Tag: wilson valdez

18 and life for the offense

The bats roared to life over the past three games as the Phils plated 18 runs against the Cubs and won all three. Utley had a fantastic series for the Phils, going 4-for-8 with two doubles and a home run in the last two games, and Howard was huge with the bat yesterday, going 3-for-3 and driving in three of the four runs scored by the Phils.

Friday the Phils won 7-5. After a two-run homer by Brown in the second and a seventh-inning grand slam by Polanco helped give the Phils a 7-0 lead, the Phils managed to hold off Contreras and the Cubs in the last two innings. Chicago scored four times in the top of the eighth, with four runs charged to Contreras, who got just one out in the game. Bastardo struck Carlos Pena out as the tying run to end the game and earn his second save of the season.

Lee held the Cubs to a run over eight innings on Saturday as the Phils won 7-1. Utley had a monster day, going 2-for-5 with a double, a two-run homer and four RBI. Victorino chipped in with three hits of his own, including a double.

Yesterday the Phils won 4-3 behind Oswalt, who pitched great after a miserable first inning, and Howard’s big day with the bat.

The Phillies are 40-26 on the year after beating the Chicago Cubs 4-3 yesterday afternoon. The Phils take the four-game set three games to one. The remain in first place in the NL East and lead the second-place Braves by two games. The third-place Marlins have fallen seven games behind the Phils.

Oswalt got the start for the Phillies and went seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out five. After allowing three runs in the first inning on four hits, he allowed a single, two walks and no runs over the next six innings.

He struck Kosuke Fukudome out to start the game, but Darwin Barney followed that with a single to right. Starlin Castro was next and hit a ball that landed just fair down the left field line for a double. Barney scored and Chicago led 1-0. Carlos Pena popped to Rollins for the second out, but Aramis Ramirez hit a 1-0 pitch out left. 3-0. Blake DeWitt singled into center and was left there when Tyler Colvin popped to short.

It was 3-1 when Oswalt set the Cubs down in order in the second. He got Koyie Hill on a ground ball to first, pitcher Doug Davis on a grounder to short and Fukudome on a fly ball to center.

Pena singled to right with two outs in the third, but Oswalt got Ramirez on a fly ball to right for the third out.

DeWitt started the fourth with the lead cut to 3-2 and hit a ball to Rollins that Rollins didn’t handle for an error. Colvin flew to center for the first out before Hill walked on a 3-2 pitch. Davis tried to bunt the runners along, but Oswalt handled it and threw to third to force the lead runner DeWitt for the second out. With two outs and men on first and second, Fukudome flew to right, leaving both runners stranded.

Oswalt walked Pena with two outs in the fifth, but got Ramirez on a pop to Utley for the third out.

He set the Cubs down in order in the sixth and again in the seventh.

Up 4-3, Stutes pitched the eighth. He struck out Pena and Ramirez while setting Chicago down in order.

Stutes lowered his ERA on the year to 2.41 after 21 appearances.

Madson started the ninth and got the first two before Hill singled to right. It brought pitcher John Grabow to the plate as the tying run. Righty Geovany Soto, who tied game one of the series with a ninth-inning home run off of Madson, hit for Grabow. DJ LeMahieu ran for Hill at first. Soto popped a 2-2 pitch into shallow right field. Brown didn’t have a chance to get there, but Utley made a great running catch to snare it and end the game.

Neither Madson nor Stutes have pitched more than one day in a row. Both should be fine for Tuesday with the off-day today. Madson threw 17 pitches and Stutes ten.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Doug Davis went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Francisco (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Francisco in right with Brown on the bench. Polanco gets the day off with Valdez at third and Victorino hitting second. Ibanez stays in the lineup against the lefty.

Down 3-0, Rollins singled to center to start the bottom of the first and was forced at second for the first out when Victorino followed with a ground ball to short. Utley moved Victorino to third with a single before Howard blasted a double off of the wall in straight away center. Victorino scored to cut the lead to 3-1 with Utley held at third. Francisco walked to load the bases, but Ibanez struck out swinging 1-2 for the second out and Ruiz lined to third.

