Quintero hasn’t been good defensively, he’s made two errors and been charged with a passed ball, and is 5-for-18 with two walks and five singles at the plate (278/333/278). At least in the official games, it seems that Lerud has outplayed Quintero. I don’t think it’s going to matter, though.

Kendrick started the game for the Phillies and allowed an unearned run over six innings on two hits, a double and a single, and no walks. The run scored in the fourth. Brett Gardner led off with a bunt single and took second on a throwing error by Kendrick. He would score on a one-out double by Ichiro.

Kendrick has a 5.14 ERA and a 1.14 ratio. If you throw to a 1.14 ratio for long enough, your ERA is going to go down from 5.14.

Adams struck out Travis Hafner in a 1-2-3 seventh. He has allowed two hits and no walks in five scoreless innings in official spring action.

Papelbon got three fly balls in a 1-2-3 eighth. Seems to have settled down quite a bit since ugly, ugly results early. 15.43 ERA and a 2.14 ratio for the spring.

Durbin pitched a scoreless ninth. He allowed a one-out walk, but got the next two hitters to end the game. 4.00 ERA and a 1.33 ratio.

The Phils are off today and face the Red Sox tomorrow night.


Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain

I’ll really do my best to limit your exposure to lyrics from Anne Murray songs on the blog. Promise.

The Phillies sure could use a little good news and here it is: Jon Heyman says they are finalizing a deal to acquire Wilton Lopez.

The 29-year-old righty has been fantastic for the last three years with the Astros, throwing to a 2.64 ERA with a 1.13 ratio over 204 1/3 innings in 205 relief appearances. In two of those years, 2010 and 2012, he threw to a ratio of 1.06 or better (1.27 in 2011). In 2010 and 2012 combined, he walked 13 hitters in 133 1/3 innings while striking out 104.

Lopez would be an ideal fit to bring much needed stability to the eighth inning for the Phils.

No word at this point what the Phils would give up to get Lopez. This article suggests it may be a minor league prospect. This blog post speculates that “a Sebastian Valle for Lopez deal would make sense for both sides.”

This article says: “The Astors will receive minor league players in the deal. The prospects involved are said to be close to major league ready.”

Make your own joke day at Philliesflow as we give you the chance to insert your own joke here about the Phillies and how many prospects they have that are close to major league ready.

Yesterday the Phillies signed 33-year-old catcher Humberto Quintero to a minor league deal. Quintero seems likely to get a chance with the Phillies early in the season in the wake of the Ruiz suspension.

Quintero really, really can’t hit. 234/267/323 in 1,281 plate appearances in the majors over his ten year career. The righty has a career 233/268/319 line against righties and a not much better 238/262/336 line against lefties. He has a career .319 on-base percentage in his 2,984 plate appearances in the minors.

What he can do is play defense. In 2010, he played just 653 2/3 innings for the Astros, but managed to post a Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR of 1.2, which was tied for 21st-best in the NL.

In 2011 he played just 642 innings defensively and again posted a dWAR of 1.2, which was 13th-best in the league.

Update: This suggests that the Braves have reached an agreement with BJ Upton, which would make it less likely that Upton would be playing for the Phillies in 2013.

Update 2: This says five years, $75 million for Upton to the Braves.


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