Posts Tagged ‘Obp’

Steer Completely Clear of Vernon Wells

Posted by Eric Seidman, Wed, December 26, 2012 03:30 PM Comments: 37

The Phillies filled their centerfield void by acquiring Ben Revere, bolstered the bullpen with Mike Adams and shored up the rotation with the cost-effective and underrated John Lannan. While these moves likely represent the bulk of their offseason activity, the Phillies have been linked to a wide array of corner outfielders given the obvious uncertainties in those posts.

They went hard after Cody Ross but balked at his lofty demands. They supposedly offered Josh Hamilton a short-term deal with a high average annual value. They have previously been linked to either Jason Kubel or Gerardo Parra, and that link will only grow stronger with the Snakes’ recent signing of Ross. There were reportedly discussions between the Phils and Cubs regarding Alfonso Soriano earlier in the offseason as well.

Some of these players make more sense than others, but the available corner outfielder the Phillies should stay completely away from is Vernon Wells. Unfortunately, the Phillies have expressed interest in the former Blue Jays all-star, though the extent of their interest remains unknown. Let’s hope it is nothing more than executives tossing a name around while brainstorming, because Wells has been one of the worst players in the league over the last two seasons and is signed to the very worst contract in the sport.

Continue reading Steer Completely Clear of Vernon Wells


Know Thy Phillies History: Mike Young

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, December 21, 2012 10:59 AM Comments: 7

http://i.ebayimg.com/t/1988-Mike-Young-Philadelphia-Phillies-Baseball-Press-Photo-/00/s/MTAyM1g4MTI=/$(KGrHqZ,!oEE63WY+DDeBO4mqe!Mcw~~60_35.JPGSometimes, I am amazingly impressed by the Phillies Nation community with their knowledge. The one-off-references and jabs provided on here and on Twitter are shining examples of how Philadelphia has among the most dedicated fans in baseball. An off-handed Don Money comment on Twitter resulted in several responses. Money was the starting third baseman for the Phillies in 1972 that Mike Schmidt ended up replacing despite the fact that Money was a pretty decent hitter and excellent defender. There will be more on that one in the future.

Anyhow, in wading through old Phillies data on FanGraphs, I stumbled upon something that nobody has seemed to point out, something so big, so important, that I am now disappointed as a Phillies fan. No Phillies fan, to my knowledge, has yet made the joke that Michael Young is not the same Mike Young that played with the Phillies. I could be wrong, after all, the internet is a pretty big place, but I am genuinely disappointed at the lack of recall of Mike Young #1.

Continue reading Know Thy Phillies History: Mike Young


Report: Phillies Close to Acquiring Michael Young?

Posted by Corey Seidman, Thu, December 06, 2012 02:23 AM Comments: 37

Michael Young hit .277/.312/.370 last season for the Rangers.

Apparently so, according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.

A trio of sources tell Grant that the teams are in “advanced talks” on a deal that would send a young, major-league reliever and a low-level prospect to Texas for the 36-year-old Young.

Grant reports that Texas would likely pick up “more than half” of Young’s $16 million salary for 2013 in the deal. They better pick up more than “more than half” … Young was 125th out of 143 qualifying players last year with a measly .682 OPS.

This would “solve” the third base problem, but who knows how much Young actually has left. He played 2012 in an extreme hitter’s park surrounded by offensive talent and didn’t produce a lick. The Rangers batted him everywhere — 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 8th — and nothing. He had 27 doubles and 26 GIDPs. He had a .291 OBP against righties.

Then again, if all the Phillies would be giving up is a non-prospect and an expendable reliever, it’s probably worth it to see if Young can recapture a morsel of what he had in 2011, when he hit .338/.380/.474. Or even what he had the eight prior seasons, when he hit .308 with a .814 OPS.

Young has complete no-trade rights because he’s a 10-year veteran who has spent at least the last five seasons with one team. But that shouldn’t be an issue … his playing time is sure to decrease in Texas as Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt get closer to everyday duty.

Stay tuned, we’ll have more in the morning…


Phillies Offseason Plan: Ian’s Version

Posted by Ian Riccaboni, Fri, November 16, 2012 07:00 AM Comments: 24

Morrison is wild, talented, and is my pick to bring to Philly. Photo: AP

This week, you have seen Eric, Pat, and Corey unveil their offseason plans for the Phillies, which have included Nick Swisher, Peter Bourjos, Denard Span, and others. I’m a little bit of a Wild Card compared to the rest of the gang – somewhere in between “Vice President Biden with a live microphone” and “Jeffrey Loria with a baseball franchise” Wild Card. I’m the guy who told Phillies fans to “Get Excited About Chad Qualls” and wrote thousands of words about the possible contributions of guys like Joel Pineiro, Scott Podsednik, and David Purcey. While I got some wrong, I did successfully nab Juan Pierre as not only a starter but a big time contributor and nailed a few roster moves. Being the Wild Card doesn’t mean you have to be the Joker all of the time and it has helped me view the Phils a little differently.

