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Phillies vs. Brewers Series Preview: April 21-23

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The Phillies (5-6) take on the Milwaukee Brewers (4-8) this week.  The Brewers have lost four straight series to start 2009.  The Phillies' rotation has been adjusted due to Monday's rainiout, so Joe Blanton will start the series for the Phillies.  Here are the pitching matchups:

 

TUESDAY 7:05-- Jamie Moyer vs. Manny Parra

WEDNESDAY 7:05-- Joe Blanton vs. Braden Looper

THURSDAY 1:05-- Cole Hamels vs. Dave Bush

(Edit: Looper now listed as Wednesday's starter and Bush now listed as Thursday's starter)

 

Without further ado, here are the detailed statistics and splits for the Brewers and Phillies:

BREWERS

 

LINE UP

The Brewers' lineup collectively demolishes lefty pitchers.  Prince Fielder is the lone lefty power hitter.  The rest of the lineup are all righties, who hit lefties especially well.  They have a lot of guys with power, overall straight down from 1-7 (Sorry Jason Kendall).  The 2-5 hitters are Hart/Braun/Fielder/Hardy and all are very good hitters.  They don't have any guys with great OBP but they are all pretty decent at reaching base, and they score their runs by getting extra base hits.

1) 2B Rickie Weeks (R)

projection average (proj): .255/.360/.420
projected BB/PA (bb): 13%
projected K/AB (k): 24%
career gb% (gb): 45%
career infield flies/flyball (iff): 16%
career infield hits/groundball (ifh): 11%
batting average on balls in play tendencies (babip): average overall-- very high infield hit rate leads to very good infield hit rate on groundballs, very poor on flyballs as he pops out a lot
swing/contact/zone facts (s/c/z): doesn't swing all that much and has pretty good eye overall, slightly below average at making contact
righty/lefty (r/l):  .741 vs .809 ops; 1.3 vs 2.2 k/bb; slightly more power against lefties, but primary different is whether he makes contact and especially whether he walks
home/away (h/a): 1.7 k/bb at home and 2.4 on road; better ops on road but mostly on a babip difference
pull/opposite (p/o): somewhat of a pull hitter
anything else (other): none

2) Corey Hart (R)

proj: .280/.330/.485
bb: 6.5%
k: 20%
gb: 40%
iff: 7%
ifh: 8%
babip: decent infield hit rate, lowish infield fly rate, makes solid contact, so maybe .315ish
s/c/z: okay eye but major free swinger, not very good contact skill
r/l:  3.7 vs 2.1 k/bb; .788 vs .877 ops; better babip vs lhp, only a little more power
h/a: pretty similar k/bb and babip, but more power at home
p/o: pull hitter
other: struggles a lot against power pitchers

3) Ryan Braun (R)

proj: .295/.355/.570
bb: 7%
k: 21%
gb: 39%
iff: 12%
ifh: 10%
babip: hits the ball very hard, and is above average on groundballs because of that and his relatively high infield hit rate.  does well on line drives due to power.  probably a .325ish babip hitter especially since he is a good contact hitter for a power hitter.
s/c/z: a bit of a free swinger, but pitchers still throw him a lot of pitches in the strike zone anyway.  makes pretty good contact for a power hitter, but still slightly below average overall.
r/l:  .864 vs 1.109 ops, 4.4 vs 1.5 k/bb.  more power vs lefties too by a long shot and higher babip as he hits the ball harder.  should see righties whenever possible.
h/a: much better power at home and .992/.868 ops diff, and k/bb difference is distinct too: 2.5 vs 5.0.
p/o: pull hitter, but not more than other power hitters
other: struggles relatively more than others against power pitchers

4) Prince Fielder (L)

proj: .285/.350/.550
bb: 13%
k: 21%
gb: 39%
iff: 11%
ifh: 3%
babip: average overall
s/c/z: swings a little bit more than usual with good eye, slightly below average contact, doesn't see strikes very much
r/l: .947 vs .795 ops; 1.4 vs 2.9 k/bb; much more power against righties
h/a: walks more at home but otherwise very similar numbers
p/o: pull hitter
other: none

