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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

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Over hamels last few starts he has pitched better then he did to start the season off. I agree that it is time for him to take command and put this ball club on his left shoulder because this team and this pitching staff needs it. If the bullpen keeps getting worked the way it is now, by the end of the season they might be tired, and we need them stronger then everybody else's pen in sept. and oct.... Hamels would prolly agree will all the stuff i just said and i expect the world series MVP to pick it up in a big way starting tonight against the blue jays!

First pointless comment of the day: I just realized that the Phils have been in the World Series only 6 times but they have faced all 5 teams in the AL East.

Great post JW.

Madson signed a contract making him one of the biggest bargains in MLB. Very un-Boras-like.

I love Rollins. He's still my favorite Phillie and is the straw that stirs the drink. I expect a strong second half from him.
But all of us watching the games this season can see that its not been bad luck; he's hitting a legitimate .220.

Hamels has a 3.28 ERA over his last 8 starts, one of which was cut short against the Nationals when he was cruising with a shutout in the 5th. His WHIP is 1.236 over that time with 45K/10BB. So far this season, he has yet to walk more than 2 batters in a game.

And after giving up 5 HRs in his first 13 innings, he's only given up 5 HRs in his last 49.1 innings.

I'm not all that worried about Cole at this point.

Anyone who watches Rollins's at-bats should be skeptical of his "bad luck". Popping up on a 3-1 count isn't bad luck.

On the Madson article:

- Finally an athlete who makes a rational financial decision and likely didn't listen to his idiot agent (Boras) who has a greater vested interest in trying to mamimize the overall size of the deal.

- Nowaways in baseball $12M doesn't raise that many eyebrows but Madson never has to work again now if he pleases and should be financially set for life and really his children on their way too as long as he even has a basic financial advisor and a solid lawyer to get around some of the taxes.

I think bap did a post showing that with better luck, Rollins would be hitting .240. The fact that his BABIP is so low is partly a function of his decreased line drive percentage.

Right... there's a difference between saying Jimmy Rollins has been unlucky and saying Jimmy Rollins would be hitting .300 if he weren't so unlucky.

Jimmy Rollins has been unlucky. He's also playing poorly. Combine the two, and you get a guy hitting just over the Mendoza line. Good thing he's still got his glove!

My observation of Hamels (and I live in NY so I don't get to see the games except on MLB) is that he can rise to the occasion when he wants to--kind of immature.

I no longer groan when Feliz and Ruiz are batting although I believe that Ruiz's OBP is augmented by batting ahead of the pitcher.

I would like to see Bastardo pushed into teh bulpen now so he can give us a couple of innings of 94-96 fastballs, while he is developing his other pitches.

And we really got to get rid of Gruntlet (my term sorry) and Taschner. The Gruntlet can't even bunt!

As for Madson I am very pleased with his development. What I want to know is how this guy increased his velocity from the low 90s to the mid and upper 90s. This started last september. I am a littel worried about the suddenness or is it my imagination. I efinitely suspected Rollins when he went therough 30 homer year.

Hugh - very interesting.

How bout this perfect storm of events that's really putting a damper on efforts to improve the starting pitching? Trade chips Donald and Marson injured. Peavy injured. Halladay and Bedard nursing injuries. Marquis' Rockies winning 11 in a row. Who the hell can they get and for who, for what?

RK, read the article. Tom Gordon took Madson to a physiotherapist at the beginning of last year to help recover from his surgery. The training added the velocity to his fastball.

Bonehead and KC, both excellent points. Zolecki does say that Rollins pop-out % is higher and pitches/AB count is down. that leads one to believe he is less selective and swinging at bad pitches. Seems to me that swinging at more bad pitches = lower BABIP.


Madson has been closer material since August of last season. IMO, unless something drastically changes, he'll be the closer in 2012 when his' and Lidge's deals expire.


I share CJ's lack of concern about Hamels, though at this point in the season they could really use a 7-8 IP start from him, for Moyer to go 6-7 IP, and for Blanton to repeat his 7 IP against the RSox.

