Tag: Ryan Howard

I’m okay and you’re okay and not just that — we both look like we have about the same chance as winning the NL Cy Young Award this season

Just about any scenario that envisions a return to glory for the Phillies in 2013 requires us to imagine Roy Halladay returning to his dominant self. That hasn’t happened this spring and it sure didn’t happen yesterday. Throwing in the mid-80s, Halladay was rocked by the Tigers, allowing seven runs over 2 2/3 innings as the Phils fell 10-6.

Halladay says he’s okay, but none of the quotes anyone’s come up with since the outing inspire a lot of confidence.

Lost in the Halladay hammering yesterday was that Horst and Valdes both pitched great for the Phillies. Horst struck out one in 1 1/3 scoreless frames in which he did not allow a hit or a walk. Valdes was even better, striking out four in three scoreless innings.

Revere was 3-for-3 with two doubles and scored three runs, upping his spring line to an impressive 372/400/465. Even an isolated power of .093, which is where he is now, would be a fantastic development for Revere. I think we should assume he’s not going to keep hitting .372. It probably is safe to assume he might walk in about 4.3% of his plate appearances, though.

Betancourt also had two hits, going 2-for-4. He’s hitting .379. Not sure what the Phillies are going to do with Betancourt, but also not sure why they would have brought him in if they were just going to let him go if he lit things up in spring training.

Utley hit his first home run of the spring, a two-run shot off of righty Luis Marte. 179/343/321 in 28 at-bats for the spring.

Howard was 1-for-3 with a double. 333/356/714. Leads the team in home runs (4), RBI (12) and strikeouts (12).

Inciarte 1-for-2 with a single. He’s 4-for-13 with three walks and four singles. Mitchell 1-for-1 with a double. 5-for-10 with a walk, a double and two triples. The Phillies should let him play as long as it take for him to stop leading the team in OPS.

Michael Young 0-for-4 to drop his average to .333. He’s second on the team in RBI behind Howard with nine. Nine RBI over 41 plate appearances would have him on a pace to drive in about 132 runs over 600 plate appearances. That might not even happen.

Kratz and Brown both 0-for-3. Kratz is hitting .190. Brown’s line drops to 400/489/675.

Halladay started the game for the Phillies and was terrible, allowing seven runs in 2 2/3 innings. He walked the first batter of the game, Quentin Berry, in the top of the first. Berry stole second and scored on a one-out single. Don Kelly hit a two-run homer off of Halladay in the second. Three of the first four men that Halladay faced in the fourth reached on a walk, a double and a hit by pitch (Kelly) before Ramon Santiago hit a grand slam. Halladay got the next batter after the slam and was replaced by Horst. Horst retired Berry to end the third.

Overall, Halladay went 2 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs on six hits and four walks and hit one batter. He’s now made four starts, throwing to a 7.36 ERA and a 1.64 ratio while striking out nine in 11 innings. After four walks yesterday he’s walked six in 11 innings and opponents are hitting .279 against him. In 2010 for the Phillies, Halladay pitched 250 2/3 innings in which he walked 30. So his walk rate in yesterday’s start wasn’t as good as it had been during the 2010 season.

Horst pitched well in the game. After getting the final out of the third, he came back to throw a scoreless fourth in which he hit one batter but didn’t allow a hit or a walk. He drops his ERA to 9.82 and his ratio to 1.77 with the outing.

Diekman struck out two in the fifth, but also allowed a single and a two-run homer. He came back to pitch the sixth and allowed another run on a pair of doubles.

Overall, Diekman went two innings on the day, allowing three runs on four hits, three of which went for extra-bases, and no walks. He has now struck out 13 in eight innings for the spring, but thrown to a 5.63 ERA while opponents hit .290 against him.

Valdes followed Diekman and was fantastic, throwing three shutout innings in which he struck out four. He allowed one runner on one hit, a leadoff single to start the seventh.

