Tag: Melky Cabrera

And not just that, some of those guys haven’t even ever been on Hawaii Five-0

More today on eight of the potential center fielders whose names will be thrown about this off-season as the Phillies try to finalize their outfield. The table below shows their Baseball-Reference calculated oWAR per 600 plate appearances over the past three years and over their career as well as their FanGraphs calculated UZR/150 at center for their career and for any of the last three seasons in which they played at least 500 innings in center:

2010-2012 Career Career 2012 2011 2010
oWAR per 600 PA oWAR per 600 PA UZR/150 CF UZR/150 CF UZR/150 CF UZR/150 CF
Hamilton 5.19 4.51 -9.6 -26.3 <500 <500
Hunter 3.70 2.84 -0.5 <500 <500 -6.4
Upton 3.09 2.81 3.9 -3.2 1.6 1.9
Pagan 2.99 2.65 -0.8 -0.1 -16.1 13.3
Victorino 2.15 2.57 3.1 -2.4 5.7 2.8
Bourn 2.51 2.01 10.7 22.5 -6.2 20.6
Cabrera 3.22 1.97 -7.3 <500 -9.7 -25.2
Mayberry 1.75 1.56 -15.9 <500 <500 <500

Hamilton, Hunter, Cabrera and Mayberry really shouldn’t be getting too many defensive innings in center field.

Hunter has only played 8 2/3 innings in center field since the end of 2010. From 2006 to 2010, he played at least 800 innings in center field for five straight seasons, posting a negative UZR/150 at the position in each of the five seasons.

Hamilton sure can hit, but he’s posted a negative dWAR in four of the last five seasons. His career UZR/150 in left of 8.5 is a whole lot better than his career UZR/150 of -9.6 in center. Last year he put up a -26.3 in 687 innings in center for the Rangers.

Mayberry’s UZR/150 in center last year was -20.7.

Cabrera didn’t play an inning in center field in 2012, making 106 appearances in left for the Giants and 11 in right. He was bad defensively for the Royals in 1,265 2/3 innings in center in 2011 and terrible for the Braves in 385 innings in 2010.

Cabrera’s offensive production over the last three years is a lot better than it has been for his career. 3.22 oWAR per 600 plate appearances for the last three years, 1.97 for his career and 0.98 for his career before the start of the 2010 season. For 2005 to 2009, Cabrera got 2,148 plate appearances in which he combined for a total oWAR of 3.5 ((3.5/2148)*600=0.98).

Hamilton and Hunter could obviously help the Phillies at a corner outfield position, which is a place where the Phillies could use some help. I think that’s really, really unlikely given the combination of how much they are going to cost and the presence of Brown, Ruf, Schierholtz, Mayberry and Nix.

Bourn is the best defensive center fielder of this group by a wide margin. Upton and Victorino are way behind him. Pagan may have the strangest UZR/150 numbers of the group — he was great for the Mets in center in 2010, terrible for the Mets in center in 2011 and then put up a -0.1 for the Giants in 2012.

Compared to the previous post, Upton looks like a much better offensive player than Michael Bourn. The previous post looked at the numbers for four years, 2009 through 2012, while the first oWAR column in the table above reports on three years, 2010 through 2012. In 2009, Bourn hit 285/354/384 in his best offensive season in the last four years while Upton had his worst offensive season of the last four years, posting a 241/313/373 line.

Bourn’s career .201 oWAR per 600 plate appearances is a little frightening. He was just miserable offensively from 2006 to 2008, hitting 237/299/313 over 658 plate appearances for the Phils and Astros. Since the end of 2008, his oWAR per 600 plate appearances has been 2.66 over 2,708 plate appearances.

