Tag: Shane Victorino

Chase Utley, you are the walking man

In posts from last week I looked at the differences in the number of walks the Phillies drew in 2007, when they were the best team in the NL at drawing walks, and 2012, when their walk rate was 15th in the league.

In those posts I suggested there were four positions where the Phillies walked about the same number of times in 2007 as they had in 2012 — second base, right field, DH/pinch-hitter and pitcher.

At second base, Chase Utley’s walk rate of 11.9% in 2012 was higher than his walk rate of 8.2% in 2007. The problem was that Utley only got about 53.3% of the plate appearances at second in 2012. Galvis, Fontenot, Martinez and Orr combined to get the rest with Galvis getting about three times more than any of the other three. Galvis walked in just 2.8% of his 178 plate appearances as a second baseman for the Phils in 2012.

Like Jimmy Rollins, Utley has increased his walk rate in recent years.

Years PA BB%
2003-2008 3126 8.7
2009-2012 2014 11.6

The best year in recent history for the Phillies in terms of walks from their second basemen was 2009. Utley got about 94.1% of the PA for second basemen that year and walked in a career-high 12.8% of his chances. The team wound up at 12.4% at the position.

I can’t find a whole ton interesting about the walk rate of the pitchers or pinch-hitters/DHs. Phillies third baseman walked in a miserable 4.7% of their plate appearances in 2012, so it did seem worthwhile to check and make sure they walked more often than the pitchers. They did — the pitchers walked in 3.8% of their PA combined. In three of the last eight years, though, the pitchers for the Phils posted a walk rate near or above 4.7% for the season — they walked in 5.9% of their PA in 2006, 4.9% in 2008 and 4.6% in 2009.

That leaves us with the right fielders. In 2007 the right fielders for the Phillies walked in 9.0% of their plate appearances, which is just about the same as the 8.9% they walked in 2012. It’s been kind of a wild ride in between, though. Here are the walk rates for Phillies right fielders as a group over the last six seasons:

Year BB%
2012 8.9
2011 11.3
2010 11.4
2009 13.1
2008 9.4
2007 9.0

So, in 2012, the Phils RF wound up in about the same place they had been in 2007, but they had been up a lot higher than that in the years in-between.

In ’07, the Phillies got 743 PA in right. Of those, 482 (64.9%) went to Victorino and he walked in about 6.6% of them. Werth was the other major contributor — he walked in about 14.8% of his 223 plate appearances as a RF (about 30% of the team’s PA at the position).

Werth got the bulk of the PA from ’08 to ’10 as the walk rate at the position climbed. Werth walked in about 12.7% of his walks in those years combined.

In 2011, Ben Francisco, Domonic Brown and Hunter Pence all got around a third of the team’s PA in right field. All three walked a lot — Pence and Francisco each walked in about 11.1% of their chances and Brown walked in about 12.2% of his while playing right.

In 2012, Pence got about 64% of the Phillie plate appearances in right and walked in about 8.4% of them. Brown brought the number for the team up a little, getting about 22% of the PA in right and walking in about 11.3% of those chances.


Maybe we should try asking him to play both corner outfield positions

The most recent post suggested that there are two positions where the total number of walks the Phillies drew in 2012, when they were terrible at drawing walks overall, was better than it was in 2007, when the Phillies were very good at drawing walks. One was center field and the other was shortstop.

Shortstop for the Phils is all about Jimmy Rollins and has been for years. He got about 95% of the team’s plate appearances as a shortstop in 2012 and just over 99% in 2007. For years we had been pleading with Jimmy Rollins to improve his walk rate. Not sure everybody noticed, but he did.

Through the end of the 2009 season, J-Roll had one year in his career in which he walked in 8% or more of his plate appearances (9.3% in 2008). Over the last three years his lowest walk rate is 8.9%. Here are his career numbers through 2009 and for 2010-2012:

PA BB%
2000-2009 6512 7.2
2010-2012 1724 9.3

From 2003 to 2007, the Phillies were either first or second in the NL in walk rate in every season. Rollins was the everyday guy at shortstop, walking in the same 7.2% of his plate appearances as his career mark for walk rate going into 2010.