5) J.J. Hardy (R)

proj: .275/.340/.460
bb: 8%
k: 15%
gb: 44%
iff: 14%
ifh: 7%
babip: slighty below average due to high popup rate
s/c/z: low swing rate, good eye though swinging at more pitches out of zone over last few years, and pretty high contact rate, sees a lot of strikes (maybe batting order before moved down)
r/l:  2.1 vs 1.0 k/bb difference; way more power against lhp; .715/.926 OPS difference
h/a: not much difference
p/o: definite pull hitter
other: none

6) Mike Cameron (R)

proj: .250/.330/.430
bb: 11%
k: 28%
gb: 35%
iff: 11%
ifh: 9%
babip: average overall
s/c/z: great eye but slighty below average contact skill
r/l: 2.5 vs 1.5 k/bb; .766 vs .855 ops
h/a: more power on road, though that could be playing in hitters parks; other numbers same
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: none

7) Bill Hall (R)


proj: .250/.350/.430
bb: 9%
k: 28%
gb: 39%
iff: 11%
ifh: 5%
babip: gets a lot of groundballs in the hole, probably since he spreads the ball around wall
s/c/z: below average contact skill, average eye
r/l:  3.8 vs 2.3 k/bb; .739 vs .853; more power against lefties too
h/a: definitely way more power at home, and a little bit less contact, but similar otherwise
p/o: spreads ball around very well
other: struggles especially against power pitchers and flyball pitchers

8) Jason Kendall (R)

proj: .260/.330/.330
bb: 8%
k: 9.5%
gb: 49%
iff: 7%
ifh: 7%
babip: doesn't hit the ball very hard in general and isn't all that fast, so he's below average, maybe around .280ish
s/c/z: it seems that he used to have a pretty god eye, but now he swings more at pitches out of the strike zone, but makes great contact still
r/l:  doesn't seem sizably better one way or the other
h/a: doesn't seem to have much of a home/away split in his career overall, but k/bb numbers a bit better at home
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: none




BENCH

Not a lot to see here.  The Brewers' bench are not particularly good power hitters or contact hitters, and their on-base skill is poor is well.  Other than catcher Mike Rivera, the Brewers only have one right handed pinch hitter in light hitting Casey McGahee.


C Mike Rivera (R)

proj: .240/.290/.330
bb: 6%
k: 20%
gb: 42%
iff: 26%
ifh: 4%
babip: a lot of popups, so very low
s/c/z: swings at a lot of pitches overall
r/l:  not enough info to tell really, somewhat of a reverse split
h/a: hits the ball much harder on contact at home but similar contact and eye at home and away
p/o: pull hitter
other: none

IF Casey McGehee (R)


proj: .260/.310/.375
bb: 7.5%
k: 18.5%
gb: around 45-50% in minors
iff: around 11% in minors
ifh: ?
babip: projected a little below average, probably lack of power is why
s/c/z: so far looks to have poor contact skill and high swing rate but very limited info
r/l:  much better k/bb in minors against lefties, but not clear yet
h/a: much better at home in minors
p/o: ?
other: none


IF Craig Counsell (L)

proj: .235/.330/.315
bb: 12%
k: 16.5%
gb: 49%
iff: 14%
ifh: 5%
babip: low infield hits, high infield fly rate, and not much power-- below average
s/c/z: good eye, doesn't swing much, great contact skill
r/l:  1.0 vs 1.5 k/bb; no power vs lhb really at all
h/a: a little better k/bb numbers at home
p/o: pull hitter, especially for a non-power hitter
other: a little better against groundball pitchers and power pitchers

OF Chris Duffy (L)


proj: .260/.320/.380
bb: 7.5%
k: 21%
gb: 58%
iff: 6%
ifh: 11%
babip: a little above average because he hits a lot of groundballs and gets a lot of infield hits
s/c/z: about average
r/l:  2.5 vs 4.2 k/bb, .702 vs .636 ops
h/a: much better at home so far
p/o: slight pull hitter but spreads ball around well
other: none

