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Thoughts From a Lost Season: The Offense

Posted by Pat Gallen, Mon, October 08, 2012 11:15 AM | Comments: 46
Analysis, News, Opinion, Posts

Ryno never recovered from this. (AP)

My quick thoughts on the 2012 offense. Phillies Nation will also have a more thorough breakdown of each player coming later this month.

THE BAD

-You must begin with what wasn’t. Ryan Howard and Chase Utley were not ready for the beginning of the 2012 season, and both missed extended time nursing their injuries. Upon their return, it was Utley who looked miles ahead of Howard in terms of their bat and physical fitness. That was to be expected with Howard unable to do much cardio in the offseason while riding around on a jazzy scooter with his leg bearing no weight. It put a damper on the early part of the season, offensively speaking, and the Phillies never recovered. Would it have made a difference had they both been healthy the entire season? Perhaps.

-We can look back and positively say that the Placido Polanco signing was a failure. That’s not Polanco’s fault, either, as he was coming off a few big seasons in Detroit before coming to Philadelphia. The reason it was a terrible move was the length of the contract. Polly had one-half of a good season when he first got here in 2010, never staying healthy enough to be worth the three-year, $18 million deal Ruben Amaro gave him. Put the blame on Amaro, not Polly. He played in just 90 games this past season and now the Phillies will be searching widely for a third baseman this offseason.

-Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence weren’t bad if you peer their overall numbers. Certainly Victorino had a down year as the contract stuff got in his head, and Pence ended up with 104 RBI this year, a career high. They just never came through in the clutch in 2012 while with the Phillies and both were moved at the deadline, a smart move by Amaro.

-Unfortunately, the Jim Thome signing was a terrible move by Amaro. No one honestly believed the guy could play first base 1-2 times a week. He couldn’t and he was gone. Honestly, it was awesome seeing him return for a short stint, but it just wasn’t a wise allocation of funds. Also, Laynce Nix was a bust. He missed what seemed like the entire season with a calf strain and gave the Phillies just 3 home runs total on the season, even with those biceps. A .154 average and zero homers as a pinch hitter is the exact opposite of what the Phillies needed. He’s owed $1.35 million next year.

-Just how bad was the Phillies bench overall? Pinch-hitters put up a hilarious .560 OPS, 13th out of 16 NL teams. They managed only 10 extra-base hits.  It will need to be revamped yet again.

-Jimmy Rollins. Was he bad? Not fully, but the amount of infield pop ups Rollins had in 2012 was inconceivable. As per Corey Seidman, he finished with 42 infield flyouts, by far the most in the National League. For context, Dan Uggla was second with 28. That’s an absurd about. He needs to work on that because so many of those plate appearances were wasted by looking skyward. Mike Moustakas led the AL with 39 IFFB’s. Joe Mauer had one all season. One. Work on that Jimmy.

THE GOOD

-Jimmy Rollins was great defensively. His .250 average at the end of the year doesn’t look pretty, but he did provide some excellent streaks where was unstoppable. Jimmy’s 23 home runs led the team, and they certainly needed that power output. His 30 stolen bases were welcomed, too.

-Carlos Ruiz had an incredible season – no other way to put it. Chooch bulked up in the offseason and was a injury away from being a legit MVP candidate. Not only can he call a game with the best of ‘em, but his offense helped guide the Phillies this year. Here’s to hoping there is more where that came from.

Frandsen hit .338 with the Phils. (AP)

-Juan Pierre was a diamond in the rough. Left for dead on the open market, he found a nice niche in Philly as a guy who would play whenever and as much as needed. He’s also one of the nicest guys in the locker room, always willing to chat. He hit .307 and stole 37 bases on a cheap, one-year deal. You can’t ask for much more than that.

-Kevin Frandsen was also a diamond in the rough. He’ll be on the bench net season, no doubt about it. Is he an everyday guy? Probably not, but he deserves more of a look.

-As Corey Seidman put it in our latest taping of Phillies Nation TV, Darin Ruf did more in three weeks than Domonic Brown has done in three years with the Phillies. Maybe a stretch, but you get the point. The Babe burst onto the scene in the minors after hitting 39 home runs. With the Phillies he had six extra-base hits in just 37 at-bats. He might not be a star  in the making, but he appears to have the tools to be a pretty good player, although the jury is obviously still out considering it’s such a small sample size. Regardless, cool to see him to so well when given the opportunity.

-Erik Kratz also made the most of his opportunity, seizing the backup catcher role when Brian Schneider got hurt (again). Kratz will be the back up next season, too, after he proved to be a power bat off the bench that Charlie Manuel could also trust as a starter. When Chooch got hurt, Kratz logged a lot of innings behind the plate and did well, although he faded a bit at the end of the long year.

