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Saturday, May 18, 2013

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So goes J-Roll................

Just curious - is MG still claiming that Paps' 0.65 WHIP and 1.02 ERA portend disaster?

Young's walk won the game. He's really been a bright spot and a pleasure to watch as a Phillies fan.

Phlipper: Pap's results this year have been unimpeachably great, I can't argue there. A 92 mph FB with excellent movement and location is still a pretty good pitch. The games that I've seen on TV he's honestly looked pretty good, although a little bit more pitch-to-contact-y than I remember.

But that's the thing - he's not striking guys out as much. Yeah, he's only pitched 16 innings, but his swing and miss % is at an all time low. His BABIP is .180. His LOB% is 92%. The velocity is down. So are his walks, which, hey, terrific, but I think that some sort of an overarching narrative of "so we signed this guy for how long and what now?" isn't so totally out of place. Even more so if he's getting used in moronically doctrinaire fashion on a .500 team.

So while I'm happy that Pap has been doing a good job so far, I think playing gotcha with MG after mid-May game that takes us to 2 under .500 might be laying it on a bit thick.

Maybe you should go back to Albert-Rossing Jack. That's been going well.

Broxton, you magnificent bastard, we read YOUR BOOK!!!

For a pitching centric team losing leads with the bullpen is incredibly frustrating.
I really hope they can find consistent 7th and 8th inning studs to got with Papelbon.

I like the Adams signing to get the 8th locked down and figured Bastardo/Aumont/DeFratus would be enough to lock down situationally in the 7th. Lee deserved the win.

Can't believe I've agreed with BAP 100% on two issues the last two days. But he's absolutely right on DeFratus. The fact that he wasn't on the roster for the first month of the season with the bums in the back-end of the bullpen speaks volumes about the incompetence of the front office. They have gotten just about every aspect of the bullpen wrong. I'm not sure how anyone could do a poorer job of constructing a bullpen.

It was a nice win, though. Two of the nicest wins of the year in the last three days. That has to mean something.

I think it's pretty clear, especially if Adams is out for a long period of time, that the bullpen is going to be the aspect of the team that keeps it from the playoffs. Unless DeFratus steps up and dominates the 8th inning, there's not one guy other than Papelbon that I trust late in a game with a lead. Bastardo is close to joining the ranks of Aumont as a guy you don't want to see on the mound in a close game.

Valdes down, Rosenberg up. Middle relief issues=over

I've also been really impressed with Michael Young so far this year. What's impressed me most is his surprising patience at the plate. When a pitcher is pitching around him, he'll take a walk. That's more that can be said for most of the guys in this lineup. His OBP is .399.

He hasn't shown a lot of power, but he's been the best hitter on the team thus far (damning with faint praise) and hasn't been nearly as bad defensively as advertised. I hadn't seen much of Young before this season and based on what I read about him here and elsewhere, I expected him to be a mild disaster. He's been anything but so far. I think the FO got the 3rd base decision correct this year.

So goes J-Roll................

I'd like to see some proof of this idiotic statement that has been bouncing around for years. You can say it about any player, if player x drives in a run, the team performs better. Just prove to me that J-Roll/Stroll/Pop has more special sauce or whatever he's supposed to have than other players.

I think it's pretty clear, especially if Adams is out for a long period of time, that the bullpen is going to be the aspect of the team that keeps it from the playoffs.

Iceman - I'd say the fact that right now the fact that the Phils are sporting one if the worst 3-4 offenses in the NL will have a greater impact on their playoff chances than the BP.

Edmundo: its already been proven not to have any more significance than other players both on this team and others

I still don't know what to do about the discovery of the phils separation of setup man vs other relievers. We need a version of child protective services to call and report abuse.

lorecorX: I've found anecdotal evidence that it isn't true, but has it been proven to be false? I've never seen that.

Agree with Sophist... The offense definitely a bigger problem than the BP.

Rauch dfa, he has been terrible so far but I still would sign him

Edmundo - well it was proven on the phils, but juse anecdotal evidence with other teams

I would of replaced Durbin with Stutes as well. Not that these guys are anything great, but Durbin and Valdes blow and I hate them.

Rauch > Durbin.

But, most pitchers > Durbin, so..

Here's your proof:

Rollins career in wins: .860 ops, 127 tOPS+
Rollins career in loss: .629 ops, 66 tOPS+

2013 avg player in win: .844 ops, 132 tOPS+
2013 avg player in loss: .599 ops, 67 tOPS

I am totally ok with justin d with 8th inning. Throws 94/95 and doesn't give up long ball. Mike S should def be here. Thought we were going to gain a game on braves till jup hit a bomb (461 feet)

great stat there Lore.

There is strange feeling watching this team on offense. A few years ago the middle of the lineup would be up and you could feel the energy. There is no feeling anymore anywhere in the lineup and opposing pitchers know it.

The most troubling thing I have seen with this team so far is Howard is now being blown away by 92-93 fastballs in the zone. He can't catch up and I don't see that changing in the future.

I've always stuck up for Howard. I have defended him whether the criticism was justified or not. But I don't think I can do it much longer. He really looks bad.

But the bigger issue I have with Howard is not the fact that he is struggling, but that his manager allows him to struggle so much. Charlie has to see how poorly Howard is playing. He needs to sit against tough LHP on occasion. And is it in his contract that he must bat clean-up?

I can only fault Howard so much. It's not as if he's not putting forth the effort. His manager has to put him (thereby, the team) in the best position to succeed. It's not happening. And it's a problem.

Howard's 2013 OPS+ is now identical to his 2012. 89. .420ish SLG.

I do think he'll end up better. Even when he was scuffling in the first couple weeks still figured he'd finish around a 110-115 OPS+. Something like .250/.320/.450. Maybe a lower OBP.

Howard in 3 ball counts: .087/.341/.217
2013 avg in 3 ball counts: .244/.556/.429

Howard in full counts: .059/.158/.235
2013 avg in full counts: .214/.445/.354

And my personal favorite:

Howard after 0-2 count: .551 OPS
Howard after 3-1 count: .200 OPS (0 walks)

Howard had a higher ISO and higher OBP in 2012 than he does so far this year.

OPS
Year - LHP RHP

Howard:

2006 - .923 1.164
2007 - .826 1.072
2008 - .746 .966
2009 - .653 1.088
2010 - .826 .876
2011 - .634 .921
-Achilles Injury-
2012 - .604 .784
2013 - .582 .768

Utley:

2005 - .817 .946
2006 - .857 .930
2007 - .927 1.004
2008 - .888 .932
2009 - .962 .877
2010 - 1.003 .752 <-Knee issues arise
2011 - .607 .829
2012 - .679 .869
2013 - .503 .935

League:

2006 - .711 .801
2007 - .708 .783
2008 - .699 .777
2009 - .703 .777
2010 - .683 .750
2011 - .656 .743
2012 - .648 .748
2013 - .655 .749

These two freak/rare injuries really f'd the teams best two offensive players.

Utley at least has hope that he can hit LHP again, Howard's Achilles is what turned him from overpaid but productive to just overpaid.

Lorecore - did Howard have a higher BB% from 2004-2010 in 3-ball counts?

Johnny - a little overdetermined there. Why would injuries only effect their performances against LHP but not RHP? Also, isn't it odd that the timeline also matches where both players turned 31-32 and exited their prime years?

Well 1.) Howard has been worse overall, so it's not their in your question but just Utley. Why would exiting his prime years affect only his performance against LHP but not RHP?

I guess we could assume blowing an Achilles out and having a degenerative knee condition had nothing to do with it as well.

i actually think Johnny is on to something. Lower body injuries can certainly cause a player to fare worse in specific aspects of his game.

Hitting off same handed pitching could require more stress on a player plant or pivot foot while vs other handed pitching they are able to use more upper body strength.

I caught a mistake that i made above with the "after 3-1" stuff, since i already cited his 3-2 woes its just double counting - so I was going to apologize and include his stats while in a 3-1 count to go along with 'after 3-1' stats...then i saw them:

Howard IN a 3-1 count: 1-6 with 0 walks...raising his 3-1 count + after 3-1 count numbers to 1-16, .125/.125/.125

I just like looking at Utleys cause of how odd it is, he got better and better against LHP and then his RHP declined for 4 straight years while LHP went up.

Johnny - I don't know but that's why I say overdetermined. Means there is a lot going on and many possible causes. Howard was declining prior to his injury. He was a middle of the pack 1B offensively in 2010. Injury or no, it's not surprising this is what he is at 32-33.

Another possible cause is defensive adjustments. Same-handed pitchers have an easier time getting the batter to pull the ball on the ground.

Again not saying "noting to do with it." The injuries may have accelerated Howard's decline. And I wouldn't give up on Utley yet. Probably SSS in 2013. But these guys are older now and being approached differently.

LH Batters are generally much more likely to have pronounced platoon splits. I wonder if it's just old hat that as a LH batter exists his prime years, his numbers against LHP are the first to decline.

I mean, Howard had OBP under .700 twice against LHP prior to injury. Not really new ground for him. Wonder about Utley though.

Sophist- do you think over the long haul the offense is as bad as their rankings right now?

I have been "throwing out" Howard's 2012 season when evaluating him, but the more and more 2013 starts to mirror 2012, its going to be hard to make that case for much longer.

I loved the Michael Young move from the start, and was baffled people didn't realize what they we're getting. It was a steal. The guy is a gamer.

Maybe they can improve here and there, but I'd be surprised if they finish any higher than just below league average across the board. That seems more significant than the contributions of the pen outside of Papelbon. Probably wont allow them to play in enough close games where an amazing pen would make a difference. Teams like that DBacks team a few years ago or the 2012 Orioles are rare.

Young is seeing fewer strikes and swinging less than at any point in his career. Interesting.

Phils are on pace to score 590 runs.

The 2011 Phils were the best run prevention team since the mound was lowered. They allowed 529 runs. 590-529 is a pythag WL of 89-73. Sub out the rotations to what you expect from the 2013 Phillies rotation. That may be a ten win swing. That's already out of the playoffs even assuming you get a solid 2011esque BP. This offense puts them behind the 8 ball.

Yeah I really don't see any signs of hope with this offense. Their starting pitching is really the only thing keeping them close to .500

Sophist, thanks for bringing that up about Young. I noted the changes in his swing rates back in April around 75 PA, and noted that these stats tend to normalize relatively quickly. I've forgotten to go back and check into them, but you're right.

His O-swing and Z-swing rates are much lower than they've ever been, and while O-contact rate has taken a hit (not necessarily a bad thing), his Z-contact rate is the best of his career.

So basically, swinging at much fewer balls, making less weak contact (since he's making less contact with balls), swinging at fewer strikes, but making more contact with the strikes he does swing at (should lead to better contact).

Absolutely no surprise that he has, BY FAR the best walk rate of his career (13.9% vs. 6.8%), and his second highest BAbip of his career, and much higher than his career rate (.360 vs. .335).

His fielding has been predictably bad. Although he handles the stuff he gets his glove on, and has a great arm, he has almost zero range.

But his baserunning has been stellar (one of my favorite aspects of his game). Currently on pace for a ~4 fWAR season.

I did not see this coming, but it's nice to witness.

It's almost as if MYoung might be adjusting to the batting situations he is given. What a novel concept.

If Mike Young continues to preform as such, isn't traded and maybe even plays better do you bring him back next year? Asche, Quinn and Franco may need time and may be trade bate.

Yeah I really don't see any signs of hope with this offense. Their starting pitching is really the only thing keeping them close to .500

Posted by: johnnysanz3
********
Want some hope? Hopefully D.Young continues to suck at the plate, and by July is DFAed in favor of Ruf. Chooch returns to his relatively high OBP self, while D.Brown learns to relax better at the dish and not give away at-bats. Revere reverts to his recent averages. Mayberry/Nix are used properly as PH/spot starters, and in Mayberry's case a defensive replacement for Ruf.

All this while Howard marginally improves, and Rollins and Utley stay at their current levels. For balance's sake, let's throw in a moderate regression for M.Young. This scenario is not unreasonable, and would leave them within hailing distance of the postseason in Sept.

"If Mike Young continues to preform as such, isn't traded and maybe even plays better do you bring him back next year?"

RAJ's already negotiating a 3-year contract, with an easy-to-achieve 4th year vesting option.

I'm going to have to have a chat with Michael Young about all those walks he took last night. Not cool.

Phils have gotten .244/.299/.332 out of CF (-0.2 fWAR). They've gotten .218/.264/.299 out of C (0.0 fWAR). -0.4 fWAR out of 1B (although I concede this, scarily enough, might not improve). RF is at .229/.303/.367 (-0.3 fWAR).

I'm just looking at these numbers and there are certainly areas for improvement, where (barring injury) I don't see how things could get a lot worse for the team offensively. Teams currently ahead of them in RS are Pittsburgh, NYM, CHC, SDP. I bet they finish ahead of 3 of the 4 of them, if not all 4.

Papelbon is a classic case of where the peripheral will catch up with him sooner than later this year. His K/9 is way down, ditto his swing and miss rate, and fastball velocity. He is also giving up more flyballs than ever get so far they stayed in the park at a career low rate? His BAA is also ridicously low and his strand rate is unsustainably high.

Who thinks some of those fly balls that have stated in the park with start to go out a bit more as the weather warms up especially at CBP?

I am not banking on Young keeping his current deceptively good season up for the entire year. I just hope it doesn't crash that bad towards mid/end of year

fWAR at this point in the season is next to meaningless especially given weights toward defense and base running and the limited chances.

Given Amaro comment the other day, he thinks the offense's principal issues were how Howard has swung the bat recently and D. Young is still working his way back.

If Amaro truly thinks that 2 guys who had serious injuries are going to produce at levels prior to their injury (and when they were much younger) he is just kind of fooling himself.

Hated the Paps trade from the get-go. However, his current results speak for themselves.

Never thought I'd "chime in" on a sound-bite, but here goes:

FREE RUF!!!!

Exactly what is this pre-injury form that Amaro expects Delmon Young to "work his way" back to? The guy's career OPS+ is 98.

Rollins (SS), Utley (2B), M. Young (3B), Howard (1B), D. Young (RF), Brown (LF), Mayberry (CF), Kratz (C), Kendrick (P).

For a non-starter, D. Young sure does start a lot of games.

Damn "trade" = "signing"

Still would have started Kratz last night against the 90% fastball throwing lefty

Exactly what is this pre-injury form that Amaro expects Delmon Young to "work his way" back to? The guy's career OPS+ is 98.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 12:08 PM

=======================================

I am guessing his playoff form last season?

MG,

Papelbon was touching 94/95 last night with good movement. If anything, it seems like he's lost his feel for the off-speed stuff.

So Delmon Young and Mayberry are both starting against a righty?

So do we even have a platoon in CF or is Mayberry now ahead of Revere?

Sort of crazy, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Also, it's almost like when Amaro said he envisioned Delmon as the everyday RF, he meant it.

Who would've thunk it?

Certainly appears JMJ has the CF nod, but could also be trying to avoid an extremely weak 7/8 in the lineup with Kratz starting

Today will be Delmon Young's 13th start in RF in the last 15 Phillies games.

"Today will be Delmon Young's 13th start in RF in the last 15 Phillies games."

I don't like his RF defense any more than you do, but sometimes you have to sacrifice a little defense in order to get a .227/.308/.364/.671 bat into your lineup.

If you're wondering why I and others are harping on this, it's because this team is 20-22. I don't think they're particularly very good, but it's certainly true that they could hang around on the fringes of contention.

If you want to go from the fringes of contention to sneaking into a playoff spot, you need to maximize every advantage you have. Like, say, playing Laynce Nix in RF against a righty instead of Delmon Young. Or playing Revere in CF against a righty instead of Mayberry.

This team doesn't have enough talent to just throw out a lineup and assume they'll win 90 games. You have to squeeze every last advantage out of what you have. You have to at least try. I just don't understand what they're doing at all right now. Are they trying to win? Do they just not know how?

Like RAJ said, its too early in the season to write off a guy yet ( D.Young ) unless your name is Ben Revere

Completely agree with your 1244 Jack. Maybe they'd rather be lucky than good

Clearly Jayson Werth is now our starting CF (anyone else remember that proclamation by UC?)


I love that Delmon Young was handed a starting role.

Jack, I'm going to go with the last option.

They simply don't know how (but they think they do).

The crazy thing? JMJ sucks against RHP: .681 career OPS, and he's STILL much better than Revere against RHP (career .630 OPS).

So, you're putting a little better offense in the lineup, and sacrificing some defense, but gaining an actual arm.

I can at least see some validity to the JMJ for Revere thing, an an individual game basis.

Now, about that Delmon Young character...

Fatalotti: Ok, but that reasoning just opens up an entire can of worms.

Such as: if Mayberry is a better player against righties, and against lefties, then why did you trade for Ben Revere?

I mean, it shouldn't be a surprise that Revere is a slap hitter with a weak arm.

Especially for a team that does so much scouting as the Phillies, right?

You know the sad thing? Only Utley, Young and Mayberry have a better OBP than Delmon so far.

Jack~ You're exactly right about the Phils talent (or lack thereof). They're a teaser type of team. They have a lot of talent, but lack talent in a few areas.

It's the GM's job to put the most talented team on the field, unless he's handcuffed with tight pursestrings (Miami, Houston). In the Philly market, that may also be the case (due ownership). I not saying their cheap. I'm saying and have said they weren't going to spend more after the Hamels deal.

I realize that you can't go out and get everyone you want. But when you you look at what you have (OF) and KNOW it's just not good enough, don't you go to mangagement and say I need $$ to improve this area of the team?

Now he may, or may not have done that. But he had to know there were better options than Revere & D. Young.

The 'pen is another are where he may have over-judged the talent.

They're extremely lucky that the Nats & Braves have come back to earth. The most glaring problems I see with this team are 1. 'pen, which was supposed to be a strenght and 2. They're just not capable of coming from behind.

Jack, I don't know the answer to that question. Wish I knew more about why the Phils did a lot of what they do.

I really hated the M.Young deal and was displeased with Revere deal.
Phillies had to get a CF and 3B in the off season.
I really wanted Youkilis at 3B. (of course he is now on the DL). Next I wanted Chavez who took way less money then I thought he'd get to use as a platoon with Frandsen.

In CF, the Span deal seemed like the best value in my opinion. Upton was too expensive. If Amaro had known Bourn would have lasted so long that might have been a better option. Personally wanted Hunter to play some CF but he got more money than I expected.

Anyone see how Vernon Wells is doing? I certainly would have preferred him to Delmon Young, but probably not at the cost the Yankees paid. (I would have only wanted to be on the hook for about $5M of the remaining two years.)

KK with the K!

jack at 1244 you nailed it right on the head

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