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Monday, March 25, 2013

Comments

I believe we are starting to see a 'standard set' develop.

Jroll/Revere
Jroll/Revere
Utley
Howard
MYoung
DOM
LF
C

Who is this bum, Ryan Hoard? He probably strikes out too much and can't hit lefties. Bum.

Will they bat Chooch 5th when he comes back? Dom 6? Young 7?

Good lineup. 10 games under .500 as of Memorial Day.

I think the most realistic 'best case' is that Revere has a great start and wins the leadoff spot by time Chooch returns. With that, you can build a very good frame around Utley/Howard in the middle and push the LF spot down to #8.

If Revere doesn't play well enough to get the leadoff spot, then I think you start seeing the lineup have some weakspots.

Take out Frandsen and slide up Kratz and expect to see this line-up again for LH pitchers throughout April. Exchange Nix for Mayberry and you have the RHP version.

DBrown is the leftfielder. Struggling Mayberry and Nix are rightfielders until DYoung is ready

Incidentally, I've come to believe that

Rollins
Revere

is better than

Revere
Rollins

I think Revere's best skill set is best served if he gets on (first) base ahead of Utley who is likely to see a few pitches before swinging, and always more likely to hit it to the right side, than Rollins, who is more likely to swing early in the count and more likely to pop up (no incriminations here, just observations). When Revere gets on, we want him to run, and Utley offers the best possibility for that to happen.

And, with Revere, you want someone fast on first anyway, since he is very likely to hit it on the ground. Rollins, of anyone, is best suited to handle that challenge.

terry: disagree.

andy: disagree in general for other reasons, but also to your above reasoning.

If you are worried about leaving the hole open for Utley, then you want the runner to stay on first to hold the 1B on the bag. This would keep Revere from taking off as much as he'd like.

Someone will probably provide the saber argument against, but Rollins/Revere is considerably superior to Revere/Rollins. Why? Because Rollins is slow. No one ever says it, but he's slow. If you didn't like him popping up at the top of the lineup, wait until he hits into 25 double plays this year after Revers scraps his way on.

Bat Rollins first, which gives the Phils two chances (essentially) to have at least one runner on when Utley comes to the plate, and little chance of a double play when the first runner reaches.

From Andy's linked article: Amaro said he had some trade discussions about Betancourt on Sunday, but nothing came to fruition.

Amaro: "Hey, Proefrock, what can we get for Yuni?"
Proefrock: "BWAAH. Rube, you're killin' me!"
Amaro: "Kerfeld, stop snickering! What do you think?"
Kerfeld: "Snicker. Sorry boss. Snicker. I just Snicker can't stop Snicker laughing Snicker"

"No one ever says it, but he's slow."

You're right that no one ever says it. I wonder why that could be.

Maybe because he's not slow?

Rollins is slow?

He was ranked 14th in MLB last year using FanGraphs Spd (speed) metric, 5th in UBR and 7th in wSB.

He stole 30 bases last year, against just 5 caught stealing.

He grounded into 9 double plays last year. There were 106 baseball players who grounded into 9 or more.

His BsR metric, which is Fangraphs metric used in calculating fWAR, was 2nd in baseball last year to only Mike Trout.

If Rollins is slow, then there are only 4-5 "fast" baseball players, I suppose.

NEPP: Ah-ha! I think you may be onto something there.

Don't the Dodgers have like 8 starting pitchers?

Forget Lohse, what about a move for one of Capuano, Lilly, or Harang?

Since 2004, Rollins has a SB% of 85.8%. 303 SB/50 CS in that time.

It's not even that Rollins isn't slow, it's that, by SEVERAL metrics, he was fast AND a prolific baserunner last year, at age 33.

We know that you can be fast and NOT a good baserunner, and we know you can be slow and be a good baserunner (Chase Utley), but Rollins is neither.

He's fast and a good baserunner. Why he's been such a valuable player throughout his career (not to mention his fielding and above average power for his position).

Didn't mean to call Utley "slow", but i don't think many would consider him "fast".

"I think Revere's best skill set is best served if he gets on (first) base ahead of Utley who is likely to see a few pitches before swinging, and always more likely to hit it to the right side, than Rollins..."
Posted by: Andy | Monday, March 25, 2013 at 11:04 AM

Agreed, but the correct conclusion here is that the lineup should start: Revere, Utley, Rollins, Howard...alas, this will never happen under UC.