Here are the Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs calculations of total WAR for the last three years for each of the eight players:

bWAR ’12 bWAR ’11 bWAR ’10 bWAR ’10-’12 fWAR ’12 fWAR ’11 fWAR ’10 fWAR ’10-12
Hamilton 3.4 3.5 8.4 15.3 4.4 4.1 8.4 16.9
Hunter 5.5 3.4 2.7 11.6 5.3 2.6 3.7 11.6
Upton 2.6 2.8 1.0 6.4 3.3 4.1 4.1 11.5
Pagan 4.0 1.0 5.1 10.1 4.8 0.9 5.4 11.1
Victorino 2.4 5.2 2.8 10.4 3.3 5.9 3.8 13.0
Bourn 6.0 3.0 5.3 14.3 6.4 4.1 4.7 15.2
Cabrera 4.7 4.1 -0.5 8.3 4.6 4.2 -1.1 7.7
Mayberry 0.5 1.6 0.2 2.3 0.4 2.5 0.2 3.1

So here’s how the list of cumulative WAR over the past three seasons for those eight players goes using Baseball-Reference’s calculation:

  1. Hamilton, 15.3
  2. Bourn, 14.3
  3. Hunter, 11.6
  4. Victorino, 10.4
  5. Pagan, 10.1
  6. Cabrera, 8.3
  7. Upton, 6.4
  8. Mayberry, 2.3

And here’s the list using the FanGraphs calculation of WAR:

  1. Hamilton, 16.9
  2. Bourn, 15.2
  3. Victorino, 13.2
  4. Hunter, 11.6
  5. Upton, 11.5
  6. Pagan, 11.1
  7. Cabrera, 7.7
  8. Mayberry, 3.1

Those lists have some things in common:

  • Using both the Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs calculation, Hamilton is first, Bourn is second and Mayberry is eighth of the eight players in combined WAR for 2010-2012. Mayberry obviously played a lot less than the other seven guys, giving him less chances to accumulate WAR, but I think it’s also relevant that top table shows him at the bottom on oWAR per 600 plate appearances for the last three years and for his career and with the worst UZR/150 at center for the group
  • Both have Hunter and Victorino third and fourth, with Baseball-Reference showing Hunter ahead of Victorino and vice-versa for FanGraphs
  • Both lists think Victorino had a monster 2011 — his ’11 season is third-best on the FanGraphs list and fourth-best on the Baseball-Reference list
  • Both have Pagan, Cabrera and Upton in slots 5-7 with the players ordered differently. Pagan, Cabrera, Upton for Baseball-Reference and Upton, Pagan, Cabrera for FanGraphs
  • Both agree that the best of the seasons in the last three years was Hamilton’s 2010 and both agree the worst was Cabrera’s 2010

The bottom line for me is that four of those eight guys, Hamilton, Hunter, Cabrera and Mayberry, need to be disqualified from any search for a center field because they aren’t or shouldn’t be center fielders. That leaves four — Bourn, Upton, Pagan and Victorino. Of those four, WAR calculated by Baseball-Reference and FanGraphs suggests that, over the last three years, Bourn has been the best overall player and Victorino has been second-best. The sites disagree about Upton and Pagan — FanGraphs has Upton slightly ahead of Pagan in WAR for the three-year period while Baseball-Reference has Pagan with a big advantage over Upton over the last three seasons.

Biggest thing that came out of the post for me is that Shane Victorino might have been a little better than we thought. Sure, it was a little tough to appreciate his greatness while he was hitting 229/296/333 against righties last year, but maybe it was there.

Concerns abound, but none bigger than how much sense it makes to take on a playoff mindset with 150 games left in the season

I understand it’s just cause it’s the Giants, but last night’s game makes it a little tough to avoid flashbacks to the Phillie playoff exits of the last two years. Cliff Lee was just unbelievable. He pitched and pitched and pitched, needing just 102 pitches to throw ten shutout innings. The Phillies didn’t score. Literally. And the Giants beat them 1-0.

At least Lee can commiserate with Halladay.

After 12 games of the season, the Phillies are 14th in National League in runs scored. They have three players on the team with at least five plate appearances and an OPS for the year of .700 or better — Wigginton .710, Ruiz .814 and Pence .880. Their team on-base percentage is .284, which is 14th in the league. They have 22 extra-base hits for the year, which is 15th. Their pinch-hitters are hitting .067 (1-for-15 with a Juan Pierre single and no walks). The one pinch-hit they do have came on April 14 in the eighth inning of a game they were losing by four runs and eventually lost by five.

