Items after the jump:
- Phillies' hitters vs. projections
- Padres preview
- Phillies stats vs. early 2011 and vs. the Padres
- More bullpen fun
- NL Standings and team stats
- Rollins, Ibanez notes
- Upcoming milestones
Phillies' Hitters vs. Projections
The average is now only 2% below the lowest projection, but I continue to think there is more upside than downside going forward. Victorino, Rollins, and Mayberry can all do much better.
San Diego Padres Preview
The Phillies are hoping a series against the last-place Padres will help them to get back on the winning track.
San Diego is at or near the bottom in virtually every offensive category, with the exception of two quite important ones: they are 10th in OBP, despite a .220 Batting Average, because they lead the NL in BB%, at 10.4%.
Their pitching has been about league average, although they have issued the most walks in the NL, with 3.9 BB/9. Of the three starters the Phillies will face, Clayton Richard (3.26) and Jeff Suppan (3.60) have somewhat higher than average walk rates, while Edinson Volquez has been much higher, at 4.68. Even the Phils walked 3 times in 6 innings when they faced him last month.
Phillies vs. scheduled starters...
- Clayton Richard: current Phillies are a combined 9-44 (.205) against him, with 1 double and 6 walks. He has faced the Phillies twice, both at Petco, and each time pitched into the 8th while giving up two runs. He lost both games despite 2.40 ERA.
- Edinson Volquez: current Phillies are a combined 13-64 (.203) off him, with 4 doubles and 3 HRs. Wigginton is 4-9 with a double and 2 homers. He had two strong against the Phils in 2008 and the so-so one this April.
- Jeff Suppan: current Phils are 27-68 (.312), and it seems to be either feast (Pence 1.545 OPS in 22 PAs, Rollins 1.030 in 30, Schneider 1.202 in 22), or famine (Pierre .641 in 27, Polanco .277 in 18).
Phillies Team Stats vs. early 2011 and vs. Padres
- Runs scored over the first 32 games continue to track closely with the first 46 games of 2011. The Phillies averaged 2.7 in their first 16 games (15th in the NL), but 4.9 in their last 16, good for 3rd in the league over those 2+ weeks.
- Walks continue to be the one stat that is glaringly different from last year with the Phils last in the NL at only 5.7%.
So the Phillies' offense so far has been overall pretty bad, but no worse than it was last year before Utley joined the team. However in early 2011 the Phillies were 28-18 in those first 46 games, whereas this year they are 14-18. The difference of course is that this year the pitching is much worse. And as we've seen the past few days, it's the bullpen in particular that is much worse, while the starters have been as good as they were last year:
However looking at FIP tells a somewhat different story: starters were very good in both years, and in fact were even better than their excellent ERA showed in early 2011. However the bullpen was not as good as their ERA last year, and have not been as bad as their ERA shows so far in 2012:
NL Standings and Team Stats
Jimmy Rollins and HItter's Counts
I am very happy Rollins was re-signed, and I fully expect him to earn his contract. However one annoying aspect of his game is his propensity to swing at 3-1 and 3-0 counts.
3-0: for the first 5 years of his career, he swung once in 170 opportunities; he now swings about 10% of the time
3-1: he started close to 60% early but cut that to about 50% in 2006 and 2008-09. However he's been swinging more in recent years, to where this year he's swung away in 8 of the 10 3-1 counts he's seen. I don't know if it's because he was in the 3-hole and so thought he had to drive the ball, but in any case not a good trend.
One thing I will add though is that, contrary to his reputation among many, Rollins walked more in the past two years than any NL team's leadoff hitters.
2010-11 walk rates
Average NL leadoff hitter: 8.0%
Highest NL team: MIL - 9.5%
(All Phillies leadoff hitters - 8.8%)
Out of Left Field
As chair of the Stats committee of the TGP Raul Ibanez fan club, I'd like to point out that the original Rauuul would be the third best hitter on this Phils team, sandwiched between Carlos Ruiz and... Juan Pierre.
1. Nix .420
2. Ruiz .385
... Ibanez .358 (with a .239 BABIP)
3. Pierre .345
4. Pence .343
- tonight's game (33rd of the year) will tie him with Tony Taylor for 4th on the Phillies' all-time list with 1,669, behind only Schmidt (2,404), Ashburn (1,794), and Bowa (1,739)
- he sits at 2,998 total bases, and 2 more (36 for the year) will make him the 4th player in history to get 3,000 with the Phillies, joining Schmidt (4,404), Delahanty (3,230), and Ennis (3,029)
- with 4 more singles (28 total), he will tie 19th century outfielder Roy Thomas for 4th on the Phillies' list, behind Ashburn (1,811), Delahanty (1,525), and Bowa (1,498)
- with 1,996 career hits, Polanco needs 4 more hits (34 on the season) to reach 2,000 for his career