Tag: Pablo Ozuna

Jack and Giles

The biggest news of the past three days is that the Phils traded Ronny Paulino to the Giants for left-handed pitcher Jack Taschner. The Giants then traded Paulino to the Marlins.

The Phillies also released Brian Giles and sent John Mayberry and Carlos Carrasco to minor league camp. The linked article also says that Mike Koplove and Pablo Ozuna will not make the opening day roster.

I’m not a fan of the Paulino trade. I’d rather have Paulino than Taschner and would have liked to see the Phils give Happ a chance to pitch out of the pen to start the year. I would love to see it happen, but it’s hard to imagine that Taschner is going to make a significant positive contribution to the Phils this year. Despite a miserable spring, I have much less trouble imaging Paulino help a team this season.

In terms of the Phillies opening day roster, I think it leaves us with 12 hitters surely on the team: Howard, Utley, Rollins, Feliz, Ruiz, Coste, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Bruntlett, Jenkins and Dobbs.

Jenkins is the guy who is questionable on that list, but I would be surprised to see the Phillies trade or release him.

That leaves Stairs and Cairo as the 13th and maybe the 14th hitter if the Phils carry 14. Stairs still seems to be a candidate for a trade, but it hasn’t happened yet.

These ten pitchers seem sure to be on the team: Hamels, Blanton, Myers, Moyer, Park, Madson, Condrey, Eyre, Durbin and Lidge. Taschner, Happ and Majewski look like the guys that will fill out the staff. I would say that the chances are good that Taschner will make the team given his contract — I think that would be a mistake, though, and hope the Phils send him down to start the year. Assuming they don’t, it would seemingly leave Happ and Majewski both out if the Phils carry both Stairs and Cairo at the start of the season.

The Phillies have played three games since the last post. After going 1-2 they are 11-16 this spring.

Yesterday they pounded the Astros 13-3. Park got the start and allowed two runs over 5 2/3 innings on six hits and a walk. Only one of the runs was earned and he struck out seven. In 21 1/3 innings this spring, Park has a 2.53 ERA and a 1.03 ratio. He has struck out 25 and walked two. Really he has. Condrey and Koplove both tossed scoreless innings as well.

The Phillies got home runs from Ruiz, Rollins, Bruntlett and Howard in the game. Bruntlett was 3-for-4 with four RBI and is hitting .364. Ruiz was 1-for-4 and is hitting .367. Rollins went 2-for-4 to raise his batting average to .280. Ibanez 1-for-1 with two walks.

Sunday Boston topped the Phils 3-1.

Blanton pitched very well, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk over 6 1/3 innings. Chris Carter hit a solo home run off of him in the second, but the other three hits went for singles. Durbin allowed a run in the eighth to raise his spring ERA to 1.69. Madson kept the Red Sox off the board in the ninth to drop his ERA to 2.19.

A walk to Howard in the third forced in Rollins for the Phillies’ only run of the game. Ibanez went 3-for-4 in the game to raise his average to .290.

On Saturday the Pirates beat the Phillies 10-4.

Moyer got the start and got blasted, charged with seven runs over 5 2/3 innings on 11 hits and a walk. He struck out seven but gave up six extra-base hits, five doubles and a home run. His spring ERA raised to 5.40. Majewski threw a scoreless seventh to drop his ERA to 3.00. Lidge allowed a three-run homer to Garrett Jones in the eighth.

Ruiz had a double and a two-run homer. Howard hit a solo shot, his eighth of the spring.

Happ also pitched in a minor league game on Saturday morning and allowed five runs over 5 1/3 innings.

Cole Hamels will not start opening day.

Chan Ho Park didn’t go with whatever’s-best-for-the-team when asked if he would be upset if didn’t win the fifth starter spot. Park has been outstanding this spring and outpitched the other players who were said to be competing for the job.

The Phillies play the Blue Jays tonight with Brett Myers expected to pitch.

Francisco Rodriguez and Brad Lidge won’t both win the Rolaids Relief Man Award this season. You can follow the leaderboard here.

Update: The Phillies released Geoff Jenkins. So I guess I’m surprised.

More update: Chan Ho Park has won the fifth starter job.


2009 one last time

We won’t have to wait that much longer to actually see who’s going to be on the Phillies opening day roster, so here’s my final guess.

Still looks like ten hitters we know for sure are on the squad:


Player

Position
1
Ryan Howard

1B
2 Chase Utley
2B
3
Jimmy Rollins

SS
4
Pedro Feliz

3B
5
Shane Victorino

OF
6
Jayson Werth

OF
7
Raul Ibanez

OF
8
OF
9
Carlos Ruiz
C
10 C
11
Eric Bruntlett

UT
12
Greg Dobbs

3B/OF
13
UT
14

Assuming the Phils start the year with 13 hitters, which I think they will, there are three spots left. One has to go to a catcher and another to a fourth outfielder.

The top candidates for the three spots look to include Marcus Giles, Miguel Cairo, Pablo Ozuna, Ronny Paulino, Chris Coste, John Mayberry, Matt Stairs and Geoff Jenkins.

Of the three spots, one has to go to either Paulino or Coste. Jenkins is a strong front-runner for the second. I think Jenkins is on the team as the fourth outfielder, partly because he’s harder to trade than Stairs because of his contract. He is also far better defensively.

One of Coste or Paulino has to make the team as the second catcher along with Ruiz. Both can be sent to the minors if they’re still in the organization when the season starts and both have been awful this spring. Paulino has hit just 185/267/333 in 27 at-bats. Coste has been slowed by injury and gone just 2-for-18 (.111) with two singles.

I’ve been saying all along that I thought Paulino would make the team. He has gotten a big chance this spring and done nothing with it. Multiple reports, including this one, suggest the Phillies are looking to trade Paulino. The linked article suggests Robert Andino as possible fruit of a Paulino trade. Ew. I would be a little surprised to see Paulino traded, I’ve been assuming Coste is the guy they want to trade. I’m going to flip on this one nonetheless and guess Coste at this point.

That leaves one spot for Cairo, Ozuna, Paulino, Giles, Mayberry or Stairs. I don’t think the Phils will keep three catchers, especially given how badly Paulino has hit this spring. Giles also got a chance, but he has hit just 182/289/273 in 33 at-bats this spring. Despite his solid 279/323/525 line this spring, I think Mayberry is going to the minors. His .323 on-base percentage shouldn’t be overlooked, given that his career on-base percentage in the minors is .330.

I would be more surprised to see the Phils keep Ozuna than Cairo. Ozuna has actually outhit Cairo. Pablo has been on fire this spring and put up a 364/432/455 line in 33 at-bats compared to an also impressive 302/348/535 line for Cairo over 43 at-bats. My guess is if it’s one or the other it will be Cairo rather than Ozuna, mostly just based on the fact that the Phils have given Cairo more time this spring.

That leaves Stairs. I would guess that he will not be with the organization when the season starts. If he is, though, he’s on the team, either in the spot I just gave to Cairo or as the 14th hitter with the Phils going with 11 pitchers.

Ten of the Phillies pitching spots are likely to be filled by these guys:


Player

Position
1
Cole Hamels (left)

SP
2
Brett Myers (right)

SP
3
Joe Blanton (right)

SP
4
Jamie Moyer (left)

SP
5
SP
6
Ryan Madson (right)
 RP
7
Chan Ho Park (right)

SP/RP
8
Clay Condrey (right)

RP
9
Scott Eyre (left)

RP
10
Chad Durbin (right)

RP
11  
RP
12
Brad Lidge (right)

CLOSER

In part because of the minor injury problems with Hamels and Park, I think the Phillies will go with 12 pitchers to start the season despite having three off-days before they play their eighth came of the season. Especially with Hamels having been unable to work up his pitch counts, I think the Phils will want to carry seven relievers.

I think Park won the fifth starter’s job this spring. I think Happ is still on the team to pitch out of the pen as the second lefty. That assumes the Phillies do not add another lefty before the start of the season.

That leaves one spot, assuming the Phils carry 12 pitchers. I think that goes to Majewski or Koplove and both have been very good this spring. Majewski has a 3.27 ERA and a 1.27 ratio in 11 innings. Koplove has pitched less, just 6 1/3 innings, but thrown to a 1.42 ERA with a 1.11 ratio. I think it’s interesting that Majewkski has thrown significantly more innings than Koplove, which may mean the Phils are leaning that way. I think Koplove has a better chance to make a significant positive contribution this season, though, so that’s the way I’ll guess.

That slot seems like it would be the one to go if the Phils carried just 11 pitchers, presumably with Stairs being the 14th hitter. The other issue is that if Stairs does get traded, the deal may bring in a player that will start the year with the team and take up a roster spot. That move would also presumably knock off Majewski or Koplove. It could also knock off Happ for the first few games of the season if he proved to be the winner of the fifth starter competition rather than a guy who will pitch out of the pen.

Here’s my guess then:

Hitters (13): Howard, Utley, Rollins, Feliz, Ibanez, Victorino, Werth, Ruiz, Bruntlett, Dobbs, Jenkins, Coste, Cairo.

Pitchers (12): Hamels, Myers, Blanton, Moyer, Park, Madson, Happ, Condrey, Eyre, Durbin, Koplove, Lidge.

The Phillies did not play yesterday. They play the Yankees today with Carlos Carrasco expected to pitch.

Philliesflow still has a Twitter page.


Slugging mugging

Adam Eaton and Kyle Kendrick both struggled badly last season. One way to tell was by watching them pitch. There are others, though, and among them is that opponents slugged .484 against Kendrick and .487 against Eaton. By comparison, opponents slugged .384 against Cole Hamels, the Phils’ best starting pitcher in 2008.

Today’s point is that the huge difference between the slugging percentages that hitters put up against the three pitchers reflects that Eaton and Kendrick allowed a lot more hits — not that each hit they allowed was more likely to go for more bases. When you compare the hits allowed by Kendrick and Eaton to the hits allowed by Hamels, ignoring how many there were, the hits allowed by Kendrick and Eaton were not worse than the hits allowed by Hamels.

In fact, the opposite is true. In 2008, a hit allowed by Eaton or Kendrick was a little less likely to go for extra-bases than a hit allowed by Hamels:

Player H 1B % 1B XBH % XBH
Hamels 193 118 61.1 75 38.9
Kendrick 194 128 66.0 66 34.0
Eaton 131 88 67.2 43 32.8

And the extra-base hits given up by Eaton and Kendrick weren’t any worse, either. Again, by the average number of bases allowed from the extra-base hits, the extra-base hits given up by Hamels did a little more damage:

  2B 3B HR XBH TB from
XBH
TB per XBH
Hamels 44 3 28 75 209 2.79
Kendrick 40 3 23 66 181 2.74
Eaton 26 2 15 43 118 2.74

The problem, of course, is not that Hamels, Eaton and Kendrick were all allowing hits at the same rate but Eaton and Kendrick gave up more damaging hits. It’s that Eaton and Kendrick gave up lots more hits.

  PA H PA per H XBH PA per XBH
Hamels 914 193 4.74 75 12.19
Kendrick 722 194 3.72 66 10.94
Eaton 478 131 3.65 43 11.12

Again, Eaton and Kendrick allowed both hits and extra-base hits more frequently and that’s why the slugging percentages they allowed were so much worse. Not cause every hit they gave up was a rocket that went off the wall.

Yesterday the Phils beat the Blue Jays 12-7 to improve to 3-3 in spring training.

JA Happ got the start for the Phillies and went three innings, allowing two runs that came on a two-run homer by Adam Lind in the first inning. Fellow fifth-starter candidate Carlos Carrasco allowed five runs in the fifth inning, surrendering a three-run homer to Kevin Millar and a solo shot to Brad Emaus. Two of the runs allowed by Carrasco were unearned due to a Bruntlett error. Gary Majewski also tossed two scoreless innings — he’s allowed two hits and a walk in four scoreless innings so far.

Jeremy Slayden and Ryan Howard hit home runs for the Phils. Paulino went 1-for-4 with a walk and an RBI. Donald started at short and went 1-for-4 with a walk, raising his spring average to .133 (2-for-15). Mayberry was 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and two RBI. Mayberry leads the Phils with 17 at-bats and has hit 353/450/647 in the early going. Pablo Ozuna went 1-for-3 with two walks. He’s 5-for-8 with two walks.

Werth played in the B-game and went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts. Moyer and Blanton both pitched and combined to throw seven scoreless innings.

The article linked above says the Phillies signed five players from a tryout last week. They are right-handed pitchers Dustin Cameron and Jonathan Velasquez, lefty Sean Thompson, catcher Brendan Akashian and infielder Corby Mintken. Read about Akashian here. Cameron here.

Brad Lidge has had tightness in his right forearm, but had a good bullpen session and thinks he should be able to pitch in about ten spring training games before the start of the season.

Romero seems to think there’s a lot of blame to go around for his 50-game suspension.

Curtis Granderson appears likely to start in center field for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic (not Shane Victorino, who may see time in right).

No game today. The Phils play Team Canada tomorrow.


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