Tag: michael martinez

But can they play second?

There’s a lot going wrong for the Phils these days, but one thing going unexpectedly right is the performance they’ve gotten from left-handed relievers this Spring Training.

In yesterday’s game against Detroit, lefties out of the pen for the Phils combined to throw 5 2/3 scoreless innings in which they allowed three hits, no walks and struck out seven. It seemed like a good a time as any to check in on the lefty relievers in camp other than Bastardo.

Here’s what lefty relievers in camp have done in official Spring Training action so far:

IP ERA Ratio K
David Purcey 7 2.57 1.14 5
Raul Valdes 6 2/3 1.35 0.75 8
Joe Savery 5 1/3 0.00 0.94 7
Jeremy Horst 4 6.75 2.00 4
Pat Misch 4 2.25 1.75 3
Jake Diekman 4 0.00 0.75 8
Dontrelle Willis 2 2/3 16.87 3.38 0

Purcey has been good. Valdes, Savery and Diekman have been great.

It’s already clear that several of those guys are out of the running to start the year with the Phils. Willis has already been released and Misch assigned to minor league camp. Purcey and Horst were reassigned this morning.

The Phillies beat the Tigers 4-3 yesterday.

Scott Elarton started the game for the Phillies and was charged with three runs over 2 1/3 innings, pushing his Spring Training ERA to 6.10. Valdes followed Elarton, allowing a single over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Savery was next and struck out three in two scoreless innings. Brian Sanches pitched the seventh, allowing a two-out double but keeping the Tigers off the board. He has a 4.50 ERA and a 1.67 ratio over six innings. Diekman threw a 1-2-3 eighth. Purcey allowed a double with two outs in the ninth, but got Austin Jackson on a ground ball to third to end the game.

Galvis had a two-run triple in a four-run fifth for the Phillies. He was 1-for-3 in the game and upped his line to 282/311/462 with a team-high ten RBI. Wigginton went 1-for-3 with a single and his hitting .219. Nix started in left and went 1-for-3.

The Phillies play Baltimore this afternoon with Halladay expected to pitch.

Chase Utley has left camp to see a specialist about his knees. It looks as if Freddy Galvis may see significant time at second base early in the season for the Phillies. Galvis has a career .292 on-base percentage in the minor leagues.

Jimmy Rollins fires up his own private uplifting quote machine yet again in this article, saying of Utley, “If he doesn’t play again that would be something horrible.”

Other in-house options for the Phillies at second would appear to include Martinez and Polanco, although Manuel points out in the article linked above that he’s having a lot of trouble keeping Polanco healthy at third.

The Phillies released Joel Piniero.


Substitution contribution

The other day I pointed out that Papelbon’s addition might help the Phillie bullpen bring down the huge rate at which their relievers issued walks in 2011. Qualls might as well. Here are the rates of runs, hits, walks and strikeouts per nine innings for the ’11 pen as well as Papelbon and Qualls for 2011 and for their careers (remembering that Papelbon has spent his whole career in the AL while Qualls has thrown all but 21 innings of his career in the NL):

Runs per 9 BB/9 H/9 SO/9
Phillie pen 2011 3.68 3.99 7.84 8.01
Papelbon 2011 3.07 1.40 6.99 12.17
Qualls 2011 3.63 2.42 8.83 5.21
Papelbon career 2.64 2.41 6.75 10.67
Qualls career 4.16 2.49 8.93 7.06

The numbers for Qualls are a little scary overall, but his walk rate has always been under the 3.99 per nine innings that the bullpen posted for the Phils in 2011. Qualls has only had one year for his career in which he has posted a walk rate worse than 2.85 batters per nine — in 2010, a disaster for Qualls, he walked about 3.2 batters per nine while throwing to a 7.32 ERA.

