Phils and Baseball 2013 Now In Session With Spring Training Play

Utley, Hamels come out sharp in Phils’ spring opener

 

Second baseman notches RBI in first at-bat; starter tosses two shutout innings

 

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros opened their Grapefruit League schedules Saturday with a game at Bright House Field.

 

It was the Astros’ first game in the American League.

 

Spring training

 

It also was Phillies second baseman Chase Utley’s first Spring Training game since 2010 because of knee injuries. He ripped a single up the middle on the first pitch he saw from Astros right-hander Lucas Harrell in the first inning to score the Phillies’ first run in an 8-3 loss.

 

The Astros took a 3-2 lead in the fourth, when Nate Freiman — who had two RBIs — and Carlos Corporan each singled to knock in runs.

 

Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels threw two scoreless innings. Harrell allowed four hits, two runs and one walk in two innings.

 

“Physically, I feel really strong,” Hamels said.

 

Cole Hamels pitching a complete game shutout v...

 

“I was just mainly trying to locate,” said Harrell, who could be the Astros’ Opening Day starter. “I didn’t locate very well, and the results showed that. A couple of times I made good pitches and got a lot of ground balls, which was a plus. I was pulling off on my front side a little bit, and a few pitches were pretty flat. Then I started making [pitches in] the second inning when I went back out to make sure my front shoulder was closed. Just trying to work [at keeping] the ball down and work the sinker.”

 

Robbie Grossman notched his first of two RBIs with a single, and Freiman added his second RBI in a two-run Astros fifth before Brandon Barnes clubbed a solo home run in the seventh.

 

Second baseman Pete Orr mashed the Phillies’ first home run of the spring, a solo shot in the eighth.

 

The Phillies committed four errors.

 

Up next for Phillies: Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay will make his Grapefruit League debut Sunday against the Tigers in Lakeland at 1:05 p.m. ET, live on Gameday Audio. Halladay is trying to bounce back from a disappointing 2012 season and says a revamped offseason training program has him moving in the right direction. Sunday will be his first true test in finding out if that program worked.

 

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

 

 

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Baseball America’s Top 10 Phillies Prospects

2013 Philadelphia Phillies Top 10 Prospects

By Matt Forman
December 17, 2012

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects

Lists are based on projections of a player’s long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven’t exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible.

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TOP TEN
PROSPECTS
1. Jesse Biddle, lhp
2. Roman Quinn, ss
3. Tommy Joseph, c
4. Jon Pettibone, rhp
5. