Tag: Mark DeRosa

Touching base (third)

Back in November I looked at some of the available players who looked like they might be a good match for the Phils at third base. The Phillies landed on Placido Polanco and most of the rest of that group has found a home by now as well:

Player Age Status
P Feliz 34

After the Phillies declined his $5.5 million option for 2010, Feliz signed a one-year deal with the Astros for $4.5 million.

     
P Polanco 34 Signed a three-year, $18 million deal with the Phillies
     
A Beltre 30 Signed a one-year, $9 million deal with Boston
     
C Figgins 32 Signed a four-year, $36 million deal with Seattle.
     
M DeRosa 34 Signed with San Francisco for two years, $12 million
     
     
G Atkins 30 Signed a one year contract with Baltimore. The contract is for $4 million with incentives that could earn Atkins an additional $1 million. He will likely play first base and not third.
     
T Glaus 33 Signed with the Braves for one-year, $1.75 million.  He is expected to play first base and not third with Atlanta.
     
     
M Tejada 35 Agreed to a one-year, $6 million deal with Baltimore
     
J Crede 31 Unsigned

I don’t think the Polanco contract looks great in relation to the signings for the group given the length of Polanco’s new deal. I would rather have Polanco for three years at his contract than Figgins for four years at his contract. I’m not as sure about the rest of the group.

After the Phillies declined Feliz’s option for 2010 I would guess they couldn’t have signed him as a free agent for one-year, $4.5 million even if they had wanted to. They might have been better off if they did.

Glaus’s signing may be the steal of the group, cause if he’s healthy he’s a lock to be the best offensive player in the group. Even if he’s not a hundred percent, there’s still a good chance he’s the best hitter in the group in 2009. Let’s just hope he really can’t play third base at all.

I think the O’s got a great deal on Atkins, too. I think it’s much more likely that he will see time at third in the future, despite Baltimore’s preference to play him at first. It’s undeniable that he was miserable in 2009, but including that awful year he has hit 292/359/472 over the past four seasons and averaged 21 homers and 94 RBI. Let’s hope he really can’t play third, either.

I’m definitely rooting for Polanco to hit .320 with 15 home runs. And maybe he will. He’s getting old, though, and he’s coming off a bad year. If I were guessing, Feliz and Crede are the only players in the group that I feel confident that Polanco will outperform offensively in 2010. And that’s in year one of a three-year deal. And maybe he can play third, but he’s not a third baseman. So let’s hope for the best. But the time that’s past since the signing hasn’t done a whole lot to make me feel better about the deal for the Phillies.

Joe Blanton and the Phillies agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal.

Victorino and the Phils agreed to a three-year, $22 million deal.

The Phillies and Ruiz agreed to a three-year, $8.85 million deal.

This suggests the Phillies have agreed to a one-year deal with right-handed pitcher Jose Contreras, which is worth about $1 million. Contreras pitched for the White Sox and Rockies last year, posting a 4.92 ERA with a 1.47 ratio over 131 2/3 innings. He spent most of the past three years with the White Sox and has a 5.09 ERA over the past three seasons. He was traded to the Rockies at the end of the 2009 season and he got his first chance to pitch for a NL team — in seven appearances he threw to a 1.59 ERA over 17 innings but with a 1.65 ratio (his ERA+ while throwing to a 1.59 ERA with the Rockies was 288).


The sixth nonsense

Charlie Manuel finished sixth in the voting for NL Manager of the Year. Sixth?

Moving on, here’s the rates some free agents who could fill the Phils need at third base tallied hits, walks, doubles and triples, home runs and extra-base hits per 100 plate appearances for their last season in which they got more than 450 plate appearances (2008 for Glaus and 2009 for everyone else):

  H/100 BB/100 2B+3B/100 HR/100 XBH/100
Feliz 24.6 5.6 5.1 1.9 7.0
Tejada 29.6 2.8 7.0 2.1 9.1
DeRosa 22.4 8.2 4.2 4.0 8.2
Polanco 26.1 5.3 5.2 1.5 6.7
Beltre 24.9 4.0 5.7 1.7 7.3
Glaus 23.1 13.7 5.3 4.2 9.6
Figgins 25.1 13.9 5.1 0.7 5.8
Crede 20.4 7.9 4.6 4.1 8.7

And here are the same numbers over their careers:

  H/100 BB/100 2B+3B/100 HR/100 XBH/100
Feliz 23.7 5.3 5.3 3.3 8.6
Tejada 26.4 6.3 5.5 3.6 9.1
DeRosa 24.4 8.4 5.2 2.6 7.8
Polanco 27.8 5.2 5.1 1.5 6.6
Beltre 24.7 7.0 5.4 3.6 9.1
Glaus 21.7 13.5 4.9 5.2 10.0
Figgins 25.6 10.1 4.9 0.8 5.7
Crede 23.3 5.9 4.9 4.1 9.0

Feliz is a very weak offensive player. He has never on-based over .308 for a season and has a .715 career OPS. Doesn’t walk, doesn’t hit for average and hasn’t hit more than 14 home runs in either of the last two seasons.

Tejada is a career .289 hitter and hit .313 for the Astros last year. He walked just 19 times in 673 plate appearances in ’09. He does deliver a ton of extra-base hits. He’s hit 30 or more homers four times in his career, but just 27 in 1,339 plate appearances over the last two years. He’s not a third baseman, either. He may be in the future, but so far he has appeared at third in zero games over his 13-year career.

DeRosa comes off of a weak season in which he hit 250/319/433 for the Indians and Cards. His walk rate is good, better than everyone on the list except for Figgins and Glaus. Through his age 32 season his career high in home runs was 13. Over the past two years he has hit 21 and 23.