Valdes has thrown 10 1/3 innings this spring and leads the team with 15 strikeouts. 5.23 ERA with an 0.97 ratio. He was hammered in his early starts, giving up four early home runs that have hurt his numbers, but I think the Phillies would be making a mistake not to start the year with him on the team. Even if it means three lefties with Bastardo, Horst and Valdes. His ratio in 31 innings with the Phillies last year was 0.74. If you throw to a ratio under one for long enough, it’s the kind of thing that can help a team.

The Phillies play the Yankees tonight in their first night game of the spring with Lee expected to pitch.

Rollins went 2-for-5 as the Phils topped Puerto Rico 7-1 in the World Baseball Classic. USA plays the Dominican Republic on Thursday night. Insert your own Cole Hamels joke here.

Canada has been eliminated from the World Baseball Classic, which means Phillippe Aumont has rejoined the Phillies. Aumont offers some criticism of Sebastian Valle’s conduct during the brawl between Mexico and Canada in the linked article.


Weekend report

The Phillies played three games over the weekend. On Saturday they lost to Toronto 11-6. Yesterday they played split squad games against Toronto and Baltimore, beating the Blue Jays 13-5 and losing 12-3 to Baltimore.

Domonic Brown and Ryan Howard continued their hot starts and both ended the day yesterday with an OPS over 1.300 for the spring. Brown has hit 350/519/850, out OPSing Howard’s 417/444/917 line thanks to his six walks.

The other thing that happened yesterday was that Jeremy Horst, who I would have said is just about a lock to start the year in the pen, got hammered, allowing six runs in 2/3 of an inning. Lefties Horst and Valdes have both pitched very badly in relief in the early going, which presumably opens the door for another left-handed reliever to sneak onto the roster.

In the game against the Blue Jays, Brown hit a solo homer and Howard a three-run shot. Brown 1-for-4 on the day and Howard 1-for-3.

Betancourt started at short and went 3-for-5 with a double and three RBI, upping his average to .357. Frandsen is hitting 364/391/727 after going 2-for-4 with a double, a triple and his first spring walk. Martinez, Joseph and Inciarte all had two hits. Inciarte slid niftily into home plate, avoiding a tag on a throw that beat him home. He’s 3-for-6 with three singles and three walks.

Cook allowed four runs, only three of which were earned, on seven hits over three innings.

De Fratus got three ground balls in a 1-2-3 fifth, dropping his spring ERA to 11.25 and his spring ratio to 2.25 after three innings in three appearances. Bastardo allowed a run on a solo homer in his inning. His spring ERA is 3.00, but he’s allowed two hits and no walks in three innings to give him an 0.67 ratio. JC Ramirez threw 1 1/3 scoreless and Joe Savery walked one and struck out three in 1 2/3 scoreless innings.

Galvis and Michael Young hit their first spring homers in the game against Baltimore. Galvis hit a solo shot and Young’s was a two-run homer. Those home runs drove in all three runs the Phillies scored in the game.

Mayberry was the only Phillie with more than one hit. He was 2-for-3 with a double and has his line up to 273/333/500 after a slow start. Josh Fields started at first and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, which dropped his average to .167. Revere led off and went 1-for-4, which puts his line at 304/333/348 after 23 at-bats.

The Phillies allowed 12 runs in the game. Kendrick and Horst combined to be charged with ten of the 12.

Kendrick started and allowed four runs in the bottom of the first on two home runs, a three-run shot by Matt Wieters that was followed by a solo home run from Conor Jackson. Kendrick threw a scoreless second inning, but ended the day with an 11.25 ERA and a 2.00 ratio for the spring over two starts and four innings.

Horst was the other pitcher in the game whose outing was notably bad. He entered in the bottom of the fifth with one out and a man on second. He faced eight hitters in the frame, allowing a single, a double, two walks and two home runs before getting out of the frame. Baltimore scored seven runs in the inning, six of which were charged to Horst.

Horst’s spring numbers won’t recover from that outing as he allowed six runs in two-thirds of an inning. 17.18 ERA with a 3.00 ratio in three innings.

Kyle Simon threw a scoreless inning in the game and Zach Miner allowed a run on one hit over 2 1/3 innings. Miner actually pitched better than that — he threw a 1-2-3 third and a 1-2-3 fourth, then allowed a single in the fifth before being replace by Horst. Horst allowed his runner to score. Miner hadn’t pitched particularly well in his two previous spring appearances.

Jake Diekman was the other Phillie who pitched in the game. He allowed a run on two singles over two innings. He struck out five and notably did not walk a batter.

Diekman now has seven strikeouts in four innings over three appearances. His 4.50 ERA and 1.25 ratio isn’t fabulous, but he’s pitched a lot better than his fellow left-handed relief candidates Valdes and Horst.

On Saturday, Ruiz, Kratz and Howard all homered, but Lee wasn’t very good and Cloyd was terrible as the Phils fell to Toronto 11-6.

Howard are Kratz had two-run homers in the game and Ruiz’s was a slot blast. Michael Young doubled in the other run in the top of the first. Frandsen also doubled in the game, which was the only other extra-base hit the Phillies had.

No Phillie had more than one hit in the game.

After a very sharp first outing, Lee was charged with three runs in three innings. Three of the first four batters he faced in the bottom of the first got hits, two doubles a single. He allowed a solo homer to Emilio Bonifacio in the second and threw a 1-2-3 third. 5.40 ERA and a 1.20 ratio for Lee after two starts. He’s struck out five in five innings.

Cloyd was next and got hammered, allowing six runs on seven hits and a walk over two innings. Jose Reyes hit a three-run homer off of him in the fourth and the Blue Jays had four extra-base hits off of Cloyd in two frames.

Durbin struck out two in a scoreless frame in the game. He’s allowed a hit in two innings over two appearances so far.

Stutes and Justin Friend both pitched an inning with both being charged with a run. Stutes has been pretty miserable in his first two appearances, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks over two innings (13.50 ERA with a 2.50 ratio with no strikeouts).

The Phillies play the Pirates this afternoon.


Ten runs rule

The Phillies won again this afternoon, scoring ten runs to beat the Yankees 10-5.

The Phils have won three of their last four and scored 20 runs in the last two games, winning 10-5 on back-to-back days. They got a bunch of help from the Yankees in today’s game as New York made four errors that led to six unearned runs.

Ten hits in the game for the Phillies. Nine singles and a double by Rollins. Rollins was 1-for-2 with two walks, a double and a pair of RBI. Galvis also saw some time at short, going 1-for-2 with an RBI and raising his spring average to .357.

Galvis is also the unlikely team leader in strikeouts with five.

Cody Asche was the only Phil with more than one hit, going 2-for-2 with a pair of singles to up his spring average to .333 (3-for-9 with a double and a walk).

Mayberry was 1-for-3 with a walk and drove in three runs, which ties him with Howard for the team lead in RBI at five. Howard 0-for-3. Brown 0-for-1 and walked three times, which raises his on-base percentage to .600 after 20 plate appearances.

Ruf was the DH and went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts and a walk, upping his average to .188.

Halladay started the game and went 2 1/3 innings, allowing a run on three hits and a walk. He kept the Yankees off the board in the first two innings. In the bottom of the first, New York loaded the bases on two singles and a walk, but Halladay struck out Melky Mesa to leave them loaded. Halladay threw a 1-2-3 second and faced two men in the third, allowing a one-out double to Francisco Cervelli. Cesar Jimenez took over for Halladay and struck two guys out, but also allowed a pair of hits, including a single that scored Cervelli with the run charged to Halladay.

4.15 ERA and a 1.15 ratio for Halladay after two starts and 4 1/3 innings. He’s struck out five.

Jimenez has allowed three hits over 1 2/3 innings, but hasn’t yet been charged with a run.

Aumont pitched the fourth, allowing a two-out single, but keeping the Yankees off the board. Aumont has now allowed one hit in two scoreless innings while striking out two over two appearances.

Then came Papelbon and Valdes. Neither of them pitched well and each of them were coming off a rough outing to start the spring.

Papelbon allowed a walk and a single to the first two hitters he faced before yielding a two-run double off the top of the wall in left. He allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in the frame, which dropped his ERA to 43.20. His ratio is 6.00 — seven hits, including two home runs, and three walks over 1 2/3 innings.