The Phillies are 5-7 on the year after falling 1-0 to the San Francisco Giants in eleven innings last night. The Giants take the series two games to one, winning the last two after the Phils take the opener.

Cliff Lee got the start for the Phillies and went ten scoreless innings, allowing seven hits and no walks. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a double. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter.

Lee has made three starts for the year, throwing to a 1.96 ERA and an 0.70 ratio while striking out 18 in 23 innings. The Phillies are 0-3 in those games. They have scored a total of three runs in the three games he has started.

Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera singled back-to-back to start the bottom of the first, putting runners on the corners for Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval flew to right for the first out with the runners holding. Buster Posey was next and he hit a ground ball to Wigginton with the Phils turning the double-play to end the inning.

Wigginton starts a big double-play early in the game. Late? Not so much. No run for the Giants after putting runners on first and third with nobody out.

Another worrisome first inning for the Phillies, although they do keep San Francisco off the board. Opponents are now hitting .407 against the Phils in the first and .239 against them after the first.

Lee struck out Ryan Theriot and Nate Schierholtz while setting the Giants down in order in the second.

He struck out Brandon Crawford and pitcher Matt Cain in a 1-2-3 third.

Sandoval singled with one out in the fourth. Posey was next and hit a ball to Nix at first. Nix fielded, went to Rollins at short for the second out and took the relay from Rollins to end the inning.

Second double-play in four innings turned by the Phils with a corner infielder getting it started each time.

Brett Pill doubled to center to start the fifth. He was left at second when Theriot, Schierholtz and Crawford all went down on ground balls behind him.

Lee threw a 1-2-3 sixth, getting pitcher Matt Cain on a ball Victorino took in right center after a long run.

He struck out Sandoval and Posey in a 1-2-3 seventh.

He struck out Theriot in a 1-2-3 eighth.

Switch-hitter Hector Sanchez hit for Cain to start the ninth and hit a ball to first that Nix didn’t handle for an error. Gregor Blanco ran for Sanchez at first, but was quickly erased when Pagan grounded into a double-play. Cabrera followed that with a single, but was left at first when Sandoval flew to center to set San Francisco down.

Third time a double-play helps the Phils keep the Giants off the board.

Lee had thrown just 89 pitches through nine innings.

He was back to start the tenth. Posey led off with a single, but Pill was next and he grounded into another Giants double-play. Theriot singled to left before Schierholtz grounded to second to end the inning.

Thirteen pitches in the frame had Lee at 102 for the game.

Bastardo started the eleventh and struck out Crawford for the first out. Belt was next and he singled into center. Pagan hit a double-play ball to third, but the ball went off the heel of Wigginton’s glove for an error that put runners on first and second with one down for Cabrera. The switch-hitter Cabrera singled into right, just over the glove of a leaping Galvis. Belt raced around third and slid into home just ahead of the throw from Pence, giving the Giants a 1-0 win.

The double-play magic runs out for the Phils on Wigginton’s big error. Cabrera has similar numbers for his career against lefties and righties, maybe a little bit better against righties.

Bastardo takes the loss, charged with a run in a third of an inning. He has now made four appearances in which he has thrown a total of two innings, allowing a run on three hits and two walks and striking out five. He has an ERA of 4.50, a ratio of 2.50 and has struck out 22.5 batters per nine innings. He threw 12 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against righty Matt Cain went (1) Pierre (2) Victorino (3) Rollins (4) Pence (5) Wigginton (6) Nix (7) Ruiz (8) Galvis. Kinda tough to complain about Pierre leading off when he’s hitting .346. Polanco on the bench with Wigginton at third and Nix at first. Wigginton at third against a righty isn’t that fantastic as he’s not especially good offensively or defensively. Makes a lot more sense to me against a lefty when you can if you need to rest Polanco. This article suggests that Manuel had planned to rest Polanco today, but decided to do it a day early instead.