It would be really helpful if the offense would cooperate with a couple of blowouts. that would allow Charlie to use Walker and Taschner to mop up, and give the other guys the rest they seem to need.

I never thought I'd type this, but this pen needs Eyre and Lidge back ASAP.

RK: Would you mind unpacking the logic on how OBP is improved by pitching in front of the P? Is your theory that he is often coming to the plate with 2 outs and that the other team chooses to pitch around him, hence improving his OBP? I think that may be marginally the case, but just as much I see him fighting his way on base to ensure the line-up is turned over.

As for Jimmy, I'm willing to bet a case of Yards that his BA will be over .255 by the end of the season.

Who the hell can they get and for who, for what?

Posted by: BobbyD

Roy Oswalt

"I would like to see Bastardo pushed into teh bulpen now so he can give us a couple of innings of 94-96 fastballs, while he is developing his other pitches."

Uh, who would you start in his place?

Wait, a player not mailing it in after signing a long term deal? What kind of crazy ass logic is that? My opinion of Ryan Madsen just got 800% higher.

I'd take that bet. Jimmy's average is not going to increase because of all the fans who think it will, nor will it if he falls into the theory that "bad luck" is causing his problems. He's pressing and getting impatient which is just going to lead to more bad times ahead. A month in the 6 hole who be the best thing for him but that's not going to happen.

Hugh: The Astros think they are still in the race and McClane loves Oswalt.

I guess I don't see it happening, although it would be nice.

notafanatic: Yeah, and that's what everyone said about Ryan Howard last year, too. I'd take that bet is different that I take that bet, too. I don't recognize your handle though, so you have a high probability of being a Welshmen, methinks.

HH: I hear you. I guess I just don't believe teh Astros really think they are in the race.

With Ed Wade, we could probably get Oswalt for a bag of broken bats and a pop-up toaster.

MPN, must be tough being omniscient.

(this is a hard place to join in and comment as whenever anybody new does so they get accused of being somebody that can't possibly be new. can't imagine where the idea of "elite" members came from. enjoy you little club and the incestuous nature of it.)

Sorry to say it, but luck hasn't been much different than anyone else's. His low BABIP is poor because he doesn't hit the ball hard enough. I laid it all out here, fwiw:
http://www.ballssticksstuff.com/2009/06/you-make-your-own-luck-and-pop-ups-make-you-out.html

Yeah everybody touts the dip in BABIP and % LD with JRoll. When looking through the numbers, there are a few other things that slightly stand out:

- Since 2007, JRoll generally swung at more pitches outside of the zone. He always has been a guy who generally swings at less pitches outside of the zone than the MLB average but this year it has narrowed.

He is swinging at 23.7% of pitches outside the zone vs. a MLB average of 24.8%.

In 2007, JRoll swung at pitches outside of the zone 23.7% of the time and 20.3% last year. His career average is 19.7%.

- JRoll is also making more much contact on pitches outside of the zone too. He is making contact at 76.5% on pitches outside the zone and this is very similar to last year when he made contact on pitches 78.0% on pitches outside of the zone. Both of these numbers are well above the league average.

- JRoll's other offensive numbers when you break it down are familiar similiar in terms of his % swing and % contact. He also is seeing about the same number of pitches although the past few weeks is taking slightly less pitches as Zolecki states.

- JRoll's % BB rate and BB/K are terrible. When JRoll did start to turn it around a bit in May he was taking more walks.

Conclusion:

- Since his MVP season, JRoll is swinging at more pitches outside the zone and making a much higher degree of contact.

You would have to do more analysis to determine what the result was but it likely has resulted in a higher number of weakly hit balls. Hence the decrease in % LD.

- What gets lost all of the time in the mindless "JRoll shouldn't bat leadoff" is that he generally made some adjustments last year to take more walks and subsequently he had a career high in OBP.

Yeah the runs scored fell but that was largely because of the slight dropoff in the team offense overall and his notable drop in power.

- What made JRoll an elite offensive player was the huge jump in power in '06 and '07. Still, what the Phils really need from JRoll is a guy who hits .280 or so and is willing to take walks when pitchers aren't going to throw him a strike.

JRoll largely did last year and stupidly was criticized because he wasn't "having his MVP season."

I could care less if JRoll hits 25 or 30 HRs. This team needs the guy who hits maybe 10-15 HRs instead but hits .280+, works enough walks to at least have a .330 or better OBP, steals some bases, and scores near a 100 runs.

RK: Actually, batting 8th you see FEWER good pitches in many situations, i.e. 1 or more outs and bases empty. Ruiz is laying off the crap this year and taking walks, which helps his other numbers.

notafanatic: Sorry you seem to have personalized this. This is JW's site, not mine. I just come here to talk about the Phillies and debate. I've scrapped it up with everyone on here. Am always happy to see new folks come to join in the debate. My apologies to wound your sensitive nature by giving you a hard time about your indecisiveness on the bet.

"Wait, a player not mailing it in after signing a long term deal?"

wally, let's do the opposite and make a list of those who could be accused of mailing it in:

Padilla, V

Fell free to add.

Tom: But hitting 70 points lower than the league average in BABIP is an outlier for Jimmy. People tend to regress to the mean, so whether he was pressing, or whatever, I can't believe that this bad luck/not hitting the ball hard enough will keep up from here out.

On a different note, Jaysin Stark has a nice article on Raul Inbanez's succes at age 37 right HERE.

Lost in all of the shuffle is that JRoll almost always has been a 2nd half player too. He clearly is a guy who hits better for whatever reason when it gets warm.

Still, JRoll really has never struggled like this for a stretch and it really makes no sense for him to keep getting extra AB in the leadoff spot. Cholly should just take JRoll aside, say we want you to hit in the 6-hole for a stretch (maybe even just a 10-days), and see how he responds. Don't yin-yang him back and forth after 1-2 games.

Hopefully he gets some of patience back at the plate a bit but more importantly just feels more mentally relaxed a bit. JRoll is clearly pressing at the plate and it shows in his body language at the plate.

If I were an opposing team, I would being taking advantage of JRoll's overaggressive right now by throw him a fastball high and out of the strike zone or a breaking pitch away every time on the first pitch. When he starts to lay off a bit more, then you stop but until then there is no reason to give him a first pitch in the strike zone most of the time.

AWH: What's interesting about the Stark article is that he attributes much of Ibanez's surge to playing in CBP, despite the fact that most posters here insist CBP is not a hitter's park.

Tray: I think my analysis of Rollins went like this. Rollins has 41 line drives this year. He is hitting around .600 or so on those line drive, which is anywhere from .100 to .200 points lower than my eyeball impression of what would be normal (by "eyeball impression," I mean that I did not do any exhaustive study; I just compared his average on line drives to that of 5 or 6 other Phillies).

The difference between Rollins' present .600ish average and an .800 average on line drives would be a difference of 5 hits. If you add 5 hits to his total, his season average comes out to .235. This was as of a few days ago. I haven't rechecked the line drive numbers or recalculated the stats since then.

The best way to understand the benefits of Madson's contract is to look at what happened to Lidge. If Lidge had signed with another team he would have been crucified as an awful free-agent signing. Here, he gets applause after his first blown save. Lance Parrish started off here very poorly and was booed. He would have not received the same reaction had he re-signed with the Tigers.

The home cookin' discount often plays into the player's favor and I wonder if Boras considers that in his presentation to players. He may.

clout, it certainly is a better hitter's park than Safeco, at least if ESPN's Park Factors is to be believed.

What I found fascinating is how they compared his past Road stats to this year's road stats. Nearly identical.

From the looks of Stark's article, whoever the blogger is who "wondered" about Raul's use of PEDs, an apology seems to be in order.

"Would you mind unpacking the logic on how OBP is improved by pitching in front of the P? Is your theory that [Ruiz] is often coming to the plate with 2 outs and that the other team chooses to pitch around him, hence improving his OBP?"

