Tag: Rod Barajas

Then again, maybe it is how you start

The Phillies started different players at third base and catcher regularly in 2008. Here is a look at the team’s record in games where they started Feliz or Dobbs at third, remembering that the Phillies went 92-70 overall, which is a .568 winning percentage:

Player GS at 3b W-L PCT
Pedro Feliz 106 63-43 .594
Greg Dobbs 42 21-21 .500

Eric Bruntlett started 13 games at third for the Phils in ’08. The team went 7-6 in those games. Mike Cervenak started the last game of the year at third for the Phils, which the team won.

Except for the last game of the year, which was caught by Lou Marson, Carlos Ruiz and Chris Coste split the catching starts in 2008. Ruiz got 92 and Coste 69:

Player GS at C W-L PCT
Carlos Ruiz 92 55-37 .598
Chris Coste 69 36-33 .522

Coste and Ruiz shared the starts with Rod Barajas in 2007 as well, and again the Phillies played to their best winning percentage with Ruiz behind the plate (in ’07 the Phillies went 89-73, which is a .549 winning percentage):

Player GS at C W-L PCT
Carlos Ruiz 100 58-42 .580
Rod Barajas 37 17-20 .459
Chris Coste 25 14-11 .560

Over the last two years, the Phillies are 113-79 (.589 winning percentage) in the games that Ruiz started at catcher and 68-64 (.515) in the games someone else started at catcher.

In all three examples, Feliz in ’08, Ruiz in ’08 and Ruiz in ’07, the team’s winning percentage when starting the better defensive player is better than the team’s winning percentage overall for the season. This could be caused by a whole lot of things other than Pedro Feliz or Carlos Ruiz making the Phillies win when they start. For example, to generalize, I think it’s safe to say that Charlie Manuel starts his better defensive players in games that are started by his better starting pitchers. Ruiz, for example, caught 26 of Hamels’ 33 starts in ’08 and 19 of his 28 starts in 2007. At the same time, the Phillies went 19-14 in the 33 games that Hamels started in 2008. That’s a .576 winning percentage, worse than the .598 winning percentage that the Phillies posted overall in the games started by Ruiz. In ’07, the Phils went 19-9 in the 28 games started by Hamels, a .679 winning percentage that was better than the .580 in the games started by Ruiz.

To speculate further, another factor is surely that Manuel considers Feliz and Ruiz his best players at the position and puts them into games he sees as the ones the Phillies need to win. For that reason, it may be that the presence of Feliz or Ruiz in the lineup reflects that the lineup is stronger overall, because Manuel chose to play what he saw as he best players at all positions and not just third and catcher, rather than cause the lineup to be stronger. Still, that’s a whole lot of wins over the last two years in games that Ruiz started.

Finally, it’s interesting to note that Ruiz’s catching duties actually shrunk slightly last year for the Phils, both in terms of the number of games he started (92 down from 100) and the number of innings he caught (828 down from 912 2/3).

Interview with Charlie Manuel at Beerleaguer.

This article lists Nomar Garciaparra, Ty Wigginton, Moises Alou, Rich Aurilia, Mark Grudzielanek and Kevin Millar as the right-handed hitters the Phillies are interested in. Wigginton would be the prize of that group by a lot and a fantastic fit with the needs of the team. This says that the Orioles are interested in Wigginton, but he wants a two-year deal and Baltimore would prefer to give him one year.

Dream catchers

The Phillies have used five starting pitchers and two catchers this season. Here’s how many batters each of the pitchers has faced with each catcher behind the plate and what opposing hitters have done against the pitcher by the catcher he was throwing to, using OPS as the measure:




% BF

Hamels Ruiz 414 93 661
Hamels Coste 32 7 354

Hamels has pitched almost exclusively to Ruiz this season, although he has fared very well against the small number of batters that he has faced with Coste behind the plate. In 2007, Hamels also threw rarely to Coste, but again his results against those batters by OPS were better than his results with Barajas or Ruiz behind the plate. In ’07, Hamels faced 60 batters with Coste behind the plate. Those batters posted a .612 OPS. The 470 batters he faced with Ruiz behind the plate posted a 666 OPS. The 213 batters he faced with Barajas behind the plate posted a .753 OPS.