The Philies went in order in the first and again in the second.

Galvis lined a single to center with one out in the third and Lee bunted him to second with the second out. Pierre popped to short for the third out.

The Phils went in order in the fourth.

Wigginton started the fifth with a single into center. Nix struck out swinging for the first out before a walk to Ruiz moved Wigginton up to second. Galvis grounded into a double-play to end the frame.

Third double-play that Galvis has hit into so far, bringing back ugly memories of Wilson Valdez. Galvis is currently on pace to hit into about 41 for the season — the good news is that that won’t even happen.

The Phils went in order in the sixth, seventh and eighth.

Lee hit for himself to start the ninth in a scoreless game and flew to center. He had thrown 79 pitches through eight shutout innings Pierre popped to short and Victorino grounded to first to set the Phillies down.

Pence singled off of righty Santiago Casilla with one out in the tenth. Wigginton was next and hit a ball back to the mound. Casilla threw to second, where Pence was forced for the second out with the Giants unable to get more. Nix followed and hit a ball that second baseman Theriot knocked down in shallow right field. Theriot hopped on the ball and made an underhand toss to first just in time to get Nix and end the frame.

Ruiz lined a double to left off of righty Sergio Romo to start the ninth. Galvis bunted Ruiz to third with the first out. Thome hit for Lee. Lefty Javier Lopez took over for Romo. Thome stayed in the game and struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Mayberry hit for Pierre. Righty Clay Hensley came in to pitch to Mayberry and got Mayberry on a ground ball to short to turn the Phillies away.

First thing is Thome against a lefty, which really seems fine to me despite the fact that it didn’t work out. Jim Thome is Jim Thome and I’m glad to see him up there, especially if Mayberry is the other choice given how awful Mayberry has been so far this year. Given that what the Phillies needed was a single against a lefty, I’m a little surprised that they didn’t hit Polanco for Thome or Polanco for Pierre. But I still think you want to see Thome at the plate in situations that matter as much as possible.

I like letting Thome hit against the lefty with one out and a man on third a lot better than bunting with Galvis for the first out. I think you’re better off running for Ruiz at second with Orr or Polanco, then letting Galvis, Lee and Pierre (or Galvis and two pinch-hitters) try and knock him in.

Huge double by Ruiz should to start the inning should have been enough to put the Phils on top.

Pierre was 0-for-4 to drop his average, and therefore his on-base and slugging percentages, to .300. I also claim April 27 in the when-will-Pierre-draw-his-first-walk pool and the 14th of Never-everness in the when-will-Pierre-get-his-first-extra-base-hit pool. He was 2-for-10 in the series. Mayberry was 0-for-1 in the game and 0-for-5 with a strikeout in the series. He’s 1-for-his-last-10 and hitting 212/212/242 for the season.

Victorino 0-for-4 in the game and 3-for-13 with a double in the series. 277/333/362 in 52 plate appearances for the year. 6-for-his-last-26 (.231) with a double and one walk. Wish you were here.

Rollins 0-for-4 last night and 1-for-12 with a walk in the series. 286/314/306 for the season with one extra-base hit, a double.

Pence was 1-for-4 with a strikeout in the game. 4-for-11 with a home run and two RBI in the series. 326/380/500.

Wigginton 1-for-4 with a huge error at third in the eleventh. 2-for-7 with a walk in the series. He’s hitting 240/310/400 for the year. 313/368/563 in his last 19 plate appearances after going 1-for-9 to start the year. Polanco did not play in the game after being hit by a ball at the plate in game two. He was 1-for-8 with a double in the series. 179/220/205 in 39 plate appearances for the year. He’s 3-for-his-last-21 and has walked once on the season.

Nix was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and an error. 2-for-8 with two RBI in the set. 188/278/313 on the season. He has 18 plate appearances for the year and all 18 of them have come against righties, which is exactly the way it should be. The problem is that he only gets to hit against his good side and is hitting 188/278/313. We might need to wait till he has more than 18 plate appearances to panic too much, though.

