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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Comments

From last thread:

Agree with Clout that the idea that a healthy Ibanez is closer to 1.000 OPS than .900 OPS just is not correct. Right now, Ibanez has a .907 OPS, and that's in line to be his highest ever. He's 37. Unless he's on the Barry Bonds career path, he's not going to all of a sudden make a big jump in talent level, and frankly, you can probably attribute some/most of the jump in SLG this year to playing in CBP over Safeco.

If Ibanez puts up another year of .850+ OPS, we should be happy.

Ironic that in his career year, Ibanez is hitting for a lower AVG and with more Ks, the exact things we were told he would be an improvement on over Burrell.

Good article from Crasnick on Jason Werth (with some Philly Fandom notes thrown in).

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&id=4492591

From last thread.

Clout, how did you know aunt ruby was visiting? Do you and I happen to be on the same schedule?

phils84: You are probably right. I had that theory all year long form just watching Hamels, and then just looked at those numbers before I posted to see if what I saw was explained statistically.

And as you pointed out, the difference of a few percentage points might not really explain it completely. I have no prior experience with those types of numbers, so I cant really say if that fluxuation in #P/PA and swing/contact% is something that should be targetted when analyzing Hamels' year to year differences.

However, I do still stand by that a big difference from last year to now is his seemingly lessened ability to put hitters away down in the count.

awh: From last thread re: Walrond. Didn't he go to Japan after the Blue Jays cut him?

I would love for the Phils to have a week's worth of meaningless games. Some bench players could use the at bats, some regulars could use the rest, and Andrew Carpenter, Kyle Kendrick, and Jamie Moyer can pick up some starts.

Smokey, may favorte quotes from the article:


""One of their infielders came up to me and said, 'Do you like it here?'" Werth recalls. "He was so distraught in the middle of the game about the people in this town, and I knew then that we had them.

"They were so rattled, because they didn't feel like they could even walk down the street. They were uncomfortable just being in Philadelphia...."


____________________________________

"Werth appreciates the support, but a small piece of him misses the pre-World Series Phillies die-hards, who seemed desperate and just a little edgier.

"I don't want to say they've gone soft after winning it, because I don't think they have," Werth says. "But they might have to be reminded. I don't want them to change. I want them to stay hungry and be the same fans who helped us win it last year.""

phaithful, goes to show how perceptions can be far from reality, but I thought Hamels K rate was down this year and walk rate was up. Rob Neyer has written a couple of columns on Hamels, and insists he is the same pitcher this year as last, and holds the difference almost exclusively to luck: bloop hits, batters just making contact w/ 2 strikes, etc.

Another false perception is that the batters are making much more contact this year, but Hamels' swing & miss rate is one of the top 5 in the NL again this year.

clout, Walrond? I don't know.

Is Dobbs not ready to play a full game? That's gotta be the only reason it's Cairo and not Dobbs, right?

So is the general consensus on BL that home field doesn't matter? We almost certainly need to play starters to try to catch LAD for homefield in the NLCS. And if we play out the string, then we are in danger of STL overtaking us and having to go to LA for the NLDS.

I know the Phils play well on the road, but I hate the idea of not having last at bats in a game 5 or 7 given our closer situation.

From Les Walrond's Wikipedia page (and we know Wikipedia is *never* wrong):

In December, he signed with the Yokohama BayStars of Japan's Central League.

Smoky: look at my post last thread, I gathered up some stats on Hamels that did slightly confirm my notion - although as I mentioned above, I havent dealt with these numbers often so can't really say for sure if the difference is big enough to hold merit.

But they do show that Hamels gets less hitters chasing out of the zone, and shows that when they do chase, they are making more contact.

Also from the never-wrong Wikipedia, Les Walrond is NOT currently listed on the roster for the Yokohama BayStars.

re Jayson Werth link:

Jayson Werth is actually one of those kids who was a complete dork and then redefined his image to be a cool guy. Go and google image his rookie cards, super toolbag. His actions of being Mr. Cool at the parade and showing off his hangovers this year are perfect examples of him pretending to be some rebel type. Luckily he is a very talented player so I don't really care, but all of that nonsense about him being some laid back Cali kid is exactly what he wants people to think and probably paid off Crasnick to write about it.

awh: I'm sorry. I read a post about Walrond on last thread. Thought it was from you.

phaithful, damn, dude...what happened?

Did he seduce your girlfriend?

