Tag: Jamie Moyer

The votes aren’t all counted yet, but I think we can agree that Adam Eaton was not the answer

Here’s the Baseball-Reference calculated combined WAR for pitchers who have made at least ten starts for the team over the past five seasons:

Pitcher GS # Relief appearances WAR WAR/GS
Halladay 90 0 17.6 .196
Lee 74 0 13.5 .182
Happ 30 16 5.0 .167
Oswalt 35 1 5.2 .149
Hamels 160 1 21.4 .134
Worley 46 7 4.4 .096
Moyer 77 5 2.7 .035
Blanton 100 5 2.5 .025
Myers 40 8 0.8 .020
Kendrick 103 41 1.7 .017
Eaton 19 2 -1.2 -.063

Important to remember is that the WAR calculation includes games pitched in relief. So, for example, the WAR for Kendrick over the last five seasons includes his 41 appearances out of the bullpen. His .017 for WAR/GS is his total WAR in all appearances divided by the number of games he started (not the total number of games in which he pitched).

The 11 pitchers above combined to make 774 of the 810 starts for the Phillies over the last five seasons. Not appearing on the list are guys who made fewer than ten starts, including Pedro Martinez (9), Chan Ho Park (7), Tyler Cloyd (6), Rodrigo Lopez (5), Antonio Bastardo (5), Raul Valdes (1), Andrew Carpenter (1), Nelson Figueroa (1) and BJ Rosenberg (1). Those 36 total starts plus the 774 for the 11 guys above gets you to 810.

Hamels is the guy who has made the most starts for the Phillies over the past five years with 160. And he’s been very good. After that, though, there are two guys in Blanton and Kendrick who have gotten a ton of starts over the past five seasons without being very good.

Kendrick is second in starts over the last five seasons with 103. His best year for WAR was 2007 (which doesn’t count for the table above as it was more than five years ago). In 2007, Kendrick made 20 appearances for the Phillies, all starts, going 10-4 with a 3.87 and putting up a WAR of 2.1. Kendrick was terrible in 2008 and finished the year with a -1.7 WAR. In the four years since his combined WAR has been just 3.4 — 3.4 + (-1.7) = 1.7, his mark for the past five years combined.

Blanton has made 105 appearances over the last five years for the Phillies, including 100 starts (more than anyone but Kendrick or Hamels). In the five seasons that Blanton pitched all or part of the year with the Phillies, he had a Baseball-Reference calculated WAR better than 0.1 only once. His best year with the Phillies was 2009 — he made 31 starts that year with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.32 ratio, posting a 2.4 WAR for the season. He had a -0.2 WAR in 29 appearances with the Phillies in 2010 and a -0.1 WAR in 21 appearances with them in 2012. He threw just 41 1/3 innings in 2011, all with the Phils, and put up a 0.0 WAR for that season.

The point here is that Blanton and Kendrick have pitched a lot for the Phillies over the past five years, making about as many starts (203) as Halladay, Lee and Worley (210). Overall, they’ve made about 25.1% of the starts for the Phillies over the past five seasons. And they haven’t been very good.

And while Blanton doesn’t have much of a chance to be not very good for the Phillies again in 2013, Kendrick does.

Gone also from the mix of the last five years are Happ and Oswalt. Both of those pitchers didn’t pitch a ton for the Phillies over the past five years, but put up good numbers overall in their time with the team.

Happ’s 4.83 ERA since he left the Phillies makes it easy to forget that he was great for the Phillies in 2009, going 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.23 ratio in his 35 appearances (23 starts). He led the team in WAR for pitchers that year at 4.0. Hamels made 32 starts for the Phillies in ’09, finishing the year with a WAR of 1.7.

Oswalt threw to a 2.96 ERA in 36 appearances (35 starts) with the Phils between 2010 and 2011. He appeared in just 13 games for the Phillies in 2010 (12 starts), but managed to post a WAR of 3.2, third best on the staff behind Halladay and Hamels.

This suggests Josh Hamilton wants seven years, $175 million.

Amaro mentions Adam Morgan favorably in this article. Morgan is a 22-year-old lefty the Phillies took in the third round of the 2011 draft. He made 27 appearances between Clearwater and Reading in 2012, 26 of which were starts, throwing to a 3.35 ERA with a 1.11 ratio and striking out 169 in 158 2/3 innings.

Sandy, the pitching angels have lost their desire for us

Bruce Springsteen. Sort of.

