Tag: Jayson Werth

Never slow down, never grow old and losing Bourn and Werth probably won’t help much either

In yesterday’s post I pointed out that the number of bases the Phillies have been stealing has dropped off in recent years. In 2011, for the fourth straight year, the Phillies stole fewer bases than they had in the previous season. In three of those four years, their safe rate also went down from the previous year.

In 2007, the Phils were second in the NL in stolen bases with 138. In 2008 they were third with 136. Last year they stole 96, which was eleventh in the league.

So where did all the stolen bases go? Here’s who stole the bases for the Phils in 2007, 2008 and 2011:

Year

Player

SB

CS

Safe

2007

Jimmy Rollins
Shane Victorino
Michael Bourn
Chase Utley
Jayson Werth
Carlos Ruiz
Aaron Rowand
Tadahito Iguchi
Greg Dobbs
Abraham Nunez
Chris Roberson
Ryan Howard
Rod Barajas
Total

41
37
18
9
7
6
6
6
3
2
2
1
0
138

6
4
1
1
1
1
3
1
0
0
0
0
1
19

87.2%
90.2%
94.7%
90.0%
87.5%
85.7%
66.7%
85.7%
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%
0.0%
87.9%

2008

Jimmy Rollins
Shane Victorino
Jayson Werth
Chase Utley
Eric Bruntlett
Greg Dobbs
So Taguchi
Carlos Ruiz
Ryan Howard
Geoff Jenkins
Greg Golson
Chris Coste
Total

47
36
20
14
9
3
3
1
1
1
1
0
136

3
11
1
2
2
1
0
2
1
1
0
1
25

94.0%
76.6%
95.2%
87.5%
81.8%
75.0%
100.0%
33.3%
50.0%
50.0%
100.0%
0.0%
84.5%

2011

Jimmy Rollins
Shane Victorino
Chase Utley
John Mayberry
Ben Francisco
Placido Polanco
Wilson Valdez
Michael Martinez
Domonic Brown
Pete Orr
Raul Ibanez
Carlos Ruiz
Ryan Howard
Hunter Pence
Cliff Lee
Cole Hamels
Total

30
19
14
8
4
3
3
3
3
3
2
1
1
1
1
0
96

8
3
0
3
4
0
3
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
24

78.9%
86.4%
100.0%
72.7%
50.0%
100.0%
50.0%
100.0%
75.0%
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%
100.0%
50.0%
100.0%
0.0%
80.0%

It sure seems like getting older should be the answer, and it probably is. Notably, though, Chase Utley’s stolen bases haven’t slowed since ’07 and ’08. Utley got 159 fewer plate appearances in 2011 than he got in either of 2007 or 2008, but still managed to steal 14 bags, as many as he swiped in ’08 and more than ’07.

The guys that are dramatically down are Rollins and Victorino. In 2007, they combined to steal 78 bases and in 2008 they combined to steal 83. In 2011, they combined to steal 49. In 2001, when the Phils led the NL with 153 stolen bases, they combined to steal 46 with Victorino not on the team. He was busy hitting 283/344/400 (and stealing 47 bases) for the Wilmington Waves in the Dodger organization.

Finally, during the 2007 and 2008 seasons, the Phillies also benefited significantly from the stolen base efforts of Michael Bourn and Jayson Werth. Bourn stole 18 bases for the Phils in 2007 and was caught just once. Between 2007 and 2008, Jayson Werth stole 27 bases and was caught twice.


Werth returns to Philly, Rollins returns to the leadoff spot and Ibanez returns to form, but Hamels impresses the most by staying right where he’s been

A lot went on in last night’s game with the Nats. Jayson Werth made his first appearance as a visitor since hitting 444/583/778 to help the Phils win the 2008 World Series, Jimmy Rollins made his first appearance of the year in the leadoff spot and delivered two hits, drove in a run and scored another and Raul Ibanez finally broke out of his long slump with a pair of doubles. The most exciting part of the night for the Phils, though, was something that didn’t change at all as Cole Hamels mowed down Washington in his fifth good start in a row.

The Phils rode a complete game by Hamels and an impressive showing by their offense, which tallied 12 hits and seven walks, to a 4-1 win in the opener of the three-game set.

Hamels was hit hard by the Mets in his first start of the year — since then he’s made five starts in which he’s thrown to a 1.42 ERA with an 0.84 ratio and struck out 37 in 38 innings. In all five of those starts he’s gone at least seven innings.

