Tag: Rudy Seanez

Drop off location

Earlier this week I wrote that after leading the NL in runs allowed per nine innings by relievers in 2008, the Phils dropped to ninth in that category in 2009. Despite the big drop in 2009, opponents posted very similar batting lines against the Phillies relief pitchers in 2009 and 2008:


Year

AVG

OBP

SLG

2009

246

335

373

2008

251

333

371

Again, the ’08 pen was a lot better than the ’09 pen, but those numbers look very similar.

Curiously, you were more likely to get a hit or a walk against the ’08 guys than you were the ’09 guys.

In 2009, the Phillies pen faced 2,143 batters and allowed 457 hits (21.3% of batters) and 223 walks (10.4%). So about 31.7% of hitters got a hit or a walk. In 2008 the pen faced 2,071 hitters and allowed 456 hits (22.0%) and 211 walks (10.2%). About 32.2% of hitters got a hit or a walk against the ’08 pen.

That’s a little perplexing because opponents posted a better on-base percentage in 2009 than they did in 2008. A big part of the explanation is that Phillies relievers hit a lot more batters in 2009 than they did in 2008 — they plunked 32 in ’09 after hitting just 16 in ’08.

You were also more likely to get an extra-base hit against the ’08 pen than you were against the ’09 pen.

The ’09 pen allowed 134 extra-base hits to 2,143 hitters (6.25%) and the ’08 pen allowed 136 extra-base hits to 2,071 hitters (6.57%).

It sure seems like you should get better if you improve the rate at which you allow hits or walks while you improve the rate at which you allow extra-bases. But the Phillies bullpen got worse.

A big part of this was how bad the extra-base hits that the Phillies gave up were in 2009. Despite the fact that they allowed fewer extra-base hits overall in 2009, the extra-base hits they allowed in 2009 did more damage.

In 2008, the Phillies pen allowed 136 extra-base hits — 92 doubles, seven triples and 37 home runs. That’s 353 total bases or 2.6 bases per extra-base hit.

In 2009 they allowed 134 extra-base hits — just 79 doubles, nine triples and 46 home runs. That’s a total of 369 total bases or 2.75 bases per extra-base hit. So a better rate of preventing extra-base hits in 2009, but the extra-base hits they allowed were worse.

The most important difference between the bullpen of 2008 and the bullpen of ’09 was that the ’08 pen was outstanding at preventing home runs compared to the rest of the league while the ’09 pen was not. The ’08 pen allowed 37 home runs, which was the fewest in the NL. In ’09, only six NL teams allowed more home runs than the 46 that the Phils’ relievers gave up.

In ’08, the Phillies had seven relief pitchers who threw 20 or more innings for the team. Of those seven, Tom Gordon allowed the most home runs per nine innings. He allowed three in 29 2/3 innings or about 0.91 per nine innings.

In 2009 there were nine Phillies pitchers who threw 20 or more innings in relief. Of those nine, four, Walker, Durbin, Taschner and Lidge, all allowed more than 0.91 home runs per nine innings while pitching in relief. Eyre was almost a fifth — he allowed 0.90 homers per nine innings.

The home run problem would have been a whole lot worse for the relievers were it not for Chan Ho Park. Park pitched 50 innings in relief for the Phillies in 2009 without allowing a home run. In 33 1/3 innings as a starter he gave up five. The Braves’ Peter Moylan was the only reliever in either league besides Park to throw 35 or more innings in relief in ’09 without allowing a home run.

The charts below show the four Phillies pitchers that threw at least 20 innings in relief in each of the last two seasons and had the worst rates of allowing runs per nine innings pitched as a reliever on the team. For each of the pitchers it shows the number of innings the player threw in relief that year, the runs they allowed per nine innings and the home runs they allowed per nine innings:


2008
       
Player IP Runs/9 HR/9
Durbin 87 2/3 3.4 0.51
Condrey 69 3.4 0.78
Seanez 43 1/3 5.0 0.42
Gordon 29 2/3 5.8 0.91
       

2009
       
Player IP Runs/9 HR/9
Condrey 42 3.6 0.86
Durbin 69 2/3 4.9 1.03
Taschner 29 1/3 5.5 0.92
Lidge 58 2/3 7.8 1.69

The biggest thing about that list is that the guys at the top who were the worst among the 2008 pen in terms of runs allowed per nine innings were pretty good. Durbin was great in ’08, throwing to 2.87 ERA with a 1.32 ratio and allowing just five home runs in nearly 90 innings. Condrey wasn’t quite as good, but threw to a 3.26 ERA with a 1.51 ratio. He also was pretty good at keeping the ball in the yard, allowing 0.78 homers per nine in a season when the average NL reliever allowed about 0.96.