The table below shows, for each of the past five years, the four pitchers who have gotten the most starts for the Phillies that season and their WAR for the year as calculated by Baseball-Reference:

Year Pitcher Starts WAR
2012 Hamels 31 4.2
2012 Lee 30 4.2
2012 Kendrick 25 1.3
2012 Halladay 25 0.7
2012 Total for group 101 10.4
2011 Halladay 32 8.5
2011 Lee 32 8.3
2011 Hamels 31 6.2
2011 Oswalt 23 2.0
2011 Total for group 118 25.0
2010 Halladay 33 8.3
2010 Hamels 33 5.3
2010 Kendrick 31 0.2
2010 Blanton 28 -0.2
2010 Total for group 125 13.6
2009 Hamels 32 1.7
2009 Blanton 31 2.4
2009 Moyer 25 0.1
2009 Happ 23 4.0
2009 Total for group 111 8.2
2008 Hamels 33 4.0
2008 Moyer 33 2.5
2008 Myers 30 0.4
2008 Kendrick 30 -1.7
2008 Total for group 126 5.2

Important to note is that the WAR for the pitcher includes all of his appearances for the season, not just his starts. So, for example, Kendrick made 37 appearances in 2012 and only 25 of them were starts. His WAR for the year was 1.3 and that includes all 37 appearances, not just the 25 starts.

Again, the Phillies went to the World Series in 2008 and again in 2009 and they did it without outstanding starting pitching. This message will repeat. Happ (in 2009) and Hamels (in 2008) were the only two pitchers, starter or relievers, to post a WAR for the season better than 2.5 in either year.

Led by Hamels and Halladay, the top four was a lot better in 2010. Halladay, Hamels and Lee all had superb years in 2011.

Halladay was, as you may have noticed, way off in 2012. Hamels wasn’t as good as he had been in 2011 or 2010. Lee wasn’t as good as he had been in 2011, but the top for of the rotation were still better than they been in 2009 and a lot better than they had been in 2008.

It’s easy for some of us (by which I mean me) to forget that Lee didn’t throw a pitch for the Phillies in 2010. They Phillies have only had two years where Halladay, Hamels and Lee comprised the core of the rotation. One of those years was great for the Phillies until they were bounced out of the playoffs in the first round. The other was 2012, which is best forgotten if at all possible.

Halladay came into 2012 having not put up a WAR worse than 5.9 since 2008 — in ’08 he was an All-Star, finished second in Cy Young voting in the AL (losing to Indian and 22-game winner Cliff Lee) and seventh in WAR for pitchers across both leagues. Last year his WAR was 0.7, which is the worst mark of his career since he threw to a 10.64 ERA as a 23-year-old with the Blue Jays in 2000.

Rollins won his fourth Gold Glove.

The Phillies picked up the $5 million option on Ruiz and declined the $5.5 million option on Polanco. They will pay Polanco a $1 million buyout. The same article suggests that free agent Juan Pierre is not likely to be back with the Phillies.

This article suggests that Worley will stay in Philadelphia to rehab his elbow coming off of surgery.

This article suggests the Phillies have $135.35 million committed to ten players for next season, including Lee ($25 million), Halladay ($20 million), Howard ($20 million), Hamels ($19.5 million), Utley ($15 million), Papelbon ($13 million), Rollins ($11 million), Ruiz ($5 million), Kyle Kendrick ($4.5 million) and Laynce Nix ($1.35 million).

That’s $40 million committed to Halladay and Howard. In 2012, Howard’s Baseball-Reference calculated WAR was -1.2 and Halladay’s was 0.7.

This article quotes Amaro suggesting that that center field will have to be addressed externally. The writer goes on to list possible candidates, including Bourn, Pagan, Upton, Victorino, Hamilton, Cabrera, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dexter Fowler.

This article looks at potential corner outfielders, including free agent Juan Pierre, Nick Swisher, Cody Ross, Torii Hunter, Ryan Ludwick, Jonny Gomes, Rual Ibanez, Ichiro Suzuki, Delmon Young, Josh Willingham and Alfonso Soriano.

Power purge, part deux

Chase Utley isn’t the only left-handed Phillie who has seen his power drop off significantly over the past two seasons. Utley and Ryan Howard will forever be linked in the minds of fans and Howard’s power is down since the start of 2010 as well.

The left-right splits on the power drop aren’t as dramatic for Howard as it was for Utley, but Howard has also seen his power against righties drop more than it has against lefties over the past two seasons.