The Phillies are 19-9 on the season after beating the Washington Nationals 4-1 last night. The Phillies are now 10-2 on the year in the games started by Hamels or Halladay and 9-7 in the games started by anyone else. That’s despite the fact that they don’t have a losing record in the starts made by any of their six starting pitchers (3-3 in Lee’s starts, 3-2 Oswalt, 2-2 Blanton, 1-0 Worley).

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and threw a complete game, allowing a run on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a solo home run. He struck out six and lowered his ERA on the year to 2.66.

Danny Espinosa led off the game and popped to third. Hamels struck Ian Desmond out looking 2-2 for the second out before Jayson Werth walked on five pitches. Werth stole second before Adam LaRoche struck out swinging for the third out.

Werth got a mixed reaction that was largely boos in his first at-bat, but stepped out and tipped his helmet to the crowd and the boos turned to cheers.

Michael Morse started the second with a single to right. Jerry Hairston flew to left for the first out. Ivan Rodriguez was next and he grounded to third, with Polanco throwing to second to force Morse for the second out. Brian Bixler grounded to short for the third out.

The pitcher Livan Hernandez led off the third and grounded to Hamels for the first out. Hamels got Espinosa swinging for the second out and Desmond on a ground ball to short for the third.

Up 1-0, Hamels set the Nats down in order in the fourth.

He had thrown 51 pitches through four innings and struck out four.

Hairston lined to Rollins for the first out of the fifth before Rodriguez doubled to center. Bixler flew to center and Livan grounded to short to leave Rodriguez at second.

Hamels had a 2-0 lead when Espinosa started the sixth with an infield single. Desmond grounded into a double-play behind him and Werth fouled out to Howard for the third out.

Morse homered to right with one out in the seventh, cutting the lead to 2-1. Hairston was next and hit a ball down the third base line. Polanco made a nice play, fielding behind the bag and making the long throw from foul territory for the second out. Hamels struck Rodriguez out to end the frame.

Very nice play by Polanco on a ball that may have been foul. Second home run that Hamels has allowed on the year and the second in two starts. Chris Young got him his last time out, so both of them have been hit by righties. Right-handed batters are still slugging just .307 against him for the year.

Hamels started the eighth with a 4-1 lead. Bixler led off with a ground ball to short. Rollins stayed back on the ball and Bixler just beat his throw to first for a single. Righty Wilson Ramos hit for the pitcher Doug Slaten and hit a ball back to the mound. Hamels put up his glove and deflected it and the ball went right to Rollins near second. Rollins tagged second and threw to first to complete the double-play. Espinosa grounded to second for the third out.

Bixler’s ball to start the inning was just about routine. Need to get an out there. That’s the second time in two games Rollins looked like he made a bad decision about how to play a not very unusual ground ball — the other was a ball hit by Scott Hairston in the fourth inning of Sunday night’s game. Very fortunate that ball hit by Ramos was deflected right to Rollins at second.

Hamels got Jerry Hairston on a ground ball that Hamels fielded for the first out of the ninth. Werth struck out on a big swing at a 1-2 pitch for the second. LaRoche grounded to second to end the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Livan Hernandez went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Orr (8) Schneider. Rollins moved from three in the order to the leadoff spot. Hot-hitting Polanco dropped to third. Ibanez plays left against the righty with Mayberry on the bench. Lefties Orr and Schneider start at second and catcher with righties Valdez and Sardinha on the bench.

The Phils went in order in the first and again in the second.

Orr led off the third and popped to the first baseman LaRoche in foul territory. Schneider was next and he ripped a line drive back up the middle, but Hernandez reached up and snared it for the second out. It brought Hamels to the plate and he crashed a ball high off the wall in right for a stand-up triple. Rollins was next and he lined a single into center, scoring Hamels to put the Phils up 1-0. Victorino followed and dumped a less impressive single into center, moving Rollins to second. Rollins and Victorino pulled off a double-steal before Polanco struck out swinging to leave them both stranded.

Apparently if you want Rollins to drive in runs you need to hit him behind Cole Hamels. Who knew?

Howard started the fourth with a single to right. Francisco flew to center for the first out, but Ibanez was next and he finally got a hit, pounding a ball over the head of Hairston in center that landed on the warning track and bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double. Hernandez walked Orr intentionally to set up the double-play and he got it. Schneider chopped a ball back to the mound, Hernandez fielded, went home and Rodriguez relayed to first to complete the double-play and turn the Phils away.

