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Thursday, June 24, 2010

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Little disappointed they called up Figgy, a known mediocre quantity, instead of trying to catch lightening in a bottle with someone else.

re Ibanez

Raul hit .267/.352/.456 in May, starting June 1-17 and is 15-49 since (4 2B, 2HR). That's 14 games at .306/.370/.510. If any other player were hitting that well the last 2 weeks+ we'd be saying he's heating up. For some reason, Ibanez is held to a different standard.

His BAbip on LD this season is .600 and his BAbip is 30 points below career norms even though his LD% is right around career norms. His career BAbip on LD is .758. Correcting to his career norm gives him about 6 more hits. Suddenly he's batting .270/.360/.425 (if those hits are all singles) on the year, which is probably about right given his low HR/FB so far this year. It's also still too early to say that his HR/FB will be 7% all year. It's gone up 5% this month alone. He's hit 72 FB this year. Small sample.

This same argument goes for Utley, who's hitting .265/.380/.469, fair below career norms. Career .764 BAbip on LD, but .625 this year. His total BAbip is 40 points below career norms. If I made an identical post about Utley, people would say okay (unless you want to go out of your way to be proven wrong the rest of the year). The standard of proof is higher for Ibanez for some reason.

Again, his 2007 season is a constructive example.

Sophist: The standard of proof is higher for Ibanez because he's 38. It's much more likely that a "slump" for a 38-year old is more than a slump--at some point, older players stop producing, so when you see an almost year-long stretch like Ibanez has put up, it makes sense to wonder if he might be done.

Utley is 31. A slump for him is a slump that you have much more confidence he'll bounce back from--also because he's a better player.

Howard is heating up. He's hitting .338/.375/.676 in June with 6 HR. Werth has also turned it around after the prolonged slump and is having a good month. 12 for his last 34 with 8 walks and 3 HR (1.121 OPS).

Good move to sit Rollins. Hope they use him at DH for one of the weekend games.

He did look ungainly trying to get up and throw on the play at the plate that he made the error in the top of the 9th. No reason to go day game after night game just yet.Besides Valdez is on a HR streak of his own.

I think Rollins is heating up. He's 1 for his last 1 with a HR.

Jack, Is there something about a line drive off Ibanez bat that makes it more likely to get caught than any other player? Until you show otherwise, there's no reason to believe his results will end as their totals now stand unless he continues to be unlucky re BAbip. The standard of proof in that regard is identical.

Sophist: No, and looking at Ibanez's peripherals, his numbers are likely to end up better than they are right now.

But he's not hitting for any power, and he's hitting more groundballs than normal, both potentially signs of age catching up to his bat. Additionally, even with some improvement, his OPS is likely to end up in the .780 range, which is adequate, but for 12 million and poor defense, you'd really like better than that out of your LF. I'm sorry, but that's just true. And I'm not sure how you can expect him to get better next year, at age 39.

If we lose Werth next year and are counting on an OF of Ibanez-Shane-Brown, we're in trouble, unless Brown is an absolute star as a rookie.

"awh - Ibanez stinks defensively. If you go to a game, watch the jump he gets on balls hit to left. It just isn't there."


MG, I DO go to games. I was there on Tuesday night, and I saw KK's gem in Yankee stadium last Thursday.

I have 3 17 game plans (though I give some away for business) so I go to 15 - 20 games/yr.

I just don't see what you're talking about.

Is Ibanez as good as Carl Crawford? Who is?

But "stinks"? I'll give you a defnition of "stinks".

Is he as bad as Carlos Lee, Burrell, Manny, Soriano and some others?

That's my definition of "stinks". Unless you think he's worse than they are?

Ibanez career GB%: 42.3%
Ibanez 2010 GB%: 43.4%

awh: He's pretty bad defensively. His UZR (I know, I know, terrible stat, right) is pretty awful, as it was for almost all of his career in Seattle.