THE OTHERS

-We still don’t know about Dominic Brown. He showed flashes of being a really good everyday player, and then in the same game would show you that maybe the Phillies have overvalued him a bit. Brown still only has 492 plate appearances, less than a full seasons worth, in his career. There is still plenty of time.

-Freddy Galvis can play the field, no doubt. It’s the bat we don’t know about. He had a few big moments with the stick before fracturing his back, yet there are still so many questions about what he can do in the majors. Add that to his suspension for PED’s and who the hell knows.

-John Mayberry Jr. is not an everyday player. It still appears that given the right circumstances, he can be an excellent backup. But I think the ship has sailed on him being a 162-game-guy.

-Michael Martinez should not be anywhere near the Phillies next year. That’s no knock on him, he’s just not a major leaguer.

-And we don’t really know much about Nate Scheirholtz. Seems like an end of the bench guy, nothing more, nothing less. Just hard to get a read after he missed time with an injury. Could play a bench role in 2013.

THOUGHTS FROM A LOST SEASON: THE BULLPEN

THOUGHTS FROM A LOST SEASON: STARTING PITCHERS

Avatar of Pat Gallen

About Pat Gallen

Pat Gallen has written 1684 articles on Phillies Nation.

Pat is Editor-in-Chief of Phillies Nation. He also covers the Phils for 97.5 FM in Philly.

 
 
  • Posts: 0 thatGuy

    Ruf never played in AAA

     
    • Posts: 1435 Pat Gallen

      Avatar of Pat Gallen

      We’re looking for editors, you want a job?

       
  • Posts: 9 philsphan914

    Avatar of philsphan914

    What do you think of a Schierholtz/Mayberry platoon? Mayberry vs lefties: .271/.317/.494/.811. Schierholtz vs righties: .287/.360/.466/.826. I think that could be a solid platoon. Of course, it depends on what we do in free agency this year. But that could be a cheaper option.

     
    • Posts: 0 schmenkman

      Agree, that could be pretty good. There’s always leakage of course (i.e. hitting vs. same side pitchers) in platoons, which might bring the overall OPS down to the mid-to-high (at most) .700s.

       
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      Not my first choice, but I guess it might not be too awful. If you’re doing a platoon, I think you can probably find someone better than Mayberry vs. LHP, although Mayberry’s likely to be the better cheap option. That said, I don’t really like Mayberry. He’s slow, he’s an adequate-at-best fielder, doesn’t have a particularly strong or accurate arm, and doesn’t walk at all against LHP.

      Anyone know where to find players listed by splits? (Specifically I want to see lists of the best RH hitters vs. LHP, but I don’t know how to sort by that criterion on either BR or Fangraphs)

       
  • Posts: 0 ARc

    Phillies fans I went through all the trouble to give you free agency options for 2013. All players used in my analysis will be free agents in 2013. Enjoy!

    Point #1: I did an analysis which poses one possible correlation with Phillies post season success and Hr production(183-190 HR, 2008-09). Based on this premise I put together a line up which should give them HR Numbers similar to 2008-09.

    This line up gives you around (190 HR)
    1 Bourn lead off center hr 9 (bats left)
    2 Rollins ss/ hr 23 (bats switch)
    3 Utley 2nd hr 16 (bats left)
    4 Ryan howard 1st hr 33 (bats left)
    5 Hamilton left field 43hr (bats left)/delmon young left field bats right 18hr/Melky cabrera left field 18hr (bats switch)
    6 Cody ross right field 22 hr (bats right)/ Nick swisher right field 24 hr (bats switch)
    7 Carlos ruiz catcher hr 16 (bats right)
    8 Bj upton 3rd 28 hr bats right/Jeff keppinger 3rd hr 9 bats (bats right)

    **I think the weakness with this line up is left /right matchup issues.

    Point #2: Dodgers have set a new financial standard in the NL (387 mil), so if Amaro has wanted to play that game. Play it all the way.

    The Phillies have 133.1 m committed for 2013 (Hamilton would cost 140 million)
    That would leave us about 110 m.

    Point #3: The phillies window has closed with the current pitching staff, to the extent you cant build around them at this point. Trade Halliday, Lee.

    There are a lot of good young pitchers in free agency:

    scott baker 4.15 age 31
    joe blanton 4.37 era age 31
    gavin floyd 4.46 age 29
    zack grenjie 3.77 era age 28 **
    jeremy guthrie 4.28 age 33
    rich harden 3.76 age 30 **
    dan haren 3.66 era age 32 **
    edwin jackson 4.40 era 29
    kyle loshe 4.45 era age 34
    paul maholm 4.26 era age 30
    shawn marcum 3.76 era age 30**
    brandon mcarhthy 4.02 era age 29
    jake peavey 3.46 era age 31 **
    annabal sanchez 3.75 era age 28 **
    joe saunders 4.15 era age 31
    james shields 3.89 era age 30**
    carlos villunuevea 4.26 era age 28

    also take into account the 2008 phillies era was brett myers 4.44 era you had a eaton 5.80 era kendrick 5.49 jamie moyer 3.71 era. Hamels is your #1 starter and build from there.

    Point #4: We need some bullpen help/injuries maybe not.

    mike adams 2.28 era age 34
    luis ayala 3.35 era age 34
    grant balfour 3.38 era age 34
    rafael bentancourt 3.15 era age 37
    johnalthan broxton 3.10 era age 28 **
    sean burnett 3.58 era age 30
    mike gonzales 2.94 era age 34
    brandon league 3.60 era age 29
    casey janssen 3.60 era age 31
    peter mylan 2.59 era age 33 **
    brett myer 4.20 era age 32
    pat neshek 3.00 era age 32 **
    jj putz 3.04 era age 35 **
    fernanado rodney 3.75 era age 35
    joakim soria 2.40 era age 28 **
    rafael soriano 2.78 era age 32 **

     
    • Posts: 0 Jeff Dowder

      The Dodgers “new financial standard in the NL” was a plan good enough to earn them early tee times at the golf course this off season. The Angels outspent everyone last winter (over $300 million) and were beat out in their division by Oakland. The Marlins stepped up and spent $191 million on free agents last off season and were an outright disaster in 2012. The game is not about outspending everyone. It really isn’t.

      A core of homegrown talent supplemented with free agents to fill the occasional hole is still the way to sustain a winning team. Building a team solely by free agency leads to a dead end with no flexibility.

       
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      So your plan is for the Phils to sign basically every marquee free agent? Solid.

       
      • Posts: 0 ARc

        uuhhhh, yeahhhhh!!! oh darn where would i get a stupid idea like that from, for a moment I thought we were the Dodgers or something. Silly me this is little old Philly how dare I think big. LOL

         
      • Posts: 875 schmenkman

        Avatar of schmenkman

        ARc, the luxury tax threshold for 2013 will be $178 million, and Phillies management has repeatedly said they would like to not exceed that. And $10 M of that is for benefits, so that leaves $168 M.

        You’re right that $133 M is committed for 2013, but then you’re mixing that 2013 number with total contract values (eg. Hamilton and 140 M) — you need to only use what the annual average of each contract will be.

        So if Hamilton costs, say $25 M per year, that brings the total to $158 M, and leaves $10 M for everything else.

        This might be helpful as background: http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillies_zone/understanding-payroll-and-luxury-tax.html

         
      • Posts: 875 schmenkman

        Avatar of schmenkman

        Also, in case you’re not familiar with it, the Cot’s database has the annual contract commitments: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/compensation/cots/?page_id=127

         
      • Posts: 0 ARc

        Uhhh, Roy Halliday, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt? Hamilton, Bourn, Upton, whats the difference?

         
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        Arc, feel free to think big, but try to keep it realistic.

        You don’t trade guys like Roy Halladay when he’s coming off the worst year in his career because you’ll get next to nothing for him and you’ll likely have to pay a large portion of his salary (which then prohibits you from going out and signing all the free agents). Players, like stocks and commodities and anything else, should be bought when they’re cheap and sold when they’re valuable, not vice versa.

        You don’t trade guys like Cliff Lee because he’s still a Cy Young calibre pitcher and because, again, his contract is so large that you will either have to pay a large portion of it or get next to nothing in return. But more than that, he is, in fact, a better pitcher than anyone on that list of free agents, save maybe Greinke. Trading away Lee to go out and acquire another pitcher makes no sense.

        Either way, trading both of those players in no way clears their salaries, brings back anything of value or allows you to go out and sign Bourn, Upton, Hamltion and two additional pitchers without blowing through the luxury tax threshold, which is something they’re trying to avoid. In essence, it doesn’t make the Phillies a better team.

        And finally, I want no part of an outfield in, say 2015, that consists of Bourn, Hamilton and Upton. The likelihood that ends in spectacular failure is huge.

         
  • Posts: 5229 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    Arc- I don’t understand Point #2: “Dodgers have set a new financial standard in the NL (387 mil), so if Amaro has wanted to play that game. Play it all the way.”

    First where does the 387m figure come from? Lifetime payroll commitment? And second, I don’t know this for certain, but from everything I hear RA Jr. saying lately, I don’t think the brass wants him to “play it all the way” anymore. Just my interpretation.

     
    • Posts: 0 Devin

      Gonna piggy back on this and mention I also didn’t understand point #1 and where they’re going to come up with money to sign Michael Born BJ Upton Cody Ross and Josh Hamilton. Or why he has BJ Upton playing 3rd base.

       
      • Posts: 875 schmenkman

        Avatar of schmenkman

        I have the same questions as Lefty and Devin, but Upton at 3rd isn’t completely outlandish. He was a SS in the minors, and mostly played 3B when he first came up in 2004-06, before moving to CF. He may have the athleticism to become passable there defensively, but he wasn’t very good then and now hasn’t played there in 6 years.

