Phillies vs. Pirates: July 10-12

The Phillies (45-38) look to continue their winning home stand against the Pirates (38-47) this weekend at Citizens Bank Park before all but four of them will take a nice relaxing All-Star Break.  Just a week ago, the Phillies were only two games over .500 and only barely in first in the NL East.  Now, they have swept the rival Mets and taken three of four from the Reds, and they come into this series with a two-game lead over the Marlins who refuse to be as bad as sabermetricians tell them they are, a solid five game lead over the Braves, and a lead over the Mets that has grown from one game to five and a half in just a week.  The Pirates were still hanging around a couple weeks ago, but have lost eight of eleven and are now in last place and are a full eight games out of first in the NL Central.

The Pirates are in a slow rebuilding process.  Neil Huntington took the helm at GM just a year and a half ago and is transforming the Pirates into a younger better team.  Huntington is what they call a "new school" GM, and has utilized sabermetrics in trying to rebuild the Pirates.  While they have shown some signs of improvement, they are still not quite a good baseball team yet.  They have a lot of young talent, and should become more dangerous in the next few years.

Their lineup is pretty right-handed but they do have a solid stream of hitters that they did not have a couple years ago.  Each of the first six hitters has a decent chance of hitting a mistake out of the park, but none of them are perennial power hitters.  The seventh hitter for the Pirates is our old friend, Jason Jaramillo, who the Phillies traded for Ronnie Paulino who they subsequently shipped to the Giants for Jack Taschner who they designated for assignment a couple days ago.  The Pirates' bench is pretty weak, and there is not really anyone to be afraid of coming off the bench.

The Pirates' bullpen has been in flux throughout the year, constantly making me update my Pirates file on my computer for series previews.  They do not have any lights out relievers at this point, though they do have a few guys who can get you out.  The only lefty in the pen is John Grabow, who is primarily a fastball/changeup pitcher (though he occassionally throws his slider) and as a result does not have a deep platoon split.  This should give the Phillies the opportunity to set up the lefties in their lineup the way that they would like without worrying about vulnerabilities to a late inning LOOGY.

Why does that matter?  Because Raul Ibanez is back.  He spent three weeks on the disabled list with a strained groin after cooling off from a red hot start.  Reports are that he will be in the lineup tonight after doubling in his presumably final rehab start in the minors.  Everyone should remember that we are getting Raul Ibanez back, and not necessarily the recincarnated Babe Ruth we had hitting in his uniform earlier this year.  But he is still a very talented hitter that should make both the Phillies bench and lineup stronger in coming back.

Friday night's matchup will be Joe Blanton against Zach Duke.  Blanton has baffled me this year by posting strikeout numbers that far exceeded his career averages without throwing any more swinging strikes, any more called strikes, or adding any new pitches to his repertoire.  He just suddenly seemed to improve...unless you look at his ERA which has been terrible without the peripherals to justify a decline at all.  Blanton shut down the Mets for seven and a third strong innings on Sunday to complete the sweep and lowered his ERA by a solid amount.  Zach Duke is the only left handed starter the Phillies will face this weekend.  He does have better numbers against lefties than righties, but not an extreme split that would be concerning.  He was projected to have an ERA near 5 this year, but has managed a very solid 3.28 ERA.  This ERA is pretty surprising considering he has the same low strikeout and walk numbers that he's always had, and has induced even fewer groundballs than before.  His BABIP is .273, which is a little bit on the lucky side, but enough to drop someone's ERA nearly two full runs?  That could explain maybe half a run or a run, but not the rest.  The reason is primarily that he has pitched far better with runners on base than with bases empty.  The end result is that he is putting guys on base and stranding them.  His opponents' OPS is nearly .100 points lower with runners on, and with multiple runners on, it's even lower than that.  This is something Kyle Kendrick showed us is not a persistent skill.  In fact, Duke will probably regress a lot and end up with an ERA over 4 this year, in my opinion.

On Saturday night, the Phillies send Cole Hamels to the mound.  Hamels had a lot of hype surrounding him going into this season, and the impression has been that he was not living up to it.  That idea is belied by the fact that Hamels has been striking out more batters, walking fewer, and generating as many groundballs as last year.   He has even generated the same number of infield flies.  The only real difference is that he has seen a huge jump in his line drive singles and doubles and a huge decline in his outfield flyballs.  That is not the kind of thing that just happens without changing back soon later-- it's not a persistent skill to generate 300 foot flyballs or avoid line drives.  Specifically, his BABIP is .353.  I proposed a theory a couple months ago that the lack of BABIP persistence for pitchers was not entirely based on BABIP being a matter of luck, but on hitters and pitchers adjusting to each other.  I pointed out that if a hitter knew that an outside fastball was coming on every pitch, they would learn to just hit singles the opposite way and the pitcher would have a higher BABIP than .300.  The thing is that pitcers just don't do that.  They mix their pitches, akin to a mixed a strategy in game theory, and the result is that hitters try to guess right.  When they do, they can make contact.  If hitters can guess what's coming better, the pitcher will have a BABIP above .300 and the pitcher will adjust by the time any correlation would have showed up.  The example that I like to give is that Kirk Gibson hit his famous homerun off Dennis Eckersley only because a scout told him that Eck always threw backdoor sliders to left handed power hitters on full counts.  Gibson sat on it, made history.  Guessing right leads to hitting the ball harder and any pitching coach worth his salt will notice this and make his pitchers adjust.  Now, looking at Hamels BABIPs with one strike, I realized that they were very high and I wonder if Hamels hasn't been predictable regarding pitch selection on those pitches.  Sure enough, after I formed this hypothesis, Hamels shut down the Reds allowing just three hits on 21 balls in play, and no hits on six balls in play with one strike.  Hamels was able to get the second strike effectively against the Reds.  Here's hoping he has adjusted.

