Tag: Pat Burrell

Left way behind

Back to walks. To recap — the Phillies were great at walking as a team as recently as 2007, when they led the league in walk rate. In 2012 their walk rate was down to 15th in the league. If you look at the hitters position by position, the two biggest drops have been at first base and left field.

In 2012, Phillie hitters walked 187 times less than they had in 2007. Two positions, left field and first base, combined to walk 141 fewer times in 2012 than they had in 2007.

I posted about Ryan Howard and first base last week. Left field is the big one, though. In 2012, the Phillies walked 85 fewer times in 2012 than they had in 2007.

Here’s the walk rate for Phillies left fielders over the past eight years and the rank for that walk rate among NL teams:

Year BB% for LF NL Rank
2012 6.3 15
2011 6.8 13
2010 9.8 6
2009 8.6 9
2008 15.4 1
2007 17.4 2
2006 14.8 3
2005 13.9 2

So, again, Phillie left fielders used to be great at walking, in the top three in the league at drawing walks in the position from ’05 to ’08. They’re awful now, 15th in the league in walk rate for left fielders in 2012. In 2007, their left fielders were nearly three times as likely to draw a walk in a given plate appearance than they were in 2012 (okay, about 2.76 times as likely).

The answer to the question why Phillie left fielders walked 85 less times in 2012 than they had in 2007 has two parts. The first is that their left fielders used to be really great at drawing walks and the second is that their left fielders from ’12 were unusually bad at drawing walks.

They used to be great in this area because of Pat Burrell. Burrell left after 2008 and the walk rate for the team’s left fielders has gone pretty hard in the wrong direction since.

From 2000 to 2008, Pat Burrell got 5,388 plate appearances for the Phillies and walked in 14.6% of them. That seems important, so here it goes again — from 2000 to 2008, Pat Burrell got 5,388 plate appearances for the Phillies and walked in 14.6% of them. 5,388 plate appearances over nine years is an average of about 599 a season.

I’d show you the list of Phillies since the end of the 2008 who have gotten at least 150 plate appearances in a season and walked in at least 14.6% of them if I could. There is none. Nobody has done it. Ryan Howard seems like the primary candidate — he was over 14.6% in both ’06 and ’07, but his best mark since the end of 2008 is 11.7% in 2011. A 14.6% walk rate isn’t close to the best of Burrell’s career — he topped a 14.6% walk rate in five different years, ’05-’08 with the Phillies and 2011 when he was with the Giants. In 2007, Burrell walked in 114 of his 598 plate appearances for the year, which was a career high 19.1%.

For the record, here’s who has led the Phillies in walk rate in the years since Burrell left among players that got at least 150 plate appearances:

Year Player PA BB%
2012 Utley 362 11.9
2011 Brown 210 11.9
2010 Ruiz 433 12.7
2009 Werth 676 13.5

Matt Stairs got pretty close to topping 14.6% in 150 plate appearances, but didn’t quite get the PA. In 2009, Stairs walked in 23 of his 129 plate appearances, which is 17.9%.

This article from the Phillies web site suggests that Hamels could start on opening day with Halladay pitching game two of the season. Manuel seems to reinforce the notion that Rollins will hit leadoff in the same article.

More on that here. I’m going to be real surprised if Rollins isn’t hitting leadoff. I think the bigger question is where Ben Revere is going to hit. My guess is that the left-handed hitting Revere hits second against righties early in the season. Less sure where he’ll hit against lefties. Lower seems like a good guess.


They coulda been a contender . . . oh wait, they were a contender

Not long ago, the Phillies were pretty good defensively in the outfield compared to the rest of baseball. Not so much anymore. Here’s the UZR/150 for all Phillie outfielders combined for the last six seasons as calculated by FanGraphs and how it compares to teams across both leagues:

Year UZR/150 all PHI OF Rank MLB
2007 4.1 8
2008 8.0 7
2009 0.7 13
2010 -5.5 25
2011 -8.4 28
2012 -4.8 25

So, from 2007 through 2009, the Phillies were in the top half of teams defensively in the outfield across both leagues by UZR/150. Over the last three years they have been no better than 25th.

