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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

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Ruiz or Kratz also matters alot when making lineups.

***NEPP: Not sure--the limited Fangraphs search I did only gave me some basic stats with men on base. Not sure if I can dig any deeper.***

From the last thread, did some checking Jack...Howard was 6th among 1B (or 4th if you dont count Miguel Cabrera and Youkilis who split time at 3B during that period of 2006-2012. That's for both OPS and wOBA with Men On.

If you do a cutoff of 1500 PA as a miniumum, he was 6th overall in baseball for OPS and 7th for wOBA...for hitting with Men on from 2006-2012.

Fairly elite with men on base and decidedly not that top tier if you go bases empty. (he's in the high 20s overall in that category)

Swisher at 4/60 is still a better bet than Hamilton at 4/80. That's $5m extra this year and beyond to boost the bullpen and rotation, combined with a much lower risk that the contract will turn into a massive black hole. Silly to argue about intangibles, but the drama issue Jack mentions is real too. More importantly, Swisher is better against LHP than Hamilton.

It would have been nice to flip Galvis, Schwimmer, & Jiwan James for Trevor Bauer. That's a better package that what Arizona ended up with, isn't it?

They have to break up Utley and Howard. The late inning LH specialists have killed them in recent years. If Utley still hit like a true #3 hitter, maybe it would be tough to move him to #2. But I don't think we can expect Utley to hit with any more pop than Young this year. If that's the case, break up the two lefties. Make opposing managers decide among (a) letting Utley or Howard hit against a righty, (b) letting Young (or the new presumably right-hand hitting RF) hit against the lefty, or (c) using up two lefty specialists in one time through the order.

NEPP: Yeah, and the other point was that he's 6th in all of baseball in PAs with men on base.

So the fact is he has come up in those opporunities a lot, and he's done fairly well when they have. Which is good.

By the way, all players see a bump in their stats when guys are on base, but it does seem to be particularly pronounced with Howard. He's a poor hitter with nobody on base, and a very good hitter with men on base. Most of those other guys go between good and very good. It's odd, and I don't think it can all be explained by the shift.

I'd bat Young 2nd hoping for a bounce back. If he doesn't respond, you adjust.

Revere
Young
Utley
FA
Howard
Rollins
Chooch
Brown

"I'm sure he hits 10x better than Galvis, but thats really doesn't say much."

lorecore - the reason I asked for a scouting opinion is that Didi's MiLB numbers are not that much better than Galvis' recently ("recently" is key here since Galvis didn't hit a lick until Reading).

age 21

AA .273/.326/.400
AAA .298/.315/.364

A+ .303/.333/.457
AA .270/.312/.392

Sickles posted his top 20 Astros list. Relevant writeups:

2) Jonathan Singleton, 1B, Grade B+: Impressed with his power and patience, but his defense is deteriorating already and I see him as more of a masher than a complete hitter. Still an elite guy. I think Springer is a more complete player but Singleton is two years younger, which matters.

4) Jarred Cosart, RHP, Grade B: His talent is obvious but he's frustrating too. Awesome stuff with power sinker, hard curve, but his command comes and goes and he's not as dominant as he should be with his quality arm. Needs 100 innings in Triple-A to work more kinks out.

10) Domingo Santana, OF, Grade B-: I think he made real progress in the Cal League at age 19/20 and it isn't all a statistical illusion. He's got some holes that need to be closed up, but he's made improvements and power upside is very high. Keep his age in mind.

They have to break up Utley and Howard.

Everyone on the face of the planet agrees w/ this, save for one Charles Fuqua Manuel, Jr.

Unfortunately, he happens to be the one making the lineup. Utley will bat 3rd. Howard will bat 4th.

The End.

Personally, I thought the knock on Singleton previously was that he wasn't a "masher" and was more of a mid-20's homerun "complete hitter".

Why not Revere, Young, Rollins, Howard, Utley? Get Revere on and let the rest knock him home. If you are worried about the matchups, go Revere, Young, Utley, Rollins, Howard.

GTown: Agreed with your 12:14

I imagine the the lineup will look like this:

1. Rollins
2. Young
3. Utley
4. Howard
5. FA OF
6. Ruiz*
7. Brown*
8. Revere
9. Pitcher

*Until Ruiz is back, 6. Brown, 7. Kratz/Quintero

If Young Doesn't bat 2nd, Doesn't he really have to end up hitting 7th or 8th (depending on if Revere bats leadoff or not). What if the back half of our lineup ends up

Brown
Young
Revere
Pitcher

All those guys have a fairly significant probability of struggling with the bat this year (Revere with power). That has the possibility of a wretched back half of the lineup if things go sideways.