The Pirates will counter with Ross Ohlendorf on Saturday evening.  The right-hander has beaten projections of a mid-5's ERA with a 4.63 ERA thus far this year.  This is despite the fact that he has struck out fewer batters than expected by a solid margin without improving in his walk or groundball rates.  Ohlendorf has allowed fewer hits on balls in play to make up this difference.  Ohlendorf performs far bettter against righties than lefties, and the Phillies will probably stack the lineup with lefties to try to score runs off him.

On Sunday, the Phillies will send J.A. Happ to the mound against Virgil Vasquez.  Happ has been solid this year, though has been the beneficiary of good fortune himself.  Vasquez was only called up to the majors a few starts ago by the Pirates after exhibiting excellent control in the minors.

 

MATCHUPS:
Friday, 7:05--
Joe Blanton (R) vs. Zach Duke (L)
Saturday, 7:05-- Cole Hamels (L) vs. Ross Ohlendorf (R)
Sunday, 1:35-- J.A. Happ (L) vs. Virgil Vasquez (R)

After the jump, I preview the players, their splits, and the matchups.

PIRATES

LINE UP

1) CF Andrew McCutchen (R): .291/.346/.440

projection average (proj): .265/.330/.380
projected BB/PA (bb): 9%
projected K/AB (k): 19%
career gb% (gb): 47%
career infield flies/flyball (iff): 15% (2 of first 13 popups)
career infield hits/groundball (ifh): 21% in first 19 groundballs in majors
batting average on balls in play tendencies (babip): projected around .305
swing/contact/zone facts (s/c/z): patient hitter without a great eye, above average contact
righty/lefty (r/l): .955 vs .722 ops in minors; 1.1 vs 1.8 k/bb in minors
home/away (h/a): not enough info
pull/opposite (p/o): not enough info
anything else (other): none


2) 2B Freddy Sanchez (R): .316/.355/.477

proj: .290/.325/.410
bb: 5%
k: 11%
gb: 42%
iff: 7%
ifh: 6%
babip: projected around .315, which is exactly where i have him
s/c/z: free swinger with above average contact and poor eye
r/l: .718 vs .896 ops; 2.8 vs 1.2 k/bb
h/a: .775 vs .749 ops; 2.1 vs 2.3 k/bb
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: none


3) RF Delwyn Young (S): .315/.388/.403

proj: .270/.320/.430
bb: 7%
k: 22%
gb: 47%
iff: 18%
ifh: 3%
babip: projected around .320
s/c/z: poor eye, not very patient, below average contact
r/l: .761 vs .775 ops; 2.9 vs 2.0 k/bb
h/a: .823 vs .717 ops; 2.6 vs 2.5 k/bb
p/o: spreads ball around very well
other: none


4) 1B Adam LaRoche (L): .259/.345/.464

proj: .270/.340/.480
bb: 10%
k: 23%
gb: 39%
iff: 7%
ifh: 3%
babip: projected around .310; i have him at .301
s/c/z: good eye, pretty patient, average contact
r/l: .852 vs .752 ops; 1.9 vs 3.6 k/bb
h/a: .864 vs .800 ops; 2.3 vs 2.1 k/bb
p/o: pull hitter
other: none


5) LF Garrett Jones (L): .290/.333/.613

proj: .255/.310/.425
bb: 7%
k: 21%
gb: 41% in minors
iff: 17% in minors
ifh: ?
babip: projected around .290
s/c/z: not a great eye, so-so patience, below average contact
r/l: .814 vs .690 ops in minor league career; 2.0 vs 5.2 k/bb
h/a: not enough info
p/o: seems like a pull hitter
other: none


6) 3B Andy LaRoche (R): .269/.346/.487

proj: .245/.330/.400
bb: 11%
k: 17%
gb: 47%
iff: 11%
ifh: 4%
babip: projected around .265
s/c/z: average eye, average patient, average contact
r/l: .661 vs .562 ops; 1.5 vs 1.6 k/bb
h/a: .609 vs .661 ops; 2.2 vs 1.1 k/bb
p/o: somewhat of a pull hitter
other: none


7) C Jason Jaramillo (S): .255/.327/.389

proj: .250/.310/.360
bb: 8%
k: 19%
gb: 44%
iff: 18%
ifh: 2%
babip: projected around .295
s/c/z: decent eye, somewhat patient, decent contact
r/l: .681 vs .747 ops in minors; 2.0 vs 1.7 k/bb
h/a: not enough info
p/o: not enough info
other: none

8) SS Jack Wilson (R): .270/.304/.403

proj: .270/.320/.375
bb: 6%
k: 11%
gb: 44%
iff: 14%
ifh: 7%
babip: projected around .295; i have him at .286
s/c/z: pretty good eye, pretty patient, good contact
r/l: .667 vs .753 ops; 2.7 vs 1.1 k/bb
h/a: .712 vs .659 ops; 1.8 vs 1.6 k/bb
p/o: somewhat of a pull hitter
other: none




BENCH

C Robinson Diaz (R): .295/.314/.375

proj: .275/.310/.380
bb: 3%
k: 9%
gb: 57% in minors
iff: 12% in minors
ifh: ?
babip: projected around .305
s/c/z: bad eye, not patient, good contact
r/l: .711 vs .731 ops in minors; 1.2 vs 2.1 k/bb
h/a: not enough info
p/o: not enough info
other: none


IF Ramon Vazquez (L): .243/.351/.279

proj: .250/.330/.370
bb: 10%
k: 22%
gb: 47%
iff: 5%
ifh: 5%
babip: projected around .305
s/c/z: good eye, patient, decent contact
r/l: .728 vs .500 ops; 1.8 vs 3.0 k/bb
h/a: .689 vs .677 ops; 1.8 vs 2.2 k/bb
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: none


OF Brandon Moss (L): .253/.305/.369

proj: .265/.325/.430
bb: 9%
k: 26%
gb: 45%
iff: 6%
ifh: 4%
babip: projected around .330
s/c/z: decent eye but not patient, average contact
r/l: .708 vs .691 ops; 3.4 vs 2.4 k/bb
h/a: .792 vs .620 ops; 2.2 vs 4.5 k/bb
p/o: somewhat extreme pull hitter
other: none


IF/OF Steve Pearce (R): .083/.214/.167 in 14 PA; .277/.363/.476 in 268 PA in AAa

proj: .270/.330/.450
bb: 7%
k: 19%
gb: 42%
iff: 13%
ifh: 2%
babip: projected around .300
s/c/z: okay eye, okay patience, below average contact
r/l: .634 vs .884 ops; 2.8 vs 5.0 k/bb (151 vs 55 PA)
h/a: not enough info
p/o: definite pull hitter
other: none


OF Jeff Salazar (L): 0 for 3 in majors; .265/.325/.415 in 317 PA in AAA

proj: .250/.340/.380
bb: 11%
k: 20%
gb: 35%
iff: 7%
ifh: 7%
babip: projected around .295
s/c/z: good eye, pretty patient, so-so contact
r/l: .727 vs .591 ops; only 22 PA vs LHP though
h/a: not enough info
p/o: definite pull hitter
other: none


ROTATION

FRIDAY OPPONENT: Zach Duke (L): 3.28 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 4.5 K/9, 0.9 HR/9, 4.19 FIP, 45% GB

proj avg: 4.90 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, 4.7 K/9, 0.9 HR/9
gb: 49%
pitches: 57% fb, 19% ch, 18% cb, 7% sl, 0.1% ct
r/l: .811 vs .733 ops; 1.7 vs 2.7 k/bb
h/a: .783 vs .812 ops; 2.2 vs 1.7 k/bb

Duke vs Phillies:

Utley: 2/9, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Feliz: 1/8, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Bruntlett: 2/6, 0 BB, 0 K
Coste: 3/6, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Rollins: 1/3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Werth: 2/3, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 K
Howard: 0/3, 0 BB, 2 K


SATURDAY OPPONENT: Ross Ohlendorf (R): 4.63 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, 4.9 K/9, 1.2 HR/9, 4.74 FIP, 43% GB

proj avg: 5.30 ERA, 3.1 BB/9, 7.4 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 45%
pitches: 66% fb, 20% sl, 14% ch, 0.5% cb
r/l: .691 vs .945 ops; 2.4 vs 1.3 k/bb
h/a: .768 vs .861 ops; 1.8 vs 1.7 k/bb

Ohlendorf vs Phillies:

Bako: 0/3, 0 BB, 0 K


SUNDAY OPPONENT: Virgil Vasquez (R): 4.50 ERA, 4.0 BB/9, 5.5 K/9, 1.0 HR/9, 4.61 FIP, 44% GB in majors (18 IP), in 79.2 IP in AAA: 4.18 ERA, 1.1 BB/9, 6.0 K/9, 1.2 HR/9, 4.12 FIP, 48% GB

proj avg: 5.20 ERA, 3.0 BB/9, 6.0 K/9, 1.6 HR/9
gb: 40% in majors
pitches: 56% fb, 21% sl, 13% cb, 10% ch, 0.5% ct
r/l: pretty even in minors; hit a little harder by lefties in minors but similar k/bb
h/a: not enough info

Vazquez: has not played any Phillies


NOT FACING US: Paul Maholm (L): 4.60 ERA, 3.0 BB/9, 5.4 K/9, 0.4 HR/9, 3.53 FIP, 51% GB

proj avg: 4.30 ERA, 3.0 BB/9, 6.0 K/9, 1.0 HR/9
gb: 53%
pitches: 54% fb, 14% sl, 17% ch, 15% cb
r/l: .801 vs .558 ops; 1.6 vs 3.4 k/bb
h/a: .699 vs .818 ops; 1.9 vs 1.8 k/bb

Maholm vs Phillies:

Howard: 2/14, 1 BB, 5 K
Rollins: 3/13, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Utley: 3/13, 1 2B, 0 BB, 2 K
Werth: 3/12, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 K
Bruntlett: 3/8, 1 BB, 0 K
Feliz: 2/8, 1 BB, 0 K
Coste: 3/6, 0 BB, 3 K
Ruiz: 2/5, 1 BB, 0 K
Ibanez: 1/3, 0 BB, 0 K
Victorino: 1/2, 1 2B, 1 BB, 0 K
Bako: 1/2, 0 BB, 1 K


NOT FACING US: Charlie Morton (R): 4.29 ERA, 3.0 BB/9, 6.0 K/9, 0.4 HR/9, 3.34 FIP, 45% GB

proj avg: 4.80 ERA, 4.3 BB?9, 6.5 K/9, 0.9 HR/9
gb: 50%
pitches: 65% fb, 16% ch, 11% cb, 8% sl
r/l: .715 vs .925 ops; 1.1 vs 1.2 k/bb
h/a: .887 vs .720 ops; 1.2 vs 1.1 k/bb

Morton vs Phillies:

Howard: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Rollins: 2/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Utley: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Victorino: 1/2, 1 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
Feliz: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K
Ruiz: 1 BB


BULLPEN

CL: Matt Capps (R): 4.71 ERA, 3.4 BB/9, 6.3 K/9, 1.3 HR/9, 4.83 FIP, 41% GB

proj avg: 3.30 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, 7.0 K/9, 0.9 HR/9
gb: 35%
pitches: 76% fb, 16% sl, 8% ch
r/l: .657 vs .702 ops; 5.4 vs 3.0 k/bb
h/a: .652 vs .705 ops; 4.0 vs 4.2 k/bb

Capps vs Phillies:

Rollins: 0/4, 0 BB, 0 K
Utley: 0/3, 0 BB, 1 K
Bruntlett: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K
Coste: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Feliz: 0/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Werth: 0/2, 0 BB, 1 K
Bako: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Dobbs: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Stairs: 1/1, 0 BB, 0 K


Jesse Chavez (R): 3.22 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 6.4 K/9, 1.0 HR/9, 4.29 FIP, 36% GB

proj avg: 4.60 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 7.4 K/9, 1.2 HR/9
gb: 38%
pitches: 63% fb, 19% ch, 17% sl, 0.3% sf, 0.1% ct
r/l: .896 vs .547 ops; 2.7 vs 1.4 k/bb
h/a: .570 vs .930 ops; 2.0 vs 2.0 k/bb

Chavez: has not faced any Phillies


John Grabow (L): 3.49 ERA, 5.1 BB/9, 7.7 K/9, 0.7 HR/9, 4.14 FIP, 43% GB

proj avg: 4.10 ERA, 4.0 BB/9, 7.4 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 46%
pitches: 49% fb, 37% ch, 14% sl
r/l: .750 vs .720 ops; 1.5 vs 3.7 k/bb
h/a: .718 vs .763 ops; 2.1 vs 2.0 k/bb

Grabow vs Phillies:

Howard: 0/6, 0 BB, 3 K
Utley: 3/4, 0 BB, 0 K
Bako: 0/3, 0 BB, 2 K
Bruntlett: 0/3, 0 BB, 0 K
Feliz: 1/3, 1 2B, 0 BB, 1 K
Rollins: 0/3, 0 BB, 0 K
Coste: 0/1, 1 BB, 0 K
Dobbs: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K
Ibanez: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Ruiz: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K
Stairs: 1/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Victorino: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Werth: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K


Evan Meek (R): 2.76 ERA, 6.9 BB/9, 6.9 K/9, 0.6 HR/9, 4.52 FIP, 54% GB

proj avg: 4.60 ERRA< 4.4 BB/9, 6.8 K/9, 1.0 HR/9
gb: 52%
pitches: 59% fb, 17% ch, 12% ct, 11% sl, 1% ch
r/l: .903 vs 658 ops; 0.4 vs 1.4 k/bb
h/a: .588 vs .982 ops; 0.8 vs 0.5 k/bb

Meek vs Phillies:

Feliz: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Howard: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Utley: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K
Werth: 1 BB


Joel Hanrahan (R): 5.64 ERA, 4.4 BB/9, 11.3 K/9, 1.2 HR/9, 4.15 FIP, 43% GB

proj avg: 4.10 ERA, 4.5 BB/9, 9.0 K/9, 1.0 HR/9
gb: 38%
pitches: 67% fb, 31% sl, 2% ch
r/l: typical
h/a: much better at home: 2.6 k/bb vs. 1.3; .680/.842 ops

Hanrahan vs Phillies:

Werth: 0/9, 4 BB, 4 K
Feliz: 2/11, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 K
Rollins: 2/10, 0 BB, 3 K
Howard: 0/8, 1 BB, 7 K
Ruiz: 3/7, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 0 K
Utley: 1/3, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SF, 1 HBP
Coste: 1/5, 0 BB, 0 K
Victorino: 2/4, 0 BB, 0 K
Bruntlett: 1/3, 0 BB, 1 K
Dobbs: 1/2, 0 BB, 1 K
Ibanez: 1/3, 1 HR, 0 BB, 1 K
Stairs: 1/3, 1 2B, 0 BB, 1 K
Bako: 1/1, 0 BB, 0 K


Steven Jackson (R): 3.44 ERA, 5.4 BB/9, 3.9 K/9, 1.0 HR/9, 5.40 FIP, 52% GB

proj avg: 5.00 ERA, 4.0 BB/9, 6.5 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 55% in minors
pitches: 60% fb, 17% sf, 17% sl, 6% ch
r/l: better against RHB in minors noticeably
h/a: not enough info

Jackson: has not played any Phillies


Jeff Karstens (R): 4.85 ERA, 3.6 BB/9, 3.6 K/9, 1.2 HR/9, 5.33 FIP, 40% GB

proj avg: 4.90 ERA, 2.9 BB/9, 5.7 K/9, 1.2 HR/9
gb: 38%
pitches: 56% fb, 18% sl, 14% ch, 13% cb
r/l: .849 vs .785 ops; 1.6 vs 1.0 k/bb
h/a: .864 vs .776 ops; 1.2 vs 1.2 k/bb

Karstens vs Phillies:

Bako: 1/3, 0 BB, 0 K
Ibanez: 1/3, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Stairs: 1/2, 1 BB, 1 K


SENT TO AAA: Ian Snell (R): 5.36 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, 5.8 K/9, 0.8 HR/9, 4.56 FIP, 40% GB

proj avg: 4.60 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.5 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 42%
pitches: 59% fb, 17% sl, 14% cb, 10% ch
r/l: .745 vs .880 ops; 2.9 vs 1.8 k/bb
h/a: .805 vs .813 ops; 1.8 vs 1.9 k/bb