Ibanez breaks an 0-for-35 with the double to center. The ball bouncing over the wall costs the Phillies a run, cause Howard would have scored from first.

Rollins lined a triple to right with one out in the fifth. Victorino walked before Polanco flew to right for the second out. Rollins tagged and scored to put the Phils up 2-0. Werth threw home but his throw was offline on the first base side, allowing Victorino to take second. Howard was walked intentionally and Francisco unintentionally and the bases were loaded for Ibanez. Ibanez hit a ball that Werth took in foul territory in the right field corner to leave the bases loaded.

Orr and Schneider singled back-to-back to start the sixth. It put men on first and second for Hamels and he got the bunt down, but the third baseman Bixler fielded and threw to Desmond covering short to force Orr for the first out. Rollins grounded into a double-play to end the inning.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when the Phils hit in the seventh. Victorino led off with a single and moved to second when Polanco went down for the first out on a ball dribbled out in front of the plate. Howard was next and he lined a single into right, scoring Victorino to put the Phils up 3-1. Righty Todd Coffey took over for Hernandez and got Francisco on a line out to short for the second out. It brought Ibanez to the plate with two down and a man on first and the Nats brought lefty Doug Slaten in to pitch to him. Ibanez lofted a fly ball to left-center that stayed in the air a long, long time before dropping about a foot from both Morse and Hairston for a double. Howard scored to put the Phils up 4-1. Mayberry hit for Orr and was walked intentionally, but Schneider grounded to first to leave both men stranded.

Ibanez is certainly due his share of luck, but his ball should have been caught.

Hamels hit for himself having thrown 99 pitches and singled to right off righty Henry Rodriguez to start the eighth. Rollins moved him to second with a walk before Victorino hit a ground ball to first. Rollins was forced at second with Hamels moving to third and Victorino safe at first. The Nats pitched 2-1 with Polanco at the plate, but Victorino wasn’t going. Polanco walked, loading the bases for Howard and Howard hit into a double-play to turn the Phils away.

Rollins was 2-for-4 with a walk, a triple and an RBI out of the leadoff spot. He has on-based .465 over his last 43 plate appearances but is hitting with little power. He has a .369 slugging percentage to go with his .270 average. That said, the first two parts of the three slash categories are looking good for him right now: 279/370/369 on the season. He got stolen base number six on the season in the game, which puts him on pace to steal 35 for the year.

Victorino was 2-for-4 with a walk hitting out of the two-hole. 346/414/538 over his last 30 plate appearances. He also stole his sixth base of the year.

Polanco went 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI, ending an eleven game hitting streak. Coming into last night’s game he had at least one hit in 18 of the last 19.

Howard was 2-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.

Francisco 0-for-3 with a walk. He’s 1-for-his-last-9.

Ibanez was 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. First extra-base hit for him since April 9. First hit since April 18 and first RBI since April 18. From April 8 through May 1 he hit 103/176/118 — 7-for-68 with a double, six walks and 24 strikeouts.

Orr was 1-for-2 with a walk. Like Rollins, he’s hitting for average and getting on base without power. 278/350/306 in 40 plate appearances on the year.

Schneider was 1-for-4 and left five men on base. He’s 5-for-34 on the season (147/216/353).

Werth was 0-for-3 with a walk in the game to drop his line on the year to 226/322/406. He’s curiously doing nothing with left-handed pitching this year — 103/257/172 so far for the season. I’m pretty sure he can hit lefties.

Vance Worley (1-0, 0.00) faces righty Jason Marquis (3-0, 2.62) tonight in game two. Marquis threw a complete-game shutout in his last start, holding the Giants to five hits and no walks while striking out seven. Worley was very good in his season debut his last time out, throwing six scoreless innings against the Mets.


K replay

Over the last three seasons, the Phillies have dramatically lowered the rate at which they strike out. Here’s the team’s rank in the National League for total strikeouts by their hitters over the past four seasons (where “16″ means the team whose batters struck out the most times that year and “1″ means the team whose batters struck out the least):

Year NL Rank Strikeouts
2007 14
2008 9
2009 8
2010 3

In 2007, only two teams, the Marlins and the Padres, struck out more than the Phillies. By 2010, only two teams struck out less (St Louis and Houston).

In 2007, NL hitters struck out in about 17.31% of their plate appearances. In 2010, it was about 19.31%. Here’s the list of Phillies in 2007 and 2010 that got at least 150 plate appearances and the percentage of the plate appearances in which they struck out.