1B/OF Brad Nelson (L)


proj: .255/.330/.400 (though lots of variance)
bb: 10.5%
k: 21%
gb: 50% in minors
iff: 10% in minors
ifh: ?
babip: projections vary a lot, and i'm not sure i have enough data to decide
s/c/z: thus far very good eye, average contact
r/l:  better against righties i nmiors
h/a: not enough info
p/o: not enough info
other: none




ROTATION


Manny Parra starts Tuesday against the Phillies.  He's pretty average overall, but he does well against lefties and will be a challenge for the Phillies.  He does have some control problems, which the Philleis should exploit.  On Wednesday, the Phillies face Dave Bush.  Bush is especially good against righties and somewhat homerun prone.  The Phillies seem particularly less vulernable to Bush especially in CBP.  Thursday's start has not yet been announced, though indications are that Braden Looper will start.  Braden Looper does pretty well against the Phillies' hitters in general, but he sure struggles with  Ryan Howard.  He has surrendered 4 homeruns and 2 walks and 0 strikeouts in 7 plate appearances for Howard, good for an OPS of 4.057.


TUESDAY OPPONENT: Manny Parra (L)

proj avg: 4.40 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 7.6 K/9, 0.8 HR/9
gb: 49%
pitches: 56% fb, 17% cb, 13% ch, 11% sf, 3% sl
r/l: 1.8 vs 2.8; .769 vs .685 ops
h/a: similar k/bb but much more power thus far for hitters on road against him

Parra vs. Phillies:

no one with more than 2 ab, but team went 7/10 with 5 BB and 1 K ever off of him


WEDNESDAY OPPONENT: Braden Looper (R)

proj avg: 4.60 ERA, 2.5 BB/9, 5.1 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 49%
pitches: 64% fb, 18% sf, 16% sl, 1% ch
r/l: 2.0 vs 1.6 k/bb, but way more power surrendered to lefties
h/a: 2.0 vs 1.6 k/bb, but way more powre surrendered on road


Looper vs. Phillies:


Rollins: 8/30, 2 2B, 3 BB, 6 K
Victorino: 1/7, 0 BB, 1 K
Utley: 4/11, 1 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
Howard: 4/5, 4 HR, 2 BB, 0 K
Werth: 0/3, 0 BB, 0 K
Ibanez: 0/1
Feliz: 1/13, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 SAC, 1 GDP, 0 XBH
Coste: 3/7, 1 2B, 0 BB, 1 K

 

THURSDAY OPPONENT: Dave Bush (R)

proj avg: 4.30 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, 6.1 K/9, 1.3 HR/9
gb: 44%
pitches: 51% fb, 17% ct, 17% cb, 12% ch, 3% sl

r/l: 3.8 vs 2.5 k/bb; similar otherwise so far

h/a: much more power surrendered on road but similar k/bb

Bush vs. Phillies (including NLDS):

Rollins: 5/18, 3 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 K
Victorino: 2/11, 1 BB, 3 K
Utley: 5/12, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB, 2 K
Howard: 6/16, 2 2B, 2 HR, 1 BB, 3 K
Werth: 2/10, 1 2B, 1 3B, 0 BB, 2 K
Ibanez: 0/4, 1 BB, 0 K
Feliz: 4/14, 2 HR, 0 BB, 3 K
Coste: 0/3, 0 BB, 0 K
Dobbs: 6/13, 1 2B, 2 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
Stairs: 4/14, 2 2B, 0 BB, 2 K


NOT FACING US: Yovani Gallardo (R)

proj avg: 3.75 ERA, 3.4 BB/9, 8.5 K/9, 0.8 HR/9
gb: 39%
pitches: 59% fb, 31% cb, 7% sl, 4% ch
r/l: 3.4 vs 1.9 k/bb
h/a: 3.2 vs 2.1 k/bb

NOT FACING US: Jeff Suppan (R)

proj avg: 5.00 ERA, 3.3 BB/9, 5.0 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 46%
pitches: 51% fb, 24% sl, 16% ch, 10% cb
r/l: 1.8 vs 1.6 k/bb
h/a: 1.8 vs 1.6 k/bb, more hr surrendered away




BULLPEN


The current closer for the Brewers is Carlos Villanueva.  He's pretty good against righties and lefties, but not fabulous against either.  The rest of the bullpen is filled mostly with average guys.  Mitch Stetter is a definite LOOGY, and will be tough against Ryan Howard with his slider being his outpitch.  He struggles a lot against righties though.  Seth McClung is also lefty, but isn't a particularly good LOOGY, and has normal splits.  Our old friend R.J. Swindle who had a brief stint with the Phillies last year has been recalled by the Brewers recently-- he's a lefty as well.