Rollins is slower than Revere, but Rollins is just as good(better) of a base runner right now.

Just like how Rolins is a better base runner as a 33yr old than he was as a 23 yr older, despite being slower.

Rollins and Utley are two of the best baserunners in baseball in the last 7-8 years. Rollins is the most efficient SB guy in that period for the big SB guys and Utley is successful like 90% of the time with a lesser amount of attempts. When it comes to overall base running (going 1st to 3rd, 2nd to home, etc) they are among the very elite.

I like the Jimmy Rollins is slow and will hit into too many GDPs post. It shows real creativity. It is a complete 180 from the expected "he pops up too much critique." It is also great that it includes a number that is about 2 and a half years worth of GDPs, 25, as his predicted total. It's really fascinating.
I expect future posts on how Papelbon works too fast and never gives his defenders a break. Or how about Howard puts the ball in play too much? These are all things that nobody ever says and I hope a brave poster will bring to the fore.

nokwurst: I don't think that lineup is impossible. Charlie has done both things ( Utley up to #2, Rollins to #3), just not at the same time yet.

If Revere wins the leadoff spot and Utley hits for less power, I could see it happening.

It is always nice to have comments like that because it shows how united the majority of Beerleaguer can be on certain topics:

1. Mini Mart's suckiness
2. Rollins speed/baserunning ability
3.
4. Profit?

Fangraphs has two interesting statistics to measure baserunning and SB. They have weighted Stolen Bases (ie the number of runs created by a player due to his SB) and Ultimate Base Running (a linear measure of the runs gained from baserunning (taking the extra base, SBs, getting throw out, etc)

2005-2012 wSB:

1. Jimmy Rollins: 34.1 runs gained

2005-2012 UBR:

3. Chase Utley: 26.3
5. Jimmy Rollins: 24.6

"I like the Jimmy Rollins is slow and will hit into too many GDPs post. It shows real creativity."

This is exactly what I was going to say. You just have to stand up and applaud someone that thinks outside the box. The pop-up jokes and 'he swings at the first pitch' jokes, along with the 'he's an average defender now' have been played out a million times over. Congrats to this guy for trying something new.


Here are Rollins' GDPs for the last six full seasons:

2006: 12
2007: 12
2008: 11
2009: 7
2011: 9
2012: 9

These were mostly as a leadoff hitter, of course. As a two hitter, you're looking at 20+.

His triples since 2009:
5
3 (only 398PAs)
2
5

Not what fast runners do with 600+ PAs, and with his pop.

Also, can anyone find a stat on infield hits? He routinely fails to leg out the opportunities he gets.

When I say he's slow, I mean he's slow according to the perception that he's fast. He's not fast. He's a slightly above average speedwise.

Thanks Lorecore, that glimmer of hope will get me through this gloomy weather today.

And to clarify: I'm not completley sure Rollins would be great in the 3-hole, just that Utley would be best at 2. The only other fit would be MYoung, but that would only work pre-2010.

Well, to be fair, gazelles aren't very fast either...compared to Cheetahs.

And I've never seen a gazelle or a cheetah lead the league in triples. Both must be slow.

That's sound reasoning there, gobaystars.

bittel, rephrase it however you will.

You're still wrong.

This "Rollins is slow" bit is hilariously ridiculous.

I'm excited to see where it goes...

Arguing that a player is slow at Age 33 than he was at Age 27?

Wow...that's some profound insight by Ric Romero.

Using that to then state that said player is overall a slow baserunner...perhaps a bridge too far.

On a serious note, using triples as a judge of speed is silly. CBP isn't exactly a park that lends itself to triples.

He had 699 PAs last year. 9 GDPs in 699 PAs is miniscule, for ANY hitter.

Cheetahs never show up late on game day.

Sadly there is only one place for this slow argument to go and that is down the familiar "doesn't hustle" route. It was foreshadowed in the first post with the phrase "Revers scraps his way on."

Gazelles always run out pop-ups, too.

No Cheetah ever called me a frontrunner

There IS one piece of ammunition in the "Jimmy Rollins is slow" argument, and that's the fact that, among qualified shortstops from 2010-2012, he does have the 3rd worst BAbip, at only .263.

I think this is due, in some part, to how he gets out of the box, and may have something to do with the fact that he isn't exactly the most aggressive baserunner when it comes to beating out grounders.

Bitttell: Rollins had 134 PAs last year with a man on 1st -- with 9 resulting in GDPs. Assuming the same rate in 2013, my calculations tell me that he would have to get 298 PAs with a runner on 1st base in order for his GDP total to reach 20 in 2013. Even with a human singles machine hitting in front of him, how many additional PAs with runners on 1st would you expect him to get by dropping to the 2-hole? My guess (and this is really a guess): maybe somewhere between 20 and 40. Whatever it is, I am quite confident it wouldn't be anywhere close to 164.

Of course, the biggest reason for his depressed BAbip is likely due to his 13.7% IFFB% from 2010-2012.

Re: BABIP
It is also because he hits quite a few balls in the air.
There really isn't much of anything to defend the case in favor of Rollins being slow. You could hit him anywhere in the lineup and he wouldn't hit into 25 GDPs.

The Yankees are apparently acquiring Vernon Wells and will pay $13M of the remaining $42M of his contract.

Presumably this means the Phillies will not trade for Vernon Wells. Woohoo!!!

Infield hits? Is there a stat on it?

Suggesting there's a "rollins doesn't hustle" implication in what I said is your own doing. If you watch the games, you know that Rollins is not nearly as fast as advertised. I'm a big fan of his, so this comes from no animus whatsoever. Was glad he resigned, and want him to stay.

Mark the words: he will hit into 20+ Dps if given the chance. He won't be given the chance for the whole year. Bat him leadoff.

gobay, it's mostly explained by his tendency to hit pop-ups, but it's partially explained by his inability (for whatever reason) to beat out infield hits.

Again, comparing him to his peers (2010-2012 qualified shortstops), his 5.3% Infield Hit Pct is 5th worst in baseball.

Rollins is not a slow baseball players. He's an incredible shortstop, with many virtues. But he does pop-up too frequently (last year, severely so), and he's very poor at beating out infield hits. Whether that's due to lack of speed, an inability to make it out of the box quickly (made from a long swing), or whatever, those are the facts.

He's decidedly NOT slow, but his BAbip is a black mark on an otherwise impressive resume for a shortstop.

Fatalotti:

There IS one piece of ammunition . . . he isn't exactly the most aggressive baserunner when it comes to beating out grounders.

Correct. This will not change with him in the two-hole. But it's not just this.

If someone were to put Barry Bonds and Mickey Mantle in the lineup right in front of Jimmy, I could definitely see 20+ DPs...granted, both of those guys would get on base 300-350 times per year.

Rollins corkscrews himself into the ground with his swing so he doesn't get out of the box quickly. It explains why he doesn't get as many infield hits as someone with similar speed. Once he gets out of the batters box, he is fast.

Another update: SI's Jon Heyman (your source for Scott Boras-related news) says the Brewers have signed Kyle Lohse.

As to CPB not being conducive to triples: Rollins hit 20 triples in 2007, and nine each in 2006 and 2008.

He's not that fast any longer.

I understand that "fast" is a subjective thing, but it boggles my mind that someone could watch Rollins play and say he isn't "fast" by anyone's definition. And the facts to "prove" he isn't fast are even more preposterous.

bittel: So your arguement is that Rollins is not as fast as you'd think, and your solution to this problem is to bat him leadoff?

Again, comparing him to his peers (2010-2012 qualified shortstops), his 5.3% Infield Hit Pct is 5th worst in baseball.

Rollins is not a slow baseball players. He's an incredible shortstop, with many virtues. But he does pop-up too frequently (last year, severely so), and he's very poor at beating out infield hits. Whether that's due to lack of speed, an inability to make it out of the box quickly (made from a long swing), or whatever, those are the facts.

So he's slow getting to first base, we apparently agree. Sorry to mischaracterize that as more generally "slow". But frankly, getting to first base quickly as a two-hitter is pretty darn important.

Oh good, now we're moving the goalposts.

2007 was also the only year which he had over 12. Some might call that an outlier. In his younger/faster days, it's not like he hit 20 triples at will. In fact, has only had over 12 triples ONCE in his career.

hypothesis: If you graphed Inf hits with OPS(or wRC+, whatever you prefer), they would be inverse of each other. Whoever is gobbling up the most inf hits is most likely a poor hitter.

I knew this discussion was going to get more interesting. And oh boy has it ever.

Rollins is both fast and an incredibly good/smart baserunner.

He was the second best baserunner of the entire 00s decade, according to Fangraphs (behind only Carlos Beltran).

Rollins' low BABIP has less to do with his speed, and everything to do with his pop-up rate. He hit infield flies at the highest rate in the majors (last season). Those are BABIP killers, because they're all outs.

Moving the goalposts where? I apologize for calling him slow. The point was, and is: he's not FAST! Is that better? He gets to first base among the worst among all players in the league. That's now established, and beyond even my wildest dreams. 5th worst in the league? That's poisonous for a two-hitter.

bittel: Double Play Prevention is likely one of lowest possible factors to consider when constructing a lineup.

I realize some will say "ok, so he was fast 8 years ago, but not today."

He was the second best baserunner in baseball again last season, behind only Mike Trout, who is surely very fast.

Whatever Rollins has lost in pure speed over the course of his career, he's surely made up for with great baserunning smarts.

Probably about 140-150 of them came in the team's first at-bat, so no one could be on. Pro-rating his other PAs, it's closer to 12-13 for a full non-leadoff season.

This reminds me of when Shane Victorino was actively hurting the ballclub.

I'm just trying to look at a fuller picture of Rollins "speed" and baserunning ability. There's no sane way you can call him slow, but when you look at everything that has to do with baserunning, he grades very well in most categories, but not well in a couple.

I'm reticent to claim that his high pop-up rate is the ONLY catalyst for his depressed BAbip. While it was ridiculously high last year, the two years prior, it was around 10%, which is not all that awful.

His inability to beat out infield hits is also a contributing factor. Call it lack of hustle, blame it on his swing, or whatever you want, but it's something that takes away from his offensive ability. He more than makes up for it in other ways, but it's something at which he's not been good in his career.

Fat, agree. But these facts make the original assertion no less absurd.

fatal: i think there was a fangraphs post on Groundball BABIP recently(past two weeks?). I can't find it, but I think Rollins was used an example of being someone with poor groundball BABIP.

Earlier part of this discussion reminds me of the AT&T commercial with the guy talking to some kindergarten kids:

"My Grandmother's slow."
"Would you like it if she was fast?"
"You could tape a cheetah to her back..."

And even though we didn't get there (yet) - I'll be up front and say that I support Rollins not busting it 100% to 1B.

As a professional athlete and a long time MLB player, who has had both the height of success(MVP/WFC) and depths of injury/struggles, I trust that he knows his body/legs well enough to properly gage the risk/reward of when to max out his ability.

Fata: That's a fair point, I agree. He obviously has some issue with infield hits--you would simply expect more from him.

I think it has less to do with his "lack of hustle" and more to do with his swing, as others have pointed out. But who knows, really.

lorecore, are you trying to imply that a 33 year old's body might be more susceptiable to injury than say a 23 year olds? Particularly if that 33 year old has had severe severe musclular injuries in his legs over a strenuous baseball career?


That's just daft.

Double Play Prevention is likely one of lowest possible factors to consider when constructing a lineup.

How about at the top of a lineup, when you're assured of a particular arrangement of players coming up (leadoff with no one on, etc) 150+ times a year. A little less insignificant, I'd say.

Next consideration: the fielder's choice. Do you want Rollins on first with one out with Utley up, or Revere on first with one out?

lorecore, I trust him to make those calls, too, but so long as they are approved by Manuel and the coaching staff.

It appeared at the end of last year that that might not have been the case.

"He gets to first base among the worst among all players in the league. That's now established, and beyond even my wildest dreams. 5th worst in the league?"
That is among shortstops. Not all players.

Italicization!

This reminds me of when Shane Victorino was actively hurting the ballclub.

Posted by: NEPP
********

Well, I do agree it's easier to post about what completely independent subjects "remind" you of, rather than dealing with the actual claims made in the one at hand.

Stop using italics

Test

"He gets to first base among the worst among all players in the league. That's now established, and beyond even my wildest dreams. 5th worst in the league?"
That is among shortstops. Not all players.

Posted by: gobaystars! | Monday, March 25, 2013 at 12:37 PM

gobay, correct. I didn't want to compare him to 1B and corner OF, but more to players that are more built like him. Couldn't think of a way to compare him to a proper set, so SS was the easiest way to go.

It's a fair comparison. Bittle was trying to pass it off as all players in the baseball.

my mistake. 5th worst in the league did seem extreme. thx.

Changing browsers. No idea why the italics are stuck.

Anyway, it was nice to see some support for the conviction I had that the Rollins speed narrative does not exactly square up to the reality.

There's an excess of literalism it seems, here. Of course I didn't think Rollins was slow as compared to, say, everyone who plays the game. He's slow in comparison to what is thought of him, which is that he's fast. He's not that fast. Poor on beating out grounders, fewer triples than one might expect, and (perhaps) too many DPs for his allegedly great speed.

great shortstop, and I love him as a player, if anyone cares.

"Infield hits? Is there a stat on it?"


bittel, with that question, you have exposed your ignorance, and clearly do not appear to be "BL ready".

This is Beer*Leaguer. The big leagues.

If you are going to post here you have to be factual - and that means doing homework and not asking stupid queations like "Infield hits? Is there a stat on it?" (you should know it already) - so if you want to be a troll or just be flat-out STOOPID, there are other Phillies' blogs populated with such people who I am sure would be more than happy to welcome you.

I suggest you make a fool of yourself elsewhere.

To get to that 20-30 DP mentioned...

Rollins had 129 PA last year where he could have grounded into a DP (man on 1st, men on 1st & 2nd, men on 1st & 3rd). He grounded into 9 DPs in those opportunities or rather 7.14% of the time.

Miguel Cabrera (who led the AL with 28 DPs) had 197 PA last year in those same situations...or a 14.2%.

So basically, even if you gave Jimmy the same amount of opportunities to hit with Men on in front of him as the reigning Triple Crown winner, he'd still have to DOUBLE his GIDP rate to get there.

***No idea why the italics are stuck.***

You left open an HTML tag...

BTW, Lohse got 3 years/$33 million.

In case anyone cared.

awh, you actively embarrass me being on BL with posts like that. "This is Beer*Leaguer. The big leagues." Give me a break.

Not everyone is as wrapped up in this stats crap as you and I are.

Bittell doesn't have to go anywhere. He was wrong about something...big deal. In fact, his posting something that was wrong caused me to dig a little deeper into Rollins baserunning acumen, and I learned a couple things that I didn't know before.

Is today's game not available on mlb.tv?

So, Kyle Lohse, a 34 year old pitcher with a career 97 ERA+, is going to have earned, at least, $89 M over his career.

Thank you Scott Boras.

Once again, Boras gets at least most of what he'd been seeking, despite waiting until the last possible moment.

Dude's good at his job, I'll give him that.

I wonder if Lohse becomes a poster boy for the next round of labor discussions...

Lohse Since 2007:

ERA+: 101
bWAR: 6.1
Salary: $49 Million

The going rate for league average is apparently $11 million a year.

Boras did strike out with Bourn but getting Lohse a 3 yr/$33M deal at this juncture in the season is nothing short of miracalous.

Never underestimate the master.

Established today:
1. Rollins is an excellent all around baserunner. Truly elite.
2. Rollins is surprisingly poor at beating out IF hits despite being an excellent baserunner with well above average foot speed. (There are a number of theories as to why this is so.)
3. Rollins is relatively good at avoiding GDPs. This may be surprising considering he is not adept at beating out IF hits.

Conclusion: Since the original proposition that Rollins is "slow" has been retracted, we should only look at the notion that Rollins would hit into 25 GDPs if he were to hit second for the entire season. The above statements, especially #3, prove this to be wrong. Rollins would need a massive amount of opportunities to hit into 25 double plays. He won't get them in this or any other lineup no matter where he hits.

Sorry bittle, we aren't buying it.

Fatalotti: I appreciate the civil defense, but none needed. I'll be wrong again, though I'm still not sure I was so wrong this time. Rollins is slower than advertised, when you consider "slow" to mean "doesn't get to first base quickly."

Marlins have a Groupon promotion giving 50% off tickets to Opening Day.


That's just awesome.

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2013/03/25/marlins-desperate-for-ticket-sales-resort-to-groupon/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

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