Understand, I am not a stats guy.
When I see graphs and equations and numbers all piled up on top of one other, it makes my brain itchy. My eyes begin to cross and things grow fuzzy. I develop a bitter taste in my mouth akin to battery acid.
Math has never been my jam, so I rely on the much smarter sabermetrics dudes to help me along with some of the more "advanced" statistics baseball has to offer.
That said, sometimes I can fake it. This will be one of those times.
When one looks at the numbers, one finds that outside of the offense, starting pitching, relief pitching and defense, the Phillies really weren't all that bad last year.
Oh, and base running, too.
Anywho, when taking a closer look at some of the final numbers of the 2013 season, you get a better sense of just how much the Phils really struggled in some areas, and just where the team needs the most improvement.
Here's a hint. They need improvement EVERYWHERE.
- Ben Revere, the team's leadoff hitter at the start of the season, had 16 walks in 336 plate appearances before he fouled a ball off his foot, ending his season. That would have equaled 31 walks over 650 PAs. The fewest walks Jimmy Rollins had in a season in which he had at least 600 PAs was in 2009 when he walked just 44 times in 725 PAs. Leadoff hitters really should walk a bit more, you know.
- Domonic Brown's offensive emergence in 2013 was a great thing, totaling a 14.8 Runs Above Average. That number combines Brown's batting (13.7) and baserunning (1.1) totals. However, he is still a liability defensively, posting a -15.9 Defensive Runs Above Average, which means he was 15.9 defensive runs worse than the average player in 2013.
- Chase Utley led the team in Offensive Runs Above Average at 17.0.
- Looking at the rest of the Defense Runs Above Average numbers, Carlos Ruiz was tops on the team at 6.2, with Kratz #2 at 4.3, Rollins #3 at 4.1, and Utley #4 at 3.3. Worst was Brown at -15.9, followed by Michael Young at #2 at -13.1, and Delmon Young #3 at -12.9. (Keep in mind, these numbers take into account a positional adjustment.)
- Jimmy Rollins played 160 games, the only Phillies player with more than 139 games in 2013.
- John Mayberry, as bad as he was, actually finished 6th on the team in ISO this year (.164).
- For hitters who accumulated at least 200 PAs, Ryan Howard had the highest BABIP on the team (.349), while Erik Kratz had the worst (.228). Interesting to see Howard's so high, given how often he hits into the shift.
- Michael Martinez, in limited at-bats, led the team in line drive percentage at 35.7%. WAIT, WHAT? MICHAEL MARTINEZ? Well before you get your panties in a bunch, realize we're talking about 10 line drives out of 28 balls in play here, so, let's not go calling his agent or anything.
- Among players with 200 PAs, Howard led the team at 23.9%, with Rollins #2 at 23.6%. Kratz was the lowest at 14.3% (this likely correlates to the BABIP numbers listed above).
- Kevin Frandsen was hit by a pitch 11 times in just 222 PAs this year, leading the team despite his limited playing time. That would equal about 26 over a typical full season of 650 PAs. That would have tied Shin Soo Choo for the league lead in HBPs, and would have been the second highest total in Phils history, behind Utley's 27 in 2008. Of course, Frandsen probably would not have continued at that pace had he played a full season. However, even his 11 was the 35th highest total in the team's 131-year history.
- Chase Utley led team in Win Probability Added (WPA) of 2.64, with Brown #2 at 2.31 and Ryan Howard a surprising third at 0.58. Laynce Nix was dead last at -1.30, tied with Roger Bernadina. Delmon Young was 3rd-to-last, at -0.73. In other words, Chase helped win more games than any other Phillie, and Nix, well, not so much.
- Fangraph's "Clutch" statistic compares how a player does in normal situations against how he does in high leverage situations. For example, a .300 hitter who hits .300 in high leverage situations is not considered "clutch." A .300 hitter who hits .450 in high leverage situations is more so. It's not a predictive stat, but gives a good sense of how well a player did in the clutch. An excellent number is considered to be 2.0, great is 1.0, above average 0.5, average 0, below average -0.5, poor -1.0, and awful is -2.0. Given all that, Rollins lead team at 1.33, with Michael Young #2 at 0.58. Darin Ruf was the worst at -1.21, with Delmon Young second worst at -0.90. In other words, in situations that gave the Phillies the best chances to win, the guys you wanted at the plate this year were Rollins and Michael Young. You didn't want to see Ruf or Delmon Young at the dish in high leverage situations.
- Ryan Howard predictably had the highest swinging strike percentage at 16.9%. Delmon Young was 2nd at 15.9%. Ben Revere missed just 2.9% of pitches he swung at, fewest on the team.
- How great was Cliff Lee in 2013? He was 3rd in NL in innings pitched (222.2), 4th in fWAR (5.1), 2nd in bWAR (7.3), 4th in WHIP (1.01), 6th ERA (2.87), 2nd in Ks (232), 1st K/BB (6.94), 6th K/9 (8.97), 4th in Avg. Game Score (61.9), and 6th in OPS allowed (.631).
- Cole Hamels unsurprisingly led the NL in Tough Losses with 7, was 6th in Ks (202), 8th in fWAR (4.2), 7th in bWAR (4.6), 3rd in Quality Starts (25), and 6th in K/BB (4/04). He was still really good.
- However, Hamels and Lee did give up the longball in 2013, with Lee tied for 9th most (22), and Hamels tied for 12th (21).
- Kyle Kendrick ranked 39th out of 43 qualifying NL pitchers in OPS against at .751. He ranked 40th out of 43 pitchers in ERA at 4.70.
- And how about that bullpen. Check out these WHIP numbers. Justin De Fratus 1.500, Jeremy Horst 1.808, Luis Garcia 1.596, Zach Miner 1.744, J.C. Ramirez 1.875, B.J. Rosenberg 1.475, Phillippe Aumont 1.914, and Cesar Jimenez 1.412. Ethan Martin's was 1.700, however, it was 1.788 as a starter, but a much more respectable 1.286 as a reliever.
- The Phils' bullpen was 14th in NL in Ks, posted the worst WHIP in the NL (1.470), had the 3rd worst LOB%, and highest BB%. There are a ton of hard throwers in there, but they have no earthly clue where the ball is going when it leaves their hand. That's no good.
Numbers are fun, aren't they? And there are probably dozens of others that would help tell the story of the 2013 season. These are just a few.
And for pointing them out to you... I'm sorry.