’10 Player PA % SO % SO/%SO for league ’07 Player PA % SO % SO/%SO for league
Ryan Howard 620 25.3 1.31 Ryan Howard 648 30.7 1.77
Jayson Werth 652 22.5 1.17 Jayson Werth 304 24.0 1.39
Greg Dobbs 176 22.2 1.15 Wes Helms 308 20.1 1.16
Pat Burrell 598 20.1 1.16
Ben Francisco 197 17.8 0.92 Greg Dobbs 358 18.7 1.08
Raul Ibanez 636 17.0 0.88 Aaron Rowand 684 17.4 1.01
Carlos Ruiz 433 12.5 0.65
Chase Utley 511 12.3 0.64 Abraham Nunez 287 16.7 0.97
Shane Victorino 648 12.2 0.63 Tad Iguchi 156 14.7 0.85
Wilson Valdez 363 11.8 0.61 Chase Utley 613 14.5 0.84
Jimmy Rollins 394 8.1 0.42 Shane Victorino 510 12.2 0.70
Placido Polanco 602 7.8 0.40 Carlos Ruiz 429 11.4 0.66
Jimmy Rollins 778 10.9 0.63

So, in 2010, NL players overall struck out in a higher percentage of their plate appearances (19.31% to 17.31%). The overall strikeout rates for ’07 and ’10 regulars Howard, Werth, Utley and Rollins were all down in 2010 compared to 2007. The rate for Ruiz was up, but in both years he struck out less than an average NL hitter. For Victorino it was about the same and stayed low.

For Howard, especially, it’s important to note that while the strikeout rate for the league was going up, his was going down. So in 2007, when he struck out in about 30.7% of his plate appearances, that was almost 1.8 times as often as the league average. His rate was down to 25.3% in 2010, which was only about 1.3 times as often as the league average of 19.31%.

That leaves left field and third base.

In left field, the Phillies replaced Burrell, whose ’07 strikeout rate was above league average, with Ibanez. In 2010, Ibanez’s strikeout rate was below league average.

In 2007, Wes Helms, Greg Dobbs and Abraham Nunez all played at least 400 innings at third base for the Phillies. Dobbs and Helms both struck out more than the average for the league while Nunez was just below league average. In 2010, Polanco played about 75% of the innings at third for the Phils. There were two NL players who got 150 plate appearances in 2010 and struck out in a lower percentage of them than Polanco. Jeff Keppinger struck out in 6.3% of his 575 plate appearances and David Eckstein struck out in 7.1% of his 492.

Finally, Rollins struck out in about 8.1% of his plate appearances last year. There were only three NL players in 2010 that got 150 plate appearances and struck out less often than he did — Polanco, Eckstein and Keppinger.

This article suggests that Durbin could return to the Phils on a minor league contract. That would be great for the Phillies if it happened, but I sure would be surprised.

The article linked above also mentions that Bastardo continues to have problems with his arm and a stomach illness and will not throw in any of the first five Grapefruit League games.


Double? No trouble

Point of the day is that Ben Francisco has some power. For the Phillies that had 150 plate appearances with the team in 2010, here’s the percentage of hits that each of them had that went for extra-bases and the percentage that were singles:

% of H XBH % of H 1B
Jayson Werth
Ben Francisco
Ryan Howard
Raul Ibanez
Greg Dobbs
Shane Victorino
Carlos Ruiz
Chase Utley
Jimmy Rollins
Wilson Valdez
Placido Polanco
45.7%
39.6%
38.8%
37.7%
37.5%
35.5%
33.0%
32.5%
31.8%
26.7%
21.2%
54.3%
60.4%
61.2%
62.3%
62.5%
64.5%
67.0%
67.5%
68.2%
73.3%
78.8%

So Werth was the only guy on the Phils who saw more of his hits go for extra-bases in 2010 and fewer of them go for singles. That’s a small number of plate appearances for Francisco, of course, but he was actually down from his career numbers in 2010. Coming into 2010, Francisco had 1,024 plate appearances and 240 hits. Of those hits, 101 (42.1%) had gone for extra-bases and 139 (57.9%) were singles. So even with those numbers down a little, he still saw more of his hits go for extra bases than anyone on the team except for Werth and Werth led the NL in doubles.

Here are the career rates at which Howard, Werth, Ibanez, Utley and Francisco have had their hits go for extra-bases or singles:

% of H XBH % of H 1B
Howard 47.5 52.5
Francisco 41.7 58.3
Utley 40.4 59.6
Werth 39.9 60.1
Ibanez 37.3 62.7

Francisco has a career slugging percentage that’s the worst of the group (.446). Ibanez is second-lowest, and he’s at .476. That has a lot to do with batting average, though, and the frequency of hits rather than how many bases they go for when they occur. Francisco’s career batting average is just .263, which is the worst of the group (Werth is second at .272).


Spread the Roy

In this article, Amaro suggests that the benefit the Phillies get from having the big three, Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt, in the rotation all year in 2011 may offset the offensive loss the Phils are going to suffer having lost Werth.

He says:

Let me put it to you this way: Having those three starters through a full season, I think, negates the difference in the production I think we’ll get from the combination of Ben [Francisco] and [Ross] Gload vs. Werth.

I think it’s tough to try and predict what the Phillies right fielders are going to do next year, mostly because we don’t know who they are going to be. I’m having trouble believing it’s going to be Francisco and Gload. If Ross Gload plays 40 games in the outfield next season he’ll be doing so for the first time in his career at age 35. He has one year of his career in which he has played more than 19 games in the outfield, and that was 2004. I’m not saying it’s not gonna happen, but it’s not gonna happen.

I think it’s pretty tough to predict accurately the number of runs the Phillies are going to allow in starts made by Oswalt next year. What we should be able to do, though, is look at the number of runs they allowed in his starts last year and figure out how many they would have saved in 2010 if he had made more starts and the number of runs the Phillies allowed in games he started and games he didn’t stayed the same.

The table below shows, for each of the Phillies starting pitchers who made at least ten starts, the number of runs the team allowed in their starts and the number of runs the team allowed in the games they didn’t start:

Starts Team RA Team RA
per start
Games not
started
Team RA
those games
Team RA
per game not started
Hamels 33 117 3.55 129 523 4.05
Halladay 33 90 2.73 129 550 4.26
Oswalt 12 25 2.08 150 615 4.10
Kendrick 31 148 4.77 131 492 3.76
Blanton 28 150 5.36 134 490 3.66
Moyer 19 91 4.79 143 549 3.84
Others 6 19 3.17 156 621 3.98
Total 162 640 3.95

So, for example, Hamels made 33 starts for the Phils in 2010. In those 33 starts, the Phillies (not just Hamels, but the relievers who pitched after him in those games as well) allowed 117 runs. That’s 3.55 runs per game. There were 129 games in the 2010 regular season that Hamels did not start. In those games the Phils allowed 523 runs or 4.05 per game.

Oswalt made 12 starts last year. If he had pitched a full season for the Phils, he would have made about 20 more. Based on his 2010 numbers as a Phillie, over 20 starts, Oswalt would have allowed about 41.7 runs. Over those same 20 starts, using the rate for 2010 at which the Phils allowed runs in games not started by Oswalt, they would have allowed about 82.0 runs (4.1 * 20). So, if the 2010 numbers played out over the extra 20 starts, the Phillies would have allowed 40.3 fewer runs on the season by giving 20 more starts to Oswalt.

That’s a ton. You don’t need great production in right field to get within 40.3 runs of what Werth produced in 2010, as good as he was.

So fantastic. No problem here. Bring on the suck in right field. Play anyone you want and we’ll all be fine. Right?

Not right. Oswalt was ridiculously fantastic with the Phils in 2010, throwing to a 1.74 ERA with an 0.90 ratio. In his 12 starts with the Phils, he was better than Halladay and Halladay won the Cy Young. Oswalt isn’t going to be nearly as good with the Phillies in 2011 as he was in 2010.

So, how many fewer runs might the Phillies allow thanks to a full season from Oswalt? I don’t know. But I think a lot less than 40.3 is a good guess.

Here’s a look at the numbers for Oswalt, Hamels and Halladay over 20 games based on the 2010 numbers:

Team RA
per 20 starts
Team RA
per 20 starts by other SP
Runs saved
Hamels 70.9 81.1 10.2
Halladay 54.5 85.3 30.7
Oswalt 41.7 82.0 40.3

The number of runs that the team allows in a game has a lot to do with factors out of the control of the starting pitcher — most important, of course, is how many runs that the team’s bullpen allows in games that pitcher starts. Again, if the Phillies replicated the numbers from 2010 in 2011 exactly, it suggests that they would allow about 40.3 fewer runs by giving Oswalt 20 more starts.

