Jayson Werth Owns the Blue Jays

Jayson Werth today: 4-for-4, 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI

Jayson Werth 2009 vs. Jays*: 1.035 OPS

Jayson Werth career vs. Jays*: 1.090 OPS

*Doesn’t include today’s game.

The Phillies score ten runs and J.A. Happ pitches a complete game shut-out. Can’t ask for a better Saturday, really. Well, it’s kind of hot, but after the last two weeks, I’ll gladly take it.

BDD: What’s in a Rivalry?

At Baseball Daily Digest, I consider the important factors that go into the creation and duration of a rivalry.

If you remember the Bill Conlin incident from 2007, even he was emotional about the Phillies-Mets rivalry. Mistaking me for a Mets fan (because I felt David Wright was a better choice for the 2007 NL MVP award than Jimmy Rollins), Conlin wrote to me in an e-mail, “Your team choked big time, an epic gagaroo.”

Rich Hoffman of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote recently, “Everybody knows what happened, about how the Mets gagged away their chances as the Phillies caught fire at the end in both 2007 and 2008. Faced with the need to win, a desperate need, the Phillies responded and the Mets wilted.”

Categorizing Your Phillies

After tonight’s 6-1 loss to the Jays, it’s time to audit the 2009 Philadelphia Phillies.


Clay Condrey
Scott Eyre
Raul Ibanez
Brett Myers
Chan Ho Park


Eric Bruntlett
Chris Coste
Brad Lidge
Jimmy Rollins
Jack Taschner

Losers but with the possibility of promotion

Antonio Bastardo
Pedro Feliz
Ryan Howard
Ryan Madson
J.C. Romero


Joe Blanton
Chad Durbin
Cole Hamels
J.A. Happ
John Mayberry, Jr.
Jamie Moyer
Shane Victorino


Greg Dobbs
Matt Stairs
Chase Utley

Yeah, you’re not going to find that kind of great analysis anywhere else but here. I was initially going to request a grant before doing the research, but didn’t feel like filling out the paperwork.

Compared to last year, the Phillies are really lacking players in the “cool” department. Maybe they need to order some new sunglasses or some leather jackets.

They’re now 9-14 in June, are tied for first place with the Mets (currently losing 4-1 to the Yankees) and have but a half-game lead on the Marlins (tied 3-3 with the Rays).

The loss tonight brings the Phillies back to .250 in interleague play (4-12). Two more games left before the nightmare is over.

Pull the trigger and the nightmare stops.

Segue into an excuse to embed a song. Done.

Graph of the Randomly-Selected Period of Time

With the four runs the Phillies scored in the first inning of tonight’s game with the Tampa Bay Rays (coupled with the six on Tuesday) and the three they allowed, I was wondering how well the Phillies perform in each of the innings. Here are the results, which do not include any data from tonight’s game:

The seventh inning has been very kind; the sixth and ninth innings, not so much.

EDIT: I think I may have jinxed Antonio Bastardo. I put this post up immediately after the top of the first, and he proceeded to give back three of the four runs he was spotted.

Manuel Finally Benches Rollins

Hat tip to The Good Phight via Delaware Online:

Jimmy Rollins is not in the Phillies lineup for tonight’s series finale against the Rays and will not start Friday’s game in Toronto.


Rollins met with Phillies manager Charlie Manuel this afternoon for about 10 minutes just before the lineup was posted.

“I want to sit him down and get him right,” Manuel said. “He’s trying to do too many things instead of staying relaxed. He’s definitely thinking about how he wants to help out the team. I think it’s just time to sit him.”

Manuel said that when Rollins returns to the lineup, he will bat leadoff.

Rollins has a slash line of .211/.254/.328 and has an OPS+ of 51. Even Abraham Nunez’s numbers (career 62 OPS+) aren’t this bad.

It’s a good decision to give Rollins a couple days off to focus on fixing whatever ails him, but it’s not a good choice to put him right back in the lead-off spot. When Rollins proves he’s over his slump, then he can be moved up, but until then, he’s simply hurting the offense.

The single-season record for outs made in a season by a hitter is 560 (in 745 plate appearances) by Omar Moreno in 1980. Rollins currently has made 249 outs in 320 PA. If he gets 745 PA this season, he’s on pace to make 580 outs.

Rollins is already tied for 18th on the single-season list with 527 outs made in his highly-productive 2007 season. The only two other active players above him are Jose Reyes (536 outs in 2005) and Juan Pierre (532 outs in 2006).

With Rollins missing the next couple games, don’t expect big changes in the Phillies’ offensive production. While the lineup is slightly better-constructed, Eric Bruntlett will be in the lineup. It’s like switching from rough brand of toilet paper to another rough brand: it really chaps your ass.

. . .

It’s Almost Time

Let’s see what the Phillies have been up to in the trade rumors.

Ken Rosenthal:

The Phillies have also asked about [Cleveland Indians left-handed starter Cliff] Lee, but balked at the price, sources say.

Jayson Stark:

The six young players the Phillies wouldn’t listen on, the same official said: outfielder Dominic Brown, catcher Lou Marson, and pitchers Kyle Drabek, Jason Knapp, Carlos Carrasco and Antonio Bastardo.

Look, I know Lou Marson and Joe Savery and Jason Knapp are enticing prospects, but this current Phillies team is really only built to compete for a World Series within the next two years or so. None of those players will be reliable and productive enough to seamlessly transition from the current batch to those waiting in the Minors.

So, the Phillies should do whatever they can to get some impact players and go for it all in the next two years. The only two players I’d be hesitant to trade are Dominic Brown and Kyle Drabek, but if the Indians insist on getting Brown in a trade for Cliff Lee, then so be it, I’m giving up Brown.

New York Post:

I hear that a few weeks back Colorado and Philadelphia were seriously discussing a deal that would have sent lefty J.A. Happ and prospects to the Rockies for Jason Marquis and Ryan Spilborghs. That would have given the Phillies an innings-eating starter and a good righty bat, elements they crave. The Phillies actually would like to do better when it comes to a starter than Marquis. But that market has been drying up with injuries to Jake Peavy and Erik Bedard, and continuing indication that the Astros will not trade Roy Oswalt.

Colorado would have received Happ, a controllable starter (Marquis is a free agent at the end of the year) with some upside plus the prospects plus some financial flexibility since they are paying most of the $9.875 million Marquis is making this year. So the Rockies would have had some dollars to make an acquisition or two if they got back in the race. Colorado likes Spilborghs, but felt with Seth Smith playing well in the majors and Matt Murton excelling at Triple-A that his righty bat could have been replaced.

But as talks were heating up on this deal, the Rockies took off. And once they took off they felt it would be wrong to make a trade that would be interpreted as surrender in the clubhouse and among the fan base. So they tabled talks and now Colorado is quietly out in the marketplace seeing if it can find a veteran reliever.

After 2007, I don’t think I’d ever say this, but here goes: Thank you Rockies, for winning a ridiculous amount of games in a short period of time.

When you consider that they were also giving up Happ in the deal, acquiring Marquis is a sideways move at best, and is really a step backwards. Spilborghs, if his acquisition meant that Chris Coste would have been designated for assignment, would have been a plus, but Paul Bako likely would have gotten the thumb over the shoulder motion.

As mentioned by the Post, the wealth of injuries to star trade-bait pitchers like Peavy and Halladay has really dried up what could have been a very active trade market. Cleveland, who has Mark DeRosa along with Lee, is by far the Phillies’ best match as a trade partner, and if I’m GM Ruben Amaro, I’m doing whatever I can to get both Lee and DeRosa.

Old Friends

There’s our old friends, offense and pitching!

Looking good, offense. You kicked the meth habit though, right? Good — you were getting kind of skinny. Hah, you still dating that arsonist, pitching? She’s bad for you, man.

It’s been tough without you guys — I didn’t know what to do with myself. I tried not to think about it, but eventually found myself flipping through the yearbook remembering all the good times we had.

Offense, you remember last year when we went to St. Louis and beat the snot out of Todd Wellemeyer and Ron Villone? We did the same thing in Colorado to Jorge de la Rosa. That’s when we were at our peak, man — nobody could touch us. I think we just grew apart for a little while but it’s good to have you back. How long are you going to be in town for?

Pitching, I saw you recently. I don’t think you saw me, but I saw you. Where have you been? Seems like you come in and out of town all the time. I think you just need to settle down, maybe get an apartment around here. Lots of jobs, don’t worry about that. Seems like everything just goes to hell when you leave. Maybe the three of us can get a place together, just like old times.

Tired of the metaphor yet? If you can’t tell, it was great to see the Phillies’ offense and their pitching both show up at the same time for a 10-1 win in Tampa against the Rays. The Phils scored six in the first and four in the fourth. Chase Utley and John Mayberry drove in seven of the Phillies’ ten runs, and Jamie Moyer threw six efficient innings, allowing only one run. The bullpen? A scoreless three innings.

The win, the Phillies’ first in nine days, snaps a six-game losing skid. Add another W into the road wins column as well. Make it 24 on the year with nine losses, compared to 13-22 at home.

Dear Mr. Selig,

Please re-schedule all of the Phillies’ home games as road games.



Crashburn Alley

Unsettling Trends

With yet another sweep at home against an American League team, the Phillies’ record at home drops to 13-22 (.371) and their interleague record drops to 3-9 (.250). For comparison, the 20-46 Washington Nationals fall in between those winning percentages at .303.

Going into the season, only five teams had a worse interleague record since 1997: the Cincinnati Reds, Tampa Bay Rays, San Diego Padres, Baltimore Orioles, and Pittsburgh Pirates. The Phillies had a 90-109 record which is now 93-118 (.440). Since 2006, the Phillies are 20-40 (.333). The awful, awful Phillies teams of 1997-2000 were 32-35 (.478).

In this series against the Orioles, they were outscored 15-8. Thankfully, while the Phillies have slid, so too have the Mets. Since the end of the Phils-Mets series in New York on June 11, the Mets have gone 3-6 while the Phils have gone 1-8.

Fortunately for the Phillies, they will at least be on the road for the last six games of interleague play against the Rays and Blue Jays June 23-28.

BDD: Statistics Are Not Like Bikinis

At Baseball Daily Digest, I try to clear up some of the confusion in the stats/scouts debate.

Additionally, Sabermetrics — contrary to the claims of many who don’t trust it — is not adhered to religiously. Just because PECOTA says Matt Wieters is going to smoke some American League pitching doesn’t mean that he is, in fact, going to smoke some American League pitching. We can choose to accept what various analyses say, or we can reject them.

BDD: Rookie Phenomenon?

At Baseball Daily Digest, I debunk Gary Cohen’s myth that there have been a lot more rookie starters this year than in years past.

I was linked to a blog entry by Rob Neyer (thanks, BBTF!). In it, Rob talks about Mets broadcaster Gary Cohen claiming that nearly 15% of all starts made by pitchers this season have been from rookies, more than at any other time since “rookie” became an official adjective in the baseball vernacular. The discussion at BBTF attempts to answer Rob’s question, “Why all the rookie starters?”

Good points were made throughout the discussion, but that 15% kept eating at me — it seemed too high.

What Just Happened?

The Phillies were dispatched by the Toronto Blue Jays, who outscored the Phightin’s 23-11 in the three-game series. It was arguably the worst series of the season, and the Phillies brought their 14th-best-in-the-NL home record to 13-19. They’re 23-9 on the road.

Anyone have any ideas as to why there’s such a disparity? I’m baffled.

Maybe they can’t handle playing in the Limelight of their own stadium.

(In case you’re wondering, that’s another Rush reference. There was no wager between Crashburn Alley and Drunk Jays Fans, but after the sweep, I feel obligated.)