Phaithful: Whoa, there. Why the animosity towards Werth? People can't change from ages 18-30? Just because he's from the mid-west doesn't necessarily mean he can't be laid back. I don't know a thing about him, but I'm not going to judge a person based on his rookie baseball card.

All this talk about Ibanez spurred me to have a look at his season stats to date. Despite everyone's expectations, Ibanez has not only been pretty good offensively (he ranks 6th in OPS for all LFs, tied with Lind, and ahead of Damon, Lee, and Crawford), but he's actually been pretty good defensively. He's the 4th best defensive outfielder measured by UZR; he's got a 7.1 UZR/150, which is leagues ahead of Holliday, Braun, and Bay. UZR isn't perfect, but the gap between Raul and the next bunch of LFs is huge - 6 runs over 150 games. This suggests to me that he's actually been pretty good in the field this year.

clout, it was. I just have no idea where is is right now.

Scott Eyre is ready to pitch again, so said Rich Dubee to Scott Lauber and then relayed on that Twitter machine thingy.

Phaithful: I also just looked up his rookie card on Google. So what? He's wearing an Orioles uniform and glasses. Am I missing something?

Cairo getting his audition for the postseason roster?

UZR should be viewed in 3 year clips. Not in 3/4 year samples. Way to much variation in such a small sample size.

yeah I don't think dumb facial hair automatically says "mr. cool". Nor have I ever seen him "showing off his hangovers" thats all speculation.

Phillies Red: Compare Ibanez UZR in Seattle to his UZR here. Why did he suddenly get so good? Is he faster than ever before? Think about it.

I am the Warlond - very funny. goo goo g'joob

Werth: Teen Wolf

Clout: I know the question wasn't directed at me, but I would guess that there are a few reasons Ibanez has a better UZR this year.

1. The stat is slightly flawed.
2. CBP is a much smaller park than Safeco, so Ibanez has less ground to cover.
3. Victorino is such a good center fielder that he can cover some of Raul's zone?

I'm sold on 1 & 2, and realize 3 may be a stretch.

michael: Yeah, apparently if you make an error in a day game, it's conclusive proof that not only are you hungover, but you're showing it off.

I hope some of the people on here aren't in real positions of authority, seeing as how often they take their own opinions and judgments on a matter to be incontrovertible fact.

Speaking of UZR, Howard's is now identical to what it was last year. His defense has seemed to me to have reverted to normal after a phenomenal improvement during the first half of the season. He's still made only 13 errors compared to 19 last season, but most of that is the result of his improved early play.

Bay Slugga: Agreed on the first two, and agreed that I'm not sure #3 works. In Seattle, he was playing with Ichiro (who is a comparable defensive CF than Shane by UZR), and Jeremy Reed (who is not).

It's likely that Shane is an upgrade over Reed, but I don't think he is over Ichiro, and I don't think it's enough that it would have a strong effect on Ibanez's UZR. If the premise that having a strong CF improves a LF's UZR is even true to begin with, which I have no idea if it is or not.

CJ - Yeah I was kind of wondering that too because it is odd to see Cairo at 3B over Dobbs. Must still not be ready to start a full-game.

As for Cairo at 3B, that's fine. Frankly, I wouldn't mind seeing Cairo get some decent PT to give the INF guys a rest (particularly Feliz and Utley) down the stretch and see if Cairo can actually hit a bit more than Bruntlett down the stretch.

Funny quote from the Werth article:

"Werth appreciates the support, but a small piece of him misses the pre-World Series Phillies die-hards, who seemed desperate and just a little edgier.
"I don't want to say they've gone soft after winning it, because I don't think they have," Werth says. "But they might have to be reminded. I don't want them to change. I want them to stay hungry and be the same fans who helped us win it last year."

I take from this that he still wants fans at the Bank to throw mustard packets and yell obscenities at the opposing team's family section in the playoffs ...

I don't know how you would really measure it but to me it looks like Ibanez's defense (particuarly his range) has fallen off a bit since the start of the year in April/May particularly on balls to the gap. Maybe it is due to the lingering groin injury which has hampered Ibanez's speed a bit.

Brian G: And +/- actually has him being better last year than this year. My own observation is that his defense has definitely fallen off again after the good first couple months. He looks to be more comfortable in the field, but his throwing is still really bad, and he just doesn't have the range that a good defensive 1B does. He has gotten better at the balls hit right at him (thus the lower error numbers, and most of those being throws).