There’s only 30 teams out there, so being 25th or worse for three straight years counts as a problem. It’s arguable that the Phillies have had the worst outfield defense in baseball over the past three seasons. It’s kind of a pick ‘em between the Phils, Orioles and Mets.

Notably, ugly outfield defense or not, the Phillies went 199-125 in 2010 and 2011 combined. I think it’s safe to say they were good at other things.

Using Baseball-Reference’s dWAR, only twice in the past three seasons have the Phillies had a player who both played at least 100 outfield innings for the team in a season and posted a dWAR greater than zero for the year. Victorino did it both times, putting up a 0.5 in 1,150 innings in 2011 after putting up a 0.4 in 1,265 innings in 2010.

In 2007, Victorino (16.6 UZR/150 in the outfield, mostly right), Bourn (22.9 in about 300 innings, about 200 of which were in left) and Werth (30.5 in 446 innings in right, 127 2/3 innings in left and two in center) were all outstanding defensively. Rowand played more than 94% of the defensive innings in center field and posted UZR/150 in the outfield of 4.5. Burrell played just over 70% of the innings in left, dragging down the numbers for the team overall with his UZR/150 in the outfield of -29.6. Despite that they were still eighth-best in the category among all MLB teams.

In 2008, Victorino moved over from right, where he had been very good defensively, to center. He was very good there as well, playing about 82.5% of the innings in center with an UZR/150 in the outfield for the year of 5.8 — a little better than Rowand’s 4.5 from 2007. Werth and Jenkins combined to get about 90% of the innings in right in 2008 and were good defensively. Werth was great with an outfield UZR/150 mark of 28.5. Jenkins was very good, too, playing to an UZR/150 of 15.2 in 642 outfield innings. Burrell continued to be the guy in left, playing about 83% of the innings there. He was still bad defensively, -12.3 in the outfield for the year, but that was still a big improvement over his 2007 mark of -29.6. Overall, by UZR/150, the Phillies popped up to seventh-best across both leagues, their best mark for the six seasons presented in the table above.

In 2009, their UZR/150 dropped from 8.0 in the previous year to 0.7. Jenkins was gone and so was Burrell. The Phillies went Ibanez, Victorino and Werth from left to right on most days. Ibanez was a big improvement over Burrell in left, at least as calculated by UZR/150. He played about 77% of the innings in left and posted an UZR/150 for the year of 4.9 in the outfield, which was a huge improvement over the big negative numbers Burrell had put up in the two previous seasons. Victorino manned center and his numbers were way down as he oddly posted a UZR/150 for the year in the outfield of -5.6, which was, by far, the worst mark of his career. UZR/150 suggests that Werth didn’t have nearly the impact defensively he had in the two previous seasons, but he still put up a solid 4.4 for the year in the outfield. Overall, thanks to the replacement of Burrell with Ibanez, the Phillies had a huge change to improve on their overall numbers from 2008. Didn’t work out that way as both Victorino and Werth played a lot of innings and each found themselves off their pace from the previous year.

Things got worse in 2010 as the Phils dropped from thirteenth all the way to twenty-fifth. They still primarily went Ibanez, Victorino, Werth left to right. Victorino improved on his 2009 number, up to 2.8 for the year in his 1,265 1/3 outfield innings. But Werth and Ibanez were both worse. After five straight years of at least 575 outfield innings with an UZR/150 in the outfield of 4.4 or better, Werth’s UZR/150 in the outfield plunged to -7.8 over 1,342 innings. Ibanez, who had posted a 4.9 in 2009, saw his mark drop to -7.2. For the year, Victorino improved on his ’09 numbers, but Ibanez and Werth both saw theirs take a huge dive. The Phillies wound up near the bottom of the league in UZR/150 for their outfielders as a result.