Keeping with the theme, Wild Card should be the name of the game for this team. As is, this team, as constructed, can compete for and win the first or second Wild Card with a dash of health and luck. These additions, with health and realistic luck expectations, should push them to the NL East crown again.

Outfield: Sign Torii Hunter Trade for Logan Morrison

Many fans know that LoMo is one of the most entertaining and outspoken players on Twitter. When Morrison was called up in 2010, he hit, and hit, and didn’t stop hitting. In his first full season in 2011, his plate discipline decreased but his power increased.His OBP dipped 60 points while slugging quietly increased 21 points. Morrison played only 93 games last year, fighting injuries, and presents a perfect buy-low opportunity for the house-cleaning Marlins. Morrison has four more years of team control, becoming arbitration eligible for the first time in 2014, making his services even more desirable.

Morrison is projected to have a bounce-back type year by Bill James (23 HR, .256/.347/.460) and I believe he will as well. Miami was a particularly unstable place to play last season and a focused, but fun locker room may help the soon-to-be 25 year old outfielder remain on track. Perhaps offering the Marlins a young reliever or two who are still cost controllable, preferably Josh Lindblom, would get the deal done. Including a player like Lindblom, who similarly has four more years of team control, may sweeten the pot enough for the Marlins to bite.

My original plan for filling an outfield spot was Torii Hunter, but he was snatched up by the Tigers on Wednesday.

Continue reading Phillies Offseason Plan: Ian’s Version


Phillies Offseason Plan: Pat’s Version

Posted by Pat Gallen, Wed, November 14, 2012 10:51 AM Comments: 30

Span would be a nice fit in Philly. (NBC Sports)

Yesterday, Eric Seidman unveiled his offseason plan for the Phillies, which included Nick Swisher, Peter Bourjos and others. Today, it’s my turn. Tomorrow, Corey will let us know what moves he wants the Phillies to make.

Here is my offseason plan.

Outfield: Trade for Denard Span

-I would love for the Phillies to grab this guy. He quietly contributes in Minnesota and would be a nice leadoff hitter here. Span got on base at a .342 clip last year, will steal 20 bases, and doesn’t strikeout much. Perhaps the Phillies throw some pitching prospects and one of their highly rated catchers at the Twins to get a deal done. Span is well worth it.

Span’s contract is friendly, as it pays him $4.75 million in 2013, $6.5 million in 2014, and he has a $9 million in a club option for 2015. It’s the type of contract that doesn’t tie you to a guy on the wrong side of 30, but gives you the option to re-up him, should he be deserving.

The 28-year old centerfielder is also one of the best defensive players at his position. Among CF’s with at least 2,000 innings since 2010, Span ranks fourth in UZR according to Fangraphs, just behind Bourjos, Chris Young, and Michael Bourn. Pretty good company.

Outfield: Sign Cody Ross (3 years, $23 million)

This signing has more to do with the fact that I do not want the Phillies to spend $80 million-plus on B.J. Upton or Bourn, which is what seems to be the asking price. Instead, go for a cheaper corner outfielder in Ross, who can provide power in the middle of the order. It might take a three-year deal, but Ross is only 32, so it’s not as if he’s ready to fall apart.

Ross hits lefties very well. His numbers against southpaws over the last three years: .352 OBP, .530 slugging percentage in 401 plate appearance with a wRC+ of 135 (weighted runs created).

Continue reading Phillies Offseason Plan: Pat’s Version


Phillies Player Review: Domonic Brown

Posted by Ryan Dinger, Fri, November 09, 2012 09:00 AM Comments: 11

Domonic Brown needs to step up.

With Hunter Pence now in San Francisco and no one stepping in to take the full-time left field job in 2012, the Phillies are now desperately in need of two corner outfielders. Add on top of that the fact that, through the last four seasons, Ruben Amaro Jr. has traded away a boatload of offensive talent, all while refusing to budge on Brown, and the pressure on the young outfielder to become the player he was projected to be as a prospect is building fast.

The Phillies really need him to come through. To that end, they gave him his first true shot in the big leagues in 2012 (in 2010 he got a short look while Shane Victorino was on the DL and again as a September call-up and in 2011 he only had a month to prove himself before the plug was pulled).