It's mostly random variation for Ibanez. Obviously Safeco has more space then CBP, but the comparison is based on if the average LF would have made the play, so the stadium really doesn't matter. It is possible that LF as a whole got worse defensively. But that seems rather unlikely. I think we can safely concede that defense doesnt improve in players age 38, 39, and 40 seasons. I really hope they dont like 40 year old Ibanez sunk cost block a Taylor or Brown. But i think Ibanez spells the end of the worth era at the end of next year. There are some smart GMs who will pay him what he's actually worth, after next year is over. As long as he stays healthy he's a 4.5-5 win player.

nah, control. I took that as he wants the fanatical cheering and noise.

Control: I was at NLCS game two and fans in my section were really laying into Tommy Lasorda when he got up to use the bathroom. Something to the extent of "Tommy is going to take a sh!t."

Tommy didn't appreciate this very much and threw out a few more colorful words. I think Myers hitting like Reggie Jackson gave him indigestion.

@I am the Walrond and Clout,
I totally agree that less than one season's worth of UZR has limited value, and that it's important to look at multiple years when assessing an outfielder's true skill level. My point was not that Ibanez is now a great defender, but that he has, seemingly, played well in the field this year. I was only using UZR to illustrate this point, but other metrics seem to be more friendly towards Raul this year as well (I'm looking at baseballreference's defensive metrics, which have him around average, and a bit above on a bunch of stats this year). Ultimately, I'm not a defensive metrics wiz, and my point is rather minor: Ibanez doesn't seem to be a complete hack in the field, like many of us (me included) worried he would be. Or at least, he hasn't been a hack so far.

"mvp: The Phillies had played 9 more games at this date last year?

Interesting.

Posted by: clout | Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 01:26 PM"

Yes, Clout. A event occurred called the World Baseball Classic that pushed the season back a week. You might have heard of it.

Control: We threw mustard packets at the families of visiting players? That's news to me. But that is a heck of a lot better than getting threatened with knives, having your wives harrassed and being afraid to cheer for the Phillies because of the LA gang bangers in the bleachers at Dodger stadium. Right?

Phillies Red: See Bay Slugga's reasons above for why Ibanez's UZR suddenly looks so good.

Name changing poster: "the comparison is based on if the average LF would have made the play, so the stadium really doesn't matter."

How does that make the stadium not matter? As I understand it, UZR is based on zones on the field of that particular staidum. If the area covered is smaller than in a larger stadium then the player is going to be rated on a smaller coverage area and thus more likely to get to balls he wouldn't in a larger stadium.

Yeah IF the Braves lose their next to in NY.Not gonna happen unfortunately.The Mets are obviously the worst team in MLB right now. Even worse than Washington and Pittsburgh.

Clout: His point is that if an average fielder would get to more balls too in the smaller zone, then the relative difference between Ibanez and the average fielder wouldn't change at all.

The question is whether UZR adjusts for park factors such as CBP having a smaller zone. I'm not sure whether it does or not, but Ibanez's numbers make me skeptical that it does.

clout & Jack - My comment about Ibanez was a description of his current season, and a response to the contention that his early play was "too good to be true." I wasn't speaking about his career or his future, merely responding to claims that Ibanez has been showing his true colors ever since early June (by many people simply looking at his half splits).

Ibanez play this year at ~.950 and above is the norm not the exception -- and not limited to his torrid start. That was my only point and one backed by a selection of the data (posted in the previous thread).

I agree with you all that this is a career year, despite the injury. Just look at that SLG and his HR/FB. His success in the next year will largely depend on maintaining that otherworldly HR/FB and, to a lesser extent, maintaining success against LHP. I would not bet on an OPS above his current one.

I don't know if anyone actually threw mustard packets into the Tampa family section or cursed them out, but that assertion is mentioned in the article, and then Werth talks about the Tampa players being uncomfortable/intimidated in Philly, and he knew they were toast, that's why I brought it up. I was just entertaining myself really.

I work in the NY area (metuchen nj) and was wondering if anyone knows the best way to LISTEN to the game in that area? I'm betting there isn't but I figure I'd ask... I bought a small radio for cases like this and the Playoffs but I didn't think about the distance from Philly and the reception... Thanks guys..

According to FanGraphs, UZR DOES have a park adjustment. In which case, Clout, the other poster would be correct that the smaller stadium doesn't matter. The UZR would thus be representing the relative difference between Ibanez and an average fielder in CBP.

Still, like you, I remain skeptical that Ibanez made a big defensive leap at age 37. The most likely guess is that their park factor adjustment is missing something.

control: Oh ok. Well MAYBE one mustard packet was dropped on one of them and then they turn it into a "everyone was throwing thing". But my LA Dodger playoff experience was exactly how I wrote it. With multiple witnesses through the airwaves to back up my friends claims.

That is hilarious and I believe Tampa players were intimidated because their fans needed a gimmick to make noise. By the way, Tampa sold 1.7 million (23,000 average per game) tickets so far this year. So much for all those "Ray-Hawk" diehards. I think Dicky Vitale is the only one at the games these days.

Jack: Wait so you mean maybe the "most reliable defensive stat" could be have a minor flaw. No way, stats aren't flawed!

For the record, RAAAAUUUUL!!!!

Tommy: So your aversion to stats is apparently stronger than your love for Raul? Good to know.

Tampa plays in NYC on a regular basis and was intimidated , in a playoff setting, by mustard packs and unkind words at CBP ?

Sounds like typical ESPN b.s. - No facts needed, just make stuff up to fill space.

Miguel Cairo has definitely moved ahead of Eric Bruntlett on the depth chart. Cairo alredy has 9 plate appearances in September. Today will be his second start. Bruntlett, on the other had, has not had a plate appearance in September. He has been pinch runner 5 times.

It wouldn't surprise me to see Cairo on the postseason roster. His only competition from the right side of the plate is John Mayberry, who only has 2 plate appearances in September.

If I were Charlie, I would probably carry an extra bullpen pitcher in case of a mid-series injury. But Charlie has carried and used 6 bench bats in each of the two previous playoff appearances. So look for Miguel Cairo to crack the roster.

JR King - I know what he's done in the past, but with how sparingly he's used the bench this year, I can't imagine he'd keep 6 bench bats.

I remember the mustard packets thing but it was specifically about Maddon's granddaughter--not cool--but it wasn't at the entire lot of Rays' wives/family. It's a little blown out of proportion, but if perception affected the mindset of the Rays' players as Werth and the writer would have you believe, than that's fine by me.

Sometimes our reputation works in our favor.

I remember once being approached by two Met fans in the parking lot at CBP and they had forgotten cups (it was the tailgate lot). They begun to ask to borrow some from us by first saying, "Please don't attack us." I am 5'4" and had a 1 y.o. in tow. Really? You take the bad with the good I guess.

Well, like I said, my point was only that Ibanez hasn't been a total hack in the field, and, based on stats, and watching the game, I'm happy to stand by that claim.

I did do some extra reading on UZR, and, as of the version written about here (http://www.baseballthinkfactory.org/files/primate_studies/discussion/lichtman_2003-03-21_0/) UZR is adjusted for park factors. But positioning and the players around you do make a difference. This I think is interesting to note, because Vic's UZR is below his career performance, while Raul's is up. Makes me wonder if the Phils have been adjusting their positioning in the outfield to help out Ibanez.

It's also important to note because it could be the case that poor positioning hurt Ibanez' UZR in past years, while better positioning has helped this year.

Call me weird but, for some reason, I find Jimmy Rollins' down-to-the-wire run at the .250 line to be almost as compelling as George Brett's late-season run at .400 in 1980.

bap: Also his quest to be a leadoff hitter for a full season with a sub-.300 OBP. Simply astonishing.

BAP: You're weird:). Glad to see both Marlins fans showed up for the twin bill today. Can't believe they are building that train wreck of a franchise a new stadium with tax dollars. Disgraceful.

I can't believe the year Hanley Ramirez is having. Wow.

Jack: Rollins batting leadoff is just the natural order of things & can never be changed. Kind of like Lidge being our closer & the catcher batting 8th.

A little rally starting?

@clout
If you moved the wall in CBP 400 feet back would it affect Raul Ibanez ability to field? His range is constant regardless of dimensions. So a sudden jump in range runs, would suggest aberration. He's being compared to other left fielders in the same setting. So the constant is the stadium, and the variable(what we are measuring) is the fielder, so the park factors are minimal(playing surface/lighting), while the players ability is what is most measured.

why would you int walk Bako with 2 outs?

Nice small ball, now how about one of those patented Joe Blanton dingers?

Wow, small ball. What a concept!

Cairo>Bruntlett

Nice double-reverse BLJ, bake!

You all know who started the small ball inning. It was Raaaauuul! Way to move the runners to 2nd and 3rd. Cairo would have hit into a inning ending DP if Raul didn't do what he did.

Jack: In the sense that it compares all outfielders in THAT particular stadium, you are correct. But it does NOT account for the difference between CBP and Safeco. In other words, in a tiny outfield patch, like CBP, Ibanez has above average range, but in stadiums like Safeco, his range is below average.