Snell vs Phillies:

Rollins: 12/19, 1 2B, 4 3B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 0 K
Howard: 2/13, 2 BB (1 IBB), 6 K, 1 Sf
Utley: 1/11, 1 2B, 1 BB, 3 K
Bako: 2/9, 1 BB, 3 K
Dobbs: 4/8, 2 2B, 2 BB, 2 K
Coste: 0/8, 1 BB (IBB), 2 K
Victorino: 2/4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 0 K
Werth: 0/4, 1 BB, 1 K
Bruntlett: 0/4, 0 BB, 4 K
Feliz: 1/3, 0 BB, 1 K
Ruiz: 0/3, 0 BB, 1 K
Stairs: 1/3, 0 BB, 1 K

PHILLIES



LINE UP

1) SS Jimmy Rollins (S): .227/.281/.351

projection average (proj): .285/.350/.460
projected BB/PA (bb): 8%
projected K/AB (k): 11%
career gb% (gb): 42%
career infield flies/flyball (iff): 10%
career infield hits/groundball (ifh): 5%
batting average on balls in play tendencies (babip): about average overall, though a little bit high popup rate so slightly below average
swing/contact/zone facts (s/c/z): good eye, pretty selective, but very high contact rate so low walk rate
righty/lefty (r/l): 1.7 vs 1.3 k/bb, mostly because of higher k-rate as lhb.  otherwise similar on contact
home/away (h/a): 1.5 vs 1.7 k/bb; .805 vs .739 ops
pull/opposite (p/o): definite pull hitter
anything else (other): stole 47 bases in 50 attempts last year.


2) CF Shane Victorino (S): .309/.375/.463

proj: .285/.345/.430
bb: 7.5%
k: 13%
gb: 46%
iff: 15%
ifh: 8%
babip: slightly above average due to high babip on groundballs-- partly because infield plays in for him and he spreads the ball around well; not that high due to high infield fly rate
s/c/z: pretety bad eye but high contact rate
r/l: much more power righthanded (1.6% to 3.8% HR rate), but much better k/bb as lefty: 1.65 vs 1.88; higher babip lefty also (.316 vs .286)
h/a: far fewer walks on road but nearly exactly the same strikeout rate, same power, same babip
p/o: pull hitter both ways
other: stole 36 of 47 bases last year


3) 2B Chase Utley (L): .307/.427/.578

proj: .295/.380/.525
bb: 9.5%
k: 18%
gb: 37%
iff: 10%
ifh: 6%
babip: distinctly above average historically and for projections too; seemingly strong power leads to high line drive babip rate and reasonably high groundball babip especially

for pull hitting lefty; high on flyballs despite high infield fly rate since he hits deep flyballs
s/c/z: pretty good eye, somewhat selective, somewhat high contact rate
r/l: not significant-- only 1.7 vs 2.0 k/bb; .919 vs .865 ops
h/a: similar k/bb home & away; better hr at home-- probably park factors; higher babip at home too
p/o: pull hitter
other: much better against power pitchers relative to other hitters


4) 1B Ryan Howard (L): .253/.332/.522

proj: .275/.375/580
bb: 14%
k: 33%
gb: 40%
iff: 2%
ifh: 4%
babip: low on groundballs over time as he pulls the vast majority of them; very very high on flyballs because he almost never pops out in the infield at all and many of his flyballs are very deep.  also since so few of his flyballs stay in the park (only 2/3 or so), a higher percentage of his balls in play are line drives-- which he does well on like many power hitters-- his low contact rate means he sometimes make poor contact though.  probably above average overall
s/c/z: swings a lot especially for someone who doesn't see many strikes.  however, he is pretty good at distinguishing pulls from strikes despite the consensus on him.  he makes terrible contact overall though
r/l: 1.064 vs .786 ops: say it with me "that means he's good against righties, not bad against lefties!"  in fact, he's the best hitter against righties in baseball right now probably.  his k/bb vs lhp is 3.7 vs 1.6 vs rhp.  he has a lot of power against lefties however, but a lower babip.  i don't have split data on pull% vs lhp/rhp but observationally i'm pretty sure that's the difference in his babip: .338 vs .309.
h/a: much higher babip on road.  very similar hr numbers.  2.0 vs 3.2 k/bb.
p/o: pull hitter, especially on groundballs-- hits more homeruns the opposite way though
other: struggles mightily against power pitchers and groundball pitchers, dominate flyball pitchers (since he almost never pops out, and has 10.3% hr rate) and smashes finesse pitchers (11.8% hr rate); he also does much better on babip with runners on base as defenders can't shift against him-- especially with runners in scoring position


5) RF Jayson Werth (R): .268/.373/.522

proj: .270/.360/.460
bb: 12.5%
k: 29%
gb: 38%
iff: 8%
ifh: 8%
babip: high on groundballs due to high infield hit rate, high on line drives due to power, and hits pretty deep flyballs too; has been historically probably higher than it should be since he's faced more lhp than normal rhb do; overall still seems to be very above average
s/c/z: very selective and pretty good eye; somewhat low contact rate
r/l: .762 vs .919 ops; 2.4 vs 2.0 k/bb; hr rate of 6.7% vs 2.9%
h/a: not much of a split at all
p/o: spreads ball around well for power hitter, but still a pull hitter
other: stole 20 bases in 21 attempts last year


