Tag: jonathan papelbon

Ten runs rule

The Phillies won again this afternoon, scoring ten runs to beat the Yankees 10-5.

The Phils have won three of their last four and scored 20 runs in the last two games, winning 10-5 on back-to-back days. They got a bunch of help from the Yankees in today’s game as New York made four errors that led to six unearned runs.

Ten hits in the game for the Phillies. Nine singles and a double by Rollins. Rollins was 1-for-2 with two walks, a double and a pair of RBI. Galvis also saw some time at short, going 1-for-2 with an RBI and raising his spring average to .357.

Galvis is also the unlikely team leader in strikeouts with five.

Cody Asche was the only Phil with more than one hit, going 2-for-2 with a pair of singles to up his spring average to .333 (3-for-9 with a double and a walk).

Mayberry was 1-for-3 with a walk and drove in three runs, which ties him with Howard for the team lead in RBI at five. Howard 0-for-3. Brown 0-for-1 and walked three times, which raises his on-base percentage to .600 after 20 plate appearances.

Ruf was the DH and went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and a walk, upping his average to .188.

Halladay started the game and went 2 1/3 innings, allowing a run on three hits and a walk. He kept the Yankees off the board in the first two innings. In the bottom of the first, New York loaded the bases on two singles and a walk, but Halladay struck out Melky Mesa to leave them loaded. Halladay threw a 1-2-3 second and faced two men in the third, allowing a one-out double to Francisco Cervelli. Cesar Jimenez took over for Halladay and struck two guys out, but also allowed a pair of hits, including a single that scored Cervelli with the run charged to Halladay.

4.15 ERA and a 1.15 ratio for Halladay after two starts and 4 1/3 innings. He’s struck out five.

Jimenez has allowed three hits over 1 2/3 innings, but hasn’t yet been charged with a run.

Aumont pitched the fourth, allowing a two-out single, but keeping the Yankees off the board. Aumont has now allowed one hit in two scoreless innings while striking out two over two appearances.

Then came Papelbon and Valdes. Neither of them pitched well and each of them were coming off a rough outing to start the spring.

Papelbon allowed a walk and a single to the first two hitters he faced before yielding a two-run double off the top of the wall in left. He allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in the frame, which dropped his ERA to 43.20. His ratio is 6.00 — seven hits, including two home runs, and three walks over 1 2/3 innings.

Valdes allowed a run on a solo homer to start the sixth before striking out the next three hitters to end the frame. He was back for the seventh and gave up another solo shot, this one coming with two outs. He’s now allowed three solo home runs in four innings over two appearances.

Rodrigo Lopez pitched the final two innings and was good again, allowing two singles and a walk while keeping New York off the board. That’s five scoreless innings for Lopez now with a 0.00 ERA, an 0.80 ratio and four strikeouts.

Cliff Lee is expected to pitch tomorrow when the Phils face the Blue Jays. Lee was very good in his first start, allowing a walk in two scoreless innings.

Papelbon lends his leadership skills to the Detroit offense

Unusual choice. The Phils got crushed yesterday in a game most memorable for Jonathan Papelbon’s outing. Papelbon was charged with six runs over two-thirds of an inning and surrendered monster three-run home run to Miguel Cabrera.

The Tigers won the game 10-1. The Phillies have lost two of three so far and played to a tie in the other.

The Phils didn’t have an extra-base hit in the game. Howard was the offensive MVP of the contest, going 2-for-2 with a sac fly to plate the team’s lone run. Josh Fields, Galvis and Betancourt had the other three singles. Darin Ruf went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and is 0-for-8 so far. Inciarte walked in his only chance and has a 1.000 on-base percentage and an OPS of 2.000 after four plate appearances (1-for-1 with three walks). He’s been on base four more times than Ruf and has one at-bat.

There’s no way they could carry Inciarte to start the season, I hear you cry? Oh, there’s a way. 324 plate appearances for Michael Martinez over the last two years. Freddy Galvis, John Mayberry, Ty Wigginton and Placido Polanco all started on opening day in 2012 and the Phillies gave Juan Pierre 439 plate appearances for the season. Wilson Valdez got 663 plate appearances for the Phils in 2010 and 2011 combined.

So there’s a way. Just while we’re talking about it, Yuniesky Betancourt is 3-for-6 in the early going.

Things started out well enough on the pitching side. Lee and Cloyd threw the first four innings with each tossing a pair of scoreless frames.

Aumont was the other Phillie pitcher who was good in the game. He started the seventh with the Phils down 8-1 and set the Tigers down in order.

Papelbon getting hammered was the big surprise for the day. He started the fifth and faced nine hitters, getting two outs and allowing six runs on two walks, three singles and a pair of home runs. The three-run homer that Cabrera hit was the second Papelbon had allowed in the frame and came with one out and men on first and second. It went unusually far. Alfredo Simon bailed Papelbon out, facing one batter and getting a ground out to end the frame.

Stutes made his spring debut in the sixth and allowed a pair of runs. He walked the leadoff man, got the next two, but then allowed a walk and a two-run triple.

Valdes gave up a run on back-to-back doubles in the eighth, then returned for the ninth and allowed another run on a solo homer.

In yesterday’s game, left-handed pitchers threw seven of the nine innings for Detroit. In those seven innings, the Phillies scored a run on four singles and three walks. This article points out the problems the Phils might have with lefties this year. They didn’t have a lot of success against righties in yesterday’s game, either. Detroit righties threw two scoreless innings in which they allowed one single and struck out two.

Kendrick is expected to pitch this afternoon when the Phils face the Yankees.

Catching down

This post suggested there were four positions last year where the Phillies, who were 15th in the NL in walk rate 2012, had a much worse walk rate than they had had in 2007 (in ’07 they had the best walk rate in the league).

At first base and left field they were a whole lot worse. At third and catcher they were worse.

Two recent posts suggests that the declining walk rate for the team doesn’t have a lot to do with longtime Phillies Jimmy Rollins or Chase Utley. Those guys have actually seen their walk rates increase in recent years.

No so much with Carlos Ruiz.

Ruiz comes off the best year of his career. In 2012, Ruiz hit 325/394/540, posting career highs in batting average, doubles, home runs and RBI. Coming into the season he had slugged .393 for his career with an isolated power of .128. In 2012, his isolated power was .215.

What he didn’t do in 2012 was walk. Coming in 2012, Ruiz had walked in 11.7% of his 1,657 plate appearances since the start of 2008. In 2012, he walked 29 times in 421 plate appearances, which is about 6.9%.

Ruiz got about 62% of the plate appearances at catcher for the Phils in ’12. The guys other than him walked in about 6.4% of their plate appearances for the season and the Phils ended the year having walked in about 6.86% of their chances for the year.

Led by Ruiz’s high walk rate, the Phillies walked a lot at the position from ’09 through ’11. In ’12, Ruiz’s walk rate dropped and so did the advantage the Phillies had a the position.

Here’s the total walks by catcher for the Phillies over the last four years and the NL rank for that mark:

Year BB by C NL Rank
2012 45 13
2011 66 3
2010 76 2
2009 73 3

It’s hard to know what Ruiz might do this year after returning from his suspension. His walk rate was down in 2012, though, against both righties and lefties. Here are his numbers against both kinds of pitching for 2012 and for his career before 2012:

Ruiz 2012 Ruiz before 2012
BB rate vs right 6.0 10.7
BB rate vs left 9.2 12.5

If Ruiz walks in 6.0% of his chances against righties, there aren’t going to be enough lefties out there to save him. The good news is that his walk rate against righties has been a lot better than that in recent years — 9.6% in ’11 and over 12% in both 2010 and 2009 (12.2% in ’10 and 12.9% in ’09).

Let’s hope he bounces back, cause Ruiz looks like he’s just about the only hope for the Phils when it comes to drawing walks from the catcher position. Here’s a look at the other five guys who seem to have the best chance to see time at catcher — my guess is that Kratz and Quintero will see the vast majority of PA at the position that don’t go to Ruiz:

Majors Minors
Player PA BB% PA BB%
Quintero 1281 3.2 2984 4.1
Kratz 199 6.5 2892 8.1
Lerud 10 0.0 2583 9.1
Valle 0 - 2045 5.9
Joseph 0 - 1482 6.0

During 2012, NL catchers walked in about 8.9% of their plate appearances overall.

Michael Bourn looks like he’s headed to Cleveland on a four-year, $48 million deal.

Ryan Howard places third on this list of the 15 worst contracts in baseball with an honorable mention going to Papelbon.

Doing their part

The last post looked at the Baseball-Reference’s bWAR for the four elite pitchers on the Phillie pitching staff, Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Papelbon, have produced over the last five seasons. Those four haven’t all been on the Phillies over the past five years (the Phils only had all four of them in 2012) but here’s a look at the bWAR the four of them have contributed to Phillie teams over the past five seasons and how their contributions as a group compares to what the rest of the Phillie staff has done:

Year Big 4 bWAR Team bWAR P Not big 4 % ip by big 4 % bWAR big 4
2012 (all four) 10.7 10.8 0.1 45.0 99.1
2011 (all but Pap) 23.0 35.2 12.2 46.2 65.3
2010 (Halladay/Hamels) 13.6 21.2 7.6 31.5 64.2
2009 (Lee/Hamels) 2.7 10.2 7.5 18.8 25.3
2008 (Hamels) 4.0 11.1 7.1 15.7 36.0

The most alarming thing about that table is 2012 — the only year in which the Phillies had all four of Halladay, Hamels, Lee and Papelbon. Last season, all of the other pitchers on the team other than those four combined to do close to nothing. The 16 other pitchers put up a combined bWAR of 0.1.

Over the last five years, the bWAR provided by Phillie pitchers other than that quartet has ranged from 0.1 to 12.2 and averaged 6.9. It’s obviously hugely important that all four of that group were not with the Phillies in any year other than 2012, as the absent members of the group gave others chances to pitch and accumulate WAR. In 2008, for example, Hamels was the only guy in the group with the team.

Over the past two years, the group of Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Papelbon have thrown an average of 45.6% of the innings for the Phillies. Over the past five years, that group’s percentage of total bWAR for the Phillies has been about 1.86 times the percentage of total innings they have pitched. If they threw 45.6% of the team’s innings in 2013 and the percentage of the team’s total bWAR they provided was 1.86 times greater than that, they would account for about 84.8% of the team’s total bWAR for pitchers.

This says that Angel Pagan and the Giants have agreed to a four-year deal.

Nate Schierholtz was not offered a contract and became a free agent.

This article mentions Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Ichiro Suzuki, Cody Ross, Alfonso Soriano, Michael Cuddyer and Dexter Fowler as players that the Phillies could target to acquire.

In the article linked above, Amaro seems to suggest that Mayberry could play center if the team was strong enough in right and left. That would be a disaster. It would look a lot like last year’s disaster.

This suggests that the Phillies have “long coveted” Peter Bourjos, but that a deal with the Angels is unlikely. It also suggests the Phillies might be interested in a trade for Josh Willingham if he were available.

The whole thing is starting to take on the feel of a slow-moving disaster. Not over yet, though.

The men at the top

A post earlier this week looked at the total bWAR of hitters and pitchers for the top teams in the NL over the last five years. In 2012, it appears the Phillies will have four elite pitchers on their pitching staff. What should we expect the Phillies to get from the group of Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Papelbon in 2013?

Here’s a look at the Baseball-Reference calculated WAR for each of the four over the past five seasons:

’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 Avg High Low
Halladay 0.7 8.5 8.3 6.6 5.9 6.0 8.5 0.7
Lee 4.2 8.3 4.8 5.1 6.5 5.8 8.3 4.2
Hamels 4.2 6.2 5.3 1.7 4.0 4.3 6.2 1.7
Papelbon 1.6 1.5 0.0 3.4 1.8 1.7 3.4 0.0
Totals 10.7 24.5 18.4 16.8 18.2 17.7 24.5 10.7

So, looking at those four players, over the last five seasons the combined bWAR they have contributed has ranged from 10.7 to 24.5 with an average of 17.7.