For Brown, the results were mixed. He showed flashes of being the player everyone thinks he can be, but he was also plagued by long stretches of ineffectiveness, which leave his final numbers looking very bleak. He finished with a triple slash line of .235/.316/.396, while striking out 34 times and walking 21 times. He had five home runs and 26 RBI. Even more disheartening: he not only didn’t register a stolen base, he didn’t even make an attempt.

One plus for Brown was, of his 44 hits, 18 of them were for extra bases. He did show a fair amount of power, despite the anemic triple slash. He also got on base at a high rate, as the .316 OBP to a .235 batting average indicates.

However, what needs to be remembered about these numbers at the plate  is that they came over a very small sample size (212 plate appearances). He was also riddled by poor luck, posting a .260 BABIP. With an average BABIP of .300 (the league mean over the course of an entire season), Brown would’ve hit .272. Poor luck is not something to be ignored in this case, especially because the sample size was so small. Those things tend to even out and there are signs Brown can be a better hitter than the surface numbers this season showed. In the end, his .309 wOBA wasn’t atrocious.

In the field, it was more of the same from Brown. He exhibited fantastic athleticism and an amazing throwing arm (seven outfield assists in 51 games is a ridiculous number). But he also showed an inability to routinely track fly balls, coming up with more than a few misplays.

All and all, it seems like too short a viewing to truly evaluate Brown. Alas, that is what I have been tasked to do, so evaluate I must.

GRADE: C.  This grade probably should be lower. But I’m giving Brown a pass here because of the poor luck and the small sample. I think it’s also important to remember that, even though he seems older, Brown is still a very young player (This past season was his age 24 season). Many guys don’t get it figured out on the big league level until their mid-20s, and there’s enough here to suggest Brown will also reach a higher plateau of performance as he ages. That said, time is running out for him to become the player everyone expected.


Phillies Player Review: Chase Utley

Posted by Corey Seidman, Wed, November 07, 2012 10:30 AM Comments: 28

Chase Utley's 2012 on-base percentage was 89 points higher than his replacements.

How does Chase Utley do it?

For the second straight year in 2012, chronic knee pain kept him out for much of the first half of the season. But just like 2011, once Utley returned, he was good to go every day.

Utley returned in the Phillies 77th game, homered in his very first at-bat and proceeded to play 83 of the remaining 86 games, including 71 of the final 72.

He played at a high level, too. Utley hit .256, his lowest batting average since his rookie season, but had as many walks (43) as strikeouts. The result was a .365 on-base percentage. More impressive was the return of his power. Utley hit 11 homers to equal his 2011 total, but he did it in 92 fewer plate appearances.

Utley was obviously a huge upgrade over his first-half replacements. Freddy Galvis, Michael Martinez, Mike Fontenot and Pete Orr combined for a .670 OPS. Utley was at .793. Utley’s OBP was 89 points higher.

Among second basemen with at least 350 plate appearances, Utley led the NL in OBP. The only 2B in the league with a higher slugging percentage was Aaron Hill.

Defensively, Utley saved eight runs in 720.1 innings. Only second basemen Darwin Barney, Robinson Cano and Jamey Carroll saved runs at a higher rate.

On the basepaths, Utley was 11-for-12 in stolen base attempts to boost his career success rate to 89.6 percent, the highest in major-league history.

Utley is fielding grounders regularly this offseason and will try different methods to be better prepared for the start of next season. Based on how effective he was in the second half last year, there is a semblance of hope that he can re-capture the offensive magic he had from 2005-09

And even if he can’t, Utley has proven that the watered-down, 33-year-old version of himself is still one of the top second basemen in all of baseball.



Granderson-for-Ruf is a Pipe Dream

Posted by Corey Seidman, Mon, October 22, 2012 02:40 PM Comments: 31

Another day, another odd Phillies-Yankees trade proposition.

In a Yankees offseason outlook for the New York Daily News, John Harper suggested that the Yanks trade Curtis Granderson to the Phillies for … Darin Ruf.

“Granderson makes a lot of sense for the Phillies, who desperately need power, as well as a center fielder, and they’re still very much in a win-now mode, trying to cash in before their high-priced starting rotation gets too old,” Harper writes.

As for Ruf? Harper had this to say:

“His bat could be valuable to the Yankees in a part-time role in 2013, if he proves ready, and eventually he could become a mainstay in the lineup.”

Let’s break it down… Continue reading Granderson-for-Ruf is a Pipe Dream


Phillies Player Review: Carlos Ruiz

Posted by Corey Seidman, Wed, October 10, 2012 07:00 AM Comments: 74

Carlos Ruiz set career-highs in 2012 in eight offensive categories.

