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Phillies vs. Nationals: April 27-29

The Phillies (9-8) head back home after sweeping the Marlins to face the Nationals (4-13) who avoided the sweep by beating the Mets on Sunday.  The game that everyone has their eyes on is Tuesday night's start by Cole Hamels' start against the Nationals.  After a terrible start to begin the year, a good start turned bad to follow it, and a dominating three innings against the Brewers in his third start terminated early after a homerun and a linedrive off the shoulder, Cole will hope the fourth one's a charm.  Before that, Blanton will take on the Nats on Monday though.  The Phillies will have to face a couple of lefties, including their old nemesis Scott Olsen this week.  Here are the matchups:


MONDAY 7:05-- Joe Blanton (R) vs. Shairon Martis (R)

TUESDAY 7:05-- Cole Hamels (L) vs. John Lannan (L)

WEDNESDAY 7:05-- Brett Myers (R) vs. Scott Olsen (L)


Here are the players' peripherals and splits




The Nationals have a decent lineup, but they have not exactly managed their resources perfectly meaning that they have five guys who could legitimately play LF/RF/1B, and two are on the bench.  They have two solid lefties with great eyes right in the top of their lineup, and it will be important for the Phillies to get past them.  The Nationals do not have much power outside of these guys and Zimmerman though and they don't have very good contact hitters either. Other than Johnson and Dunn in the top of their lineup, the rest of their lineup is actually right-handed or switch-hitters.

(1) 2B Anderson Hernandez (S)

proj: .240/.290/.330
bb: 6%
k: 17%
gb: 46%
iff: 7%
ifh: 9%
babip: slightly below average due to weak hits and poor contact, but he's bound to be good on groundballs
s/c/z: average thus far
r/l: probably a little better as rhb against lhp
h/a: not enough info
p/o: so far he seems to be a bit of an opposite field hitter
other: none

(2) 1B Nick Johnson (L)

proj: .270/.410/.470
bb: 17%
k: 21%
gb: 44%
iff: 9%
ifh: 3%
babip: doesn't tend to do well on groundballs in general, but does decently otherwise, about average
s/c/z: does not swing much, but especially good at laying off balls; contact rate about average though
r/l: no major split at all
h/a: no major split at all
p/o: spreads ball around pretty well but slight pull hitter
other: much better babip with runners on thus far; probably hooks ball in hole a lot

(3) 3B Ryan Zimmerman (R)

proj: .285/.350/.475
bb: 8.5%
k: 17.5%
gb: 44%
iff: 11%
ifh: 8%
babip: tends to hit around .315 on BIP since he hits a lot of groundballs in the whole
s/c/z: about average across the board
r/l: .758/.931; 2.6 k/bb vs rhp, 1.2 vs lhp; and slightly more power against lhp too
h/a: nothing abnormal
p/o: slight pull hitter but spreads ball around pretty well
other: none

(4) LF Adam Dunn (L)

proj: .245/.380/.490
bb: 17.5%
k: 31%
gb: 34%
iff: 11%
ifh: 4%
babip: somewhat low, around .290 career, mostly bc of low babip on groundballs due to the shift
s/c/z: good eye, laying off pitches out of the strike zone; poor contact skills but not as bad as you might expect; sees few strikes
r/l: .932/.833; biggest difference is 1.4 k/bb vs rhb and 2.0 k/bb vs lhb
h/a: nothing abnormal
p/o: definitepull hitter
other: nothing abnormal; power lefties tend to do better with men on, but he hasn't in his career

(5) CF Elijah Dukes (R)

proj: .265/.365/.465
bb: 14%
k: 23%
gb: 44%
iff: 12%
ifh: 5%
babip: has been low but seems to profile as about average
s/c/z: good eye but poor contact skill
r/l: more power against lhp but not much difference otherwisee
h/a: much better k/bb at home: 1.2 vs 2.0
p/o: definite pull hitter
other: none

(6) RF Austin Kearns (R)

proj: .260/.350/.410
bb: 11%
k: 21%
gb: 46%
iff: 10%
ifh: 6.5%
babip: average all around
s/c/z: very good eye with average contact skill
r/l: 2.2 k/bb vs rhp, 1.1 k/bb vs lhp; only .775/.827 split overall career though
h/a: no major split
p/o: spreads ball around pretty well but slight pull hitter
other: better against power pitchers

(7) C Jesus Flores (R)

proj: .245/.305/.410
bb: 6.5%
k: 26%
gb: 42%
iff: 17%
ifh: 5%
babip: has been above average but will probably fall due to high popup rate
s/c/z: hacker but pithchers still challenge him
r/l: 5.1 k/bb vs rhp, 3.5 k/bb vs lhp; .633/.802 ops split but mostly due to very high babip vs lhp that probably won't persist
h/a: struggles more at home so far in career but probably just noise
p/o: very distinct pull hitter; only rarely goes the other way at all
other: far more successful against finesse pitchers thus far with lots of trouble against power pitchers

(8) SS Alberto Gonzalez (R)

proj: .260/.310/.380
bb: 7%
k: 13%
gb: 46%
iff: 17%
ifh: 4%
babip: low due to high infield fly rate and low infield hit rate
s/c/z: patient but not especially good discipline; good contact skill though
r/l: not enough info
h/a: not enough info
p/o: tends to be a pull hitter but not much info
other: none


The Nats should have a solid couple of hitters on the bench every day, so they do have some pinch hitting threats.

C Wil Nieves (R)

proj: .245/.290/.325
bb: 5.5%
k: 14%
gb: 53%
iff: 7%
ifh: 5%
babip: lack of power leads to it being below average since its low on flyballs; lack of speed leads to pretty low babip on groundballs too
s/c/z: poor strike zone judgment, but not terrible
r/l: seems typical but not enough info
h/a: not enough info
p/o: spreads ball around evenly
other: none

1B/OF Josh Willingham (R)

proj: .265/.355/.485
bb: 11%
k: 22%
gb: 39%
iff: 12%
ifh: 9%
babip: average all around
s/c/z: low swing rate in general, average contact skill
r/l: better k/bb and power numbers vs lhb but reverse babip split masks that
h/a: seemingly better on the road
p/o: definite pull hitter
other: better against groundball pitchers

2B Ronnie Belliard (R)

proj: .270/.330/.420
bb: 8%
k: 17%
gb: 46%
iff: 11%
ifh: 7%
babip: below average by a little due to lack of power
s/c/z: average across the board
r/l: .727/.828
h/a: .773/.739
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: none

IF Alex Cintron (S)

proj avg: .270/.310/.380
bb: 5%
k: 14%
gb: 45%
iff: 11%
ifh: 5%
babip: about average overall
s/c/z: free swinger with above average contact and okay eye; thrown a lot of strikes
r/l: .694/.757
h/a: .728/.693
p/o: slight pull hitter
other: none

OF Justin Maxwell (R)

proj avg: .240/.320/.430
bb: 9%
k: 24%
gb: 43% in minors in 2008
iff: 17% in minors in 2008
ifh: n/a
babip: seems bad, but little info
s/c/z: not enough info
r/l: much, much better agianst lhp in minors
h/a: not enough info
p/o: not enough info
other: none

DISABLED LIST: SS Cristian Guzman (S)

proj: .295/.335/.420
bb: 5%
k: 12%
gb: 55%
iff: 11%
ifh: 8%
babip: solid ground ball rate puts him around .315-.320
s/c/z: fair strike judgment but plus contact skill
r/l: poorer strike zone judgment as rhb but more power
h/a: .743/.645 career
p/o: more of a pull hitter against rhb, but some pull tendencies against lhb too
other: none

DISABLED LIST: UTL Willie Harris (L)

proj: .255/.345/.390
bb: 10.5%
k: 19.5%
gb: 48%
iff: 10%
ifh: 7%
babip: average all around
s/c/z: does not swing much
r/l: better vs rhp, primarily due to k/bb difference (1.5 vs 3.2)
h/a: not much difference
p/o: pull hitter

DISABLED LIST: OF Roger Bernadina (L)

proj: .260/.330/.380
bb: 9%
k: 22%
gb: 67% so far and seems right based on minor league numbers
iff: 8% in minors last year
ifh: seems to be prone to a few but tough to know
babip: speed probably keeps it a bit high but lack of power indicates not that high
s/c/z: so far has had good eye and decent contact
r/l: not enough info
h/a: not enough info
p/o: pull hitter
other: none


The Phillies have to face two lefties this series.  None of the starters they have to face are very tough and neither of the lefties are especially tough on lefties.  On Wednesday, the Phillies will face their old nemesis, Scott Olsen.

MONDAY STARTER: Shairon Martis (R)

proj avg: 5.10 ERA, 4.2 BB/9, 6.8 K/9, 1.3 HR/9
gb: 37%
pitches: 60% fb, 20% ch, 10% sl, 9% cb
r/l: not enough info
h/a: not enough info

Martis vs. Phillies


Howard: 1/3, 1 BB, 1 K

Marson: 2/4, 1 2B, 0 BB, 1 K

Feliz: 0/3, 0 BB, 0 K

Rollins: 2/3, 0 BB, 0 K

Utley: 1/2, 1 BB, 0 K

Victorino: 0/3, 0 BB, 0 K

Werth: 0/3, 0 BB, 0 K

Bruntlett: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K

Coste: 0/1, 0 BB, 0 K


proj avg: 4.15 ERA, 3.6 BB/9, 5.6 K/9, 1.0 HR/9
gb: 54%
pitches: 60% fb, 16% sl, 12% cb, 11% ch, 1% ct
r/l: 1.2 k/bb vs rhb, 2.3 vs lhb; .719/.840 ops
h/a: slightly better on road but not much info


Lannan vs. Phillies


Rollins: 5/12, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 0 K

Utley: 5/11, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP, 0 XBH

Victorino: 4/11, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP

Howard: 4/11, 1 2B, 1 HR, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HBP

Werth: 3/8, 2 HR, 1 BB, 5 K

Feliz: 3/6, 1 BB,0 K

Bruntlett: 1/4, 0 BB, 0 K


proj avg: 4.75 ERA, 3.4 BB/9, 6.2 K/9, 1.3 HR/9
gb: 40%
pitches: 63% fb, 20% ch, 17% sl
r/l: 1.6 k/bb vs rhb, 2.8 k/bb vs lhb; .827/.686 ops
h/a: 2.0 vs 1.5 k/bb

Olsen vs. Phillies:


Rollins: 6/28, 2 3B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 2 K

Utley: 4/24, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 BB, 7 K

Howard: 11/24, 3 2B, 2 HR, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HBP

Victorino: 2/16, 1 2B, 0 BB, 0 K

Werth: 6/13, 2 2B, 2 HR, 1 BB, 2 K

Feliz: 4/12, 2 2B, 1 3B, 0 BB, 1 K

Coste: 2/7, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 3 K

Bruntlett: 1/5, 1 BB, 3 K

Ibanez: 2/3, 0 BB, 0 K


proj avg: 4.90 ERA, 4.1 BB/9, 7.0 K/9, 1.2 HR/9
gb: 48% in minors so probably about average in majors perhaps (?)
pitches: ?
r/l: better against righties in minors
h/a: ?


proj avg: 4.75 ERA, 4.7 BB/9, 7.1 K/9, 1.0 HR/9
gb: 47%
pitches: 72% fb, 24% sl, 4% ch
r/l: .681/.827; 1.5 k/bb vs 1.2
h/a: many more hr surrendered at home but slightly better k/bb


The Nats lack a dominant arm in the bullpen, but their closer is Joel Hanrahan.  The rest of the bullpen has practically been replaced since the Phillies' first series against the Nats this year.  The only lefty in the pen is the mediocre Mike Hinkley.

CL Joel Hanrahan (R)

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

Saul Rivera (R)

proj avg: 3.90 EAR, 3.9 BB/9, 6.7 K/9, 0.5 HR/9
gb: 50%
pitches: 45% fb, 34% sl, 19% ct, 2% ch
r/l: not much of a split
h/a: much better at home (2.1 k/bb vs 1.2)

Michael Hinckley (L)

proj avg: 5.50 ERA, 4.7 BB/9, 6.5 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 44%
pitches: 67% fb, 33% cb
r/l: major loogy probably, but tough to tell from limited info
h/a: not enough info

Julian Tavarez (R)

proj avg: 4.60 ERA, 3.8 BB/9, 6.7 K/9, 0.8 HR/9
gb: 55%
pitches: 53% fb, 25% sl, 15% ch, 8% sf
r/l: 2.2 k/bb vs rhb, 1.0 vs lhb; .734/.827 ops
h/a: 1.75 k/bb at home, 1.3 on road

Garrett Mock (R)

proj avg: 4.50 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, 7.4 K/9, 1.1 HR/9
gb: 47%
pitches: 59% fb, 20% cb, 11% ch, 8% sl, 2% ct
r/l: .689/.704
h/a: .730/.643

Jason Bergmann (R)

proj avg: 4.65 ERA, 3.2 BB/9, 6.8 K/9, 1.3 HR/9
gb: 31%
pitches: 55% fb, 21% cb, 15% sl, 6% ch
r/l: .734/.870
h/a: .764/.840

Kip Wells (R)

proj avg: 5.10 ERA, 4.4 BB/9, 6.5 K/9, 1.0 HR/9
gb: 49%
pitches: 70% sl, 12% sl, 10% cb, 8% ch
r/l: .755/.807
h/a: .756/.802


proj avg: 3.90 ERA, 3.6 BB/9, 5.2 K/9, 0.6 HR/9
gb: 49%
pitches: 85% fb (sinkers coded as fastballs), 7% sl, 5% cb, 4% ch
r/l: 0.9 vs 2.3 k/bb, platoon splits not even as deep as would be give strength of lhb faced vs rhb
h/a: 1.5 k/bb at home 1.1 k/bb on road, but ops split not different



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.  Carlos Ruiz is apparently returning Wednesday, so Marson will be sent down then.

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


Joe Blanton starts Monday night's game against the Nationals.  He is mostly a contact pitcher, but he has struggled this year.  Cole Hamels starts Tuesday night's game, after a frustrating start to 2009.  He was dominating the Brewers through three innings last Thursday before he gave up a homerun to Braun and was hit by a linedrive and needed to leave the game.  He'll look to rebound against the Nationals this Tuesday and put together a solid start.  Myers will pitch Wednesday night.


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. Nats:


Dukes: 2/10, 1 2B, 2 BB, 2 K

Belliard: 3/8,1 2B, 1 BB, 0 K

Zimmerman: 3/8, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 BB, 1 K

Dunn: 1/6, 1 HR, 0 BB, 2 K

Flores: 1/5, 1 BB, 2 K

Johnson: 4/6, 1 2B, 0 BB, 1 K

Cintron: 2/5, 0 BB, 1 K

Kearns: 1/4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 0 K

Nieves: 0/4, 0 BB, 0 K

Willingham: 1/4, 0 BB, 1 K

Gonzalez: 1/3, 0 BB, 0 K

Hernandez: 1/3, 0 BB, 0 K


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. Nats:


Zimmerman: 10/37, 1 2B, 2 HR, 1 BB, 8 K

Kearns: 6/22, 2 2B, 4 BB (1 IBB), 3 K

Belliard: 6/23, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 7 K

Willingham: 3/13, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 BB, 7 K

Flores: 1/12, 0 BB, 7 K, 0 XBH

Johnson: 3/11, 3 2B, 1 BB, 3 K

Dunn: 1/8, 1 2B, 1 BB, 5 K

Dukes: 1/4, 1 2B, 2 BB, 2 K

Maxwell: 2/5, 0 BB, 2 K

Hernandez: 1/4, 0 BB, 0 K

Cintron: 0/2, 0 BB, 1 K

Nieves: 1/2, 0 BB, 0 K


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. Nats:


Zimmerman: 11/30, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 BB, 5 K, 1 SF (1.096 OPS)

Kearns: 7/25, 2 2B, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HBP, 1 SF

Johnson: 4/21, 3 2B, 1 HR, 4 BB, 8 K, 1 HBP

Dunn: 3/15, 1 2B, 2 HR, 6 BB, 5 K

Belliard: 4/18, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP

Willingham: 5/13, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HBP

Flores: 2/12, 1 2B, 0 BB, 3 K

Cintron: 4/10, 2 HR, 0 BB, 1 K

Hernandez: 3/4, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 XBH


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


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


Lidge has been nowhere near as effective as the Phillies closer in the early going this year, but has gotten through a few tough saves anyway.  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.  He has had a few bad moments and a few moments of dominance thus far.  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