Tag: Will Ohman

First things first

In 2009, Phillies pitchers faced 3,492 batters with the bases empty and allowed 112 runs on 111 solo homers and one fluke play. Against the Mets on August 24, Angel Pagan led off the bottom of the first and popped a ball to second. Utley misplayed it. Pagan went for second and Utley threw the ball into left field. Pagan came all the way around to score and Utley was charged with two errors on the play.

Nice hustle by Pagan, but it’s not really the kind of thing you want to build your offense around. Turns out it’s actually pretty tough to score when you come to the plate with the bases empty, especially if you don’t hit a home run.

The Phillies faced 2,769 batters in 2009 with at least one man on base. Those 2,769 plate appearances resulted in 597 runs.

Overall for 2009, the Phillies pitchers faced 55.8% of the batters for the year with the bases empty and those batters accounted for about 15.8% of the runs they allowed. The 44.2% of the batters that they faced with at least on man on base accounted for 84.2% of the runs that they allowed.

Which brings me back to the post from earlier this week about the Phillies pitchers that were most likely to walk a batter when the bases were empty. That’s the kind of thing you want to avoid.

Obviously not all situations with men on base are the same. A man on first is better for the pitching team than having the bases loaded. Still, the difference between the number of runs the Phillies allowed in 2009 when pitching with the bases empty and with a man on first base is pretty significant. Here is the number of batters that the Phillies faced in 2009 with the bases empty and a man on first and how many runs resulted from those plate appearances:

 
PA

R

Bases empty

3,492

112

Man on first

1,160

104

In 2,332 fewer plate appearances with a man on first, the Phillies allowed eight fewer runs than in the plate appearances when the batter came to the plate with the bases empty. Had the Phillies faced the same 3,492 batters that they faced with the bases empty with a man on first and allowed runs at the same rate they would have allowed about 313 runs instead of 104. That’s about 2.8 times as many as they allowed with the bases empty.

Clearly how bad a walk is with the bases empty depends on how many outs there are in the inning. I’m pretty sure it’s hardly ever good, though.

The Phillies were better than average compared to the NL average in terms of allowing walks with the bases empty in 2009. The average NL pitcher walked about 8.0% of the batters he faced with the bases empty. The Phillies walked about 6.6% of the hitters they faced with the bases empty.

Here are the Phillies pitchers who walked more than the league average of 8% of the batters they faced with the bases empty (pitchers in bold faced less than 150 hitters for the Phils for the year):

  % of batters
walked with bases empty
Lidge 8.2
Bastardo 9.5
Kendrick 10.6
Durbin 11.0
Carpenter 13.3
Taschner 14.0
Eyre 16.7
Romero 17.2
Register 33.3

And here is the list of pitchers who walked less than 8% of the batters they faced with the bases empty:

  % of batters
walked with bases empty
Martinez 1.9
Escalona 3.4
Lee 3.7
Walker 3.8
Blanton 5.1
Moyer 5.4
Park 5.6
Hamels 5.9
Lopez 6.0
Madson 6.5
Happ 6.7
Condrey 6.9
Myers 7.6

The other thing you want to try to avoid with the bases empty is allowing a hit. Overall in the NL in 2009, pitchers allowed hits in about 23.3% of the plate appearances with the bases empty. The Phillies allowed them at a little higher rate, about 24.7%. Here’s the list of the Phillies pitchers that allowed hits to more than 23.3% of the batters they faced with the bases empty in 2009:

  % of batters
reach on hit with bases empty
Eyre 23.3
Escalona 24.1
Lidge 24.5
Happ 24.7
Madson 25.3
Hamels 25.6
Blanton 25.6
Moyer 26.2
Myers 26.5
Lee 27.3
Taschner 28.1
Martinez 29.8
Carpenter 33.3
Lopez 37.3
Register 66.7

That’s a long list. Much longer than the list of pitchers on the bad side of allowing walks with the bases empty.

It leaves just seven guys for the list of pitchers who allowed a hit to less than 23.3% of the batters they faced with the bases empty:

  % of batters
reach on hit with bases empty
Condrey 16.8
Romero 17.2
Bastardo 17.5
Durbin 18.0
Kendrick 18.2
Park 20.2
Walker 20.5

Again, that list is less impressive than the list of the guys who allowed walks to a lower percentage of hitters with the bases empty than the league average.

There are just three of the 22 pitchers on the team that allowed both hits and walks with the bases empty at rates that were lower than the average for the league: Condrey , Park and Walker.

