Tag: JC Romero

Joe no

Pedro wasn’t the only Phillies pitcher who was better at preventing extra-base hits with men on base in 2009. Among the players who faced at least 100 batters, all of the pitchers on the chart below were also better at preventing extra-base hits when they pitched with at least one runner on base. The “Bases Empty” and “Men On” columns show how many extra-base hits the pitcher allowed in ’09 per 100 plate appearances and, on average, how many bases those hits went for when they did. The right-most column shows how many times larger their rate of allowing extra-base hits with the bases empty was than their rate of allowing extra-base hits with at least one runner on base.

Bases Empty Men On
XBH per 100 PA TB per
XBH per
100 PA
per XBH
Chan Ho Park 7.1 2.43 6.7 2.45 1.1
Chad Durbin 8.1 2.86 4.9 2.71 1.7
Scott Eyre 8.3 2.60 4.4 3.33 1.9
J.A. Happ 8.8 2.76 6.4 2.84 1.4
Jamie Moyer 8.8 2.92 8.2 2.96 1.1
Brad Lidge 10.2 2.73 8.1 3.27 1.3
Jack Taschner 10.5 3.17 4.7 2.00 2.3
Rodrigo Lopez 13.4 2.67 11.4 2.00 1.2
Brett Myers 14.6 2.89 7.6 3.33 1.9
Pedro Martinez 17.3 2.78 2.3 2.50 7.5

So, for example, Chan Ho Park allowed 7.1 extra-base hits per 100 plate appearances with the bases empty and 6.7 per 100 plate appearances with at least one man on base. 7.1 over 6.7 is about 1.1. The XBH he allowed with the bases empty went for an average of 2.43 total bases and the XBH he allowed with at least one man on went for an average of 2.45 total bases.

Again, Pedro was the king of not allowing extra-base hits with men on base, allowing them more than seven times more with the bases empty.

Here are the pitchers on the Phillies from last year who were more likely to give up an extra-base hit with men on base than with the bases empty:

Bases Empty Men On
XBH per 100 PA TB per
XBH per
100 PA
per XBH
Kyle Kendrick 0.0 - 2.2 4.00 -
Clay Condrey 3.0 3.33 8.2 2.83 2.8
Tyler Walker 3.8 3.00 8.3 3.00 2.2
Ryan Madson 5.3 2.89 6.7 2.60 1.3
Antonio Bastardo 7.9 2.80 16.3 2.57 2.1
Joe Blanton 8.1 2.90 8.7 2.90 1.1
Cliff Lee 8.6 2.19 9.3 2.92 1.1
Cole Hamels 8.7 2.73 9.4 2.72 1.1

Bastardo was kind of the anti-Pedro, allowing extra-base hits to more than 16% of the batters he faced with men on base. Bastardo didn’t get a whole lot of chances to face batters with men on base, just 43 plate appearances, but opponents hit 385/442/667 in the chances they did get, which is something he might want to improve upon. Condrey and Walker were among the best pitchers at preventing extra-base hits with the bases empty last year. I’m just saying.

The Phils beat the Pirates yesterday 4-2. Moyer pitched well, allowing two runs on solo homers over six innings to drop his spring ERA to 1.53. Ruiz was 2-for-3 with a walk, raising his average to .207. Werth and Ibanez combined to go 0-for-4. Werth’s average is down to .167 while Ibanez is hitting .122.

In the problem department, however, the Phillies have bigger fish to fry. They put Joe Blanton on the DL yesterday with a strained oblique — the team’s third starter is expected to miss three to six weeks. Kendrick will take Blanton’s spot in the rotation and Andrew Carpenter is likely to be added to the roster to pitch out of the bullpen.

That’s really not good. Losing Blanton potentially till the middle of May is a big deal, but I think it’s an even bigger problem for a bullpen that was weak to start with.

Josh Fogg seems like he would be a better choice for the roster spot than Carpenter, but Fogg has struggled with a muscle in his side this spring and did not pitch for the Mets in spring training before he was given his release.

This, from The Denver Post’s Troy Renck, suggests the Phils may be interested in Tim Redding. Redding has an ERA over five for the past two seasons and threw to an 8.76 ERA with a 2.03 ratio for the Rockies this spring, allowing 21 hits in 12 1/3 innings.

Brad Lidge and JC Romero are eligible to be activated from the DL on April 10. I would advise against holding your breath.