2011 was a nightmare defensively for the Phillies in the outfield, the worst year of the six as their UZR/150 for all outfielders dropped to 28th in the league. Only the Mets and Orioles were worse — notably, the Mets were worse in large part because Angel Pagan was their center fielder and he was awful, posting a UZR/150 for the year in the outfield of -16.1. Ibanez was still the primary guy for the Phils in left and Victorino in center. Victorino was still good, putting up a 5.7 UZR/150 for the season. Ibanez went from real bad, -7.2, to terrible, posting a Burrell-like -21.8. Right field was shared by three guys in Pence, Brown and Francisco, all of who ended the year having played about 30% of the innings for the Phillies defensively in right. Pence played about 32.7%, Brown 30.5% and Francisco 30.1%. Pence was very good defensively for the Phils when he played, putting up an 8.6 for the year with the team. Brown and Francisco were both terrible — Brown’s mark for the year was -26.0 and Francisco’s was -16.1. For the season, Ibanez was terrible in left, Victorino solid in center and Pence, Brown and Francisco split right almost equally, with Brown and Francisco being atrocious while Pence was very good. Put it all together and the Phils were the 28th-best team in the league for UZR/150 in the outfield.

Things were still atrocious in 2012, if slightly improved from the two previous seasons. Pierre was the primary guy in left, getting about 55% of the innings. He was backed up by Mayberry, who got about 23% of the innings at the position. Pierre put up a better-than-expected mark of -0.4 and Mayberry was solid when playing left with a 5.4. Victorino was the primary guy in center until he was traded. He wound up playing about 60% of the team’s innings in center field for the season and posting an UZR/150 of 0.9. Mayberry took over the gig after Victorino was traded and was terrible, posting a -20.7 UZR/150 in center in 474 1/3 innings. Pence played most of the innings in right field for the Phils in 2012, about 62%, and was awful in right when he did play, posting an UZR/150 with the Phils of -13.5, well off his 2011 mark. Domonic Brown was the other guy to see a lot of time in right, playing about 21% of the defensive innings at the position. He was significantly better than he was in 2012, but still not good, putting up a UZR/150 of -7.9 for the year.

Looking to 2013, there are still big questions to be answered about the makeup of the Phillie outfield. The Phils appear to have five guys in-house in the mix in Brown, Mayberry, Schierholtz, Nix and Ruf. If you had to pick one of them, most fans would guess that Brown is the player of that group who is likely to play the most defensive outfield innings for the Phils in 2013. And we know he’s been a really bad defensive player so far in his career. I think we also know that Mayberry can put up some ugly defensive numbers in center field — he seems sure to do so if the Phillies give him that opportunity. Schierholtz and Nix have both been pretty good defensively over their careers in the outfield, although neither of them seem likely to see much time in center and it’s a little hard to believe the Phillies think they need to carry both left-handed backup outfielders going in 2013. Ruf is the other guy in that group — if he proves to be a good defensive outfielder in the majors it’s going to surprise a lot of people.

The Phillies finalized a one-year, $850,000 deal with Kevin Frandsen.

Many Marlins appear to be on the move to Toronto, including Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle.

This suggests that Amaro kind of wishes that Ruf would have had more of an opportunity to play at the end of the year, but that Amaro understands Manuel playing Juan Pierre instead. Not sure I completely believe all of that.

At least now the Phillies have a good idea what Juan Pierre brings to the table.

It will be pretty interesting to see if Ruf can play left field — I think he’s going to get some chances to do so with the Phillies in 2013. I’m guessing he can’t in a think Pat Burrell kind of way. So let’s hope for 51 more home runs.


No, you don’t understand: we really, really want a pitcher and not a belly-itcher

Here are the combined WAR, oWAR and dWAR for the non-pitchers for the Phillies over the past ten years as calculated by Baseball-Reference:

Year WAR oWAR dWAR
2012 15.0 14.0 1.0
2011 14.2 19.9 -5.4
2010 21.3 21.8 -0.6
2009 26.3 24.6 2.0
2008 27.3 20.3 7.0
2007 31.1 27.3 3.7
2006 20.0 21.6 -2.1
2005 27.7 18.8 8.9
2004 22.1 20.8 1.4
2003 25.8 24.0 2.1

So that’s bad, generally, although overall WAR for the non-pitchers actually improved from 2011 to 2012. Coming into the season, it had been down from the previous year for four straight seasons.

It was up in 2012 despite the fact that the oWAR for the team was worse than 2011 (14.0 in ’12 compared to 19.9 in ’11). It was the dWAR that improved dramatically, going from -5.4 in 2011 to 1.0 in 2012.

That’s where the good news ends, though. In both 2011 and 2012, the combined WAR for the non-pitchers was less than half of what it was in 2007. In 2007, the Phils were first in the NL in oWAR and second in dWAR.