6) LF Raul Ibanez (L): .312/.371/.656

proj: .285/.350/.480
bb: 9%
k: 17%
gb: 42%
iff: 11%
ifh: 5%
babip: above average, probably because he spreads the ball around pretty well for a power hitter; much better babip with men on-- probably hooks ball in hole well or maybe he was shifted against more so beforehand
s/c/z: definitely a good eye though it's getting worse, slightly above average contact
r/l: .850 vs .733; 1.5 vs 2.8 k/bb
h/a: better k/bb (1.6 vs 1.9) but worse power probably park factors, and probably likely to be better at home
p/o: slight pull hitter but not much for a power hitter
other: none


7) 3B Pedro Feliz (R): .292/.339/.407

proj: .250/.300/.420
bb: 6%
k: 15.5%
gb: 44%
iff: 15%
ifh: 5%
babip: very low-- pops up a lot, hits groundballs predictably to left side and is slow so they can play shaded over and deep; not all that much power so not terrific on line drives either, makes a lot of weak contact as he isn't good at making contact so he chops a lot of balls
s/c/z: high swing rate and not terribly good at distinguishing balls from strikes.  swung significantly less in 2008, but it was as much of a decrease in balls as strikes, makes average contact
r/l: 3.3 vs 2.3 k/bb; .708 vs .755 ops, more babip and a little more power agaisnt lefties
h/a: much higher k rate on road, similar bb rate; more power on road, higher babip at home.  likely not much difference (.725 vs .716 overall ops)
p/o: definite pull hitter
other: defensive numbers dipped last year, had offseason surgery for back, perhaps these are related


8) C Carlos Ruiz (R): .239/.340/.374

proj: .255/.335/.390
bb: 10%
k: 14%
gb: 50% (but rose in 2008 to 54% from 46%)
iff: 9.5%
ifh: 4%
babip: was extraordinarily low in 2008, but that seems to be rather flukey.  his high groundball rate and solid contact rate and pitch selection indicate he should be a good babip guy, but he does very poorly on groundball as he chops the ball a lots/c/z: very good eye and excellent contact skill, extremely patient
r/l: bizarre reverse split despite 0.5 k/bb vs lhp and 1.2 vs rhp; impossibly low .204 babip against lhp, probably flukey and probably much better vs lhp in reality
h/a: similar k/bb, worse babip but higher power at home (park factors)
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: better against power pitchers, currently on DL with strained rib cage, probably longer than 15 days as originally thought


BENCH:

C Chris Coste (R): .245/.342/.382

proj: .265/.315/.405
bb: 5.5%
k: 17.5%
gb: 40%
iff: 10%
ifh: 6%
babip: slightly below average, seemingly due to poor eye and swinging and hitting bad pitches
s/c/z: high swing rate, pretty poor eye, average contact
r/l: .747 vs .855; same k/bb rate, much better babip against lhp, similar power but slightly more vs lhp
h/a: .886 vs .679; 5.4% vs 1.5% hr rate
p/o: pull hitter
other: struggles with power pitchers somewhat


IF/OF Eric Bruntlett (R): .139/.207/.208

proj: .240/.325/.335
bb: 10%
k: 18%
gb: 41%
iff: 14%
ifh: 5%
babip: high popup rate leads to low babip, but not that low; also doesn't do all that well on line drives due to lack of power
s/c/z: somewhat above average eye and doesn't swing much; makes very good contact, sees a lot of strikes
r/l: .592 vs .764 ops; 2.5 vs 1.2 k/bb; 5.7% vs 8.8% xbh/ab-- he's actually  average if not above average against lhp; he just is terrible against rhb.  he should be used as a

counterswitch to loogy use against lefty pinch hitters
h/a: more power at home and more walks at home; similar strikeout rate and babip
p/o: opposite field hitter
other: none


IF Greg Dobbs (L): .274/.319/.472

proj: .285/.335/.445
bb: 7%
k: 17%
gb: 36%
iff: 13.5%
ifh: 3%
babip: has been high but probably should not be projected as high-- success derives from impossibly high line drive babip which doesn't typically happen for non-extreme power hitters.  given his popup rate, he probably isn't a .320 babip guy and there isn't a .285 hitter
s/c/z: poor eye but very high swing rate; average contact rate
r/l: .761 vs .579 ops despite impossible .481 babip against lhp.  in reality, he strikes out in 48% of at-bats against lhp.  he should never see them.  absolutely no power against lefties also.
h/a: virtually no split at all
p/o: pull hitter
other: much better against finesse pitchers


OF Matt Stairs (L): .271/.427/.458

proj: .255/.340/.440
bb: 11%
k: 22%
gb: 42%
iff: 11.5%
ifh: 5%
babip: average all around
s/c/z: very good eye and slightly below average contact
r/l: .862 vs .748; much more power against rhp; 1.4 vs 2.1 k/bb
h/a: not much of a split at all
p/o: slight pull hitter but not much for a power hitter
other: use stairs in case of emergency


C Paul Bako (L): .200/.273/.250

proj: .220/.290/.295
bb: 9%
k: 30%
gb: 53%
iff: 7%
ifh: 6%
babip: projcted around .285
s/c/z: average eye, average patience, below average contact
r/l: .637 vs .522 ops; 2.2 vs 6.1 k/bb
h/a: .621 vs .621 ops; 2.5 vs 2.6 k/bb
p/o: very slight pull hitter, but spreads ball around pretty well
other: none


LF John Mayberry (R): .200/.250/.511

proj: .235/.290/.415
bb: 6.5%
k: 27%
iff: around 15-20% in minors
ifh: ?
babip: hits ball hard but pops up a lot; probably a bit average but tough to know; projected below average
s/c/z: not enough info
r/l: batter against lefties, particularly at making contact, in minors
h/a: not enough info
p/o: not enough info
other: none