Howard arrived in Philly during the 2004 season, getting his first plate appearance on September 1, pinch-hitting for Vicente Padilla with one out in the fifth, Marlon Byrd on first and the Phils down 5-2. Atlanta’s Jaret Wright struck him out looking. Howard got just 42 plate appearances in 2004, but was off and running in 2005. In ’05 he hit .288 with 22 homers in just 348 plate appearances as he won Rookie of the Year in the NL (despite the fact that Willy Tavares and his 291/325/341 line in Colorado managed more than 20% of the first-place votes).

Howard didn’t exactly shine against left-handed pitching in 2005, going a meager 9-for-61 against them with a 148/175/246 line and striking out in about 41.3% of his plate appearances.

If his ’05 performance elevated concerns about whether he would ever hit lefties or not, he appeared to respond in dramatic fashion in 2006. He hit a monster 279/364/558 against lefties with 16 home runs in 225 plate appearances.

That was, however, as good as it would get for Howard against lefties. In the five seasons since the end of 2005, Howard has hit better than .225 against left-handed pitching just once (.264 in 2010). Since the start of the ’06 season, Howard has gotten 1,164 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers and struck out 32.6% of the time while posting a 228/309/430 line.

It’s enough to make some people wonder if what he did against lefties in 2006 might have been a little flukey.

Back to the power, though. Utley and Howard have both seen their power drop off in 2010 and 2011. Utley’s dropoff overall for those two years has been far more dramatic against righties. Howard has also seen a bigger drop in his isolated power against righties than lefties, but without results that are quite as severe as they are for Utley.

Here’s Howard’s at-bats, average, slugging and isolated power against lefties and righties for the years 2005-2009 combined as well as 2010 and 2011 combined:

Vs Lefties Vs Righties
’05-’09 926 227 447 220 1722 307 661 354
’10-’11 363 245 424 179 744 274 532 258

First things first and the first things is this — from 2005 through 2009, Howard slugged .661 against right-handed pitching. That’s silly. In 2006, thanks in large part to his success against left-handed pitching, Howard hit 58 homers and slugged .659 for the year year overall. That’s good enough for 80th all time on the list of single season slugging percentage.

In 2010 and 2011 combined, Howard’s isolated power against lefties dropped from .220 in the ’05-’09 period to .179. His power against righties started out a lot higher, but also fell a lot more. It dropped more than twice as much, falling from .354 to .258.

Notably, Utley has posted a higher isolated power mark than Howard against left-handed pitching over the past two years. Since the start of 2010, Utley’s isolated power against lefties is .214 compared to .179 for Howard. From 2005 to 2009, Utley and Howard has similar numbers for isolated power against lefties — .220 for Howard and .216 for Utley.

Finally, Howard’s isolated power against lefties for 2011 was .124 as he hit a rather miserable 224/286/347 against left-handed pitching. His fellow Phillie, fellow lefty Raul Ibanez put up a better isolated power number of .143 in what was a horrid season with the bat for Ibanez — he hit just 211/232/353 against lefties in 2011. There were 15 left-handed batters in the NL who got at least 125 plate appearances against left-handed pitchers. Of those, Howard’s isolated power of .124 was 11th-best. In addition to Ibanez, Jay Bruce (.251), Joey Votto (.236), Brian McCann (.219), Carlos Pena (.200), Carlos Gonzalez (.177), Prince Fielder (.176), Logan Morrison (.158), Freddie Freeman (.156) and Todd Helton (.146) all topped him.

Remember the bench-clearing incident from May 24, 2007 when Willis, with the Marlins at the time, threw behind Jon Lieber? Read all about it. And here, too.

In this article, Amaro seems to suggest that the best case with Thome would have him playing first base four or five times a month. So I wouldn’t be looking for him there every day while Howard is out. Since the end of the 2006 season, Thome has made as many appearances at third base as he has at first (one). He was at third for one pitch in 2011.

This suggests that Jamie Moyer may sign a minor league deal with the Rockies.

This and this suggest the Phillies and right-handed free-agent pitcher Joel Pineiro have agreed to a minor league contract. The 33-year-old Pineiro was awful for the Angels last year, throwing to a 5.13 ERA and a 1.51 ratio over 27 appearances, 24 of which were starts. He was very good the two previous years, throwing to a 3.64 ERA with a 1.18 ratio in 55 starts with the Cardinals and Angels. Great move by the Phils.

Walks, walks till we drop

Just in case there was someone out there who isn’t tired of reading about walks yet.