No more runs for the Phils after loading the bases with one out. Ibanez can’t put the ball in play and the Phils can’t bring the runner in from third with less than two outs.

Howard still doesn’t have a home run against lefties on the year. He came close there. He’s hitting 259/315/365 against them for the year. He’s on pace to hit about 32 home runs against righties this year and none against lefties.

The Phils went in order in the second.

Utley walked with one out in the third and moved to third on a single by Howard. Francisco followed that with his second walk of the game, loading the bases for Ibanez. Ibanez singled into right and everyone moved up a base with Utley scoring. 3-2. Ruiz struck out swinging for the second out. Valdez grounded to second for the third.

Second time in three innings the Phils leave the bases loaded. Second time in three innings they strike out with one out and a man on third.

Before walking twice in the first three innings, Francisco came in the game having walked in 11.9% of his plate appearances for the year. That’s the best mark of his career and way better than his career mark of 8.3%. If only he could get a hit.

Victorino walked with two outs in the fourth, but Utley flew to left behind him.

Howard walked to start the fifth and moved to second on a ground out by Francisco, but Ibanez and Ruiz both struck out to leave him at second.

The Phils went in order in the sixth. Manuel was ejected for arguing balls and strikes as Oswalt struck out looking.

Victorino was hit by a pitch to start the seventh and went to third when Utley followed and ripped a double. Howard dribbled a single to the right of second and into center, scoring both runners and putting the Phils up 4-3. With lefty Sean Marshall pitching, Polanco hit for Francisco and popped to Pena for the first out. Ibanez grounded to second with Howard forced at second for the second out. Ruiz struck out to leave Ibanez at first.

The Phils went in order in the eighth. Brown, who took over for Francisco in right after Polanco hit for Francisco in the seventh, grounded to second for the second out.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game and 2-for-18 with four walks in the four-game set. He’s hitting 256/331/356 on the season.

Victorino 0-for-2 with a walk yesterday. 6-for-15 with a double and two walks in the series. 280/353/472 for the season.

Utley 2-for-3 with a walk and a double. 6-for-17 with two doubles and a home run in the series. He also walked three times and drove in four runs. He came into the series with three extra-base hits for the season and doubled that in the four-game set. 261/370/420 on the year in 81 plate appearances.

Howard was 3-for-3 with a double and drove in three of the four runs the Phillies scored in the game. 4-for-13 with a double and five RBI in the series. He also walked five times. He came in to last night’s game 2-for-his-last-18. 247/336/474 for the year.

Francisco 0-for-1 with two walks. 0-for-3 with two walks in the series. 220/338/372 for the year. 172/304/310 against lefties for the season. Brown 0-for-1 yesterday and 1-for-11 with two walks and a homer in the series. He’s 1-for-his-last-18 and hitting 235/312/397 in 77 plate appearances for the season.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with an RBI. 6-for-16 with a walk and two doubles in the series. 250/300/419 for the year. 302/331/537 since the end of April.

Ruiz was 0-for-4, struck out three times and left eight men on base. He lined to third with the bases loaded in the first (3), struck out with the bases loaded in the third (6), struck out with Howard on second in the fifth (7) and struck out with Ibanez on first in the seventh (8). 3-for-12 with two walks in the series. He’s hitting 243/360/340 for the year.

Valdez 0-for-4 yesterday in his only action in the series. He’s hitting 240/279/295 for the year. Polanco was 0-for-1 yesterday and 3-for-14 with a walk and a grand slam in the series.

No game today. Marlins tomorrow for the first of four. Then the Mariners (of course).


Fans starting to wonder if the Phillie brain trust might be better off spending less time wondering if Madson can close and more wondering if anyone on the team can hit

The Phils might not be able to hit in 2011, but they sure can pitch. Last night Cole Hamels and Ryan Madson made the most of the two runs the offense provided. Hamels spun eight fantastic innings and Madson shut down the Rockies in the ninth, converting his seventh save in seven tries and dropping his ERA on the year to 0.53.

