Tag: Steven Lerud

Rate hike

Questions yesterday about whether opposing hitters were more likely to walk in 2013 when Carlos Ruiz was catching for the Phils. That part’s easy — the answer is yes, they were. The harder part is how important that information is and I’m a lot less sure about that. In order to conclude anything, we’d need to look at more complete information about who was doing the pitching, the game situation and the quality of the hitters they were facing.

Still, the overall results were a little surprising to me. The Phillies used five catchers in 2013: Ruiz, Erik Kratz, Humberto Quintero, Cameron Rupp and Steven Lerud. Here’s the total number of plate appearances each caught and the team’s walk rate with them catching:

BF % of BF BB %
All PHI 6213 100 8.1
Ruiz 3251 52.3 9.0
Kratz 2060 33.2 7.5
Quintero 718 11.6 6.4
Rupp 116 1.9 6.0
Lerud 68 1.1 7.4
Not Ruiz 2962 47.7 7.2

So Ruiz caught 52.3% of the batters and during those plate appearances, Phillie opponents walked 9.0% of the time. The other four catchers caught 47.7% of the time and in those chances opponents walked in 7.2% of their plate appearances.

Here’s the breakdown for the three catchers other than Rupp and Lerud for the eight starting pitchers on the ’13 Phils that got at least eight starts.

Pitcher BF Ruiz Kratz Quintero
Hamels 905 61.8/5.9 26.4/5.9 11.8/2.8
Lee 876 55.0/4.1 39.2/3.2 5.8/2.0
Kendrick 800 38.8/4.2 55.1/6.8 6.1/8.2
Pettibone 437 52.6/10.0 21.3/7.5 26.1/7.0
Lannan 332 57.5/10.5 10.8/5.6 31.6/5.4
Cloyd 282 33.9/11.6 50.7/7.7 -
Halladay 282 50.0/16.3 15.2/11.6 34.8/8.2
Martin 190 66.8/15.7 24.7/10.6 -

So, looking, for example, at the top line, Ruiz caught 61.8% of the batters that Hamels pitched to in 2013 and those batters walked in 5.9% of their plate appearances. Quintero caught 11.8% of the batters Hamels faced in 2013 and those batters walked in 2.8% of their PA.

Cloyd and Martin both pitched to Lerud and Rupp. Those numbers aren’t included above.

Of the eight pitchers listed above, six of them pitched to all three of Ruiz, Kratz and Quintero. Of those six, five, everyone except for Kendrick, issued walks at the highest rate while pitching to Ruiz and the at the lowest rate when pitching to Quintero (for Hamels, the 5.9% to Ruiz is a little higher, 5.903, than his 5.9% to Kratz, which is 5.858).

The other of the six that pitched to all three was Kendrick. He walked batters at his lowest rate while pitching to Ruiz and at his highest while pitching to Quintero. It should be noted that Kendrick’s time pitching to Quintero was especially limited. Quintero was behind the plate for just 49 of the 800 batters that Kendrick faced (6.1%).

The other two pitchers on the list, Cloyd and Martin, didn’t pitch to Quintero, but each of them walked batters at a higher rate while pitching to Ruiz than they did to Kratz.

I think it’s hugely important to remember there are a lot of factors at play. For example, Roy Halladay and Ethan Martin each had very high walk rates for the season, regardless of who was catching them. Ruiz caught more than two-thirds of Martin’s innings and half of Halladay’s, which surely contributed to his walk rate being high relative to other catchers on the team. While the rate that each of those guys allowed walks was higher with Ruiz behind the plate, I still think it’s a leap to attribute much of anything to Ruiz without more complete information about the game situation and the quality of hitters the pitchers were facing.

If you look back at the last few years, it’s also not true to say that batters consistently walk more with Ruiz behind the plate than with someone else catching. It was in 2012, 7.1% for Ruiz and 6.2% for everyone else on the Phils, but in 2011 he was way under the walk rate with others catching (6.4% for Ruiz and 7.2% for everyone else). In both 2009 and 2010, the walk rate for hitters with Ruiz behind the plate was just about the same as the walk rate with anyone else behind the plate (6.8/6.9 in ’10 and 7.9/7.7 in ’09).

Two-hit wonder

Kyle Kendrick led the way yesterday as four Phillie pitchers held the Yankees to an unearned run on two hits and a walk and the Phils topped New York 4-1.

Domonic Brown hit his sixth home run, a solo shot in the fourth inning. 1-for-3 on the day. 397/465/714. He has 25 hits in official spring games, which is the most for any player across both leagues.

Howard was 1-for-4 with his fifth homer, a solo blast in the seventh. 317/338/633. He’s walked just three times in 65 plate appearances, but now’s probably not the time to quibble.

Nix 2-for-4 with a double. 238/273/333, but with better results if you count the games that don’t count.

Utley 2-for-4 without a double. 227/358/341. You might not think of Utley as a guy who hits .258, but he has hit .258 over his last 816 plate appearances since the end of 2010. So you might want to think about starting.

Rollins started at short and went 1-for-2 with a pair of walks. 3-for-12 with a double and five walks in limited official action.

Jermaine Mitchell started in center and went 0-for-4. 7-for-21 with two walks and five extra-base hits. 333/391/714. No longer leads the team in OPS.

Lerud got the start behind the plate and went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. I’d still guess he’s going to have trouble getting past Quintero for the backup catcher job. Lerud is 3-for-14 with a double, a home run and three walks (214/353/500). Quintero hasn’t been good defensively, he’s made two errors and been charged with a passed ball, and is 5-for-18 with two walks and five singles at the plate (278/333/278). At least in the official games, it seems that Lerud has outplayed Quintero. I don’t think it’s going to matter, though.

Kendrick started the game for the Phillies and allowed an unearned run over six innings on two hits, a double and a single, and no walks. The run scored in the fourth. Brett Gardner led off with a bunt single and took second on a throwing error by Kendrick. He would score on a one-out double by Ichiro.

Kendrick has a 5.14 ERA and a 1.14 ratio. If you throw to a 1.14 ratio for long enough, your ERA is going to go down from 5.14.

Adams struck out Travis Hafner in a 1-2-3 seventh. He has allowed two hits and no walks in five scoreless innings in official spring action.

Papelbon got three fly balls in a 1-2-3 eighth. Seems to have settled down quite a bit since ugly, ugly results early. 15.43 ERA and a 2.14 ratio for the spring.

Durbin pitched a scoreless ninth. He allowed a one-out walk, but got the next two hitters to end the game. 4.00 ERA and a 1.33 ratio.

The Phils are off today and face the Red Sox tomorrow night.

Phils hopeful J-Roll can save enough wear on his body that he’ll still be not running out popups for them in 2015

Something we can all look forward to.

Kyle Kendrick pitched great yesterday and Kevin Frandsen had four hits in a game that will mostly be remembered for the popup that Jimmy Rollins didn’t run out on his way to being benched. The Phillies held on to win anyway and beat the Mets 3-2.

Kendrick gave up two solo home runs in the first two innings to give the Mets an early 2-0 lead. Rollins doubled with two outs in the bottom off the third and was knocked in by Frandsen, cutting the lead to 2-1. Mayberry led off the fourth with a single and scored when Wigginton followed and blasted a double to the gap in left-center. 2-2. Frandsen started the fifth with a double, moved up to third on a ground out and scored on a sac fly by Howard to put the Phillies up to stay at 3-2.

Kendrick yielded two early solo homers, but was fantastic after that. From the third to the seventh he pitched five scoreless innings in which he allowed two hits, no walks and no runs. He struck out the first two batters in the eighth before allowing back-to-back singles. Valdes took over to get the Phillies out of the eighth and Papelbon mowed the Mets down in the ninth for his 30th save.

The game will most be remembered for what happened in the bottom of the sixth inning. With one out and Kendrick on third, Rollins popped a ball up high in the infield in front of home plate. The Mets were confused about who was going to catch the ball. In the end, pitcher Jon Niese tried to catch it himself, but didn’t handle it for an error. Rollins, who had jogged slowly up the line, ended up at first. Rollins stole second, setting him up for his second blunder of the inning. With one out and runners on second and third and the New York infield poised to come home with a ground ball up the middle, Frandsen hit a ground ball up the middle. Murphy fielded, Kendrick held third and Rollins took off for third, where he was tagged out after a short rundown. Martinez replaced him at short in the top of the seventh.

Not a great inning for Rollins. But not to be forgotten on the day was the run that Rollins helped create in the bottom of the third thanks to his hustle. With two outs and nobody on, Rollins popped a ball down the first base line and into shallow right field. It dropped just fair. Running all the way, Rollins slid into second with a two-out double and came in to score when Frandsen followed with a single into center.

