Part of

« Beerleaguer for breakfast: Feliz fits Orioles’ needs | Main | Monday: 29 Phillies become minor free agents »

Friday, November 20, 2009


This really irks me - there is no rational by which a person being paid over 8 Million USD a year to play baseball should ever be tempted to complain about a position or lineup change.

On another level I understand the amount of pride these players carry but I think the managers (or GM's) task is relatively easy here. Say to the player, these were your numbers last year and we believe in you but you could best help us batting 2 or 7th and with Figgins we would be excellently positioned to win another World Series.

I don't see a player rejecting that logic even if they don't like it to start. Furthermore, if it continues to be a problem tell the player they have a contract and if they don't like it they can take a seat on the bench.

Moyer was another example of this last year. How outrageous is it to complain about being taken out of the rotation when your ERA is over 5.50 for 2/3rds of a season on a playoff team? Where are these players coming from?

I've heard a lot of speculation about Jimmy Rollins, but is there really any evidence from his past that he'd be some kind of clubhouse cancer if he weren't leading off?

There are many reasons why Figgins is the best fit.

If the reason why we end up with DeRosa or Polanco is because Jimmy can't handle the drop in the order, then my opinion of Jimmy will take a huge hit.

Even if the Phillies fail to sign Figgins, Rollins should be moved down in the order. His BB% dropped from a career best 9.4% in 2008 to 6.1% last year, a product of his swing percentage jumping from 58.6% to 64.8% and his pitches per plate appearance tumbling from 3.83 to 3.56.

Bottom line: he's far too impatient to continue to be the organization's leadoff hitter. I'd honestly bump Utley up to 2nd, install Werth in the 3 hole, and slot Rollins in either 5th or 6th. Not that it'll ever happen, of course.

Does anyone really see Rollins poo-pooing over this? At least not for long enough that it makes a difference?

I've come to believe that the nucleus of this Phillies team only cares about winning. Am I being naive to think Rollins wouldn't be too upset with being replaced at the 1 spot?

Friar I agree 100%. Jimmy is a great player and a great team leader but I think his days of a leadoff hitter are numbered. I think bumping him to 6th would be a great idea.

The first-round draft pick forfeit is a bigger issue than Jimmy's feelings, methinks. Of course if we waste that pick on another raw tools, big risk, big reward guy then maybe its worth giving up the pick.

I'd rather extend Werth with a slighter cheaper version of whatever Bay gets then overspend on Figgins. It'd end up being about the same in dollars, I bet.

Jimmy should be dropped down no matter what. Many members of the Phils roster would be better suited to lead off, including:

1. Chase Utley (but you'd rather him bat 3rd)
2. Shane Victorino
3. Jayson Werth (but you'd rather him in the middle of the order)
4. Ibanez
5. Francisco
6. Michael Taylor
7. Ruiz
8. Dobbs
9. Ryan Howard (.360 OBP)

Rollins's days as a leadoff man need to end. He was one of the worst leadoff hitters in baseball this year and his heading into his 30's.

His job from now on, should be to hit lower in the order (either 2nd or 7th) and play gold glove shortstop. Being a tablesetter, is not his thing anyway.

If he doesn't like it, tough. He'll get over it. Its about the team, not J-Roll.

I know this is off topic, but I miss Chooch-tober. It's my favorite month of the year.

Speaking of which, and given that we're talking about batting order related issues, what's the chance Chooch moves out of the 8 hole next year?

Well, if we were to sign Figgins & drop Rollins in the order, I suppose Rollins could pout and demand a trade to some team that would bat him leadoff. Oh wait . . . there are no other teams that would bat him leadoff.

Jason, I expect more from you. Really.

This thread header has to be one of your low points.

You KNOW, from being BOTH a baseball fan and the purveor of this site that what you have in the header is both disingenuous and misleading.

How about these numbers:

.288 .334 .510 .844

59 R, 105 H, 28 2B, 4 3B, 15 HR, 50 RBI, 20 SB (3 CS), 27BB/36K

The numbers above are from July 2nd to October 3rd.

Rollins hit leadoff in all but 10 of 365 PA (he was 2 for 10 when not leading off).

Leading off, the numbers look like this:

.290 .338 .518 .856

58 R, 103 H, 28 2B, 4 3B, 15 HR, 50 RBI, 20 SB (3 CS), 27BB/36K

So, the point is the disparity between Rollins and Figgins isn't as great as you make it out to be.

You know about slumps, you know about rebounds, you know what really is reflective of a player's performance.

Small sample size for Rollins?

Let's use 5 yr number then, 2005-2009.


.280 .335 .461 .795


.291 .368 .384 .752

Now, lets look at another '05-'09 stat or two.


3967 AB 312 BB 434 K (1 K every 9.14 AB)


2756 AB 343 BB 476 K (1 K every 5.78 AB)

When you do that the upgrade isn't quite as large, is it?

Also, Figgins is nearly a year older than JRoll, if that matters to those worried about potential declines.