When you combine hits and walks there were nine pitchers who allowed hits plus walks with the bases empty at a rate that was lower than the league average. Here’s a list of all 22 players, along with the average for the NL for 2009 and their rank on the team:


0.075 Clay Condrey 1
0.069 Tyler Walker 2
0.055 Chan Ho Park 3
0.043 Antonio Bastardo 4
0.037 Sergio Escalona 5
0.025 Kyle Kendrick 6
0.022 Chad Durbin 7
0.006 Joe Blanton 8
0.003 Cliff Lee 9

NL AVERAGE

 
-0.001 J.A. Happ 10
-0.002 Cole Hamels 11
-0.003 Jamie Moyer 12
-0.004 Pedro Martinez 13
-0.005 Ryan Madson 14
-0.014 Brad Lidge 15
-0.028 Brett Myers 16
-0.032 J.C. Romero 17
-0.087 Scott Eyre 18
-0.108 Jack Taschner 19
-0.120 Rodrigo Lopez 20
-0.154 Andrew Carpenter 21
-0.687 Steven Register 22

So, for example, with the bases empty Clay Condrey faced 101 batters. 17 of them (16.83%) got hits and seven of them (6.93%) walked. .1683 plus .0693 is .238. The NL average was to allow 23.3% hits and 8.0% walks, which is 31.3%. .313 minus .238 is .075, which is the best mark for the 22 pitchers on the team. At the other end of the list, Stephen Register faced just three men with the bases empty and allowed two hits and a walk.

The Phillies have signed Danys Baez to a two-year, $5.25 million contract. The righty joins a pen that includes Madson and Durbin and will likely include Lidge and Romero when they are healthy.

The 32-year old righty was miserable in 2007, missed 2008 and pitched well for the O’s in 2009, posting a 4.02 ERA with a 1.13 ratio. Believers in batting average for balls in play might want to take note of the .232 mark for Baez last year, which was the lowest for his career.

This suggests that Eyre will not be back and that Joe Biemel and Will Ohman are free agent candidates as lefty relievers in the bullpen. It also says that the Phils would like to add more depth in the rotation.

The Twins signed Clay Condrey to a one-year deal.

Scott Eyre retired.

The Phillies will invite 13 non-roster players to Spring Training, including Domonic Brown, Joe Savery, BJ Rosenberg (who had fantastic numbers last year), Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies.


The 40/.340 club

Two points today about Ryan Howard.

The first one is actually more a point about batting average. In 2008, Ryan Howard hit .251. A year earlier he had hit .268. In the two years, though, he got a hit when he came to the plate at almost exactly the same rate:

Year PA H % of PA
with hits
2007 648 142 21.91
2008 700 153 21.86

The issue, of course, is walks and that batting average doesn’t care about how many plate appearances you have. So even though Howard accumulated hits at a virtually identically rate in 2008 as he had in 2007, he changed plate appearances that were walks in 2007 to outs in 2008. That gave him more at-bats while he continued to get hits at a very similar rate.

Howard’s walk rate was down in 2008 compared to recent seasons. Here’s the percentage of plate appearances he drew walks, intentional walks and unintentional walks over the past three seasons:

Year PA BB % BB IBB % IBB UBB % UBB
2006 704 108 15.3 37 5.3 71 10.1
2007 648 107 16.5 35 5.4 72 11.1
2008 700 81 11.6 17 2.4 64 9.1

The decline in the walk rate had Howard’s on-base percentage low for a player who hits so many home runs. In 2008, Howard hit 48 home runs with an on-base percentage of .339. How many times would you guess a player has hit at least 40 home runs with an on-base percentage under .340 in the last ten seasons? I believe the answer is that across both leagues there have been 107 other instances of 40 or more home runs and only twice, Tony Batista in 2000 and Jose Canseco in 1998, has the guy who hit them on-based less than .340:

Year Player Team HR OBP
2008 Ryan Howard PHI 48 0.339
2008 Adam Dunn CIN/ARI 40 0.386
2007 Alex Rodriguez NYY 54 0.422
2007 Prince Fielder MIL 50 0.395
2007 Ryan Howard PHI 47 0.392
2007 Carlos Pena TAM 46 0.411
2007 Adam Dunn CIN 40 0.386
2006 Ryan Howard PHI 58 0.425
2006 David Ortiz BOS 54 0.413
2006 Albert Pujols STL 49 0.431
2006 Alfonso Soriano WAS 46 0.351
2006 Lance Berkman HOU 45 0.42
2006 Jermaine Dye CHW 44 0.385
2006 Jim Thome CHW 42 0.416
2006 Travis Hafner CLE 42 0.439
2006 Andruw Jones ATL 41 0.363
2006 Carlos Beltran NYM 41 0.388
2006 Adam Dunn CIN 40 0.365
2005 Andruw Jones ATL 51 0.347
2005 Alex Rodriguez NYY 48 0.421
2005 David Ortiz BOS 47 0.397
2005 Derrek Lee CHC 46 0.418
2005 Manny Ramirez BOS 45 0.388
2005 Mark Teixeira TEX 43 0.379
2005 Albert Pujols STL 41 0.43
2005 Paul Konerko CHW 40 0.375
2005 Adam Dunn CIN 40 0.387
2004 Adrian Beltre LOS 48 0.388
2004 Albert Pujols STL 46 0.415
2004 Adam Dunn CIN 46 0.388
2004 Barry Bonds SFG 45 0.609
2004 Manny Ramirez BOS 43 0.397
2004 Jim Thome PHI 42 0.396
2004 Jim Edmonds STL 42 0.418
2004 Paul Konerko CHW 41 0.359
2004 David Ortiz BOS 41 0.38
2003 Jim Thome PHI 47 0.385
2003 Alex Rodriguez TEX 47 0.396
2003 Barry Bonds SFG 45 0.529
2003 Richie Sexson MIL 45 0.379
2003 Javy Lopez ATL 43 0.378
2003 Albert Pujols STL 43 0.439
2003 Frank Thomas CHW 42 0.39
2003 Carlos Delgado TOR 42 0.426
2003 Jason Giambi NYY 41 0.412
2003 Sammy Sosa CHC 40 0.358
2002 Alex Rodriguez TEX 57 0.392
2002 Jim Thome CLE 52 0.445
2002 Sammy Sosa CHC 49 0.399
2002 Barry Bonds SFG 46 0.582
2002 Rafael Palmeiro TEX 43 0.391
2002 Lance Berkman HOU 42 0.405
2002 Shawn Green LAD 42 0.385
2002 Jason Giambi NYY 41 0.435
2001 Barry Bonds SFG 73 0.515
2001 Sammy Sosa CHC 64 0.437
2001 Luis Gonzalez ARI 57 0.429
2001 Alex Rodriguez TEX 52 0.399
2001 Shawn Green LAD 49 0.372
2001 Jim Thome CLE 49 0.416
2001 Todd Helton COL 49 0.432
2001 Rafael Palmeiro TEX 47 0.381
2001 Richie Sexon MIL 45 0.342
2001 Phil Nevin SDP 41 0.388
2001 Manny Ramirez BOS 41 0.405
2001 Troy Glaus ANA 41 0.367
2000 Sammy Sosa CHC 50 0.406
2000 Barry Bonds SFG 49 0.44
2000 Jeff Bagwell HOU 47 0.424
2000 Troy Glaus ANA 47 0.404
2000 Vladimir Guerrero MON 44 0.41
2000 Richard Hidalgo HOU 44 0.391
2000 Gary Sheffield LOS 43 0.438
2000 Frank Thomas CHW 43 0.436
2000 Jason Giambi OAK 43 0.476
2000 Jim Edmonds STL 42 0.411
2000 Todd Helton COL 42 0.463
2000 Carlos Delgado TOR 41 0.47
2000 Alex Rodriguez SEA 41 0.42
2000 Tony Batista TOR 41 0.307
2000 Dave Justice CLE/NYY 41 0.377
2000 Ken Griffey Jr. CIN 40 0.387
1999 Mark McGwire STL 65 0.424
1999 Sammy Sosa CHC 63 0.367
1999 Ken Griffey Jr SEA 48 0.384
1999 Rafael Palmeiro TEX 47 0.42
1999 Chipper Jones ATL 45 0.441
1999 Greg Vaughn CIN 45 0.347
1999 Carlos Delgado TOR 44 0.377
1999 Manny Ramirez CLE 44 0.442
1999 Jeff Bagwell HOU 42 0.454
1999 Shawn Green TOR 42 0.384
1999 Vladimir Guerrero MON 42 0.378
1999 Alex Rodriguez SEA 42 0.357
1999 Mike Piazza NYM 40 0.361
1998 Mark McGwire STL 70 0.47
1998 Sammy Sosa CHC 66 0.377
1998 Ken Griffey Jr SEA 56 0.365
1998 Greg Vaugn SDP 50 0.363
1998 Albert Belle CWS 49 0.399
1998 Vinny Castilla COL 46 0.362
1998 Jose Canseco TOR 46 0.318
1998 Juan Gonzalez TEX 45 0.366
1998 Manny Ramirez CLE 45 0.377
1998 Andres Galarraga ATL 44 0.397
1998 Rafael Palmeiro BAL 43 0.379
1998 Alex Rodriguez SEA 42 0.36
1998 Mo Vaughn BOS 40 0.402

Batista and Canseco both did it in the AL. Sammy Sosa hit 40 home runs for the Cubs in 1996 with an on-base percentage of .323.

Howard does have company on the all-time list of the seasons where a player has hit at least 48 home runs with an on-base percentage under .340. But not a lot — Andre Dawson hit 49 home runs for the Cubs with an on-base percentage of .328 in 1987. A player has hit 48 or more in a season 71 times.

This suggests it’s unlikely the Phillies will add Nomar Garciaparra or pitchers Will Ohman or Joe Beimel.

This says the A’s are also interested in Nomar.

Carlos Carrasco thinks he has a good shot to be the Phillies’ fifth starter.

Todd Zolecki, who is now writing for MLB.com and previous scribed the Zo Zone and Phillies Zone, is now back at it with The Zo Zone, but at a new location. It’s all a little complicated, but his blog is now here.


’08 Phils make their case for bullpens without eight guys with an ERA over five

The ’07 Phils actually had 13 guys pitch out of the pen who ended their year with the team with an ERA over 5.00: JD Durbin, Antonio Alfonseca, Clay Condrey, Jose Mesa, Francisco Rosario, Mike Zagurski, Yoel Hernandez, Brian Sanches, Fabio Castro, Kane Davis, John Ennis, Matt Smith and Anderson Garcia. They got it down to five in 2008: Eaton, Kendrick, Gordon, Swindle and Walrond — of that group only Gordon threw more than 11 innings in relief.

Here is the Phillies record by number of runs they scored in 2007:

2007

Runs

W-L

Cumulative W-L
0 0-3 0-3
1 0-8 0-11
2 0-14 0-25
3 4-16 4-41
4 11-12 15-53
5 13-9 28-62
6 15-9 43-71
7 6-0 49-71
8 13-2 62-73
9 10-0 72-73
10 4-0 76-73
>10 13-0 89-73

And here’s what they did in 2008:

2008

Runs

W-L

Cumulative W-L
0 0-8 0-8
1 2-6 2-14
2 3-17 5-31
3 7-16 12-47
4 12-10 24-57
5 17-3 41-60
6 14-5 55-65
7 9-2 64-67
8 16-2 80-69
9 2-1 82-70
10 3-0 85-70
>10 7-0 92-70

There were a lot of significant differences between the 2007 Phillies and the 2008 Phillies. Among the most important were that in 2008 the Phillies scored 799 runs, nearly a hundred runs fewer than they had scored in 2007 when the led the NL with 892. A second was that in 2008 the Phillies had, by ERA, the best bullpen in the NL. This was coming off a year when the bullpen was miserable — in 2007, the Phils’ bullpen ERA of 4.50 was 13th best in the league.

As you would guess, the Phils played more games in 2007 where they scored a large number of runs. In 2007, the Phillies played 42 games in which they scored more than seven runs. In 2008, they played just 31.

In 2007, the Phils used their monster offense to pound their way to some wins. Here are the team’s record in games where they scored eight runs or less in the two seasons:


Record in games where they scored eight runs or less
Year W-L PCT
2007 62-73 .459
2008 80-69 .537

In ’07, the Phils were way under .500 in games where they scored eight runs or fewer. They made up for it with 27 games in which they scored nine or more runs, going 27-0 in those games. In 2008, the Phils played just 13 games where they scored more than eight runs and lost one of those (they went 12-1), but were hugely more successful in the games when they scored eight runs or fewer. They also played more of them — 149 games when they scored eight runs or fewer compared to 135 in 2007.

Finally, you can also see the impact of the improved pen when you look at their results in games where they scored either five or six runs in the game:


Record in games where they scored five or six runs
Year W-L PCT
2007 28-18 .609
2008 31-8 .795

Chris Coste knows he’s a far better defensive catcher than people think.

This says the Phillies are looking at lefty Will Ohman. The linked article also suggests that if Nomar Garciaparra decides to play this year he would be interested in playing for the Phils.


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