So even when the Phillies were an elite walking team, they didn’t draw a ton of walks at the position. They’re no longer an elite group of walkers, but they are getting more walks from short because Rollins has improved his rate.

Center field is the other position where the Phils drew more walks in 2012 than they did in 2007. Again, the issue there is that their walk rate in center was pretty low in 2007. Rowand was miserable at drawing walks in 2006, walking in just about 4.1% of his plate appearances in center. He got better in ’07, getting the vast majority of the PA at the position and walking in about 6.9% of his chances to help get the team’s rate up to 7.0%. Led by Victorino, the team has been in the 8% range over the past four years and were at 8.5% in 2012. Victorino walked in just 8.1% of his PA with the Phils in ’12, his worst mark since 2008, but the Phils got up to 8.5% at the position with some unexpected help from Mayberry. You probably don’t think of Mayberry as a walk machine, but he walked in about 9.7% of his 227 plate appearances as a center fielder in 2012.

Delmon Young is coming off of surgery on his right ankle. Amaro suggests that he might not be able to play in games competitively until the middle of March in this article. The same article suggests that Valdes and Stutes could both be near 100%.


Who?

Three months from today, the 2013 Phillies, whoever they are, will have likely played five games. Here’s my current guess as to the hitters that are on the team at this point, as well as other candidates to fill the remaining slots:

Other candidates
1 Kratz D Ruf
2 Howard H Quintero
3 Utley S Lerud
4 Rollins K Frandsen
5 Young E Inciarte
6 Nix T Gillies
7 Revere L Collier
8 Brown J Mitchell
9 Mayberry C Hernandez
10 Galvis M Martinez
11 P Orr
12 A Blanco
13 J Fields

Of those ten, Howard, Utley, Rollins, Young and Revere seem like no-brainers. I can’t see how the Phillies could leave off Kratz, given the Ruiz suspension for the start of the year. Someone has to backup short and Galvis seems like he has a huge advantage over NRI Michael Martinez or any of the other choices that will be in camp. The Phillies are super-thin in the outfield, but I think Brown, Mayberry and Nix are all likely to start the year with the Phils if they are still with the team.

That’s not a hugely impressive group, especially given the miserable years from Young and Howard in 2012.

If those ten hitters started the year with the team it would leave three open spots (or four if the Phils started the year with 14 hitters).

Of those three open spots, one would surely go to a backup catcher and another likely to a fifth outfielder.

The backup catcher seems like it’s either Quintero or Lerud. I’d guess Quintero.

Given the addition of Young, I don’t think there’s a lot for Frandsen to do except help Galvis backup third. He did hit .338 last year, so I’d guess the Phillies give him a spot on the roster to do just that, barring an addition.

The Phillies still have time to trade for a veteran outfielder and will likely try to do so. I’d guess if they do, and don’t trade away an outfielder in the process, that guy takes the other outfield spot. If they don’t, or if they trade away Nix, Mayberry or Brown getting a new outfielder, I’d guess Ruf starts the year with the team.

At this point I would guess that Quintero, Frandsen and Ruf fill the remaining three spots on the list.

The article from the Phillies web site on Friday suggests that the Phillies continue to have interest in free agent Scott Hairston or the Angels’ Vernon Wells.

Shane Victorino says that returning to Philadelphia was his first choice this off-season. He signed a three-year, $39 million deal with Boston.


Hit parade

So just who on the Phillies did John Lannan plunk? A review.

July 26, 2007. Lannan faced the Phillies in his major league debut. The Phillies led 3-2 going into the bottom of the fifth. Victorino grounded to second for the first out in the frame before Lannan hit Utley in the hand, breaking it. He then hit Howard in the back and was ejected from the game. The Phillies took a 5-2 lead into the seventh inning, but the Nats scored two in the seventh and Jesus Flores hit a three-run homer off of Zagurski in the eighth. Nats won 7-6.

