I’ll keep looking.
The last post looked at the Baseball-Reference calculated WAR for the top two Phillie pitchers in recent years relative to the accumulated WAR for all pitchers on the team. In this post I’ve done the same using WAR data calculated by FanGraphs and the results are even less impressive. Using the FanGraphs data, you have to go back more than twenty years to find a year in which 1) the percentage of the WAR generated by the top two Phillie pitchers relative to the total WAR generated by all the team’s pitchers was as high as it was in 2013 or 2) the combined WAR for all Phillie pitchers other than the top two was as low as it was in 2013. Both of those things last happened in 1992.
The data on the top two pitchers by WAR and the combined WAR for the others on that year’s staff are below. There’s a good chance it includes names you haven’t thought about in the context of leading the Phillie pitching staff in WAR for a long time, probably ever, including Cory Lidle, Kevin Millwood, Randy Wolf, Vicente Padilla, Robert Person, Curt Schilling, Carlton Loewer, Mark Portugal, Mark Leiter, Sid Fernandez, Danny Jackson, Heathcliff Slocumb, Tommy Greene and Terry Mulholland.
|Year||Top 2 fWAR P||Total P fWAR||fWAR top 2||Top 2 %||other P|
|’13||Lee (5.1), Hamels (4.2)||10.5||9.3||89||1.2|
|’12||Lee (4.9), Hamels (4.5)||19.0||9.4||49||9.6|
|’11||Halladay (8.1), Lee (6.5)||26.2||14.6||56||11.6|
|’10||Halladay (6.1), Hamels (3.5)||16.2||9.6||59||6.6|
|’09||Hamels (3.6), Lee (2.3)||11.5||5.9||51||5.6|
|’08||Hamels (4.3), Moyer (2.5)||14.1||6.8||48||7.3|
|’07||Hamels (3.7), Moyer (1.8)||8.2||5.5||67||2.7|
|’06||Myers (3.3), Hamels (2.4)||12.1||5.7||47||6.4|
|’05||Lidle (3.3), Myers (3.1)||13.9||6.4||46||7.5|
|’04||Millwood (2.6), Wolf (1.5)||11.0||4.1||37||6.9|
|’03||Millwood (4.5), Padilla (2.5)||15.5||7.0||45||8.5|
|’02||Wolf (3.7), Padilla (3.3)||11.3||7.0||62||4.3|
|’01||Wolf (3.3), Person (1.6)||12.6||4.9||39||7.7|
|’00||Person (3.4), Wolf (2.9)||10.6||6.3||59||4.3|
|’99||Schilling (3.4), Loewer (1.6)||8.5||5.0||59||3.5|
|’98||Schilling (8.3), Portugal (1.5)||12.2||9.8||80||2.4|
|’97||Schilling (8.4), M Leiter (2.0)||13.3||10.4||78||2.9|
|’96||Schilling (4.7), S Fernandez (1.7)||14.3||6.4||45||7.9|
|’95||Schilling (2.8), Quantrill (2.2)||11.4||5.0||44||6.4|
|’94||D Jackson (3.9), Slocumb (1.6)||10.6||5.5||52||5.1|
|’93||Greene (5.0), Schilling (4.9)||20.4||9.9||49||10.5|
|’92||Schilling (4.3), Mulholland (4.0)||8.4||8.3||99||0.1|
From 1993 to 2012, the pitchers on the Phillies other than the two pitchers with the best fWAR for the team that season averaged about 6.4 fWAR. The combined fWAR of the top two pitchers on the team average about 7.3, which was an average of about 54% of the total fWAR for pitchers on the team.
Just about the only good news on the table above for the ’13 Phillies is that, relative to their own results over the last 22 years, the production of their two best pitchers is still very good. The 9.3 mark for Lee and Hamels combined in 2013 is topped in just six of the 21 years previous to ’13 — each of the last three years, two years in the late 90′s when Schilling was fantastic and 1993 when Schilling and Tommy Greene were both good.
The Schilling-led staffs of ’97 and ’98 came close, both in terms of percentage of total WAR by the top two and combined WAR for everyone other than the top two, but they didn’t get to 2013 levels in either category. That last happened in 1992.
The ’92 Phillies were miserable, going 70-92 to finish sixth in the six-team NL East. They had a fantastic offense that scored 686 runs, which was second-best in the NL that year. The pitching was terrible, allowing 717 runs in a season in which the second-worst team at preventing runs in the league, the Astros, allowed 668. Schilling, Mulholland and Ben Rivera were just about the only positives on the staff for the Phils that season.
If it makes you feel any better, you may remember that the 1993 Phils turned things around. Led by Lenny Dykstra, Darren Daulton, John Kruk and Dave Hollins, they continued to pound the ball offensively, leading the NL with 5.41 runs scored per game in a year in which teams averaged 4.49. On the pitching side, Schilling and Mulholland again pitched well and got a lot of help from Danny Jackson, Larry Anderson and Tommy Greene. They were far from great at preventing runs, but did improve to eighth-best in the 14-team NL in ’93. The combination of great hitting and middle of the pack pitching proved to be enough to top the Braves in a six-game NLCS before dropping the World Series against the Blue Jays in six. The pitching didn’t exactly excel in the World Series that year as the Phils failed to hold a 14-9 lead going into the eighth inning in game four and a 6-5 lead going into the ninth inning of game six.
The Phillies signed outfielders Tony Gwynn Jr and Dave Sappelt to minor league contracts with invites to spring training. The 31-year-old Gwynn struggles with the bat and spent 2013 in the minors, but put up bWARs in the 2.2 to 2.9 range from 2009 to 2011 thanks in large part to solid defense in center field. In 2011, Gwynn played a lot more left than center for the Dodgers, but was very good defensively in left as well. Ben Revere‘s bWAR in 2013 was 0.8. Sappelt’s offensive numbers are also offensive, but again with good defensive numbers, primarily at the corner positions in limited time. Playing Tony Gwynn Jr in center is a much, much better idea than playing John Mayberry or Cesar Hernandez in center, especially if Gwynn can still produce defensively at the position. The problem with that is that the last time anyone gave him significant innings in center was 2012 and, at least according to UZR/150 as calculated by FanGraphs, his defense was way down. Whether Gwynn is part of the answer or not, Hernandez and Mayberry combined to start 68 games in center field for the Phillies in 2013, which is something the team might want to try not doing again for the rest of recorded time. Forty appearances for Frandsen at first should probably go on that list as well.
The Phils also signed catcher Lou Marson to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training. He’s 27 now and has hit .219 in 882 major league plate appearances. He hit 314/433/416 in 395 plate appearances for Double-A Reading in 2008 before being traded to Cleveland in the deal that brought Cliff Lee to Philadelphia for the first time.
They also designated Sebastian Valle for assignment in order to make room for Roberto Hernandez on the 40-man roster. Wasn’t expecting that one. Valle hit 203/245/359 in 379 plate appearances at Reading in 2013.