Am I against signing Figgins? No? AAMOF I agree that he might be the best possible upgrade.

But using only the 2009 season is misleading to say the least, unless you think players should be judges on the basis of only one season in their careers.

Rollins career is on the decline and it is hard to argue otherwise. As a leadoff hitter, he is a joke, that is, a bad joke if you are a Phillies fan. Figgins is the perfect fit for an offense that too often failed to set the table for the big bats. Rollins should be dropped to 7th in the order, where he will do the least amount of harm. What a weak-kneed suggestion that maybe Rollins will resent the obvious demotion. Too bad, Amaro and Cholly are running the team, and they cannot let Rollins' ego be calling the shots. If I made $8 million a year, I might learn to shut up and not piss off the boss.

Now, my post above was merely to take issue with the comparison of JRoll to Figgins.

OTOH, if the comaprison is Figgins to Felis, well then, that's a whole different story.

Jim/JJ: "Speaking of which, and given that we're talking about batting order related issues, what's the chance Chooch moves out of the 8 hole next year?"

The chance? Somewhere between 0.00% and 0.000%.

Chooch couldn't beat our Feliz for the 7 spot so I pray he stays at 8 because if he doesn't that means we are left with a real pumpkin at 3B.

From the last thread~

CJ~ I am not complaining about the Phils not spending enough money to suit me or having a budget. My "complaint" if you will, is that Beltre is a better fit than De Rosa or Polanco. Younger. More power and better denfively. He will cost more than the other 2 and the Phils won't even look at him unless his assumed price comes down. That's all I've been trying to say. People like you and Bed Beard are putting words in my mouth.
You also don't read correctly what I write.

I said over the past week that I'd like the Phils to get younger and add more power at the 3B position. Kouzmanoff is an ideal candidate but they'd have to try to trade for him. I agreed with Bed Beard that I thought Beltre was a good fit. I also said that DeRo or Polanco would be great as super-sub guys, not as possible starters. If that's the case, they should've kept Feliz.
I also said that signing Beltre could be difficult because of Boras. I said they could maybe get frustrated with Boras' games and posturing.

I'd like to have Figgins too, if his cost was reasonable. But it's not so that's that.

You can disagree wsith me all you want. I don't mind that. That's what makes this fun. They are spending and have spent. But it's going to cost more to get Beltre than the other 2. I get the feeling they don't want to do it. But not that they won't if they had to.

If you remember, after the Hems situation, they signed Feliz as a last resort because they didn't get Lowell. I just don't want them doing that again here. I want whom I believe the best player is. If you or anyone else think DeRo or Polanco is better than Beltre, then fine. I'm ok with that. That's why there's many different flavors or ice cream. Amaro is not stupid. And maybe he'll do the right thing here. But DeRosa or Polanco as the starter isn't it, in my opinion.

PhillyFriar, what were those numbers for Rollins from July 2nd on?

Jim / JJ: Slim and none, and slim just left town.

Jayson was just speculating on J-Roll. My guess is that he'd be pissed for a few days, maybe pop off once and then the whole thing would blow over and he'd be fine. He's no Milton Bradlay.

BTW, 5 years $50M is way too rich for Figgs. I could see him getting 4 years $40M though.

P.S. Worth mentioning is that Polanco is one of the best 2 hole hitters in baseball. Superb stats on moving runners, never strikes out. If he winds up being the guy, I think a 1-2 of Vic-Polly would be among the best in the league. Keep in mind, Vic had a .358 OB last season. With that combo Vic would be on 2nd base ALL the time with Uts-Howard-Werth coming up. Frankly, I'd choose Polly over DeRosa for that very reason. In the end, though, I think he signs as an everyday 2B with some AL team.

"Rollins career is on the decline and it is hard to argue otherwise."

Hitman, figgins is older.

What does that mean for him?

In fairness, the Jimmy Rollins that posts a .340+ OBP is actually a pretty decent leadoff hitter. .340 still isn't great, but it's a tick above average and he brings enough other attributes to the table that, on balance, he's still probably the best leadoff hitter we have. Of course, since Rollins' OBP was .296 this year, the burden should be on him to prove that he's still capable of a .340 OBP. That means starting him out lower in the order. If he can show signs that he can still be a .280 hitter with a .340 OBP, I have no problem with putting him back at the top of the order.

BAP: Exactly right!

Chone Figgins career numbers:

1st batter of the game: .263 .339 .364 .703

Leading off an inning: .285 .355 .381 .737 (a little better)

Batting 1st .289 .367 .380 .746
Batting 2nd .303 .368 .397 .765

Hmmm, Figgins OBP and SLG go up when he hits 2nd in the order.

Could it be, perhaps, that he's a better hitter in the 2 spot?

".296 this year, the burden should be on him to prove that he's still capable of a .340 OBP."

bap, you and the rest of this board are willing to cut players like Howard slack for bad first-half slumps.

Howard on June 4, 2007: .217 .381 .496 .877

Howard on July 1, 2008 .215 .310 .460 .770

Whay are you so unforgiving of Rollins?

