Tag: Jose Contreras

Pen happy to offer a little relief for anyone looking to walk

The starters may have been fantastic at preventing walks for the Phils in 2011, but the relievers were a different story. The bullpen walked a whole lot of folks last year.

For each of the NL teams, here’s the percentage of batters faced by relievers that walked in 2011:

Team Batters Faced Walks % BB
COL 
MIL 
STL 
ARI 
NYM 
PIT 
FLA 
ATL 
WSN 
HOU 
SFG 
LAD 
SDP 
PHI 
CHC 
CIN 
TOT
2133
1888
1969
1888
2101
2298
2167
2177
2193
2094
1958
1878
2031
1751
2164
2120
32810
149
139
170
166
199
220
208
209
211
205
197
193
210
183
227
227
3113
7.0%
7.4%
8.6%
8.8%
9.5%
9.6%
9.6%
9.6%
9.6%
9.8%
10.1%
10.3%
10.3%
10.5%
10.5%
10.7%
9.5%

By percentage of batters faced that were walked, the Phillies relievers were 14th in the NL in 2011.

Phillie starters faced the most batters in the NL by a wide margin in 2011, so it makes sense that the relievers faced the fewest. The Dodgers were the team that faced the second-fewest and they faced 127 more. Despite facing the fewest number of hitters, by a lot, there were four NL teams that walked fewer batters overall than the Phillie relievers did.

Here are the numbers by innings pitched rather than batters faced:

Team IP Walks BB/9
COL 
MIL 
STL 
ARI 
ATL 
FLA 
WSN 
PIT 
SFG 
NYM 
SDP 
HOU 
LAD 
PHI 
CHC 
CIN 
TOT
508 2/3
449 2/3
463
439 1/3
522 1/3
5151/3
520 2/3
526
470 1/3
474
483 2/3
471
439
412 1/3
502 2/3
499
7697
149
139
170
166
209
208
211
220
197
199
210
205
193
183
227
227
3113
2.64
2.78
3.30
3.40
3.60
3.63
3.65
3.76
3.77
3.78
3.91
3.92
3.96
3.99
4.06
4.09
3.64

The Phils were 14th in the NL in walks per nine innings pitched per relievers. Again, this underscores the amazing job the starters did at preventing walks given that overall the team walked fewer total batters than any NL team had since 1995.

The Phils played the Pirates yesterday, winning 5-4 when Lou Montanez hit a walkoff homer off of Michael Dubee in the bottom of the tenth to improve to 3-3.

Cole Hamels got the start for the Phils and was fantastic. He went 3 2/3 scoreless innings before allowing back-to-back singles. He should have been out of the inning, but the next batter, Nate McLouth, reached on an error by Wiggington at second to keep the inning alive. Bush followed Hamels and went 1 1/3 scoreless innings before running into trouble in the sixth. In the sixth, the Pirates scored three runs charged to Bush on three singles and a double, puffing Bush’s Spring Training ERA to 8.31. Bastardo, Aumont and Schwimer all threw scoreless frames for the Phils. Lefty David Purcey went in an inning as well and allowed a run on a solo homer by Starling Marte.

Wigginton started at second and made an error, but went 1-for-1 with an RBI-double and two walks. Pence was 2-for-3. Victorino went 1-for-3 with a two-run homer. Still no hits for Nix, who’s now 0-for-11 after an 0-for-2 with two walks. Montanez won it in the tenth — he’s 3-for-6 so far with two doubles and a home run. He has four RBI — Hector Luna still leads the team with five.

Wigginton has seen a lot of time at second over his career. He didn’t play there in 2011, but he started 35 games at second for the Orioles in 2010 with an UZR/150 of -14.3.

The Phillies play Detroit this afternoon.

Domonic Brown has a sprained right thumb. The linked article suggests he will sit for at least a few more days.

This says that Contreras will throw batting practice today, but is not scheduled for any game action in the next week. It also says that Dontrelle Willis has a sore left forearm and will rest a couple of days.


Little help here?

Cole Hamels has been pretty fantastic over the past two seasons, making 65 appearances (64 starts) in which he threw to a 2.92 ERA with a 1.08 ratio. He’s gotten just 26 wins over those 65 appearances, though, and part of the reason for that is that the Phils just haven’t scored a lot of runs in the games he has started.

Here’s how the runs the Phillies scored have broken down by starting pitcher over the past three seasons:

Starts Runs R/S Games not started R in GNS R per GNS (RS/GS)/(R/GNS)
Hamels 96 393 4.09 390 1912 4.90 84%
Blanton 67 362 5.40 419 1943 4.64 117%
Halladay 65 299 4.60 421 2006 4.76 97%
Kendrick 48 247 5.15 438 2058 4.70 110%
Lee 44 179 4.07 442 2126 4.81 85%
Moyer 44 212 4.82 442 2093 4.74 102%
Oswalt 35 146 4.17 451 2159 4.79 87%
Happ 26 131 5.04 460 2174 4.73 107%
Worley 23 123 5.35 463 2182 4.71 113%
Myers 10 51 5.10 476 2254 4.74 108%
Martinez 9 52 5.78 477 2253 4.72 122%
Park 7 35 5.00 479 2270 4.74 106%
Bastardo 5 29 5.80 481 2276 4.73 123%
Lopez 5 36 7.20 481 2269 4.72 153%
Figueroa 1 3 3.00 485 2302 4.75 63%
Carpenter 1 7 7.00 485 2298 4.74 148%
Total 486 2305 4.74

So, for example, the table says that over the past three years, Hamels has started 96 games in which the Phillies have scored 393 runs. That’s 4.09 runs per game. Over the same three years, the Phillies have played 390 games that Hamels didn’t start. In those games, the Phillies scored 1,912 runs, which is about 4.90 runs per game. Finally, the column on the far right for Hamels suggests that in the games Hamels started the Phillies scored about 84% of the runs per game than they did in the games he did not.

There are nine pitchers who have started more than 20 games for the Phils over the past three years. Of those, Blanton, Worley, Kendrick, Happ and Moyer have seen the team score more runs per game in the games they started than the games they did not.

For Halladay, Oswalt, Lee and Hamels, the Phils have scored fewer runs in the game they started than the games they did not.

Of the more than 20 starts group, Blanton and Hamels are the guys at the extremes. 5.40 runs per game for Blanton (117% of the runs the Phils have scored in the games he hasn’t started since the end of 2008) compared to 4.09 for Hamels (84%).

Official Spring Training action got underway this weekend with the Phils and Yankees squaring off twice.

The Yankees won Saturday’s game 8-5. Kevin Frandsen and Pence both homered for the Phils. Tyson Gilles was 2-for-3 with a double.

Hamels started for the Phils and allowed a run on a bloop RBI-double by Ibanez over two innings. Bush followed and allowed a run on a solo homer over two frames. Willis, Qualls and Stutes all allowed runs for the Phils — that trio combined to give up six runs on seven hits and two walks over three innings. Qualls allowed three runs in his frame.

The Phils made four errors yesterday as the Yanks topped them 7-4.

Halladay allowed a run in two innings. Piniero charged with three runs over two innings, only one of which was earned. Phillippe Aumont allowed three runs on four hits in an inning, but only one run was earned. Martinez made two errors in the game and Wigginton one. Brown dropped a fly ball in left with some discussion of whether he dropped it while he was transferring the ball from his glove after a catch.

Pence homered for the second straight day. Brown was 2-for-4 with a triple. Freddy Galvis started at short and went 2-for-4 with a double.

The Phils play the Yankees again today with Blanton scheduled to pitch. Talk of Martinez’s errors yesterday and today’s lineup here. Kevin Frandsen seems like a good guy to keep an eye on in the early going — the linked article suggests he will start at second today.

Ryan Howard is in a walking boot and there is no timetable for his return.

This article points out that former Phillie Travis d’Arnaud was great at Double-A last year, hitting .311 with 21 home runs. You know who else is great? Roy Halladay.

This says Jose Contreras looked good throwing on Sunday and that Justin De Fratus has been cleared to play catch.

Also, if you’re looking to support the Phillies, use this Promotional Code and get great discounts on jerseys.


Thing three

Remember this? About a year ago I wrote a post that said that despite the fact that in 2010 Hamels had a walk rate that was worse than Halladay, Moyer, Blanton, Oswalt, Kendrick or Lee, his walk rate still wasn’t awful if you compared him to other NL pitchers who made 30 starts in 2010.

In 2011, one of the things Hamels did well was reduce his walk rate. He walked 44 in 216 innings, or 1.83 per nine innings. It was the first time in his career he had walked fewer than two hitters per nine innings. That includes his time in the minors. Hamels’s overall walk rate in the minor leagues was about 3.31 batters per nine innings and he wasn’t under two for any full year in the minors.

Hamels lowered his walk rate against both left and right-handed batters in 2011, but the results were more impressive against lefties. Coming into 2011, Hamels had walked about 6.0% of the right-handed batters he had faced for his career and about 7.9% of the left-handed batters. In 2011, he walked about 5.2% of the righties and 5.1% of the lefties.

Here’s what the chart for 2011 looks like — again, it’s the walk rate per nine innings of NL pitchers who started at least 30 games:

Pitcher

Walks per nine

Rank BB/9

Roy Halladay
Cliff Lee
Cole Hamels
Ricky Nolasco
Kyle Lohse
Madison Bumgarner
Daniel Hudson
Bronson Arroyo
Clayton Kershaw
Chris Carpenter
Hiroki Kuroda
Ian Kennedy
Jaime Garcia
R.A. Dickey
Javier Vazquez
Tim Hudson
Brett Myers
Ted Lilly
Shaun Marcum
Matt Cain
Yovani Gallardo
Chris Capuano
Tim Stauffer
Randy Wolf
Joe Saunders
Matt Garza
Mat Latos
Anibal Sanchez
Mike Pelfrey
Wandy Rodriguez
Derek Lowe
Bud Norris
Tim Lincecum
Jake Westbrook
Ryan Dempster
John Lannan
Chad Billingsley
Jhoulys Chacin
James McDonald
Group total

1.35
1.62
1.83
1.92
2.01
2.02
2.03
2.04
2.08
2.09
2.18
2.23
2.31
2.33
2.34
2.34
2.38
2.38
2.56
2.56
2.56
2.56
2.57
2.80
2.84
2.86
2.87
2.93
3.02
3.25
3.37
3.39
3.57
3.58
3.65
3.70
4.02
4.04
4.11
2.64

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9
10
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12
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14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
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23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
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39
-

Halladay one, Lee two and Hamels three.

That’s a change from 2010, when it went Halladay one, Hamels 14 and Lee in the American League. Had Lee not been in the American League in 2010, he wouldn’t have been on the chart anyway cause he didn’t make 30 starts. Had the 2010 chart shown NL pitchers who made 30 starts and guys name Cliff Lee, regardless of their league or number of starts, Lee would been at the top of the list in terms of fewest walks per nine, right above Halladay. In 2010, Lee made 28 starts in which he threw 212 1/3 innings while walking 18. That’s a silly 0.76 walks per nine.

If you’re having trouble following any of this, is pretty much goes like this: Halladay and Lee really don’t walk much of anyone and probably won’t in 2012, either. And Hamels got a whole lot better at not walking anyone in 2011.

This article about how the Phillies evaluate players and don’t evaluate players is, um, memorable. Seriously, if they’re not relying on advanced metrics that suggest Polanco belongs on the field because of his defense, it’s hard to understand how they would let him play. On the other hand, if math is the enemy it does go a long way towards explaining letting Wilson Valdez and Michael Martinez combine to get 534 plate appearances in 2011. On the other, other hand, if they’re going to keep leading all of baseball in wins every year, they might just wanna keep up the good work.

This suggests that Contreras is not expected to appear in the first week of games, but could get into a game shortly after that.

The article linked above suggests there is increasing pessimism about Justin De Fratus’s right elbow.

Phils play the Yankees three times in the next three days, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Find your Philly jerseys for great prices at Amazon with coupons.


It’s been 14 years that are gone forever and are otherwise unremarkable

In my previous post, I pointed out that Phillie starters led the NL in innings pitched in 2011 with 1,064 2/3. So when was the last time an NL team saw its starters throw that many innings? 1998, when the Braves did it.

Here’s the list of the teams that led the league in innings by starting pitcher over the past 14 years:

Year Team IP by starters
2011
2010
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
2002
2001
2000
1999
1998
PHI
PHI
STL
MIL
SF
COL
STL
CHC
CHC
ARI
ATL
ATL
ARI
ATL
1064 2/3
1035 1/3
1003 2/3
983 1/3
968 2/3
985
1048
1007
1030 1/3
1059 1/3
1007 2/3
1040 1/3
1056 2/3
1074 2/3

In the past six seasons, the only NL team other than the Phillies to get 1,000 innings from their starters is the 2009 St Louis Cardinals.

No team has gotten more innings from their starter since the 1998 Atlanta Braves threw 1,074 2/3. Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Danny Neagle all made at least 26 starts for the Braves that year and all of them threw an average of at least 6.45 innings per start. Maddux led the group, making 34 starts in which he threw 251 innings, which is about 7.38 innings per start.

In the DL-loving American League, getting a thousand innings from your starters has happened a little more often in recent history. In each of the past two seasons there were four AL teams that saw their starters toss a 1,000 frames. The Mariners, White Sox and Angels have all had their starters go a thousand innings in each of the last two years while the Rays and Red Sox have each done it once.

This suggests the Phils are going to work more on bunting and mentions Rollins, Victorino, Michael Martinez and Juan Pierre as bunt-for-a-hit candidates. Really hoping we don’t see Victorino bunting 15-20 more times a year in 2012.

The article linked above also says that Conteras’s bullpen session went well yesterday and he could still be ready for Opening Day.

This article suggests that Brian Sanches and David Herndon might be battling for a bullpen spot. I do like Sanches and think there’s a chance he can help the Phils this year, but have some trouble forgetting him allowing four home runs in relief the night the Phils lost their ten thousandth game in team history.

Danys Baez retired. Between 2010 and 2011, Baez made 80 relief appearances for the Phils in which he threw to a 5.81 ERA with a 1.60 ratio.


The company he kinda keeps

Point for today is that John Mayberry has hit home runs at a high rate with the Phils over the past two years.

Between 2010 and 2011, John Mayberry got 309 plate appearances with the Phillies in which hit to a 276/343/527 line with 27 walks, 77 hits and 17 home runs. In those plate appearances, he walked in 8.74% of his plate appearances, got a hit of any kind in 24.92% and homered in 5.5%.

Looking back at 2011, there were 355 players who got at least 200 plate appearances across both leagues. Of those, how many did at least as well in each of those three categories (ie, walked 8.74% of pa or better, got a hit in 24.92% or better and homered in 5.5% or better)? The answer is three.

Player BB% H% HR%
Matt Kemp 10.74 28.30 5.66
Albert Pujols 9.37 26.57 5.68
Mike Napoli 13.43 27.31 6.94

And how about among the 346 players that got 200 plate appearances in 2010? Four.

Player BB% H% HR%
Albert Pujols 14.71 26.14 6.00
Miguel Cabrera 13.73 27.78 5.86
Joey Votto 14.04 27.31 5.71
Paul Konerko 11.41 27.10 6.18

So it’s a rather exclusive group of offensive players. What makes it so hard to get into? The home runs.

For each of the two seasons, here’s the percentage of players with at least 200 plate appearances that got walks, hits and home runs at the same rates Mayberry has with the Phils over the last two years as a percentage of plate appearances:

2010 2011
% of 200 PA players who walked in 8.74% or more of PA 46.5 39.4
 . . . got hits in 24.92% or more of PA 27.7 30.1
. . . hit home runs in 5.5% or more of PA 3.5 3.9

Nearly half of the players with 200 plate appearances in 2010 walked enough to make the list. Between a quarter and a third in both 2010 and 2011 got enough hits. But less than 4% in each season hit home runs at the rate Mayberry did in 2010 and 2011 combined.

Notably, Mayberry himself doesn’t make the cut in either of the two years, only in the two years combined. In 2010 he only got 13 plate appearances. In 2011, he got enough plate appearances, enough walks and enough hits, but homered in about 5.1% of his plate appearances (15 homers in 296 plate appearances).

In 2011, there were 14 players who got at least 200 plate appearances and hit home runs in 5.5% or more of their plate appearances. Kemp, Pujols and Napoli had all three of the hits, walks and homers. Nelson Cruz, Chris Heisey and Brent Lillibridge had the home runs but not the walks or hits. Adrian Beltre had the home runs and the hits but not the walks. Seven players, Prince Fielder, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Jose Bautista, Mark Reynolds, Mike Stanton and Andruw Jones, had the homers and the walks but not the hits.

In 2010, four players had all three: Pujols, Cabrera, Votto and Konerko. There were eight players with the homers but not each of the other two categories. Stanton and Edwin Encarnacion missed on both walks and hits. Josh Hamilton got the hits but not the walks. And five players, Bautista, Adam Dunn, Russell Branyan, Jim Thome and Andruw Jones, got the homers and the walks but not enough hits.

Jose Contreras threw a bullpen session yesterday, did “fine” and “threw very, very well.” The same article says that Chad Qualls has arrived in camp and that Justin De Fratus, who has had some recent tightness in his right elbow, started to long toss.

Brad Lidge sounds less than thrilled with what happened between him and the Phillies in the off-season in this piece.

Gary Sheffield worked with Domonic Brown on Brown’s hitting over the winter.

Shane Victorino, who will be a free agent after the season, says he loves Philadelphia and there have been no discussions about a new contract with the Phils yet.


Minors problem

Between left field and first base, it’s likely we’re going to see a whole lot of John Mayberry early in 2012. And with good reason. Mayberry has shown enormous power with the Phillies over the past three years. And while most of the projections for 2012 don’t expect Mayberry’s success to continue, many fans would also say he’s earned a chance to prove that what he’s done so far at the major league level is not a fluke.

In 369 plate appearances with the Phillies, Mayberry has put up a surprising 265/328/518 line. In 2011, he got 296 plate appearances and slugged .513. Of the 141 NL players who got at least 275 plate appearances in 2011, Mayberry’s .513 slugging percentage was 15th-best. Of those same 141 players, his isolated power of .240 was tenth and the best on the Phillies. Ryan Howard’s isolated power of .235 was 13th-best among NL players with 275 plate appearances in 2011. Coming into 2011, Mayberry had hit six home runs in 73 plate appearances and had an absurd isolated power mark for his career of .304.

From 2005 to 2011, John Mayberry got 2,975 plate appearances at various levels in the minor leagues and posted a 258/328/457 line overall. About half of those plate appearances came at the Triple-A level for Mayberry — he spent most the 2008 season hitting in the extremely hitter-friendly PCL before seeing time in Lehigh Valley in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Since the start of 2009, Mayberry has gotten 1,027 plate appearances at Lehigh Valley in which he has hit 263/325/431.

Here are Mayberry’s numbers from all levels in the minors, just at Lehigh Valley over the past three years and with the Phillies. Also included are the percentage of plate appearances in which he has walked, struck out, singled, doubled or homered for each:

PA AVG OBP SLG % BB % 1B % 2B % HR % SO
All minors 2975 258 328 457 8.2 13.4 5.3 3.8 21.8
Lehigh Valley ’09-’11 1027 263 325 431 7.6 15.1 5.2 3.1 22.2
Phillies ’09-’11 369 265 328 513 7.9 12.7 5.4 5.7 22.2

Mayberry hasn’t just matched his minor league numbers in the big leagues, he has exceed them. He hit for a better average than he did in the minors with the same on base percentage and a higher slugging mark.

Mayberry’s strikeouts and walks with the Phils are very similar to what they were in the minors. He has struck out at almost the same rate while walking more regularly than he did at Lehigh Valley, but less than his time in the minors overall.

He has been more likely to get a hit with the Phils than he was in the minors. He has gotten a hit of any kind in 24.1% of his plate appearances with the Phils. He got hits in a similar 23.7% of his plate appearances with Lehigh Valley and in 23.0% of his plate appearance in the minors combined.

What he hasn’t done is hit singles. His percentage of plate appearances that ended in a single are a lot lower than they have been at Lehigh Valley and lower than in the minors altogether.

He’s been a little more likely to double with the Phils than he was in the minors.

He’s been a whole lot more likely to hit a home run. 3.8% of his plate appearances in the minors overall, 3.1% in his plate appearances with Lehigh Valley and 5.7% of his plate appearances with the Phillies.

So far for his career, 47.2% of his hits at the major league level have gone for extra-bases. In the minors overall he saw 41.9% of his hits go for extra-bases. At Lehigh Valley is was 36.2%.

Important to remember is that while Mayberry showed monster power in limited chances in 2009, his other numbers were rather awful. Mayberry made his debut with the Phillies that year and on-based .250 in 60 plate appearances, going 12-for-57 with two walks and a hit by pitch. He ended the year at 211/250/474. In 2010 and 2011 combined, he’s posted a far better 276/343/527 line in 309 plate appearances.

Over the last two years with the Phils, he has walked in a higher percentage of his plate appearances (8.7%) than he did in either the minors overall (8.2%) or at Lehigh Valley (7.6%). He’s gotten a hit in 24.9% of his plate appearances with the Phils, also more than he did in the minors (23.0%) or at Lehigh Valley (23.7%). He has struck out less (19.1% with the Phils, 21.8% all minors, 22.2% at Lehigh Valley). The power numbers are where he’s up the most. With the Phillies he has registered an extra-base hit in 11.3% (9.6% all minors and 8.6% Lehigh Valley) of his plate appearances over the last two years and a home run in 5.5% (3.8% all minors and 3.1% Lehigh Valley).

So, will Mayberry’s numbers with the Phils continue to dwarf his minor league output? Let’s hope for the best. Either way, he should be getting a whole lot of chances in the early going in 2012.

This suggests we shouldn’t expect to see too much of Utley early in Spring Training. It also suggests that Contreras could be ready for Opening Day and that Justin De Fratus has some tightness in his right elbow.

The Phillies and Kyle Kendrick agreed to a two-year, $7.5 million contract.

Manuel calls Juan Pierre a top-of-the-order hitter in this article. In 2011, Pierre got 729 plate appearances with the White Sox in which he on-based .329.

The Phils will get a supplemental pick in the 2012 draft now that Ibanez has signed with the Yankees.

Here’s the Spring Training roster for the Phillies.


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