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Myers Ruiz 165 37 943
Myers Coste 279 63 853

Myers has thrown more to Coste than to Ruiz this season and with better results. In ’07 he worked primarily as a reliever and threw most often to Ruiz. The 191 batters he faced with Ruiz catching posted a .733 OPS. The 67 batters he faced with Barajas catching posted a .848 OPS and the 35 batters he faced with Coste behind the plate posted a .261 OPS (4-for-35 with four singles).




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Moyer Ruiz 127 33 633
Moyer Coste 254 67 873

Moyer has fared better this year throwing to Ruiz. He pitched almost exclusively to Ruiz in 2007. Of the 867 batters he faced in 2007, 833 were with Ruiz behind the plate. Those hitters posted an .820 OPS. The 34 hitters he faced with Coste catching posted a .960 OPS.




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Eaton Ruiz 173 47 715
Eaton Coste 196 53 920

Eaton has pitched to Ruiz and Coste about equally this season, with better results with Ruiz behind the plate. In 2007 he pitched to Barajas most often. The 380 hitters he faced with Barajas behind the dish put up an .849 OPS, the 262 with Ruiz catching .897 and the 92 with Coste catching a 1.101.

That’s probably just a coincidence, but I think I’d let Ruiz catch him just in case.




% BF

Kendrick Ruiz 280 79 845
Kendrick Coste 76 21 732

Kendrick has mostly pitched to Ruiz, but has fared a bit better with Coste catching. Kendrick threw to Ruiz most frequently in 2007 and had similar results pitching to all three catchers. 307 batters faced with a .763 OPS to Ruiz, 167 to Coste with a .796 and 25 to Barajas with a .769.

Jamie Moyer (7-4, 4.09) faces righty Joe Blanton (3-10, 4.81) tonight in Oakland. Blanton got bombed his last time out, allowing eight runs in just three innings against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. Oakland has lost six of the last seven games he has started. Righties are hitting him hard — they’ve hit .326 against him this season compared to .248 for lefties. It’s not going to help the Phillies tonight, but away from hitter-friendly Oakland he has a 6.75 ERA in five starts. The Phillies have won six of the last seven games started by Moyer. He has a 1.96 ERA over his last three starts. He didn’t pitch well his last time out, though, walking five Red Sox in just five innings (the five walks was a season-high).

George Carlin on baseball.

Saturday night the Blue Jays let their ramRod rock

The Phils couldn’t do much against Toronto starter AJ Burnett last night, so two home runs and five RBI from former Phil Rod Barajas proved to be too many. Barajas hit a grand slam in the first and added a solo shot in the ninth while the Phils managed just three runs on six hits in the game.

Adam Eaton had another short appearance for the Phillies. He gave them just five innings. Tom Gordon was hit hard in the ninth, ending a string of 12 appearances without a run charged.

The Phillies lost to the Toronto Blue Jays last night, falling 6-3 to drop to 24-20 on the season.

Eaton got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing four runs on eight hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a grand slam by Rod Barajas and a double. He struck out three.

Joe Inglett singled with one out in the first. Alex Rios flew to right for the second out before Scott Rolen doubled down the third base line and into the left field corner. Inglett tried to score but Rollins’ relay from Burrell was fantastic and Coste tagged him out to end the inning.

Eaton hit Matt Stairs to start the second. Lyle Overbay and Marco Scutaro followed with back-to-back singles that loaded the bases with nobody out. Barajas hit a 2-1 pitch from Eaton out the opposite way to right field to put the Blue Jays up 4-0. Eaton got the next three.

Utley made a nice diving play to rob Rios of a hit on a live drive back up the middle to start the third. Rolen followed with a walk, but Eaton got the next two to end the frame.

Scutaro walked to start the fourth. Barajas popped to second for the first out before the pitcher AJ Burnett bunted Scutaro to second. Brad Wilkerson was next. He hit a ground ball between first and second. Howard dove for it and it went off his glove. Scutaro tried to score as the Utley picked up the ball and threw home. Coste missed the tag, but Scutaro slid passed home. The home plate ump oddly signaled him safe despite the fact that he hadn’t touch the plate. Scutaro lunged for the plate and Coste tagged him out to end the inning. Nice throw by Utley and the second time in four innings the Phillies threw a runner out at the plate for the third out of the inning.

Rolen and Stairs singled back-to-back with two outs in the fifth. Eaton got Overbay on a ground ball to second for the third out.

Eaton was due to lead off the bottom of the fifth and the Phils hit for him down 4-1. He had thrown 90 pitches in the game. Madson started the sixth and gave up a leadoff walk to Scutaro. Barajas was next and flew to the warning track in center. Scutaro tagged and tried to go to second, but Werth threw him out. Burnett grounded to short for the third out.

Madson threw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Romero started the eighth with the Phils still down 4-1. Shannon Stewart doubled to left with one out and Overbay moved him to third with a ground ball to short. Gordon came in to pitch to the righty Scutaro and got him to ground to second for the third out.

Manuel brought Gordon back for the ninth with the Phils now down 4-3. Didn’t work. Barajas led off the inning with a home run to left. 5-3. Hill singled and stole second before Wilkerson popped out for the first out. Hector Luna hit for the pitcher Scott Downs and hit a ground ball to first that Howard didn’t handle for an error. Hill scored to put Toronto up 6-3. Rios moved Luna to second with a single. That was it for Gordon and Seanez came in to pitch to Rolen. Rolen flew to center for the second out and Luna went to third. With Stewart at the plate on men on first and third, the Blue Jays tried a double steal before Seanez had come home with the pitch. Seanez looked Luna back and threw to second. Utley moved in front of the bag and made a strong throw home to get Luna and end the frame.

Miserable base-running in the game for the Blue Jays.

Two strong innings out of the pen for Madson, who has his ERA down to 4.22. Gordon allowed two runs on four hits and got just two outs. Twenty pitches for Madson, 18 for Gordon, nine for Romero and four for Seanez.

The Phillies lineup against righty AJ Burnett went (1) Rollins (2) Werth (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Jenkins (7) Dobbs (8) Coste. Jenkins returns to right as the Phils finally see a righty after five straight lefties. Victorino on the bench and Werth in center and hitting second. Dobbs plays third against the righty. Coste catches again, Ruiz has missed time with a stomach flu.

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

Eaton walked with two outs in the third and the Phils down 4-0. Rollins moved him to third with a single and stole second before Werth walked to load the bases. Utley grounded to third to end the inning.

With two outs in the fourth, Jenkins singled and scored when Dobbs followed with a double to center. It cut the Blue Jay lead to 4-1. Coste struck out for the third out.

With two outs in the fifth, Werth walked and stole second. Utley struck out for the third out. Taguchi hit for Eaton to start the inning, which is early given that Eaton had just allowed four runs. The Phillies’ pen was well-rested. Eaton wasn’t pitching well, but all the runs he had allowed came on one swing of the bat.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the sixth.

Dobbs singled to start the seventh before Coste popped out for the first out. Victorino hit for Madson and Dobbs stole second. Victorino walked. Rollins hit the first pitch of his at-bat into right for a double. Both runners scored and the Phils were within one at 4-3. Rollins went to third on a passed ball, but Werth struck out for the second out of the inning. Utley was hit by a pitch to put two men on for Howard, but Howard flew to right to end the inning.

Unfortunate strikeout for Werth with one out and a man on third in a one run game.

The Phils went 1-2-3 in the eighth. Bruntlett hit for Jenkins with lefty Scott Downs on the mound and fouled out for the second out. Bruntlett’s career slugging percentage against lefties is .401 — down a run I think I would have let Jenkins hit. Dobbs struck out for the third out.

Down 6-3 in the ninth, Rollins doubled with two outs and took third on defensive indifference. Feliz hit for Rudy Seanez and struck out to end the game.

Rollins was 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI.

Werth was 0-for-2 with two walks and two strikeouts.

Utley 0-for-3 and left four men on base.

Howard 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Burrell 0-for-4. He’s 1-for-his-last-12.

Jenkins 1-for-3.

Dobbs 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Coste 0-for-4.

Kyle Kendrick (3-2, 4.87) faces righty Shaun Marcum (4-2, 2.22) this afternoon. Opponents are hitting just .151 against Marcum in his eight starts and he’s struck out 49 in 56 2/3 innings. Marcum started against the Phils on May 19 of last season and allowed two runs over six innings. Kendrick has made five quality starts in his last six appearances. The Phils are 5-0 in the last five games he’s started.

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