Dontrelle Willis is a different story, of course. Willis has seen his walk rate explode in recent years to the detriment of his career. From 2003 to 2007 with the Marlins, Willis threw 1,022 2/3 innings and walked 344 batters — that’s about 3.03 batters per nine. Since he left Florida, 2008-2011, Willis has thrown just 199 innings in which he has walked 156 batters. That’s 7.06 batters per nine innings. You’re going to have some trouble putting up nice numbers overall if you walk 7.06 batters per nine — Willis’s ERA since the end of 2007 is 6.15.

The Phillies played Houston yesterday, losing 6-5 on a walkoff homer by Brian Bixler in the bottom of the tenth. They are 5-6.

Hamels started the game for the Phillies and was good again, holding the Astros to a run on four hits over five innings without walking a batter. The outing, the third of Spring Training for Hamels, raised his ERA to 1.69.

Bush pitched the sixth, allowing singles to the first two men he faced, but getting the next three to keep Houston off the board and lowering his ERA to 6.75. Lefty Raul Valdes allowed a run on two hits and a walk in the seventh — he’s now allowed a run on three hits and a walk over four innings. Brian Sanches followed him, allowing a run over two innings to lower his ERA to 6.75. Jeremy Horst started the tenth with a 5-3 lead. He allowed a a single and a walk before striking out righty Chris Wallace for the first out. Bixler was next, though, and he hit Horst’s first pitch out to left to give Houston the win. Horst came into the game having not been charged with a run in his first two appearances, but has now been charged with three runs in three innings.

Domonic Brown broke a 3-3 tie in the top of the tenth with a solo home run, his first of Spring Training. He was 2-for-5 on the day, raising his average to .313 (5-for-16 with two triples and a home run). That’s the good news. The bad news is that he’s so bad defensively it’s hard to believe the Phillies are going to put him on the field in a game that counts anytime soon. Brown made another bad miscue reacting to a ball hit to the outfield yesterday, misplaying Carlos Lee’s eighth inning line drive into a double.

Brown had also been charged with a throwing error in the seventh. It was his second error so far this Spring Training, but the reality is that two errors don’t capture just how atrocious his defense has been. He’s now OPSing 1.103 in his 16 official Spring Training at-bats, but there’s little left to the dream he would show up and prove he’s ready to join the team for the start of the regular season.

Michael Martinez was 2-for-2 with a pair of singles, upping his average to .333. Podsednik started in center and made a couple of nice defensive plays in right after shifting there. He was 1-for-5 at the plate to drop his average to .320 (8-for-25 with three doubles). Pierre went 0-for-1 with a walk and is hitting .263.

Mayberry started at first and went 0-for-3, dropping his line to 192/222/269 in a team-high 26 at-bats.

Martinez left yesterday’s game after being hit on the elbow by a pickoff attempt.

The same article says that Nix was scratched from yesterday’s game, but is expected to play soon.

The Phils face the Twins this afternoon with Halladay expected to pitch.


Little help here?

Cole Hamels has been pretty fantastic over the past two seasons, making 65 appearances (64 starts) in which he threw to a 2.92 ERA with a 1.08 ratio. He’s gotten just 26 wins over those 65 appearances, though, and part of the reason for that is that the Phils just haven’t scored a lot of runs in the games he has started.

Here’s how the runs the Phillies scored have broken down by starting pitcher over the past three seasons:

Starts Runs R/S Games not started R in GNS R per GNS (RS/GS)/(R/GNS)
Hamels 96 393 4.09 390 1912 4.90 84%
Blanton 67 362 5.40 419 1943 4.64 117%
Halladay 65 299 4.60 421 2006 4.76 97%
Kendrick 48 247 5.15 438 2058 4.70 110%
Lee 44 179 4.07 442 2126 4.81 85%
Moyer 44 212 4.82 442 2093 4.74 102%
Oswalt 35 146 4.17 451 2159 4.79 87%
Happ 26 131 5.04 460 2174 4.73 107%
Worley 23 123 5.35 463 2182 4.71 113%
Myers 10 51 5.10 476 2254 4.74 108%
Martinez 9 52 5.78 477 2253 4.72 122%
Park 7 35 5.00 479 2270 4.74 106%
Bastardo 5 29 5.80 481 2276 4.73 123%
Lopez 5 36 7.20 481 2269 4.72 153%
Figueroa 1 3 3.00 485 2302 4.75 63%
Carpenter 1 7 7.00 485 2298 4.74 148%
Total 486 2305 4.74