Hamels lowered his ERA on the year to 2.92 with another outstanding outing. Over his last eight starts he’s pitched to a 2.19 ERA with an 0.90 ratio and thrown 59 innings — that’s an average of more than 7 1/3 innings per start.

Wilson Valdez was as close as the Phils could come to an offensive hero. Valdez went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles, driving in the first run for the Phils and scoring the second.

The Phillies didn’t have an extra-base hit in the game. They are slugging .338 in May, which is 14th-best in the NL. They are 14th in batting average and 15th in on-base percentage for the month.

The Phillies are 26-16 on the year after beating the Colorado Rockies 2-1 last night.

Hamels got the start for the Phillies and went eight innings, allowing a run on five hits and a walk. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, both doubles. He struck out eight.

Dexter Fowler grounded to short to start the game, but Hamels walked Alfredo Amezaga on four pitches behind him. Carlos Gonzalez followed that with a single to right. Amezaga tried to take third, but Mayberry threw him out at third for the second out. Troy Tulowitzki flew to center to leave Gonzalez at first.

Nice throw by Mayberry changes the inning.

Todd Helton grounded to second to start the second. Jose Lopez was next and he singled into center, but was forced at second when Ryan Spilborghs followed with a ground ball to short. Spilborghs was thrown out trying to steal second to set Colorado down.

Hamels had gotten six outs in the game and two of them came on the bases.

He threw a 1-2-3 third, getting Chris Iannetta on a ground ball to third, the pitcher Jorge De La Rosa swinging 0-2 and Fowler on a ground ball to third.

Hamels struck out Gonzalez and Tulowitzki in a 1-2-3 fourth.

He struck Helton out for the first out of the fifth. Lopez and Spilborghs went down on ground balls behind Helton.

Struck out Iannetta and De La Rosa in a 1-2-3 sixth with the Phils up 1-0.

Gonzalez doubled off the wall in left-center with one out in the seventh. Tulowitzki grounded to third for the second out with Gonzalez holding second, but Helton was next and he doubled to right, scoring Gonzalez to tie the game at 1-1. Lopez flew to center to leave Helton at second.

Spilborghs led off the eighth with a single. Iannetta lined to left for the first out and De La Rosa stayed in the game and bunted Spilborghs to second with the second. Hamels struck Fowler out swinging 2-2 to leave Spilborghs stranded.

Madson started the ninth with a 2-1 lead. Lefty Seth Smith hit for the pitcher Alfredo Amezaga and doubled into the left field corner. Madson struck out Gonzalez and Tulowitzki behind Smith and then put the lefty Helton on intentionally after pitching around him and getting behind 3-0. Lefty Jason Giambi hit for righty Jose Lopez. Madson got behind Giambi 2-0, but struck him out swinging 2-2 to end the game.

Gonzalez and Tulowitzki are impressive fellows to strike out with the tying run on second base. Madson threw 24 pitches in the game.

The Phillies lineup against lefty Jorge De La Rosa went (1) Rollins (2) Martinez (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Mayberry (6) Ibanez (7) Ruiz (8) Valdez. Martinez plays center for the second straight day with Victorino sidelined with a hamstring problem. Francisco on the bench against the lefty with the lefty Ibanez in left and the righty Mayberry in right. Apparently back-to-back lefties was enough to get Ibanez into the lineup. The righty Valdez plays second.

The Phils went in order in the first and the second.

Ruiz led off the third with a single and moved up to second on a ground out by Valdez, but Hamels struck out looking for the second out and Rollins grounded to third to leave him stranded.

Martinez, Polanco and Howard went in order in the fourth.

Ibanez singled to right with one out in the fifth and Ruiz was hit by a pitch behind hm. The runners moved up to second and third before Valdez singled into left, scoring Ibanez to put the Phils up 1-0 with one out and men on first and third. Hamels grounded into a double-play to keep the Phils from getting more.

Hamels swings away and it doesn’t work out for the Phils.

Rollins started the sixth with a single to left and Martinez bunted him to second. Polanco flew to right for the second out before Rollins stole third, but Howard flew to left to leave him there.

The game was tied at 1-1 when the Phils hit in the seventh. Ibanez and Ruiz both struck out as the Phils went in order.

