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Friday, January 27, 2012


I think I'm going to go to my boss today to see if we can "settle" on a 51% salary increase for me in 2012. Sounds fair enough.

Seriously though, Pence earned a raise last year. Hopefully this year he shows that he deserves even more.

If last year is the sign of Pence's progression, his arb years are a monster bargain.

I'd take a 51% raise too, but at my age I'd be trying to latch on to some company in Colorado for one more season.

That settles it, EFF is probably Raul Ibanez.

Expect Pence to mail it in this season because he settled for a $10.4 million compromise. Thanks, Ryan Howard.

JW, are you discounting the threat of Juan Pierre and Domonic Brown breathing down his neck?

Since we're betting, my money is on 2012 not being quite as good as 2011.

Here's 2011 and three 2012 projections -- ZIPs is on the light side, but the other two look about right:

2011: ..... .314/.370/.502 (.871 OPS)

Bill James: .292/.349/.486 (.835 OPS)
RotoChamp : .291/.349/.472 (.821 OPS)
ZIPs : .... .281/.334/.450 (.784 OPS)

His BABIP was really high last year.
2007-2010 .319
2011: .361


I need to gamble with some of you people.

Posted by: Iceman | Friday, January 27, 2012 at 02:45 PM"




I can't let a good argument go, so reposting from the end of last thread . . .

Iceman: "aren't you the guy that was apoplectic at the idea of Manuel not bringing in a pinch runner for Howard late in the year last year?"

In a very limited situation -- late innings & Phillies are losing -- yes. And, to complete the circle of irony, you were the guy who was apoplectic about pinch running for Howard in that situation.

But neither your apoplexy nor mine is relevant. We both know that Cholly will not pinch run for Howard. So, again, we're down to 4 guys on the team for whom Pierre might be used to pinch run -- provided it's the late innings of a close game & he hasn't already been used up for starting or pinch-hitting duty.

Anyway, as long as Mini-Mart is on the roster, it would make no sense to use Pierre as a pinch runner. Why burn a viable pinch hitter for pinch running duty when you've got another guy who's almost as fast and who has no other use off the bench?

Projections are down on Pence because of his high BABIP, and it wouldn't surprise me to see some regression. At the same time, he is smack-dab in his prime, so it might be possible that he has a career year that compensates for the inevitable drop in luck.

ZIPS is crazy in this case. That line would actually be the worst year in his career by quite a bit (although the drop in offensive context is part of it). I think the James projection is about right, and given the direction offense is given, that's a decent line to have in the middle of your lineup.

Pence had a line drive rate of 19% in 2011, up from 15% in his first four seasons. Each % increase in LD rate is usually worth about 10 points in babip.

Pence's career LD% of 16% is pretty low to have a career BABIP of .328 over so many at bats - and since I know he's not blazing fast, my only conclusion would be:

He hits the ball really hard.

And after watching him play last year, that hypothesis seems to be true.

Dan, the other factor with Pence is the difference in park factors - the Zen vs Minute Maid.

Last 4 years:

MMP: 1.100, 1.160, 1.034, 1.185, 0.967, 1.062
CBP: 0.997, 0.950, 0.972, 1.024, 0.806, 1.015

MMP: 0.864, 1.084, 0.923, 0.946, 1.296, 0.994
CBP: 0.991, 1.125, 0.980, 0.985, 0.867, 0.948

MMP: 0.930, 1.065, 1.036, 0.873, 1.000, 0.968
CBP: 1.028, 1.005, 1.018, 1.047, 0.903, 1.019

MMP: 1.036, 1.155, 1.012, 1.102, 0.908, 1.002
Zen: 1.029, 1.022, 1.036, 0.957, 0.743, 0.991


Previous post should have contained column headings:

Runs, HR, H, 2B, 3B, BB

lorecore, don't you remember his comment to MacKannin?:

Pence looked at Mackanin and said, "I don't hit bloopers. I melt faces."

Hey, if Pence hits Bill James' projections and posts an OPS of .835, and Mayberry repeats his 2011 season and posts an OPS of .854, do you keep Mayberry long-term and trade Pence at the end of the season if Brown is deemed ready?

I hadn't heard the 10 points per LD% formula - that's good to know. I hope he can duplicate his 2011 LD%.

I did find the leaders in BABIP since 2002 (2,000+ PAs), which I thought was an interesting list (with LD%):

1. S.Choo .353, 21.6%
2. J.Votto .352, 23.9%
3. M.Kemp .352, 21.5%
4. I.Suzuki .349, 20.2%
5. D.Jeter .348, 20.1%
6. M.Cabrera .347, 21.3%
7. M.Holliday .346, 19.4%,d


Good point -- I had thought that Minute Maid had become an increasingly neutral park over the years (much the way CBP has), but it looks like it's still a hitters park on the whole.

If Mayberry has a full year of an .850 OPS, I think the real question is if Victorino sticks around (and if the team feels that Mayberry can still handle center). If Victorino goes, they keep all three. If Vic is resigned, I think they move Pence (provided Brown doesn't crap the bed this year).

awh, so combining the past four years (2008-2011), these are the PFs:

Overall hitting/scoring:
CBP: 1.012
MMP: 0.980

Home Runs:
CBP: 1.025
MMP: 1.117

Based on that, his overall hitting should be unchanged, although he may hit fewer HRs.

I wrote a post on this, if interested (google schmandbox).

Dan, if Mayberry repeats his 2011, or God-willing, somehow exceeds it, and appears to be a changed player, it will create a real conundrum for the Phillies:

Do you a)trade a very cost-controlled Mayberry (sell high) for, hopefully, a couple good pieces and keep the more proven commodities in Vic and Pence, b)trade the more expensive Pence (for more than you can probably get for Mayberry), re-sign Vic and move RFD to RF if Brown is ready in LF, c) let Vic go and move Mayberry to CF (if you think he can handle it for a full year), d) see what kinds of seasons James and Gillies have and incorporate that into your decision - i.e. do you trade Pence AND let Vic walk with one of James or Gillies in CF and Brown and Mayberry on the corners, e) trade Vic mid-season (for more than draft picks) if you think Brown is ready and Mayberry can handle CF?

Scenario "d" is a huge stretch and probably not realistic, but if the Phils decide that 2013 is a mild rebuilding year ........ WTF knows?

BAP- what you argued in the last thread was that pinch-running is all but pointless, which completely flies in the face of your argument last year regarding Howard. What I argued at the time was not that pinch-running was pointless, but that the potential benefit did not outweigh having Michael Martinez bat in place of Ryan Howard if the game goes to extra innings. I'm not the one being inconsistent here.

Bench players are bench players because they have very limited skill sets that can be useful at opportune times. Juan Pierre is not a guy you want in your everyday lineup, but (assuming he plays well enough to make the team in ST) he is a guy that can steal you a base at an opportune time in the late-innings. It's very useful to have a guy like that on the bench late in the season. I can't remember how many times the past few years that I've seen teams do this against the Phils and think 'Damn, I wish we had a weapon like that off the bench.'

Michael Martinez is not that guy- he may be fast, but he's not a base-stealer. You're apparently arguing that pinch-running a guy that will be going station-to-station anyway is of minimal benefit, which is somewhat true- but Pierre is a guy that can come in and steal a base or two, which IS incredibly useful in the late innings of a close game. I don't know why this is even an argument.

There will be no way they will trade pence. The key will be Vic. And depending on what he wants. I still think they slide Mayberry over if Vic walks. And if Dom shows he's ready. And don't count out the minor league guys. I said it will be a big year for a lot of the higher prospects to see what they do from here on with the extensions. I know they don't have studs but they have a few that are raw and some had injuries and missed last year. And I really am interested with the class of 11 and looking that what will be available 3rd base is dead. Lots of outfield help which can drive price down. Don't want to look ahead, but I want to follow minors a little more then I have before.

Only downside to Pierre is that he bats left-handed. Bench would be awfully left-handed if Wigginton/Mayberry are starting.

There's a whole lot of "what if's" in that Mayberry scenario, not the least of which is the hypothetical that he somehow repeats his performance from last season, an extreme outlier verse any prior minor league performance. As extremely unlikely as it is to happen, IF it did, I suspect that jettisoning Brown at this season's trade deadline would be a very reasonable possibility. If not, it would be because he's not performing, at which point the discussion is moot, anyway.

Essentially, the strawman is built on Mayberry sustaining a very unlikely performance arc, while at the same time Brown overcomes his troubles and begins to live up to expectations. I'd be thrilled if it came to fruition, and I suspect RAJ would be more than willing to figure it all out with a smug smile on his face. However, I'm not holding my breath. If one of the two can play well enough to start in 2013, I'll be thrilled.

Also, if RFD maintains his MLB output this season, I suspect he won't encounter too much more issue chasing mermaid tail, either.

AWH: No you trade victorino and live with slightly below average cf defense from JMJ in center. At their respective points in their careers if i have to choose pence over vic, i choose pence. But that's just me.

MG, but arent Pierre's splits pretty even?

mm, I'm confused. To what were you saying "no"?

I wasn't advocating any scenario, merely posting possibilities.

Awh: it was a delayed post to your first hypothetical, not the drawn out version. if mayberry somehow sustains his hitting and brown figures out how to play lf, then I'd try to trade Vic and keep pence for the long term.

Aha, got it.

awh - They are. It would be interesting to see who would get the first PH because I imagine Cholly will say Thome for the 8th/9th innings. Guess Nix if they need a potential HR and Pierre if they just need a baserunner.

I keep Vic and Pence. They are proven commodities. Left field is a contest between Mayberry and Brown. That is to say, if Mayberry regresses and Brown tears up AAA and continues it after he is called up, Mayberry goes. If Mayberry continues to progress and Brown flops in AAA, Brown goes. The best man stays and the other gets traded or becomes the 4th outfielder. If they both do very well, well, then, the Phillies will have a nice problem on their hands.

extend him

I would guess that they want to extend Pence but it again comes down to AAV and the luxury tax much like Hamels. I wouldn't be surprised to see both locked up during the season.

They meed a utility infielder. Minimart ain't gonna cut it, nor will Pete Orr.

Vic and Pence are both on the cusp of being $15M-ish per year players. Phils cannot keep both beyond this year, IMO. So that would eliminate awh scenario a.
Other than that, its a tough call on how the Phils will handle the OF. At CBP, OF defense is important in CF, but not so in the corners; which favors keeping Vic. However, Pence is younger and a little better hitter. Though, he does have a little more chronic injury risk to keep an eye on.

RAJ has the next 9 months to assess. (6 months if he wants to swing a deadline trade with one of them.)

Iceman: There is no inconsistency in my arguments. One argument has to do with the general, overall value of pinch-running. The other argument was based on how I'd approach a very specific game situation in which we have no idea how events are going to unfold.

I wouldn't necessarily use the phrase "all but pointless" to describe pinch-running. But, yeah, in the vast majority of situations, the benefit you gain by pinch running is superfluous because: (a) either the pinch runner doesn't score; or (b) he does score but would have scored even if he had been much slower. This is surely worth considering before you go out and sign a guy largely on the theory that he'll give you a pinch runner off the bench.

On the other hand, when you're trying to win a particular game, with the 25 guys who are handed to you, you have absolutely no idea how events are going to play out. Maybe this will indeed be that unusual game where the difference in speed between the pinch runner & the guy he's replacing is the difference betwween scoring & not scoring. So, if you're losing in the late innings of playoff game, and you've got a player on base who can barely run, of course you pinch run. But I damn sure wouldn't plan my roster around that future hypothetical scenario.

And, to supplement my last post: I'd be a lot less inclined to pinch run for Howard in the 8th inning of a regular season game -- for the very reason you've pointed out: the game might go to extra innings &, if it does, you want him hitting when his spot in the order comes up.

But that's in a 162-game season. In a 5 or 7-game series, where you only get to lose 2 or 3 times, you've absolutely got to pull out all the stops to at least tie the score when it's the late innings & you're losing.

In other words, we're really talking about an incredibly limited number of scenarios in which I'd advocate pinch running Juan Pierre or Mini-Mart for Ryan Howard.

What's a line rate and War. Phrack all the stats, BA BB/SO are all you need.

And, to supplement my last post: I'd be a lot less inclined to pinch run for Howard in the 8th inning of a regular season game -- for the very reason you've pointed out: the game might go to extra innings &, if it does, you want him hitting when his spot in the order comes up.

But that's in a 162-game season. In a 5 or 7-game series, where you only get to lose 2 or 3 times, you've absolutely got to pull out all the stops to at least tie the score when it's the late innings & you're losing….

Thanks, b_a_p – my post is off point, but well supported by your remarks, re: "building?" "managing?" a team for a short series. I was probably 75% wrong in alluding to the possibility of "building" a team for a short series.

However, within the italics, b_a_p has succulently outlined -- he88, built the prima facie case -- for one way to optimize winning of a short series via savvy management.

If only Chollie "got it". And stopped waiting for a 3-run home run. Does TLR give tutorials?

Great article on the Luxury Tax and our current salary.

Basically, we be fvcked. We're already at the cap right now per this calculation by Gelb.

Looking at that article, the Papelbon deal looks pretty fvcking stupid. If that is to believed, we're basically not able to add ANYONE all season if they won't go over the tax...if we do try to trade for someone, we'll need cash back too. Given our extremely thin system (some have us in the mid-20s now), Rube kinda screwed up royally.

Cards are reportedly going to sign Oswalt...Ugh.

Blanton now moves up to the 4th Ace slot.

Nepp: the aav for Papelbon isn't that ridiculous, any good closer is going to cost you. They should absolutely have gotten a top closer for this team. My beef is the total commitment.

That is an interesting luxury tax article.
What is interesting is that contract AAV is used in the calculation; even when, like in the cases of Utley and Vic, a long term contract is signed that covers both 'controlled' years and free agent years.

Yo, new thread

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