So, for example, the table says that over the past three years, Hamels has started 96 games in which the Phillies have scored 393 runs. That’s 4.09 runs per game. Over the same three years, the Phillies have played 390 games that Hamels didn’t start. In those games, the Phillies scored 1,912 runs, which is about 4.90 runs per game. Finally, the column on the far right for Hamels suggests that in the games Hamels started the Phillies scored about 84% of the runs per game than they did in the games he did not.

There are nine pitchers who have started more than 20 games for the Phils over the past three years. Of those, Blanton, Worley, Kendrick, Happ and Moyer have seen the team score more runs per game in the games they started than the games they did not.

For Halladay, Oswalt, Lee and Hamels, the Phils have scored fewer runs in the game they started than the games they did not.

Of the more than 20 starts group, Blanton and Hamels are the guys at the extremes. 5.40 runs per game for Blanton (117% of the runs the Phils have scored in the games he hasn’t started since the end of 2008) compared to 4.09 for Hamels (84%).

Official Spring Training action got underway this weekend with the Phils and Yankees squaring off twice.

The Yankees won Saturday’s game 8-5. Kevin Frandsen and Pence both homered for the Phils. Tyson Gilles was 2-for-3 with a double.

Hamels started for the Phils and allowed a run on a bloop RBI-double by Ibanez over two innings. Bush followed and allowed a run on a solo homer over two frames. Willis, Qualls and Stutes all allowed runs for the Phils — that trio combined to give up six runs on seven hits and two walks over three innings. Qualls allowed three runs in his frame.

The Phils made four errors yesterday as the Yanks topped them 7-4.

Halladay allowed a run in two innings. Piniero charged with three runs over two innings, only one of which was earned. Phillippe Aumont allowed three runs on four hits in an inning, but only one run was earned. Martinez made two errors in the game and Wigginton one. Brown dropped a fly ball in left with some discussion of whether he dropped it while he was transferring the ball from his glove after a catch.

Pence homered for the second straight day. Brown was 2-for-4 with a triple. Freddy Galvis started at short and went 2-for-4 with a double.

The Phils play the Yankees again today with Blanton scheduled to pitch. Talk of Martinez’s errors yesterday and today’s lineup here. Kevin Frandsen seems like a good guy to keep an eye on in the early going — the linked article suggests he will start at second today.

Ryan Howard is in a walking boot and there is no timetable for his return.

This article points out that former Phillie Travis d’Arnaud was great at Double-A last year, hitting .311 with 21 home runs. You know who else is great? Roy Halladay.

This says Jose Contreras looked good throwing on Sunday and that Justin De Fratus has been cleared to play catch.

Also, if you’re looking to support the Phillies, use this Promotional Code and get great discounts on jerseys.


Catch! Rising Star

Point for today is that Domonic Brown has been an atrocious defensive outfielder over the past two seasons. In 2010 his UZR/150 was -37.9 and in ’11 it was -26.0. How bad is that? In 2011 there were 62 NL players who played at least 450 innings as an outfielder — Brown’s -26.0 was the worst mark of those 62. In 2010 he only played he only played 112 defensive innings, but his UZR/150 of -37.9 was 185th-best of the 192 players across both leagues who played at least 100 innings in the outfield.

FanGraphs has UZR data starting in 2002. Among Phillie outfielders who played at least 100 innings in each of the last ten seasons, here’s who posted the best and worst UZR/150 and the number of innings they played that year:

Year Best UZR/150 Innings Worst UZR/150 Innings
2011 Mayberry 9.4 474 1/3 Brown -26.0 451
2010 Victorino 2.8 1265 1/3 Brown -37.9 112
2009 Francisco 12.6 181 1/3 Mayberry -22.6 127
2008 Werth 28.5 966 Burrell -12.3 1198 1/3
2007 Werth 30.5 575 2/3 Burrell -29.6 1028 1/3
2006 C Roberson 24.6 103 2/3 Abreu -16.9 848
2005 J Michaels 32.8 635 1/3 E Chavez -8.9 185
2004 R Ledee 51.1 175 1/3 M Byrd -18.4 753 1/3
2003 J Michaels 25.4 179 2/3 R Ledee -19.0 491
2002 D Glanville 8.7 891 1/3 R Ledee -21.5 371 2/3

And you thought you might go your whole day without thinking about Chris Roberson or Ricky Ledee even once, didn’t you?

In 2007, Pat Burrell put up an UZR/150 of -29.6 while stumbling about in left field for the Phils. That’s the only outfielder for the team, though, that played 100 innings in the outfield in a season over the past ten years and posted a mark worse than the -26.0 that Brown put up over 451 innings in 2011. No outfielder on the team over the past ten seasons has played at least 100 innings for the Phils with an UZR/150 worse than his -37.9 in 2010.

Over the last ten years combined, the Phillies have 15 players who played at least 500 innings in the outfield. Of those, Brown’s combined UZR/150 of -27.8 is fifteenth. By a lot. Ricky Ledee has the second-worst mark at -8.8.

Notably, Burrell, the poster boy for awful defensive outfielders in recent Phillie history, has an UZR/150 of -8.0 over 8,140 innings as an outfielder with the Phils since the start of 2002, considerably better than Brown, but also better than Ibanez (-8.6) or Ledee (-8.8) and the same as Francisco (-8.0). Unlike Brown, whose defensive numbers early in his career have been hideous, Burrell’s defensive numbers weren’t awful early in his career but got bad when he got older. From 2002 to 2004, his age 25, 26 and 27 seasons, Burrell played 3,629 2/3 innings in the outfield for the Phils with an UZR/150 of -0.1.

Ibanez, while we’re on the subject, also had a terrible UZR/150 of -21.8 while playing left field for the Phillies in 2011 (topped in defensive feebleness on the list above only by Brown (twice), Burrell in 2007 and Mayberry in 2009, although Mayberry did a whole lot less damage being terrible in 127 innings in 2009 than Ibanez did in 1,196 2/3 in 2011).

Since the start of 2002, there are 242 NL players that have played at least 500 innings in the outfield. Brown’s combined UZR/150 of -27.8 tops only one of them (Lucas Duda of the Mets).

The Phils traded Wilson Valdez to the Reds for 26-year-old left-handed reliever Jeremy Horst. In the linked article, Amaro mentions Michael Martinez and Freddy Galvis as players who give the Phils utility depth, but also suggests that Galvis will start the year at Triple-A. Valdez should be pretty replaceable, but trying to replace him with Michael Martinez sure seems like a move that would make the Phillies worse. The article also mentions Pete Orr, Kevin Frandsen and Hector Luna as options.

The Valdez era ends with Valdez having hit 254/300/351 in 663 plate appearances with the Phils in 2010 and 2011 combined. Valdez got at least 300 plate appearances with the teams in each of those years. Prior to coming to the Phillies, he had never gotten 150 plate appearances in a season.

On October 6, 2010, Valdez started at third for the Phils in game one of the NLDS against the the Reds, which was somehow overshadowed by Halladay throwing a no-hitter. On October 23 of the same year, he was the pinch-runner at second for Polanco when Brian Wilson struck Howard out looking to end game six of the NLCS with the Giants having topped the Phillies 3-2 to take the series.

Three Phillie pitchers made MLB.com’s list of the top 100 pitching prospects. Righty Trevor May was 54th, lefty Jesse Biddle 78th and righty Brody Colvin 80th.

I think this says that Larry Bowa will be shocked if the Phillies don’t go to the World Series. Hoping for the best, but I will not be shocked if the Phils don’t go to the World Series.

This suggests that Brad Lidge and the Nats have agreed to a deal.


Guess appearance

Today’s very early guess on who starts the year with the Phillies. Barring new injuries, I think we can count on these 12 hitters:

1 Ruiz
2 Utley
3 Rollins
4 Polanco
5 Mayberry
6 Nix
7 Victorino
8 Pence
9 Wigginton
10 Thome
11 Schneider
12 Valdez

Notable no-shows on that list include Ryan Howard, still recovering, Domonic Brown and Michael Martinez.

Assuming you don’t count Wigginton, there are just four outfielders on that list including one, Nix, who can never, ever be used against lefties. On a related note, I have some trouble buying completely into the idea that Wigginton is the nearly every day first baseman while Howard is out. If Thome can play first at all (he probably can’t) he’s clearly the better choice. I think Mayberry is a better choice offensively as well, but to give him much time at first the Phils are going to need someone who can man left field against left-handed pitching. Maybe someone like Ben Francisco? Oh, wait.

I see one or two hitting spots as open, depending on how many pitchers the Phils decide to carry. I think one of them is filled by a fifth outfielder, either Domonic Brown or someone not currently on the roster who hits right-handed.

I think these 12 pitchers are likely to start the year with the Phils:

1 Halladay
2 Lee
3 Hamels
4 Blanton
5 Worley
6 Kendrick
7 Papelbon
8 Contreras
9 Bastardo
10 Stutes
11 Willis
12 Herndon

That assumes Contreras is healthy enough to start the year, of course, which is far from a sure thing. After Contreras, Stutes and Herndon seem like the two pitchers with the least solid hold on their slot. Brian Sanches, Phillippe Aumont and Justin De Fratus seem like the most likely candidates to squeeze past them or take Contreras’s spot if he’s not ready to go.

I have trouble seeing the Phils carrying more than two lefties out of the pen to start 2012. Unless Bastardo or Willis get hurt, or are consistently and resoundingly awful in spring training, I’d be surprised to see Joe Savery or Jake Diekman start the year with the Phils.

Joe Blanton says he’s feeling and throwing well. If he’s healthy he seems like a lock for the rotation. If he’s not I’d guess Kendrick takes his turns in the rotation, barring a big effort in the spring from NRIs Dave Bush and Joel Pineiro.

If the Phillies went with 14 hitters to start the year, my guess would be that Stutes and Herndon would be fighting for the eleventh pitching slot, advantage Stutes.

Cesar Hernandez was fifth on MLB.com’s list of the top ten second base prospects. Sebastian Valle ninth on the list of catching prospects.

Thome says that Spring Training will be the true test for his back in terms of when and how often he might be able to place defensively at first this year. I’m going to be surprised if we see much at all of Thome at first in 2012.

This says the Phillies are one of four teams still in the mix to land Francisco Cordero.

Update: Wilson Valdez was traded to the Reds for 26-year-old left-handed reliever Jeremy Horst.


Half and better half

The Phillies played 82 games from the start of the season to the end of June, going 51-31. In those 82 games, they were eighth in the NL in runs scored. After June, the Phils played 80 games, going 51-29. They led the league in runs scored in those 80 games.

Here’s a look back at what the offense did by position, breaking the season down into two halves — the 82 games through the end of June and the 80 games after the start of July.

Catcher:

Ruiz served as the primary catcher for the Phils in both the first and second half of the season. He was simply much better during the second half (after the end of June) than he was in the first.

PA HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
April-June 221 3 16 243 348 333
July to End 251 3 24 317 391 425

Ruiz played a little more in the second half and showed more power, but mostly just got a lot more hits, hitting .317 in the second half after hitting .243 in the first. He actually walked a little less regularly in the second half, about 9.2% of his plate appearances compared to about 11.3% in the first half, but his on-base percentage was a whole lot better thanks to the much better batting average.

First base:

At first, Howard fared about as well after the end of June as he had in the first 82 games of the year:

PA HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
April-June 353 17 64 254 354 488
July to End 291 16 52 252 337 488

Very similar numbers for Howard in both halves. He walked more regularly in the first half, but hit for nearly the same average with about the same power.

The Phils did see a benefit at the position in the second half of the year thanks to John Mayberry. Mayberry started just ten games at first the whole year, but nine of those starts came after the end of June. Mayberry crushed the ball in 2011 while playing first for the Phillies — in his 45 plate appearances while playing first he put up a monster 409/422/682 line.

Second:

Second base was an offensive disaster for the Phils in the early part of the season. Chase Utley returned at the end of May and hit .222 in 27 May at-bats, but followed that up with a fantastic June in which he hit 297/387/470. He was even better in July as he hit 293/369/550. From August 1 to the end of the regular season he hit a meager 227/305/343. Here’s what his numbers first and second half look like:

PA HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
April-June 140 3 16 280 381 449
July to End 314 8 28 250 328 414

Utley was simply not good after the end of June, hitting just .250 and on-basing .328. As uninspired as those numbers are, they still were a significant improvement for a team that struggled to find offense from the position while Utley was out.

Here’s the numbers of games started at second base for the Phils in the first and second halves of the year:

1st Half (April-June) 2nd half (July-end)
Utley 31 (37.8%) 69 (86.3%)
Valdez 31 (37.8%) 2 (2.5%)
Orr 16 (19.5%) 4 (7.5%)
Martinez 4 (4.9%) 3 (3.7%)

So Utley started about 38% of the games at second through the end of June and about 86% of the games after June. And even though he wasn’t hitting particularly Utley-like, that’s still important. Cause even a sluggish Utley is a whole lot better offensively than those other guys. Here’s what the four guys who started games for the Phillies at second did offensively while playing that position in 2011:

PA AVG OBP SLG
Utley 451 257 340 423
Valdez 126 246 289 307
Orr 82 213 280 240
Martinez 30 241 267 379

Even an Utley way off his game was way better than the rest of those guys, most notably out on-basing the second-best on-base percentage in the group (Valdez) by more than fifty points.

After Utley returned to the Phillies on May 23, the Phils led the NL in runs scored the rest of the way. That was despite the fact that the offense wasn’t good at all in June, though, as the Phils finished eleventh in the NL that month. Because the offense was so terrible in June (despite a monster 297/387/470 line for Utley for the month) it’s hard for me to see his return as the turnaround point for the offense. The offense was best in the NL after that date because 1) they were fantastic in July, better than any other NL team, and very strong in August and September and 2) in the nine games from May 23 to the end of May, the Phils played nine games and scored 51 runs or 5.67 runs per game.

Third base:

Polanco, you may have noticed, was atrocious in 2011. He didn’t start out that way, though. He hit nearly .400 in April, putting up a 398/447/524 line over 114 plate appearances. After that he hit 243/304/287 the rest of the way.

He played a lot less in the second half of the season, and without the huge April his numbers were a lot worse:

PA HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
April-June 340 4 39 288 339 363
July to End 183 1 11 258 328 294

When he did play in the second half, Polanco’s walk rate rose a little (8.7% of plate appearances compared to 7.6% in the first half), but his average was way off and his power nearly gone altogether. He had four extra-base hits from July 1 to the end of the year.

Here’s who started at third for the Phils through the end of June and after the start of July:

1st Half (April-June) 2nd half (July-end)
Polanco 76 (92.7%) 39 (48.8%)
Valdez 6 (7.3%) 15 (18.7%)
Martinez 0 (0%) 24 (30.0%)
Orr 0 (0%) 2 (2.5%)

Polanco got more than 90% of the starts in the first 82 games of the year for the Phils. After the start of July, Valdez, Martinez and Orr combined to start more often at third than he did.