Ruiz was 1-for-3 with a walk. 3-for-10 with a double in the series. 306/341/462 for the year. 233/273/433 in 33 plate appearances since going 4-for-6 to start the season.

Galvis was 1-for-3 to up his average to .237. 3-for-11 with a double in the series. He’s hitting 321/321/536 over his last 29 plate appearances since going 0-for-10 to start the season.

Vance Worley (0-1, 3.75) faces righty Joe Wieland (0-1, 10.80) tonight in San Diego. The Phillies have lost both of the games Worley has started this season, although he pitched very well his first time out, holding the Pirates to a run over six innings. His other start came against the Mets and he allowed four runs over six innings. He’s allowed three home runs in 12 innings for the season, a pace that would put him on pace to allow 50 over 200 innings. Good news, though, as I think it’s just about a lock that Worley won’t give up 50 this year. Wieland turned 22 in January and made his major league debut his last time out, allowing six runs over five innings against the Dodgers. Speaking of homers, Wieland allowed three in that game. Kemp hit two and Ethier one.

Which switch?

Four switch-hitters seem likely to get a lot of at-bats for the Yankees in the World Series. Here’s a look at what Jorge Posada, Mark Teixeira, Melky Cabrera and Nick Swisher have done against left and right-handed pitching in 2009 and over their careers as switch-hitters:

Vs Right

Vs Left
Posada 09 282 365 544 909 290 360 476 836
Posada Career 268 378 474 852 299 381 496 877
Teixeira 09 282 373 579 952 305 400 511 911
281 371 547 918 309 394 537 931
Cabrera 09 277 332 415 747 268 343 420 763
275 333 397 730 255 325 355 680
Swisher 09 250 357 509 866 244 393 475 868
242 341 468 809 251 395 439 834

Posada was much better against righties than lefties in 2009, but has been better against left-handed pitching over his career. It was the fourth straight year for Posada that he posted a better OPS against right-handed pitching than left, though. The difference was most dramatic in 2006, when he hit just 263/348/380 in 158 plate appearances against lefties and 284/385/540 against righties. It’s enough to convince me that you’re better off with a lefty against him if you can. He good against lefties, too, and has had monster years against left-handed pitching. In 2002, for example, he hit 326/420/556 against them while hitting just 247/351/436 against righties. I’d still go with lefty these days.

Your chances aren’t real good against Teixeira no matter who’s pitching. He’s put up an OPS of over .900 against both right and left-handed pitching for each of the past three seasons. In 2006 he was a lot better against lefties than righties, but in 2005 he was better against righties. I don’t think it matters a whole lot.

It’s really, really in the Phillies’ best interests to get Melky Cabrera and Jose Molina out as often as possible in this series. The .680 career OPS against left-handed pitching is a pretty compelling argument that a lefty is the way to do it. Cabrera was a little better against lefties in 2009, but it still looks like the way to go. I don’t think you’re going to see the Phils make a whole lot of moves to get the pitcher they want on Cabrera either way.

Swisher gets on base more against lefties and hits for more power against righties. That has been the story for his career and it was for 2009 as well. I’d go with a righty if I could, but I don’t think it matters much and I don’t think the Phils will go to a lot of trouble to try to get Swisher facing a righty, either.

Bottom line for me is I don’t think it matters a whole lot whether it’s a righty or a lefty pitching to Cabrera or Teixeira. Teixeira is just a real good hitter either way and Cabrera is just not. I think you’re a little better off with a lefty against Posada and a little better off with a righty against Swisher.

Miguel Cairo is off the roster for the World Series and Brett Myers has taken his spot. I think that’s a very good decision. Cairo and Bruntlett both was too much.

This suggests that left-handed batter Eric Hinske and right-handed pitcher Brian Bruney have been added to the Yankees roster, taking the places of Francisco Cervelli and Freddy Guzman. Cervelli was the third catcher and his removal leaves the Yankees with two and more questions about who will catch Burnett’s starts. Lidge struck Hinkse out to end the World Series in 2008.

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