         
  • Posts: 0 BART SHART

    I believe we really need a solid centerfielder. I think,that when you consider age and potential, BJ Upton might be the best out there. He is far from perfect,but he has power and provides great defense. Third base is a tough one. Kevin Fransden really might be the best “inexpensive” option out there. At the very least, he would be an outstanding platoon player along with Freddy Galvis. It would be great to land David Wright, but at what cost. Chase Headley would be outstanding, as well. At what cost for these players is the question.

    Two additions: BJ Upton and David Wright would give us some serious punch. Also, add a decent set-up man,and say goodbye to Nix, Polanco, Schneider, and Martinez. Also, add Dom Brown and Darin Ruf as a platoon in left field. And, Shierholz (spelling?) and Mayberry in right field. That may be all we need to start the season on solid round

     
  • Posts: 0 Ken Bland

    still a free agent basewball wise, but at least he found somebody who wants him…

    …for the next week, the fast-talking [Shane] Victorino will serve as a guest analyst for TBS’ coverage of baseball’s League Championship series. He starts Monday, in what for now is a three-day deal.

    Victorino will be in the studio with commentators Dennis Eckersley and David Wells, and host Matt Winer. He’ll also join the group for the pregame broadcast.

    Elsewhere…

    It dawned on me that Manny Ramirez might kinda sorta be eligible to receive a fragment of a playoff share from the Oakland ballclub. Actually, I guess he’s probably not, because the parting of the ways came before Man Ram actually was promoted to the A’s roster. That’s too bad. But it conjures up memoirs of when Nate Robertson pitched 1 night for the Phils roundabouts 2010, when playoff shares were still in vogue around the south Philly baseball fields. I’m not losing sleep over it, but I wonder if Nate collected as much as 59 cents for his 1 failed start that season around these parts.

    Yo, what is up with arc’s list of good young pitchers above. Or ARc, however he spells it these days. He’s got Blanton on that list. Blanton is young, true, if it’s relative to Moses. According to my math, Vanimal Worley be’s young. And congrats to Joe on qualifying as good, too. News you can use that you won’t be finding elsewhere. The PhillieNation way.

    That’s enough dimension for one post.

     
    • Posts: 0 George

      I had the same sort of questions about ARc’s list of “good young starters,” but my thoughts involved nearly everyone on that list. How anyone can call Guthrie, with his 33years and 4.28 ERA “good” or “young” is beyond me. And he’s got Kyle Loshe, at age 34, as a talented youngster, too. That, I believe is Cliff Lee teritory age-wise, but Loshe’s ERA was more than a full run higher. Yep, trade Lee and sign Loshe. That’ll make for all kinds of improvement in the rotation, and you can actually build around such a talented youngster.

       
    • Posts: 2069 Brooks

      Avatar of Brooks

      I did see Vic on the broadcast after the Orioles game. Impressed that he said “you know..” only 6 times a minute as opposed to 20/minute while in Philadelphia.

       
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        He’s challenging Cole for MLB’s “You know…” title.

         
  • Posts: 875 schmenkman

    Avatar of schmenkman

    Pat, on Rollins and popups, I agree he should look at what he’s doing different with his swing this year to cause all the popups. Until this year he had popped out at the league-average rate.

    But I think it’s worth noting that even if you combine his strikeouts and his popups, they would still be less than JUST the strikeouts of players like Ian Desmond, Stephen Drew, and Hanley Ramirez.

    Also, as you mention, Mauer only had 1 according to fangraphs. Ryan Howard had zero this year, and now for his career has 19 infield popups (to go with 17 triples).

     
  • Posts: 0 notFairWithPolly

    “We can look back and positively say that the Placido Polanco signing was a failure.”

    No, we can’t. According to fangraphs, Polly’s value over the 3 years of contract was 31.6M.

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    The real problem with the Thome signing was not so much that he couldn’t play 1st, but more that he turned out to be a really bad pinch-hitter. He only cost a tiny amount (by today’s standards) and he probably generated enough PR goodwill to justify his pay. When he waws traded, Amaro actually got a player in return.

    Maybe he didn’t help, but I can’t call it a mistake. Early in the season, I don’t think anyone could have helped much.

    And regarding the Polanco signing, that’s a difficult call. There hasn’t been a decent 3rd baseman available for three years besides Beltre, who was Amaro’s first choice. He probably shouldn’t have gone three years, but at the time, no one thought that two would be excessive. Injuries do increase with age, but no one could expect the completely debilitating problems Polanco suffered.

     
  • Posts: 5229 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    All the writers at Philly.com weigh in, but marcus Hayes makes an interesting argument.

    Quoting
    “The Phillies season began on July 16.

    Evaluate this 2012 season only after July 16.

    On that date, in Los Angeles, Ryan Howard made his fifth start of the season for the Phillies. The immediate questions concerning his reattached Achilles’ tendon were answered. His schedule of play was established. He had 18 major-league plate appearances. The Phillies were 39-51.

    They went 42-29 in the next 71 games. They played those 71 games at a pace to win 95 over a full season, a win total that would put them at or near the top of every division in baseball.

    Howard, 32, played in 66 of those 71 games. He only hit .225 with 14 homers, but he had 56 RBI in those 66 games.

    Do not be fooled: This team revolves around Howard.”

    Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sportsweek/20121007_How_the_Phillies_can_get_back_to_their_winning_ways.html#ixzz28kXWR7ym
    Watch sports videos you won’t find anywhere else

     
    • Posts: 0 psujoe

      The team really isn’t that far away from being right back in it with a few signings.

      The bullpen needs an 8th inning stud and they need a big upgrade in CF. Unless they can get a significant upgrade at 3b I think you’ll see them possibly start the season with Frandsen and TW as thei 3b options. It’s a terrible year in FA except for CFand BP so they’ll have to improve by trade else where.Keep in mind Frandsen has hit over .300 the last 3 + years in AAA and MLB so it was no fluke.

       
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      Marcus Hayes is a moron.

      First, it’s deceptive to selectively choose Howard’s 5th start, rather than his first, but not particularly surprising. The Phillies were 2-4 in the games between Howard’s first start and the “random” day that Hayes chooses. It doesn’t change the math all that much (the 44-33 record from his first start projects to about 92 wins), but it’s just a very strange day to pick.

      Second, he might want to actually look at run production. In the first half of the season (through game 87 on July 8th, so it basically mirrors the pre and post-return production of Howard) the Phillies scored 4.229 runs per game. In the second half of the season with Howard — the final 75 games — the Phillies scored 4.213 runs/game. So the offense was, for all intents and purposes, the same. Howard’s return provided no more offensive output than they received from the Wigginton/Mayberry/Nix 1B platoon.

      Third, if he wants a real explanation for the differences in first and second half records, he might want to look to the pitching staff.

      SP 1st Half: 4.25 ERA, 1.280 WHIP, 8.3 SO/9
      SP 2nd Half: 3.41 ERA, 1.188 WHIP, 8.9 SO/9

      RP 1st Half: 4.76 ERA, 1.381 WHIP, 9.1 SO/9
      RP 2nd Half: 3.03 ERA, 1.191 WHIP, 11.1 SO/9

      Game-set-match, Marcus.

      (I really can’t stand him. He’s a horrible writer and unbelievably, yet unjustifiably, arrogant and smug. See here: http://www.the700level.com/11/29/11/Ray-Didinger-and-Marcus-Hayes-Go-At-It-O/landing_eagles.html?blockID=602662 )

       
      • Posts: 5229 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Eric Eric Eric,

        I thought Hayes use of the fifth start for a guy that had no Spring training to be more than reasonable.

        The fact that the Phillies scored more runs pg in the first half is astonishing to me. How many people kept saying?- It’s still early, we are without our #3 and #4 hitters, that costs us 200 RBI in run production, etc, etc, Are you really saying that you liked the lineup better in the first half of the season? Before Howard, Utley, Dom Brown was brought up, Frandsen?, Kratz? Ruf? Seriously? I’ve told you before that runs per game is a flawed stat due to volatility, yes we scored a lot of runs in Atlanta one night and a few others bumping up the avg., but we still lost.

        Think about a lineup that had all those guys and still had Pence’ offensive production, (not talking defense in this thread, ugh) and Vic’s even in a down year. Yes the average runs scored fell off, it had to when without two guys llke that. But I bet no one felt the lineup was worse in the second half. For financial reasons they had to let them go, but the idea in ST was a lineup with all of them in it. Not half for the first half the year, and the other half the second.

        I’d challenge your assertion that Howard’s production was no better than the three man platoon, but I don’t have time to fact check today. I guess you could be right, I don’t think so.

        Moving on, I posted the whole article so everyone could see that the other writers pointed out the pitching differences that you did, I totally agree with that part of your comment.

        And finally, if you don’t care for Hayes I got no problem with that. But if you want to establish credibility or in this case dishonor it, please show me something other than a testosterone laced sport show clip where a guy gets bitch slapped. I don’t watch Jerry Springer like fare for a reason, because IMO that in itself would destroy my own credibility.

         
      • Posts: 875 schmenkman

        Avatar of schmenkman

        Not to speak for EricL, but I don’t know that he said he liked the first lineup better, just that the aggregated results were no better in the second half.

        I might do more digging on this later, but for now I’ll offer this:

        Nix/JMJ/Wig the 1st half: .248/.305/.407 (.712 OPS)
        Howard in the 2nd half : .218/.296/.425 (.720 OPS)

        Not much difference there, except that 1) Howard was much better with RISP (and much worse without RISP), and 2) Howard’s return improved the bench.

         
      • Posts: 875 schmenkman

        Avatar of schmenkman

        One reason the 2nd half wasn’t better is that Ruiz was so good in the 1st half:

        Ruiz, Kratz, and Schneider combined:

        1st half: .324/.385/.550 (.935 OPS)
        2nd half: .253/.326/.446 (.772 OPS)

         
      • Posts: 1135 EricL

        Avatar of EricL

        In response to Lefty.

        Well, there was no explanation for Hayes’ choosing the 5th game, but Howard had plenty of time to rehab and played exceptionally well in his minor-league tuneups (.500/.577/.750). So I’m not sure why 5 games into the season is any better indicator of his performance than 0 game or 20 games is, but it does line up with a nice winning streak, so on the surface it looks a bit suspicious.

        Second, I know you don’t like R/GM. I do; I think it’s a fine metric, and I know I’ve had this same conversation with you and a number of other people here in the past. As I’ve said, it doesn’t matter how the runs are scored, and I’ve used hypothetical examples to show you why. Now, that’s not to say I’m completely close-minded on the subject, just that I’ve never seen anything that tells me a team with a constant offensive output is any better/worse than an equally skilled team with a more variable offense that scores the same number of runs. Plus, logically, it just doesn’t make sense when I think about it. Why would a team that scores their runs in bunches be worse than a team that scores the same number of runs at a constant rate?

        If you can show me that teams with low run scoring standard deviations are systemically better than teams with higher deviations, I’d consider it to have some merit. But I’ve never seen anything like that.

        As for blaming Ruf/Brown/Mayberry/etc for the offensive decline, well, that doesn’t really hold up either. Howard, Utley, Victorino and Pence were all in the lineup basically through the month of July. The Phils averaged 3.96 R/game in July (with a 2.61 standard deviation). If you only back to Marcus’ starting point, July 16th, from July 16th-31st, the Phils averaged 4.07 runs per game (with a 2.45 run std dev)

        The trades went down July 31st, after which the Phillies averaged 4.2 R/game (with a 3.07 run std dev). So the decline certainly doesn’t look like it was due to the loss of offense at the trade deadline.

        As Schmenkman pointed out, the difference between them was basically .008 points of OPS. Over a 75 game sample that’s nothing. Like I said, they were, for all intents and purposes, the same. Of course Howard hit for more power, but the other guys got on base at a better pace, so that evens out a bit.

        Finally, I didn’t think I needed to post any examples of Hayes’ writing, because it’s all equally terrible and smug, and there’s plenty of it available (to use another example, here’s an awful, awful…sonnet(?) he wrote after Garrett Reid died: http://articles.philly.com/2012-08-07/sports/33066142_1_garrett-reid-drew-ann-big-brother ). My point in posting that clip was to show how little he respects or thinks of others, in that case Ray Didinger, a member of the Pro Football Writer Hall of Fame and generally one of the more genial, knowledgeable members of the local media, at least when it comes to football. And Marcus is treating him with utter contempt because Ray had the audacity to disagree with him.

        As for the Philly.com article, aside from Marcus, I didn’t really disagree with a lot of them, except Sam Donellon, who apparently wants Raul Ibanez back, to which I say: “HAHAHAHAAAHAA PLEASE GOD NO!!!”

         
      • Posts: 5229 Lefty

        Avatar of Lefty

        Eric all reasonable points and both you and Nick really have me thinking about this.

        Because it’s lunch hour for me, and I really can’t spend the time I’d like to today, I’ll just focus on a few things. First is average runs per game. – Let me try to explain my thinking.

        Let’s say your commute takes you about 30 minutes, 95% of days- or more realistically a range of 28-32 minutes, something like that. Even though there are a very few days where rain or snow or bad accidents can make your commute an hour longer, would using the average still be an accurate measure of how long it takes you? Or doesn’t it really take you about 30 minutes a day with an occasional outlier? That’s my point. IMO- if that outlier changes average runs scored enough to make an offense with Utley and Howard look worse than without, it’s telling the wrong story.

        You didn’t need to post any example of your feelings on Hayes. You never have to justify your opinion, you have every right to it. I don’t read his work regularly and if you think he’s a hack, I believe you. I just thought that in this single case, his general assumption that for many years now Ryan Howard has driven the bus for this offense, is correct. And that’s a big, big problem IMO. Like I said, it’s a back to work day my friend, and that’s a can of worms we can get into that some other time. Take it easy man, later.

         
  • Posts: 0 bacardipr

    I agree the thought of Mayberry been a everyday player is probably no more. I think he would make a adequate backup. I didnt really notice his defense lacking a great deal. Nix was doing ok before he got injured. If he can provide us with .260 and a few HR next year it would be great. I think he is capable of doing that. Im still a little iffy on Kratz at least his bat. The Phils should have a backup plan for the backup catcher. Did he fade or was it the league caught up to him once more scouting info came available? I dont think the Polly deal was a bad one initially. Possibly one year too long. Was never the same after he got plunked by Hudson. Then his body just deteriorated over time. I can really fault Amaro for signing him. I see Frandsden as a backup. Martinez should not be on the team. Guy just doesnt seem to be a Major league player. He will probably be organizational filler Wilson Valdez type of career. The Phils need a everyday OF and a 3B. They cant go with a OF of backup’s and unproven Ruf and Brown.

     
    • Posts: 0 psujoe

      If the Phils can get Power elsewhere I’d give Frandsen a shot. 200+ PA is a small sample, but his .383 OBP was a big part of the 95 win pace down the stretch. His lifetime MLB OBP is .322 in about 700 ABs while not great it isn’t horrible. Throw in that he’s been over .300 his last 800 ABs in AAA and MLB.

      If you can get a guy like Headley I’m all for it, but there is nothing out there at 3B. it might be easier to find one in July.

      if they do get a 3B Frandsen is definately one of the utility guys since he plays 1b, 2b and 3b.

       
  • Posts: 2069 Brooks

    Avatar of Brooks

    From 2007 up till this year, a look at the Phils lineup 1 through 8 and it was hard to deny them the division. There are a few holes to fill now.

     
  • Posts: 0 ARc

    #1 The starters I posted was a comprehensive list of all starters. Good and bad, although I picked the better of the free agent lot. Although I posted “young and good” as a criteria for my list, “theyre there in the list” I wanted to include more than just those starters. For some, the older free agents might look better the younger one for some statistical reason. However, my premise is that there are starters who are young, and available. There are starters with better eras than the 08-09 phillies rotation, and there are starters who performed as well as Halliday and lee in 2011-2012.

    #2 Where did arc get 380 m from? Yes, the upwards of 380 m are new long term contracts on the Dodgers. Heres a run down on current contracts and length: Adrian Gonzales 7/154m, Carl Crawford 7/142m, Matt Kemp 8/160m, Josh beckett 4/68m, Hanley Ramirez 6/70m, Andre Ethier 5/85m, Ted Lilly 3/33m,Chad Billingsley 3/35m, Clayton Kershaw 2/19m. That is around 700m for their for seeable future.

    The Phillies? Cliff Lee 5/120, Roy halliday 3/60m, Ryan Howard 5/125m, Chase Utley 7/85m, Cole Hamels 6/144m, Jonathan Papelbon 4/50m, Jimmy rollins 3/33m. We have about 400m tied up for our foreseeable future.

    Again, my only point is that if the Dodgers can do it, then it is not unthinkable. We must look at their commitments as our goals. When Pepsi sees Coke spend 80 billion on advertisement, Pepsi doesn’t say, well, thats beyond our means, or our tax rate will go up. They have spent that money to beat the most successful team in the NL and thats us. Whether it is the best move or not, I will leave up to the individual reader, but I would like to hear reasonable objections.

    And finally, even if we dont win the WS; who is not going to buy tickets to see Josh Hamilton, BJ Upton, Zack Greinke, and Michael Bourn on the same team?

    #3 Is home grown talent the way to go? It might make economical sense, but if it fails so will ticket sales, so its a doulbe edged sword. If spending a lot on free agency is a financial concern, I dont think any of us can assert which way of running the org is more profitable. Also, going the “home grown way” at this point means basically starting all over from scratch.

    However, to the point that home grown is the way to go, I agree to some extent. You posed a few examples of home grown success, but I can pose many more examples of free agency success. Although creating a winning team from the “home grown” approach yields the greatest victory, Again I think taking the balanced approach has been the most successful. That being said, does anybody remember Howard Utley, Hamels, and Rollins? So we do have a successful core of home grown talent. And I think the window of opportunity using this core is still open.

    #4 Where will they come up with the money? The Phillies have already been willing to spend 173 m in 2012. They are at already at 133 m for 2013. Dumping Lee and Halliday will give us 140 m.(thats 140 m for a 6-9, 11-8 record. Unfortunately Utleys off the books in 2013, (hope he we be around). You drop Lee and Hallidays salary the Phillies in 2013 would be only committed to around 75m. Again, the Phillies have already shown the balls to spend 173m and has been on the rise the past couple of years. We also have one of the most lucative teams in the mlb. In other words we have the ticket sales to back it up. Also lets not forget the looming cable contract. (We should easily have 300/400if you get Lee off the books to play with.)

    “You can spend $1.5 billion now to get the team,” Scott Boras told USA Today last week, “but a month later, you’re going to get $4 billion or $5 billion or more for the regional sports network.”

    “Boras predicted the Phillies could land a deal even larger than that of the Dodgers. For nine straight seasons, the Phillies’ local ratings have risen. Over that period, the growth is 176 percent, according to Sports Business Daily. In San Diego, where the Padres are about to profit, the local ratings decreased 41 percent from 2010 to 2011. So, yes, we are talking about a possible $5 billion dollar infusion beginning in 2016. And by then, who knows what sort of premium price is being placed on live sports on TV?

    #5 Yes, Blanton is on the list! You can look at him as my slap in your face, a comparison, or a viable option. However, he was our second most effective pitcher in 2012 up until the trade. Is he or some of the others on my pitching list considered good? As Verlander, Kershaw? no. Are some better than some of the staff on the 2008-09 phillies rotation? Yes!! My point is you can make a decent rotation with Hamels as your #1, and fill in the rest, or maybe if we get 4 aces we’ll win it all (LOL). Look at the Cardinals rotation in 2011, and they beat our a**.

    #6 Keeping Halliday or Lee to me at this point is useless. That window has closed, theyre tying up money, and they will be pretty much worthless by 2014. The Hamels contract pretty much solidified in my mind that the org has made the commitment that, he is the #1 starter. Although I could make a case for keeping Lee if it does not hamper Giles from spending money. (And he is a cheap looking b**sard. I see him every week at his granddaughters softball games, at my daughters school.)

    #7 Now for Players salaries on my list(dont really know how to calculate)
    1. Cody Ross, 3m?
    2. Michael Bourn 15m 6yrs
    3. Jeff Keppinger less than 5m?
    4. Josh Hamilton 140 m
    5. B.J. Upton ?
    6. Melky Cabrera 12m
    7. Delmon Young?
    8. Nick Swisher?
    9. Zack Greinke?
    10. Annabal Sanchez?
    11. Jonathan broxton?
    12. Joakim Soria?
    13. Raphael Soriano?
    4. B.J. Upton ?

    #8 Finally, my payroll concerns were only trying to reflect total commitments from the Dodgers vs possible Phillies potentialities, not just on a yearly consideration.

     
  • Posts: 0 ARc

    …..and if I hear one more person, talk about inexpensive options, and saving money, I going to rip the remained of my hair out. The Philies have the second most lucrative franchise in all of baseball. Why the hell are we talking about inexpensive options?

     
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      “The Phillies have teh second most lucrative franchise in all of baseball”

      Wrong: http://www.forbes.com/mlb-valuations/

      4th in revenue
      5th in franchise value
      13th in Debt/Value
      29th in operating income ($ -11.6 million in 2011-12)

       
  • Posts: 0 ARc

    Hamilton must be signed. We have an area full of fans waiting to be entertained. you cant wheel out Kenny G at this point, you better be bringing out the RollingStones

     
    • Posts: 1135 EricL

      Avatar of EricL

      First, nobody under the age of like 45 is entertained by the Rolling Stones.

      Second, attendance is highly correlated with winning. There’s very little correlation between attendance and the number of high-priced players on the field. Build a winning team, you’ll sell a lot of tickets. It doesn’t matter who is on the field, whether they’re superstars or a handful of platoon guys.

       
  • Posts: 0 ARc

    sorry to smack you around a little bit but,

    #1 All the points I made, and you choose team value to challenge me on?
    By the way your figures are from 2011 “cousin”. Now, do you have a (prospectus) on team worth after the new cable contract?-By the way, 4th place is not necessarily sitting in the poor house either.

    #2 The rolling stones is the 2nd highest grossing tours in the world.
    The median age of Stones fans is 43 with 54% of the fan base under 45. -This strain of our discourse is rapidly moving into realm ad absurdum. The point was, from a business stand point you have produced a product for the fan base, and you must deliver at the same quality or simply lose your customers. You site creating a winning team is correlated with attendance. O.K. so the question is how do you win games at this point? See, at this point youre not trying to build a fan base, you already have one. Names like Halliday and Lee were not only chosen for their abilities, but their ability to draw ticket sales. By the way how much do you think the Phillies franchise will make off of Hamilton Paraphernalia? At the end of the day, this is a business, and although I know the avg fan is not concerned with all dimensions of this sport as a business, never the less; marketing, advertising, and product placement is as important as any and every obscure player stat you can muster. Did I just use the word muster?

    #2 The question whether attendance is correlated with winning is meaningless if you omit the variable of if “star power” is correlated with winning? In other words if their is a positive correlation between attendance and winning, one must measure whether super stars drive up attendance even during losing seasons, and to what extent, and whether winning seasons with non super stars make any impact on attendance. Obviously if youre team is in the playoffs more people will show interest, but how does that interest play out on regular season games, and merchandise sales on avg? So, show me a winning team full of platoon guys who have boosted attendance. Anyway, Ill be picking up that Wiggington road jersey right after lunch. lol.

     
 
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