Tag: Yunel Escobar

Not just that, but I don’t much care for the look in Anderson Hernandez’s eyes either

Earlier this week I mentioned the Marlins infield and the astonishing 29 home runs they got from four different infielders. Between all the hype given to Utley and Howard and Reyes and Wright, you might think the Mets or the Phillies have the best infield in the division. But, in 2008 at least, they didn’t. Arguably, the Marlins didn’t either.

If you look at the players from each team who got the most at-bats at each of the four infield positions in 2008, add up what they did and compare the total OPS for the five NL East teams, here’s how things look:

The Braves:


Player

AB

HR

BB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS
M
Teixerira

381

20

65

.283

.390

.512

.902
K
Johnson

547

12

52

.287

.349

.446

.795
C
Jones

439

22

90

.364

.470

.574

1.044
Y
Escobar

514

10

59

.288

.366

.401

.766

Total

1881
64
266

.305

.392

.477

.869

The Marlins:


Player

AB

HR

BB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS
M
Jacobs

477

32

36

.247

.299

.514

.812
D
Uggla

531

32

77

.260

.360

.514

.874
J
Cantu

628

29

40

.277

.327

.481

.808
H
Ramirez

589

33

92

.301

.400

.540

.940

Total

2225

126

245

.273

.349

.511

.861

The Mets:


Player

AB

HR

BB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS
C
Delgado

598

38

72

.271

.353

.518

.871
L
Castillo

298
3
50

.245

.355

.305

.660
D
Wright

626

33

94

.302

.390

.534

.924
J
Reyes

668

16

66

.297

.358

.475

.833

Total

2210
90
282

.284

.365

.481

.846

The Phillies:


Player

AB

HR

BB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS
R
Howard

610

48

81

.251

.339

.543

.881
C
Utley

607

33

64

.292

.380

.535

.915
P
Feliz

425

14

33

.249

.302

.402

.705
J
Rollins

556

11

58

.277

.349

.437

.786

Total

2198

106

236

.268

.346

.487

.833

And the Nats:


Player

AB

HR

BB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS
A
Boone

232
6
18

.241

.299

.384

.683
F
Lopez

325
2
32

.234

.305

.314

.619
R
Zimmerman

428

14

31

.283

.333

.442

.774
C
Guzman

579
9
23

.316

.345

.440

.786

Total

1564
31
104

.279

.326

.406

.732

The Marlins gave a higher percentage of their defensive innings at the four infield positions to the players listed above than the Braves did. So if you compare what all players did while playing defensively at each of the infield positions (and not just the player who appeared their the most often), the Marlins wound up with a better OPS for the season:

Florida

Player

AB

HR

BB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

All 1B

640

40

44

.253

.304

.506

.811

All 2B

602

33

78

.259

.351

.497

.848

All 3B

651

23

46

.270

.324

.438

.761

All SS

643

34

93

.303

.396

.530

.926

Total

2536

130

261

.272

.344

.493

.837

Atlanta

Player

AB

HR

BB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

All 1B

616

24

93

.279

.378

.458

.836

All 2B

643

11

61

.288

.350

.440

.790

All 3B

623

24

96

.345

.431

.530

.961

All SS

656

11

65

.273

.343

.387

.730

Total

2538
70
315

.296

.376

.453

.828

If you’re wondering how Kelly Johnson can hit 12 home runs and the Braves’ second basemen combine to hit 11, it’s because Johnson hit one as a pinch-hitter and all other players who played second base for Atlanta in ’08 combined to hit zero.

Eric Hinske recalls facing Brad Lidge with the World Series on the line in this article. The same article also suggests that Mike Zagurski could be ready to join a minor league team in mid-April and Scott Mathieson around mid-August.

Pat the Bat will take the bus to face the Phils on Saturday.

The Phils played their first spring training game yesterday and got bombed by the Pirates, 8-2. Joe Bisenius and Scott Nestor combined to pitch two innings and allow seven runs, three of which came on a three-run homer by Shelby Ford off of Bisenius with two outs in the fourth. Mike Koplove is a guy fans should be watching — he struck out two in a perfect eighth. I think Koplove is a long shot to make the team out of spring training, but one scenario where it would be possible is if Park won the fifth starter job and Koplove took Park’s spot in the pen.

Offensively, Jeremy Slayden went 2-for-2 with a double, which was the only extra-base hit of the game for the Phils. If he was right-handed people would be getting rightfully geeked up. He’s not. Ibanez 1-for-2 with an RBI. Marcus Giles 0-for-2 and struck out twice. Jenkins was 1-for-1 with a walk — if you’re looking for places the Phillies can get better in 2009, one is by getting more offense out of Jenkins.

The Phils play Toronto today. JA Happ and Carlos Carrasco are among the Phillies scheduled to pitch.

Jason Donald will play third in today’s game, according to Todd Zolecki’s blog. If Utley is healthy, I think the Phillies would have to believe Donald can play third base for him to have much of a chance to make the opening day roster.

Ad: TicketCity has Phillies tickets for spring training and regular season games.


Funk shrunk

Evidently the collective funk the Phils found themselves in earlier this month was as easy to fall out of as it was to fall into. All it took was a National League team to play.

A lot of things have gone right for the Phillies in Atlanta. Last night they got an early three-run bomb from Howard that put them up 4-0 in the third. Adam Eaton wasn’t great, but he was good enough. The bats have come alive and twice in two games they got huge outs from their pen. Jimmy Rollins is 5-for-8 with two walks in the first two games against the Braves after going 3-for-26 in six games against the A’s and Rangers.

The Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves 7-3 last night. With the win they improve to 46-39 on the year and ensure they will win their first series out of their last seven. The Phillies have won five in a row against the Braves.

Eaton got the start for the Phillies and went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and five walks. Two of the hits went for extra-bases, a double and a home run. He struck out two.

Yunel Escobar singled with one out in the first. Chipper Jones followed with a ground out to second that moved Escobar to second. Eaton got Mark Teixeira on a popup to short for the third out.

Eaton walked Kelly Johnson with one out in the second. He struck Jeff Francoeur out swinging for the second out and got Mark Kotsay on a pop to third.

Gregor Blanco singled to center with one out in the third. Escobar flew to right for the first out before Eaton walked Chipper and Teixeira back-to-back to load the bases for the lefty Brian McCann. McCann flew to center for the third out to leave the bases loaded.

Eaton threw a 1-2-3 fourth.

Eaton started the fifth up 5-0. Ruben Gotay hit for the pitcher Jorge Campillo to lead off the frame and lined a 2-2 pitch just out to right over the glove of Werth. Blanco followed with a walk. Escobar was next and he smashed a ball back up the middle, but Rollins made a fantastic play to start a double-play. Chipper grounded to third for the third out.

Great play by Rollins changed the inning.

Teixeira led off the sixth with a double. Eaton walked McCann on five pitches to put men on first and second before Johnson loaded the bases with a single to right. With the righty Francoeur at the plate Manuel called on Durbin. Durbin got Francoeur to hit a double-play ball to short. Teixeira scored to make it 5-2. Durbin got Kotsay looking at a 2-2 pitch to leave McCann stranded at third.

Great job by Durbin, who came back to throw a 1-2-3 seventh.

Romero started the eighth. Chipper was the first to face him and hit a 1-1 pitch just out to center. 5-3. Teixeira walked on four pitches before Romero struck McCann out swinging for the first out. Johnson was next and chopped a ball high to first. Howard fielded and tagged out Johnson for the second out as Teixeira went to second. Madson came in to pitch to the righty Francoeur and struck him out swinging to end the inning.

Lidge started the ninth, pitching for the second straight day in a non-save situation. He struck out Kotsay for the first out before Greg Norton hit for Royce Ring and singled to center. Blanco was next and hit a ball to Howard that Howard didn’t handle for an error. With runners on first and second, Lidge struck out Escobar for the second out. Chipper was next and hit a ground ball between first and second. Howard cut in front of Utley and didn’t make the play. He was charged with another error, his second in three batters and ninth on the season. It loaded the bases and brought Teixeira to the plate as the tying run, but Lidge struck him out swinging at a 3-2 pitch out of the strike zone to end the game.

Lidge strikes out the side, allowing a hit and working around two errors to post a scoreless frame. The pen allowed one run in four innings while striking out six. Durbin was fantastic. He threw 22 pitches, Lidge 28 with an assist to Howard, Romero 19 and Madson six.

Lidge and Romero were pitching for the second straight day.

The Phillies’ lineup against righty Jorge Campillo went (1) Rollins (2) Victorino (3) Utley (4) Howard (5) Burrell (6) Werth (7) Feliz (8) Coste. Werth again in right despite the righty and a couple of hits from Jenkins the night before. Coste catches Eaton. Howard stays at four and Burrell at five. With two switch-hitters and two lefties in the lineup the Phils have four righties in a row five through eight.

Utley doubled to right with two outs in the first. Howard grounded to first for the third out.

Feliz doubled to left with two outs in the second. Coste was next and hammered a double to left center. Feliz scored and the Phils led 1-0. Eaton followed with a single to left and Coste tried to score from second. Blanco’s throw was strong but a little up the third base line. McCann took it and made a nice tag to nail Coste to end the inning.

Rollins started the third with a single. Victorino flew to right before Rollins stole second. Utley walked and it brought Howard up with two men on. Howard got up 2-1 and then hit one out to left-center for a three-run shot that put the Phils up 4-0. Burrell flew to right and Werth grounded to short.

Coste singled with one out in the fourth and Eaton bunted him to second. Rollins walked to put men on first and second with two down, but Victorino popped to short to end the frame.

With two outs in the fifth, Burrell got ahead 3-1 and then pulled a ball on the outside of the plate out to left to put the Phillies up 5-0. Werth popped to first for the third out.

Feliz started the sixth with a single but Coste hit into a double-play behind him. Eaton struck out for the third out.

Rollins started the seventh with an infield single but Victorino, Utley and Howard went down in order behind him.

Werth singled with one out in the eighth. Feliz flew to left for the second out before Werth stole second. Coste grounded to first to set the Phillies down.

Bruntlett, who had entered the game in left in the bottom of the eighth, started the eighth with a walk. Rollins followed with a triple to right-center that scored Bruntlett and put the Phils up 6-3. Victorino struck out for the first out before Utley singled to left, scoring Rollins to make it 7-3. Utley stole second before Howard walked. It put men on first and second with one down. Taguchi hit for Madson and hit into a double-play.

Bad strikeout by Victorino with nobody out and a man on first. Utley picked him up.

Rollins was 3-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.

Victorino 0-for-5 and left five men on base. He’s 3-for-his-last-21.

Utley 2-for-4 with a double, a walk and an RBI.

Howard 1-for-4 with a three-run homer and a walk.

Burrell 1-for-4 with his 21st home run.

Werth 1-for-4.

Feliz 2-for-4 with a double.

Coste 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI.

Cole Hamels (8-5, 3.38) faces righty Jair Jurrjens (8-3, 2.94) tonight. Over his last three starts Jurrjens has not allowed an earned run in 21 2/3 innings. He’s allowed just five home runs in 98 innings on the year. Opponents are hitting just .248 against him, but he’s walked too many, 37 in 98 innings. He’s just 22 so you might as well get used to him. Hamels has allowed six home runs in his last four starts but has gone at least seven innings in all of them.

This suggests that JA Happ or Brian Mazone will get a start this weekend against the Mets.


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