Blog for your Philadelphia Phillies with articles, stats, schedules, payroll, and other fun stuff.
http://www.philsbaseball.com/ - Sep 30, 2014 1:55:22 PM - Dec 5, 2004 5:03:03 AM
How did Ryne Sandberg do? Let's look at it in graph form
by Scott Butler 9/28/14
Today's game will wrap up Ryne Sandberg's first season as Phillies' manager. While his first campaign was in no way a huge success, it also was not an unmitigated disaster, either. I will touch on this in more depth over the six months which constitute the Phillies' offseason, but for now I think the Phillies win/loss graph tells Sandberg's story just as well.
Here is the Phillies win/loss chart for the 2014 season:
The word which comes to mind with this graph is "tired." Tired especially works for an old team that set a major league record with four players age 34 or older (Howard, Utley, Rollins, Byrd) amassing 600 plate appearances. It shows a team that tried to hang in there and just ran out of steam.
Just by looking at this chart, I would have to say Sandberg did not make much of an impact in a positive or negative way. We can't say the Phillies played their best baseball down the stretch like nearly every Charlie Manual team, but they also did not collapse during the final meaningless months.
Of course, if the Phillies lose today's game, they will finish 16-games below .500, which would match their low point for the entire season.
Measuring speed: Using Total Base Percentage as an alternative to OPS
by Scott Butler 9/21/14
Hitters generally can be separated into two categories: run creators and run producers. Run creators get on base and run producers drive them in. While run producers deservedly get plenty of attention (and money), run creators? Not so much.
As I mentioned in my last post, speed and the ability to reach base have a definite impact on winning baseball games, yet the speed portion receives very little love statistically. Outside of the crazy sabermetric stats with secret formulas, the only stat measuring speed is stolen bases. I wanted a way to account for speed and did so in a new statistical measure I call Total Base Percentage which includes slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and steals in one stat.
Here is the formula: Total Bases + walks + hit-by-pitches + stolen bases – caught stealing divided by plate appearances.
Ben Revere and baseball's undervaluing of speed
by Scott Butler 9/14/14
Ben Revere had a .316 batting average on September 5 and led the National League in hitting. It's hard to imagine that a player contending for the batting title would be benched, but that is exactly what happened to Ben Revere...twice. Revere did not start for five straight games from May 16-21 and only started 3 of 8 games from July 19-26.
Revere led the league in batting on Sep 5 and was also third in steals (42), but only had 21 extra-base hits. He had the lowest walk rate (2.1%) of all qualifying batters in baseball, but his .333 OBP still ranked 39th in the league at the time. He may be an extreme and unique example, but his combination of high on-base percentage, speed, and a lack of power is not atypical of many leadoff hitters.
So ends my John Mayberry, Jr. love affair
by Scott Butler 9/1/14
Six years later, John Mayberry is finally gone.
Drafted by the Rangers in 2005, Mayberry was Ruben Amaro's first acuisition as GM at the end of 2008.
I was unaware at the time of how my relationship with Mayberry would progress. It was easy to see what Ruben saw in Mayberry. As with most relationships, it began with the physical. Mayberry was 6'6'', 230 lbs, and possessed a rare combination of power and speed. He was also the type of guy to impress Mom and Dad. His father was a professional ballplayer (and a pretty good one), he graduated from Stanford, and even learned Spanish to communicate better with his teammates.
Phillies monthly review: August 2014
by Scott Butler 9/1/14
Phillies August Storyline
After a disappointing lack of action at the trading deadline and waiver deadline, the Phillies maintained essentially the same team to begin and end the month of August, with only Robert Hernandez and John Mayberry getting traded. On the bright side, the Phillies had their first winning month of the season.
Phillies August Win/Loss Totals
Home record: 11-5
Road record: 3-8
Top winning streak: 4
Top losing streak: 3
Series record: 4-4-1
Began month: 48-61
--4.5 games behind Mets for 4th place
--11.5 games behind 1st place Nationals
Finished month: 62-74
--1.5 games behind Mets for 4th place
--16 games behind 1st place Nationals
Phillies ownership change may indeed be coming
by Scott Butler 8/31/14
David Montgomery was asked prior to the 2009 trade deadline whether he endorsed going "all-in" to win a second straight World Series in favor of a more conservative approach. His response, and I'm paraphrasing since I cannot find the direct quote, was that he would prefer to contend each season and not win a title if the alternative is winning one World Series and falling off a cliff.
Since those comments, the Phillies traded for Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Hunter Pence; surprised everyone by signing Cliff Lee; and handed Jonathan Papelbon the richest contract ever for a closer. They also re-signed nearly every core player, creating an historically old roster. Then, after an 89-loss season which cost the winningest manager in Phillies history his job, the Phillies refused to rebuild. Instead, they added 36-year-old Marlon Byrd and 37-year-old AJ Burnett, bringing their payroll to record levels with the same level of failure.
Ruben Amaro did not make these moves in isolation. He needed ownership approval for all deals and it is quite possible the decisions to retain Rollins, Utley, Howard, and Ruiz were in fact initiated by the owners. Amaro may have been the man pulling the trigger, but it was the ownership loading the shotgun. Such an unprecedented level of incompetence from top to bottom is almost inconceivable.
That is why it seems so clear now that the Phillies are preparing for the sale of the franchise.
Why is Jonathan Papelbon still in a Phillies uniform?
by Scott Butler 8/24/14
Jonathan Papelbon has been one of the best closers in baseball. His velocity and strikeouts are both way down, but dude continues recording outs and saves. He has a sparkling 1.49 ERA, has converted 31 of 34 saves, and has not allowed a run in 13 consecutive appearances.
Papelbon cleared waivers, allowing Ruben Amaro to trade him to any team as long as he waives his no-trade clause. Pappy made it crystal clear he will accept a trade to a contender.
So why is he still here?
MLB has a problem with length of games and the solution is simple
by Scott Butler 8/24/14
The average length of a Major League Baseball game is 3 hours and 8 minutes. Digest that one for a moment.
Baseball games are a full 20 minutes longer than the 2:48 average 10 years ago.
And if that doesn't get your attention, how about this number? It takes an average of 23.0 seconds between pitches in 2014, which is 1.6 seconds higher than it was just five years ago.
Pace of games has the attention of Rob Manfred, baseball's next commissioner, who identified it as priority number one when he assumes the office in January.
Ruben Amaro: the rest of the moves
by Scott Butler 8/23/14
A couple weeks ago, I documented Ruben Amaro's good moves and his bad moves as general manager of the Phillies. Today, let's take a look at the rest of the moves which would not be considered particularly good or bad. As with the previous lists, this includes all moves of any significance, so pretty much everything involving the big club in any way was included.
Here they are in chronological order: