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Phillies at Marlins-- April 24-26

The Phillies (6-8) take on the Marlins (11-4) this weekend in Florida.  The Phillies are coming off a frustrating series against the Brewers where they dropped two out of three.  The Marlins are coming off being swept by the Pirates, dropping their record from 11-1 to 11-4.  Of the Marlins 11 wins, 6 came from two sweeps of the Nationals.  They also swept the Braves and took two of three from the Mets.  The Phillies hope to fare better than the rest of their division has thus far.  The Marlins, to me, are an overrated team and remain an overrated team.  This is a mixture of a few reasons.  One is that players wearing the same laundry stunning the world twice in 1997 and 2003.  However, no one from either team is on the current Marlins team.  The other is that, well, they are new and exciting young players.  Also, they started off 11-4.  However, I will briefly dissect this.  First of all, their hitting has been quite lucky.  As I mention below, they have a .371 BABIP with runners on base.  That is unsustainable.  In fact, they are hitting .309/.383/.511 as a team with runners on compared to .218/.292/.336 with no one on.  That is very convenient.  Their wRAA is -3, indicating that they are slightly below average in terms of their overall statistical line.  However, they have scored 83 runs thus far (5.5 R/G).  This is due to fortunate performance with runners on base.  They also have only surrendered 8 homeruns this year, which is 5.7% HR/FB.  That is unsustainably low.  Their K/BB is actually 1.93, which is pretty pedestrian as well.  Their record, adjusting for schedule difficulty and luck with timing of hits, should be 8.5-6.5 so ar this year.  Of course, the Phillies should be 4.6-8.4 so far according to those techniques as well.  This is because of the number of HRs the Phillies have surrendered-- AEQR and AEQRA (BP's stats that I'm using) do not adjust for HR/FB luck.  They do not contain any information that you could not receive from a scorecard.  So, in short, I think the Marlins finish below .500 this year anyway, and I think the Phillies finish above .500.  Does that mean the Phillies take 2 out of 3 in Florida this weekend?  I think it is pretty much impossible to tell.

The matchups:
Friday 7:10-- RHP Brett Myers vs. RHP Josh Johnson
Saturday 7:10-- RHP Chan Ho Park vs. RHP Chris Volstad
Sunday 12:10-- LHP Jamie Moyer vs. TBD (probably either RHP Burke Badenhop or RHP Hayden Penn)

Below the jump, you will find the detailed splits and information about the Marlins and Phillies players.




Most projection systems picked the Marlins decidedly below .500 this year, but they have surprised many by starting the season 11-4.  I remain pessimistic about their abilities, but 11 wins in the books already is a good start.  Their performance does seem a bit flukish.  For one thing, despite hitting a mediocre .259/.330/.414 line as a team, they have scored 83 runs in 15 games (5.5 R/G).  That is largely due to situational hitting-- they are collectively hitting .309/.383/.511 as a team with men on, compared to .218/.292/.336 as a team with bases empty.  There may be such a thing as clutch and there may not be, but no one is clutch enough to hit .371 on balls in play with men on base.  The Marlins are not going to scoring 900 runs this year.  They are also hitting .314/.422/.535 in Close & Late situations.  That is simply unsustainable as well.  The team does not lean especially far to the left or the right, so it's tough to say which Phillies starter is more or less likely to succeed this weekend.  There aren't really any bad hitters in the lineup, but other than Hanley Ramirez, they don't have any superstars either.

1) 3B Emilio Bonifacio (S)

projection average (proj): .260/.315/.340
projected BB/PA (bb): 6.5%
projected K/AB (k): 21%
career gb% (gb): 56%
career infield flies/flyball (iff): 5%
career infield hits/groundball (ifh): 14%
batting average on balls in play tendencies (babip): He gets a lot of infield hits, so the infield has to play in, so his groundballs and line drives find their way through more.  He also avoids infield popups.  So he should be able to hit around .330 on balls in play.
swing/contact/zone facts (s/c/z): about average all around
righty/lefty (r/l):  thus far he has 16 K's and 1 BB against LHP as RHB.
home/away (h/a): thus far very poor on the road: 5.0 k/bb instead of 2.0.
pull/opposite (p/o): spreads ball around very well from both sides
anything else (other): none

2) C John Baker (L)

proj: .265/.335/.390
bb: 10%
k: 23%
gb: 50%
iff: 8%
ifh: 4%
babip: projected to be pretty high (.320ish) but he doesn't seem to profile as a high babip guy to me
s/c/z: swings rarely and makes good contact, okay eye
r/l:  1.3 vs 2.5 k/bb, thus far has made weak contact vs lhp
h/a: .908/.763
p/o: pull hitter
other: none

3) SS Hanley Ramirez (R)

proj: .310/.385/.530
bb: 11%
k: 18%
gb: 43%
iff: 11%
ifh: 10%
babip: excellent babip on groundballs with speed, excellent babip on line drives since he has power and hits deep liners
s/c/z: good eye and above average contact
r/l:  .886/.975; 1.9 vs 1.3 k/bb
h/a: .924/.890
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: better against groundballers and relatively weaker against power pitchers than others

4) 1B Jorge Cantu (R) (note: Cantu may miss this series due to a wrist injury.  Ross Gload (stats later in article, under bench) will start and hit clean up Friday)

proj: .275/.325/.455
bb: 6.5%
k: 19%
gb: 39%
iff: 9%
ifh: 5%
babip: average overall
s/c/z: hacks a lot, makes average contact
r/l: not much of a split
h/a: much better at home, especially in terms of power and babip
p/o: definite pull hitter
other: none

5) 2B Dan Uggla (R)

proj: .260/.340/.475
bb: 10%
k: 26%
gb: 37%
iff: 8%
ifh: 9%
babip: pretty good on groundballs, projected to be average
s/c/z: pretty good eye but poor contact
r/l: .854/.761
h/a: .830/.833 but slight improvement in k/bb
p/o: definite pull hitter
other: none

6) LF Jeremy Hermida (L)

proj: .270/.355/.445
bb: 11%
k: 25%
gb: 45%
iff: 9%
ifh: 6%
babip: projected pretty high but doesn't seem to profile as such at all
s/c/z: poor eye but average contact
r/l: .793 vs .741; 2.2 vs 3.0 k/bb
h/a: .729/.828: better on road
p/o: definite pull hitter
other: none

7) RF Cody Ross (R)

proj: .265/.330/.485
bb: 8%
k: 24%
gb: 37%
iff: 10%
ifh: 4%
babip: average overall
s/c/z: swings a lot, but doesn't make good contact
r/l: .729/.941; 3.7 vs 2.2 k/bb
h/a: not real splits
p/o: pull hitter
other: none

8) CF Cameron Maybin (R)

proj: .275/.345/.430
bb: 9%
k: 30%
gb: 53%
iff: 5%
ifh: 9%
babip: very speedy so probably above average but not as above average as the projections suggest
s/c/z: average eye, poor contact
r/l: not enough info
h/a: not enough info
p/o: not enough info
other: none


There is no one especially menacing on the bench for the Marlins.  Two of their five bench players-- Paulino and Helms-- are phormer Phillies rejects.  Their only lefty off the bench is Gload who makes good contact, but is not especially powerful or patient.  Amezaga is also a switch hitter, but he does not hit well in general.

C Ronny Paulino (R)

proj: .265/.325/.405
bb: 8%
k: 19%
gb: 47%
iff: 6%
ifh: 8%
babip: average overall
s/c/z: good eye and somewhat good contact
r/l:  .643/.928 career.  2.9 vs 1.2 k/bb
h/a: .736/.698
p/o: hits to opposite field slightly more
other: struggles against power pitchers

1B Ross Gload (L)

proj: .280/.325/.405
bb: 6%
k: 12%
gb: 56%
iff: 10%
ifh: 6%
s/c/z: good eye and good contact but swings a lot, and he sees lots of strikes.
r/l:  does as well against lefties in his experiences against him, but he doesn't bat against them rarely and the lack of splits is probably selection bias as he only gets to face weaker lefties
h/a: .775/.713 but similar k/bb numbers
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: none

IF Wes Helms (R)

proj: .255/.320/.400
bb: 7%
k: 24%
gb: 40%
iff: 6%
ifh: 6%
babip: a little above average as he avoids infield flies
s/c/z: okay eye poor contact
r/l:  4.0 vs 2.1 k/bb; .712/.815 ops
h/a: .776/.717 ops
p/o: slight pull hitter but spreads ball around well
other: none

UTL Alfredo Amezaga (S)

proj: .260/.320/.355
bb: 7%
k: 15%
gb: 49%
iff: 14%
ifh: 8%
babip: speedy but doesn't make really solid contact; average overall
s/c/z: average eye but above average contact
r/l:  .692 vs .519; 1.8 vs 3.7 k/bb
h/a: not much of a split
p/o: definite pull hitter as righty; slight pull hitter as lefty
other: none

OF Brett Carroll (R)

proj: .235/.290/.400
bb: 6.5%
k: 26%
gb: 42%
iff: 6%
ifh: 14%
babip: not much info to tell; projected  below average
s/c/z: free swinger who makes very bad contact
r/l: not enough info
h/a: not enough info
p/o: not enough info
other: none


Twenty-five year old Josh Johnson goes against the Phillies on Friday night.  Listed below is his projection for this season, but so far he has outperformed this.  His ERA is 2.91 in 21.2 IP and he has 21 K, 3 BB, and 1 HR in that time span.  He is much better against righties than lefties, so the Phillies will have less trouble with him than other teams.  His outpitch is his slider, so it makes sense that he would be better against RHB.  He will get a decent number of groundballs, but he is not a major groundball pitcher.  On Saturday, the Phillies will face Chris Volstad.  Volstad was projected to have about a 4.80 ERA this year, but so far he has a 2.76 ERA in 16.1 IP.  However, that is primarily due to a .244 BABIP thus far, as he has 16 K and 11 BB so far, and has only surrendered 1 HR in 13 flyballs.  Chances are that he will have a similar performance to his projection.  He does not miss many bats or have great control, but he is good at generating groundballs.  He will not be much easier against lefties than righties.  Sunday's starter would have been Andrew Miller, but he has been placed on the DL, so the Marlins will need to announce a starter for Sunday's game.  Currently, the candidates seem to be Burke Badenhop and Hayden Penn.  Badenhop is a groundball-inducing righty, who has had significantly more success against righties than lefties.  Penn is currently still a mediocre pitcher who has walked more than he has struck out in the majors so far (323 batters faced).


proj avg: 4.00 ERA, 3.4 BB/9, 7.6 K/9, 0.8 HR/9
gb: 47%
pitches: 67% fb, 24% sl, 9% ch
r/l: 2.7 vs 1.7 k/bb; .666 vs .746 ops
h/a: 2.4 vs 1.8 k/bb; .734 vs .676 ops though

Josh Johnson vs. Phillies:

Rollins: 5/17, 1 2B, 1 BB, 2 K
Howard: 7/16, 1 2B, 2 HR, 1 BB, 2 K
Utley: 5/13, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 SF, 0 XBH
Victorino: 3/13, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K
Feliz: 3/9, 1 2B, 0 BB, 4 K
Coste: 4/8, 1 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 1 K
Dobbs: 2/3, 1 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
Werth: 1/3, 2 K
Bruntlett: 0/2


proj avg: 4.80 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 5.5 K/9, 0.8 HR/9
gb: 53%
pitches: 67% fb, 24% cb, 9% ch
r/l: not much of a split
h/a: somewhat of a reverse split but not much info

Chris Volstad vs. Phillies:

