Tag: Wilton Lopez

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.


The men at the top

A post earlier this week looked at the total bWAR of hitters and pitchers for the top teams in the NL over the last five years. In 2012, it appears the Phillies will have four elite pitchers on their pitching staff. What should we expect the Phillies to get from the group of Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Papelbon in 2013?

Here’s a look at the Baseball-Reference calculated WAR for each of the four over the past five seasons:

’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 Avg High Low
Halladay 0.7 8.5 8.3 6.6 5.9 6.0 8.5 0.7
Lee 4.2 8.3 4.8 5.1 6.5 5.8 8.3 4.2
Hamels 4.2 6.2 5.3 1.7 4.0 4.3 6.2 1.7
Papelbon 1.6 1.5 0.0 3.4 1.8 1.7 3.4 0.0
Totals 10.7 24.5 18.4 16.8 18.2 17.7 24.5 10.7

So, looking at those four players, over the last five seasons the combined bWAR they have contributed has ranged from 10.7 to 24.5 with an average of 17.7.

Sadly, by a wide margin, the worst year of any of the five is the most recent.

Also sadly, that group has been outrageously healthy over the last five seasons. Halladay’s 2012 season is one exception, but he still made 25 starts and threw 156 1/3 innings. Lee has thrown more than 200 innings in each of the last five years. Hamels has made at least 31 starts every year of the last five. Papelbon has thrown at least 60 innings in relief in each year.

So it’s likely they are going to spend less time on the field in the future than they have over the last five years, giving them less opportunities to accumulate bWAR.

The good news is that the average mark for the last five years, 17.7, would be a huge improvement over what they did in 2012.

The previous post suggested that the total combined bWAR for the team’s pitchers and hitters should be around 36 to give the team a solid shot to be among the four best by bWAR in the NL. If you assume a return to the five-year average for the group of Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Papelbon, that gives the Phils 17.7. Over the last two seasons, the best combined bWAR for all of the Phillie position players is 15.0. That’s 32.7. That sounds like it should be good news — it means that all pitchers on the team other than Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Papelbon, including the missing 40% of the rotation, would only need to post a cumulative bWAR of 3.3 to get the Phils to 36.

But.

In 2012, the Phillie pitchers other than that quartet combined to throw to a bWAR of 0.1. Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Papelbon were at 10.7. The other 20 pitchers who appeared for the Phillies combined for a 0.1 — that includes negative bWAR performances from 11 guys (Blanton, Schwimer, Bastardo, Contreras, Qualls, Sanches, Stutes, Diekman, Savery, Lindblom and Rosenberg).

The obvious other big issue here is Halladay, whose 2012 bWAR dropped to 0.7 coming off of back-to-back seasons in which he was amazing, posting a bWAR better than eight in both years. If you saw any sign in 2012 that Halladay was about to return to 2010-2011 form, I sure missed it. And for now, at least, the Phillies are built around the rather reasonable notion that Roy Halladay is going to be the elite pitcher he has been in recent years.

So let’s hope for the best. But if you suggest that Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Papelbon are going to combine to post a bWAR of 17.7 or better in 2013, I’m taking the under. They all have to stay healthy for one thing. And even if they do, they have close to no chance unless Halladay is way, way better than he was in 2012. Also, the entire pitching staff for the Phillies has thrown to a combined bWAR of 17.7 or better twice in the last 29 years — in each of the seasons in which they did, Hallday posted a bWAR better than eight. In one of them, 2011, Lee also posted a bWAR better than eight.

Bottom line is that the group of four has set the bar almost impossibly high for themselves in terms of whether or not they can ever return to previous, especially 2011, form. In 2011, those four pitchers combined to produce a bWAR of 24.5. Over the past ten seasons, only four NL teams other than the ’11 Phils have put up a combined bWAR for their pitchers of 24.5 or better for their entire staff (the ’12 Reds (26.4), ’09 Giants (24.6), ’08 Cubs (26.9) and ’03 Snakes (27.6)).

In this article from last night, Jim Salisbury suggests the deal for Wilton Lopez is not a sure thing.

This says that BJ Upton and the Braves have agreed to a five-year, $75 million deal. I truly do not know what Upton is going to do over the next five years. But if it’s similar to what he’s done over the last four years, I think it will be good news for the Phils that it’s the Braves and not them paying him $15 millionish a year. He does have huge upside, though. So we’ll see.

Update1: This says the Wilton Lopez deal fell apart.

Update2: This says Denard Span has been traded to the Nats for pitcher Alex Meyer.

Updates one and two are both bad news for the Phillies. Span would have filled the center field hole very nicely.


Nobody fired a shot in anger, nobody had to die in vain

I’ll really do my best to limit your exposure to lyrics from Anne Murray songs on the blog. Promise.

The Phillies sure could use a little good news and here it is: Jon Heyman says they are finalizing a deal to acquire Wilton Lopez.

The 29-year-old righty has been fantastic for the last three years with the Astros, throwing to a 2.64 ERA with a 1.13 ratio over 204 1/3 innings in 205 relief appearances. In two of those years, 2010 and 2012, he threw to a ratio of 1.06 or better (1.27 in 2011). In 2010 and 2012 combined, he walked 13 hitters in 133 1/3 innings while striking out 104.

Lopez would be an ideal fit to bring much needed stability to the eighth inning for the Phils.

No word at this point what the Phils would give up to get Lopez. This article suggests it may be a minor league prospect. This blog post speculates that “a Sebastian Valle for Lopez deal would make sense for both sides.”

This article says: “The Astors will receive minor league players in the deal. The prospects involved are said to be close to major league ready.”

Make your own joke day at Philliesflow as we give you the chance to insert your own joke here about the Phillies and how many prospects they have that are close to major league ready.

Yesterday the Phillies signed 33-year-old catcher Humberto Quintero to a minor league deal. Quintero seems likely to get a chance with the Phillies early in the season in the wake of the Ruiz suspension.

Quintero really, really can’t hit. 234/267/323 in 1,281 plate appearances in the majors over his ten year career. The righty has a career 233/268/319 line against righties and a not much better 238/262/336 line against lefties. He has a career .319 on-base percentage in his 2,984 plate appearances in the minors.

What he can do is play defense. In 2010, he played just 653 2/3 innings for the Astros, but managed to post a Baseball-Reference calculated dWAR of 1.2, which was tied for 21st-best in the NL.

In 2011 he played just 642 innings defensively and again posted a dWAR of 1.2, which was 13th-best in the league.

Update: This suggests that the Braves have reached an agreement with BJ Upton, which would make it less likely that Upton would be playing for the Phillies in 2013.

Update 2: This says five years, $75 million for Upton to the Braves.


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