Posts Tagged ‘Discipline’

Dom’s Swingin’ Good

Posted by Pat Gallen, Thu, June 06, 2013 12:11 PM Comments: 9


(AP Photo)

Domonic Brown is not taking walks. Nobody seems to mind. Brown’s power has been off the charts, obviously, as he leads the National League in home runs. How is he doing it? A few ways.

According to Fangraphs, Brown is getting balls inside the zone at a rate two percent less than the average major leaguer. However, the percentage of pitches inside the strike zone that he’s swinging at is more than 11 percent better than average. What’s that say? Well, that Brown’s got a solid eye and is whaling on his pitches.

Outside of the strike zone, Brown is swinging at more pitches than the mean. The average MLB’er hacks at 29.9 percent of pitches outside the strike zone, while Dom swings at 33.6 However, with the keen eye he has shown this year, he actually has connected on 70.2 percent of those balls, whereas the rest of the league makes contact at 66.3 percent.

So, not only is Domonic Brown burying mistakes left out over the plate, but he’s using his confidence and plate coverage ability to destroy pitches out of the zone too. He’s seeing less than usual inside the zone, but is making just about everyone pay when it the baseball is in that area.

This is the evolution of Domonic Brown. He’s always had solid plate discipline, which previously meant a good amount of walks and solid OBP without tearing the cover off the ball. Now, the difference is his plate discipline is still present, despite the lower walk rate and OBP. Dom’s discipline has morphed into solid plate coverage, and he’s benefiting greatly from it.


Phillies Nearly Blow It, Hold On for Win Over Brewers

Posted by Kenny Ayres, Sun, June 02, 2013 04:55 PM Comments: 28

The Phillies held on to win the finale of their three game series with Milwaukee on Sunday, 7-5, and avoided the sweep.

The Phils jumped out to an early lead in the first, scoring five runs off Brewers starter Mike Fiers. Domonic Brown hit a three-run home run, while Erik Kratz and Freddy Galvis each drove in a run in a first inning during which Philadelphia batted around. They then added another two runs in the second to jump out to a large 7-0 lead.

With seven early runs and Lee on the mound, there was a definite feeling of comfort.. .until there wasn’t. Antonio Bastardo pitched the ninth instead of Jonathan Papelbon, who was nowhere to be found, and nearly let the game slip away. A game that was already too close for comfort because of Justin De Fratus’ struggles. Turns out Papelbon was unavailable due to a stomach illness.

Dom Brown’s Power Carrying Offense

At this point, you feel spoiled if Brown does not hit a home run in a key spot with men on base. The Phillies left fielder cranked his 16th homer of the year in the first inning, a three-run blast off the facing of the upper deck in right. He followed that up with an RBI triple in the second, a single in the fifth, and a walk in the seventh inning.

Brown’s power has been almost hard to comprehend. In his last nine games, he has eight home runs and 14 RBI, which is more than any other player in the majors over that span. He has also raised his average from .243 on May 19 to .282, which is no easy feat two months into the season.

Walks from Howard a Key to Scoring Runs

One thing that happened in Sunday’s game that has been happening more often of late is Ryan Howard working a walk out of a tough count, and having that extend the inning for Brown, who drives in the runs. In the last three days Howard has three walks after having just one in his previous seven games. When your best hitter is doing what Brown is doing, Howard getting on base (especially with two outs) is key because it gives Brown an opportunity to drive in runs like he did today, and does not bring him up with the bases empty in the next inning.

Lee is Lee, did you expect anything else?

We have come to expect Cliff Lee to do what he did today, and has done the last several outings. The southpaw has been almost untouchable in his last six starts. He has been mixing up his pitches, forcing weak contact and pounding the strike zone. At one point in the seventh inning, when he hit the 80 pitch mark, he had thrown 64 strikes and 16 balls.

Lee finished the game with 11 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. He did allow three earned runs, but that was mostly due to Justin De Fratus allowing the two runners he inherited to score on a bases-clearing triple by Jonathan Lucroy. It could have been even worse as a grand slam was overturned on replay.

In his career, Lee is 72-7 when his team has scored six runs or more for him.

Up Next…

The Phillies will remain at home for a three game series with the last place Miami Marlins. The Phillies are 6-4 against Miami this year, which is not all that good considering they have only 16 wins all season and more than a quarter of those are against the Phillies. On Monday night Philadelphia will send Kyle Kendrick to the hill. He pitched well his last time out and has a 5-3 record and 3.27 ERA this season.



Domonic Brown’s New Approach

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Fri, May 17, 2013 09:05 AM Comments: 19


Domonic Brown may be walking less, but he’s hitting the cover off the ball. Photo: AP

This past offseason, Ruben Amaro drew quite a bit of criticism when he told reporters that he didn’t value walks very much. The quote, taken from Phillies beat writer Matt Gelb, went like this:

“I don’t care about walks. I care about production. To be frank with you, I’ve said this all along. All of the sabermatricians and all of the people who think they know exactly what makes a good club… to me, it’s more about run production and being able to score runs and drive in runs.”