Valdes allowed a run on a solo homer to start the sixth before striking out the next three hitters to end the frame. He was back for the seventh and gave up another solo shot, this one coming with two outs. He’s now allowed three solo home runs in four innings over two appearances.

Rodrigo Lopez pitched the final two innings and was good again, allowing two singles and a walk while keeping New York off the board. That’s five scoreless innings for Lopez now with a 0.00 ERA, an 0.80 ratio and four strikeouts.

Cliff Lee is expected to pitch tomorrow when the Phils face the Blue Jays. Lee was very good in his first start, allowing a walk in two scoreless innings.


I hear there was a time when candy bars were two for a nickel, too, it doesn’t necessarily mean we should count on Ryan Howard to OPS 1.200 again

If we’re bringing stuff back from the great beyond, I’d like to put in a vote for the pig-footed bandicoot as well. Mostly just cause it has a cool name. I’d hate to think we were able to do that kind of thing and I forgot to put in a vote.

I love the notion that there are so many bandicoots out there that humanity just wouldn’t have been able to get by without differentiating some of them as “pig-footed.” Not the regular bandicoots. The pig-footed ones.

Second win of the spring for the Phils yesterday as they topped the Braves 10-5. Ryan Howard doubled home a run in the first and hit his first spring homer in the fifth. His 2-for-3 day ups his spring line to 533/556/933 (8-for-15 with three doubles, a home run and two walks) and he leads the team with five RBI. Howard obviously isn’t going to double in 20% of his at-bats in 2013, but he hit 11 doubles for the season in 2012 and his results early in 2013 remind that there was a time when a hot and healthy Howard could put the Phillies on his shoulders and carry the offense himself.

We might have forgotten those days, but if we did it’s our own fault. Because they happened and it wasn’t that long ago.

From August 22 to the end of the season in 2008, Howard got 151 plate appearances in which he hit 15 home runs, had 27 extra-base hits, 42 RBI and 20 walks, OPSing 1.216 in that stretch. 2009 he OPSed 1.078 over his last 216 plate appearances with 19 home runs. In 2010 the tear came earlier, a 50-game stretch from the start of June to July 27 — 323/387/651 over 217 plate appearances.

Mayberry homered yesterday as well. 1-for-1 with a walk in the game and extra-base hits in two straight games after an ugly start. Utley was 2-for-3 with a double. 3-for-6 so far.

Ben Revere got the job done in the leadoff spot for the second straight day, going 2-for-3 with a walk, a double and two more runs scored. Don’t look for him to deliver a walk and an extra-base hit in the same game too often, though. His average is suddenly up to .385 (5-for-13).

Brown 1-for-3 with a single and a walk to drop his average to .417 (5-for-12 with a double, two home runs and three walks).

Inciarte finally made an out. He struck out to start the seventh and is 1-for-2 with three walks so far.

Michael Young had his first hit. He was 1-for-2 with a walk and two RBI, making him 1-for-10 in the early going.

Galvis 2-for-2 but with yet another error. Ruf got a hit but also made another error, his second in limited time in the outfield. He was 2-for-3 with a double and is now a walkless 2-for-12 in official action.

Hamels started the game for the Phils and allowed an unearned run on four hits over three innings while striking out five. He allowed one hit and struck out four through the first two innings. He started the third up 3-1. Ramiro Pena singled with one out, took second when Ruf misplayed the ball for an error and scored on a single by Tyler Pastornicky.

In two starts, Hamels has now allowed one unearned run over five innings, throwing to a 0.00 ERA with a 1.00 ratio and striking out six. He hasn’t walked a batter yet.

Mike Adams followed Hamels, making his Phillie debut, and threw a scoreless fourth. He allowed one single and struck out one.

Diekman threw the fifth. He gave up a leadoff walk, but got the next hitter to line into a double-play before Jason Heyward grounded to Utley to set the Braves down.

Second outing for Diekman. This one better than the first, but he still needs to stop walking so many people.