Also, I go to games too. I watch him in left, and he's not all that much different than Burrell to me, except he makes more sliding catches coming in on balls. I don't know any stats that can measure this, but it's my sense that far, far more balls drop in the gap between Raul and Shane than between Shane and Werth.

Sophist: Jack would know about players showing signs of age and being done. Why just last year he declared Jamie Moyer done because a 47 year old struggling like him was finished? And really- what has Moyer done since then.


awh: I'm with you on Ibanez defensively. He's not a great defender but he's not a butcher either.

Also, something to keep in mind on the Brown talk. He has only played right field in Reading. That is not to say that he couldn't learn left field because there are enough overlapping similarities who it can be done- however, there are some differences as far as throwing angles and how the ball comes off the bat. I'd prefer he stick in right and come up to play that position. Plus, his arm would be wasted some in left field.

Sophist:

You can always 'massage' the data to make it look more favorable to a point.

If you take the arbitary point of June 1st, Ibanez line is .242/.311/.394. The last 6 games, it is .238/.304/.524.

As for his HR/FB numbers, that 7% is likely much closer to what he will do this year than the kind of prodigious power outburst he showed last year for the first 2 months. Especially for a guy who looks like he has lost bat speed and is swinging more selectively because he is certain he can catch up to a fastball.

It isn't uncommon that a veteran's %BB rate will jump a bit and his HR/FB will dip as his loses bat speed at the end of his career. I think that is what you are seeing with Ibanez this season.

It doesn't mean he shouldn't play or that they should call up Brown. I just don't understand why Ibanez is in the lineup everyday especially vs. LHP. Really no rationale or numbers to support playing him everyday at this point.

TTI: Like I said before, for some reason you seem to only post about me, and I'm not sure why, but it's sort of creepy.

And about Moyer, yeah, I assumed he would be done by now--as did pretty much everyone in baseball at some point over the last 10 years. A guy who is this successful at age 47 is a once in a lifetime occurrence. I apologize for not seeing that coming. Crazy, I know.

I am coming down from New York to see the Phils saturday afternoon. Taking my girls--they know baseball and are fans (although also of the Yanks) This will be our first time in CBP. My questions is: where do I park the car? Also is section 117 row 29 a good seats?

RK - Any of the lots are going to be $15. If you want an easier time of getting out, I would park on Pattison Ave. in the lot next to the NovoComplex for the Eagles. It is where alot of employees who work at CBP work because it is easier to get out of after a game.

Brian Schneider is really heating up. In his last 11 games he's hitting .321/.441/.500.

Ibanez value:

Yeah, I am not impressed with a guy who will likely end up hitting ~.250 AVG/.750-.760 OPS with 15-17 HRs who is one of the slowest players on the team, has terrible splits vs. LHP, and one of the worst defenders in the NL in LF (behind only the likes of Braun and Lee). That is a guy who should be a platoon player and not in the lineup everyday.

While Rollins is hot (1.000/1.000/4.000 in his last 1 AB), Vadez has also been really heating up recently. He's hitting .294/.333/.647 in his last 6 games. It's an embarrassment of riches for the Phillies at SS right now, with all these guys on fire.

Some people park in FDR park, which is across the street from the Eagles practice facility.

Price is right.

Jack - You can always slice up portions of a larger data sample to make things look much more favorable to your position/conclusions.

Jack: There were separate posts in one and you chose to focus on the one thing that was indirectly about you. I also posted something in disagreement just a thread ago to MG- which you had to see since you posted in the thread afterward.

Perhaps you are just conceited and think everyone is out to get you.

MG, the relationship between LD and BAbip is a accepted way of looking at a guy's peripherals. I agree on your point about cutting up games to look for hot/cold streaks, but anyone who thinks Ibanez is his current line has to explain his results on LD this year as something other than bad luck (which should even out). I don't despite aging (sadly), and I don't expect Ibanez to have a 20%+ HR/FB. But he's simply performed better than his numbers indicate this year. I think any stat-oriented writer would say as much.