The Phillies are 62-69 on the year after beating the New York Mets 3-2 yesterday afternoon. The Mets take the series two games to one. The Phillies are in third place in the NL East, 17 1/2 games out of first.

The Phillies have won five of their last seven games, but outscored their opponents by just 26-22 over those seven games. They shouldn’t count on going 5-2 over many seven-game stretches in which they score 3.7 runs per game.

Kendrick got the start for the Phillies and went 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits. Three of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a pair of solo homers. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out six.

Mike Baxter was the first hitter of the game and he hit an 0-1 pitch out to right-center. 1-0. Kendrick got the next three in order.

Scott Hairston hit an 0-1 pitch out to left with one out in the second. 2-0. Ronny Cedeno followed that with a single, but Kendrick got Josh Thole and the pitcher Jon Niese to leave Cedeno at first.

At least Kendrick is getting ahead of these guys before they homer.

David Wright doubled off the wall in left with two outs in the third. Kendrick got Ike Davis on a ground ball to second to leave Wright stranded.

The lead was cut to 2-1 when Kendrick started the fourth. Hairston singled with one out, but Kendrick got Cedeno on a ground ball for the second out and struck Thole out to end the frame.

Kendrick threw a 1-2-3 fifth with the score tied at 2-2.

Up 3-2, he set the Mets down in order in the sixth and again in the seventh.

He struck out Tejada and Baxter to start the eighth before Murphy and Wright singled back-to-back. It put runners on first and second for the lefty Davis and Valdes came in to face Davis. Valdes got him on a ground ball to first to leave the runners stranded.

Brave of Manuel to leave Kendrick in to face Wright as the go-ahead run. Worked out okay in the sense that Wright didn’t hit a two-run homer.

Valdes has allowed a run on three hits and a walk over 9 2/3 innings in nine appearances in August.

Papelbon started the ninth with the Phils still up a run. He struck Duda out for the first out and Hairston went down on a ball Nix handled at the edge of the warning track for the second. Righty Justin Turner hit for the pitcher Robert Carson and Papelbon hit him with a 2-2 pitch. Andres Torres ran for Turner at first. Josh Thole went down on a ball handled by Utley to end the game.

Over his last 16 appearances, Papelbon has allowed one run on eight hits and four walks over 16 1/3 innings while striking out 19 (0.55 ERA with an 0.73 ratio).

The pen goes 1 1/3 scoreless innings in the game in without allowing a hit or a walk.

Papelbon threw 15 pitches and Valdes one. Neither of them have thrown more than one day in a row.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Jon Niese went (1) Rollins (2) Frandsen (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Wigginton (7) Martinez (8) Lerud. Frandsen moves up to hit second against the lefty. Wigginton makes his second start of the year in left with the lefties Brown, Pierre and Nix on the bench. Martinez in right with all the same lefties on the bench. The lefty Lerud catches, making his first career start, with the righty Kratz on the bench in the day game after a night game. Sure seems like if you know they’re throwing a righty in game two and a lefty in game three it makes more sense to catch Lerud in game two against the righty and Kratz in game three against the lefty. Starting Martinez in right field is a good sign that your team is terrible.

Frandsen singled with one out in the bottom of the first and the Phils down 1-0. Utley flew to left for the first out and Howard struck out swinging for the second.

It was 2-0 when the Phillies went in order in the second.

Lerud grounded to first in his first big league at-bat to start the third and Kendrick grounded out as well for the second. Rollins was next and hit a ball to right, which he hustled into a double. Frandsen was next and singled to center, scoring Rollins to get the Phils on the board at 2-1. Frandsen took second as the throw came home. Utley was next and was grazed by a pitch, putting two men on for Howard. Howard struck out swinging 2-2 to leave both runners stranded.

Nice job by Rollins to take second on his hit, which gets the Phils a run when Frandsen follows with a single.

Howard 0-for-2 with two strikeouts and three men left on base through three innings.

Mayberry led off the fourth and hit a ball to Wright. Wright’s throw to first was high and originally called an error and quickly changed to a hit. Wigginton followed with a double to left center, scoring Mayberry to tie the game at 2-2. Niese struck Martinez out swinging for the second out, but Lerud was next and blooped a single to left. Wigginton didn’t read it well and had to hold at third. Kendrick bunted Lerud up to second with the second out, putting runners on second and third for Rollins. Rollins popped to Murphy to leave both runners stranded.