In 2008, the team’s dWAR was 7.0, which was best in the NL. By 2010, the defense had slipped a lot and was down to -0.6. Howard put up a -2.3 dWAR that year and ugliness from Ibanez (-2.0) and Werth (-1.2) contributed as well. By 2011 the problem was even more dramatic as the team’s dWAR of -5.4 was third worst among the 16 NL teams. Again, Ibanez (-3.1) and Howard (-2.4) led the anti-charge, joined by Francisco (-1.3) and Brown (-1.2).

This Phils bounced back some in 2012. Ibanez and Francisco left. Brown got a little better. Howard played less and posted a dWAR of just -1, which was his best mark since 2005 (although Wigginton and Nix didn’t help much filling in for him at first). Freddy Galvis was solid defensively when he played.

The oWAR for the last ten seasons peaked in 2007 at 27.3. The Phillies led the NL in runs scored that year with 892. Their oWAR of 27.3 led the league and it wasn’t real close. The Mets were second at 22.7. Utley (5.9), Rollins (5.5), Rowand (4.5), Howard (3.2) and Burrell (3.0) all put up an oWAR of three or better that season.

The oWAR of 14.0 for the Phillies in 2012 was the lowest it has been since 2000, when the team’s oWAR for the year was an NL-worst 6.7. That was remarkable in that the Phillies had two players with an oWAR of 3.6 or better for the season — Abreu at 4.6 and Rolen at 3.6. The Phillies had ten players that year who got at least 100 plate appearances and put up a negative oWAR.


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.


California, here you come

The series between the Braves and the Giants is over and the Phils will face San Francisco in game one of the NLCS on Saturday.

It looks like the ten offensive players for the Giants who will have the biggest impact in the NLCS are righties Buster Posey, Freddy Sanchez, Juan Uribe, Pat Burrell and Cody Ross, lefties Aubrey Huff, Mike Fontenot and Nate Schierholtz and switch-hitters Pablo Sandoval and Andres Torres.

For the 18 players (eight for the Phils and ten for the Giants), here’s the percentage of plate appearances in which they have walked and singled this season (the numbers for Ross and Fontenot are their total numbers for the season — for everyone else it’s just their numbers with the Phils or Giants):

% BB % 1B
Pat Burrell
Carlos Ruiz
Jayson Werth
Aubrey Huff
Chase Utley
Raul Ibanez
Jimmy Rollins
Andres Torres
Ryan Howard
Shane Victorino
Nate Schierholtz
Juan Uribe
Pablo Sandoval
Buster Posey
Freddy Sanchez
Cody Ross
Mike Fontenot
Placido Polanco
13.78%
12.70%
12.58%
12.43%
12.33%
10.69%
10.15%
9.82%
9.52%
8.18%
7.94%
7.83%
7.63%
6.77%
6.68%
6.50%
5.75%
5.32%
Placido Polanco
Freddy Sanchez
Mike Fontenot
Buster Posey
Carlos Ruiz
Cody Ross
Pablo Sandoval
Chase Utley
Shane Victorino
Raul Ibanez
Ryan Howard
Aubrey Huff
Jimmy Rollins
Nate Schierholtz
Juan Uribe
Jayson Werth
Pat Burrell
Andres Torres
21.59%
20.04%
19.54%
18.28%
17.32%
16.87%
16.40%
15.46%
15.12%
15.09%
15.00%
14.82%
14.72%
14.29%
13.74%
13.65%
12.61%
12.11%

Pat the Bat is the new king of the walks group. He doesn’t have a lot of company from his fellow Giants, though, as San Francisco players occupy seven of the bottom eight slots.

Freddy Sanchez gives Polanco a run for his money as a singles hitter, but it’s going take more than his .292 with no power to catch Polanco (about six more points of batting average, I would guess). Polanco and Sanchez have been very similar offensive players this season. Sanchez was a little more likely to walk or homer, but they hit doubles and triples at a nearly identical rate while Polanco was a little more likely to single in a given plate appearance.

Here’s the plate appearances that ended in a single or a walk and the percentages of plate appearances with a double or triple:

% BB or 1B % 2B or 3B
Carlos Ruiz
Chase Utley
Aubrey Huff
Placido Polanco
Freddy Sanchez
Pat Burrell
Jayson Werth
Raul Ibanez
Mike Fontenot
Buster Posey
Jimmy Rollins
Ryan Howard
Pablo Sandoval
Cody Ross
Shane Victorino
Nate Schierholtz
Andres Torres
Juan Uribe
30.02%
27.79%
27.25%
26.91%
26.72%
26.39%
26.23%
25.79%
25.29%
25.06%
24.87%
24.52%
24.03%
23.37%
23.30%
22.22%
21.93%
21.57%
Andres Torres
Jayson Werth
Carlos Ruiz
Raul Ibanez
Nate Schierholtz
Mike Fontenot
Pablo Sandoval
Aubrey Huff
Buster Posey
Shane Victorino
Cody Ross
Jimmy Rollins
Placido Polanco
Freddy Sanchez
Pat Burrell
Juan Uribe
Ryan Howard
Chase Utley
8.95%
7.36%
6.70%
6.60%
6.35%
6.13%
6.01%
5.99%
5.64%
5.56%
5.45%
4.82%
4.82%
4.80%
4.69%
4.52%
4.52%
4.31%

Ruiz is the still the most likely member of the group to get aboard via a walk or a single. He’s widened the gap a bit from the series with the Reds in which Votto was nipping at his heels, having walked or singled in 29.78% of his plate appearances.

Perhaps the most surprising thing to me on any of the six lists is that Andres Torres was more likely to deliver a double or a triple than Werth. Torres had 82 fewer plate appearances than Werth during the regular season, but delivered six more triples and just three fewer doubles. Werth led the league with 46 doubles. Torres was fourth with 43 and seventh in the league in triples. Even forgetting the triples, Torres doubled at a higher rate than Werth (7.54% for Torres and 7.06% for Werth).

Important also to note about the doubles and triples chart is who is at the bottom. Utley and Howard was less likely to deliver a double or a triple than any of the other 16 players — five of who slugged under .400 (Rollins, Polanco, Sanchez, Schierholtz and Fontenot).

Here are the rates for home runs and strikeouts:

% HR % SO
Pat Burrell
Ryan Howard
Juan Uribe
Jayson Werth
Buster Posey
Aubrey Huff
Chase Utley
Andres Torres
Shane Victorino
Raul Ibanez
Cody Ross
Pablo Sandoval
Jimmy Rollins
Carlos Ruiz
Freddy Sanchez
Nate Schierholtz
Placido Polanco
Mike Fontenot
5.28%
5.00%
4.17%
4.14%
4.06%
3.89%
3.13%
2.81%
2.78%
2.52%
2.46%
2.11%
2.03%
1.85%
1.46%
1.19%
1.00%
0.38%
Ryan Howard
Pat Burrell
Jayson Werth
Andres Torres
Cody Ross
Raul Ibanez
Juan Uribe
Mike Fontenot
Nate Schierholtz
Freddy Sanchez
Aubrey Huff
Pablo Sandoval
Carlos Ruiz
Buster Posey
Chase Utley
Shane Victorino
Jimmy Rollins
Placido Polanco
25.32%
22.58%
22.55%
22.46%
21.27%
16.98%
16.00%
15.71%
15.08%
14.20%
13.62%
13.15%
12.47%
12.42%
12.33%
12.19%
8.12%
7.81%

Burrell with the Giants this year was both more likely to homer than Howard and less likely to strike out. He was also more likely to walk or double or triple, but Howard still hit a lot more singles.

Burrell pretty clearly outperformed his replacement Ibanez this year, at least offensively and in his time with the Giants. In 341 plate appearances with San Francisco, Burrell hit 266/364/509 with 18 home runs. Ibanez hit 16 home runs in 636 plate appearances while posting a 275/349/444 line with the Phils. Ibanez was more likely to get a hit, but Burrell walked a whole lot more and was more than twice as likely to homer in a given plate appearance.

Overall, the Phils were the better offensive team on the season by a wide margin, finishing second in the league in runs scored while the Giants finished ninth. That gap widened in the second half as the Phils led the NL with 362 runs scored and the Giants were tenth with 306. The teams went 3-3 in the six games they played in the regular season, with the Phils outscoring San Francisco 29-27.


Ooze views

With the ooze just about over, Bobby Abreu, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard are likely atop most lists of the best hitters for the Phils over the past ten years. Here’s what Abreu, Utley and Howard did for the Phillies in the 00′s:

  Years PA AVG/OBP/SLG OPS OPS+
Abreu 2000-2006 4634 298/412/510 .922 137
Utley 2003-2009 3813 295/379/523 .902 129
Howard 2004-2009 3145 279/376/586 .961 142

Howard hit 222 home runs, which is by far the most of the trio. Despite getting about 1,500 fewer plate appearances, Howard also drove in about as many runs as Abreu. Abreu nipped him 647 to 640 with Utley lagging behind with 585. Pat Burrell hit more home runs in the decade (251) and drove in more runs (827) than any of the three, but had nine seasons to do it and hit just .257 for the Phils in those years.

Here are the rates that Abreu, Utley and Howard registered hits, walks, extra-base hits, doubles and triples and home run runs per 100 plate appearances while playing for the Phillies in 2000 through 2009:

 
H/100

BB/100

XBH/100

(2B+3B)/100

HR/100

Abreu

24.5

16.3

10.1

6.7

3.4

Utley

25.6

9.4

10.6

6.4

4.2

Howard

23.8

12.9

11.7

4.7

7.1

Utley and Abreu both got hits at a better rate than Howard and were a lot more likely to hit a double or a triple. Utley doesn’t keep pace with Abreu or Howard when it comes to walks and Howard just buries the rest of the group in hitting home runs.

Howard seems like he’s clearly the best Phillies hitter of the decade, but all those times that Abreu failed to make an out makes it a little closer than I would have guessed. Here’s the percentage of plate appearance in which each of the three got hits or walks, singles or walks, extra-base hits or walks or home runs or walks for the decade:

  H or BB 1B or BB XBH or BB HR or BB
Abreu 40.8 30.7 26.3 19.7
Utley 35.1 24.5 20.0 13.7
Howard 36.8 25.0 24.6 20.0

Looking at the home runs or walks category can obviously be misleading because a home run is a whole lot better than a walk and the fact that he drew so many walks is what allows Abreu to hang with Howard. The fact that he hit so many home runs is what makes Howard the best hitter of the group, though.

Finally, the reason that Utley’s rate of getting hits or walks is worse than Howard’s despite the fact that he had a better on-base percentage is in large part because Utley is so regularly hit by a pitch. He was hit by a pitch about 3 1/2 times as often as Howard for the decade and about seven times as often as Abreu during Abreu’s plate appearances with the Phillies. If we changed the hit or walk column to hit, walk or hit by pitch, Utley would top Howard 37.9 to 37.6. Utley got 668 more plate appearances than Howard in the decade but was hit 107 times compared to 25 for Howard.

On the other hand, Howard was given a lot more intentional walks than Utley was and by a margin that was very similar to the margin for hit by pitches. Howard was walked intentionally 105 times while Utley was passed intentionally just 25.

The middle chart suggests that Howard has walked more often than Utley. He has. The gap shrinks, though, if you take out all of the plate appearances in which Howard or Utley have been given an intentional walk. With all of those plate appearances eliminated, Howard drew walks in 301 of 3,040 (9.9%) of his plate appearances while Utley drew walks in 335 of his 3,813 (8.8%) of his.

The Phillies have picked up their 2011 option on Rollins. Rollins will make $8.5 million in 2011. The linked article points out that the Phillies will have Ruiz, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Polanco, Ibanez and Victorino all under contract for 2011 with Werth as the only position player of their starting eight becoming a free agent. Pitchers Halladay, Hamels, Happ, Lidge and Madson will also remain under Phillies control for 2011.

Fernando Rodney signed with the Angels.

The Phillies may be close to signing righty reliever Danys Baez or righty reliever Mike MacDougal.

This says that the Phillies have an agreement in place with a reliever that will not be announced until the first week of January and that “the team’s recent focus has been on free-agent reliever Danys Baez.”

Adding either of Baez or MacDougal would be good news for the Phils.

This says that Chan Ho Park is unlikely to re-sign with the Phillies.


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