I'd love to see Utley bat second, but it's tough to say who goes third. Why can't Howard bat third? Will the world end if that happens or something? Don't you want your best hitters getting the most ABs?

Rollins
Utley
Howard
Ruiz
FA OF
Brown/Ruf
Young
Revere

Has Sickels posted his Phillies list for 2013? Just wondering where Darin Mark Trumbo Ruf is on that list?

The only way that Utley bats 2nd is if we sign Hamilton or Swisher and they bat 3rd.

jbird: Agreed. I fear a situation in which Charlie decides Young is his #5 hitter. Better to gamble on bottom third, I think.

I'm not taking any lineup seriously that has Revere leading off.

NEPP: I'm speaking completely independent of what Cholly will do. More of a baseball question overall: could someone like Howard not bat 3rd because of a reason other than "well he's a cleanup hitter" ...does it simply have to do with footspeed? I feel like I want my best hitters to hit as soon as possible, which is why, with the team as constructed, I'd want Rollins-Utley-Howard-Ruiz up first.

The only reason you brought Revere here was for defense and to steal bases...you don't put a base stealer in front of the pitcher for fear of running into an out and not getting past the pitcher...you almost have to bat him lead off because you can't bat Revere second

NEPP, that's what I want. Utley 2 with the switchhitting Swisher sandwiched between him and Howard. For some reason though the Phillies have no interest in Swisher. Probably because he'd actually be a good fit.

AJ: Well, that's why I would bat the pitcher 8th and Revere 9th. But I understand that would blow Charlie's mind.

If the season were to start today, this would likely be the lineup:

SS Rollins
CF Revere
2B Utley
1B Howard
LF Nix
3B Young
RF Brown
C Kratz
(Pitcher)
Whether that's a good thing is another story.

Yeah I hear you AJ but Charlie still has a lot of those kinkos lineup card copies with Rollins at the top. He has to use them all up first before we get some out-of-the-box thinking.

Nix hitting 5th. Damn, I'm in lot M now tailgating if anyone wants to join.

***you almost have to bat him lead off because you can't bat Revere second***

Revere primarily bat 2nd for the Twins last year.

joe d: Charlie moved rollins out of leadoff as way way way back as last year.

I know lorecore and that was almost out of necessity. It's not like it was a strategic thing for Charlie. But I guess we could see it again because Utley probably won't be with the team to start the year.

Actually, against LHP I'd go with

1) Revere/CF
2) Young/3B
3) Utley/2B
4) Howard/1B
5) Ruiz/C
6) Rollins/SS
7) Brown/LF
8) Mayberry/RF
9) P

Against RHP, move Brown to 6 in LF, Rollins to 7 at SS, and put Nix in at 8. Leave the rest alone.

Ideally a lineup would look like this for me:

Revere
Utley
Swisher
Howard
Young (Ruiz when he returns and hopefully hits like he did in '12)
Rollins
Brown
Kratz

Really, Revere can't bat 8th. Complete waste of a big part of his skillset. I think Charlie will get that.

Joe D you can't bat revere second in this lineup because that puts 3 lefties in a row at the top of the lineup

Rollins was moved "down" to the 3-hole because Utley & Howard were both out and they tried Vic and Pierre leading off.

It wasn't a demotion.

This "Cholly won't bat Rollins anywhere but first" stuff is really annoying.

Rollins batted 3rd for pretty much the whole first month of the season this year. Got a lot of crap for it too.

@AJ, I'm not advocating Revere to hit 2nd although he will hit there. I want him leading off.

@NEPP, exactly RE: Rollins hitting 3rd last year.

It was purely out of necessity.

I was one of the guys who thought Rollins and his approach would thrive in the 3-hole. Boy was I wrong.

Cyclic - yeah, but if you can't be smug about lineup construction and Charlie's funny accent, what can you be smug about?

This might be an interesting lineup though I doubt we'd ever see it:

CF Revere
3B Young
2B Utley
1B Howard
SS Rollins
LF Nix
RF Brown
C Kratz

It acknowledges the reality that Howard/Utley will never be split up barring a huge FA signing and it borrows from UC's previous strategy of moving Rollins' bat "down" to help out the middle of the linup.

So Utley and Howard being out "necessitated" Rollins batting out of the leadoff spot, but the acquisitions of Young, Revere and potentially a corner OF couldn't possibly have an affect on where he bats? Yeah ok.