Tommy: A more plausible interpretation of events is that Raul was actually trying to get a hit, but failed -- and it just so happened that his failure advanced the runners.

BAP: Well sometimes baseball is a game of luck, right?

Name-changing poster: UZR compares how many balls a fielder gets to in THAT particular stadium. IF the OF area is small, then the difference in speed (range) between 2 fielders is minimized. Thus Ibanez could see an increase in UZR in a move to a smaller stadium.

If you have a logical explanation for why at age 37 Ibanez has suddenly developed more range than he had at Safeco, I'd love to hear it.

I actually understand using Lidge as the closer now given the injuries to Park and Myers.

I don't think Lidge is pitching particularly well recently. But with all the injuries, Lidge will be needed in late and close games regardless. So you might has well keep him in the role he's comfortable.

The alternative is Walker/Escalona in the 8th and Madson in the 9th. Even then, Lidge would be the 7th inning guy.

Blanton's first 2 innings don't exactly inspire confidence. Then again, how many times have we seen him start off great and then completely fall apart? He almost seems to do better when he struggles a little bit in the early innings.

"UZR should be viewed in 3 year clips. Not in 3/4 year samples. Way to much variation in such a small sample size."

Ding ding ding! And I Am the Walrond wins the prize here.

J.R., I think in actuality, Madson is the closer by default and Lidge is the back up closer, also by default. Myers' injury took him out of the running and there are no other viable candidates. Sorry.

BAP: This season, the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 8th innings are Blanton's worst. So far we are right on track.

Regarding the last thread, anyone remember (Inside/Outside The) Parker's views on Howard? I'd slot him second or third after davthom.

Lake Fred: The past couple games we've seen Madson in the 8th and Lidge in the 9th. So I think you've go those roles reversed.

My point, though, is that injuries mean both are going to have to pitch close and late. So it doesn't matter anymore.

Lake Fred: I will offer you a gentleman's bet that Lidge closes today's game. Should a save need to be recorded.

No, J.R., lately, we only see Lidge when the Phillies have a three run lead to preserve, small enough to qualify as a save, but big enough to let Lidge give up a run or two.

c'mon chase

MVP, today, because it's a double header we may see Lidge pitch in a non-three run lead situation mainly because the cubbard is bare.

LF: I think MVPTommy's right & Lidge is back to being the closer. Remember that game a few days ago in which KK took over for Happ in the 4th inning? The Phillies led that one 5-4 when Cholly brought Madson in to kill the Braves' rally in he 8th. As I recall, he also had Lidge warming up to pitch the 9th, but he ditched the plan after the Phillies ended up scoring 4 runs in the top of the inning. That tells me that Cholly is going to give Lidge one last chance to prove his merits as closer. I'm not crazy about it, but I hope it works.

Lidge has given up at least 1 run, in 45% (28 out of 62) of his appearances this year.

Almost half of the time, your "closer" is giving up a run in his (usually) 1 inning of work. Think about that for a second.

If he is still your "best" option for postseason play, with 2 weeks to go, that ain't good.

Hey I made BAP's list last thread. Awesome!

I should point out though in all fairness. I'm not a total MOyer defender. I am against the notion he is "washed up" though. I think you can find evidence that points either way from this year. The difference is I don't try to type something as a fact.

Somebody spiked my cofee with a Hallucinagin. I thought I read where BAP wrote: "I think MVPTommy's right."

I'm getting chest pains. This must be the big one......arrrggghh!

Lidge as closer yet again. And I had such hopes for a quiet autumn night, relaxing and listening to the game, as opposed to the nervous anticipation of the house of horrors ride of a Lidge inning late in the game.

anyone care to elaborate on the 'injury delay' game day mentioned after blanton K'd baker on a wild pitch?

Bob, you know who will get a quiet autumn? Mets and Pirates fans. So lets not go overboard.

I'm against the notion that Moyer is washed up because he isn't.
Then again, as someone mentioned awhile back, it may have something to do with age (mine and his)

Lake Fred: Well, as the saying goes, "Even a broken clock is right twice a day."

Double steal and a base hit. Nice.

Two out hits. Productive outs. Stealing bases. Who are these guys, and what have done with our Phillies?!!??!!

Maybe I am just watching/listening selectively/not enough, but in this latter part of the year there is no one I would rather have coming up when an RBI is needed than Werth.

Spitz, my vote for the best sign at CBP last year, seen the game after the Mets were eliminated.

"David Wright has a tee time."

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