Not only that, with one out, I'm pitching around him and choosing to try my luck with Rollins and the pitcher. Although I'm not sure that that's actually happening. Probably not.

My own observation is Rollins has hit more balls hard right at people than anyone else on the club. I think many of you would agree ...

Ed Wade is a bum!

Gillick put the peices around our core for a championship!

The court is still out on Amaro...though i did meet him once and he seems like a nice guy.

I know about BABIP, but that's not all that's going on. Look at his walk total, only 12 so far. He's never had less than 47 in a full season, and last year got 58 despite the injuries. His worst years were about 6.4% of plate appearance. This year he's running at about 4.3%.

Even in a bad-luck year he could be contributing by drawing walks, and threatening on the basepaths. It's not happening.

JW: Exactly. He's scalded some balls right at people. So unless they've gotten insanely good on modeling those scatterplot hit ball distribution charts, the worm has to turn for Jimmy. That's my, and a case of Yards, prediction.

Sure we'd agree, Jason, but odds are, even if he were only hitting balls right at people at a normal rate, he'd still be having a markedly subpar year. Of course no one expects him to hit .217 the whole season, but I don't know whether to expect a great resurgence either. As Ed and MG point out above, he's swinging at a lot of pitches he shouldn't be swinging at.

I don't disagree he's having a subpar year. He definitely hasn't been a good enough lead-off hitter. Really no doubt about that one.

Clout: CBP is a great home-run hitters park, but just a slightly higher than average run-scoring park overall. I thought we'd all settled this by now?

MPN: My thought is OBP includes BB and if you are ahead of the pitcher you are moer likely to walk and therfore your OBP will be higher. I have seen him walked in these situations and as amatter of general statistics it makes sense to not take a chance on a guy whose bat is stronger than the pitcher especially when someone is on base.
Clout: You are right on both counts but the fact is still that Ruiz as others in his position is likely to get on base in order to get to the pitcher. I wonder who has the year's data so that we can either prove me right or wrong.

rk: Tactically though it makes sense for the opposition to want the pitcher to start off an inning though. I'd have to see the data on those plate situations... and unfortunately I don't have the time to try to rustle that up right now. I think that clout gets it about right though, Ruiz's approach at the plate might explain the walks better than his line-up slot... which gets back to my point above.

MPN and Clout: Totally agree about Ruiz being a true turn around story. He is definitely no longer looking scafred up there and I also agree you want thepitcher to lead off and make his out but if youhave men on base why take a chance ona guy whose hitting has improved significantly.

Again neither you nor I have the time to look up the data but have no fear someone will soon come up with it and tehn we'll see.

And enough with the crappy home record. Time to start "protecting the house".

What would Rollins have to hit for the rest of the season to end up with a Avg of .255?

I'm generally in awe of the great discussions we have here.

Can you imagine Metsblog having a discussion about David Wright's struggles with the amount of depth we get here? Not possible.

Rev. -
About .278 - .280

"in awe of the great discussions "

Clearly this makes you one of the elite.


;-)

Thank you Andy

CJ,

AmazinAvenue actually has these kinds of discussions every day. In fact, here's the exact same discussion BL is having, only with regard to DW instead:

http://www.amazinavenue.com/2009/6/16/910707/can-david-wright-sustain-his

Not every Met fan is literally hydrocephalic and incontinent, sitting in his mother's basement, etc. Just most of them.

"My own observation is Rollins has hit more balls hard right at people than anyone else on the club."

I think he would be up there with Howard smacking balls into the shift for outs.

Wow, reverend is making realpolitik net assessments of what Jimmy might do from here out and weighing that against the $28.50 that a case of Yards would run. Are you Dutch Reform vicar? :)

MPN I love a bet, but I really believe that Rollins can hit .280 the rest of the season. If he had to hit above .300 I would have been all over that.
I'm not Dutch Reform just a good old Internet Reverend.

So if the assumption that no GM that think's they're "in it" is going to deal, then our only trading partner is the Natinals. Every other team in MLB has no fewer than 27 wins. Guess it's Lannan or bust, then?

The question of what he would have to hit the rest of the season might be at the root of why he stays at the top of the line up. He's near the top of the league as far as plate appearnces as of now. Dropping him in the line up would lessen the chance, however small, of him increasing the average.

MPN, as far as the bet you offered it up. The onus was not on me to reciprocate it.

That Ibanez article posted by AWH is absolutely a must-read. Great, great job by Stark. That's the kind of journalism that is lost in today's internets.

doohickey, the problem with your analysis is that the national NEED pitching, and thus, are not likely to trade any of it away.

Rumor has is Lastings Milledge is on the block.

Any interest as a 4th outfielder RH bench bat, or is his attitude too much of an obstacle?

Speaking of Rollins, he has had hot streaks in the past where he hit over .300 for a considerable period of time.

The most notable was teh 30+ game hitting streak.

One wonders if he's still capable of getting that hot this summer. If he does, and the middle of the order can keep it up.......

NY Times reports Sammy Sosa tested positive in 2003. His name came out like ARod's did from the "anonymous" testing in 2003.

Strangely, this seems like a big game, even though the Phils are up 4 and this is game fifty-whatever in the season. After very competitive series with LAD, NYM, and BOS, I hope the Phils don't go into let-down mode with a week of the Jays and O's at home. Would be great if Hamels and Rollins could set the tone early for the rest of the week.

tk: really? I thought Stark's article was horrible.

The best defense he had was that Raul has had this exact type streak for around 50 games long every season since 2002, but yet just he brushed it aside and didnt even dig into it.

He just kept copying and pasting numbers from inside edge about hit SLG on curveballs and high fastballs. Pretty dumb stuff in my mind. If the general consensus is that taking steriods makes you a better hitter, than how the hell is showing his increase SLG vs. inside pitches indicating he's clean?!

If I believed Raul(or anyone) was taking steriods, I would use the exact stats that Stark did to prove it. Why is he crushing the high fastball and the inside pitch some much more in 09--because he's on steriods and is strong enough to hit tougher pitches futher.

Pretty dopey points made by Stark, although I 100% agree in defending Raul.

Jack: "CBP is a great home-run hitters park, but just a slightly higher than average run-scoring park overall. I thought we'd all settled this by now?"

So did I, but posts keep popping up claiming CBP is "neutral" or "slightly more of a pitcher's park."

CBP is not a pitcher's park at all. Anyone who says that is a fucking idiot.

Also, we took a look at Hamels today on the site. One thing that jumps out is that in his last 3 starts, he has allowed 10 runs in 20 innings pitched. Remove the complete game shutout and it's 10 runs in 11 innings. Not real good.

I like Milledge in a buy low situation. I think he was overrated as a prospect, but the kid has talent. I think going to a winning organization would help the kid.

Watching Rollins has been painful this year, but no more painful than watching Burrell or Howard's first halfs the last 2 years. Rollins has always been a second half player. I still think he'll come around (although, as long as he's stinking it up like this, he definitely shouldn't be batting leadoff).

So, while we're making bets, does anyone want to take me up on this gentleman's bet: I'm betting that, by season's end, Rollins' batting average is higher than Pedro Feliz's. He has .101 points to make up.

Sammy Sosa!?! Steroids??

Fortunately for Sammy, he lives in the DR. If I were him, I wouldn't be anxious to come back to the U.S. Better to be tried for perjury or contempt of Congress in abstentia.

Maybe Jimmy needs someone to tickle him to get going again!

http://deadspin.com/5292752/griffey-tickles-ichiros-fancy-armpits

phaithful, I think you're being a little harsh.

As I mentioned above in response to clout, the most revealing to me was that some of his statistics in 2009 are nearly identical to his road stats in 2008.


An excerpt:

"
• Pitches per plate appearance: 3.87 this year, .3.89 last year, 3.89 in '07.
• Road batting average: .314 this year, .309 last year, .306 in '07.
• Road on-base percentage: .347 this year, .362 last year, .356 in '07.
• Ground-ball/fly-ball ratio: 0.70 this year, .0.70 last year, 0.75 in '07.
• Batting average on balls in play: .318 this year, .325 last year, .321 in '07. "


That tells me he's the same player, but that Batman is on a different Bat Channel (in a different ballpark).