Over the past two years, Revere's numbers are not strong enough to be leadoff, but just turning 25 next year he surely can improve his on base skills in my opinion.

I leave Jimmy in leadoff for now, and would hope that Revere can show you enough improvement to take it away from him.

NEPP: My version of that lineup for the post-Kratz portion of the season would be:

Revere
Young
Utley
Howard
Chooch
Rollins
Ruf/Nix
Brown

We'll never see it.

Cyclic, what are you even talking about? I can't even tell what side you are arguing.

Flip-flop Utley and Young and I'm down with GTown.

G-Town's boy Pence was inserted between Utley and Howard in the 2011 playoffs. That went really well.

Why can't I find PPA stats? fangraphs doesn't have it?

I like Utley in the 2 hole. Hopefully we get a strong enough FA that can hit 3rd to make it work.

From the last thread, NEPP: "On Hamilton, how many would do something like 4/90 with a team/vesting option taking it to 5/120? ($25 M AAV as there'd be a $10 M buyout and $20 M in that final 5th year if he reaches PA thresholds)"

I would do that, and it's what I hope Amaro is offering right now. It's worth the risk, and 4/90 guaranteed money is really a deal for a guy that has hit .313/.370/.583/.952 the last three years, even if he misses time. They've got platoon options to get by when he hits the DL. 120-130 games a year with Hamilton gets this team into the playoffs.

Joe D: I'd agree w/ that move, too, but I was conceding to the inevitability of Utley/Howard. Young has also been a very good #2 batter in his career.

Joe D: Go to a player's main b-ref page, and click on "More Stats" next to Standard Batting. THere is a section called Pitch Summary.

Revere averages 3.56 P/PA. The MLB Average is 3.82 during that same span.

Thanks lorecore. No clue why I wasn't finding it on there. I started there then went to fangraphs.

No offense, but if you're drawing up a lineup that you know Charlie will never go with, why not just draw up the lineup you think is optimal rather than conceding to Charlie's tastes on one particular issue?

I'm not arguing any side.

Just tired of the meme of "Rollins Must Bat Leadoff"

Well unfortunately that is how it is Cyclic. If the roster is entirely in tact Young James will be at the top of the lineup.

What in the hell is the Red Sox end-game this offseason?

Joe D: How much of that is because when the roster is in full tact, Rollins is the best leadoff hitter they have vs Charlie being an impossibly close minded and stubborn manager?

I'd say it's half and half lorecore.

I was just thinking about this the other day. How will the lineup look & how exactly will Charlie use them. That is scary to think about.

Here is to hoping Revere doesn't turn into a mini mart this season.

Reading about RA Dickey's dissatisfaction with the Mts this morning in the Times, I just wonder (again): Would they listen to something like Brown, Galvis, one of the catchers, and/or one of the relievers?

Brown, Galvis, and Schwimhorstenberg would give them three cost-controlled ML-ready guys, and they need catching badly at all levels. Just a thought. I sorta love Dickey for next year and am starting to fear sending Cloyd out there.

Trying to grab early spot on coining new nickname for offense.

In 2009, pitching-wise, we had H20.

If we get Hamilton, H2=O. (Howard + Hamilton = Offense)

Actually on second thought lorecore I'd say Charlie's breakdown for having Rollins leadoff would be as follows:

1/3 - he is the best leadoff option
1/3 - Charlie is stubborn
1/3 - veteran loyalty

No one will want to hear this, but right now if they're going to split up Howard and Utley the guy to do it with is Young.

Rollins
Utley
Young
Howard
Ruiz
Brown
Nixberry
Revere
Pitcher

Completely optimizing the lineup would have Revere ninth, but LaRussa isn't managing this team.

Based on past history 2nd is the best place for Young.
Past history also leads me to believe that
no interest in Swisher tells me he has a good chance to end up in Philly.

joe d - are you saying you agree that rollins is the best choice over the years? If so, why does any other factor matter?

Iceman: Why Young over Chooch to split up the lefties? Chooch is the better hitter.

I think Charlie takes a look at that .294 BA Revere sported last year and those 40 SB's and puts him atop the lineup. Young makes sense as the #2 hitter if he hits and #7 or #8 if he doesn't. I hope he hits. . . a lot. . .

What matters most is simply putting your better offensive players higher in the lineup. Secondary to that is the tactics of splitting up lefties/righties.

Other than that, everything else is basically irrelevant. Thus, I would go:

Rollins
Utley
Ruiz
Howard
Young
Ruf/Nix
Mayberry/Brown
Pitcher
Revere

Though I would also be more than willing to switch Ruf and Young if the Bambino proved he was a legitimate hitter.

Other skills don't matter compared to simply getting your better hitters the most ABs. Amazing how often people are willing to overlook this.

You just know that Cholly will leave JRoll in the leadoff spot, Young will hit 2nd, and a FA right-handed bat will hit 5th.

Revere will hit 8th once Chooch comes back but until then he will hit 7th with Kratz 8th.

Jack - To a large extent, yes, but "better hitter" is pretty vague. To a look at this, for instance:

http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2006/2/12/133645/296

"But I don't think we can expect Utley to hit with any more pop than Young this year."


MDK, on what do you base that opinion?

I have a lot of concerns about Chooch. What he was busted for might not have been of direct benefit to his hitting, but who's to say what other aids he has been using? Here's a guy who went from:

339 G, 1181 PA, .245 BA/.338 OBP/.375 SLG, 85 OPS+

in his first 3 seasons (ages 28-30), to:

367 G, 1326 PA, .303 BA/.388 OBP/.454 SLG, 127 OPS+

in his next 3 seasons (ages 31-33).

Assuming Ruiz comes into '13 100% "clean", I really question what manner of hitter we'll see.

Sophist: Good point, and that's interesting.

I would note though, to all the people who for years have said "whatever, who cares about OBP in the middle of the lineup, you need power," the study still found that OBP was just as important in the cleanup spot as SLG. And in every other position, it's more important.

And I would still note that it's not all that hard to determine who the better hitter is. Revere had a .300 wOBA (which includes baserunning) and a .333 OBP. Rollins had a .322 wOBA with a .316 OBP.

I'll still take Rollins batting leadoff over Revere (though Utley would be preferrable to both).

Sophist: And actually, I don't think that would be all that difficult to compute the optimal lineup with.

If you took those formulas for lineup spots, and created some projections for each player, I would think it would be relatively easy to run a lineup optimization algorithm, right?

I mean, I'm not a programmer or statistician or anything, so I can't. But I would imagine that for people who do this, that would be fairly easy.

MDK, I will guarantee that Utley has a higher ISO this year, and thus, more "pop" than Young. I'd bet a lot on that, actually.

I'll still take Rollins batting leadoff over Revere (though Utley would be preferable to both).

I was very tempted to slot Utley leadoff as well, but wondered if that's the wisest course of action for a player w/ bad knees.

Sophist: The run environment in baseball that your linked article is analyzing is so much different than it is today. Needs a complete recalc.

FYI: Jamie Moyer is thinking of retiring. He's a little young to retire, no? ;)

Here's an interview with him on MLB Network. http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=25525175&topic_id=7417714&c_id=mlb&v=3&tcid=tw_video_25525113

Personally, I'd love to have him as a pitching coach somewhere in the Phillies organization/system.

This article was linked over at mlbtr.

Michael Bourn's market value is 5 yrs/90MM?

WTF did they get that from, Boras?

Using Bill James projections for 2013 (which are optimistic, but optimistic as to everyone), I ran the lineup optimizer. Here's what you get for righties:

vs RHP

Brown
Utley
Young
Howard
Ruiz
Nix
Rollins
Pitcher
Revere

I think the James' projections are particularly skewed high for Brown, which is why it has him hitting so high here. Still, I'm down with Utley/Young/Howard/Ruiz as a 2-5. It didn't even know to split up lefties and righties, but it turns out that's best anyway.

So I will apologize to Iceman for asking why Young in the 3-hole instead of Chooch. It would appear that the Baseball Musings tool agrees.

Preface to post: the following is pure speculation.

Perhaps part of the motive behind a Ross signing is that if Ruf and Brown develop well and both mash, unlike Hamilton and Swisher, Ross has a history of being a platoon player, thus assuring ABs for both Ruf and Brown. Not saying I agree with this, but I've been racking my brain for a motive for a Ross signing and I came up with this speculative thought...obviously money and perhaps his ability to hit in CBP are a part of the equation as well.

Jack - yeah, if Brown develops into that Nick Markakis type player, he'd be great for the lead off spot. High OBP and relatively low SLG. Rollins is suboptimal for leading off not only cos of his OBP but bc his SLG could be wasted there. If Revere and Rollins have identical OBP, Revere may be better suited to lead off.

Although "better suited" may be les important than just giving Rollins may PA. Hard to know that a priori though.

Brown was showing a good eye last year during certain stretches

Maybe Ross' career numbers at CBP have less to do with the stadium and more with being able to tee off on crappy pitchers like Roy Halladay.

Charlie hears "platoon" & doesn't understand why anyone would want to send one of his OF to Vietnam w/ Tom Berenger. Considering his managerial style, a "pencil 'em in every day" player like Hamilton or Swisher would make a lot more sense. If the FO is intending to make moves based on platoon utility, they're tinkling into a stiff breeze. Cheapest option & no loss of a draft pick remain the most likely reasons for wanting Ross.

Does anyone remember when Philadelphia fans booed Santa Claus and Charlie Manuel couldn't double switch?

If not, ask Gtown about it.

GTown, I'm not opposed to Ross (though he'dd be my 3rd choice), but if that's who they bring in I would hope they might add a SP who's better than a "low-risk, high-reward" type guy that Amaro is seeking.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/12/phillies-seek-low-risk-starter.html

Good point GTown...just struggling to understand the rationale. Still kind of lost on it. Maybe it's a ruse to surprise us all with a Swishmas this year

GTown's post was quite comical. Good for a hearty laugh at the office.

Blanton's conract details are up at mlbtr:


"Blanton’s two-year, $15MM contract with the Angels calls for a $6.5MM salary in 2013 and a $7.5MM salary in 2014, DiGiovanna reports. The deal includes an $8MM club option for 2015 with a $1MM buyout."


I'd love to know who RAJ thinks is "higher-reward", that he can get for "lower-risk" than that?

awh: You don't think any pitcher exists that could be had for less than 2yr/$15M who doesn't have a possible upside to outperform Joe Blanton?

Please give me that mlbtr FA list again so I can circle the whole damn thing.

Sign me up for the Revere-batting-ninth option. As others said, his speed is wasted in the #8 slot, and as the worst hitter in the everyday lineup, he should not be hitting #1 or #2.

Lineup without Chooch:

vs RHP/vs LHP:
RF Brown/SS Rollins
2B Utley
3B Young
1B Howard
LF Ruf
SS Rollins/RF Mayberry
C Kratz
pitcher
CF Revere

How many fewer at bats, ballpark, does a guy get in a season batting 5th or 6th rather than 2nd or 3rd? That would have to be a pretty high number for me to completely ignore things like L/R balance.

My priority this year, though, is as much OBP as possible in front of Howard. Really hoping Ruiz can come close to last year's tallies.

Yeah I've been puzzled by this "low-risk, high-reward type of guy" comment.
So basically they're looking for someonle like: Hamels, Kershaw, Cain, Sabathia, Verlander, Felix. Doesn't every GM want that type of guy for every position?

Was RAJ being tongue-in-cheek, or completely clueless?

lore, according to mlbtr's updated list, these guys are still available:

Starting pitchers
Erik Bedard (34)
Dallas Braden (29)
Aaron Cook (34)
Ryan Dempster (36)
Freddy Garcia (37)
Rich Harden (31)
Roberto Hernandez (32)
Edwin Jackson (29)
Jair Jurrjens (27)
Jeff Karstens (30)
John Lannan (28)
Francisco Liriano (29)
Kyle Lohse (34) - declined qualifying offer
Derek Lowe (40)
Shaun Marcum (31)
Daisuke Matsuzaka (32)
Kevin Millwood (38)
Dustin Moseley (31)
Jamie Moyer (50)
Brett Myers (32)
Roy Oswalt (35)
Carl Pavano (37)
Mike Pelfrey (29)
Anibal Sanchez (29)
Jonathan Sanchez (30)
Joe Saunders (32)
Tim Stauffer (31)
Carlos Villanueva (29)
Chien-Ming Wang (33)
Kip Wells (36)
Randy Wolf (36)
Chris Young (34)
Carlos Zambrano (32)

Carlos Zambrano, anyone? Anyone?

nokwurst, he meant a guy that won't cost much but could potentially pitch well. specifically citing guys coming off an injury as an example

Ctom: Did you take into account Rollins splits when building those lineups, or moreso other player's splits and adjusted Rollins as a constant? Just curious, because jroll has become a better hitter vs RHP over last couple seasons.

2012: .804 OPS v RHP, .612 v LHP
2011: .786 OPS v RHP, .609 v LHP

His career numbers are even, so it could just be a fluke, but definitely something to pay attention to moving forward.

Hernandez (AKA Fausto Carmona) just dropped off the board, but there are still enough guys on the list (32) to fill six rotations.

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