DPatrone: You're complaining that the Phils won't spend enough money to win on the first day of Free Agency following two seasons in which the Phils won a World Series and lost a World Series.

If you don't like that characterization... I don't know what to tell you.

I doubt Rollins would like it one bit, but I think he'd eventually process it and, at the very least, make peace with it. I could see him being difficult with the media, as they'd undoubtedly relentlessly ask him about it. I don't recall him ever being difficult with the media before the season we had Lofton. Many had said he would be a bad clubhouse influence, and after being around him, there started being instances when Rollins would refuse to talk to the press.

Figgins the last 5 years:

.290 .352 .397 .749
.267 .336 .376 .712
.330 .393 .432 .825
.276 .367 .318 .685
.298 .395 .393 .789

Looking at these numbers, it appears he has
one year up and one year down.

I wonder which Chone Figgins the team that signs him is going to get?

He'll be 32 at the start of the next season.

Is he more likely to have an up year or a down year?

Explain why the size of jimmy's paycheck should prohibit him from objecting to being moved in the lineup?

Felt like stirring things up this afternoon, eh Jason?

CJ, I think the characterization sounds accurate.

Let's see what the Phils actually DO before we praise or criticize them.

It isn't the size of Jimmy's paycheck that would make him object, it is more the size of his ego. Let's not forget who his role model is: Rickey Henderson. While Jimmy isn't necessarily at that same ego level, his ego is pretty big. He likes the spotlight of being the leadoff guy, the one who sets the table. Hitting lower in the lineup, unless you are the cleanup guy, just isn't all that sexy.

awh: That was unforgiving? The whole point of my post was that, for all the declarations that Rollins stinks as a leadoff hitter, he has been a pretty good weapon out of the leadoff spot for most of his recent career and it's hardly out of the question that he might be again. But he does have to prove that he won't be the drain at the top of the order which he was last season.

awh- Figgins is older. So what? What I infer is that Rollins seems to be on the way down as a hitter. His impatience and his unwillingness to take a BB are two traits you might expect to improve with age. They haven't. In addition to which, he seemed to be trying to set the world record for popups. Given his OBP, there is little basis for keeping him at the leadoff spot. Figgins on the other hand has become a pretty selective hitter, as borne out by his OBP. This isn't about who is older. It's about who is the better leadoff guy for the Phils. Replacing both the horrid Feliz and Rollins as leadoff solves two big problems with a single stroke (no pun intended about Figgins). In addition, you retain the stolen base threat at the top of the order. All of this is worth a premium. Ten million a year is not unrealistic, as you must pay to play in the free agent market. The real issue is the length of the contract. Four years at $80 million should be the goal.

This Figgins/Rollins comparison is fun.

In 2009:

Figgins: 729 PA, 183 H, 101 BB - on base 284 times.

Caught stealing 17 times.

268 chances to score a run.

Rollins: 725 PA, 168 H, 44 BB - on base 212 times

Caught stealing 8 times.

204 chances to score a run.

Figgins scored 114 runs. Rollins scored 100 runs.

Figgins had 31% more opportunities to score (34% if you add back the CS), yet only scored 14% more runs.

This is the leadoff hitter's primary job - to get on and score runs, no?

Why then?

The lineups or teams they played on?

The Angels scored 63 more runs than the Phillies in 2009, 883 to 820, so surely the lineup couldn't be the whole story.

Could it?

awh: Wait, it's Figgins' fault that the Angels hitters didn't drive him in? I was with you until that last post.

The St. Louis Post Dispatch columnist just tweeted:

Buck Martinez: "I worked with Keith Law in Toronto and he doesn't have a grip on anything."


Good point. Figgins need to figure out a way to drive himself in.

Someone should explain to Jimmy that he's closer to Ozzie Smith than Vince Coleman (sorry, I've been playing RBI Baseball on an NES Simulator online).

On another note, there's a reason Keith Law doesn't work for a team as a scout or scouting director and that reason is that he's an idiot.

"What I infer is that Rollins seems to be on the way down as a hitter."

Based on what?

Do you even look at data before you post?

Did you see what he did in the 2nd half of 2009?

What reason do you have to believe he can't do that going forward?

Figgins is the perfect fit?

If you're not going to do you're own research at least look at what I posted above.

Is the 2006 or 2008 version of Figgins more than a marginal upgrade from Rollins?

What reason do you have to believe that Figgins isn't due for one of his "down" years?

"Given his OBP, there is little basis for keeping him at the leadoff spot."

Hitman, would that be Rollins' OBP for 2009, the 2nd half of 2009, or the last 5 yrs.? Please clarify.

"Figgins on the other hand has become a pretty selective hitter, as borne out by his OBP."

Again, look at my posts above.

What does his K/AB say about his selectivity as a hitter?

"Four years at $80 million should be the goal." (Hitman, I'm going to take the risk of assuming that's a typo.)

Also, did you look at my post and see that Figgins hits better in the 2 hole?

Look at my posts above.