Sadly, by a wide margin, the worst year of any of the five is the most recent.

Also sadly, that group has been outrageously healthy over the last five seasons. Halladay’s 2012 season is one exception, but he still made 25 starts and threw 156 1/3 innings. Lee has thrown more than 200 innings in each of the last five years. Hamels has made at least 31 starts every year of the last five. Papelbon has thrown at least 60 innings in relief in each year.

So it’s likely they are going to spend less time on the field in the future than they have over the last five years, giving them less opportunities to accumulate bWAR.

The good news is that the average mark for the last five years, 17.7, would be a huge improvement over what they did in 2012.

The previous post suggested that the total combined bWAR for the team’s pitchers and hitters should be around 36 to give the team a solid shot to be among the four best by bWAR in the NL. If you assume a return to the five-year average for the group of Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Papelbon, that gives the Phils 17.7. Over the last two seasons, the best combined bWAR for all of the Phillie position players is 15.0. That’s 32.7. That sounds like it should be good news — it means that all pitchers on the team other than Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Papelbon, including the missing 40% of the rotation, would only need to post a cumulative bWAR of 3.3 to get the Phils to 36.


In 2012, the Phillie pitchers other than that quartet combined to throw to a bWAR of 0.1. Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Papelbon were at 10.7. The other 20 pitchers who appeared for the Phillies combined for a 0.1 — that includes negative bWAR performances from 11 guys (Blanton, Schwimer, Bastardo, Contreras, Qualls, Sanches, Stutes, Diekman, Savery, Lindblom and Rosenberg).

The obvious other big issue here is Halladay, whose 2012 bWAR dropped to 0.7 coming off of back-to-back seasons in which he was amazing, posting a bWAR better than eight in both years. If you saw any sign in 2012 that Halladay was about to return to 2010-2011 form, I sure missed it. And for now, at least, the Phillies are built around the rather reasonable notion that Roy Halladay is going to be the elite pitcher he has been in recent years.

So let’s hope for the best. But if you suggest that Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Papelbon are going to combine to post a bWAR of 17.7 or better in 2013, I’m taking the under. They all have to stay healthy for one thing. And even if they do, they have close to no chance unless Halladay is way, way better than he was in 2012. Also, the entire pitching staff for the Phillies has thrown to a combined bWAR of 17.7 or better twice in the last 29 years — in each of the seasons in which they did, Hallday posted a bWAR better than eight. In one of them, 2011, Lee also posted a bWAR better than eight.

Bottom line is that the group of four has set the bar almost impossibly high for themselves in terms of whether or not they can ever return to previous, especially 2011, form. In 2011, those four pitchers combined to produce a bWAR of 24.5. Over the past ten seasons, only four NL teams other than the ’11 Phils have put up a combined bWAR for their pitchers of 24.5 or better for their entire staff (the ’12 Reds (26.4), ’09 Giants (24.6), ’08 Cubs (26.9) and ’03 Snakes (27.6)).

In this article from last night, Jim Salisbury suggests the deal for Wilton Lopez is not a sure thing.

This says that BJ Upton and the Braves have agreed to a five-year, $75 million deal. I truly do not know what Upton is going to do over the next five years. But if it’s similar to what he’s done over the last four years, I think it will be good news for the Phils that it’s the Braves and not them paying him $15 millionish a year. He does have huge upside, though. So we’ll see.

Update1: This says the Wilton Lopez deal fell apart.

Update2: This says Denard Span has been traded to the Nats for pitcher Alex Meyer.

Updates one and two are both bad news for the Phillies. Span would have filled the center field hole very nicely.

