Tag: John Mayberry

Let’s turn one! Maybe even none!

Brief aside. John Mayberry got 479 plate appearances in 2012 in which he hit into 17 double-plays. Seventeen double-plays was ninth-most among NL hitters in ’12, but virtually all of the eight players who hit into more than 17 double-plays in ’12 had a lot more plate appearances than Mayberry. Houston’s JD Martinez is the only NL player with more than 400 plate appearances to hit into double-plays in a higher percentage of plate appearances than Mayberry.

Here’s how the top of the list of players with the highest percentage of plate appearances in which they hit into double plays (for NL players with at least 400 plate appearances in ’12):

Player PA GDP % PA GDP PA per GDP
JD Martinez 439 18 4.10 24.4
John Mayberry 479 17 3.55 28.2
Chris Johnson 528 18 3.41 29.3
AJ Ellis 505 17 3.37 29.7
David Freese 567 19 3.35 29.8
Chipper Jones 448 15 3.35 29.9
Michael Morse 430 14 3.26 30.7
Ryan Zimmerman 641 20 3.12 32.1
Buster Posey 610 19 3.11 32.1
Ian Desmond 547 17 3.11 32.2

Overall in the NL in 2012, batters grounded into 1,840 double-plays in 98,063 plate appearances. That’s about 1.87% or one GDP per 53.3 PA. The Phillies overall grounded into 114 double-plays in 6,172 plate appearances, which is 1.85% of their PA and one about every 54.14. The Phils other than Mayberry registered GDP in just 1.7% of their PA or one every 58.7.

The good news for Mayberry and the rest of the Phillies is that none of them are likely to eclipse Wilson Valdez’s double-play pace from 2010, hopefully for a long time. In 2010, Valdez got 363 plate appearances and hit into 20 double-plays. That’s about 5.51% of his PA and once every 18.15 times to the plate.

This article looks at position battles for spring training and offers a projected lineup that looks like this:

  1. Rollins, SS
  2. Utley, 2B
  3. M Young, 3B
  4. R Howard, 1B
  5. D Young, RF
  6. TBD, LF
  7. Ruiz, C
  8. Revere, CF

Again, I still think Delmon Young won’t see much time in right and will play mostly in left when he plays. I think Revere will hit higher than eighth, especially against righties. I think Brown will be a regular guy at one of the corner positions — I’m hoping left, but think that right is more likely.

This article reviews the NRIs for the Phils.

Phils finally land their DH, which should allow them to focus full-time on bringing in a quality goalkeeper before the season starts

It will be here before you know it. You just don’t want to go into the season without someone you can trust in the net. I don’t mean to quibble, but they’re never going to get the Golden Snitch without a decent Seeker, either.

The Phillies have signed the right-handed, oufielder-like Delmon Young to a one-year deal worth $750,000. The first pick of the 2003 draft, Young has struggled over the past two years, hitting 267/299/403 while playing miserable defense in left field when he got the chance.

He didn’t get the chance a whole lot. In 2012, Young started 145 games — 116 at DH and 29 in the outfield.

All that said, I think this is a good move for the Phillies. As bad as he’s been over the past two seasons, the Phillies are super-thin in the outfield and Young comes off an impressive post-season in which he hit 313/365/542 over 52 plate appearances. He was named MVP of the ALCS, hitting 353/421/765 with a pair of home runs as the Tigers swept the Yankees. At the what-would-be-the-peak of a career that’s been plagued by poor performance and despicable mistakes that raise serious questions about his character, you have to believe he is desperate to get himself on track.

Word is that the Phillies want Young to start in right field, a suggestion that seems so bizarre it’s a little hard to believe. While it’s true the evidence Young can’t play right field isn’t as massive as the evidence he can’t play left, a lot of that has to do with the fact that he hasn’t gotten a chance in right in a long time. Young hasn’t played a single inning in right in the last five seasons. It’s a little tough to think the Phillies are going to slot him in there given how bad he’s looked in left in recent history.

The part I do like about that idea is that I do believe Brown would be better off in left than right. Still, I don’t think letting Young be the everyday guy in right is the way to do it and I will be surprised if that happens.

The possibility is real that the Phillies could have a defensive alignment on Opening Day that includes Brown and Young at the corner outfield positions, Michael Young at third and Howard at first. That would be four positions where you have to hope the other team never, ever hits the ball. Four is too many.

Let’s forget the defense for a second. Is Young a better hitter than his fellow right-handed outfielder John Mayberry? Mayberry turned 29 in December. Young turned 27 in September. For me, the answer is that I’d much rather give a ton of at-bats to Young than Mayberry, but I think the case can be made that Mayberry has been better overall over the last two seasons.

Here are some of their numbers against lefties over the last two years:

vs left

Young ’12 189 308/333/500 .357 .192
Young ’11 133 301/338/421 .331 .120
Young career 1,046 307/341/483 .352 .176
Mayberry ’12 180 271/317/494 .345 .223
Mayberry ’11 120 306/358/595 .405 .288
Mayberry career 344 284/328/547 .371 .263

First of all, Young has more than three times as many plate appearances against lefties as Mayberry does for his career. Mayberry was a lot better in 2011 and Young a little better in 2012. Mayberry has better career numbers against left-handed pitching, delivering much better power and walking at a slightly higher rate. Mayberry has walked in about 5.5% of his career plate appearances against lefties while Young has walked in about 4.7% of his.

Here are the numbers against righties:

vs right

Young ’12 419 247/279/370 .282 .123
Young ’11 340 256.288.382 .293 .126
Young career 2,378 275/307/401 .309 .126
Mayberry ’12 299 229/291/335 .278 .105
Mayberry ’11 176 250/330/455 .343 .205
Mayberry career 504 232/302/379 .301 .147

Again, Young has had way more chances against righties. Almost five times as many as Mayberry, who is, again, about two years older.

For the career numbers, it’s advantage Young. Mayberry still has more career power, but has hit just .232 against righties while Young has hit .275.

Looking at the last two years, Mayberry was a lot better against righties in 2011 and the two were about the same by wOBA in 2012 with a slight advantage to Young. Young’s best year against righties doesn’t make the table. In 2010, he hit 292/317/463 against righties with a wOBA of .339. Notably, Mayberry’s .343 in 2011 topped Young’s .339 mark for 2010.

Again, over the last two years, you can make the argument that Mayberry has been just as good or better offensively. There’s no question he’s a better corner outfielder, mostly because Young is hugely terrible.

Again again, I’d still rather give Young the at-bats.

Young is working to change his image.

His image is bad.

The Phillies now have nine outfielders on their roster. Lefty Jermaine Mitchell is expected to be in camp as an NRI. Revere, Young, Brown, Nix and Mayberry seem like good bets to start the year with the Phils, which makes it a little tough to see how they would carry Darrin Ruf unless he takes Mayberry or Brown’s spot or someone is traded.

Let the right one in right

If you believe what you read pretty much everywhere, if the Phillies start 2013 without outfield additions, we’re likely to regularly see a Phillie lineup early in the season that features Domonic Brown in right and Mayberry in left.

There’s not a lot of data about those players defensively in right and left. What there is, though, suggests the Phillies might want to do it the other way around, putting Mayberry in right and Brown in left.

This has more to do with Mayberry than Brown. Mayberry has played just 131 defensive innings in right field in his career, but his defensive numbers at the position are exceptional. I don’t think it’s likely that Mayberry proves to be an elite defensive player in right field. But I do think the Phillies should play him there instead of in left when they have the option for as long as it takes for his numbers to indicate otherwise. Right now they say he’s fantastic.

Here is the UZR/150 for Brown, Mayberry and Ruf in left field:

Player Year Innings in LF UZR/150
Brown 2012 141 2/3 -5.8
Mayberry 2012 330 5.4
Mayberry 2011 161 1/3 27.7
Mayberry 2009 96 1/3 -42.2
Mayberry Career 587 2/3 0.1
Ruf 2012 46 -4.9

Again, it’s a tiny amount of data, but the data that exists say that Mayberry was terrible in left in 2009 and has been good since. Brown and Ruf haven’t been very good, but most would guess that Brown’s defensive numbers are likely to improve from his ’12 marks while Ruf’s are likely to get worse.

Here are the numbers for the three in right field:

Player Year Innings in RF UZR/150
Brown 2012 308 -8.9
Brown 2011 451 -26.0
Brown 2010 112 -37.9
Brown Career 871 -21.7
Mayberry 2012 24 63.5
Mayberry 2011 66 1/3 18.6
Mayberry 2010 10 8.7
Mayberry 2009 30 2/3 84.0
Mayberry Career 131 44.6

Brown has been atrocious in right field — so horrid in 2010 and 2011 that it was a relief in 2012 when he was merely bad. Last year was the first in which he saw time in left and his numbers in left, while still not good, were a little better than his 2012 numbers in right.

The main point here, though, is that while Mayberry has played a very small number of innings in right, he has had fantastic defensive numbers in the time he’s been there. Again, there’s close to no chance that they would continue to be that good given significant time in right. Still, I’d put him there long enough for them to go down.

I also think moving Brown from right to left has the potential to take some pressure off of him, allowing him to focus on hitting. I’m guessing it doesn’t happen, though. I think the Phillies think Brown should be a right fielder and are going to play him there. That shift may have already happened — in 2012, the first eight starts that Brown made were in left. After those eight starts, he made 43 starts the rest of the way and 38 of them were in right.

This article suggests that Cole Hamels has had shoulder soreness this offseason and that Amaro does not view it as an issue.

The article linked above also mentions the upcoming World Baseball Classic and discusses players who could be potentially leaving camp because of it. It mentions Phillippe Aumont, Tyson Gillies and Jimmy Rollins as possibilities.

This article suggests that Amaro and Manuel are not satisfied with the outfield. It’s a little tough to imagine what your outfield goals would have to be for 2013 to be satisfied with the current outfield.

The article linked directly above also says that Halladay, Howard, Rollins and Kendrick are already working out in Florida and that Howard’s lower left leg is close to 100 percent.

Phillies Nation is sponsoring “Wiffadelphia,” a charity Whiffleball tournament to benefit Philabundance. The tournament will be held on March 9 in Medford, NJ. Event details here.

Three’s a kind of motley crowd

I think the Phillies are going to add an outfielder in the near future.

If they don’t, they seem poised to start 2013 with a combination of Laynce Nix, John Mayberry and Darin Ruf manning left field. There’s a whole lot of problems with that. One of them is that that’s one too many right-handed hitters for a two-man platoon — Mayberry and Ruf can’t both play left field against a lefty.

The most likely scenario if the roster plays out as it is has Mayberry or Ruf on the bench against left-handed pitching. I think there are two other possibilities, though, one that could happen and one that almost surely could not. The first is that the other could play right field against a lefty with Brown on the bench. The second is the other could play first base with Howard on the bench (that’s the one that’s not going to happen whether it makes sense or not).

Domonic Brown is 25-years-old and has 109 career plate appearances against left-handed pitching in which he has hit 208/284/302 with one home run, which came on September 10, 2012, off of Wade LeBlanc. Not trying to be a downer here, but lefties slugged .547 against the lefty LeBlanc in 2012. So he wasn’t exactly a lefty-killer.

Still, one can argue that Brown has the potential to develop into a very good all-around player against left-handed pitching, that getting to that point is going to require at-bats against lefties and giving them to him is in the best interest of the Phillies.

I think there’s also a case to be made that we simply don’t have enough data on Domonic Brown hitting against left-handed pitching. Similarly, you could also say there’s just not enough data on Ruf to conclude Ruf is going to be better all-around against lefties in right field than Brown. It seems likely he would offer more offensively, but with a huge question mark in terms of the glove. I do think it’s reasonable to conclude that Mayberry would be better in right overall against lefties than Brown in the short term, but Mayberry is probably in the lineup against a lefty in left field anyway given that we know he can handle left defensively and hit lefties. We don’t know either of those things about Ruf. My guess is that Ruf’s outfield defense will make it tough to play him there. Let’s hope that’s not the case.

With Ryan Howard, it’s not the case that we’re lacking data against left-handed pitching. He’s been terrible against lefties in four of the last five years.

There is close to no chance we’re going to see Mayberry take a significant number of starts from Howard against lefties at first in 2013 when Howard is healthy. But it’s likely he would deliver better performance than Howard if he did, both offensively and defensively.

Here’s what Howard and Mayberry have done against left-handed pitching over the last five seasons (Mayberry only got at least 50 plate appearances against lefties in 2011 and 2012):

Howard Mayberry
Year PA wOBA vs L Line vs L PA wOBA vs L Line vs L
2012 106 .261 173/226/378 180 .345 271/317/494
2011 185 .283 224/286/347 120 .405 306/358/595
2010 216 .359 264/333/492 6 - -
2009 252 .290 207/298/356 38 - -
2008 265 .319 224/294/451 - - -

In each of the last two years, Mayberry has been clearly better than Howard against lefties. 2010 is the only year in the last five that Howard has been non-terrible against lefties. In that season, Howard hit for about the same average that Mayberry hit against lefties in 2012, the lesser of Mayberry’s last two seasons against lefties, with about the same power. He walked a little more.

Mayberry is almost surely going to be better offensively against lefties than Howard is in 2013.

He would very likely be better defensively as well. Howard posted a negative dWAR for the seventh straight year in 2012 and his UZR/150 of -15.6 at first base was the worst mark for his career. Mayberry’s career UZR/150 at first in about 285 defensive innings is -0.2.

Of course, Mayberry doesn’t have to play first to get into the lineup against lefties. In fact, given the current roster, outfield options and the fact that he’s almost surely a better defense outfielder than Ruf, Mayberry seems likely to be starting in left field against left-handed pitching if the roster stays the same.

So the question really becomes whether Ruf would be better overall against lefties than Howard. There’s close to no data on Ruf in the majors, but to me the answers are both that he likely would fare better than Howard against lefties and that’s it’s not likely to happen a whole lot in 2013, if ever, as long as Howard is healthy.

Jonathan Singleton, traded the the Astros in the deal that brought Hunter Pence to the Phillies in July of 2011, has been suspended for 50 games for violating the minor league drug policy.

Polanco says he ready to be the everyday third baseman for Miami. Not It.

Their better half

In the most recent post, I took a guess at the hitters who might start the year with the Phillies as well as the guys contending for the other spots. Here’s today’s guess about the pitchers:

Other candidates
1 Halladay (R) P Aumont (R)
2 Lee (L) T Cloyd (R)
3 Hamels (L) J De Fratus (R)
4 Kendrick (R) M Schwimer (R)
5 Lannan (L) M Stutes (R)
6 Papelbon (R) BJ Rosenberg (R)
7 Adams (R) E Martin (R)
8 Bastardo (L) J Pettibone (R)
9 JC Ramirez (R)
10 Z Miner (R)
11 J Horst (L)
12 R Valdes (L)
J Diekman (L)
J Savery (L)
M Robles (L)
C Jimenez (L)

Lannan and Bastardo are the guys I feel least sure of among the eight pitchers I have on the team. But I think they both start the year on the staff with Lannan serving as the fifth starter. Halladay, Hamels, Lee, Kendrick, Papelbon and Adams seem like locks if they are healthy, although I think it’s possible, but unlikely, that Kendrick could be pitching out of the pen at the start of the year.

If those eight guys did make the opening day roster for the Phils, it would leave the pitching staff with four open slots (assuming the team starts the year with 12 pitchers).

Of those four spots, one should go to a long man, or at least someone who could pitch more than one inning, and at least one other would go to a lefty.

The Phillies have a lot of options when it comes to the second lefty in the pen. Horst and Valdes were both very good in 2012 and I think it’s possible they both make the team to start the year. If it’s just one of them, I’d give Horst an advantage over Valdes. I think Horst is pretty close to a lock to start the year with the team.

I think the issue of who will be the long man out of the pen is more complicated. Kendrick is the guy best-suited for that role, but the Phillies would likely prefer to have him pitch out of the rotation, coming off of a 2012 in which he threw to a 2.43 ERA over his last ten starts. Cloyd, Ethan Martin or Jonathan Pettibone seem like the candidates to make the team that are mostly likely to be able to give the Phillies more than one inning, but I have a little trouble seeing the Phillies carrying one of them to pitch out of the pen to start the year. My guess at this point would be that the Phillies don’t have a true long man out of the pen to start the year.

So if Horst takes one of the four open spots, that leaves the Phils with three.

The guy I feel next strongest about is Aumont, given the combination of his upside and some promising results in 2012. I’ll slot him into the tenth spot.

I think it’s really wide open after that. At this point I’ll take Valdes, based on his impressive 2012, for the eleventh slot. Beyond that I see it as close to a toss-up between Stutes and De Fratus as front-runners for the final spot. Stutes is coming off of a significant injury that sidelined him for much of 2012 and both should contribute to the team this year. Stutes helped the Phils a lot in 2011 and De Fratus has had several very impressive years in the minors in a row.

I’ll pick De Fratus for the twelfth spot.

So that gives the Phils 12 pitchers — Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Kendrick, Lannan, Papelbon, Adams, Bastardo, Horst, Aumont, Valdes and De Fratus. Five starters, seven relievers. Three lefties out of the pen and no long man in relief.

If that’s the staff heading into 2013, I expect we’ll all feel a whole lot more comfortable with the pitching than we do with the hitting to start the year.

This article from the Phillies web site adds Michael Cuddyer to the list of players the Phils might be pursuing that includes Hairston, Wells and Soriano.

This article suggests that if the outfield situation stays the same, we may see Brown getting a chance to be the everyday guy in right field to start the year with a platoon in left that includes some combination of the lefty Nix and righties Ruf and Mayberry. Mayberry seems like he should be a candidate to get some at-bats at first base against left-handed pitching as well.

There are a bunch of problems in left if that proves to be the case. One is that it’s hugely unlikely that Laynce Nix is going to be able to take all or maybe even most of the at-bats against righties in left field in 2013. Nix is 32 and has never gotten more than 400 plate appearances in a season. Phillie left fielders are going to get around 480 plate appearances against right-handed pitching in 2013. Nix has never had more than 321 plate appearances against righties in a season. So it seems likely that some parts of that platoon would be hitting a lot against righties. I don’t think you want to see a whole lot more of Mayberry hitting against righties given his 229/291/335 line against them in 2012. We’ll see on Ruf. He was 5-for-17 against righties last year with a home run.

The other important problem with Nix as the left-handed part of a platoon in left is that Nix, despite his left-handedness, isn’t exactly a fabulous hitter against right-handed pitching anyway. His career line against righties is 253/297/447. Last year he got just 117 plate appearances against righties, but put up a 248/316/390 line. So Nix probably couldn’t completely man a left-handed platoon in left anyway and if he could, you might not want him to.

Center fielders of attention

John Mayberry, Shane Victorino and Ben Revere have all gotten at least 296 plate appearances in each of the last two years. Here’s how some of their numbers from FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference compare:

PA wOBA CF innings UZR/150 in CF bWAR fWAR
Revere ’11 481 267/310/309 .278 776 1/3 15.1 0.7 2.0
Revere ’12 553 294/333/342 .300 309 -2.1 2.4 3.4
Revere career 1064 278/319/323 .287 1123 1/3 9.2 - -
Victorino ’11 586 279/355/491 .368 1150 2/3 5.7 5.2 5.9
Victorino ’12 666 255/321/383 .310 950 -2.4 2.4 3.3
Victorino career 4295 275/341/430 .338 6571 2/3 3.1 - -
Mayberry ’11 296 273/341/513 .368 246 2/3 -5.6 1.6 2.5
Mayberry ’12 479 245/301/395 .303 474 1/3 -20.7 0.5 0.4
Mayberry career 848 254/313/448 .329 728 -15.9 - -

Starting with the offense, things don’t look good for Revere. Both Victorino and Mayberry were miserable offensively in 2012, which was the better of the two years for Revere, and both finished with a higher wOBA.