I'm not against signing Figgins and I said so.

What I find a bit mystifying is the thought on this board by many that signing Figgins is going to be some sort of panacea.

Suppose he repeats his 2006 performance when he was 28 and supposedly in his prime?

Is .267 .336 .376 .712 with 93 R in 683 PA OK?

Batting 1st in 2006 he did this:

.250 .321 .330 .651

Is that acceptable to you?

Is it an upgrade from Rollins?

I await your reply.

NEPP: I just got finished playing RBI on an emulator, as well. Funny.

clout, it's not his fault and I as much implied that.

What I am trying to convey is this:

Just as there is a good Myers/bad Myers, or just as Brad Lidge has had up and down years, while not to the same extent, Figgins performance has been subject to s fair amount of variation.

That said, the "so-so" Figgins will be, at best, a marginal upgrade in the leadoff spot. The "good" Figgins would be a big upgrade.

As I said to Hitman above, the prevailing view is that Figgins on the Phillies would be some sort of panacea in the leadoff spot.

The problem is that if the pattern holds he may be due for a "down" year.

No one seems to be remembering the "contract year" syndrome that affects many players.

I'd sign him.

See my post at 5:07 PM.

They could always bat him 2nd! ;-)

My last question for the Figgins psychophants is this:

With Figgins in the leadoff spot, how many more runs do you think the Phillies will score?

****NEPP: I just got finished playing RBI on an emulator, as well. Funny.****

I always use the BoSox and I pinch hit Tony Armas for Barret and Ellis Burks for Spike power lineup ever.

awh: If Jimmy throws another .296 OB at us, the answer is "lots."

On the other hand, if Jimmy and Figgins both repeat 2008 then we don't need Figgins at all.

It was a mistake. Make that $40 million. Look, there is no certainty that Figgins will have another good year, but neither would I bet on Rollins to have a good year. Who would have guessed at the end of 2008 that Hamels would have a bad year in 2009? Every free agent signing carries risk. But what we do know is that a .395 OBP is much better than a .296 OBP. They have a big problem at the top of the order and DeRosa or Polanco aren't the answer. No need to carry this debate much further. I will keel over in disbelief if they sign Figgins, so I really feel that we are wasting our time discussing it.

My preference, as stated, is for Beltre at third. I think Figgins is a good player, but I tend to think what he would add to this team is overstated. I don't mind J-Roll at the top with Vic hitting second. I'd love to plug Beltre in the 7th hole.

I think Jimmy will be far closer to his 08 numbers than his 09 numbers. If that's the case, I'd rather have a guy like Beltre in the lineup to give us a legit bat in the bottom 3rd. Imagine having another 100+ OPS+ guy down there with Ruiz. If Jimmy bounces back as he should, we'd be ridiculously deep...probably be looking at close to a 900 run team.

Jimmy is also in a "contract" year, right? Could that influence his production and/or willingness to accept a different role? What are the Phillies long-term plans for him? Do they think they want to keep him, or would they be willing to let him go after this year? Those things could also help to determine how they handle him and his place in the lineup this year.

****Who would have guessed at the end of 2008 that Hamels would have a bad year in 2009? ****

Well...I did, as did a good number of people that expected a regression just on his massive increase in IP in 2008.

From "Cot's Baseball Contracts:"

# 2010 payroll obligations for former players:

* $ 500,000 (Adam Eaton)
* $ 500,000 (Pedro Feliz)
* $1,250,000 (Geoff Jenkins)

Phudge. I thoughtt we were done paying for Eaton and Jenkins...

"What are the Phillies long-term plans for [Rollins]?" They'd slide him over to third, but he's too short.

... and we've come full circle.

First time commmenter here.....but here is a thought. Victorinos name has been tossed around in trade rumors for some time now...why not trade him for middle or back end bullpen help, slide Werth to center and put Francisco in right, and keep a spot warm for Michael Taylor....and of course sign Figgins to be the 3B. Another option with Victorino is trade him for Dan Uggla and play him at third!

Vic is worth more than back end of the pen help, and his salary wouldn't clear enough space to sign Figgins, for instance.

And Dan Uggla can barely play second. I'm not sure why anyone thinks he can play third.

Finally, Francisco is not a starting caliber outfielder on a championship team. On KC or Pittsburgh? Sure. But not a top caliber team. And he hasn't shown us enough to think that he will be that guy. Looks like a classic 4th or 5th outfielder.

Scott: I'm pretty sure those numbers represent the buy-outs of the 3 players' 2010 options. So, yeah, we're not entirely done paying for them quite yet.


You still don't get it. The love De Rosa. We all think Beltre is the better fit. All I'm saying is hypothetically, given a choice of De Rosa for 2 years at 10 million total or Beltre at 2 years 12 million total, even though they're spending, they'd prpbsbly opt for De Rosa. But I say why not both, Beltre as the starter and DeRo as the back-up. I've got no problem with that. I'm just not an advovcate of DeRo or Polanco as the starter. That's all I'm saying.

Now Harold Reynolds seems to think the Feliz may be brought back at a lower number. And so long as they have a capable back-up not named Greg Dobbs, I'm ok with that. Same thing with the 'pen and bench. Bring in quality players that will make a difference so our bench dosen't go 1 for 31 in next years' WS.

One more thing about the Yanks. Even though they cut their payroll, they still bought their title. We earned ours. We'd all like the Phils to earn another one.

All I want Amaro to do is what's right. I don't have a time-table for when he does it. But I also don't want him to settle for less just because guys may go elsewhere for more money. De Rosa is a perfect case in point. The Phils may have a hard time convincing him to come in as a reserve, which he is better suited for. Therefore to get him, they may have to offer him the starting job.

I'm not trying to argue, But if Amaro waits too long. He and we as phans may get left out.

Sign DeRosa as a "starter" and then resign Feliz and basically platoon them. DeRosa will get enough starts as a super-sub to make up for it.

It's crazy that people just imagine a scenario like Jimmy being upset and then talk about it like it's the truth. It's not true just because you say so.

Who agrees that Jimmy had an off year? Isn't that reflected in his sub-par numbers? Was it an aberration or a harbinger of things to come?

~raises hand~

Jimmy will likely bounce back to a solid 100+ OPS+ level. .270s AVG, .330s OBP, .440s SLG would be my guess for next year.

"But what we do know is that a .395 OBP is much better than a .296 OBP."

Yes, Hitman. That is true.

But, what leads you to believe that Rollins and figgins are both going to repeat their 2009 performance?

Or, do you think it's more likely they revert closer to career norms?

clout said it best in his 6:55 response.

Scott, the Phils have an option on Jroll's services for the 2011 season, and he's under their control through then.

UC, being the players manager he is, would be perfectly capable of making this lineup change work should it become necessary to do so.

Getting Figgins would make this team scary.

"Who agrees that Jimmy had an off year?"

Actually, Ozark, if you look at my post above you'll see that Jimmy really just had an "off" first half of 2009.

Unfortunately, it was so bad that it reflected horribly on his full year numbers.

I find it extremely difficult to believe Charlie would drop J-Roll from the leadoff spot. Nothing in his prior managerial history -- esp. considering his stubbornness re: Lidge -- makes me think it's even a remote possibility. As such, signing Figgins would be pointless.

Beyond that, however, I simply don't understand where this sudden love for Chone is coming from. Figgins is liable to command a price that's far too high for his age & relative skill level. Sure, in comparison to Feliz, Chone looks great ... but you've got to take into account what role he'll play & how much it will cost the Phillies in the long run. Signing him makes no sense on either count, & I doubt the FO will go that route.

limoguy, the team scored the most runs in the NL and the 4th most runs in MLB - with Feliz, with JRoll having his worst season since 2002, and with an injured Raul Ibanez who also missed 21 games.

They are already scary.

Getting ANY upgrade over Feliz will make them much scarier.

Jimmy Rollins.

Great shortstop. Good hitter. Lousy lead-off hitter with a poor mindset for the lead-off role. A good disposition, smart enough and team oriented enough to bat down in the order - if - and a big if - Charlie Manuel would grow some bigger balls (we know his brain is limited toward hitting, and has no clue for pitching, beside the point anyway).

My vote. Go get Figgins. Winning baseball is getting on base, moving runners, and getting them in, even in Citizens Bank Park.

This mindset is especially true in tight games, and playoff baseball. Why not play playoff baseball all year? The home run is great, and will come with this team. Let's add to all that power with good fundamental baseball that wins on every level.

The Phils will benefit from this greatly. Salaries? There is no cap in baseball and they are exempt from anti-trust laws. How do you think the Yankees won all of those titles? Can you justify the spending? Yes. The Phillies will pack the house and win, and win, and win. And sell a ton of crap along the way.

The only downside to this is, in my opinion, is what the Braves suffered during their 14 year run. Fourteen, oh my goodness, wow. The started losing attendance because they were so good for so long and the fans became complacent. A natural occurrence that kinda sucks for teams that sustain great competitive dominance over so many years.

I'd be in the Chone Figgins business, because I believe in winning now, next year, every year. Spend the money.

Take it like a man, Jimmy.

Act like a man, Charlie and Ruben.

awh: So Rollins having a .334 OBP from July onward is good? In what world? I can't believe no one has brought this up.

Look, I get what you're saying. Rollins had a bad year, but we should expect him to bounce back, and Figgins to not be AS good. Probably true. But you're ignoring the fact that Rollins has generally been miscast as a leadoff hitter his whole career. Bouncing back for Rollins would still not be enough to make him a good leadoff hitter.

A .334 OBP (both his second half last year and his 05-09 average) is exactly right around league-average. Which is fine for guy hitting 7th in the order. But it's pretty damn bad for a leadoff hitter.

Your argument is attacking the idea that Rollins' 2009 shouldn't be held against him as a leadoff hitter. But that misses the point. No matter what year you choose, he's not a great leadoff hitter, and never has been. He brings a lot to the table (power for a SS, baserunning, great defense, leadership). But being a leadoff guy is not one of them.

Jack, no, you completely misinterpreted my argument.

YOU missed the point.

I never posted that Rollins was a "great leadoff hitter". Nowhere.

My point simply - which was made to those drooling at the prospect of getting Figgins - is that "average" Figgins is not as big an upgrade over "average" Rollins as the 2009 statistics Jason posted suggest.

"Average" Figgins is not a "great" leadoff hitter either, at least he doesn't fit my definition of great, and his performance has fluctuated from year to year as well.

For reference see the statistics I posted in the thread above at 4:50, 5:07, and 5:24, 5:59 and 6:23.

If he has a down year he represents a marginal upgrade, at best, over Rollins.

He certainly has a pattern of ups and downs.

How much of an upgrade do you think he is if he has a "down" year like 2006 or 2008?

If you can interpret them differently I will appreciate your viewpoint, but as it stands now, I don't know how you can interpret them any differently.

Oh, BTW, what's the NL average OBP for a leadoff hitter from 2005-2009?

Here's your answer:

1st Batter G
2005 .275 .328 .399 .727
2006 .275 .335 .430 .764
2007 .277 .337 .443 .780
2008 .285 .338 .429 .767
2009 .276 .331 .423 .753

Leading Off Inn
2005 .261 .318 .418 .736
2006 .269 .328 .446 .773
2007 .268 .325 .431 .755
2008 .265 .324 .427 .751
2009 .264 .324 .425 .748

Batting Order Position - 1st
2005 .276 .339 .397 .736
2006 .274 .338 .415 .753
2007 .277 .341 .427 .768
2008 .274 .342 .424 .766
2009 .273 .340 .402 .741

Wow, it's amazing isn't it! Rollins is right around league average in OBP, with a SLG which is better than average.

Jack, is that "pretty damn bad for a leadoff hitter", or did you post without actually doing any research?

So, lets also look at a another important stat for a leadoff hitter:

Runs scored.

Where did JRoll rank in the NL in '05 - '09?

2005 - 115 R, 3rd
2006 - 127 R, 2nd
2007 - 139 R, 1st
2008 - 76 R, 46th - injury year
2009 - 100 R, 10th

So, he's in the top ten in runs scored the last 5 seasons, with an average OBP and an above average SLG.

He's certainly not the best leadoff hitter in the game, but he's sure not the worst.

So, to answer your question with a question:

In what world is that not good?

Can we all agree that DeRosa would be a mistake? I admire the guy as a ballplayer but an everyday third baseman on a championship team he is not. I'd take any of the others - including Feliz - over DeRosa. One more thing - if the Phillies don't get Figgins, don't blame Rollins. I usually agree with J. Stark, but I can't believe that would hold up the deal.

Zudok: I asked this question before and have yet to get an answer based on facts: What is the evidence to support this statement about DeRosa: "an everyday third baseman on a championship team he is not"?

I assume I'm correctly understanding your awkwardly worded statement to mean that the Phillies cannot win a championship with him at third. If it means "the Cardinals didn't win a championship with him" then I agree but that would make it an obvious and dumb statement.

awh + JRoll = man love.

I've warmed to the idea of DeRosa at 3b a little. I'd hope that they'd add him and see if they can add Polanco off the bench. I'd still prefer Beltre, but DeRosa is an upgrade over Feliz and from everything I've read, a great clubhouse guy. Like Rowand, when DeRosa was traded from Chicago, a lot of Cubs fans felt they lost the heart of their team. Perhaps that's a little overboard and being a team player doesn't guarantee 20+Hrs and a decent glove, but it fits here.

There have been some pretty lousy 3B in just the last few championships. Scott Brosius' OPS+ in 2000 was 70! Ed Sprague, Matt Williams, Joe Crede were all fairly Feliz-like in their offensive output (although Crede had slightly more power).

I don't recall the Cards fortunes hinging on a misplay at third. I'm sure they appreciated his 5-13 series.

Joe, au contraire.

I am a huge fan of JRoll's - DEFENSIVELY.

As a matter of fact IMHO he's the best defensive SS in the game right now.

So, if you want to accuse me of having a man-crush on his defense then I am guilty as charged.

However, the reason I posted "au contaire" is that I get just as frustrated as any other poster on this board with Rollins when he's in the batter's box.

IMHO he doesn't work the count enough and work enough walks, which would, IMHO, lead to him getting on base more and being a more effective weapon for the team. Every time I see him swing at a bad first pitch I want to toss something at the TV (or on the field when I'm at the game).

In short, I get frustrated because I believe Rollins CAN be a better leadoff hitter.

So, I am not "defending" Rollins.

Repeat: He could be a better leadoff hitter.


My entire argument is with those who have a man-crush on Figgins, or at least the idea of the Phils signing him - and the panacea it would be for the Phils' lineup.

These are people who don't let the facts get in the way of their opinions.