Looking at both his results and his peripherals tells a fuller story. Ibanez is hitting the ball well for average (but not finding holes in the OF) and walking but has not shown power this year. We'll see where his HR/FB ends up. Last year was a career year (at 38), but I'd expect something more in line with his AL days at 11-16%.

Jack, Amaro paid $12M for a career .830 OPS hitter (16-33 HR in his AL days preceding the signing). If he finishes the year around with .800-.810 OPS (after a .900 OPS last year), it wouldn't be so many deviations from his expected output.

EFF - Yeah but getting a space there is really, really tough especially with all of the sell-outs. In the late 90s, I always parked there because you generally could find a spot.

RG please don't wear any Mets stuff for your own good. Blanton + Extreme heat and humidity might make for a surly crowd.

I don't think Ibanez stinks in LF. I also did not think Burrell stunk. Burrell knew his shortcomings and chose to play many balls on the bounce. Ibanez tries to go for more of those balls - sometimes he succeeds, sometimes he fails to catch them. I would not classify him as stellar. But isn't LF where you stash the weakest OF anyway? I always hear Ryan Braun is not a good fielder. Of course, he mashes way more than Ibanez does. Maybe that's where the perception comes into play - that you get a pass on fielding if you contribute hugely with the bat, but otherwise, you'll be judged on fielding.

I think the Phils could afford Cliff Lee with the parking money alone.

Sophist - That's fair. I don't expect though that he ends up at ~.800 OPS and .750-.760 ~OPS for a LF that is fairly poor production especially given his defensive/speed limitations.

Jack, you're right. UZR ain't all that.

My post, if you go back and read it, was in repsonse to MG's comment "if you go to a game".

Well, I DO. And I just don't see a guy who "stinks"...didn't say he deserves a GG, just do think he fits THAT definition.

Thanks MG any thoughts about the seats?

Parking has gone up from $10 to $15 in just the past 2 years. Despite the increase, the lots close to the stadium are somewhat filthy after a game this year and you really have to be careful about driving over broken glass/beer cans/etc after a game.

I understand it can't be spotless but there isn't a ton of trash cans around and there is virtually no staff after a game.

GBrettfan: No matter who you are, your overall value consists of how many runs you contribute--both offensively and defensively. Obviously, Ryan Braun would be a better player if he contributed defensively, but even if he costs them some runs defensively, he's so good with the bat that he's still one of the best LF in baseball.

Most LF, though, you're right, contribute almost all of their value with the bat. Crawford is a clear exception. Still, if you're assessing a player, you look to all of his contributions, offensive and defensive (unless he's a DH), in order to get a sense of his value.

awh - Ibanez makes a lot of those 'diving' catches becaue of the bad jumps on balls he gets. He doesn't take bad routes on balls (which Vic still does and Werth does too at times in RF) but the wheels just aren't there at this point in his career to get to balls.

If the Phils have good defensive positioning on a player, Ibanez has a decent shot of making a play. If not, there is going to be a ton of stuff that drops in especially in the power alley to left CF.

Defense in LF at CBP is one of the least important things in baseball. If there's ever a spot to sacrifice D for O that's it. The problem with Ibanez is that his O has been pretty weak so far this season, well below his peer group.

RK: Behind the Phillies dugout, about midway between Home & 1st Base. Not sure, but Row 29 might even be far enough up to catch some shade from the overhanging upper deck. Ought to be really good seats.

RK - Those should be prety good seats. Never set in that section but any of the seats on the lower level from 1B to 3B are pretty good seats at CBP.

MG, his OPS went up 50 points in May (and his month OPS was only .808). It actually went up 60 points in one week of May. I won't take as much as imagined for him to get over .800, esp. with his increased BB% (even though we're at almost 70 games now instead of 30).

I remember figuring that stuff out a few weeks ago. If Ibanez hits .270/.360/.450 the rest of the year (which is still a SLG decrease from his career norms), he'll end up around .260/.360/.435/.795. It really is all about continuing to hit line drives, and seeing what happens with his power. I do think he'll end up at at least .260/.350. It's just a question of where that SLG ends up.

I think those are good seats.

i think Ibanez's numbers will end up right about where Sophist projects. It's not ideally what you want for the contract he signed but it's OK

From last thread:

Agreed that Choo is a good player, and certainly someone like Werth would be capable of doing a single handed wrecking crew job on another team on any given night. I hadn't realized Choo was in that strata, but my eyes are wide open now for sure.

BTW, awh,

I pulled the compromise card and gave up the last couple of innings of what seemed to be turning into a dreary loss (my mistake). But, if you're married, you know how it is. These are the little deals after 25+ years of marriage that keep things on an even keel, when most of the time the Phillies and the post game shows, etc. are running on two TVs in the house. What are you gonna do?

Last point on Ibanez:

Ironically enough, I bet that Burrell ends up with better offensive splits as the staring LF for the Giants now than Ibanez.

When it comes to the contract, it also shouldn't be forgotten that Ibanez more than earned his $6.5M contract last year (by $11M acccording to fangraphs, which had his bat along at worth nearly $22M).

I'm so glad my wife loves baseball.

First at bat I saw last night, Ibanez hit an RBI double down the RF line. Then he made a nice play to advance on a WP. Then, the next inning, he made a nice play to cut down a runner at home. As a result, I was not expecting his relative shortcomings at the plate or in the field this year to be the topic du jour here today.

As for Jack, it is apparent that he is an age-ist. Fortunately for us old people, Ruben Amaro firmly believes in equal opportunity for aging ballplayers.

"Happy Quad-A Day everyone. Figgy and Dane are here. Shelley Duncan is stopping by. We ordered cake in the shape of Ryan Langerhans."

I hear the Phillies were originally going to get a cake in the shape of Mike Zagurski, but Round is very difficult to bake.

On the serious tip, I'm almost eager -- albeit in a thoroughly morbid way -- to see ol' Dane behind the plate today. The Phils have already taken the series (their first interleague series win at home since they faced the White Sox back in '07, wherein Kendrick made his MLB debut), & Blanton on the mound for a scorcher of a day game doesn't hold much promise anyway.

Also, Figgy? I believe JW said it best: "The reason I'd hesitate with Figgy is you know he's going to be kinda lousy." I suppose the Phillies want someone who's (theoretically) going to be good for more than one inning, & I don't disagree w/ their logic. Still, I'd like to see Mathieson a few more times before relegating him to the compost heap. Seems to me a guy throwing 98-99MPH should be given more than a fraction of an inning's worth of chances to fail.

MG, don't be foolish. Any career 120 OPS+ hitter who hits 83 OPS+ for about a season is clearly finished as a productive hitter in this league. Burrell is batting .319/.389/.574 as a Giant but isn't "heating up" according to some. The scientists are still out there with their various instruments. Results pending.

Figueroa was the logical and predictable call-up. They need someone who can go multiple innings and they love the oldsters, especially with Bronco Zagurski and Herndon in the pen. Looks like Baez will see some of those higher leverage situations that he's been so good in this year . . .

Anybody heading West for the Pirates series next week? Looks like the hard core (season ticket holders) is abandoning the team already. I picked up seats this week to the right of home for thursday and to the left side of home on Sunday. It's a beautiful park and, you're guaranteed to see a major league quality team in the visitor's dugout most nights.

J.C. Romero now has 12 BB and 10 K in 14.1 IP, for a K/BB of .83.

That is lower than Antonio Bastardo's K/BB of 1.44, who has K'd 13 and walked 9 in 12.1 innings of work.

How is Romero's ERa still sitting at 2.51?

Yo, new thread!

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