Tag: Josh Willingham

What now?

It’s no secret the Phils are going to need to add a right-handed outfielder to try and replace some of Jayson Werth’s production. The Phillies already have Ben Francisco, and this article from yesterday mentions as possible additions Jeff Francoeur, Matt Diaz, Scott Hairston, Juan Rivera and Josh Willingham. Matt Diaz won’t be with the Phils this year, cause he just signed with the Pirates, but Jeff Francoeur rumors abound and the same names keep on coming up.

Today’s point is that Josh Willingham is a lot better hitter than the rest of those guys.

Here’s the ’11 age, career numbers and OPS for each of the players mentioned above as well as what they’ve done in the last three years:

’11 Age Career OPS Last 3
Francisco 29 263/329/446 775 263/331/442 773
Francoeur 27 268/310/425 735 256/301/389 690
Diaz 33 301/350/456 806 281/342/438 780
S Hairston 31 245/303/435 737 245/305/432 737
Rivera 32 280/328/461 789 266/314/445 760
Willingham 32 265/367/475 841 260/373/476 850

It’s really not very close. Diaz is the only guy on the list who is really close to Willingham. And Diaz can’t hit right-handed pitching and is on the Pirates. Here’s what the career splits against righties and lefties look like for those guys:

vs R OPS vs L OPS
Francisco 262/323/440 762 267/347/460 806
Francoeur 256/296/403 699 299/343/481 824
Diaz 269/327/382 710 335/373/533 907
S Hairston 227/288/402 690 278/331/498 829
Rivera 276/326/441 768 288/333/499 832
Willingham 264/382/446 828 277/409/500 909

Willingham has the best numbers of those six players against both righties and lefties. All of the other guys on the list have a career on-base percentage against righties that’s under .330. If the question is who is the player besides Willingham on that list who is better than Francisco, I think a reasonable answer is nobody. At least nobody is enough of an improvement to be worth investing in. Rivera has been better over his career, but I don’t think you would have enough confidence that he’s going to be significantly better in 2011 to put both of them on the team next year.

The problem of course, is that Willingham isn’t a free agent. The Phils would have to trade for him to get him from the Nationals and he is due to become a free agent after the end of the 2011 season. So, better or not, I am going to be surprised if Willingham winds up with the Phils.

Finally, the list of players the Phillies are considering is surely larger than the five (now four) non-Phillies listed above. A bunch of right-handed bats remain available, including Jose Guillen, Bill Hall, Andruw Jones, Austin Kearns and Magglio Ordonez. Some people think the Padres might be persuaded to trade Ryan Ludwick. This article suggests that Aaron Rowand has “become a strong consideration” off of three bad years in a row and a terrible 2010 in which he on-based .281. A lot of those guys bring some baggage with them, like being about to be suspended for a long time or having not been good since 2008, or just have a strong need to be unconsidered really soon, but they’re out there.

And that’s good news for the Phillies. Cause the guys people are speculating they might have interest in aren’t that exciting, except for the one they’re probably not going to be able to get.

Run rundown

You’ve probably heard multiple times by now that the Phillies are some-really-big-number and some-really-small-number when Jimmy Rollins scores a run. That’s fantastic news. Some-really-big-number and some-really-small-number must be really good, don’t you think? If it wasn’t they would have to stop mentioning it all the time, wouldn’t they?

The Phils are actually 37-8 this year in games when Rollins scores a run (the charts in this post don’t include the results from last night’s game). That’s an impressive .822 winning percentage. The team’s record is pretty good when any of their starting eight scores, though. Here’s a look at the number of games each of their starters have played, runs they’ve scored, the number of games they’ve played in which they scored a run and the team’s record and winning percentage in games that player scored at least one run:

  Games R Games
Rollins 88 55 45 37 8 .822
Victorino 88 66 49 38 11 .776
Utley 88 65 50 38 12 .760
Howard 89 57 44 34 10 .773
Ibanez 68 57 40 28 12 .700
Werth 88 61 46 32 14 .696
Feliz 89 38 31 26 5 .839
Ruiz 58 14 12 11 1 .917

Compared to the rest of the group, the .822 winning percentage in games when Rollins scores a run is high. Not as high as when Feliz or Ruiz scores a run, but high. Things may have changed after Werth drove in himself, Howard and Ibanez in a win last night, but going into last night’s game the two hitters at the top of the lineup (Rollins and Victorino) and the two hitters at the bottom of the lineup (Feliz and Ruiz) had the highest winning percentages for the team in games where they score and the four guys in the middle had the lowest.

The lowest winning percentage of the group is for Werth at .696. If a team played to a .696 winning percentage over 162 games it would go 113-49.

The guys in the middle are the ones scoring the runs for the Phils. For the eight players, here’s the number of runs they’ve scored per game, the percentage of games they’ve played in that they’ve scored at least one run and the number of plate appearances per run (they are order by the number of plate appearances per run scored):

scored per game
% of games
scored run(s)
PA per R
Ibanez 0.84 59% 5.35
Utley 0.74 57% 6.03
Victorino 0.75 56% 6.24
Werth 0.69 52% 6.36
Howard 0.64 49% 6.89
Rollins 0.63 51% 7.29
Feliz 0.43 35% 9.21
Ruiz 0.24 21% 15.07

The Phillies have five players in the top ten in runs scored in the NL after last night’s game — Victorino, Utley, Werth, Ibanez and Howard (Ibanez, Howard and David Wright are tied for tenth). Rollins is right behind them, just two runs scored out of the top ten. The runs scored for Ibanez is probably the most ridiculous — he’s in the top ten in the league despite the fact that he’s played about twenty games less than most regulars.

This says that the Phillies may have inquired about Josh Willingham, who would be a perfect cure for the righty ills of the Phils. It also suggests that Condrey continues to have a problem with his oblique and the Phillies considered putting him on the DL and calling up Kendrick.

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