July 31, 2008. Lannan hit Shane Victorino, the second batter of the game for the Phillies, in the bottom of the first. The Phils went on to score eight runs charged to Lannan in 5 2/3 innings.

May 15, 2009. This game between the Nats and Phils featured five hit batters, including two by Lannan. Utley led off the top of the sixth with the Phillies down 4-1 and Lannan hit him with a pitch. Lannan got the next two before hitting Ibanez. Feliz followed with a single that scored Utley and knocked Lannan from the game. Down 6-4 in the bottom of the ninth, the Nats scored two runs off of Lidge to sent the game into extra-innings. The Phils scored four in the top of the twelfth and won 10-6.

August 1, 2010. Ryan Howard was the fourth batter of the game, coming to the plate in a scoreless tie with two down and Werth on second. Lannan drilled him on the right elbow. The elbow was x-rayed after the game and the x-rays came back negative. Howard injured his ankle running the bases and would not appear again for the Phillies until August 21.

September 27, 2010. The Phils were up 1-0 in the sixth with one down and Victorino on first when Lannan hit Utley. The Phils went on to score three runs in the frame and beat the Nats 8-0 as they clinched the NL East.

April 13, 2011. The Phillies led 2-0 in the fifth with two outs and the bases loaded. Lannan hit Howard on the right wrist, forcing in a run. Howard stayed in the game and x-rays after the game were negative. Halladay hit Nat Laynce Nix in the seventh and the Phillies won 3-2 behind a complete game, 123 pitch outing from Halladay.

May 5, 2011. Lannan hit Victorino, the second batter of the game for the Phillies in the bottom of the first inning of a scoreless tie.

June 1, 2011. Lannan hit Mayberry with one out in the top of the third and the bases empty. Mayberry is the only right-handed batter (not including the switch-hitter Victorino) to be hit by Lannan with the Phillies. Nix made a spectacular catch on a ball hit by Brown with the bases loaded to end the sixth inning in that game and the Nats went on to win 2-1.

September 26, 2012. Down 5-0, Howard led off the bottom of the second was hit by Lannan. The Nats pounded Kendrick in the game on their way to an 8-4 win.

And how did it work out for him? Not so great. It’s hard to tell if hitting batters is the cause or the symptom of problems, but, either way, his numbers overall in innings in which he has hit a Phillie batter aren’t so good. Here they are:

Date IP H BB HBP R ER Who
7/26/07 0.3 0 0 2 2 1 Utley, Howard
7/31/08 1 1 0 1 0 0 Victorino
5/15/09 0.7 1 0 2 2 2 Ibanez, Utley
8/1/10 1 3 0 1 2 2 Howard
9/27/10 0.7 2 1 1 3 3 Utley
4/13/11 1 3 0 1 2 2 Howard
5/5/11 1 0 0 1 0 0 Victorino
6/1/11 1 1 0 1 0 0 Mayberry
9/26/12 1 0 0 1 0 0 Howard
Total 7 2/3 11 1 11 11 10

Ten earned runs over 7 2/3 innings is an 11.74 ERA. Notably, he’s walked just one hitter in the 7 2/3 innings (Polanco ahead of Utley on 9/27/10), so his control has been pretty good even in the innings when he’s plunking folks. 1.57 ratio for the 7 2/3 frames.

Even leaving the Phillies wasn’t enough to save Victorino. Lannan hit four batters in 2012 — Dan Uggla, Chipper Jones, Ryan Howard and Victorino when he was with the Dodgers.

Here are his career rates of hitting Phillies, non-Phillies and some of your favorite Phillies and non-Phillies:

PA HBP % of PA
All teams 3402 30 0.8
PHI 484 11 2.3
Not PHI 2918 19 0.7
Utley 48 3 6.2
Howard 46 4 8.7
Victorino 47 3 6.4

There are four players that Lannan has hit three or more times in his career. Three of them are current or former Phils. He’s hit Howard four times and Utley, Victorino and Nate McLouth three times each.

The next update to Philliesflow will be around January 3.


Center fielders of attention

John Mayberry, Shane Victorino and Ben Revere have all gotten at least 296 plate appearances in each of the last two years. Here’s how some of their numbers from FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference compare:

PA wOBA CF innings UZR/150 in CF bWAR fWAR
Revere ’11 481 267/310/309 .278 776 1/3 15.1 0.7 2.0
Revere ’12 553 294/333/342 .300 309 -2.1 2.4 3.4
Revere career 1064 278/319/323 .287 1123 1/3 9.2 - -
Victorino ’11 586 279/355/491 .368 1150 2/3 5.7 5.2 5.9
Victorino ’12 666 255/321/383 .310 950 -2.4 2.4 3.3
Victorino career 4295 275/341/430 .338 6571 2/3 3.1 - -
Mayberry ’11 296 273/341/513 .368 246 2/3 -5.6 1.6 2.5
Mayberry ’12 479 245/301/395 .303 474 1/3 -20.7 0.5 0.4
Mayberry career 848 254/313/448 .329 728 -15.9 - -

Starting with the offense, things don’t look good for Revere. Both Victorino and Mayberry were miserable offensively in 2012, which was the better of the two years for Revere, and both finished with a higher wOBA.

In 2011, there were 175 players across both leagues that got 450 plate appearances. Revere’s wOBA of .278 was better than six of them.

In 2012, his .300 wOBA was 100th of 114 players across both leagues with at least 550 plate appearances.

John Mayberry is far from a great hitter. Revere is .042 behind him in career wOBA, which isn’t a great place to be. FanGraph’s calculation of wOBA, which is what appears on the table, includes stolen bases and accounts for the 74 that Revere has swiped over the past two seasons.

Where he has been better than both Victorino and Mayberry over the past two years is defensively. Revere buries Mayberry. The numbers between Revere and Victorino are closer, about the same in 2012, but Revere’s career UZR/150 of 9.2 is considerably better than Victorino’s.

By WAR calculated by the two sites, neither Mayberry or Revere are able to hang with Victorino’s outstanding 2011 season. Revere comes out ahead against Mayberry in 2012, though, by a lot, and is tied with or better than Victorino by each of the calculations for that season.

Important to remember when you look at Revere’s 2012 numbers, though, is that he played more than twice as many innings defensively in right than he did in center. He played 708 1/3 innings defensively in right for the Twins and 309 in center. As the table above shows, he wasn’t particularly good in center in 2012, putting up an UZR/150 in center of -2.1. He was outstanding in right, though, playing to an UZR/150 in right of 27.2.

He was arguably the best defensive right fielder in baseball in 2012. Of the 28 players across both leagues, nobody who played at least 550 innings defensively in right had a better UZR/150 in right than Revere. If you drop that number down to 300 innings in right, Gregor Blanco (32.8 in 431 1/3 innings in right) and Ben Zobrist (30.2 in 541 1/3 innings in right) were both better.

Anyhow, the point is, in 2012 his outstanding defensive play in right helped him accumulate value and accumulate WAR. Assuming he’s going the be the every day center fielder for the Philies next year, he’s not going to have the chance to accumulate value in right. So let’s hope he brings that kind of defensive production to center.

The Rule 5 Draft is over. The Phillies lost no players and picked up 22-year-old outfielder Ender Inciarte and 26-year-old left-hander pitcher Brendan Lafferty.

Ender Inciarte is a fast, left-handed hitting, good defensive center fielder. He turned 22 in October and hasn’t made it to Double-A yet. No power at all, but he hit .307 with 46 stolen bases between two different minor league teams in 2012. Chances seem good that he will have to be offered back to the Diamondbacks, barring a bunch of injuries.

The Royals drafted Brendan Lafferty in the 18th round of the 2009 draft. He struck out 71 in 60 1/3 innings in Double-A in 2012, but also walked 40 while pitching to a 4.77 ERA. Forty is too many walks to allow in 60 1/3 innings.

This says the Phillies signed right-handed pitcher Zach Miner and left-handed pitcher Cesar Jimenez to minor league deals.

Miner spent four years in the majors with Detroit between 2006 and 2009, throwing to a 4.24 ERA with a 1.46 ratio over 157 appearances, 35 of which were starts. He had Tommy John surgery in June of 2010 and hasn’t been back to the majors since. He doesn’t strike people out. In 2012, he made 27 appearances with three different minor league teams in the Detroit organization, throwing to a 2.79 ERA with a 1.21 ratio.

Jimenez is 28 and he thrown 48 1/3 innings in the majors, all with Seattle, pitching to a 5.40 ERA with a 1.47 ratio. He spent most of 2012 in the PCL, pitching to a 5.24 ERA with a 1.67 ratio over 44 2/3 innings in 26 relief appearances.


Ain’t that a Shane

As recent posts have mentioned, there were two big things that went wrong for the Phillies pitching staff in 2012.

The first was that Halladay led the group of Halladay, Hamels and Lee to a miserable year in which they were far less successful than they had been in previous years.

The second was that the guys in the rotation other than Halladay, Lee, Hamels and the new addition Papelbon, combined to be exceptionally average in 2012 relative to the rest of the NL.

The Phillies used 24 pitchers in 2012. Here’s what the 20 that weren’t Halladay, Hamels, Lee or Papelbon did:

G GS IP ERA Ratio bWAR
Kendrick 37 25 159.33 3.90 1.27 1.3
Blanton 21 20 133.33 4.59 1.19 -0.1
Worley 23 23 133 4.20 1.51 0.7
Bastardo 65 0 52 4.33 1.27 -0.2
Schwimer 35 0 34.33 4.46 1.34 -0.1
Cloyd 6 6 33 4.91 1.21 0
Qualls 35 0 31.33 4.60 1.53 -0.3
Horst 32 0 31.33 1.15 1.12 0.8
Valdes 27 1 31 2.90 0.74 0.6
Diekman 32 0 27.33 3.95 1.65 -0.4
Savery 19 0 25 5.40 1.36 -0.4
Rosenberg 22 1 25 6.12 1.28 -0.5
Lindblom 26 0 23.33 4.63 1.54 -0.5
Aumont 18 0 14.66 3.68 1.29 0.1
Contreras 17 0 13.66 5.27 1.17 -0.3
De Fratus 13 0 10.66 3.38 1.12 0
Herndon 5 0 7.66 4.70 1.43 0
Sanches 6 0 6.33 9.95 2.37 -0.3
Stutes 6 0 5.66 6.35 1.94 -0.3
Brummett 1 0 0.66 0.00 3.00 0
Group Total 446 76 798.6 4.26 1.32 0.1

Combined bWAR of 0.1 from 20 players is a problem. Kendrick at 1.3 is the only guy above one. NL pitchers overall threw to a 4.26 ERA with a 1.31 ratio for the season in 2012, which is almost identical to the 4.26 ERA and 1.32 ratio put up by the group.

The group struck out hitters at a slightly higher rate than the NL average, 8.3 per nine for the group compared to 7.7 for the league. They allowed the same 3.1 walks per nine as the NL average and gave up a few more home runs — 1.15 per nine compared to 1.0 for the league. 8.8 hits per nine compared to a league average of 8.7.

So they were a very average group. And the Phillies needed a lot more from them given that the combined contribution of Halladay, Hamels, Lee and Papelbon was way off in 2012 compared to their recent seasons.

This says Shane Victorino and the Red Sox agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal.

The article linked above suggests that possibility that Boston may be considering playing Victorino in center and trading Jacoby Ellsbury.

No idea what went on with Wilton Lopez, but Lopez has been traded to the Rockies for right-handed pitchers Alex White and Alex Gillingham. Huh?

This suggests that Minnesota might consider trading Ben Revere.

This suggests that Jeff Keppinger could get $13 million or more over three years, and that the Yankees really want him.


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