Valdez led off the eighth with a single to left. Victorino hit for Hamels and bunted him to second. Valdez took third on a wild pitch before Rollins hit a fly ball to right for the second out, deep enough for Valdez to tag and score, putting the Phils up 2-1. Martinez grounded to short for the third out.

Valdez starts the rally that puts the Phils ahead after driving in the first run of the game in the fifth. In both innings the Phillies scored they get helped by a passed ball or wild pitch.

Rollins was 1-for-3 with an RBI.

Martinez was 0-for-3 with a strikeout. 7-for-32 with seven singles and a 219/265/219 line for the year.

Polanco was 0-for-3. He’s hitting 211/246/246 in May.

Howard 0-for-3. 161/268/339 over his last 71 plate appearances.

Mayberry was 0-for-3 with a nice throw to get Amezaga at third. 205/326/410 over his last 46 plate appearances.

Ibanez 1-for-3 with a strikeout. He hasn’t been any worse against lefties than righties this year. A little better, actually. 222/282/389 against lefties and 226/281/321 against righties. As bad as he’s been, I think Francisco needs to be starting against lefties given the current roster and production of Ibanez.

Ruiz was 1-for-2. He’s 3-for-his-last-37.

Joe Blanton (1-2, 5.50) faces righty Jhoulys Chacin (4-2, 2.89) tonight. Opponents are hitting just .211 against Chacin for the year, but he’s walked 12 in 19 innings over his last three starts. Blanton’s elbow saga continues. He hasn’t gone more than five innings in either of his last two starts.

This article suggests that Utley could be back before the end of the homestand and Brown within a couple of weeks.


Seventh wonder

The Phils came into last night’s game having scored a total of one run in the last three games Cliff Lee had started, so there was reason for concern when they rolled into the seventh trailing 3-0. The offense did show up, though, as the Phils mounted a nifty rally, scoring five times after the sixth inning to get a 5-3 win and take the series two games to one.

Doubles by Ibanez and Orr and an error by the Fish helped the Phils get two runs in the seventh, Victorino tied the game at 3-3 with a home run in the seventh and J-Roll delivered a two-out single in the ninth that plated two runs and put the Phils ahead to stay.

The Phils aren’t exactly tearing the cover off the ball these days, they’ve gone 3-3 in their last six games and scored 17 runs, which is about 2.8 runs per game. The are fifth in the NL in runs scored per game and second in runs allowed behind the Braves.

The Phillies are 24-12 on the year after beating the Florida Marlins 5-3 last night. They have the best record in baseball and lead the second-place Marlins by three games in the NL East.

Lee got the start for the Phillies and went six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. One of the hits went for extra-bases, a solo home run. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter.

He got Chris Coghlan to ground to second for the first out in the bottom of the first. Emilio Bonifacio struck out looking for the second out, but Hanley Ramirez was next and he hit a 1-1 pitch out to left center, putting Florida up 1-0. Gaby Sanchez grounded to second for the third out.

John Buck flew to right for the first out of the second and Mike Stanton flew to center behind him. Wes Helms singled to right before Omar Infante flew to right to leave him at first.

Lee threw a 1-2-3 third, striking out pitcher Ricky Nolasco for the first out and getting Coghlan and Bonifacio on ground balls behind him.

He got Ramirez, Sanchez and Buck in a 1-2-3 fourth.

Stanton singled to start the fifth. Helms struck out swinging behind him for the first out before Infante grounded to third. Stanton was forced at second for the second out with Infante safe at first. Nolasco struck out swinging to leave Infante at first.

Coghlan grounded out to start the sixth, but Bonifacio reached on an infield single behind him and Ramirez followed that with a single into center on a ball that was deflected by Valdez. It put men on first and second for Sanchez and he singled to center, loading the bases for Buck. Buck lined a single into left, moving everyone up a base and extending the lead to 2-0. Stanton was next and he lined a ball to center for the second out, deep enough for Ramirez to tag and score. 3-0. Helms grounded to third and Buck was forced at second to end the inning.

The lead was cut to 3-2 when Romero started the seventh. Infante flew to right for the first out. Righty Osvaldo Martinez hit for the pitcher Ryan Webb and smoked a ball into right-center, but Francisco made a nice play, tracking the ball down on a run just in front of the track for the second out. Coghlan grounded to first for the third out.

Kendrick started the eighth with the score tied at 3-3 and walked Bonifacio on five pitches. Ramirez flew to right for the first out before Sanchez moved Bonifacio to second with a single. Buck grounded to third and the Phils turned the double-play to end the inning.

I confess to not having a lot of confidence in Kendrick there, especially after he walked Bonifacio on five pitches to get things started. Worked out well.

Madson started the ninth with a 5-3 lead. He struck Stanton out for the first out and lefty Brian Petersen, hitting for Helms, out for the second. Infante flew to left for the third out.

Three scoreless innings for the pen in which they allow a single and a walk. Madson threw 16 pitches in the game, Kendrick 12 and Romero eight. Nobody has thrown more than one day in a row and the pen will be well-rested for Friday thanks to the complete game by Halladay in game two of the set and today’s off-day.

The Phillies lineup against righty Ricky Nolasco went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Polanco (4) Howard (5) Ibanez (6) Francisco (7) Schneider (8) Valdez. Schneider catches against the righty with the righty Sardinha on the bench. Valdez starts against the righty with the lefty Orr on the bench.

The Phils went in order in the first.

Howard walked to start the second with the Phils down 1-0, but Ibanez hit into a double-play behind him. Francisco flew to center for the third out.

Lee walked with two outs in the third, but Rollins flew to center behind him.

Polanco doubled with one out on in the fourth on a ball deflected by Stanton. Howard and Ibanez both struck out to leave him stranded.

Schneider doubled to center with one out in the fifth. Lee was next and hit a line drive that was deflected by Infante but made it in to center field. Schneider would have scored easily, but pulled a hamstring and had to hobble back to third. Sardinha ran for him at third, Rollins grounded to second to leave Lee and Sardinha both stranded.

Victorino, Polanco and Howard went in order in the sixth.

They started the seventh down 3-0 and Ibanez doubled to right. Francisco flew to left for the first out before Sardinha hit a ball to first that Sanchez didn’t handle for an error. It put men on first and third for Valdez and with the righty Nolasco still pitching for Florida, Orr hit for Valdez and lined a double to right. Ibanez scored to cut the lead to 3-1 and Sardinha went to third. Lee was eager to hit for himself, but Manuel called on Gload to replace him and righty Ryan Webb came in to pitch to Gload. Gload hit a ground ball to first that Sanchez took and tossed to Webb covering first for the second out, but Sardinha scored from third to make the score 3-2. Rollins grounded back to the pitcher to leave Orr at third.

Gload gets to hit against the righty Webb as the Fish choose Webb to face Gload and then bring Dunn in to pitch the eighth. If Manuel wanted Orr to hit against Nolasco instead of Valdez it seems a little odd he didn’t start him. The error by Sanchez helps the Phils score an unearned run at a time they need all the help they can get.

Victorino led off the eighth and homered to left on a 2-1 pitch to tie the game at 3-3. Polanco, Howard and Ibanez went in order behind him.

Sardinha singled to left with one out in the ninth and moved to third when Orr followed and ripped a double to right. With righty Leo Nunez on the mound for the Marlins, Mayberry hit for Kendrick and struck out swinging 2-2 for the second out. Rollins picked him up, though, lining a 1-0 pitch into right to score both runners and put the Phils up 5-3. Rollins took second as the throw came home to try to get Orr, but was left there when Victorino fouled out to third.

Again Manuel uses Gload early in the game and it means that Mayberry is forced to hit against a righty. Bad at-bat for Mayberry, striking out with one out and a huge runner on third.

Rollins was 1-for-5 in the game with a huge two-run single. He was 4-for-15 with a home run and three RBI in the game and is hitting 283/370/372 for the season.

Victorino 1-for-5 with his sixth home run. He’s on pace to hit 27. 3-for-14 with a walk, a triple and a home run in the series. 286/348/517 on the year. 300/364/600 over his last 67 plate appearances.

