Tag: john bowker

Power purge

In 2011, for the second straight season, Chase Utley’s offensive performance left people worrying if the old Utley was gone forever. Since the start of the 2010 season, he has now hit 267/367/435 over his last 965 plate appearances. Utley made his debut with the Phils in 2003 and got 287 plate appearances with the team in 2004. From 2005 through 2009, Utley hit 301/388/535 over 3,374 plate appearances.

First things first — a .367 on-base percentage over the last two years is better than fine. In 2011, there were 99 NL batters who got at least 400 plate appearances and 16 of them on-based better than .367. Even in his two down years combined, Utley still hit for more power than an average NL second baseman. Over the last two years, his isolated power is .168. Last year in the NL, the average NL second baseman’s isolated power was .123. But a lot better than average or not, it’s not 301/388/535 and the Chase Utley of the last two years hasn’t been the same guy we saw earlier in his career.

Here’s the percentage of plate appearances for Chase Utley that have ended in hits, walks, strikeouts, singles, doubles, triples, home runs or an extra-base hit of any kind for the years 2005 through 2009 and for 2010 and 2011:

Years PA H BB SO 1B 2B 3B HR XBH
’05-’09 3374 25.9 9.9 16.1 15.1 5.8 0.7 4.3 10.8
’10-’11 965 22.8 10.6 11.4 14.9 4.2 0.8 2.8 7.9

The good news is that over the last two years, Utley has been more likely to walk in a plate appearance and less likely to strike out. His triples are up a tiny bit and the percentage of his plate appearances in which he got a single is only down a little. The bad news is pretty much everything else — hits overall are way down and his plate appearances were far less likely to end in a double or a home run.

Not shown on the table above are the overall percentage of his hits that went for extra-bases. From 2005 through 2009 it was 41.7%, in 2010 and 2011 combined it was 34.5%.

Over the last two years, Utley has hit 27 home runs in 965 plate appearances. From 2005 to 2009, he averaged 29.2 home runs a season. If he had hit home runs at his 2005-2009 rate over his 965 plate appearances in ’10 and ’11 combined, he would have hit about 41.8.

When you look at his left-right power over the last two years, it’s up and down. In 2010 he was a monster against lefties and miserable against righties. In 2011, he was up against righties, but still way below his ’05-’09 numbers, and way down against lefties.

When you combine his isolated power numbers for ’05-’09 against lefties and righties, though, and compare them to the same numbers in 2010 and 2011 combined, the numbers are dramatic:

Vs Lefties Vs Righties
Years AB AVG SLG ISO AB AVG SLG ISO
’05-’09 958 285 501 216 1951 309 551 242
’10-’11 243 247 461 214 580 276 424 148

So, against lefties, despite the up and down over the last two years, in 2010 and 2011 his isolated power is almost exactly what it was from 2005 through 2009 (.216 from ’05 to ’09 and .214 from ’10 to ’11).

Against righties it was .242 from 2005 to 2009, but .148 in 2010 and 2011 combined. Utley’s numbers took a dive against righties in 2010 when he hit just 266/371/381 against them. He got better in 2011, while at the same time dropping off dramatically after a huge year against left-handed pitching. Even in 2011, though, he wasn’t hitting with as much power against righties as he had from ’05 to ’09. In 2011, Utley hit 285/362/467 against righties, giving him an isolated power mark of .182. That’s a whole lot better than the .114 he put up in 2010, but still a lot worse than anything he did in the six-year span from 2005 to 2009. During that stretch, his worst mark for isolated power was in 2009 — that season he hit 279/387/489 against righties, giving with an isolated power of .211 (nearly a hundred points better than in 2011).

Final note is that his isolated power against lefties over the last two years matches up with the previous six only because of his huge results against lefties in 2010. In 2011, his isolated power mark against lefties was .121 as he hit just .187 and slugged .308 against lefties. That’s almost as bad as the .114 against righties in 2010. Against lefties, his worst mark in any year 2005 to 2009 was 2006 when he put up and isolated power of .162 against left-handed pitching.

Ryan Madson’s agent and Amaro seem to have differing opinions about what happened before Madson agreed to pitch for the Reds.

The Phils will get two picks for losing Madson.

This says that the Phillies released John Bowker so he could sign a deal to play in Japan.

This suggests the Phils may be trying to sign right-handed reliever Jeremy Accardo to a minor league deal. Accardo was great with the Blue Jays in 2007 and good in limited action with them in 2009. He was bad in 2008 and threw to a 6.09 ERA in 44 1/3 innings in 2010 and 2011 combined.

This says the Phillies are hopeful that Howard will return to the lineup sometime in May.


Doc apparently a specialist in whatever the opposite of back pain is

Front pain? Back painlessness?

Roy Halladay finally got a chance to start last night, making his first appearance for the Phils since August 21. It went well. Halladay threw seven shutout innings and hit a three-run double of his own as the Phils won 9-0.

Howard homered twice for the Phillies in the game. Ibanez returned to the lineup and went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer. Pence added a home run of his own and is slugging .550 in 115 plate appearances with the Phils.

In the first two games of the set, the starting pitchers for the Phils have combined to allow a run on four hits and two walks over 13 innings while striking out 16.

The Phillies are 85-46 on the year after beating the Cincinnati Reds 9-0 last night. Thirty-nine games above .500 ties their best mark for the year. I believe that the last time the Phils were 40 games above .500 was October 2, 1977 (the last day of the 1977 season). The Phillies are in first place in the NL East, 7 1/2 games ahead of the Braves.

Halladay got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing a double, a single and two walks over seven shutout innings. He struck out nine.