ROTATION

FRIDAY STARTER: Joe Blanton (R): 4.69 ERA, 3.0 BB/9, 8.0 K/9, 1.7 HR/9, 4.78 FIP, 40% GB

proj avg: 4.25 ERA, 2.5 BB/9, 5.8 K/9, 0.9 HR/9
gb: 45%
pitches: 56% fb, 16% ch, 15% sl, 12% cb
r/l: 2.3 vs 1.8 k/bb; .750 vs .719 ops
h/a: 2.2 vs 2.0 k/bb; .698 vs .776 ops; much worse babip away (.313 vs .282), more power surrendered on road
other: extraordinarily good against leadoff hitters, especially the first hitter of games

Blanton vs Pirates:

Hinske: 3/17, 2 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 2 K
Monroe: 10/14, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB (IBB), 1 K
Vazquez: 2/8, 1 2B, 0 BB, 1 K
Moss: 1/6, 0 BB, 0 K
Sanchez: 0/3, 0 BB, 0 K


SATURDAY STARTER: Cole Hamels (L): 4.70 ERA, 1.8 BB/9, 7.7 K/9, 1.2 HR/9, 3.65 FIP, 41% GB

proj avg: 3.45 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, 8.4 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 40%
pitches: 55% fb, 32% ch, 14% cb
r/l: .680 vs .748, but same 3.6 k/bb both ways; slightly more power vs lhb-- this is probably selection bias as managers withhold all but the best lefties against him (explaining 20% of hitters faced are lefties only)
h/a: 3.85 vs 3.4 k/bb; .676 vs .709 ops-- less of a difference due to higher HR rate at home
other: much higher k-rate at night: 25% vs 20%, which is statistically significant.  ERA difference (4.71 vs 3.01 exaggerated by babip difference), as HR rate and XBH rate very similar.  most likely he strikes out more at night.

Hamels vs Pirates:

Adam LaRoche: 2/3, 2 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
Sanchez: 1/3, 0 BB, 1 K


SUNDAY STARTER: J.A. Happ (L): 3.04 ERA, 3.4 BB/9, 6.4 K/9, 1.2 HR/9, 4.65 FIP, 35% GB

proj avg: 4.40 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.7 K/9, 1.2 HR/9
gb: 29% in majors thus far; 42% in AAA in 2008
pitches: 64% fb, 18% ch, 14% sl, 2% ct, 2% cb
r/l: 1.7 vs 3.0 k/bb in majors thus far; 2.7 vs 3.5 k/bb in AAA in 2008
h/a: not enough info

Happ: has not faced any Pirates


NOT STARTING THIS SERIES: Rodrigo Lopez (R): in AAA, he has a 3.91 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 6.6 K/9, 0.5 HR/9, 3.10 FIP, 48% GB; in MLB: 3.18 ERa, 1.6 BB/9, 6.4 K/9, 0 HR/9, 2.17 FIP, 44% GB

proj avg: 5.00 ERA, 2.9 BB/9, 6.1 K/9, 1.4 HR/9
gb: 43%
pitches: 50% fb, 16% sl, 20% ch, 12% ct, 3% cb
r/l: .779 vs .786 ops; 2.5 vs 1.8 k/bb (faces a whole lot of lefties, more than 50%, so chances are that he is actually better against righties but every marginal lefty gets to face him and only elite righties)
h/a: .773 vs .793 ops; 2.4 vs 1.9 k/bb


NOT STARTING THIS SERIES: Jamie Moyer (L): 5.99 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, 5.0 K/9, 2.0 HR/9, 5.83 FIP, 41% GB

proj avg: 4.80 ERA, 2.8 BB/9, 5.5 K/9, 1.2 HR/9
gb: 39%
pitches: 41% fb, 30% ct, 24% ch, 6% cb
r/l: virtually no split but that seems to be selection as he sees 24% lefties only compared with 32% league average for lhp
h/a: 2.3 vs 1.9 k/bb; not much difference on contact; slightly better babip at home but not more so than the average starter gets

Moyer vs Pirates:

Hinske: 10/34, 2 2B, 2 HR, 1 BB, 4 K
Monroe: 2/13, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 SF
Adam LaRoche: 2/8, 2 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Sanchez: 4/9, 1 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
Wilson: 1/6, 2 BB, 2 K
Vazquez: 2/5, 0 BB, 2 K
Moss: 1/2, 1 2B, 1 BB, 0 K
Maholm: 1/2, 0 BB, 1 K

BULLPEN


CL Brad Lidge (R): 6.89 ERA, 5.5 BB/9, 10.1 K/9, 2.0 HR/9, 5.64 FIP, 39% GB

proj avg: 3.50 ERA, 4.1 BB?9, 11.0 K/9, 0.8 HR/9
gb: 41% (though this went up to 46% with increased slider use in 2008)
pitches: 56% sl, 43% fb, 0.4% ch in 2008 (historically 54% fb, 42% sl)
r/l: 3.6 vs 2.8 k/bb; .601 vs .686 ops (tough to tell if that tendency became more or less extreme in 2008 due to limited sample size)
h/a: 3.6 vs 2.9 k/bb; .666 vs .614 ops though due to higher babip away
other: HR/Flyball plummeted in 2008-- probably unsustainably low and his ERA should rise; still rumors of him tipping pitches explain the HR/Flyball spike in 2006 & 2007

Lidge vs Pirates:

Wilson: 4/15, 1 HR, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 Sac
Sanchez: 1/8, 2 BB, 5 K
Adam LaRoche: 3/4, 0 BB, 1 K
HInske: 1/2, 0 BB, 1 K
Vazquez: 2/2, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Monroe: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Moss: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K