Ratio race

Here are the ratios ((H+BB)/IP) and (TB+BB)/IP for the 17 Phillies pitchers who faced more than 100 batters last season. They are ordered by innings pitched:

IP Ratio (TB+BB)/IP
Joe Blanton 195.33 1.32 2.00
Cole Hamels 193.67 1.29 1.94
J.A. Happ 166.00 1.23 1.81
Jamie Moyer 162.00 1.36 2.07
Chan Ho Park 83.33 1.40 1.84
Cliff Lee 79.67 1.13 1.68
Ryan Madson 77.33 1.23 1.66
Brett Myers 70.67 1.37 2.39
Chad Durbin 69.67 1.48 2.02
Brad Lidge 58.67 1.81 2.68
Pedro Martinez 44.67 1.25 2.04
Clay Condrey 42.00 1.21 1.64
Tyler Walker 35.33 1.13 1.64
Scott Eyre 30.00 1.27 1.77
Rodrigo Lopez 30.00 1.77 2.53
Jack Taschner 29.33 1.98 2.56
Kyle Kendrick 26.33 1.37 1.48
Antonio Bastardo 23.67 1.48 2.32

The total ratio for that group was 1.34 and the total result of (TB+BB)/IP was 1.97 (Blanton’s innings had more impact on those numbers than, for example, Jack Taschner’s). The average ratio was 1.39 and the average (TB+BB)/IP was 2.00 (Blanton and Taschner’s numbers had the same impact).

The Braves beat the Phillies 5-4 yesterday. Happ allowed two runs over five innings and walked five. Durbin followed Happ and gave up a two-run homer to Brooks Conrad in the seventh, tying the game at 4-4. Eric Hinske homered off of Madson in the top of the ninth to put the Braves on top to stay. Madson has a 6.43 ERA and a 1.57 ratio for the spring. Polanco went 2-for-4 and is hitting .408. Francisco 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBI. Werth was 0-for-2 and left six men on base, dropping his spring line to 170/278/298.

Romero pitched against minor leaguers yesterday and fared well.

The Phillies released Brad Wilkerson and Joe Bisenius. The linked article also says that Raul Ibanez, who hasn’t played since being hit on the elbow by a pitch on Friday, is expected to play today.

I-really-wish-it-were-so effect

Is Placido Polanco going to get more extra-base hits playing in Citizens Bank? Well, over the past three years the Phillies overall haven’t gotten that many more extra-base hits at Citizens Bank Park than they have hitting away from it. Here’s the percentage of plate appearances that Phillies hitters have gotten extra-base hits at home and away from home since the 2007 season:

  XBH PA % of PA
2009 Home 286 3096 9.2
2009 Away 285 3242 8.8
2008 Home 266 3091 8.6
2008 Away 275 3182 8.6
2007 Home 283 3159 9.0
2007 Away 297 3377 8.8

So in 2009, Phillies batters got extra-base hits in about 0.4% more of their plate appearances at home than on the road. In 2008 the rate of getting extra-base hits per plate appearance was actually a tiny bit better on the road and in 2007 it was about 0.2% better at home.

Let’s say that averages out to about 0.2% better overall. That’s one more extra-base hit every 500 plate appearances.

For his career, Polanco has 399 extra-base hits in 6,017 plate appearances (6.63%). He got 675 plate appearances last year — based on his career rate of getting extra-base hits we would have expected 45 extra-base hits. That’s exactly what he had, hitting 31 doubles, four triples and ten home runs. If he had gotten extra-base hits in 0.2 percent more of his plate appearances we would have expected him to have 46 extra-base hits instead of 45. That’s not really a huge difference.

The curious thing, though, is that Polanco has monster numbers at Citizens Bank park in a pretty large number of at-bats. In 381 plate appearances he has hit 334/386/485 with 12 home runs. He only has 90 home runs in his career, so 12 is a lot. He’s gotten 6.3% of his career plate appearances at Citizens Bank Park and he has hit 13.3% of his career homers.

For his career, he has extra-base hits in 7.3% of his PA at Citizens Bank Park — that would be 49 extra-base hits over 675 at-bats instead of 45.

Polanco hit a career-high 17 home runs playing for the Phillies in 2004 — ten of them at Citizens Bank Park and seven on the road. He has hit 40 home runs in five seasons and 2,991 plate appearances since.

So what’s it all mean? Well, we’ll see. My guess is that what you see is what you get with Polanco and we shouldn’t expect big things from the move to Citizens Bank Park. If you know a magic park that makes him walk more, though, now’s the time to speak up.