It also suggests that they would allow about 30.7 fewer runs by giving Halladay 20 more starts, though, and Halladay still won the Cy Young award last season. 30.7 is still a lot of runs, but the 10.2 runs saved number for 20 more starts for Hamels isn’t. If we’re going to guess Oswalt’s numbers for next year, I think we’re pretty safe saying that they are going to be closer than the 3.06 ERA and 1.18 ratio that Hamels put up than the 2.44 ERA and 1.04 ratio Halladay put up.

So, bottom line, how many fewer runs are the Phillies going to save in 2011 if they give Oswalt 20 more starts? I don’t know. Neither do you and neither does anybody, no matter what the bullpen does in the games that Oswalt starts. I do think it’s safer to say that it’s a lot closer to 10.2 than it is to 40.3, and if it turns out being anywhere near 10.2, the Phils are going to have trouble getting within 10.2 of the offensive runs created by Werth in 2010.

This says that the Phillies have reached an agreement with 33-year-old left-handed reliever Dennys Reyes and that the Phils will pay Reyes $1.1 million in 2011 with a $1.35 million club option for 2012.

Finally, in news of people you assumed you would never, ever need to have an opinion about, Luke Scott has given a memorable interview.


Come to think of it, I don’t really care for how Jayson Werth has been distributed either

The Phillies played 162 regular season games in 2010 and scored 772 runs, which is about 4.77 runs per game. Not every starting pitcher got the same offensive support in their starts, of course. For example, the Phillies went 18-15 in the games that Cole Hamels started, but fared better in the games that Joe Blanton started (17-11) despite the fact that Hamels pitched much better. That has a whole lot to do with what their offense did in the games started by Hamels compared to what it did in the games that Blanton started. In the games that Hamels started, the offense scored an average of 3.76 runs per game, which is more than a full run lower than their average for the season. In the games that Blanton started, the offense scored an average of 5.89 runs per game — more than a full run more than their average for the season.

If the Phils had scored 4.77 runs in each of the 162 games they had played, they would have gone 98-64 instead of 97-65. That’s not much of a difference. But while it might not add up to a huge difference overall, it did make a difference when it came to their results based on who the game’s starting pitcher was.

The table below shows, for the six Phillies who started at least 12 games for the team in 2010, the average runs scored per game in that pitcher’s starts, the team’s actual record in their starts, what the team’s record would have been if they had scored 4.77 runs in every game started by that pitcher, and the wins the team would have added or lost if that had happened.

R per game Team actual
W-L
W-L if team
scored 4.77 in every game
Wins +/-
Hamels 3.76 18-15 22-11 +4
Halladay 4.42 22-11 26-7 +4
Oswalt 4.33 10-2 11-1 +1
Moyer 4.58 9-10 9-10 0
Kendrick 5.48 17-14 15-16 -2
Blanton 5.89 17-11 11-17 -6

So, for example, the Phillies scored 3.76 runs per game in the 33 games that Hamels started and went 18-15. If the Phillies had scored 4.77 runs in every game that Hamels started, but allowed runs exactly as they did, they would have gone 22-11 in the games that Hamels started. That’s four more wins, which is why there’s a four in the +/- column.

For me, the biggest surprise is how things evened out. The Phils may have cost themselves some games in 2010 by not putting up runs with Halladay and Hamels on the mound, but they just about made up for it by pounding the ball when Blanton and Kendrick were on the hill. As I mentioned above, if they had scored the same number of runs in every game they only would have won one more game. And that’s if they could figure out how to put .77 runs on the board.

Did you hear the one about the Phillies’ best offensive player from last year deciding he’d rather play for a team that has lost 298 games over the past three years and has made the playoffs less often in the 42-year history of its organization than the Phillies have in the last two years? And that the Phils won’t be getting a good pick back as compensation? It’s a hoot.

That said, it’s tough to be too hard on Werth. What with putting up a 1.361 OPS against the Rays in ’08 as he helped the Phils win the World Series and whatnot.

No worries, though, this article suggests that Jeff Francoeur, Matt Diaz, Scott Hairston, Josh Willingham or Juan Rivera might be the cure for what ails the Phils. I’m having some trouble getting excited about that, really especially Francoeur, Diaz or Hairston. Willingham or Rivera might be okay, I suppose.

In this article linked above, Amaro seems to suggest that Domonic Brown might not start the year with the Phils. It suggests that Amaro said that Gload might be part of a left-handed platoon in the outfield. Maybe they can put Gload and Rivera out there and give us all a chance to see just how fast Shane Victorino really can be.


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