Polanco was 1-for-4 with a double. 2-for-12 with a double in the series. 350/390/455 for the season, but he’s hitting just 225/244/275 in May.

Howard was 0-for-3 with a walk and struck out three times. 3-for-11 with a double, a home run and two walks in the series. He’s 5-for-18 with three walks and two homers in his last five games. 268/342/514 for the year. He has struck out 13 times in his last 29 plate appearances, which is too many.

Ibanez 1-for-4 with a double in the game and 5-for-12 with two doubles in the series. 232/289/360 for the season. 441/441/765 over his last 34 plate appearances. 395/395/684 in May without a walk.

Francisco was 0-for-4 with a strikeout last night and 1-for-6 with a walk in the series. He’s 2-for-his-last-26 with two singles, eight walks and three hit by pitch. 229/343/373 on the season. Mayberry was 0-for-1 with a big strikeout last night and 1-for-2 with a walk in the series. 300/404/450 on the year.

Schneider was 1-for-2 in the game and could be headed to the DL. 1-for-6 with a double in the series and 173/218/327. Sardinha was miserable in game two of the series, but in the middle of things last night. He went 1-for-2 with a single and two runs scored last night. 1-for-4 with a walk in the series. 3-for-13 with three walks on the year.

Valdez 0-for-2 with a strikeout last night and 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in the game. 238/273/286 on the season. 149/184/170 over his last 50 plate appearances. Orr had a huge night, going 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and an RBI. 2-for-8 with a walk in the series. 265/333/327 on the year — he came into the game last night with one extra-base hit on the season.

The Phils don’t play today and will face Atlanta in Atlanta on Friday.

It’s the last scheduled off-day for the Phils in a while. Starting on Friday they will play 20 games in 20 days.

The Phillies don’t seem to be getting much offense from the second base or catching positions. Possible exception to that would be the two key doubles Orr hit last night to help them win the game, but, you know, in general.

Ruiz will catch Oswalt in Clearwater tonight with Utley expected to play as well.

PS — Comcast SportsNet wants you to know that they will air tonight’s Threshers game at 7 PM.


Bullpen market

Here’s some lefties that have pitched for the Phils this spring who, even if they don’t have much of a chance to pitch out of the pen for the Phils at the start of the season, sure won’t be in the starting rotation.

Spring IP Spring ERA Spring ratio Career IP Career ERA Career ratio
JC Romero 3 0.00 1.00 624 2/3 4.08 1.49
Antonio Bastardo 1 0.00 0.00 42 1/3 5.53 1.49
Mike Zagurski 4 2.25 1.25 28 1/3 6.99 1.73
Ryan Feierabend 3 3.00 1.67 106 7.22 1.80
Dan Meyer 3 6.00 1.33 113 2/3 5.46 1.55
Juan Perez 3 3.00 1.33 15 2/3 5.17 1.79

Of those guys, Romero is a lock to make the team and Bastardo and Zagurski seem to have a huge advantage over the other candidates. Despite having three fewer appearances, I would guess it’s still advantage Bastardo at this point.

Also, the career numbers on those guys sure are ugly.

Yesterday the Phils topped the Tigers 5-3 to improve to 7-6 in spring action.

Blanton got the start for the Phils and went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a pair of walks. He’s thrown to a 3.09 ERA with a 1.11 ratio over 11 2/3 innings in three starts.

Madson, Romero and Herndon followed him with scoreless innings before Zagurski allowed a run on a double, a single and two walks in the ninth.

Romero hasn’t walked a batter in three innings so far. Madson’s allowed one hit in three shutout frames and Herndon has given up two hits and two walks over four scoreless innings.

Brian Schneider homered for the Phils, a three-run shot in the second. It was his second home run of the spring. Jeff Larish also connected for a solo shot, he’s 2-for-10 with a double and a home run.

Ibanez went 2-for-3 with a double, raising his average to .240. Martinez 0-for-2 and hitting .174. Rivero 0-for-1 and hitting .308. Dewlyn Young 1-for-3, raising his average to .321 after 28 at-bats. No Phillie has more plate appearances than Young this spring — he, Polanco and Rollins all have 30.

I think it’s a lot more likely that Delwyn Young is going to start the year with the Phillies than I did a few weeks ago. I do wish we were seeing more of Josh Barfield in official games — he’s 5-for-10 with a walk and a double. I think both those guys are better bets to help the Phils than Martinez or Rivero.

Halladay starts today against the Yankees.

I don’t know when you’re going to see Chase Utley playing baseball next, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be soon. In the linked article, Amaro says, “We don’t know exactly when he is going to be playing for us, but I expect him to be playing for us at some point — hopefully in the early part of the season, maybe even the beginning of the season.” That’s not good.

Amaro says that Utley would be replaced by Wilson Valdez if needed in this article. There’s some drop off there, given that Valdez has a career on-base percentage of .289 and never had 150 plate appearances in a season coming into last year.

The Phillies have come to a deal with Charlie Manuel that will keep him managing the team through 2013.

This says that the Phillies hadn’t contacted the Rangers about Michael Young as of yesterday morning. Moving Polanco to second and trying to get a third baseman makes a lot more sense to me than trying to get a second baseman.


First pitches

The Phils are 3-3 through six official spring games. Over the six games, they’ve scored 23 runs (3.83 runs per game) and allowed 26 (4.33 per game).

Of the 26 runs they’ve allowed, 12 of them have been charged to Justin De Fratus (who has allowed four runs over three innings, Eddie Bonine (four runs over two innings) and Michael Schwimer (four runs in one inning).

Overall, the pitchers have thrown to a 3.83 ERA with a 1.28 ratio and 42 strikeouts in 52 innings. Excluding the three guys above, the Phils have thrown to a 2.44 ERA with a 1.13 ratio and 39 strikeouts in 48 innings.

The 13 pitchers who (in my mind) with the best chance to make the Phils this year who have thrown so far (Halladay, Lee, Hamels, Oswalt, Blanton, Kendrick, Worley, Lidge, Zagurski, Baez, Herndon, Madson and Romero) have combined to pitch to a 1.86 ERA with a 1.03 ratio and strike out 19 in 29 innings. Lidge is the guy of that group you might want to start worrying about a little — in two outings he’s allowed four hits, including a home run, and hit a batter over two innings.

Finally, the group of Halladay, Lee, Oswalt, Hamels and Blanton has combined to throw 15 innings, allowing three earned runs on seven hits and six walks. That’s a 1.80 ERA and an 0.87 ratio. They’ve struck out 11 in 15 innings.

On Wednesday, the Phils lost to Baltimore 6-5. Oswalt got the start and allowed a run on two hits and a walk over two innings. Lidge followed him, giving up a run on three singles. Worley was next, making his second spring appearance, and allowed a run on four singles over two innings. David Herndon and Brian Gordon both threw scoreless frames, while De Fratus and Brian Bass combined to allow three runs on six hits over two innings.

Michael Martinez and John Mayberry both hit solo homers for the Phils in the ninth. Mayberry also doubled in the game.

Hamels was fantastic yesterday as the Phils topped the Red Sox 2-0. He threw four shutout innings, allowing a single to Mike Cameron and a walk. Over six shutout spring innings, he’s allowed two hits and two walks. Cameron’s single off of Hamels was the only Boston hit on the day. Mathieson followed Hamels with two shutout frames before Michael Stutes tossed two scoreless innings of his own. Juan Perez allowed a walk in a scoreless ninth.

Nice outing for Mathieson after he allowed a pair of runs in two innings in his first appearance. Perez has now walked three in his two innings. Stutes has allowed two hits and struck out five in four scoreless frames without walking a batter — the 24-year-old righty threw to a 3.42 ERA with a 1.32 ratio in 53 relief appearances between Double-A and Triple-A for the Phils last year. In 76 1/3 innings he struck out 79.