Earlier this week I looked at 2010 Phillies that walked both less than 3.32 batters per nine innings and less than 8.59% of the batters they faced.

For the players in that group who threw at least 50 innings, the table below shows how their walk rate per nine innings with the Phillies in 2010 compares to their career walk rate per nine innings coming into the season. They are ordered by the difference between their ’10 walk rate with the Phils and their walk rate coming into last season.

BB/9 before 2010 BB/9 in 2010 Difference
Moyer 2.57 1.61 0.96
Halladay 1.96 1.08 0.88
Contreras 3.27 2.54 0.73
Madson 2.82 2.20 0.62
Blanton 2.56 2.20 0.36
Kendrick 2.70 2.44 0.26
Herndon No history 2.92 -
Oswalt 2.06 2.29 (0.23)
Hamels 2.28 2.63 (0.35)

Despite throwing to a 4.84 ERA, Jamie Moyer had a 1.10 ratio last season. In 111 2/3 innings, he walked just 20. He posted the best walk rate of his career in his 24th season.

Halladay has been in the top seven in his league for fewest walks per nine innings for each of the past five seasons. In four of those years he’s been in the top three. His walk rate per nine innings was also the best of his career.

Contreras nearly had the best rate of walks per nine for his career. He was a tiny bit better in 2006, but was still way below his career levels in 2010.

Madson posted the best rate of his career (with the exception of 2003, when he didn’t walk any of the six batters he faced). In 2007, all of Madson’s appearances came in relief and he walked 23 of the 237 batters he faced (9.7%). In 2010, Madson walked 13 of the 217 batters he faced (6.0%).

Blanton finished sixth in the NL in fewest walks per nine innings. It was his sixth season in a row in which he has made at least 28 starts. The only year of his career where he had a better rate of walks per nine innings was 2007 when he was with Oakland.

Kendrick’s best year at preventing walks came in 2007, when he threw to a 3.87 ERA for the Phils over 20 starts. In that season he only threw 121 innings, but walked just 25. That’s a rate of 1.86 walks per nine innings. Kendrick didn’t have enough innings to qualify among the league leaders, but in 2007, Greg Maddux led the NL with 1.14 walks per nine and Aaron Harang was second at 2.02. In 2008 and 2009 combined, Kendrick walked 66 in 182 innings, which is too many (3.26 per nine). That number was way down in 2010, but not down to his 2007 levels.

Between his time with the Astros and Phillies combined, Oswalt was seventh in the NL in fewest walks per nine innings. In less than 100 innings with the Phils, his walk numbers were slightly higher than his career levels, but still low. In his 10-year career, Oswalt has been in the top ten in fewest walks per nine innings seven times.

The walk rate for Hamels was up. In his first year in the league, 2006, Hamels walked about 3.3 batters per nine innings. Over the next three years, Hamels made 93 starts combined starts and walked 2.07 batters per nine. That was up to 2.63 last year.

Comcast SportsNet will air eight Phillies Spring Training specials, the first of which will air on Sunday. Schedule here.

This article on the bullpen guesses that Bastardo and Kendrick win the last two spots in the pen, joining Lidge, Madson, Contreras, Romero and Baez. That is my guess as well.

This article on the bench suggests that Brown, Mayberry and Delwyn Young may be the top candidates to join Gload, Schneider and Valdez. I am going to be surprised if the Phils start the season with Francisco and Mayberry as the guys in right. Delwyn Young and Valdez on the same bench seems like it would be more guys of the Delwyn Young and Wilson Valdez ilk than one team would need at one time. Young is a switch-hitter and can play the outfield, but his 260/317/393 line against righties doesn’t really cry out for regular playing time in right no matter how desperate the Phils get for platoon partners for Francisco.

Record tables

Here’s the bullpen record by starting pitcher for the Phils for 2010:

Pitcher Team Record in Starts W-L as SP % of starts with decision Bullpen record in starts
Halladay 22-11 21-10 93.9 1-1
Hamels 18-15 12-11 69.7 6-4
Kendrick 17-14 11-10 67.7 6-4
Blanton 17-11 9-6 53.6 8-5
Moyer 9-10 9-9 94.7 0-1
Oswalt 10-2 7-1 66.6 3-1
Happ 2-1 1-0 33.3 1-1
Worley 1-1 0-1 50.0 1-0
Figueroa 1-0 0-0 0.00 1-0
Total 97-65 70-48 72.8 27-17

The bullpen had a total of three decisions in the 52 games started by Halladay or Moyer, but 13 in the 18 games started by Blanton.

Halladay pitched well enough to win in the games he didn’t get a decision, too. On July 10, Halladay threw nine shutout innings against the Reds, but the Phillies didn’t score until the eleventh when a double by Ruiz and a walkoff single by Rollins gave them a 1-0 win. Halladay wasn’t as dominant in his other no-decision in 2010. On May 12, he allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings against Colorado. That game was also decided in extra innings — this time when Miguel Olivo homered off of Chad Durbin in the bottom of the tenth to give the Rockies a 4-3 win (it was Olivo’s fifth hit of the game).

Moyer had a decision in each of his first 18 starts on the season. His 19th start came on July 20 and he went just one scoreless inning before leaving the game with a strained elbow. Carpenter and Baez combined to allow six runs over the next four innings and the Phils lost the game 7-1.

Overall for the season in the NL in 2010, the teams that weren’t the Phillies saw their starter get a decision in 70.5% of their starts. As you know, the Phillies had the best winning percentage in the NL last year. Here’s how the difference in winning percentage breaks down between the starting pitchers and the bullpen:

Winning percentage
PHI SP .593
All NL SP .491
NL SP other than PHI .484
PHI Pen .614
All NL Pen .541
NL Pen other than PHI .505

The Phillies starting pitchers went 70-48 for a .593 winning percentage. The starting pitchers for the other teams in the league that weren’t the Phillies went 829-884, a .484 winning percentage. So the winning percentage for the starters was .109 higher than the winning percentage for the teams in the league other than the Phils. The winning percentage for the bullpen was also .109 higher. The pen went 27-17 for a .614 winning percentage. The bullpens of every team in the league other than the Phils combined to go 362-355, a .505 winning percentage. .614 minus .505 is .109.

How to win in baseball with no runs down

Turns out that if you want to win games without scoring many runs, it helps a lot to have some great pitchers.

The start log for 2010 is done. One of the things it shows is that the Phillies won 13 games in 2010 when they scored less than three runs. That’s more games than the Phils won when scoring less than three runs in 2007 (0), 2008 (5) and 2009 (4) combined and the most games they’ve won in a season when scoring less than three runs since 1982. The Phils won 16 in 1982 in games where they scored less than three runs — if you know how to get Steve Carlton back to win 23 games and a Cy Young, I wouldn’t dawdle about letting someone in the front office know.

Scoring was down this year and 13 wins in games in which your team scored less than three runs wasn’t even enough to lead the league. The Dodgers won 14.

Still, if you can win 13 times when you score two runs or one run, it sure helps your chances. And the guys who were on the hill in the those games the Phillies won are probably the ones you would guess: Halladay five, Hamels five, Oswalt two and Moyer one.

Sadly for the Phils, some guys got a whole lot more chances to pitch in games where the team didn’t score a lot of runs than they should have.

Pitcher Starts
in which the Phils scored < 3
of starts the Phils scored < 3
W in starts where Phils scored < 3
L in starts where Phils scored < 3
Halladay 11 33 33.3 5 6 .455
Hamels 14 33 42.4 5 9 .357
Moyer 9 19 47.4 1 8 .111
Kendrick 7 31 22.6 0 7 .000
Blanton 5 28 17.9 0 5 .000
Oswalt 4 12 33.3 2 2 .500
Worley 1 2 50.0 0 1 .000
Total 51 158 32.3 13 38 .255

The Phils scored less than three runs in 51 of 162 games (they scored at least three in the four games started by Happ or Figueroa). Halladay or Hamels started 25 of those 51 and the Phils went 10-15 in those games. In the other 26, they went 3-23. In the 22 games started by Moyer, Kendrick, Blanton or Worley in which they scored less than three runs, they went 1-21.

They played 29 games when they scored less than three runs and Halladay, Hamels or Oswalt started. 12-17 in those games, for a .414 winning percentage. That .414 winning percentage is better than the overall winning percentage for the season for four MLB teams last year — the Orioles, Mariners, Pirates and Diamondbacks (the Royals played to a .414 winning percentage).

Finally, the Phils sure failed to put up runs a lot of the time when Moyer or Hamels started in 2010. That pair combined to make 52 starts and in 23 of them, about 44.2%, the Phillies scored less than three runs.

Jamie Moyer will have Tommy John surgery, but may not retire.

Jayson Werth declined arbitration.

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