Beginning today, we will examine the 2012 season of one Phillies player per day. First up is starting catcher Carlos Ruiz.

The Phillies’ 2012 season was filled with disappointment and unexpectedly poor production from key players. But despite a team-wide lack of consistency, Carlos Ruiz remained steady from April to September, hitting well no matter the situation or lineup context.

A foot injury limited Ruiz to just 114 games, but he hit .325/.394/.540 with 16 home runs and 68 RBI. Every one of those numbers was a career-high, as were his 56 runs scored, 32 doubles and 16 hit by pitches.

Many kept waiting for Ruiz to slow down and, while he did in the second half, he was still among the game’s most productive catchers. He hit .313 in April, .418 in May, .337 in June, .288 in July and .271 in September after missing most of August. His lowest monthly OPS was .808.

Most impressive was Ruiz’s production with runners in scoring position — he hit .368 with a .600 slugging percentage.

Among major-league catchers with at least 400 plate appearance, Ruiz was second in batting average and slugging percentage only to NL MVP front-runner Buster Posey. He was third in OBP, behind Posey and former batting champ Joe Mauer.

To top it all off, he was extremely valuable behind the plate. Phillies pitchers are always quick to praise Chooch after a strong start — whether it’s Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels or Cliff Lee — but he also provided defensive value when it came to stolen bases. Ruiz nailed 33 of 97 would-be base stealers for a caught stealing rate of 34 percent. Only four major-league catchers played as many innings as Chooch and had better success throwing out runners: Matt Wieters, Miguel Montero, Yadier Molina and Ryan Hanigan.

For years, I personally always thought Ruiz’s balance at the plate and batting stance made it look like he was going to launch any ball he connected with. In 2012, so many of those swings actually connected, leading to plenty of doubles in the left-centerfield gap or homers to a similar location.

Ruiz’s progression into a dominant offensive player has been one of the more positive, heartwarming developments of the last few Phillies seasons. This is a guy who went from undrafted international free agent infielder, to organizational catcher, to backup backstop, to solid defensive starting catcher, to big-time playoff performer, to well above-average offensive catcher.

Ruiz, who has a $5 million team option for 2013 that Ruben Amaro Jr. has already said the Phillies will pick up, was once just another catcher. I remember four years ago — when Ruiz was dwindling in the .240-.250 range after hitting .219 in 2008 — having a conversation with Eric about how Ruiz hadn’t grabbed the job by the throat. That Chris Coste was capable of providing just as much offense. That the Phillies needed to seriously look for external catching help. That all seems absurd these days.

Now, Chooch has cemented a legacy as one of the most storied players in franchise history, the type of guy fans will give a massive ovation to every time he makes an appearance at Citizens Bank Park for alumni day when his playing days are over. He might be the most likable player of this era of Phillies baseball.

He was certainly their best offensive performer in 2012.

GRADE: A+ … he was the best Phillie offensively and had a great year behind the plate. How could you go with any other grade?


Would Fowler Fit in Philly?

Posted by Pat Gallen, Sat, October 06, 2012 05:04 PM Comments: 38

According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, the Colorado Rockies are expected to shop outfielders Michael Cuddyer and Dexter Fowler. Before you get all giddy, this isn’t about Cuddyer, but Fowler and what he could potentially bring to the Phillies as their new centerfielder.

Is Fowler really the answer? (Coloradosportsdesk.com)

Cuddyer never seemed to be a fit in Philadelphia, even as many Phillies fans openly pined for him when he hit free agency last offseason.  He eventually signed on with the Rockies for $10.5 million per season, too rich for the Phillies blood. That’s a good thing.

Fowler is the catch here. Renck mentions the Phillies by name in his post as a team that needs outfield help. In his end-of-the-season press conference alongside Charlie Manuel, GM Ruben Amaro stated that the free agent outfield crop was not strong. A trade could be the way. Does Fowler fit the mold?

With Fowler, you’re getting a 25-year-old outfielder still coming into his own. He’s coming off his best season, one in which he hit .300 and got on base at a .389 clip. Power isn’t a large part of his game, although he did hit a career high 13 homers in 2011.

A closer inspection of the numbers unfortunately finds a dreaded Coors Field split. At home with the help of the thin air of the Rocky Mountains, Fowler was much better, as players normally are in Denver. His average dropped 70 points away from Coors Field in 2011, from .332 to .262. One positive is that he still found a way to get on base at a .339 clip on the road, which would have been fourth among Phillies in ’11 with more than 300 at-bats. To compare, Jimmy Rollins OBP in 2011 was a measly .316.

Continue reading Would Fowler Fit in Philly?

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