Tag: Miguel Tejada

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.

Investigation underway to determine who dropped the ball in allowing Pat Burrell to bat in the ninth inning

Team W-L R R/G NL Rank R OPS (NL) SB CS
HOU 5-8 53 4.08 10 728 (9) 12 3
PHI 6-7 59 4.54 T-6 786 (4) 7 3

Team W-L RA RA/G NL Rank RA Starter ERA Pen ERA
HOU 5-8 55 4.23 9 4.26 (11) 4.50 (11)
PHI 6-7 62 4.77 11 3.81 (8) 3.53 (5)

Do the rules even permit that? If the Astros want to protest the game on those grounds, or even the grounds that the Phils scored the winning run on a play where their base-runner was completely and totally out, I have no problem with that whatsoever. Who knew what and when did they know it?

Shawn Chacon dominated the Phillies last night, tossing eight shutout innings. Turned out it wasn’t enough. The Phils started the bottom of the ninth down 3-0 and Chris Snelling hit Jose Valverde’s first pitch out to right. Chase Utley was hit by a pitch and two batters later Burrell tied it up at 3-3 with an opposite field blast. Jenkins got on base and stormed around to score the winning run on a double into the left field corner by Pedro Feliz.

Brilliant comeback by the Phils to get a win after their hitters looked dead for the first eight innings of the game. Not to be lost in the excitement of the ninth is that their pitching kept them in the game. Adam Eaton gave the Phils a quality start for the third time in three tries. Durbin and Seanez combined to throw three shutout innings out of a bullpen that has been fantastic in the early going.

The Phillies beat the Houston Astros last night, winning 4-3 to improve to 7-7 on the season.

Eaton got the start for the Phils and went six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and two walks. All seven of the hits were singles and he struck out three.

Eaton got the first two in the first before Lance Berkman drew a walk. Carlos Lee singled into center, moving Berkman to third, and Miguel Tejada followed with another single. Berkman scored to put the Astros up 1-0. Geoff Blum popped to first to end the frame with two runners stranded.

With two outs in the second, pitcher Shawn Chacon singled back through the middle. It brought up former Phil Michael Bourn, and Bourn grounded to Utley to set Houston down.

Eaton threw a 1-2-3 third, getting Berkman and Lee, the guys who hurt him in the first, on a couple of ground balls.

Tejada walked to start the fourth, but Eaton got the next three to leave him stranded at first.

Bourn singled with one out in the fifth. Mark Loretta was next and hit a ground ball to short. Bruntlett did a nice job with a quick throw to second to start the double-play that ended the frame.

Berkman started the sixth with a single. Lee was next and he singled into center. Werth dropped the ball for an error, allowing Berkman to go to third. The Phils came into the game having made 15 errors on the season, but just one by an outfielder (Taguchi). Tejada flew to left for the first out. Blum was next and singled past Howard and into right. Berkman scored to put Houston up 2-0 and Lee went to third. Hunter Pence followed hit a fly ball to deep center. Werth tracked it down, but Lee scored to make it 3-0 with two down and Berkman on first. Brad Ausmus popped to short for the third out.

Chad Durbin started the seventh. He got the first two before Loretta and Berkman singled back-to-back. It put men on first and second for Lee, but Lee grounded to third to end the frame.

Durbin came back to throw a 1-2-3 eighth, dropping his ERA on the season to 0.75.

Seanez started the ninth. He got the first two before he walked Bourn. Bourn stole second and Seanez walked Loretta on a high 3-2 pitch. Berkman smashed a 1-1 pitch that looked ticketed for right, but Howard made a nice play on one hop to end the frame. The pick by Howard on Berkman’s ball looked like a nice play in a game the Phillies had lost at the time. After the bottom of the ninth it looks bigger.

Another fantastic appearance for Durbin. He has allowed eight hits over his first 12 innings with the Phils, all of them singles. He threw 30 pitches, so we won’t see him tonight. Seanez threw 22 pitches, so he’s a little more likely but my guess is the Phils would try to stay away from him if they can.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Shawn Chacon went (1) Werth (2) Ruiz (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Feliz (8) Bruntlett. Wow is that ugly. The big surprise is Rollins is still not able to play after the off-day Monday. Many were expecting him to return for this game, but he remains on the bench. Werth plays center, Jenkins right and Bruntlett short. I was joking the other day when I suggested to look for Feliz hitting leadoff soon, but Ruiz hitting second isn’t a whole lot better. He came into the game with a .250 on-base percentage for the year. Werth does seem to make sense in the leadoff spot, given the options.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the first and again in the second.