You selectively ignored that oart of the article. Care to address it?

I still remember back when Utley & Lastings Milledge were early in their careers, a rumor surfaced that they would be traded for one another. I also distinctly remember the general consensus on this rumor -- which was that the Mets would be fools to make the trade.

"I think he was overrated as a prospect"

BedBeard, I concur. Probably had a lot to do with being in the Mets' org and the NYC hype. The same type of hype happens to Yankee prospects. Remember when Phil Hughes was supposed to be the next CY winner?

bap, I remember that too.

I wonder if anyone thinks it would be a good trade to send Dom Brown to NY for FMart?

Good news posted on Scott Lauber's Twitter page:

Brad Lidge threw 30 pitches off bullpen mound, felt no knee pain for first time in months. Will throw again Thurs

AWH: I agree with your overall premise, but i'm still not off the Hughes bandwagon. His injury issues hasn't helped him, nor him being rushed(if he was, I know he got his first taste of the bigs at a young age), though he's definitely a "buyer beware".

Though with Milledge, he seems like a solid 4th OF, with the potential of being something more. But, is he just a bit better version of Mayberry?

"If I believed Raul(or anyone) was taking steriods, I would use the exact stats that Stark did to prove it. Why is he crushing the high fastball and the inside pitch some much more in 09--because he's on steriods and is strong enough to hit tougher pitches futher."

Raul's home runs on inside pitches, though, don't look like feats of brute strength (nor does he look so much stronger than in any prior season); what's impressive, as Stark discusses, is how quickly he gets around on the inside pitch. It's more of a mechanical thing.

I posted the initial data on CBP being neutral or slightly favoring the pitcher based on ballpark factor stats from ESPN to get a wiener Met fan off this board who said we had the 2nd worst ballpark in the majors behind only Yankee. I'd say it's probably 5 or 6 realistically.

But all Phillies fans know that the ballpark factors don't take into account the way the ballpark's construction. It's absolutely a homerun park, esp for LH power hitters, but doesn't really lend itself to being a true hitter's park because it's nearly impossible to hit a 3B unless the outfielders mess up or the batter is extremely fast on the basepaths. Good outfield defense can also rob guys of extra base hits because of the shallow right field and batters looking to test those arms.

Well AWH, I don't suppose that steroids would really alter how many pitches you see per plate appearance, or your ground-ball/fly-ball ratio. And Stark selectively ignores the fact that Ibanez's road slugging percentage is 200 points higher. So I really can't buy the explanation that he's just in a different park. He's also having an unusually good year, one that you certainly wouldn't expect from a change in venue alone.

Yo, new thread. (With all due respect to EFF.)

BedBeard, I believe Hughes will be a good MLB pitcher, I was just making the point that he, too, was overhyped. And, as I said, I think it has something to do with all the media exposure that NY brings.

Your question of Milledge vs. Mayberry is an excellent one, which I cannot answer.

Maybe Mayberry, because he's not a headcase, will have a better career than Milledge?

At the MLB level, Milledge is hitting a HR every 40 AB, which is close to what he did in the minors, 1/36 , but in the minors Mayberry hit a HR every 21 AB.

Their lines in AAA:

Milledge: .272 .360 .406 .767
Mayberry: .264 .322 .478 .800

(Mayberry 674 PA - Milledge 506 PA)

So, it seems pretty close.

Who is rated better defensively?


It seems then, that trading for Milledge would be kind of pointless, as statistically, Mayberry appears to be about the same.

AWH: "Remember when Phil Hughes was supposed to be the next CY winner?"

When has that preposterous assessment changed? I distinctly recall multiple persons being covetous of the soon-to-be superman, Huges and his superhero cohort Ian Kennedy. Notably, those same persons were quick to suggest that dealing Howard would be a good idea because he stuck out too much.

My how things have changed after World Series Championship and continued failure of the infallible duo.

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