Polanco is the least likely member of this group to walk in a given plate appearance over his career and that’s saying something. Pedro Feliz is in this group. Joe Crede is in this group. Adrian Beltre is in this group. The .303 career average is impressive, though. He’s the worst power option in the group behind Figgins.

Beltre has on-based .330 or better in one of the last nine seasons. He does have some power, but he’s hit under .270 four of the last five years.

The problems with Glaus are that he had terrible injury problems last year and probably can’t play third base anymore. Everything else is just ducky. He’s the least likely of the group to deliver a hit or a double or triple, but he has monster rates for drawing walks and hitting home runs. He’s a career .255 hitter and a big right-handed bat that would look fantastic in the Phillies lineup, but if he really can’t play third base it’s going to make it tough to make him your third baseman.

Figgins walked 101 times last season, leading the American League. Second-best walk rate for his career of the group behind Glaus. Worst power numbers of the group by a lot. He just doesn’t homer. His rate of delivering doubles and triples is actually a little better than the rates for Glaus and Crede. He also has stolen 40 or more bases in four of the last five seasons.

Joe Crede hasn’t gotten 400 plate appearances in any of the past three seasons, so I’d be pretty surprised if the Phillies think he’s the guy to hand the third base job. He doesn’t hit for average or draw walks. He is right-handed and can hit some home runs — his home runs rate is second for the group behind Glaus. Career on-base percentage of .304.

I think the guys on the list that have close to no chance of being the player the Phils go after are Crede and Glaus. They are both the kind of player the Phillies need at third — a righty who can hit for power. I would be tempted to take a chance on Glaus if there’s any way he can play third. I don’t think the Phillies will.

Beltre, Tejada, Figgins and DeRosa all seem like they would be an upgrade over Feliz. I hope the Phillies do not consider Polanco to be a real option. I think it would be a big mistake to give him the third base job this year and it could reasonably be argued that Feliz would have been the better choice.

I still think there’s a good chance the Phils get their third baseman through a trade rather than a free agent signing.

Garrett Atkins has been told by the Rockies that he will not be released, but says he knows he will be with another team in 2010. Atkins comes of a miserable season in which he hit 226/308/342 and lost his job to Ian Stewart, but I would be quite pleased to see him as a Phillie. 289/354/457 career line. Hits lefties hard (301/384/486). And yes, he’s been better at Coors than away from it by a lot, but he still has hit more home runs away than he has at home for his career. Where do I sign?

Atkins is also a close friend and former college roommate of Chase Utley. I’m just saying.


A fella and Ruiz

With the exception of the final game of the season, when Lou Marson caught Kyle Kendrick, Chris Coste and Carlos Ruiz handled all of the duties behind the plate for the Phillies in 2008. For the five Phillies pitchers that made the most starts in ’08, here’s the percentage of their batters caught by each of the catchers and the numbers opposing hitters put up with each of them behind the plate:

 
RUIZ
  % of
batters caught
AVG/OBP/SLG OPS
Hamels 79.0 219/265/381 .646
Moyer 59.9 240/317/371 .688
Kendrick 63.2 316/385/484 .869
Myers 23.1 291/360/539 .900
Eaton 46.9 267/332/411 .743
       
Total 55.1 256/320/417 .737

And here are the numbers for Coste:

 
COSTE
  % of
batters caught
AVG/OBP/SLG OPS
Hamels 21.0 257/298/397 .695
Moyer 40.1 294/339/453 .792
Kendrick 34.6 286/353/478 .831
Myers 76.9 260/321/439 .760
Eaton 53.1 348/425/557 .981
       
Total 44.0 283/343/460 .802

You don’t want to compare the total lines — the .737 OPS with Ruiz behind the plate to the .802 OPS with Coste behind the plate. Each of the catchers did not catch the starters the same amount of the time. It is, for example, a big advantage to get to catch 79% of the batters Hamels faced.

Hamels, Moyer and Eaton all fared better pitching to Ruiz than they did to Coste. Kendrick had better luck pitching to Coste and Myers was much better pitching to Coste. Ruiz was behind the plate for Hamels nearly all of the time and Myers threw almost exclusively to Coste, but for the other three starters the catching was divided up more evenly.

A word about Adam Eaton. I think there’s not much chance you’re going to see Eaton pitch for the Phillies again. If he does, though, let’s hope it’s to Ruiz and not to Coste. If there’s a glimmer of hope for Eaton it’s got to be that his problem is not that he can’t pitch, it’s that he can’t pitch to Chris Coste. Eaton’s numbers for the season in 2008 were terrible (again), but the (267/332/411 (.743 OPS)) line that opponents posted against him when he wasn’t pitching to Chris Coste was far more encouraging. That line, for example, is very similar to the 263/337/409 (.746 OPS) that opponents hit against Randy Wolf and slightly less similar to the 287/328/410 (.739 OPS) put up against Aaron Cook.

The rumor of the day from the winter meetings has the Phils in a multi-team deal that winds up with them giving up JA Happ and Chris Coste and getting Mark DeRosa. I’m not going to be surprised if the Phillies trade Coste, but I will be a bit more surprised if they trade Happ. What to do with DeRosa after Utley returns is the big question in the deal for me. He’s had two nice seasons with the bat in a row, but I wouldn’t feel good about counting on him to see a lot of time in left field. The Phillies do need to add two right-handed bats — I would be thrilled if DeRosa was the second-best right-handed bat they add. Not so much if he was the best.

This suggests that Jamie Moyer wants two years, $18 million and that the Phillies have offered two years, $14 million.

This suggests the Phils are unlikely to bring back Tad Iguchi.

This suggests Mark Teixeira may sign with Boston. It has been suggested that the Angels may be interested in Burrell to play first base if they lose Teixeira.


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