Tag: Mike Adams

The big please

Still on Ryan Howard and especially Ryan Howard against lefties. While we’re asking for stuff, I guess it would be nice if he could run the bases and was better defensively. But let’s stick with hitting lefties for now.

Howard has been so bad against lefties over the last five years that many have given up hope he’ll ever hit them again. It’s not the case, though, that Howard was never good against lefties. In four of the last five years he’s been terrible, but he had solid results against them in 2010 and was also good against lefties in 2006 and 2007.

So what would he need to do against left-handed pitching to get back on track in 2013?

Here are some of his marks against left-handed pitching for his career in all of the years in which he got at least 100 plate appearances against lefties, including his wOBA and percent of plate appearances in which he delivered singles, walks, doubles or triples and home runs:

Year wOBA vs L 1B% BB% 2B or 3B% HR%
2012 .261 8.5 4.7 1.9 5.7
2011 .283 13.0 6.5 5.9 1.6
2010 .359 14.4 7.9 3.7 5.6
2009 .290 10.9 9.9 5.6 2.4
2008 .319 11.3 8.7 3.4 5.3
2007 .352 9.3 13.0 3.3 6.5
2006 .386 14.7 9.8 2.7 7.1
Career .320 11.7 8.8 3.8 4.7

First the hits. Ryan Howard is a .227 career hitter against left-handed pitching. He’s had three years where he’s been good against lefties — ’06, ’07 and ’10. In 2010, he hit .264 against lefties with a BABIP of .320. 2006 was even more dramatic — he hit .279 against left-handed pitching with the help of a BABIP of .368.

2007 was the year in which he was good against lefties without the help of a monster BABIP. He hit just .225 against southpaws that year with a BABIP of .282. A quick look at the table above, though, will show that one of the things he did in 2007 against lefties that was unusual was draw walks at a very high rate. Howard walked in about 13% of his plate appearances against lefties in ’07, well above his 8.8% career average and almost three times his walk rate against lefties in 2012.

In 2006 and 2007 he was very solid against lefties, but he also hit 32 home runs against them in 471 plate appearances. That’s about 6.8% for those years combined, which is well above his career mark and seems highly unlikely to repeat given that he’s homered in about 3.6% of his plate appearances against lefties over the past four years.

Howard’s home run rate against lefties likely isn’t going back up there, but I don’t think that’s his biggest problem. His rate of doubles and triples was way down in 2012 as well, but I would not be at all surprised to see him return to his career rates of doubles and triples in 2013.

I think what we should be worried about is the singles and the walks. Howard got 106 plate appearances against lefties in 2012 and singled nine times, which is about 8.5% of his plate appearances. Coming into 2012, he had singled in about 13.7% of his chances against lefties over the past two seasons. He hit a rather pitiful .173 against lefties in 2012 — there’s close to no way he can draw enough walks or hit for enough power to be an effective hitter against lefties if he’s going to hit .173 against them.

There’s also the walks. Five walks in 106 plate appearances against lefties gives him a 4.7% walk rate against left-handed pitching. That’s a little better than half of his career walk rate of 8.8% against left-handed pitching. Like with the singles, he’s going to have an extraordinarily difficult time having success against left-handed pitching with a walk rate that low. Again, in 2012, his walk rate against lefties dropped for the third straight year.

Rich Dubee suggests that Mike Adams might not pitch as much in spring training games as other players on the team in this article.

Manuel hopes Utley and Howard will both play 140 games or more this season and Domonic Brown points out his still has an option remaining here.

The pitching news

Busy weekend for the Phillies that saw them agree to deals with two pitchers — lefty John Lannan appears to be set to serve as the fifth starter and righty Mike Adams looks likely to set up Papelbon.

This article says that the deal with Adams is for two years, $12 million and the deal with Lannan is one year, $2.5 million.

Lannan has made 19 starts against the Phillies over his career, throwing to an ugly 5.53 ERA with a 1.74 ratio. Opponents have hit 329/404/546 against him in Citizens Bank Park. So that could be better. In 94 1/3 innings against the Phillies in all stadiums he’s hit 11 batters. In 689 1/3 innings against all other teams, he’s hit 19 batters. In his major league debut on July 26, 2007, Lannan was ejected in the fifth inning after hitting Utley and Howard back-to-back. The ball that hit Utley broke his hand.

Here’s my guess on how the pitcher staff for 2013 looks at this point as well as the top candidates to fill the last two slots:

Role Pitcher Others
1 SP Halladay (R) Stutes (R)
2 SP Lee (L) Schwimer (R)
3 SP Hamels (L) De Fratus (R)
4 SP Kendrick (R) Cloyd (R)
5 SP Lannan (L) Rosenberg (R)
6 RP Papelbon (R) Valdes (L)
7 RP Adams (R) Savery (L)
8 RP Bastardo (L) Diekman (L)
9 RP Horst (L)
10 RP Aumont (R)
11 RP
12 RP

On Friday, the Phillies claimed 23-year-old left-handed reliever Mauricio Robles off of waivers from Seattle. Robles was primarily a starter in Seattle minor league system through 2011. In 2012 he made 43 appearances, 37 of which were in relief, and threw to a 5.78 ERA with 1.69 ratio between Double-A and Triple-A. He walked 63 in 71 2/3 innings. That’s not a joke, it’s actually a stat.

This suggests that the Phillies and Mariners are among the teams interested in Cody Ross and that Ross may be looking for a three-year, $25 million contract.

This suggests that the Phillies may have one payroll slot left, which would allow them to pay a new outfielder about $7 million.

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