The Phils topped the Yankees 6-2 in spring training action yesterday. Blanton got the start and allowed two runs over five innings. Contreras followed with two scoreless frames and Escalona and Durbin each pitched a scoreless inning. After walking two in his inning, Escalona now has an 11.25 ERA and a 2.75 ratio in four spring training appearances. Werth provided the big blow of the game, a three-run homer in the fifth. Rollins and Howard each had two hits.

This says that Romero hopes to pitch in the series against the Nationals that starts April 12. It also says that Polanco may play tomorrow and Utley has not played since Monday with an upper respiratory infection.

Phils are off today. Happ will pitch in a minor league game.

Sports betting odds and lines available at Bodog.com.

Singles night after night after night

Question of the day is if we would all be happy if Polanco hits .300 this year with all singles. There’s exactly zero percent chance that’s going to happen of course, but the answer of the day is no.

If you’re looking for a real player who hit .300 last year with all of his hits going for singles, you’re probably not going to be able to get much closer than Luis Castillo. Castillo hit .302 in 2009 with just 16 extra-base hits for the season. Here’s what his numbers look like:

Luis Castillo, 2009
580 16 .302 .387 .346 .732

So Castillo put up a nifty .387 on-base percentage, but thanks to slugging .346 for the year his OPS was just .732. The average NL team got a .741 OPS from their second baseman in 2009, so, by OPS, Castillo wasn’t an especially good offensive player as a second baseman despite hitting .302.

It would be worse than that for Polanco, who walks less than Castillo did in 2009. In ’09, Castillo walked in 69 of 580 plate appearances. That’s about 11.9%. In his career, Polanco has walked 314 times in 6,017 plate appearances. That’s just 5.2%. Here’s what Polanco’s numbers look like if he hits .300 with all singles but gets walks, hit by pitch and sacrifices at his career levels over the 580 plate appearances that Castillo got in 2009:

Polanco, never happened
580 0 .300 .341 .300 .642

Imaginary Polanco goes 160-for-533 with 30 walks, seven hit by pitches and ten sacrifices. Much worse walk rate plus worse rate of getting extra-base hits make things worse overall. The non-existent Polanco year in which he hit .300 he puts up a miserable .642 OPS, which isn’t good enough to play anywhere. .741 was the average OPS by team for second baseman in the NL last year, but third basemen have to hit a little more — the average OPS by team for third basemen in the NL was up to .752.

So, by OPS, if Polanco were literally to hit all singles and wanted to put up the .752 OPS of an average third baseman while getting walks, hit by pitches and sacrifices at his career levels, here’s what he would need to do:

Polanco, never happened
580 0 .358 .395 .358 .753

If he walked, got hit by pitches and registered sacrifices at his career levels, Polanco would need to hit .358 to post an OPS that was about the same as an average NL third baseman from 2009 if every hit he got was a single.

That’s not going to happen, of course. For his career, Polanco has registered doubles in about 4.6% of his PA, triples in about 0.5% and home runs in about 1.5%. Based on those numbers, over Castillo’s 580 plate appearances we would expect Polanco to put up 27 doubles, three triples and nine home runs.

And if he did that while registering walks etc over 580 plate appearances, he would need to hit a mere .300 to post an OPS that bettered the NL average third base mark in 2009:

Polanco, never happened
580 39 .300 .341 .413 .754

He’s 160-for-533 now, still with the 30 walks and the 39 extra-base hits described above. I think that the answer is not that if Polanco hits .300 with all singles we should be satisfied with his work as an offensive player as a third baseman, but that if he is going to continue to register walks and extra-base hits at his career levels he can be an average third baseman by OPS if he hits .300.

Hamels and Domonic Brown both had big days yesterday as the Phils topped the Tigers 6-1. Hamels allowed an unearned run on two singles over five innings. Brown hit a pair of home runs, one off of Justin Verlander and the other off of Phil Coke, and went 3-for-3 with a walk and four RBI on the day. Bastardo, Madson and Baez all pitched in the game after Hamels and combined to allow one walk over three innings. Bastardo struck out two in a perfect eighth. Howard hit a two-run shot, his first of the spring, to account for the Phillies runs that weren’t driven in by Brown.

Brown was sent to minor league camp after the game.

The article linked above also says that Polanco hopes to play Friday and that Romero will face live batters today.