In 2008, the Phillies had just two relievers who threw more than 20 innings for the season and allowed more than 3.4 runs per nine innings for the season. Those two, Seanez and Gordon, combined to throw 73 innings. In 2009 the Phils had four relievers who threw more than 20 innings and allowed more than 3.4 runs per inning and those four combined to throw 199 2/3 innings.

This says that the Phillies talks with Polanco are getting serious. I think it would be pretty bad news if the Phillies signed Polanco to be their third baseman.

This suggests the Phillies could have interest in John Smoltz. Please no.

The Phillies did not offer arbitration to Park or Eyre. I think both of those guys still have a chance to be back next year.

Billy Wagner is a Brave.

The Phillies signed Brian Schneider to be Ruiz’s backup.


Still high on leverage

Last week I looked at how some Phillies hitters performed in situations tagged as high leverage by Baseball-Reference. Today I wanted to look at how the pitchers fared in high leverage situations.

First of all, not all the members of the staff appeared in high leverage situations with the same regularity. Here’s the percentage of batters that each pitcher who threw for the Phils in ’08 faced in high leverage situations:


Player

Batters faced

High leverage

Percent

Gordon

139

83

59.7

Lidge

292

140

47.9

Romero

255

108

42.4

Durbin

365

128

35.1

Madson

340

93

27.4

Blanton

305

67

22.0

Eyre

53

10

18.9

Walrond

49
9
18.4

Moyer

841

139

16.5

Seanez

189

31

16.4

Myers

817

117

14.3

Eaton

478

67

14.0

Hamels

914

123

13.5

Happ

138

18

13.0

Kendrick

722

92

12.7

Swindle

24
2
8.3

Condrey

303

25

8.3

Carpenter
5 0
0.0

So Gordon was the Phillie who had the highest percentage of his batter’s faced come in high leverage situations, while Andrew Carpenter didn’t face anyone in a high leverage situation all year long (he faced just five hitters in ’08). Important to notice is while the bullpen guys at the top face a higher percentage of batters in high leverage situations, the actual number of hitters faced in high leverage situations compared to the starters is not all that different. Moyer, for example, faced 139 hitters in high leverage situations while Lidge faced 140 despite the fact that Lidge was pitching in high leverage (and presumably, higher leverage) situations more regularly.

Of the 18 pitchers above, 13 faced at least 25 batters in high leverage situations in 2008. Of those 13, going by the OPS that opposing hitters put up against them, eight had better results in high leverage situations and five had worse results. Here they are, ordered by the difference in the OPS that hitters put up against them overall and in high leverage situations:


Player

OPS against season

Not High Leverage

High Leverage

Difference

Gordon

.783

.989

.632

.357

Lidge

.565

.679

.437

.242

Seanez

.682

.718

.497

.220

Romero

.647

.729

.538

.190

Madson

.675

.689

.638

.052

Blanton

.747

.754

.715

.038

Myers

.791

.795

.767

.028

Moyer

.731

.733

.719

.014

Hamels

.657

.649

.710

-.061

Kendrick

.855

.840

.951

-.110

Durbin

.675

.631

.761

-.131

Eaton

.868

.838

1.046

-.207

Condrey

.792

.769

1.052

-.283

Those numbers are based on the results against a very small number of batters. Still, the list is divided almost evenly among starters and relievers (six starters and seven relievers) and yet the five guys of the 13 whose OPS against improved the most in high leverage situations were all relievers. That may reflect that since relievers tend to face a higher percentage of batters in high leverage situations, it may be difficult to survive as a reliever without being effective when they occur.

Here are the Phillies 2008 pitching splits in high leverage situations.

This says Kevin Millar is close to signing with Toronto.

This says that Moises Alou is not healthy, doesn’t want to be a backup player, would prefer to be in the AL and hasn’t decided if he will play this year. I don’t want to imply some kind of Jedi Mind trick knowledge of the situation that does not exist, but my guess is his signing with the Phillies isn’t imminent.


Close, but no Santana

The task facing the Phillies last night was a bit daunting — try to beat the Mets with Kyle Kendrick facing Johan Santana coming off a game where the Phils had called on their pen to thrown ten innings. They almost pulled it off. They led 3-2 with two outs and nobody on in the eighth, but after Eyre had already pitched two innings in the game and Romero had thrown three days straight, Manuel left Seanez in to face the lefty Delgado. Delgado ripped a ball out the opposite way and the floodgates opened after that as the Mets scored four runs in the frame and held on for the win.

It was a tough loss for a Phillies’ fan and it’s hard not to play what-if. Couldn’t Romero have come in just to face one batter (Delgado)? But the core of the pen for the Phils, Madson, Durbin, Romero and Lidge, are going to be key down the stretch. You need those guys rested and you can’t have it both ways — they can’t both rested and pitching every day. Durbin and Madson are both in the top ten in all of baseball in innings pitched as a reliever. It’s hard to know how tired and hurting any of that group are and nobody who knows is going to tell you. Lidge did make an appearance last night and his results were a bit worrisome. He faced four hitters and allowed a double, a single and a walk and needed a nice play from Utley to get the one out he recorded.

The Phillies got two big swings against Santana, a home run from Howard and one from Werth. But, overall, the offense missed some opportunities as the Phils put their leadoff man on base four innings in a row in the middle of the game and failed to score in any of them.

The Phillies fell to the New York Mets last night, losing 6-3 to drop to 73-60 on the year. They fall into second place in the NL East, a half game behind New York. The Phils have won eight of their last ten.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and a walk. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a home run. He struck out one.

Kendrick pitched okay last night, but the Phils need more from him. He hasn’t gone six innings in any of his last four starts.

Jose Reyes led off the first with a single to right. Luis Castillo flew to left for the first out before David Wright grounded out to third with Reyes moving to second. Carlos Delgado singled into right and Reyes scored, putting the Mets up 1-0. Carlos Beltran grounded to short to end the frame.

Ryan Church dumped a single into left-center to start the second with the Phils up 2-1. Kendrick got behind Daniel Murphy 3-0, but came back to strike him out in the ninth pitch of the at-bat for the first out. Brian Schneider grounded to second for the second out with Church moving to third. The pitcher Johan Santana went down on a ground ball to Utley to leave Church at third.

Kendrick had thrown 42 pitches through two innings.

Reyes led off the third with a single. Castillo looped a ball into shallow left-center that Victorino caught after a long run. Reyes was way around second and was doubled off easily. Wright popped to Howard for the third out. Seventeen more pitches for Kendrick, though. He got behind Reyes 2-0, Castillo 2-0 and Wright 3-0.

With one out in the fourth, Beltran singled to center and Church followed with a walk. It put men on first and second for Murphy and Murphy flew to center for the second out. Schneider grounded to first for the third out.

Castillo singled to right with two outs in the fifth. Wright popped to second for the third out.

Delgado led off the sixth and lined a 2-2 pitch out to right, cutting the Phillies’ lead to 3-2. Beltran followed with a single and Eyre came in to pitch to the lefty Church. Eyre struck out Church and got Murphy to hit into a double-play behind him.

Eyre returned for the seventh and struck out Schneider and Nick Evans, hitting for Santana, as he set the Mets down in order.

Seanez started the eighth. He got Castillo and Wright. Romero had thrown three days in a row, so Seanez stayed in to pitch to Delgado and Delgado smoked a 1-0 pitch out to left. 3-3. Beltran hit a soft ground ball to third that Feliz charged and tried to barehand, but he dropped the ball and Beltran was safe with an infield single. With the lefty Church at the plate, Lidge came into the game. Beltran stole second without a throw and Lidge put Church on intentionally. Murphy pounded a double into right and Beltran scored from second, putting the Mets up 4-3 with two outs and men on second and third. Schneider was next and he blooped a ball over Feliz’s head and just fair. Both runners scored and it was 6-3. Damion Easley hit for pitcher Brian Stokes and hit a ball back up the middle. Utley made a diving play to knock it down and flip to Rollins for the third out.

Four runs after the Phils had two outs and the bases empty. Murphy and Delgado smoked the ball. Beltran and Schneider didn’t. Still, Lidge wasn’t exactly lights out. Murphy smoked a double, Schneider singled and Easley would have had a hit without the nice play by Utley.

23-year-old righty Andrew Carpenter made his major league debut in the ninth. Carpenter was called up before the game with Andy Tracy designated for assignment. Reyes led off with a single to left and Castillo bunted him to second. Wright struck out on a ball in the dirt that Coste blocked. Coste threw to first to get Wright for the second out as Reyes moved to third. Beltran flew to left for the third out.

Tough night for the pen. They went four innings, allowing four runs on five hits and two walks. Seanez was given a tough job, trying to go through Castillo, Wright and especially Delgado. Eyre was fantastic again. Carpenter threw 19 pitches, Eyre 18, Seanez and Lidge 12 each.

The Phillies’ lineup against lefty Johan Santana went (1) Rollins (2) Utley (3) Burrell (4) Howard (5) Victorino (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Coste. I think you need to hit Werth fifth against a lefty with those guys in the lineup and Rollins-Utley-Burrell-Howard hitting one through four. Werth is a better hitter than Victorino against lefties and would break up three righties in a row six-seven-eight. Coste catches.

The Phillies’ bench, last night consisting of Taguchi, Bruntlett, Ruiz and Dobbs, probably isn’t inspiring a lot of fear in much of anyone these days. The Phillies could show ‘em the tape of Bruntlett from Tuesday night, but I don’t think that’s going to work as a long-term solution.

Rollins reached on an infield single to start the first with the Phils down 1-0. Utley flew to right and Burrell struck out before Rollins stole second. Howard got behind 1-2 before he hit the eighth pitch of his at-bat out to left, putting the Phils up 2-1. Victorino struck out for the third out.

Werth led off the second and got behind 0-2, but Santana threw a 1-2 fastball over the middle of the plate and Werth hammered it out to left. 3-1 Phils. Feliz grounded to short, Coste grounded to first and Kendrick struck out to end the inning.

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

Howard led off the fourth with a walk, but Victorino hit into a double-play behind him and Werth flew to left.

Feliz singled to start the fifth. Coste flew to left. Kendrick hit for himself and tried to bunt and struck out for the second out. A walk to Rollins put men on first and second, but Utley grounded to second to leave both men stranded.

After hitting for himself in the bottom of the fifth, Kendrick faced two batters in the top of the sixth. Delgado homered and Beltran singled. The Phils had a short bench for the game after replacing Tracy with Carpenter on the roster.

Burrell doubled to left to start the sixth and Howard walked behind him. Victorino struck out, Werth popped to first and Feliz struck out.

Coste started the seventh with a single. With righty Brian Stokes on the mound for the Mets, Dobbs hit for Eyre and hit into a double-play. Rollins walked and stole second, leaving first base open for Stokes to walk the lefty Utley intentionally to pitch to Burrell. Burrell grounded to third to end the inning.

For the Phillies it was the fourth straight inning they had gotten their leadoff man on base but failed to score.

Down 6-3, they went 1-2-3 in the eighth.

And 1-2-3 in the ninth.

Rollins was 1-for-2 with a walk and two stolen bases in the game. 6-for-9 with a double and a home run in the series. He stole five bases in the two-game set. 269/337/436 for the year. 9-for-his-last-12 with four extra-base hits.

Utley 0-for-3 with a walk. 1-for-7 with three walks in the set. 287/376/552.

Burrell 1-for-4 with a double. 1-for-11 with five strikeouts in the series. 261/381/539. 184/294/379 for August.

Howard was 1-for-2 with a two-run homer and two walks. 2-for-8 with two home runs and three walks in the series. 228/320/483 for the year.

