It's the lazy output of the baseball writer: the notes column. On the heels of two Phils' 9th inning losses in a row, let's take a look at a few items of note from the team so far this year.
Join me, after the fold.
● Since his amazing hot streak last year when he hit 9 home runs in 10 games, Bobby Abreu has been utterly mediocre. We?ve been down this road before last year in August, but now it?s been an entire calendar year since that streak ended. In the 158 games he?s played over that time period, Bobby?s line is an unspectacular .268/.401/.429. As always with Bobby, the on-base percentage is there, but he?s not hitting or hitting for power. He has a weak 34.9 AB/HR ratio over that stretch. His .429 slugging percentage exactly matches Ray Durham?s and Rafael Furcal?s slugging percentage last year. That?s not what one expects from a home run derby champ.
● Everyone knows the two utility infielders brought in by Pat Gillick have been bad, but do you know how bad? Abraham Nunez has contributed a -85% WPA to the team, which means he has lost almost two games for the Phils. Alex Gonzalez has been worse, topping -100% after yesterday?s sorry performance. That?s exactly two lost games from Gonzalez alone. The guy they replaced? Tomas Perez is only at -48% for the Devil Rays, just one game in the loss column.
● Arthur Rhodes has now walked 12 batters in 13.67 innings. Last year, he walked 12 in the entire year (43+ innings). Control is essential to Rhodes. In each year since 2000 he has walked 13 or less, he?s had an ERA under 2.34. In years he?s walked more than 13, his ERA has been 4.30, 4.17, and 5.12. Let?s hope this year is different, since he?s definitely going over 13 for the year.
● Have you looked at Citizens Bank Park?s park factors recently? The movement of the wall seems to be having a big effect. The stadium is now increasing home runs by slightly less than 2% compared to the rest of the league. But, it?s still increasing scoring by 16%. How?s that? Doubles are up 44% compared to elsewhere.