I have posted numerous statistics on this thread to support my argument. I haven't seen any posted by my detractors.

Figgins, at his best, would be an upgrade over Rollins. At his worst he is not much of an upgrade at all, unless you think the season he had in 2006 is an upgrade.

Once again: "Average" Figgins is not that much of an upgrade over "Average" JRoll.

I'd love to see you or any other poster try to make THAT argument.

The Figgins psycophants seem only to be looking at his 2009 season - a contract year - as if somehow he's the second coming of Ricky Henderson.

They merely complain that he won't be signed because the Phillies don't want to spend the money.

They also look at Rollins through the prism of the 2009 season, failing to see that his performance in 2009 was "A Tale of Two Seasons", and refusing to acknowledge that 2009 may be overly influencing their perception of him.

Again, they don't let the facts get in the way of their opinions.

The facts are this:

Figgins at his best is a pretty good - not great - leadoff hitter.

Figgins has up and down seasons, so you don't know which Figgins will show up.

The 5 yr. NL stats I posted for leadoff hitters above can, IMO, only be interpreted one way:

Rollins has been, despite the perception of those who don't let facts get in the way of their opinion, AN ABOVE AVERAGE - not great - leadoff hitter.

He gets on base about the same as most leadoff hitters, and he hits for more power.

This leads to more runs scored than most other leadoff hitters, which is, the last I checked, the objective, no?

(I didn't compare the two as baserunners because that seems moot.)

clout, those who are posting that the Phils can't win a championship with DeRosa, are probably the same folks who saif they could't win anything with Feliz either.

[ Or Rollins batting leadoff. :) ]

awh and his one-sentence paragraph stylings - not so easy to read. Maybe that's why no one is responding.

Has Amaro, Jr. made any public statements about that Lowell rumor from a little while back?

Topic change. Phils should sign Hendrickson. Like Chan he did a good job when removed from being a SP.

awh: You're doing a valiant job defending Rollins. And as it happens, you might have noticed me repeastedly posting that I thought Figgins would be overpaid and is probably being overrated by people.

But there's simply no valid argument you can make in which Rollins comes out as a better leadoff hitter than Figgins. A better player? Sure. He plays a more important position, plays it very well, and has more power. But a better leadoff hitter? No.

Say what you will, but you cannot hide these two numbers:

Rollins 05-09 OBP: .335
Figgins 05-09 OBP: .368

The whole point of JW's post was not whether we should sign Figgins, but that if we do, there is a potential conflict at the leadoff spot. He's right. Figgins is the better leadoff hitter, because OBP, the single-most important stat for all hitters, is even more important for a leadoff hitter. And Rollins' just doesn't compare to Figgins in that department.

Also, to the people bashing Keith Law for his Cy Young ballot. I don't get it. Has anyone even looked at Vasquez's numbers? He had 15 wins, a 2.87 ERA, and a 5.41 K/BB ratio in 219 innings. And it's not like he did it for a bad team. The Braves won 86 games.

Carpenter had 17 wins, a 2.24 ERA, a 3.79 K/BB ratio in 192 innings.

I think it's debatable. I don't think it's "idiotic" to consider Vasquez one of the three best pitchers in the league this year.

Who in the world would decide a Cy Young winner on the basis of K/BB ratio?


Is this an intentionally snarky mispelling? I keep reading it as "psycho pants".

sophist: I'm so glad you brought that up. Reports are that the Sox are marketing Lowell and are willing to eat a portion of his contract depending on the return. Lowell has one year left at $12M.

He's had back problems, claims he is now healthy so there is risk, but that means you could probably get him for a middling prospect. Just for discussion purposes, if the Red Sox offered Lowell for Johann Flande and agreed to pay half his salary ($6M) would you make the trade?

I would.

Clout: Someone who wanted to vote for the better pitcher.

Clout: Anyway, does it really matter? Lincecum was the clear choice to win, and he won.

It's a matter of who you vote 2nd or 3rd, and I think Vasquez was at least a defensible choice, considering he pitched close to as well as Carpenter, and for 30 more innings.

Jack: Nonsense. ERAS, ERA+ and WHIP are WAY more signifcant markers than K/BB. All K/BB tells you is whether a guy is a strikeout-type pitcher. Why should a certain kind of pitcher be considered "better" than another kind? As I recall, Greg Maddux won a couple Cy Youngs with a fairly low K/BB. I guess to you, he wasn't worthy.

It's a dumb as saying I'll judge the next Cy Young winner on the basis of GO/AO because groundball pitchers are "better."

Jack: BTW, despite our disagreement on K/BB I agree with you on Vasquez.

Jack, do you have reading coimprehension problems?

Read my posts IN THEIR ENTIRETY.

I specifically state that Figgins is a better leadoff hitter.


My argument is that, on average, he's not that great of an upgrade and is not going to ba a panacea.

Get it?

Jack: Lincecum was the "clear choice" to win? Over the guy who won more games, had a better ERA, and had a lower WHIP? What would be required for you to see Lincecum's superiority as ambiguous?