Pettibone followed Diekman and allowed four runs on three hits and a walk over two frames in his first spring outing. He allowed a solo homer in the sixth. In the seventh, the first two Braves reached on a walk and a single before Pastornicky hit a three-run homer.

Ethan followed Pettibone, also making his first appearance, and threw two scoreless innings.

Manuel suggests he wants Mayberry to be more aggressive in this article from the Phillies web site.

Halladay is expected to pitch this afternoon as the Phillies face the Yankees. He allowed a run on one hit, a solo homer, over two innings his first time out.


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.


Who’s not on first very often?

In this post I pointed out there was a difference of 187 total walks between 2007, when the Phillies had the best walk rate in the NL, and 2012, when they had the 15th-best walk rate. The first base and left field positions combined walked 141 fewer times in 2012 than they had in 2007.

At first base, the Phillies drew 56 fewer walks in 2012 than they had in 2007. In 2007, the 113 walks they drew at the position was second in the league. In 2012, the 57 walks they drew at the position was tenth.

Here’s how the plate appearances at first base broke down for the Phillies in 2012 and the walk rates of the players who got chances at the position:

Player % of PA BB%
Howard 42.5 8.7
Wigginton 30.8 9.6
Mayberry 11.7 5.1
Others (4) 15.0 7.9
Total PHI 100 8.4
NL AVG 1B - 9.3

Of the four groups, only one, Wigginton, posted a walk rate about the league average of 9.3% while playing first base for the Phillies last year. He had some other issues, though, like being not real good offensively or defensively. And high walk rate or not, he ended the year having hit .235 and on-based .314.

All of the four players in the “Other” category were under the league average of 9.3% with the exception of Thome. He walked in 3 of his 13 plate appearances while playing first base for the Phillies in 2013, which is about 23.1%.

The walk rates for Thome and Wigginton aren’t likely to help the 2013 Phillies much. As much as we might want to see Mayberry or Ruf get some chances at first against lefties, Ryan Howard is likely to be the guy there just about every day he’s able to play. And his walk rate is never going back to where it was in 2006 and 2007.

Howard finished fourth in the NL in walks in both 2006 and 2007. In those two years combined, he got 1,352 plate appearances and walked in 215 (about 15.9%) of them.

Howard’s walk rate in those years benefited from an enormous rate of intentional walks. In 2012, he had 25 total walks in 292 plate appearances. In 2006 he was intentionally walked 37 times and in 2007 he was intentionally walked 35 times.

His 8.6% walk rate in 2012 was the worst it has been for any year in his career in which he got at least 50 plate appearances.

In this post from January I pointed out that Howard has been pretty miserable against left-handed pitching in four of the last five years. His walk rate against lefties has also taken a plunge.

Over the last seven years, his walk rate against right-handed pitching has stayed high. Not so against lefties, where his walk rate has dropped three straight years and wound up at a miserable 4.7% in 2012:

Year BB% vs L BB% vs R
2012 4.7 10.8
2011 6.5 13.7
2010 7.9 10.4
2009 9.9 11.1
2008 8.7 13.3
2007 13.0 18.7
2006 9.8 18.0

2010 is the year of the last five in which Howard has been non-awful against left-handed pitching. His success that year had a lot more to do with the combination of good power and an average in the .260s against lefties than the walks he drew. In 2010, Howard hit 264/333/492 against lefties with 12 homers in 216 plate appearances. 2008 was probably second best — that year he delivered similar power against lefties and walked at a slightly lower rate, but hit just .224 again left-handed pitching. In five of the last six seasons, Howard has hit .225 or worse against lefties.

In 2010, his BABIP against left-handed pitching was .320. In 2011, Howard hit .224 against lefties despite a BABIP of .313 against them. In 2012 he was down to .173 against southpaws with a BABIP of .229. Granted, not being able to run at all probably hurt him some in 2012, but it’s tough to feel like things are going in the right direction for Howard, especially against lefties.

Ruiz feels bad about his suspension and wants to bring a championship back to Philadelphia.

Halladay suggests he doesn’t see himself pitching anywhere other than Philadelphia in the coming years in this article.


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