Victorino 0-for-4 and struck out twice last night. 1-for-11 with a triple in the series. 286/350/443. He’s hitting 231/259/346 in 26 at-bats as a five-hitter.

Werth was 1-for-4 with his 18th home run. 4-for-9 with two walks in the series. 271/367/490.

Feliz was 1-for-4 with a strikeout. 1-for-6 in the series. 258/303/425.

Coste 1-for-4. 5-for-8 with a double in the series. 9-for-his-last-23. 283/333/463. Ruiz was 1-for-5 in the series but did not play last night. He’s hitting 221/319/291 for the year.

Bruntlett didn’t play last night but helped the Phils win the first game of the series. He was 2-for-2 with a double in the set and is hitting 222/306/303 for the season.

Cole Hamels (11-8, 3.20) faces righty Ryan Dempster (15-5, 2.85) tonight in Chicago. Dempster has allowed two runs or fewer in seven straight starts. In seven starts since the All-Star break he’s 5-1 with a 1.76 ERA and a 1.13 ratio. He’s allowed just three home runs to right-handed hitters this year. Hamels has allowed two runs or fewer in his last three starts. He has walked just four batters in 34 1/3 innings over his last five starts.


Phils add Rudy Seanez, resist urge to add Rudi Stein

For now. But then again we haven’t see Flash’s second appearance of the year yet, now have we?

How bad is the Phillies’ pen? Just bad enough that fans should be pretty geeked up about the addition of Rudy Seanez. Seanez struggled during spring training, throwing to a 7.71 ERA, and is 39-years-old. He says he wants to retire a little more than you’d prefer. That’s pretty much the end of the bad news, though. Seanez was solid with the Dodgers last season and gave LA a lot of innings. He was really good as recently as 2005.

He does throw a lot of fly balls. In each of the past three years he’s gotten more outs in the air than he has on the ground — this was most dramatic in 2006 when between his time with the Red Sox and Padres he got 39 outs on the ground and 65 in the air. Last year with the Dodgers he allowed double-digit home runs for the first time in his career, yielding ten in 76 innings of work. The 76 innings he threw in 2007 was also a career-high. He was especially hurt by the long ball in the second half of last year, giving up seven home runs in 35 2/3 innings after the All-Star break after giving up just three in 40 1/3 before the break. Six of those home runs came in a weak month of July in which he allowed nine earned runs in twelve innings (6.75 ERA).

4.15 career ERA, though. 3.79 last year. Pretty solid against both lefties and righties in ’07 — righties hit 264/338/402 (.741 OPS) against him last year and lefties 269/320/395 (.715 OPS).

He’s also made six career appearances at Citizens Bank Park and the next run he’s charged with will be his first. Over 7 1/3 innings he’s allowed five hits and four walks while striking out six.

Seanez was released by the Dodgers last Tuesday and had suggested that he might retire. This article suggests that in February he said he was pretty certain he would retire if he did not make the Dodgers.

For now, at least, I think we should all be grateful he didn’t make the Dodgers and that he didn’t retire.

Cole Hamels faces righty Tim Redding tonight in the second game of the season. Redding struggled the first three years of his career but had his first good season last year with the Nationals, going 3-6 in 15 starts with a 3.64 ERA and a 1.45 ratio. He doesn’t strike out a lot of hitters and gives up too many walks — last year in 84 innings he struck out 47 and walked 38. Utley and Feliz were both 3-for-6 against Redding last season. Jenkins was a sure thing to get the start anyway, but he is 9-for-15 with three doubles and a home run against him in his career. Redding was good overall against the Phils last season, going 1-1 with a 3.05 ERA and 1.25 ratio in three starts. He got the start against the Phillies on August 15, September 22 and September 28 (on September 22 he was very good, holding the Phils to a run over 6 2/3 while striking out seven).

Hamels was fantastic against the Nationals in 2007, making five starts in which he went 2-1 with a 1.97 ERA and a 1.09 ratio. He has fared pretty well against most of the Nats hitters over his career with a few exceptions. Austin Kearns has hit him well, 6-for-19 with two doubles and three walks (316/409/421). Ronnie Belliard is 5-for-17 with a home run and a double against him. Nick Johnson 3-for-7 with three doubles.


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