Posts tagged ‘Phillies’

WarGraphs: Ryan Howard vs. Cecil Fielder

Cecil FielderRyan Howard

I was having fun with WarGraphs yesterday and decided to compare Ryan Howard and see if I could find a career path similar to his.  Well, it took me one try to find a similar one and Phillies fans aren’t going to like this.  Take a look:

Cecil Fielder at age 24, 26, 27, 28, and 30 has almost identical fWAR numbers.  Both players are similar; slugging firstbasemen that do not field their positions well.  Howard has a better BABIP by almost 50 points and we could see that drop if he loses power as he ages.

Guys like Howard tend to age poorly, like Fielder, although Howard is in better shape than Fielder ever was so there may not be as much regression with age.

Phillies fans better hope that this is just a weird coincidence and not a sign of things to come for Howard because that production coupled with a salary that is already high is a disastrous combination.


January 2, 2011 at 3:20 pm 2 comments

Lee to the Phillies but They Still Have Holes

Cliff Lee

Cliff Lee is now a Philadelphia Phillies. He left $28M on the table from the Yankees but took a higher average annually salary to play for the Phillies. The final deal according to Jon Heyman is 5 years and $120M.  This should give the Phillies the best rotation of the millenium but they still have major holes to fill.

Remember, the Phillies still have major holes to fill offensively and defensively.  They are very left-handed and have no bench.  If one of Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins, or Ryan Howard gets injured they will be left with Wilson Valdez and Ross Gload.  They have no depth in the outfield and a statue of Raul Ibanez in left.  They still need a lefty in the bullpen and they need to free up some payroll and no one is running hard to acquire Joe Blanton right now.

The Phillies are far from perfect.  Are they NL favorites?  Maybe.  Do I think they are beatable.  You bet.  If the wisdom of Tony LaRussa does not get in the way of the Cardinals (any more than it already has) they could take the Phillies in a short series.  But, for now, the Phillies look to be the team that Vegas will change the odds on most.

Here are a few Cliff Lee links of bloggers that do a much better job than myself:

According to Dave Cameron, the Phillies now have a rotation that rivals any of the Atlanta Braves best they put on the mound in the 90s and possibly the best ever.

Beyond the Boxscore has a beautiful graph showing the growth of Lee as a pitcher and notes his major increase on inducing groundballs. This is a must see!

Rob Neyer says the Phillies, practically speaking, just reassumed the title of best team in the NL.

Keith Law (for ESPN Insiders only) wonders why the Phillies didn’t just keep Lee all along. He notes that the 3 prospects they recieved in the trade are will give them “next to no return” and that they lost their 1st round pick by signing Lee when all it came down to was money. If they would have signed him instead of trading him they would have had a better shot at beating the Giants in the playoffs in 2010 and they would keep thier 1st round pick for the upcoming June draft.

River Ave Blues writes what the Lee signing means to the Yankees.

Joe Pawlikowski gives a rundown of the possible trade options the Yankees could go after to help the rotation.

December 14, 2010 at 8:45 am Leave a comment

2010 MLB Predictions


Man, it has been a while since I’ve written.  This is me, coming out of my hybernation and predictiong what will happen in the 2010 baseball season.  Hint:  If you know me personally, I have been touting my World Series winner for this season since the beginning of 2007.

AL East
1. Red Sox (95-67)
2. Rays (94-68) (Wild Card)
3. Yankees (93-69)
4. Orioles (74-88)
5. Blue Jays (70-92)

AL Central
1. Twins (87-75)
2. White Sox (82-80)
3. Indians (78-84)
4. Tigers (78-84)
5. Royals (70-92)

AL West
1. Rangers (84-78)
2. Angels (83-79)
3. Athletics (80-82)
4. Mariners (79-85)

NL East
1. Phillies (91-71)
2. Braves (88-74) (Wild Card)
3. Marlins (78-84)
4. Mets (76-86)
5. Nationals (73-89)

NL Central
1. Cardinals (89-73)
2. Brewers (85-77)
3. Cubs (78-84)
4. Reds (77-85)
5. Pirates (71-91)
6. Astros (71-91)

NL West
1. Rockies (87-75)
2. Dodgers (85-77)
3. Diamondbacks (81-81)
4. Giants (79-83)
5. Padres (74-88)

World Series
Rays over Rockies in 6

World Series MVP
Ben Zobrist

AL: Evan Longoria, Joe Mauer, Nelson Cruz, Ben Zobrist, Dustin Pedroia
NL: Troy Tulowitzki, Chase Utley, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Pablo Sandoval

Cy Young
AL: Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, Jon Lester, Brett Anderson, Zack Greinke
NL: Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, Adam Wainwright, Ubaldo Jimenez, Dan Haren

Rookie of the Year
AL: Brian Matusz, Scott Sizemore, Wade Davis, Ausitn Jackson, Neftali Feliz
NL: Jason Heyward, Stephen Strasburg, Alcides Escobar, Buster Posey, Aroldis Chapman

April 4, 2010 at 1:30 pm 5 comments

Utley Robbed in MVP Voting

Chase Utley
(Photo by: Chuck Solomon/SI)

Albert Pujols was unanimously named the National League MVP, and rightfully so. He was the most valuable player in the league. The BBWAA voters did a decent job this year of giving the hardware to the right players. Pujols, Joe Mauer, Tim Lincecum, and Zack Greinke were all no-brainers to me and the two rookies of the year (Chris Coghlan and Andrew Bailey) were not bad selections even though they were not my selections. But, where the voters did go wrong was when they tried to quantify the value of Chase Utley, who finished 8th in the NL MVP voting.

Here is the chart from the BBWAA (sorry I couldn’t fit the entire chart here):

  1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Points
Albert Pujols, Cardinals 32                   448
Hanley Ramirez, Marlins   15 5 3 3   2 3 1   233
Ryan Howard, Phillies   6 8 7 5 1 3 1     217
Prince Fielder, Brewers   5 9 7 3 1   3 1 3 203
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies   3 6 5 5 5 1 1     172
Andre Ethier, Dodgers   2   3 2 5 4 5 3   113
Pablo Sandoval, Giants     1   2 5 5 6 1 4 89
Chase Utley, Phillies     2 2 1 5 4   3 1 84
Derrek Lee, Cubs   1     3 3 2 2 5   66
Matt Kemp, Dodgers       2 1 2 3 1 1 2 49
Ryan Braun, Brewers         3 1   2 4 6 43
Adrian Gonzalez, Padres       1   1   3 2 5 30
Todd Helton, Rockies     1 1   1 1   2   28
Chris Carpenter, Cardinals         1 2 1   2 1 25
Adam Wainwright, Cards         1     2 1 2 16
Matt Holliday,Cardinals       1     1   2   15
Jayson Werth, Phillies         1   1       10
Shane Victorino, Phillies             2       8
Tim Lincecum, Giants             1   1 2 8
Yunel Escobar, Braves         1           6
Mark Reynolds, D-backs               1 1 1 6
Joey Votto, Reds             1       4
Yadier Molina, Cardinals               1     3
Miguel Tejada, Astros               1     3
Huston Street, Rockies                 1   2
Justin Upton, D-backs                 1   2
Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals                   2 2
Jeremy Affeldt, Giants                   1 1
Chris Coghlan, Marlins                   1 1
Brad Hawpe, Rockies

As you can see, Utley is not even close in the voting. Granted, no one should be close to the unanimous Pujols, but zero 2nd place votes is simply ridiculous. He was easily 2nd on my imaginary ballot thanks to these overlooked stats: .282/.397/.508 with a wOBA of .402, 31 homers, 23 stolen bases (zero caught stealing), only grounding into 5 double plays, a UZR/150 of +11.3, a fielding percentage of .985, and 7.6 WAR, all while playing a middle infield position. What did those stats get him? Well, he was already snubbed for a Gold Glove award and now he has been completely left off of 14 ballots.

This year the voters have taken a step forward in evaluating players by selecting six deserving players for the major awards. But, they still have a very long way to go when Ryan Howard finishes 3rd, Matt Holliday receives four votes including a 4th place vote, and Jeremy Affeldt is getting votes that Chase Utley should surely be getting first.

-stats from

November 25, 2009 at 10:39 pm 2 comments

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