Lidge is working on holding runners on and, hopefully, remembering to cover third base.

Kendrick making sure everyone knows that Halladay’s beard looks like his and not the other way around

After eight more scoreless innings from the starters, the five guys who have started for the Phillies in official spring training games have a 1.41 ERA and an 0.81 ratio. Kyle Kendrick has surprisingly been the best of the bunch, allowing just four hits over nine scoreless innings without walking a batter. It may be enough to make him wish he pitched for a team that was considering spring training when choosing its starting rotation.

Blanton, Halladay and Kendrick have combined to not walk a batter in twenty innings. Happ, Halladay and Kendrick have combined not to allow a run in 20 1/3 innings.

Yesterday Kendrick shut out Baltimore for four innings but the Phils lost 4-3. Kendrick left with a 1-0 lead, but Escalona got hit hard again after Kendrick left the game. Escalona was charged with three runs in the fifth inning, raising his spring ERA to 13.50. Drew Carpenter followed Escalona and allowed a run over three innings to drop his spring ERA to 1.13 over eight innings.

Polanco went 2-for-3 in the game to raise his average to .375 (9-for-24 with nine singles).

Saturday Happ threw four strong innings as the Phils topped the Twins 5-4. Happ held Minnesota to a single single and struck out three before Bastardo got hit hard in the sixth inning. Bastardo allowed four runs on five hits — only three of the runs were earned. Durbin, Madson, Contreras and Baez all threw a scoreless inning in the game. Francisco hit a solo shot in the game and Cody Ransom had a three-run homer. Clay Condrey pitched the sixth for the Twins and allowed a run on a pair of singles.

This suggests that Madson will close if Lidge can’t start the year.

Scott Eyre may be open to the idea of pitching again.

First cuts of camp for the Phillies included Scott Mathieson, Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies, Jesus Sanchez, Joe Savery and Drew Naylor.

Amaro says it’s probably unlikely that Romero will be available to start the season in the article linked above. I think it’s definitely unlikely.

Not many people have been blown away by what Bastardo, Zagurski or Escalona are doing in spring training.

What can Brown do for himself? Probably not enough

Here’s today’s guess on who will be on the 25-man roster for the Phillies on opening day:

Hitters (13): Ruiz, Howard, Utley, Polanco, Rollins, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Schneider, Gload, Dobbs, Castro and Francisco.

Sure looks like it’s a tough task for Brown to work his way on to the roster, not matter how well he hits this spring.

Pitchers (12): Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Happ, Moyer, Madson, Durbin, Baez, Contreras, Bastardo, Kendrick, Escalona.

Romero and Lidge on the DL. Pretty low confidence in the Bastardo, Kendrick and Escalona guesses, especially Escalona. The other 22 look like sure things and Bastardo seems closer to a sure thing than Kendrick or Escalona.

No change there for me since the last guess, which came on February 12.

The Phillies are 1-2 in spring training after two losses and a tie since the last post.

Yesterday they lost to the Rays in ten innings, falling 5-3. Happ and Aumont combined to throw five scoreless innings to start the game before Joe Savery gave up three runs in the sixth. A two-run double by Domonic Brown, who is hitting .538 so far this spring, tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth. Yohan Flande threw a scoreless ninth inning but gave up two runs in the top of the tenth. Jimmy Rollins had a solo homer in the game and Ross Gload went 3-for-5 with a double.

Saturday the Phils and Pirates played to a 3-3 tie in ten innings. Blanton gave up three runs in the bottom of the first, two of which came on a two-run shot by Ryan Church. Baez and Zagurski both pitched two scoreless innings in the game. Jesus Sanchez had another impressive outing, striking out two in a perfect bottom of the tenth. Brown went 2-for-3 with a walk.

On Friday the Phils fell to Toronto 14-9. Hamels celebrated the start of a brand new year by giving up a home run to the first man he faced. He pitched better after that, allowing a run on two hits and a walk in two innings overall. JC Ramirez, Ryan Vogelsong and Bill White followed Hamels and combined to give up 13 runs over three innings. Bastardo struck out two in a perfect eighth. Tyson Gillies went 2-for-2 with a home run and Brown was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.

Moyer had an impressive outing in the B-game against Toronto on Friday. He struck out three while tossing three scoreless frames.

Lidge will face hitters on Wednesday and Romero is “a ways from facing hitters.”

Victorino still has a sore shoulder and will not play today against the Yankees. Kendrick is expected to pitch in today’s game.

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