Ryan SommersRyan Sommers

Recent articles by Ryan Sommers

 

Phillies Acquire Brad Lincoln, Wil Nieves

In the midst of some very hilarious pre-Winter-Meeting developments, the Phillies have made two negligible acquisitions. As Jim Salisbury reports, the Phillies have traded Rob Rasmussen and Erik Kratz to Toronto for reliever Brad Lincoln. The fact that this trade was officially announced by Phillies personnel prior to any rumor or leak should clue you
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2013 Phillies Report Card: Roy Halladay

Here, you’re going to need this:

 

2013 Phillies Report Card: Carlos Ruiz

It’s sort of arbitrary, but I always figured mid-2009 for the time when Carlos Ruiz turned it around at the (side of the) plate. Through games played on July 19th of that year, Ruiz had posted a .688 OPS, following a rough 2008 season (in which he nevertheless provided some choppy World Series heroics). That
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2013 Phillies Report Card: Cody Asche

Cody Asche was drafted by the Phillies during the twilight of their 21st century boom years, 151st overall in the 2011 draft. He didn’t make a terrible amount of noise, but progressed through the system quickly, stopping at both Clearwater and Reading in 2012, performing ably at each.

 

Phillies Sign Marlon Byrd to 2 Year Deal

As first reported by WIP (over my snarky skepticism), and confirmed by Ken Rosenthal, the Phillies have inked outfielder Marlon Byrd to a two year contract. Adam Rubin reports the total dollar amount at $16 million.

 

2013 Phillies Report Card: Ben Revere

I was fairly unmoved by the trade to acquire Ben Revere. On the one hand, getting anything serviceable for Vance Worley and Trevor May seems like a win on its face. Worley’s magic had just about run out, and May’s prospect star had dimmed out of the main sequence and into the “probable reliever” spectrum.
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2013 Phillies Report Card: Ryan Howard

This latest era of Phillies ignominy was, for me, inaugurated by Ryan Howard. Specifically, it began as he collapsed to the ground in agony, clutching at what turned out to be a ruptured Achilles tendon, as in a blur, out of my focus, the Cardinals completed the force at first and began celebrating their trip
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2013 Phillies Report Card: Freddy Galvis

Freddy Galvis is rooting around the Venezuelan Winter League right now, playing shortstop for los Aguilas de Zulia. When he returns stateside, he’ll almost certainly have a spot with the big league club in 2014. Galvis has two seasons of non-arbitration team control remaining, and has established himself as exactly the kind of utility player
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2013 Phillies Report Card: Joe Savery

Joe Savery had something to prove entering 2013. Because, frankly, if I could pick one word describe his 2012 season, it would be:

 

2013 Phillies Report Card: B.J. Rosenberg

Many years ago, when I first started dating the woman who is now my wife, we were driving on a highway and passed a B.J’s Wholesale Club (pretty much a Costco as I understand it) that was under construction. Her father is apparently fond of shopping there for things, and, accordingly, she exclaimed “Oh! My
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2013 Phillies Report Card: John Lannan

We should probably have seen John Lannan‘s acquisition coming. The Phillies were intimately familiar with Lannan, for reasons both good (the Phils had smacked him around for a collective .899 OPS over 448 plate appearances) and bad (he was ejected from his debut for hitting Chase Utley and Ryan Howard consecutively, the former derailing a
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2013 Phillies Report Card: Raul Valdes

Yesterday, Raul Valdes, after 42 relief appearances and 2 spot starts for the Phillies, was claimed off of waivers by the Houston Astros. It’s hard to talk about the Phillies bullpen at all lately, mostly because of that sour bile-y substance that wells up in one’s esophagus — that’s not just me, right? 2012 could
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The Wednesday Ten: Doubles Will Find Me

So, the Ten is a day late. And Paul Boye, your usual curator, is out of pocket, so I will be pulling together your Tuesday Wednesday 10 today. Plenty happening with the Phillies and around the league, so let’s get right into it. 10. Delmon Young plays the sport of baseball professionally (for money) in
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An Oral History of The Phillies’ Statistical Analysis Department