CL Carlos Villanueva (R)

proj avg: 4.00 ERA, 3.1 BB/9, 7.7 K/9, 1.2 HR/9
gb: 42%
pitches: 36% fb, 25% ch, 24% sl, 14% cb
r/l: 2.6 vs 2.4 k/bb
h/a: 2.6 vs 2.4 k/bb; much more hittable on road

Todd Coffey (R)

proj avg: 4.30 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 6.8 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 54%
pitches: 70% fb, 29% sl, 1% ch
r/l: 2.9 vs 1.3; more power surrendered to rhb though (selection bias?)
h/a: 2.4 vs 2.1; similar otherwise

Mitch Stetter (L)


proj avg: 3.80 ERA, 4.3 BB?9, 8.6 K/9, 0.9 HR/9
gb: 39%
pitches: 49% fb, 51% sl
r/l: 0.9 vs 2.7 k/bb-- only faces very weak righties masking severe advantage against lefties
h/a: 0.9 vs 2.9 k/bb

Jorge Julio (R)

proj avg: 4.30 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, 9.3 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 43%
pitches: 52% fb, 32% sl, 16% ch
r/l: 2.4 vs 1.6 and more power surrendered against lefties tooo
h/a: no real split

Mark DiFelice (R)

proj avg: 4.15 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 7.5 K/9, 1.3 HR/9
gb: 29%
pitches: 72% ct, 16% ch, 7% fb, 5% cb
r/l: 6.0 vs 2.7 k/bb thus far in career
h/a: not enough info

Seth McClung (L)

proj avg: 4.50 ERA, 5.0 BB/9, 7.4 K/9, 1.0 HR/9
gb: 39%
pitches: 72% fb, 19% cb, 7% sl, 2% ch
r/l: no real splits
h/a: slightly better at home but not all that much

R.J. Swindle (L)

proj avg: 4.10 ERA, 2.8 BB/9, 7.5 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 41% in minors
pitches: 48% fb, 39% sl, 9% cb (55mph), 4% ch (for phillies in majors last year)
r/l: 38/2 k/bb vs lhp in AAA last year, 29/6 k/bb vs rhp in AAA last year
h/a: not enough info



ON DISABLED LIST:

Trevor Hoffman (R)


proj avg: 3.80 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, 8.0 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 34%
pitches: 60% fb, 34% ch, 6% sl, 0.1% cb
r/l: 5.2 vs 3.1 k/bb, more hr surrendered against rhb but that's probably selection bias
h/a: 4.9 vs 3.0 k/bb and .569 vs .647 ops

David Riske (R)


proj avg: 4.40 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 7.3 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 37%
pitches: 84% fb, 14% sf, 2% sf, 0.1% CB
r/l: 2.6 VS 1.6 k/bb
h/a: 2.0 VS 2.2 k/bb

 

 

PHILLIES

 

LINE UP

The heart of the Phillies lineup leans further to the left than Ralph Nader.  The rest of the lineup is pretty well balanced, but with Utley hitting 3rd, Howard hitting 4th, and Ibanez hitting 6th, managers have an advantage to use lefties against the Phillies in key situations.  The team is absolutely positioned to mash righties well, and fortunately that is who they'll face this weekend-- the Padres have no lefties on their staff at all.  Both of the switch hitters atop the lineup hit lefties a little better than righties, and the bottom of the lineup has two righties.  The Phillies' catcher Carlos Ruiz is on the disabled list now with a strained rib cage, so Chris Coste and Lou Marson will be splitting time.  Lou Marson is a pretty highly touted catching prospect who had an extraordinary year in AA last year, though has yet to hit for much power.

1) SS Jimmy Rollins (S)

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)

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)

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)

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, dominates flyball pitchers (since he almost never pops out, and has 10.3% hr rate against them) 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)

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)

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)

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 Chris Coste (R)

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




BENCH


Like their lineup, the Phillies' bench is much better from the left side.  Dobbs and Stairs are two solid lefthanded pinch hitters with power.  Stairs is by far more patient and is much more successful against lefties than Dobbs.  From the right side, the Phillies have superutility man Eric Bruntlett.  Bruntlett struggles mightily against RHP, but actually has very solid numbers against LHP.  Bruntlett can be used as a counterswitch when managers bring in lefties to face Dobbs or Stairs.  The Phillies other RHB on the bench is Miguel Cairo.  He is not a very good hitter, but is flexible and can play many positions.

IF/OF Eric Bruntlett (R)

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)

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)

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

IF/OF Miguel Cairo (R)

proj: .255/.315/.335
bb: 7%
k: 15%
gb: 45%
iff: 11%
ifh: 7%
babip: not much power so slightly below average
s/c/z: okay eye, maybe a little above average; makes good contact
r/l: 1.6 vs 2.0 k/bb; .647 vs .735 ops
h/a: virtually no split at all, somewhat better walk rate at home
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: none

C Lou Marson (R)

proj: .270/.345/.400
bb: 11%
k: 22%
gb: 59% in minors in 08
iff: 7% in minors in 08
ifh: ?
babip: very above average in minors, bizarrely high on flyballs and groundballs, and this seems to be without a significant reason
s/c/z: ?
r/l: better k/bb in minors vs rhp but tough to tell
h/a: 0.7 vs 1.5 k/bb; much higher infield fly rate on road (10.6% vs 3.5%)
p/o: ?
other: high walk rate in minors may be at risk in majors if he doesn't develop power


DISABLED LIST: Carlos Ruiz (R)

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 lot
s/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




ROTATION

The Phillies rotation finally got its first quality start on Thursday, albeit in a loss.  Ace Cole Hamels has struggled with velocity and location in the early going.  He had elbow soreness in Spring Training, but the MRI came back fine.  He still struggled as he worked his way back and had a very bad starter in Colorado for his first start.  He added in an extra throw day between starts this past week, and hopes this can help him with both the velocity and the location.  We will have a better picture of where he stands over his next couple starter.  Enigmatic Brett Myers starts Saturday night's game for the Phillies.  His main struggles consistently come early on.  If he can mix in his curveball better, he should be more successful.  On the heels of a fabulous Spring Training, Chan Ho Park beat out three younger competitors for the last spot in the Phillies rotation and he will go Sunday.  Towards the end of the Spring, I admit to endorsing his use in the rotation only because of how much better he had been than before in the Spring.  Despite a biased sample of lower quality hitters, the difference in his K and BB rates was statistically significant.  Park did not make me look too smart in his first start in the rain in Colorado.  His trouble has always been retiring lefties, so his success will depend on his ability to get some of the Padres tougher lefties out.  On Monday, Jamie Moyer will pitch Monday evening's game.  The 46-year old has struggled somewhat early on, but hopes to rebound Monday.

TUESDAY STARTER: Jamie Moyer (L)

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. Brewers (including NLDS):

Kendall: 10/31, 1 2B, 2 BB, 2 K
Cameron: 4/19, 1 2B, 3 BB, 7 K, 1 HBP
Hall: 5/9, 2 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Hardy: 5/10, 2 HR, 1 BB, 1 K
Fielder: 2/9, 1 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 SF
Weeks: 3/8, 2 2B, 3 BB, 2 K
Hart: 4/8, 2 2B, 2 BB, 1 K
Braun: 3/8, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Counsell: 1/2, 1 2B

WEDNESDAY STARTER: Joe Blanton (R)

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. Brewers (including NLDS):

Cameron: 2/7, 2 HR, 1 BB, 3 K
Hardy: 2/6, 0 BB, 0 K
Fielder: 2/6, 1 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
Hart: 1/5, 1 3B, 0 BB, 1 K
Braun: 1/6, 0 BB, 3 K
Counsell: 1/4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Kendall: 0/4, 1 BB, 0 K

 

THURSDAY STARTER: Cole Hamels (L)

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. Brewers (including NLDS):

Hall: 3/18, 0 BB, 6 K
Fielder: 4/18, 2 HR, 1 BB, 6 K
Hart: 2/16, 0 BB,  K
Hardy: 4/14, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 K
Weeks: 2/12, 2 2B, 3 BB, 6 K
Braun: 3/13, 1 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 3 K
Kendall: 2/11, 1 2B, 1 BB, 4 K
Cameron: 2/9, 1 HR, 4 BB, 4 K
Counsell: 1/3


NOT STARTING THIS SERIES: Brett Myers (R)

proj avg: 4.15 ERA, 3.1 BB/9, 8.0 K/9, 1.3 HR/9
gb: 47%
pitches: 48% fb, 23% cb, 18% sl, 9% ch, 1% ct, 0.2% sf
r/l: .788 vs .747 ops despite 3.1 vs 1.95 k/bb; main issue is much higher HR rate vs rhb, slightly higher babip vs them as well; does not seem to be selection bias
h/a: .738 vs .800 ops; 2.7 vs 2.15 k/bb; slightly higher HR rate at home, but that is probably park factors as he surrenders far more doubles on road
other: HR rate is bizarre-- very few pitchers have the HR/Flyball rate he does.  My personal suspicion is that statistics that don't exhibit much persistence despite what common sense suggests only do not exhibit persistence specifically because players make adjustments.  If you throw fastball after fastball on the outside corner on every 1-2 count, the hitters will respond by hitting singles to the opposite field over and over again and your BABIP will go up.  However, pitchers learn to mix up their pitches and BABIP ends up lacking persistence due to the constant game theoretical reaction that pitchers and hitters take.  For Myers, his bizarre refusal to use his curveball early in the game leaves him especially vulernable to RHB who know it isn't coming.  A little game theoretical mixed strategy would probably allow him to finally live up to his peripherals which suggest a low HR rate and borderline ace stuff.

NOT STARTING THIS SERIES: Chan Ho Park (R)

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





BULLPEN

Lidge has been nowhere near as effective as the Phillies closer in the early going this year, but still has not blown a save despite letting two games come to within one run.  His HR rate was the key to his improvement and he is likely due for some regression.  However, that still leaves him as one of the best closers in baseball.  Ryan Madson has stepped up to be an elite setup man recently, as his velocity improved mightily over the course of 2008 and has started strong in 2009.  The Phillies will have to make do against LHB with J.C. Romero suspended through May.  Scott Eyre, Jack Taschner, and J.A. Happ are the Phillies' lefties in the pen.  Happ does not have especially difficult stuff against lefties, though, and will probably be the long man.  Eyre and Taschner both should not face RHB, especially Taschner who exemplified that inability well against the Nationals on Thursday.  Chad Durbin is somewhat streaky, but I've remained bearish on him for a while.  He still is a reasonable middle reliever to use at times.  Condrey is the other middle reliever, but he should not face lefties at all if possible.  The Phillies' bullpen has been extraordinary since the beginning of 2008, and has kept them in games in 2009 thus far.  It is due for some regression, but I suppose the rotation is due for some improvement as well.

CL Brad Lidge (R)

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

Ryan Madson (R)

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

Scott Eyre (L)


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

Jack Taschner (L)

proj avg: 4.50 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 8.0 K/9, 1.0 HR/9
gb: 35%
pitches: 57% fb, 30% sl, 13% ch
r/l: 1.45 vs 2.2 k/bb; .754 vs .747-- large selection bias where he faces only very good lefties and not very good righties
h/a: .698 vs .797 ops; 2.1 vs 1.5 k/bb

Chad Durbin (R)

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

Clay Condrey (R)

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

J.A. Happ (L)

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



SUSPENDED: J.C. Romero (L)

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