Three hits in the inning for the Phils, but Mayberry’s should have been called an error and Lerud’s was a bloop single to left. Wigginton hammered the ball. The scoring decision on the ball hit by Mayberry was rather generous to Mayberry.

Frandsen led off the fifth and hit a ball hard to left where it was misplayed by Duda. Duda came in on it and then had the ball go over his head for a double. Utley was next and moved Frandsen up to third with a ground out to second. It put a runner on third for Howard and Howard flew to center for the second out. Frandsen scored and the Phillies led 3-2. Mayberry was next and doubled down the third base line. Niese walked Wigginton intentionally to pitch to Martinez. Martinez flew to center, dropping his average on the year to .134 and leaving both runners stranded.

With one out in the sixth, Kendrick hit a ball hard to center that cleared the fence on a hop for a ground-rule double. Kendrick took third on a passed ball before Rollins hit a popup out in front of the plate. Wright and Niese looked unclear about who was going to catch, then Niese tried and didn’t get. Rollins was safe on first on the error with Kendrick holding third. Rollins stole second before Frandsen hit a ground ball to second. Rollins took off for third, but Kendrick was still at third. Rollins was tagged out after a short rundown with Kendrick still at third. Frandsen wound up on second, but Utley grounded to first to leave the runners at second and third.

Rollins didn’t run hard on his popup that Niese failed to catch, which apparently was the subject of a discussion between Rollins and Manuel after the frame. There was no Met covering second as the infielders failed to catch the popup. Martinez took over at short in the top of the seventh with Rollins on the bench.

More terrible defense from the Mets.

Mayberry and Wigginton singled back-to-back off of righty Ramon Ramirez with one out in the seventh. Martinez struck out swinging for the second out and Lerud grounded to second for the third.

With Ramirez still on the mound, Brown hit for Valdes to start the eighth. Lefty Robert Carson came in to face Brown and Kratz hit for Brown and flew to right for the first out. Nix struck out for the second before Frandsen singled to right. Utley grounded to short to end the inning.

Kratz 2-for-his-last-19.

Rollins was 1-for-4 in the game with a hustle double, then pulled for not hustling in the bottom of the sixth. He was 2-for-11 in the series with two walks and two doubles. 243/303/407 for the season. He has hit 13 home runs since the start of June.

Frandsen 4-for-5 with a double. 5-for-13 with a double in the series. 355/405/430 for the season. There are 224 NL players with at least 100 plate appearances for the season. Of those, Frandsen’s .355 average is first and his .405 on-base percentage is fifth. His walk rate is terrible by the way — four walks in 117 plate appearances is about 3.4%. The team overall walks in about 7.0% of their plate appearances. Near the end of the list it goes Pierre 5.2%, Mayberry 5.1%, Galvis 3.5% and Frandsen 3.4%. I also hope we get a chance to see Frandsen play some second before the end of the year.

Utley 0-for-4 and left five men on base. 3-for-11 with a walk and a home run in the series. 250/362/457 for the year.

Howard 0-for-3 with an RBI and three strikeouts. 1-for-11 with a home run, six RBI and seven strikeouts in the series. 1-for-his-last-18. 235/311/444 on the year. 182/246/309 against lefties with 30 strikeouts in 61 plate appearances.

Mayberry 3-for-4 with a double. 4-for-11 with a walk and a double in the set. 287/333/468 in 102 plate appearances since Victorino and Pence were traded. 246/287/408 for the year. No walks against lefties in 137 plate appearances for the year. Not sure exactly that that is, but it’s something.

Wigginton 2-for-3 with a walk and a double. The walk was the only one of the game for the Phillies. 2-for-4 with a walk and a double in the series. 215/291/346 over his last 258 plate appearances. 236/307/375 for the year. He has 202 plate appearances against righties for the year in which he has hit 238/282/341.

Martinez 0-for-4, struck out twice and left five men on base. 5-for-his-last-59 (.085). 132/181/221 for the season.

Lerud was 1-for-4 with a single in his debut.

Halladay (8-7, 3.88) faces lefty Mike Minor (7-10, 4.71) tonight in Atlanta. Halladay has a 2.79 ERA and an 0.89 ratio in his five starts in August. The Phils have won four of those five games, but are just 10-9 in his starts for the season — 6-2 in his last starts after going 4-7 in his first 11 starts. Minor threw to a 6.20 ERA in his first 15 starts of the year through the end of June. Since the beginning of July, he’s made nine starts in which he’s thrown to a 2.75 ERA with an 0.88 ratio.

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