Ryan Madson (R): 3.09 ERA, 3.3 BB/9, 9.1 K/9, 0.8 HR/9, 3.39 FIP, 42% GB

proj avg: 3.80 ERA, 2.9 BB/9, 7.2 K/9, 0.8 HR/9
gb: 48%
pitches: 58% fb, 24% ch, 15% ct, 4% cb
r/l: 3.65 vs 1.8 k/bb; .714 vs .786 ops
h/a: no major split at all

Madson vs Pirates:

Adam LaRoche: 3/7, 1 HR, 0 BB, 1 K
Wilson: 2/5, 0 BB, 0 K
Sanchez: 0/4, 0 BB, 1 K
Vazquez: 1/2, 1 BB, 1 K


Chad Durbin (R): 4.09 ERA, 5.3 BB/9, 8.8 K/9, 1.2 HR/9, 5.12 FIP, 38% GB

proj avg: 4.10 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 6.5 K/9, 1.0 HR/9
gb: 41%
pitches: 47% fb, 38% sl, 8% ch, 7% cb, 1% ct
r/l: virtually no split
h/a: somewhat of a reverse split but probably just noise

Durbin vs Pirates:

Hinske: 0/10, 0 BB, 2 K
Wilson: 2/4, 0 BB, 0 K
Vazquez: 0/3, 0 BB, 1 K
Monroe: 0/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Moss: 2/2, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Sanchez: 0/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Adam LaRoche: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K


Chan Ho Park (R): 5.49 ERA, 4.0 BB/9, 7.6 K/9, 0.8 HR/9, 3.98 FIP, 42% GB

proj avg: 4.50 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 7.3 K/9, 1.2 HR/9
gb: 45%
pitches: 51% FB, 29% SL, 12% cb, 5% ch, 4% ct
r/l: .666 vs .820 ops; 2.6 vs 1.3 k/bb; .280 vs .301 babip; 2.6% vs 3.6% HR rate-- much better against righties
h/a: 2.0 vs 1.7 k/bb; .708 vs .780 ops

Park vs Pirates:

Wilson: 2/12, 1 2B, 2 BB, 2 K
Adam LaRoche: 3/12, 0 BB, 3 K
Sanchez: 0/6, 1 BB, 1 K
Monroe: 1/3, 0 BB, 1 K
Vazquez: 0/3, 0 BB, 2 K
Hinske: 0/2, 0 BB, 1 K
Morgan: 1/1, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K


J.C. Romero (L): 2.92 ERA, 8.8 BB/9, 6.6 K/9, 0.7 HR/9, 6.05 FIP, 54% GB

proj avg: 4.00 ERA, 5.5 BB?9, 7.5 K/9, 0.7 HR/9
gb: 55%
pitches: 58% fb, 25% sl, 17% ch, 0.1% cb
r/l: 1.2 vs 2.2 k/bb; .814 vs. 591 ops
h/a: 1.6 vs 1.3 k/bb; .697 vs .768 ops

Romero vs Pirates:

Hinske: 1/7, 0 BB, 2 K
Monroe: 3/5, 2 2B, 0 BB, 2 K
Moss: 0/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Vazquez: 0/2, 0 BB, 1 K
Adam LaRoche: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K


Tyler Walker (R): 1.80 ERA, 0.9 BB/9, 4.5 K/9, 1.8 HR/9, 4.95 FIP, 38% GB

proj avg: 4.30 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, 7.4 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 41%
pitches: 59% fb, 27% sl, 10% ch, 3% cb
r/l: .721 vs .838 ops; 2.1 vs 1.9 k/bb
h/a: .838 vs .712 ops; 1.8 vs 2.2 k/bb

Walker vs Pirates:

Ad. LaRoche: 2/4, 1 HR, 0 BB, 1 K
Wilson: 0/3, 0 BB, 1 K
An. LaRoche: 1/2, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Sanchez: 0/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Young: 0/2, 0 BB, 1 K
Moss: 0/1, 0 BB, 1 K


Scott Eyre (L): 2.40 ERA, 5.4 BB/9, 7.2 K/9, 1.2 HR/9, 5.18 FIP, 31% GB

proj avg: 4.20 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 8.8 K/9, 0.9 HR/9
gb: 41%
pitches: 59% fb, 35% sl, 6% ch, 0.2% cb
r/l: 1.5 vs 1.9 k/bb; .815 vs .720 ops
h/a: not much of a split

Eyre vs Pirates:

LaRoche: 0/10, 1 BB, 4 K
Sanchez: 0/5, 2 BB, 1 K
Wilson: 0/5, 1 BB, 0 K
Vazquez: 0/4, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 Sac
Morgan: 0/3, 0 BB, 1 K
Hinske: 1/1, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Maholm: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K



DISABLED LIST: Clay Condrey (R): 2.17 ERA, 2.8 BB/9, 6.2 K/9, 1.2 HR/9, 4.52 FIP, 52% GB

proj avg: 4.50 ERA, 2.8 BB/9, 4.9 K/9, 0.8 HR/9
gb: 50%
pitches: 59% fb, 17% ct, 15% sl, 9% ch
r/l: 2.1 vs 1.3 k/bb; .761 vs .842 ops
h/a: .703 vs .898 ops; 2.2 vs 1.3 k/bb

Condrey vs Pirates:

Sanchez: 1/4, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP
Wilson: 2/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Adam LaROche: 1 BB
Andy LaRoche: 1 BB
Moss: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K
Vazquez: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K

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