Jeff Larish went 1-for-3 with a two-run double in the second that accounted for all the scoring in the game. He’s 1-for-7 with a walk so far. Delwyn Young was 0-for-2 with a walk to drop his spring average to .364. Francisco was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles. He’s hitting .375. Brown 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout, making him a hide-your-eyes 0-for-15 with nine strikeouts for the spring. Michael Martinez was 0-for-4 and is 1-for-12. Mayberry went 1-for-3 with a walk — he has an impressive 333/375/600 line after 15 at-bats. He also stole his second base of the spring yesterday.

Joe Blanton is expected to start today as the Phils face the Pirates.

No news is no news on Chase Utley. He can take batting practice, but not run or field. The most interesting part of the article may be Amaro’s quotes about the defense of Delwyn Young at second base. He doesn’t sound particularly enthusiastic.

The article linked above also says that Brian Schlitter has a tender elbow and that Bastardo could pitch in today’s game.

Wilson Valdez took the wrong bus yesterday.

Carlos Ruiz left camp Wednesday for the birth of his second child and should return today.


Sliding scale

Is there any argument to be made that Francisco actually has more power than Ibanez or Utley? Or Werth?

Well, not if you look at their career numbers. The table below shows, for each of the four, their isolated power calculated in two different ways, the percentage of their hits that have gone for extra-bases and the percentage of their plate appearances in which they have delivered an extra-base hit. The first isolated power column is just career slugging minus career batting average. The second isolated power column uses the formula (2B + 3B + (HR*3))/AB (which treats doubles and triples the same).

ISO (SLG-BA) ISO (formula) % of H XBH % of PA XBH
Ibanez .192 .185 37.3 9.5
Utley .221 .213 40.4 10.2
Francisco .183 .181 41.7 9.8
Werth .209 .204 39.9 9.3

So no, there’s not much of a case for Francisco as a hitter with more power than any of those guys over their careers. He has seen a higher percentage of his hits go for extra-bases than the others in the group, but lags behind everyone pretty much everywhere else except that the percentage of his plate appearances in which he delivered an extra-base hit is higher than Werth or Ibanez.

In trying to make sense of the numbers above, it’s important to understand that the extra-base hits delivered by Francisco aren’t as good as the extra-base hits delivered by the other three players. The extra-base hits by the other three guys, on average, went for more bases. Here’s the career rates of total bases for extra-base hits for the four:

TB per XBH
Werth 2.93
Utley 2.86
Ibanez 2.82
Francisco 2.66

There’s a different story, though, if you look at the numbers from last year. Unfortunately, that might say more about what was wrong with Ibanez and Utley in 2010 than what it does about what was right with Francisco. There’s no case to be made that Francisco has more power than Werth, so he’s dropped from the table below, which now includes the numbers for Ibanez, Utley and Francisco from 2010 and Francisco for his career.

ISO (SLG-BA) ISO (formula) % of H XBH % of PA XBH
Ibanez ’10 .160 .169 37.7 9.1
Utley ’10 .165 .170 32.5 7.4
Francisco ’10 .173 .173 39.6 9.6
Francisco Career .183 .181 41.7 9.8

So that might be good for Francisco, if his goal is to have about the same power as Ibanez or Utley, but it’s real bad news for the Phils given how far off the power numbers were for Ibanez and Utley in 2010 compared to the rest of their careers. Francisco’s numbers were off his career levels, but still good enough to top both Ibanez and Utley.

The Phillies claimed right-handed pitcher Brian Schlitter and designated Andrew Carpenter for assignment. Schlitter turns 26 in December and threw eight innings for the Cubs in 2010 in his first major league action. In 190 innings in the minor leagues, Schlitter has walked 75. It’s a devastating blow to the theory that Amaro’s plan for world domination is all about preventing walks. Carpenter made five appearances with the Phillies over the past three seasons and was hit hard in 9 2/3 innings. He threw to a 4.05 ERA with a 1.36 ratio in 27 starts at Triple-A in 2010.

This says that John Mayberry will spend some time at first base this spring and Wilson Valdez some time in the outfield.

This says that the Phillies are willing to offer pitcher John Maine a minor league deal and suggests that Maine will decide what he wants to do in the next couple of days.

This says that Bastardo has still not thrown off a mound yet and now has been dealing with an illness as well as elbow issues from this winter.


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