Here’s what the guys did offensively while playing third for the Phils this year:

PA AVG OBP SLG
Polanco 513 280 337 343
Martinez 104 231 304 352
Valdez 84 253 286 354
Orr 7 000 000 000

Unlike second base, there was not a huge improvement at the position when the Phils got their starter on the field. For the year, Valdez and Martinez both offered significantly more power from the position while getting on base a little less. Not to be forgotten is that Polanco hit 243/304/287 for the year after the end of April — both Martinez and Valdez gave the Phils more offense at third when they played than Polanco did after his strong April.

Short:

At shortstop, Jimmy Rollins was a much better offensive player in the second half of the year than he was in the first.

PA HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
April-June 352 7 31 254 327 368
July to End 279 9 32 286 351 437

More hits and more power for Rollins in the second half of the season than the first. His walk rate was down, but just a tiny bit, and thanks to all the hits his on-base percentage was up to .351. From June 26 through August 20, Rollins hit 298/372/461 over 215 plate appearances.

He didn’t play nearly as much in the second half as he did the first. Valdez made 20 starts at short on the season and 15 of them came after the start of July. Valdez had solid numbers while playing short for the Phils in 2011, though, posting a 278/338/414 line over 81 plate appearances. That’s very similar to the 272/340/417 line that Rollins put up while playing short in 2011.

While playing short for the Phils in 2011, Valdez posted a 278/338/414 line over 81 plate appearances. He got 219 plate appearances as something other than a shortstop. In those plate appearances he hit 239/277/313.

Left field:

Ibanez didn’t play as much in left field in the second half of the season, but when he did he was a little better:

PA HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
April-June 309 9 34 235 285 393
July to End 266 11 50 256 293 448

He was still terrible at getting on base, but Ibanez did show a bit more power in the second half of the year.

Ibanez started in left in 72 of the first 82 (87.8%) games of the season for the Phils. After the start of July the Phils played 80 games and he started just 59 (73.7%). The other 21 second-half starts were made by Mayberry (12) and Francisco (nine).

Both of those guys were fantastic in the second half. Here’s what the two did after the start of July (at all positions, not just left field):

PA AVG OBP SLG
Mayberry 179 301 358 607
Francisco 65 322 354 407

Mayberry was absolutely fantastic in the second half, hitting 12 home runs in 179 plate appearances while on-basing .358. That’s a lot of home runs — at that pace he would hit about 37 over a season of 550 plate appearances. For the season, he actually hit 15 over 296 plate appearances, which would have him at about 25 over 550 plate appearances.

Francisco hardly played at all after the start of July, but when he did he hit .322. That’s more than a hundred points higher than the .220 he hit in 228 plate appearances in the first 82 games of the season when he had a chance to cement his status as an everyday player. Just a tiny number of chances for Francisco in the second half, but I do think it’s curious that he seemingly forgot all about try to walk and hit .322. In the first 82 games of the season he walked in 12.7% of his plate appearances and in the last 80 he got just 65 plate appearances but walked in only 6.2% of them.

As bad as Francisco was with the Phils in 2011, he on-based .340 for the season, which was a career high. I think there’s a good chance that the Phils are going to regret having given him away.

Center Field:

Victorino played about as much in center the first and second halves of the season with about the same results.

PA HR RBI AVG OBP SLG
April-June 288 9 31 289 359 504
July to End 298 8 30 270 351 479

More hits in the first half, more walks in the second with about the same power all season long. Victorino started 63 of the 82 first half games (76.8%) and 63 of the 80 second-half games (78.5%). He really only had one month of the season where he wasn’t an outstanding offensive player in 2011 and that was September. After going 2-for-4 with a walk against the Fish on September 2, Victorino was hitting a silly 308/384/542 for the season. He would hit 163/237/288 in 115 plate appearances the rest of the way. Curiously the Phils kept playing him and playing him down the stretch, even after they clinched and he continued to slump. Victorino got 125 plate appearances in September, which led the team and was also the most he had in any month in 2011.