In what appears to be the twilight of an enormously fruitful competitive run for the Phillies, much has been made of the internal machinations that factor into their valuation of players. Through extensive interviews1 with a wide array of inside sources, I’ve assembled what I consider to be the most comprehensive story of the Statistical
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For Halladay, The Problem Is Everything

Roy Halladay is not the only problem for the 2013 Phillies. He may not even be the biggest problem. But he’s the “keystone” problem — the problem which, if it proves unsolvable, renders all of their other problems moot. So we’ve watched each of his first two starts with obsessive attention to detail, and we’ll
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2013 Bold Prediction: Ryan Sommers

Roy Halladay will pitch at least 180 innings with an ERA+ of 120 or better. A year ago, this would’ve been included in a list of “Guaranteed Outcomes for 2012.” Then everything got dumb and sad. In this scary, unfamiliar new world of the Dumb And Sad, where the Phillies are likely to be scrabbling
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Phillies Sign “Players” to “Low-Risk” Deals

Have you ever thought, “man, Freddy Galvis is great. I wonder if there is a way to get his anemic bat but without his great defensive abilities?” It turns out that there is! And Ruben Amaro, Jr. has found it: GIF courtesy of Brew Crew Ball That’s Yuniesky Betancourt! He does that kind of thing
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Phillies Sign . . . *sigh* to 1 year, *groan* thousand dollar contract

The Phillies have signed Delmon Young to a 1 year, $750,000 deal. This is what happens when you get wrapped up in superficial identifiers like “right-handed bat.” We’ve arrived at the point where “right-handed bat” can refer to any player that has had marginal or better success against left-handed pitching in the last decade, regardless
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Chase Utley and Left-Handed Pitching

Ken Rosenthal reported this week that the Phillies may be in search of a right-handed bat, listing Scott Hairston, Alfonso Soriano, and Vernon Wells as possible targets. Leaving aside the fact that the latter two are horrible tire-fires, the phrase “right-handed bat” triggers in me a gag reflex many years in the making. The notion
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Crash Bag, Vol. 35: Let’s Throw Jeff Loria Into Sagittarius A*

NO TIME FOR INTROS. TO THE QUESTIONS: @GoogTheGoog: “I just got a big fancy iPod. I also drive a car for ten hours at a time for my job. Please recommend podcasts for me.” It wasn’t 10 hours (jesus christ exactly what are you doing anyway), but there was about a half of a year
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Looks Like We Picked the Wrong Week to Quit Sniffing Choo

Ruben Amaro Jr. may have nurtured a bit of a reputation for offseason ostentatiousness, but there didn’t seem to be much room for it entering this offseason. The Phillies’ needs were obvious enough: outfielders, likely two, one of which a centerfielder, and a serviceable third base solution. The market at both positions was similarly straightfoward,
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Crashburn’s Favorite Moments of the Year (Part 4 of 5)

If I had to make a list of my least favorite moments from 2012, a fair amount of them probably would’ve come from the four game series in Houston from September 13-16. The Astros halted a 7 game win streak by the Phillies that, combined with a respectable stretch of .586 ball in August, had
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Graph of the Intermittent Time Period

The graph above charts the number of pitches Roy Halladay has thrown at each velocity along the spectrum in which his cutter and sinker sit, from 2009-2011. On top of that, colored lines indicate his average velocity for the two pitches for the entirety of 2012 (yellow), his pre-DL stint (red), and his post-DL stint
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Phillies Call Up Tyler Cloyd

September has arrived a few days ahead of schedule. Fresh off of winning the International League’s Most Valuable Pitcher award and being named to the league’s postseason All-Star team, 25 year-old right-hander Tyler Cloyd has been called up to start in place of Cole Hamels, who is suffering from a stomach bug. The Phillies’ 18th
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Crashburn Alley Podcast Ep. 7: Requiem for a Team

Paul couldn’t make it this week, but Bill, Mike, myself, and Ryan Petzar from ESPN 97.3 (@Petzrawr) talk Cole Hamels, what makes a successful 2nd half, the usual Twitter questions, and York, PA. The delay on this one is entirely my fault, because I’m terrible at editing. I swear we’re trying to get on a
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Crashburn Alley Podcast Episode 4

Bill Baer is busy doing Bill Baer stuff, so Michael Baumann helms this week’s podcast with a performance that can only be described with words like “competent” and “well-intentioned.” Podcast Powered By Podbean Download this episode (right click and save) Topics: Carlos Ruiz’s white-hot start to 2012 Last week’s roster shake-up Hunter Pence in the
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Padres-Phillies Game Thread 5/11/12

These guys again. Following last month’s split of a 4 game series, the Padres (11-21) roll into Philadelphia for an NL cellar-dweller face off. The Phillies (14-18), needless to say, have seen better days. Along with bullpen problems, they’ve slogged through injuries, defensive kinks, and offensive woes on the way to assembling a miserable start
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Phillies Bullpen: Shutdowns and Meltdowns

Happy off day. I think we all, fans, writers, and players alike, needed it dearly. This morning Bryan Grosnick of Beyond the Boxscore posted a Shutdowns and Meltdowns leaderboard for Major League relievers so far in 2012. For those unfamiliar, an extensive explanation by Fangraphs’ Steve Slowinski can be found here. In short form, a
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No Flashback for Halladay

It feels insane to worry about Roy Halladay. It probably is. For almost his entire career, Doc has been positively machine-like, both in terms of his durability and the caliber of his production. From 2001 to 2011, Halladay logged 2300 innings, an average of 209 per season, and sustained a 148 ERA+ — that is
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Phillies Fans PSA: Stop It

The Nats’ efforts to bolster fan attendance in the run up to this weekend’s first home series against the Phillies have been well-documented. It began in February, when the presale for individual game tickets was restricted to D.C., Maryland, and Virginia addresses only, and when COO Andy Feffer, along with other team officials, urged Nationals
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Phillies/Padres Game Thread 4/19/12

Last night, Cliff Lee threw the 24th ten-or-more-inning shutout for the Phillies since 1918, and looked nothing short of brilliant in the process, as Paul detailed earlier today. Still, the Phillies were left standing on the field, watching the other team celebrate, because they could not produce a single run in 37 trips to the
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Phillies-Giants Game Thread 4/16/2012

  East coast fans, get ready for a week of late bedtimes. The Phillies (4-5) begin their first real road trip of the season, with stops in San Francisco, San Diego, and then Arizona. The offense, currently averaging 3.11 runs per game, will have its work cut out for it in the cavernous expanses of
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Game 9 Postscript

Note: I made some edits to this post after realizing that I had misstated what XBH% represented. See the comments below. It won’t matter in the standings, but this afternoon’s 8-2 win over the Mets was anchored by offensive production from some of the least probable sources. Entering today, the Phillies had managed a .322
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Terrifying Thought Experiment #1

Earlier today, Ryan Lawrence posted his best guess at the Phillies’ opening day roster. Everything about the offense, including the starting lineup, looks pretty grim: C Carlos Ruiz 1B Ty Wigginton 2B Freddy Galvis SS Jimmy Rollins 3B Placido Polanco LF John Mayberry, Jr. CF Shane Victorino RF Hunter Pence BN Jim Thome BN Laynce
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Bob Brookover and the Imaginary Devout

Making the rounds on Twitter this morning was an article by Bob Brookover titled “Inside the Phillies: Who needs sabermetrics?” It was the annual advanced statistics hit piece from Philly.com, which occasionally likes to claw at the vital new frontier of advanced analytics from the threshold of its own industry’s grave. As Mr. Baer likes
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Howard, Thome, and the 2012 Offense