Brandon Phillips singled to right to start the bottom of the first. Halladay got Edgar Renteria on a fly ball to center for the first out before walking Joey Votto on five pitches. It put men on first and second for Jay Bruce and Halladay struck him out swinging 3-2 for the second out. Miguel Cairo grounded back to the mound to leave both runners stranded.

Halladay struck out Fred Lewis and Ryan Hanigan in a 1-2-3 second after getting Drew Stubbs to fly to center for the first out.

He struck pitcher Bronson Arroyo out looking to start the third. Phillips and Renteria both grounded out behind Arroyo.

Halladay had a 2-0 lead when he threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

He set the Reds down in order again in the fifth.

Up 6-0, he got Alonso and Phillips on ground balls before striking Renteria out looking in the sixth.

He started the seventh with an 8-0 lead. Votto led off and doubled to right. Bruce was next and Halladay hit him with a 1-2 pitch, putting men on first and second. Cairo struck out swinging before Stubbs walked on a 3-2 pitch that sure looked like a strike to me to load the bases. Righty Todd Frazier hit for the pitcher Logan Ondrusek and Halladay struck him out looking for the second out. Hanigan grounded to third to leave the bases loaded.

Lidge started the eighth and walked Alonso on a 3-2 pitch. Phillips grounded to short with Alonso forced at second for the first out. Renteria lined to Wilson at short for the second, but Votto followed that with a single to right that moved Phillips to third. Lidge struck Bruce out swinging 2-2 to leave runners at the corners.

Again with the walks for Lidge. He has now walked nine in ten innings for the Phils this year.

Schwimer started the ninth with a 9-0 lead. Dave Sappelt led off with a single to left. Righty Paul Janish hit for the pitcher Sam LeCure. Schwimer got Janish on a fly ball to right for the first out. Sappelt took second without a throw before Frazier struck out swinging. Hanigan flew to left to end the game with Sappelt on second.

Third career appearance for Schwimer and the first in which he hasn’t been charged with a run.

Lidge threw 15 pitches in the game and Schwimer 14. Neither was pitching more than one day in a row.

The Phillie lineup against righty Bronson Arroyo went (1) Victorino (2) Polanco (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Pence (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Ibanez returns to the lineup in left. Valdez plays short with Rollins on the DL.

Utley singled with two outs in the first, but Howard flew to left behind him.

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

Utley walked with two outs in the fourth. Howard was next and he hit an 0-1 pitch out to right, putting the Phils up 2-0. Pence grounded to short before Ibanez singled to left. Ruiz walked behind Ibanez, putting men on first and second for Valdez. Valdez grounded to third to set the Phillies down.

Lefties came into the game hitting 324/376/590 against Arroyo for the season. The lefties on the Phils fared pretty well against him in the third, with Utley getting on board for Howard’s homer and Ibanez singling later in the frame.

Victorino doubled to left with one out in the fifth. Polanco was next and flew to center with Victorino tagging and moving up to third with two down. Utley popped to Cairo in foul territory for the third out.

Howard struck out looking to start the sixth. Pence was next and he hit a 1-2 pitch out to right-center, putting the Phils on top 3-0. Ibanez and Ruiz followed that with back-to-back singles, putting men on first and second with one out. Valdez reached on an error by Cairo and the bases were loaded. Halladay lined the first pitch of his at-bat into right and the ball rolled into the corner, clearing the bases and putting the Phils up 6-0. Victorino fouled out to Votto and Polanco grounded to third to leave Halladay stranded at second.

Halladay now has nine career RBI, three of which came on that swing.

Pence singled to left with two outs in the seventh. Ibanez got ahead 3-0 and hit a 3-1 pitch out to right, extending the lead to 8-0. Ruiz flew to right for the third out.

Victorino walked with two outs in the eighth, but Polanco flew to center behind him.

Utley grounded to first to start the ninth. Howard was next, facing righty Sam LeCure, and hit a 3-2 pitch out to right for his second homer of the game, putting the Phils up 9-0. Pence and Ibanez both grounded out behind him.

Victorino was 1-for-4 with a double and a walk in the game. He’s just 3-for-his-last-18, but hitting 326/392/620 in August.

Polanco 0-for-5 and left three men on base. 1-for-his-last-13. 227/283/264 in 298 plate appearances since the end of April.

Utley 1-for-4 with a walk. 244/303/354 over his last 89 plate appearances.

Howard 2-for-5 with two home runs and three RBI. 3-for-his-last-16 with three home runs and seven strikeouts.

Pence 2-for-5 with a home run. 330/400/550 in 115 plate appearances with the Phillies.

Ibanez 3-for-5 with a two-run homer in his return to the lineup.

Ruiz 1-for-3 with a walk. He’s 2-for-his-last-10.

Valdez 0-for-4 with a strikeout and four men left on base. 280/327/500 in 55 plate appearances in August.

Cliff Lee (14-7, 2.71) faces lefty Dontrelle Willis (0-3, 4.10) tonight. Willis had made nine starts for the Reds this year and has given up more than three runs in just one of them. He’s been very tough on lefties (184/238/289), but righties have hit 298/377/404 against him for the year. He threw 123 pitches in his most recent start (August 26 against the Nats). Lee has allowed two runs in 31 innings over his last starts, striking out 32 while opponents have hit .163 against him.

This says the Phillies have traded for John Bowker, sending Schwimer back to Triple-A. The left-handed hitting Bowker turned 28 in July and has a career 237/289/390 line. He went 4-for-17 with the Pirates this season. He has hardly ever faced lefties, hitting just .132 against them in 57 career plate appearances. He has a 248/303/415 line against right-handed pitching.


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