If you’re anything like me, you had a good laugh after reading that one (laughter to keep from crying). After that laughter subsided, though, I was left wondering how Amaro could say he doesn’t care about walks and then go on to say winning is about driving in runs, something that is made possible from teams getting baserunners, which sometimes come from–you guessed it!–guys getting walked. Logically, Amaro’s statement just didn’t add up. Continue reading Domonic Brown’s New Approach


Chooch and Amphetamines: Why It Isn’t “Just Adderall”

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Wed, November 28, 2012 07:09 PM Comments: 30

Chooch isn't as clean as we previously thought. (MLB)

Yesterday, Carlos Ruiz was suspended for 25 games by the MLB for a positive test for amphetamines. According to Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, MLB does not suspend or publicize a player’s first positive test for the substance, which means this is Chooch’s second positive test.

From that page:

B. Stimulant Violations

A Player who tests positive for a Stimulant, or otherwise violates the Program through the use or possession of a Stimulant, will be subject to the discipline set forth below.

1. First violation: Follow-up testing pursuant to Section 3.D.2 above;
2. Second violation: 25-game suspension;
3. Third violation: 80-game suspension; and
4. Fourth and subsequent violation: Suspension for just cause by the Commissioner, up to permanent suspension from Major League and Minor League Baseball, which penalty shall be subject to challenge before the Arbitration Panel.

Now, we all know that Shane Victorino battles ADHD, and he, along with many others, take stimulants thanks to the “Theraputic Use” clause in the policy.

I. Therapeutic Use Exemption

1. A Player authorized to ingest a Prohibited Substance through a valid, medically appropriate prescription provided by a duly licensed physician shall receive a Therapeutic Use Exemption (“TUE”). To be “medically appropriate,” the Player must have a documented medical need under the standards accepted in the United States or Canada for the prescription in the prescribed dosage. A specimen which is found to contain a Prohibited Substance will not be deemed a positive test result if such specimen was provided by a Player with an effective TUE for that substance. A Player with a TUE for a Prohibited Substance does not violate the Program by possessing or using that substance.

With the TUE, a player can, by the looks of it, take Adderall or another stimulant without consequence–so long as they have a physician to sign for them.

Continue reading Chooch and Amphetamines: Why It Isn’t “Just Adderall”


Phillies Add Four to 40-Man Roster

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, November 20, 2012 05:42 PM Comments: 7

Zach Collier

Collier is one of four added to the Phils' 40-man roster today. Photo: Jay Floyd

The Phillies announced today that outfielder Zach Collier and right-handed pitchers Ethan Martin, Trevor May, and Jonathan Pettibone have been added to the 40-man roster.

Collier, 22, was the Phillies’ supplemental first round pick, 34th overall, in 2008. The 6’2 lefty showed improved plate discipline in 2012, hitting .269/.333/.399 in his first year at High-A Clearwater. Collier had career highs in slugging and ISO and a near-career low in K%. Much of Collier’s improved power came in the form of his career high six home runs. Our minor league expert Jay Floyd just spoke to Collier on Sunday and the interview can be found here on PN.

Continue reading Phillies Add Four to 40-Man Roster


Valle Promoted to ‘Pigs, Brown in 2013 OF

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Tue, July 31, 2012 06:07 PM Comments: 88

Valle has been promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Photo by Ian Riccaboni

According to Matt Gelb, catcher Sebastian Valle has been promoted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Valle, 22, was an Eastern League All-Star this year for Reading, hitting .261/.281/.438. Valle has struggled with plate discipline, walking at a low 3.8% and striking out 25.5% of the time, but has seemed to recouped some of the power (13 HR, 13 2B in 2012) he displayed in 2010 (16 HR, 28 2B for Lakewood). Tommy Joseph, acquired in the Hunter Pence deal, will start every day for Reading.

In a corresponding move, Michael LoRe of the ExpressTimes is reporting that Tuffy Gosewisch of the IronPigs has been sold to Toronto to make room for Valle and to create space for Erik Kratz, who will be bumped to Triple-A with the return of Brian Schneider.

In a corresponding but separate Tweet, Gelb reported that Ruben Amaro Jr. stated that Domonic Brown will be in the Phillies outfield for 2013. Brown is expected to play each of the three outfield positions and will receive everyday playing time in 2013. Brown was originally penciled in tonight’s line-up but is a scratch due to a delayed flight.


Why The Phillies Can Turn It Around

Posted by Jonathan Nisula, Thu, May 10, 2012 08:00 PM Comments: 60


Right now, the Phillies are in a tough position. They have lost five of their last six games, including a series in which they were swept by the rival New York Mets. They are sitting at 14-18, and the frustration by the fans, and surely everyone within the Phillies organization, grows more and more each day.

The season hasn’t gone as expected and it is understandable that we all feel these things. But it’s okay. It really is. I think that when it’s all said and done, the Phillies will be just fine and all of the early struggles will simply be a thing of the past.

There are a few reasons why I feel this way. First, the Phillies are still playing shorthanded. Also, the recent struggles of the bullpen are unordinary, and finally, not to beat a dead horse, but it’s still early.

Continue reading Why The Phillies Can Turn It Around


Phillies Trade Rumors Friday: Hunter Pence Edition

Posted by Pat Gallen, Fri, July 29, 2011 01:43 PM Comments: 113

Would the Phillies be giving up too much for Pence? (PHOTO: Yahoo)

UPDATE, 5:15 pm: ESPN.com’s Buster Olney just tweeted that a source tells him the Phillies have no intention of putting Domonic Brown up for sale.

The saga continues.


UPDATE, 4:30 pm: Michael Baumann did a little research today on how prospects pan out in the majors, here is a look:

Proof that the Baseball America people know what they’re talking about (Click on the year to see that seasons full list of top prospects):

Top 10 2005: 8 major league regulars (Mauer, Felix Hernandez, Delmon Young, Ian Stewart, Kotchman, Kazmir, Rickie Weeks, Hanley Ramirez), 1 MVP, 1 Cy Young, 4 batting titles.  Other notables: Matt Cain (13), Prince Fielder (15), Chad Billingsley (19), Jeff Niemann (20), Carlos Quentin (22), Nick Swisher (24)

Top 10 2006: 7 ML regulars (Young, Justin Upton, Stephen Drew, Liriano, Billingsley,Verlander, Matt Cain) Other notables: Fielder (11), Howie Kendrick (12), Alex Gordon (13), Ryan Zimmerman (15), Quentin (20), Markakis (21), Jon Lester (22), Chris Young the outfielder (23) and Tulo (25)

Continue reading Phillies Trade Rumors Friday: Hunter Pence Edition


2011 Offensive Preview, Part 4: Shortstop

Posted by Michael Baumann, Sat, March 26, 2011 08:00 AM Comments: 25

In the week before Opening Day, we’re looking at each of the five offensive positions that are not known quantities.

Part 1: Intro and First Base
Part 2: Right Field
Part 3: Left Field
Part 4: Shortstop
Part 5: Second Base (Saturday afternoon)

Shortstop: Jimmy Rollins, Opening Day Age: 32
2010: 394 PA, .243/.320/.374, 17 SB, 1 CS
2011 (Bill James-projected): 605 PA, .266/.329/.424, 15 HR, 25 SB

Why should you believe that a 32-year-old shortstop, coming off his two worst offensive seasons ever, in the decline phase of his career, is due for a monster season? Three things: luck, health, and plate discipline. First, J-Roll has a career BABIP of .290, and while BABIP is less based in luck for hitters than it is for pitchers, there’s still a luck element involved. In 2009, his BABIP was .251, and in 2010 it was .246. Granted, in 2010, his line drive rate was down, but so was his HR/FB rate, and, to touch on the second point, he was either out of the lineup hurt or in the lineup hurt for most of the season. Despite this, Rollins posted, for the first time in his career, a season where he walked more than he struck out, accompanied by his highest-ever walk rate and lowest-ever strikeout rate. On all three of these externalities, Rollins is due to regress to the mean, which, I think, makes the Bill James projections look conservative.

Or he’s just getting old and will be an offensive zero for the rest of his career, and I’m in denial because I’m a huge J-Roll fan. But let’s hope for option No. 1.


2011 Phillies Offensive Preview, Part 1: Intro and First Base

Posted by Michael Baumann, Thu, March 24, 2011 02:18 PM Comments: 26

What can we expect from the Phillies offense? That’s really the big question going into 2011, isn’t it? After all, great things are expected from the starting rotation, and while the bullpen isn’t 1996 Yankees-good, it’s certainly expected to be good enough, and is a known quantity.

The offense, however? That juggernaut? The rock upon which, for so many years, Pat Gillick and Ruben Amaro built their church? For the first time I can remember, Phillies fans seem to be sold on the team’s ability to prevent runs, scoring them might be an entirely different propostion.

The way I see it, there are only three sure things in the Phillies’ lineup: Carlos Ruiz, Shane Victorino, and Placido Polanco. Ruiz will play good defense, hit for a fairly high average and no power, but be on base a ton due to his tremendous plate discipline. Polanco will play good defense, hit for a very high average and no power, and never walk, so he won’t be on base much at all. Victorino will, in spite of being blessed with perhaps the best speed/throwing arm combination in the National League, play mediocre defense. He will also hit for a high average (though not as high as Polanco’s) walk (though not as much as Ruiz), hit for a little power and steal, conservatively, about 30 bases.

So that makes three positions where the Phillies can count on solid contributions from three good, but not great, players. There are, however, five other spots in the Phillies’ lineup, and anyone who says he knows for sure what the team will get, except in the most general terms, is lying. The answers to those questions will ultimately determine the course of the season.

What I want everyone to take away from this: whatever you think of what the Phillies offense was in 2010 and is in 2011, it’s at worst an above-average unit. And with this starting rotation, above-average is more than enough to win the World Series. So let’s step off the ledge and address each position case-by-case. Continue reading 2011 Phillies Offensive Preview, Part 1: Intro and First Base

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