In 2011, there were 175 players across both leagues that got 450 plate appearances. Revere’s wOBA of .278 was better than six of them.

In 2012, his .300 wOBA was 100th of 114 players across both leagues with at least 550 plate appearances.

John Mayberry is far from a great hitter. Revere is .042 behind him in career wOBA, which isn’t a great place to be. FanGraph’s calculation of wOBA, which is what appears on the table, includes stolen bases and accounts for the 74 that Revere has swiped over the past two seasons.

Where he has been better than both Victorino and Mayberry over the past two years is defensively. Revere buries Mayberry. The numbers between Revere and Victorino are closer, about the same in 2012, but Revere’s career UZR/150 of 9.2 is considerably better than Victorino’s.

By WAR calculated by the two sites, neither Mayberry or Revere are able to hang with Victorino’s outstanding 2011 season. Revere comes out ahead against Mayberry in 2012, though, by a lot, and is tied with or better than Victorino by each of the calculations for that season.

Important to remember when you look at Revere’s 2012 numbers, though, is that he played more than twice as many innings defensively in right than he did in center. He played 708 1/3 innings defensively in right for the Twins and 309 in center. As the table above shows, he wasn’t particularly good in center in 2012, putting up an UZR/150 in center of -2.1. He was outstanding in right, though, playing to an UZR/150 in right of 27.2.

He was arguably the best defensive right fielder in baseball in 2012. Of the 28 players across both leagues, nobody who played at least 550 innings defensively in right had a better UZR/150 in right than Revere. If you drop that number down to 300 innings in right, Gregor Blanco (32.8 in 431 1/3 innings in right) and Ben Zobrist (30.2 in 541 1/3 innings in right) were both better.

Anyhow, the point is, in 2012 his outstanding defensive play in right helped him accumulate value and accumulate WAR. Assuming he’s going the be the every day center fielder for the Philies next year, he’s not going to have the chance to accumulate value in right. So let’s hope he brings that kind of defensive production to center.

The Rule 5 Draft is over. The Phillies lost no players and picked up 22-year-old outfielder Ender Inciarte and 26-year-old left-hander pitcher Brendan Lafferty.

Ender Inciarte is a fast, left-handed hitting, good defensive center fielder. He turned 22 in October and hasn’t made it to Double-A yet. No power at all, but he hit .307 with 46 stolen bases between two different minor league teams in 2012. Chances seem good that he will have to be offered back to the Diamondbacks, barring a bunch of injuries.

The Royals drafted Brendan Lafferty in the 18th round of the 2009 draft. He struck out 71 in 60 1/3 innings in Double-A in 2012, but also walked 40 while pitching to a 4.77 ERA. Forty is too many walks to allow in 60 1/3 innings.

This says the Phillies signed right-handed pitcher Zach Miner and left-handed pitcher Cesar Jimenez to minor league deals.

Miner spent four years in the majors with Detroit between 2006 and 2009, throwing to a 4.24 ERA with a 1.46 ratio over 157 appearances, 35 of which were starts. He had Tommy John surgery in June of 2010 and hasn’t been back to the majors since. He doesn’t strike people out. In 2012, he made 27 appearances with three different minor league teams in the Detroit organization, throwing to a 2.79 ERA with a 1.21 ratio.

Jimenez is 28 and he thrown 48 1/3 innings in the majors, all with Seattle, pitching to a 5.40 ERA with a 1.47 ratio. He spent most of 2012 in the PCL, pitching to a 5.24 ERA with a 1.67 ratio over 44 2/3 innings in 26 relief appearances.

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