On Saturday, Ryan Lawrence asked Charlie Manuel for the most he hoped to get out of Jim Thome at first base this season; his reply was “20 starts.” He further elaborated that he expected “180-200″ total at-bats. The latter is not an unreasonable expectation, as Thome has managed an average of 305 at bats per
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Kyle Kendrick receives 2 year, $7.5 million extension

Per Jim Salisbury, the Phillies have signed a two year extension with fringe starter/reliever and burgeoning fashion model Kyle Kendrick, covering 2012 and 2013, for $7.5 million. Absent this extension, Kendrick was headed for his first arbitration hearing in his second year of eligibility, having settled with the team in 2011 for $2.45 million. Matt
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The Phillies Are In the Running for Jorge Soler

In the past few days, the Phillies’ position with regards to Cuban prospect Jorge Soler has gone from silence to “interested” to, as Jeff Passan put it, “in hardest,” along with the New York Yankees. Soler’s case is somewhat unique, as he will be one of the last international signings to occur before the new
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Which Hunter Pence is at the Negotiating Table?

This winter, Hunter Pence heads to his second salary arbitration hearing, in his third year of eligibility. 2011 was, indisputably, the most successful season of his young career. He produced a .314/.370/.502 line, including a particularly impressive .324/.394/.560 run in 236 plate appearances following his trade to the Phillies. He set career highs in OBP,
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Phillies Sign Joel Piñeiro to Minor League Deal

Per Jayson Stark, the Phillies have signed veteran right-handed pitcher Joel Piñeiro to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. There were not many suitors for Piñeiro’s services following a rough 2011 outing. He posted 5.13 ERA over 145 and 2/3rds innings, and a problem that has plagued him for the last
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Phillies Sign Dontrelle Willis

Per Jim Salisbury and Jerry Crasnick, the Phillies have signed left-handed pitcher Dontrelle Willis to a one year contract for “about $1 million and performance bonuses.” After a few up and down seasons with the Marlins, Willis was traded to the Tigers as part of the Miguel Cabrera deal, and suffered a near complete collapse,
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The Cost of Loyalty

The graph below takes Raul Ibanez and John Mayberry, Jr.’s performances in favorable (vs. opposite-handed pitching) and unfavorable (vs. same-handed pitching) platoon scenarios and compares them to an average NL batter in those same splits. Notes: wXB/H is “Weighted Extra Bases per Hit,” a contact skill-neutral measure of power that I Frankenstein’d together here. Strikeout
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Please Stop Calling Cliff Lee Streaky

A week after I wrote that the NL Cy Young might be a two man race, Cliff Lee appears to have pitched himself back into contention. The night after that post went live, Lee capped off a brilliant August with 8 and 2/3rds shut out innings against the Reds, and, on Monday, followed that up
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Searching for True Power

In the ceaseless quest to identify players with the most raw pop, isolated power, or ISO, is a frequently cited metric, as you’ve probably seen. It’s simply a player’s slugging percentage minus his batting average. The idea is that, by removing single base hits, and measuring just a player’s extra bases per at bat, we
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More 9th Inning Shenanigans

Superficially, it’s difficult to get upset about the Phillies’ 3-2 loss to the Diamondbacks last night. Actually, it’s difficult to get upset about any one game at all these days. The regular season is far from over, and more than a few people probably won’t appreciate me saying this, but these final weeks feel like
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A Mean Bastardo At Heart

Antonio Bastardo‘s emergence has been just one highlight among many for the 2011 Phillies. Out of a group that has endured plenty of injuries and ineffectiveness, Bastardo, along with Michael Stutes, has been one half of a young, cost-controlled duo that serves as a sturdy bulwark for the Phillies in the late innings. With Ryan
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The 2011 Phillies and Their Place In History

The 2011 season is three-quarters completed for the Phillies, and, frankly, it’s been a breeze. They’ve been in first place for all but one day in the season. The last time the Braves were within three games was in mid-July. The Phils haven’t had a losing streak longer than four games, and they’ve never been
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