Season on the blink

The Phillies never got it figured out in 2012, losing their final game yesterday in fitting fashion as the Nats topped them 5-1. Lee made a quality start and took the loss. The pen gave up a pair of runs in the eighth inning and Utley, Howard and Rollins combined to go 0-for-4 in the game with Rollins and Howard sidelined with injuries.

They end 2012 having won 21 fewer regular season games than they won in 2011.

Jimmy Rollins seems unfazed, coming up with this gem after the game that suggests the Nats would have finished second had the Phils been healthy: “It’s all come together for them. So that’s great for them. But with us being healthy, you know, they’re still second place. But we weren’t [healthy].”


I’m having a lot of trouble understanding how the Phillies being healthy would have helped the Braves finish ahead of the Nationals.

I’m not even sure that’s what he meant.

Just so we’re all on the same page: The Phillies played baseball for about three hours on 162 different occasions in 2012. That’s a lot of baseball. It showed that they weren’t especially good relative to the teams they were playing against.

They weren’t especially good at scoring runs or preventing them.

They finished 17 games behind the best team in their division.

They paid Halladay, Howard, Utley and Rollins about $66 million to hit a combined 245/324/427 and throw to a 4.49 ERA over 25 starts.

Most fans would agree they have one young impact player in the organization, at least in terms of hitters. He hit .235 for the year and finished the season with numbers very similar to his disappointing 2011 season.

There are some problems here. The expensive core is getting old and looking older than they are. The Phils have close to no chance or replacing them or coming close to replacing them with players currently in the organization. Getting healthy would help, but if you think that’s the only thing the Phillies need, I think you might want to look again.

The Phillies have finished the 2012 season at 81-81, losing 5-1 to the Washington Nationals in yesterday’s final game of the year. The Phils end the year in third place, 17 games out of first and seven games out for the Wild Card. The Nats take the series two games to one.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. Six of the hits went for extra-bases — three doubles, a triple and two home runs.

He set the Nationals down in order in the bottom of the first. Pierre made a fantastic play for the second out on a ball hit by Mark DeRosa, reaching up and over the fence to take away a home run.

Michael Morse doubled to left to start the second, but Lee set the Nats down in order behind him to leave Morse at second.

Jayson Werth tripled to center with two outs in the third. Lee got DeRosa on a fly ball to center to leave Werth stranded.

He started the fourth up 1-0. Ryan Zimmerman led off and hit a 1-2 pitch out to right. 1-1. Morse and Tyler Moore doubled back-to-back. 2-1 with nobody out and Moore at second. Lee got Ian Desmond on a foul out to Ruiz for the first out, then struck out Danny Espinosa and Jesus Flores back-to-back to leave Moore stranded.

Ugly start to the frame as the Nats go home run, double, double with their first three hitters.

Through four innings, Lee had allowed three doubles, a triple and a home run and given up just two runs.

Werth singled with one out in the fifth, but Lee got DeRosa and Zimmerman behind him.

Lee struck Morse out to start the sixth before Moore homered 3-2, extending the Washington lead to 3-1. Desmond followed with a single, but Lee struck Espinosa and Flores out back-to-back behind him at first.

De Fratus threw a 1-2-3 seventh. Switch-hitter Steve Lombardozzi hit for pitcher Christian Garcia and flew to right for the first out. Werth popped to third for the second and DeRosa grounded to second for the third.

Three up, three down for De Fratus. He allows five runs on the year over 10 2/3 innings in 13 appearances. Three of the five runs he allowed came in a single outing. He ends the year with a 3.38 ERA and a 1.12 ratio. Righties hit just 130/231/130 against him in 26 plate appearances.

Papelbon started the eighth. Zimmerman led off and walked. Bryce Harper ran for him at first. Morse was next and Papelbon got ahead of him 0-2 before Morse fouled off five pitches, then hit a 1-2 offering out to right-center for a two-run homer. 5-1. Papelbon struck Moore out swinging for the first out and righty Tyson Brummett came on to face Desmond. Desmond singled to left and moved up to second when Espinosa singled to right. It put men on first and second with one out for Flores. Brummett struck him out swinging for the second out. Lefty Chad Tracy hit for the pitcher Sean Burnett and Brummett struck him out swinging 2-2 to end the frame.

Papelbon faces three hitters and they go walk, homer strikeout. He was fantastic this year, ending with a 2.44 ERA and a 1.06 ratio. He came into yesterday’s appearance with an 0.59 ERA and an 0.88 ratio in 30 2/3 innings over his last 31 appearances.

28-year-old Tyson Brummett faces four batters in his debut, allowing singles to the first two before registering back-to-back strikeouts to leave the runners stranded.

Overall the pen goes two innings in the game, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out three.

Everyone should be well-rested of their next appearance.

The Phillies lineup against righty Edwin Jackson went (1) Pierre (2) Frandsen (3) Utley (4) Ruiz (5) Brown (6) Ruf (7) Schierholtz (8) Martinez. Mayberry on the bench with Schierholtz in center. Pierre plays left with Ruf at first for the sidelined Howard. Martinez starts at short for the sidelined Rollins.

The Phillies went in order in the top of the first.

Ruf walked with two outs in the second and moved to third on a ground-rule double down the left field line by Schierholtz. Martinez grounded to short to leave the runners at second and third.

Frandsen singled with two outs in the third. Utley grounded to second to set the Phillies down.

Ruiz started the fourth with a double and moved up to third when Brown grounded out for the first out. Ruf was next and he flew to center, deep enough for Ruiz to tag and score, putting the Phillies up 1-0. Schierholtz singled to center before Martinez flew to left to end the frame.

The Phillies were down 2-1 when they hit in the fifth. Lee and Pierre struck out back-to-back to start the inning before Frandsen doubled to left. Utley was next and hit the ball well, but Moore handled the line drive at first to leave Frandsen stranded.

Jackson set Ruiz, Brown and Ruf down in order in the sixth.

Schierholtz lined a double to right, his second double of the day, to start the seventh. Martinez flew to left for the first out. Nix hit for Lee and struck out swinging for the second. Righty Christian Garcia came in to face Pierre and got Pierre on a fly ball to center to leave Schierholtz stranded.

Lefty Sean Burnett set the Phillies down in order in the eighth.

Lefty Gio Gonzalez pitched the ninth with Washington up 5-1. Brown fouled out to third for the first out. Ruf struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out. Wigginton hit for Schierholtz and drew a walk. Martinez flew to left and the season was over.

Pierre was 0-for-4 and struck out twice yesterday in his only action of the series. Made a great catch in the first to take a homer away from DeRosa. He finishes the year at 307/351/371.

Frandsen 2-for-4 with a double. 6-for-13 with three doubles in the series. 338/383/451 in 210 plate appearances for the season.

Utley 0-for-4. 0-for-11 with a walk in the series. 256/365/429 for the year. Hit 215/324/355.

Ruiz 1-for-4 with a double. 1-for-8 with a double and a walk in the series. He was hitting 353/413/596 for the year at the end of the day on July 16. 250/345/390 in 116 plate appearances after July 16. Still ends the year at 325/394/540, which is the best year of his career with the bat by a wide margin.

Brown 0-for-4 in the game and 3-for-12 with a double in the series. He plans to have an MRI on his right knee today — let’s hope it reveals 120 ground outs to second that can be removed with a simple and safe surgical procedure. Ends the year at 235/316/396. 196/288/333 against lefties for the season.

Ruf 0-for-2 with a walk and two strikeouts. 3-for-8 with two walks, a triple, two home runs and five RBI in the three-game set. He also struck out five times. 333/351/727 for the year in 37 plate appearances.

Schierholtz 3-for-3 with two doubles. He finishes at 257/321/407 for the year. 273/319/379 with the Phillies in 73 plate appearances. He came into the game hitting 238/290/317 for the year with the Phillies over 70 plate appearances.

Martinez 0-for-4 and left five men on base. 2-for-11 with a strikeout in the series. 174/208/252 for the year.

No game today.

Stadium Journey recently published a new review of Citizens Bank Park.

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