Rollins: 3/6, 1 2B, 2 BB, 0 K
Howard: 1/6, 1 BB, 1 K
Utley: 2/5, 1 HR, 1 BB, 0 K
Victorino: 0/7, 0 BB, 0 K
Werth: 1/5, 0 BB, 2 K
Dobbs: 0/4, 0 BB, 0 K
Bruntlett: 0/3, 0 BB, 1 K


proj avg: 4.90 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 5.6 K/9, 1.0 HR/9
gb: 55%
pitches: 71% fb, 15% sl, 14% ch
r/l: 4.8 k/bb vs rhb, 0.7 k/bb vs lhb; also had huge splits in minors
h/a: not enough info

other: I have a soft spot for Badenhop, not just because of his name, but because I found out that he was a former economics major who graduated with a 3.94 GPA at Bowling Green State University.  Check out this story.


Badenhop vs. Phillies:

Coste: 0/1
Feliz: 0/1
Howard: 1/1, HR


proj avg: 5.20 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, 5.5 K/9, 1.3 HR/9
gb: 42%
pitches: 67% fb, 17% ch, 15% cb
r/l: 0.8 vs 0.9 k/bb; 1.135 vs .825 ops (151 vs 172 pa)
h/a: 1.1 vs 0.7 k/bb; 1.003 vs .948 ops (127 vs 196 pa)

Penn vs. Phillies:

Cairo: 1/1

NOT FACING US: Anibal Sanchez (R)

proj avg: 4.30 ERA, 4.0 BB/9, 7.2 K/9, 0.9 HR/9
gb: 43%
pitches: 57% fb, 19% sl, 16% cb, 8% ch, 1% ct
r/l: .653 vs .780 ops; 2.2 vs 1.1 k/bb
h/a: .668 vs .782; 1.9 vs 1.1 k/bb

NOT FACING US: Ricky Nolasco (R)

proj avg: 4.10 ERA, 2.2 BB/9, 7.5 K/9, 1.2 HR/9
gb: 39%
pitches: 5% fb, 27% cb, 16% sl, 5% sf, 1% ch
r/l: 5.1 vs 2.2 k/bb!  .682 vs .811 ops
h/a: 3.9 vs 2.8 k/bb but .682 vs .811 ops

DISABLED LIST: Andrew Miller (L)

proj avg: 4.60 ERA, 4.5 BB/9, 7.5 K/9, 0.8 HR/9
gb: 48%
pitches: 75% fb, 16% sl, 5% cb, 4% ch, 0.1% ct
r/l: 1.3 vs 1.5 k/bb; .841 vs .699 ops though-- probably selection bias as managers avoided putting lefties against him
h/a: .792 vs .823


The Marlins' bullpen is a reasonably solid bunch, with no real standouts.  The closer is Matt Lindstrom, who has converted three of his first four save opportunities.  He is a little bit wild, but does miss bats.  The Marlins have two lefties in their bullpen.  Renyel Pinto actually has surrendered a higher OPS to left-handed batters, but given that his k/bb numbers are better against lefties, that is probably selection bias as Pinto is shielded from powerful righthanded hitters.  Pinto relies primarily on a fastball/changeup combination, so he is probably not especially tough for lefties to face.  Dan Meyer is a flyball prone lefty in the pen who throws a slider.  He is not projected to be very good this year.  There are a few other medicore righties in the pen.  Everyone in the Marlins pen is pretty good at striking guys out, but none have great control.

CL Matt Lindstrom (R)

proj avg: 3.90 ERA, 3.6 BB/9, 7.5 K/9, 0.6 HR/9
gb: 47%
pitches: 77% fb, 19% sl, 3% ch, 1% cb
r/l: 2.4 vs 1.9 k/bb; .621 vs .714 ops
h/a: .623 vs .704 ops; 3.2 vs 1.5 k/bb

Leo Nunez (R)

proj avg: 4.00 ERA, 3.0 BB/9, 6.8 K/9, 1.0 HR/9
gb: 37%
pitches: 61% fb, 20% ch, 19% sl
r/l: 3.4 vs 1.3 k/bb; .727 vs .888 ops
h/a: 2.0 vs 2.3 k/bb; .731 vs .868 ops

Renyel Pinto (L)

proj avg: 4.20 ERA, 5.3 BB/9, 8.5 K/9, 1.0 HR/9
gb: 42%
pitches: 61% fb, 32% ch, 8% sl
r/l: 1.3 vs 1.9 k/bb; .680 vs .744 ops (selection bias again)
h/a: .675 vs .734 ops; 1.3 vs 1.9 k/bb

Logan Kensing (R)

proj avg: 4.30 ERA, 5.0 BB/9, 9.0 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 34%
pitches: 68% fb, 30% sl, 2% ch
r/l: 2.1 vs 1.4 k/bb, .784 vs .809 ops
h/a: .758 vs .852 ops; 1.4 vs 2.4 k/bb

Kiko Calero (R)

proj avg: 4.40 ERA, 5.0 BB/9, 9.5 K/9, 0.9 HR/9
gb: 35%
pitches: 66% fb, 29% sl, 5% ch
r/l: 3.4 vs 1.8 k/bb; .597 vs .791 ops
h/a: not much of a split

Dan Meyer (L)

proj avg: 5.00 ERA, 4.0 BB/9, 7.0 K/9, 1.2 HR/9
gb: 26%
pitches: 64% fb, 17% sl, 19% ch
r/l: 1.2 vs 1.8 k/bb; .913 vs .985 ops (selection bias)
h/a: 1.0 vs 1.9 k/bb; .964 vs .908



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.  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 have been splitting time with Coste starting more often.  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, 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)

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


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


Brett Myers starts Friday night's game for the Phillies.  His main struggles consistently come early on.  He was pretty effective during his last couple starts, but he remains extremely homerun prone.  This continues to confuse me.  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 Saturday.  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, though he was a tiny bit better in his second start.  Even still, he has not been too effective thus far.  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 Sunday, Jamie Moyer will pitch Monday evening's game.  The 46-year old has struggled somewhat early on, but hopes to rebound Monday.  He has been particularly effective against the Marlins since joining the Phillies.


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.

Myers vs. Marlins:

Uggla: 11/32, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 0 BB, 8 K
Ramirez: 9/25, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 BB, 5 K
Amezaga: 6/18, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 XBH
Hermida: 1/14, 3 BB, 7 K, 0 XBH
Ross: 1/11, 1 2B, 0 BB, 3 K
Cantu: 5/10, 2 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 1 K
Bonifacio: 2/4, 0 BB, 1 K
Helms: 0/3, 1 BB, 2 K
Baker: 1/2, 1 BB, 0 K
Gload: 0/1, 2 BB, 0 K
Johnson: 0/3, 0 BB, 3 K
Maybin: 3/3, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 XBH
Paulino: 0/3, 0 BB, 0 K


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. Marlins:

Ramirez: 4/5, 1 HR, 1 BB, 0 K
Uggla: 0/3, 2 BB, 0 K
Hermida: 0/3, 0 BB, 0 K
Amezaga: 1/2, 1 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
Baker: 2/2, 1 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 0 K
Cantu: 2/2, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Johnson: 1/2, 0 BB, 1 K
Paulino: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K
Ross: 0/2, 0 BB, 1 K


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. Marlins:

Ramirez: 11/31, 1 3B, 4 HR, 3 BB, 3 K
Uggla: 5/29, 2 2B, 1 BB, 12 K
Ross: 3/26, 1 HR, 1 BB, 4 K
Cantu: 6/19, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 XBH
Amezaga: 3/20, 1 2B, 0 BB, 4 K
Hermida: 3/13, 1 HR, 3 BB, 1 K
Helms: 4/7, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 2 K
Baker: 3/7, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K
Paulino: 3/5, 0 BB, 1 K
Maybin: 0/3, 0 BB, 0 K


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


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.


Lidge has been nowhere near as effective as the Phillies closer in the early going this year, and he blew his first save last week, after letting two games come to within one run before that.  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 started strong in 2009, but has tailed off a little bit since then.  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.  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