Tag: Kyle Kendrick

Mother Nature apparently can’t bear to watch the Phillies hit either

Kyle Kendrick pitched very well last night, but the Phillies are still struggling terribly to score runs. It hasn’t cost them last night’s game yet — the game was tied at 0-0 when it was suspended in the ninth inning due to heavy rain. It is scheduled to be completed late this afternoon before the teams play game three of the set tonight.

The Phillies have two hits in the game, singles by Young and Utley, and no walks. They have struck out 12 times.

Over their last five games, the Phillies have scored zero runs before the start of the sixth and two runs before the start of the seventh.

Kendrick has been the bright spot of the game for the Phillies so far. His start was outstanding as he allowed a pair or singles and two walks over seven shutout innings. He’s allowed two runs in 13 innings over his last two times out.

The Phillies are still 6-7 on the year. Last night they played eight and a half innings against the Reds. The game is tied at 0-0 and will resume tonight at 5:30.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went seven shutout innings, allowing two hits and two walks. Both of the hits were singles and he struck out four.

Zack Cozart singled to left with one out in the bottom of the first. Kendrick got Joey Votto on a ground ball to Utley for the second out with Cozart moving up to second. Brandon Phillips walked to put men on first and second, but Kendrick struck Jay Bruce out swinging 2-2 to leave both men stranded.

Kendrick struggles terribly against lefties, but not so much last night. He handled the lefty Votto for the second out in the first and then struck the lefty Bruce out to leave two men stranded. Neither of those guys (or their fellow lefty Shin-Soo Choo) got a hit off of him in the game — he gave up two singles, both to righties.

He set the Reds down in order in the second.

Choo walked with one out in the third. Cozart was next and grounded out to third with Choo moving up to second with two down. Votto was next and lined a ball into right, but Nix made an outstanding diving catch to end the inning.

Fantastic Nix who caught the ball in an all out dive moving forward to take a hit away from Votto. Choo likely would have scored started from second with two outs.

Kendrick set the Reds down in order in the fourth.

Ryan Hanigan singled to left with one out in the fifth. Pitcher Homer Bailey bunted Hanigan up to second with the second out, but Kendrick got Choo on a ground ball to Utley to end the inning.

Again Kendrick comes up big against the lefty to end the inning with runners in scoring position.

Kendrick struck out Votto and Brandon Phillips in a 1-2-3 sixth.

He got Bruce, Todd Frazier and Xavier Avery in a 1-2-3 seventh.

Bastardo threw a 1-2-3 eighth. Righty Chris Heisey hit for the pitcher Homer Bailey and flew to left for the first out.

Bastardo has now allowed one hit and two walks over six scoreless innings in six appearances for the year.

Aumont started the ninth and was ahead of Zack Cozart 1-2 when the game was suspended.

The Phillie lineup against righty Homer Bailey went (1) Revere (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Young (6) Brown (7) Nix (8) Quintero. Nix plays right against the righty with the righty Mayberry on the bench. Quintero catches with the slumping Kratz sitting. Revere continues to lead off despite a .276 on-base percentage for the season coming into the game.

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

Young singled with one out in the second, but Brown grounded out to second for the second out with Young moving up to second and Nix popped to third to end the frame.

The Phils went in order in the third.

Utley singled with one out in the fourth, but was caught stealing before Howard struck out to set the Phillies down.

The Phillies have stolen 11 base this year and been caught four times. 73.3% safe. Revere safe in five of seven attempts (about 71.4%). Mayberry has no stolen bases and was caught stealing once.

Brown and Nix struck out in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Kendrick struck out as the Phils went in order in the sixth.

Utley struck out as the Phils went in order in the seventh.

Bailey struck out Young and Nix in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Lefty Aroldis Chapman started the ninth and set the Phils down in order. Kratz hit for Quintero and struck out swinging. Mayberry hit for Bastardo and ripped a ball towards third, but Frazier made a nice play to take a hit away from him. Revere struck out swinging to set the Phillies down.

The game will resume tonight at 5:30.

Lannan (0-2, 2.77) faces righty Mike Leake (0-0, 6.75) tonight in the final game of the series, which starts at 7:10. Lannan has two good starts in two tries for the Phils. Opponents are hitting .178 against him with one walk in 13 innings. Leake has also made two starts and neither of them has been good. Opponents are hitting .327 against him and he’s walked six in 12 innings.


Bottom feeders

The Phillies scored five runs in the bottom of the first last night on their way to a 7-3 win. Their first six hitters of the game combined to go 4-for-6 with a single, a double, two home runs and two walks off of Mets starter Jeremy Hefner.

It was the second straight miserable start for Hefner against the Phillies going back to last season. In his last two starts against the Phils, Hefner has allowed 12 earned runs on 12 hits and four walks over three innings.

The Phils feasted on the bottom of the Mets rotation in the series, scoring 12 runs in the six innings pitched by Dillon Gee and Hefner as they won the last two games.

The Phillies scored all seven of their runs last night on home runs. Utley hit a two-run shot in the first, which was followed soon after by a three-run bomb by Brown. Nix hit a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the sixth.

Michael Young continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-3 with a double. He’s 9-for-his-last-16 with four extra-base hits. 455/538/773 against right-handed pitching in the early going, coming off of a 2012 season in which he hit 257/291/352 against righties.

The Phillies are 4-5 on the year after beating the New York Mets 7-3 last night. They take the series two games to one. First series win of the year for the Phils in three tries. First time they have won two games in a row on the season. They are 0-4 when Hamels or Halladay start and 4-1 when somebody else starts.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks. Four of the hits went for extra-bases, two doubles and two home runs. He struck out six.

5.40 ERA and a 1.71 ratio after two starts. Lefties are hitting .480 against him — 12-for-25 with two walks, three doubles, a home run and 480/519/720 line.

Jordany Valdespin was the first hitter of the game and reached on a softly hit infield single. Daniel Murphy flew to right for the first out, bringing David Wright to the plate with Valdespin still on first. Kendrick struck Wright out swinging as Valdespin took off for second. Kratz threw him out from his knees on a bounce to end the inning.

Impressive throw by Kratz.

Kendrick started the second with a 5-0 lead. John Buck homered to left-center with one out. 5-1. Lucas Duda followed with a double to right and Mike Baxter walked behind Duda, putting men on first and second with one down for Ruben Tejada. Tejada singled softly to right, loading the bases for the pitcher Jeremy Hefner. Kendrick struck Hefner out looking for the second out and Valdespin out looking to end the frame.

Valdespin struck out looking at a 3-2 pitch that looked like a ball to me, but whatever. Still a great job by Kendrick to get out of the inning after the Mets load the bases with one out.

Tired of John Buck. He was 4-for-12 in the series with three home runs and drove in six of the 13 runs New York scored. Duda was pretty impressive as well — 3-for-4 with a double and two home runs last night. 5-for-9 with a double, two home runs and a walk in the series.

Kendrick set the Mets down in order in the third.

Duda homered to right with one out in the fourth. 5-2. Baxter followed with a double, but Kendrick got Tejada on a ground ball to Utley that moved Duda up to third for the second out. Righty Justin Turner hit for the pitcher Hefner, but Kendrick got him on a ground ball to Utley as well to set the Mets down.

The game was delayed by rain for 27 minutes in the bottom of the fourth. Kendrick returned after the delay to start the fifth. Valdespin led off and bunted for a single. Murphy was the next batter and Kendrick walked him, putting two men on for Wright. Wright struck out swinging for the first out. Ike Davis was next and he hit a blooper into left-center. Revere made a nice running catch for the second out. Murphy was way off of second and Revere threw there to double him off and end the inning.

Very nice play by Revere, both to get to the ball and to make the throw. His momentum was taking him away from second base, but he managed to get off a pretty reasonable throw to get Murphy. Not sure exactly what Murphy was thinking — best guess would be he thought Revere was going to throw home or couldn’t throw at all. Either way it was bad base-running and a nice play by Revere.

Baxter singled to right with two outs in the six. Tejada flew to Revere for the third out.

Bastardo started the seventh with a 7-2 lead. Valdespin reached on an infield single with one out, but Bastardo got the next two.

Three scoreless innings over three appearances for Bastardo. He’s allowed a single and two walks.

Adams started the eighth. He struck Buck out for the first out and Davis out for the second before Duda hit a 2-1 pitch out to right. 7-3. Lefty Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit for the pitcher Scott Rice and Adams struck him out looking to end the frame.

Adams was pitching for the second day in a row. He’s now allowed a run on two hits in 3 1/3 innings over four appearances. He has struck out seven. I assume if there was no off-day today, Manuel would have called on Aumont rather than Adams to pitch the eighth with a five-run lead. Aumont has made one appearance since April 1 and two on the year.

Papelbon threw the ninth in heavy rain. Tejada led off with a single, but Marlon Byrd was next and Papelbon got him to ground into a double-play. Valdespin struck out looking to end the game.

Glad to see Papelbon used in a non-save situation there. After allowing two runs in an inning in his first appearance of the year, he’s allowed one single in two scoreless frames his last two times out.

Overall the pen goes three innings, allowing a run on the Duda homer off of Adams. Three hits, no walks and four strikeouts. Adams has pitched two days in a row, but will surely be available Friday in Miami given the off-day today.

The Phillie lineup against righty Jeremy Hefner went (1) Revere (2) Rollins (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Young (6) Brown (7) Mayberry (8) Kratz. Mayberry in right again against the righty after a big day against righty starter Dillon Gee in game two of the set.

Revere led off the bottom of the first and walked on five pitches. With Rollins at the plate he stole second, but slid through the base and was tagged out for the first out. It cost the Phils a run, cause Rollins doubled to right and Utley followed that with a home run to center. 2-0. Howard singled and Young walked before Brown blasted a 2-1 pitch down the right field line and well out for another homer. 5-0. Mayberry struck out looking for the second out and Kratz flew to center.

Really not a fan of the Revere stolen base, even if it works and it doesn’t cost the Phillies a run. If the only batter the pitcher has faced in the game is Ben Revere and he walked him on five pitches, it’s a good sign he hasn’t settled in yet. Make him get an out first.

The lead was cut to 5-1 when the Phils went in order in the second.

Howard singled to right with one out in the third on a ball that hit the wall after a bounce or two. Young was next and ripped a line drive in to left-center for a double, sending Howard to third. Hefner got behind Brown 3-0 after Brown had hit a moon shot in his previous at-bat, then put him on intentionally to lead the bases for Mayberry. Mayberry popped to short with the runners holding for the second out. Kratz was next and blooped a ball into right-center, but Valdespin made a nice shoestring catch after a long run to retire the side.

Big play by Valdespin takes runs away from the Phillies.

Howard can’t run. Young can, at least a lot better than I thought he could. I had no idea. The hustle double was the third time in two games he made an aggressive play on the bases and was safe.

Mayberry can’t bring the runner home from the third with one out, popping out to short with the bases loaded and one down. He also struck out in the bottom of the first as the first batter retired by Hefner.

The lead was cut to 5-2 when lefty Josh Edgin struck out Kendrick, Revere and Rollins in the fourth.

Young singled to center with two outs in the fifth. Brown flew to center on a sliding catch by Valdespin to end the inning.

Second nice play of the game by Valdespin in center after he took a hit away from Kratz with the bases loaded to end the third.

Kratz singled off of righty Latroy Hawkins with one out in the sixth. Nix hit for Kendrick and hit a 3-1 pitch out to right-center, extending the Phillie lead to 7-2. Revere grounded to third for the second out before Rollins singled to left. Lefty Scott Rice came in to pitch to Utley and retired him on a fly ball to center for the third out.

Rice set Howard, Young and Brown down in order in the seventh.

Righty Bobby Parnell threw a 1-2-3 eighth with the lead cut to 7-3. Galvis hit for Adams and flew to left for the third out.

Revere was 0-for-3 with a walk and a caught stealing in the game. 1-for-11 with two walk in the series drops his line to 211/268/211 after 41 plate appearances. Made a nice play to double Murphy off of second base. The Phillies are averaging about 4.67 runs per game, which is remarkable given that their leadoff man is on-basing .268. Revere is 0-for-8 against lefties on the year.

Rollins 2-for-4 with a double. 4-for-12 with three doubles in the game. 316/350/526 for the year. 357/400/607 against right-handed pitching. I think Rollins will lead off and Revere will be dropped to seven or eight soon if Revere does not start hitting.

Utley 1-for-4 with a two-run homer in the game. 2-for-10 with two walks and a home run in the series. 333/395/636 for the year.

Howard 2-for-4 with two singles. 3-for-11 with a home run in the series. 200/237/286 for the year. If you’re team is scoring 4.67 runs per game, your leadoff man is on-basing .268 and your cleanup hitter is on-basing .237 and slugging .286, something is going pretty well somewhere else.

Michael Young is one of the things going very right offensively. 2-for-3 with a double and a walk in the game. 5-for-11 with a walk, a double, a triple and a home run in the series. He seemed to run the bases unusually well in the series, aggressively successful in taking an extra-base on three occasions. 375/459/594 on the year.

Brown 1-for-3 with a walk and a three-run homer. 2-for-11 with a walk and a homer in the set. 242/286/424 for the year. Hitting .231 against right-handed pitching.

Mayberry 0-for-4 and struck out twice. 2-for-8 with a double and a home run in the series. 263/391/579 for the year.

Kratz 1-for-4 in the game and made a nice throw to nail Valdespin in the top of the first. 3-for-9 with a double in the series. 207/200/379 for the year. Hasn’t drawn a walk in 30 plate appearances.

The Phillies are off today and play the Marlins in Florida tomorrow night.


Two-hit wonder

Kyle Kendrick led the way yesterday as four Phillie pitchers held the Yankees to an unearned run on two hits and a walk and the Phils topped New York 4-1.

Domonic Brown hit his sixth home run, a solo shot in the fourth inning. 1-for-3 on the day. 397/465/714. He has 25 hits in official spring games, which is the most for any player across both leagues.

Howard was 1-for-4 with his fifth homer, a solo blast in the seventh. 317/338/633. He’s walked just three times in 65 plate appearances, but now’s probably not the time to quibble.

Nix 2-for-4 with a double. 238/273/333, but with better results if you count the games that don’t count.

Utley 2-for-4 without a double. 227/358/341. You might not think of Utley as a guy who hits .258, but he has hit .258 over his last 816 plate appearances since the end of 2010. So you might want to think about starting.

Rollins started at short and went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks. 3-for-12 with a double and five walks in limited official action.

Jermaine Mitchell started in center and went 0-for-4. 7-for-21 with two walks and five extra-base hits. 333/391/714. No longer leads the team in OPS.

Lerud got the start behind the plate and went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. I’d still guess he’s going to have trouble getting past Quintero for the backup catcher job. Lerud is 3-for-14 with a double, a home run and three walks (214/353/500). Quintero hasn’t been good defensively, he’s made two errors and been charged with a passed ball, and is 5-for-18 with two walks and five singles at the plate (278/333/278). At least in the official games, it seems that Lerud has outplayed Quintero. I don’t think it’s going to matter, though.

Kendrick started the game for the Phillies and allowed an unearned run over six innings on two hits, a double and a single, and no walks. The run scored in the fourth. Brett Gardner led off with a bunt single and took second on a throwing error by Kendrick. He would score on a one-out double by Ichiro.

Kendrick has a 5.14 ERA and a 1.14 ratio. If you throw to a 1.14 ratio for long enough, your ERA is going to go down from 5.14.

Adams struck out Travis Hafner in a 1-2-3 seventh. He has allowed two hits and no walks in five scoreless innings in official spring action.

Papelbon got three fly balls in a 1-2-3 eighth. Seems to have settled down quite a bit since ugly, ugly results early. 15.43 ERA and a 2.14 ratio for the spring.

Durbin pitched a scoreless ninth. He allowed a one-out walk, but got the next two hitters to end the game. 4.00 ERA and a 1.33 ratio.

The Phils are off today and face the Red Sox tomorrow night.


Irregular season

Freeze frame, November, 2012. The Phillies shock the baseball world by naming you their new GM. Your job — add a starting center fielder, a starting third baseman, a starting corner outfielder, a top setup man and a fifth starter. Trade Vance Worley, Trevor May, Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla if you want, but make sure you take on less than $20 million in 2013 payroll.

Good luck.

If that’s your charge and you come back with Ben Revere, Michael Young, Delmon Young, John Lannan and Mike Adams, you’ve done your job.

Obviously Amaro had more flexibility than that, especially around who he traded. Keeping Worley would have made adding a fifth starter unnecessary. And some of the positions he filled from outside of the organization could have been filled from within. If the Phillies fail to play Domonic Brown just about every day to start 2013, they’re making a mistake. But they haven’t done that yet and, no matter what they say in January, I don’t think they will. And I don’t think that the off-season has been a disaster for the Phillies.

If there’s a disaster here, and despite how ugly 2012 was, I don’t think this is a disaster yet, it didn’t start this off-season. It started a couple of years ago and moves slow.

Success or failure for the 2013 Phillies is going to have a whole lot more to do with what Ryan Howard, Jonathan Papelbon, Chase Utley, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels and Cliff Lee combine to produce for the $137ish million the Phils have committed to pay them than it will with what Delmon Young produces for the $750,000 they’ve committed to pay him. And a lot of what we saw in 2012 should make you worry about that group’s ability to produce $137 million worth of value in 2013.

You can pay all five of the new guys mentioned above this season with the $20 million the Phils have committed to Howard. With a couple of million left over. You can get most of the way there with the $13 million they’re going to pay Papelbon.

It’s a lotta eggs in a small number of baskets. There is no solution if those eggs can’t play anymore or simply have bad contracts — but it’s not Delmon Young’s fault, either. The choices are declare it’s over and rebuild or declare it’s not and do what you can with the limited flexibility that you have left. I’m glad they chose the later. This is what do what you can with the limited flexibility you have looks like.

Bottom line for me is that the Phillies may have made mistakes. Some of them are big mistakes. Maybe too big for the team to overcome in next few seasons. I’m a lot less sure they came this off-season, though.

Yesterday I updated my guess on who the hitters on the team are at this point. Earlier this month I made a guess on the pitching side. Here’s what I came up with then:

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)

Assuming 12 pitching spots to start the season, I gave the four open slots to Horst, Aumont, Valdes and De Fratus.

Not a whole lot has changed since January 9. The Phillies signed free agent righties Rodrigo Lopez, Aaron Cook and Juan Cruz and announced that righties Justin Friend and Kyle Simon would be invited to camp as NRIs, along with lefty Adam Morgan.

The list looks pretty much the same in my mind these days, with the exception of the addition of a few candidates:

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 Cruz (R)
12 A Cook (R)
R Lopez (R)
J Friend (R)
K Simon (R)
J Horst (L)
R Valdes (L)
J Diekman (L)
J Savery (L)
M Robles (L)
C Jimenez (L)
A Morgan (L)

I still feel pretty good about the Horst and Aumont picks. That gets the Phillies to ten pitchers — five starters and five relievers, including two lefties in Bastardo and Horst.

I feel like there’s a chance that Cook can challenge Lannan for the fifth starter job. But I still think Lannan is the guy. Kendrick ended the season pitching really well out of the rotation, but I shake the feeling that the Phillies would be better off using him as a long reliever. I don’t think that’s going to happen, though, at least not to start the season.

Assuming Kendrick is in the rotation, there’s still an issue about long relief. The Phillies don’t have a long man in the ten guys I mentioned. Juan Cruz seems like he might get some consideration for that role. I’d guess the Phils think Rosenberg could give them more than one inning.

I still think the last two spots are pretty wide open. Valdes and De Fratus were the two relievers I picked last time. Valdes was fantastic for the Phillies in 2012 and De Fratus has put up outstanding numbers in the minors over the last few years.

Valdes would be the third lefty in the pen, though. And they still wouldn’t have a long man. Stutes is the other guy who seems like a legit candidate if he shows he’s healthy early in camp. He was solid for the Phillies in 2011 and got four or more outs in 14 of his 57 appearances.

Anyway, I’ll stick with Horst, Aumont, Valdes and De Fratus for the last four spots. That leaves the Phils with 12 pitchers — Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Kendrick, Lannan, Papelbon, Adams, Bastardo, Horst, Aumont, De Fratus and Valdes. Still three lefties and still no long reliever. My top candidates among the guys not on that list would be Cruz, Rosenberg and Stutes.

This article suggests the Phillies have had the third-best off-season in the NL East.


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.


The votes aren’t all counted yet, but I think we can agree that Adam Eaton was not the answer

Here’s the Baseball-Reference calculated combined WAR for pitchers who have made at least ten starts for the team over the past five seasons:

Pitcher GS # Relief appearances WAR WAR/GS
Halladay 90 0 17.6 .196
Lee 74 0 13.5 .182
Happ 30 16 5.0 .167
Oswalt 35 1 5.2 .149
Hamels 160 1 21.4 .134
Worley 46 7 4.4 .096
Moyer 77 5 2.7 .035
Blanton 100 5 2.5 .025
Myers 40 8 0.8 .020
Kendrick 103 41 1.7 .017
Eaton 19 2 -1.2 -.063

Important to remember is that the WAR calculation includes games pitched in relief. So, for example, the WAR for Kendrick over the last five seasons includes his 41 appearances out of the bullpen. His .017 for WAR/GS is his total WAR in all appearances divided by the number of games he started (not the total number of games in which he pitched).

The 11 pitchers above combined to make 774 of the 810 starts for the Phillies over the last five seasons. Not appearing on the list are guys who made fewer than ten starts, including Pedro Martinez (9), Chan Ho Park (7), Tyler Cloyd (6), Rodrigo Lopez (5), Antonio Bastardo (5), Raul Valdes (1), Andrew Carpenter (1), Nelson Figueroa (1) and BJ Rosenberg (1). Those 36 total starts plus the 774 for the 11 guys above gets you to 810.

Hamels is the guy who has made the most starts for the Phillies over the past five years with 160. And he’s been very good. After that, though, there are two guys in Blanton and Kendrick who have gotten a ton of starts over the past five seasons without being very good.

Kendrick is second in starts over the last five seasons with 103. His best year for WAR was 2007 (which doesn’t count for the table above as it was more than five years ago). In 2007, Kendrick made 20 appearances for the Phillies, all starts, going 10-4 with a 3.87 and putting up a WAR of 2.1. Kendrick was terrible in 2008 and finished the year with a -1.7 WAR. In the four years since his combined WAR has been just 3.4 — 3.4 + (-1.7) = 1.7, his mark for the past five years combined.

Blanton has made 105 appearances over the last five years for the Phillies, including 100 starts (more than anyone but Kendrick or Hamels). In the five seasons that Blanton pitched all or part of the year with the Phillies, he had a Baseball-Reference calculated WAR better than 0.1 only once. His best year with the Phillies was 2009 — he made 31 starts that year with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.32 ratio, posting a 2.4 WAR for the season. He had a -0.2 WAR in 29 appearances with the Phillies in 2010 and a -0.1 WAR in 21 appearances with them in 2012. He threw just 41 1/3 innings in 2011, all with the Phils, and put up a 0.0 WAR for that season.

The point here is that Blanton and Kendrick have pitched a lot for the Phillies over the past five years, making about as many starts (203) as Halladay, Lee and Worley (210). Overall, they’ve made about 25.1% of the starts for the Phillies over the past five seasons. And they haven’t been very good.

And while Blanton doesn’t have much of a chance to be not very good for the Phillies again in 2013, Kendrick does.

Gone also from the mix of the last five years are Happ and Oswalt. Both of those pitchers didn’t pitch a ton for the Phillies over the past five years, but put up good numbers overall in their time with the team.

Happ’s 4.83 ERA since he left the Phillies makes it easy to forget that he was great for the Phillies in 2009, going 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA and a 1.23 ratio in his 35 appearances (23 starts). He led the team in WAR for pitchers that year at 4.0. Hamels made 32 starts for the Phillies in ’09, finishing the year with a WAR of 1.7.

Oswalt threw to a 2.96 ERA in 36 appearances (35 starts) with the Phils between 2010 and 2011. He appeared in just 13 games for the Phillies in 2010 (12 starts), but managed to post a WAR of 3.2, third best on the staff behind Halladay and Hamels.

This suggests Josh Hamilton wants seven years, $175 million.

Amaro mentions Adam Morgan favorably in this article. Morgan is a 22-year-old lefty the Phillies took in the third round of the 2011 draft. He made 27 appearances between Clearwater and Reading in 2012, 26 of which were starts, throwing to a 3.35 ERA with a 1.11 ratio and striking out 169 in 158 2/3 innings.


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