Feliz led off the third with a single. Bruntlett was next and got ahead 3-1. He swung at the 3-1 pitch and hit a double-play ball to third. Eaton grounded to third to end the inning. Swinging 3-1 didn’t work out for Bruntlett. On the plus side he at least had a good pitch to hit, he just didn’t hit it well.

Werth led off the fourth with a single, but Ruiz followed and hit into a double-play. Utley flew to right for the third out. Second inning in a row the Phils got a single from their leadoff man and hit into a double-play behind him.

Howard and Jenkins struck out in a 1-2-3 fifth.

Down 3-0, Feliz and Bruntlett started the sixth with back-to-back singles. It put men on first and second with nobody out for the pitcher’s spot, and Dobbs hit for Eaton and struck out swinging at a 2-2 pitch. Werth popped to second for the second out. Ruiz hit a ball in the hole between short and third, but Tejada made a nice play and a strong throw to end the inning. The strikeout by Dobbs is pretty bad, cause even a productive out can move a runner to third with one out. They wouldn’t have scored on Werth’s popup anyway, but not striking out might have been the way to go if they got to pick.

Howard walked with one out in the seventh, but Burrell struck out behind him and Jenkins flew to Bourn at the track in center.

Bruntlett walked with one out in the eighth and Rollins hit for Chad Durbin. Bruntlett stole second before Rollins grounded to third. The stolen base probably prevented a double-play that would have ended the inning, but it didn’t matter much when Werth followed and flew to right.

With righty Jose Valverde on to protect a 3-0 lead, Chris Snelling hit for Ruiz to start the ninth and hit the first pitch he saw just out to right. 3-1. Valverde hit Utley with his first pitch to him, bringing up Howard as the tying run. Howard got behind 0-2 looking at two pitches and then struck out swinging. Burrell got behind 0-1 before he hit a ball well out to the opposite field, tying the game at 3-3. Jenkins got behind 0-2 looking but battled all the way. The eleventh pitch of the at-bat was a fastball way inside. Jenkins swung and missed, but the ball went off of Ausmus’s glove and Jenkins took first with one out. Feliz was next and he hit a ball hard down the third base line and into the corner. Lee got to it and made a weak throw to Tejada, but Tejada made a strong throw to the plate. The ball beat Jenkins to home plate, but the throw was slightly on the first base side of the plate. Jenkins slid in and was called safe. Phils win. All fantastic. 1) Blum should have made the play at third 2) the relay from Lee to Tejada was terrible 3) Tejada’s throw to the plate was great 4) Jenkins should have, and may have, been held at third 5) fantastic hustle by Jenkins, who also showed more speed than I knew he had and 6) Jenkins was really out.

Werth was 1-for-4 to drop his average to .391.

Ruiz was 0-for-3 and left three men on base. His slugging percentage on the year is down to .244. He has two extra-base hits on the season, both doubles.

Utley was 0-for-3.

Howard was 0-for-3 with a walk and struck out twice. 1-for-his-last-9 with five walks and four strikeouts.

Burrell was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and his fifth home run.

Jenkins was 0-for-4 and struck out twice but won the game with his ninth inning sprint around the bases. 2-for-his-last-15 with two singles.

Feliz was 3-for-4 with a game-winning double in the ninth.

Bruntlett was 1-for-2 with a walk.

Kyle Kendrick (1-1, 6.14) faces right Roy Oswalt (0-3, 9.00) tonight. Oswalt has been bombed in his first three starts. Opponents are hitting .400 against him and he’s allowed 30 hits in 16 innings, including five home runs. He curiously isn’t walking anyone, having allowed just two walks over his first three starts. He comes off of a nightmare start against the Marlins on Friday in which he went just four innings and was charged with eight earned runs. He made two starts against the Phils last season and was hit hard, charged with ten earned runs in 12 innings (7.50 ERA). He faced the Phils on April 13 and July 3. Kendrick gets an extra day of rest after Eaton skips ahead of him in the rotation to pitch last night’s game. Kendrick has made two stars on the season, neither of them good. His 6.14 ERA isn’t impressive, but it also doesn’t reflect how badly he’s struggled early. He has allowed 11 runs in his first 7 1/3 innings, only five of which have been earned. Lefties are hitting .381 against him. In his last start he walked six in 2 1/3 innings. He has never faced the Astros.

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