There were 34 games for the Phils in 2011 when Victorino didn’t start at center. Mayberry started 26 of them and Martinez eight. Martinez was predictably terrible, going 5-for-39 with five singles and no walks (128/128/128).

Overall for the year, Mayberry didn’t get on base a whole lot in his 115 plate appearances as a center fielder, but he did show a ton of power. He posted a 236/296/472 line in center for the season.

In his 13 starts in center field in the first half of the year, Mayberry was wretched. In those 13 games he hit 191/255/277. In the second half he started 13 games as well, but with much different results, posting a 291/328/673. In 13 second-half starts in center, Mayberry went 16-for-55 with 12 of the 16 hits going for extra-bases — seven doubles, a triple and four home runs. Four home over 13 starts is impressive, but so is seven doubles. At that pace, over 162 starts you would tally about 50 home runs and 87 doubles.

Right field:

Hunter Pence was traded from the Astros in late July and played his first game with the Phils on July 30. He was great in August (340/413/600) and almost as great in September (317/385/550).

For the 2011 season, Pence hit 325/396/563 in 235 plate appearances as the right field fielder for the Phillies.

This is what the guys for the Phils other than Pence who played right field for the Phils did in 2011 while playing right field:

PA AVG OBP SLG
Francisco 208 232 335 367
Brown 205 240 332 391
Mayberry 26 318 423 727
Gload 10 300 300 300
Bowker 2 000 000 000
Moss 2 000 000 000

Mayberry had some nifty numbers in 26 plate appearances and Gload went 3-for-10, but those guys were bad overall. Most notably, Brown and Francisco combined to get 413 plate appearances in which they hit a meager 236/333/379 combined.

To summarize:

  • In right, Pence arrived at the end of July and was not just good but great, hitting 324/394/560 over 236 plate appearances with the Phils.
  • At second, the first half production was miserable. Utley returned on May 23 and gave the Phils an enormous boost, replacing at-bats by Valdez, Orr and Martinez with Utley at-bats. He didn’t have a Chase Utley-like performance after the start of July, hitting just 250/328/414 from the start July to the end of the season, but it was still enough to give the Phils a huge boost at the position.
  • At catcher, Ruiz was a better hitter after the start of July. Getting about the same playing time in both halves, Ruiz hit 243/348/333 before the start of July and 317/391/425 from the start of July to the end of the regular season.
  • At short, Rollins, like Ruiz, was just better at offensively during the second half, hitting 286/351/437 after the start of July having ended June with a 254/327/368 line.
  • In left, Ibanez was bad both halves, but did get better in the second half and showed more power. He also played less in the second half as Francisco and Mayberry combined to make 21 starts in left. Francisco was good in limited time in the second half and Mayberry was great, hitting 301/358/607.
  • In center, Victorino had similar numbers both halves with a little drop off after July. Mayberry started the same number of games in center in the first and second halves (13), but had much better numbers in his 13 starts in center after July than before it. In 13 starts in center before the end of June he hit 191/255/277. In his 13 starts in center after the start of July he hit 291/328/673.
  • At first base, Ryan Howard had similar numbers in both halves. The Phils got a small bump at the position from Mayberry at the second half when Mayberry started nine of the ten games he started at first for the season. For the year, Mayberry hit a silly 409/422/682 as a 1B.
  • At third, Polanco, awful with the bat in 2011, did see less time at third during the second half of the year, but his fantastic April plus the fact that the guys who replaced him at third when he didn’t play in the second half didn’t do much of anything to help the Phillies.

Again, the Phils got a huge boost from Mayberry in the last 80 games, helping out in left, center and at first base.

A big question about the second-half surge seems to be whether Utley’s return or Pence’s arrival was a bigger factor. My thinking is that Pence was a bigger factor from July to the end of the year, but Utley’s return was likely a bigger factor for the year. More on that soon.

The comments close two weeks after a post is published, which is why we could not continue the discussion from the previous about whether or not David Wright is coming to the Phils. He’s not. Or at least a lot of people are going to be real surprised if he is.


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