Jack: You & Keith Law are confusing "predictors" of a pitcher's performance & "measurements" of a pitcher's performance. Strikeout-walk ratio is, generally speaking, an excellent predictor of how a pitcher will perform. But, as a measurement of how the pitcher actually performed in the past, all it tells you is, well, how many strikeouts and walks the guy had.

Saying that a pitcher with a 2.24 ERA didn't perform well because his strikeout:walk ratio was low is like saying that Charles Barkely wasn't a great power forward because he was short.

bap: Where in the world did I say Carpenter didn't perform well? He had a great year. He deserved to be considered for Cy Young, and Law has said he had him rated 4th. What are you talking about?

All I said was that it wasn't unreasonable to consider Vasquez as having a similarly good year. K/BB ratio is one of the areas in which Vasquez was superior to Carpenter. He also pitched more innings. Carpenter obviously had a better ERA and two more wins. They had virutally identical WHIP (1.02 for Vasquez, 1.01 for Carpenter). It's probably worth noting that Carpenter played in front of a superior defense.

"all it tells you is how many strikeouts and walks the guy had."

Right, because that's totally irrelevant. Good point. All Ks and BBs are are the two most important things a pitcher can actually control. But those don't matter, right?

Jack, BTW, using their average number of AB per season (685+620=1305; 1305/2=653) of 653 AB, the difference between Rollins OBP and Figgins OBP is:

653 * .335 = 219

653 * .368 = 240

So, Figgins would have 21 more chances (on average) to score.

But, he also get thrown out stealing more so that negates some of the advantage.

He also doesn't hit for as much power so he starts out on 1B a larger percentage of the time.

You see, you have to look at their respective performances in their entirety. OBP is just one measure.

Because Rollins hits for more power, in the years they have both had more than 600 AB, averages 30 MORE XBH than Figgins.

That's either more times he actually scores (13 HR better), or 17 more times he winds up in better scoring position. Perhaps that's one of the reasons he scores so many runs.

Unless you think XBH don't matter?

As stated, Figgins is the better leadoff hitter, but unless you think SLG doesn't matter - even for a leadoff hitter - then he's would be, IMHO, an upgrade, but not as much of an upgrade as you seem to think.

bap: Also, if you're holding Lincecum's 2 fewer wins against him, you're insane.

Lincecum didn't get the win in 7 different games this year in which he went 7+ innings and allowed 2 runs or less. We're gonna hold that against him? Really?

Once again, I think Carpenter had a great year. And I obviously don't think K/BB ratio is the deciding factor, because Lincecum didn't have the best K/BB ratio and yet I thought he deserved to win. It's merely one factor to look at.

Lincecum deserved to win because he pitched 225 innings of 2.48 ERA with the most Ks in the league. That beats out Carpenter's 192 innings of 2.24 ERA.

awh: Of course SLG matters, which is why Rollins is the better player overall. But Figgins is the better leadoff hitter.

Glad we're on the same page.

Give up Flande?!?!?!?!?!?!*

*I'd do that deal, Clout.

"You & Keith Law are confusing "predictors" of a pitcher's performance & "measurements" of a pitcher's performance."

As Jack explains, K/BB helps isolate performance from luck--it gives an indication of the pitcher's ability to succeed at that over which he has the greatest control. Whereas WHIP, for example, is susceptible to fluctuations in BABIP and defense. That said, and Jack never asserted otherwise, K/BB isn't a paramount stat; it's suborned, of course, by stats like FIP, which tell us much more of the story.

Additionally, Law's 3rd place vote for Vasquez is defensible, even *if* it can be definitively said that Carpenter pitched a better season. The lower orderings of the CY Young vote are a kind of honorarium. If Law voted for Vasquez as a way of signaling recognition for a person who is otherwise being overlooked--to put him on the roll--then that's perfectly fine. It didn't skew the proper outcome--Lincecum won, as he should have--and it gave testament to Vasquez's fine season, which, indisputably, is what he had.

Jack: I'm not holding Lincecum's 2 fewer wins against him. But I think it's a very close call who deserved to win. It was hardly "clear," as you indicated.

So, if strikeout:walk ratio is the definitive measure of a pitcher's performance, then I guess Ricky Nolasco, with his 5.06 ERA & .301 BAA, was actually a better pitcher than either Lincecum or Carpenter? And I guess Carl Pavano was the 12th best pitcher in baseball & Cole Hamels was the 8th best? Oh wait. I don't want to get you started on Hamels.

clout, the only change I'd make in your prposed Lowell deal is maybe offer a little better prospect and ask Boston to pick up more of the salary.

Look what they did to get rid of Lugo.

I'd do it for one year.

clout - If $6M were the over/under on what they'd be willin to pay to get rid of him I'd take the over. From what I've heard they're fairly serious about moving him to make room for A Gonzalez. I would also do that deal.

The comments to this entry are closed.

EST. 2005

Top Stories


Rotoworld News

Follow on Twitter

Follow on Facebook

Contact Weitzel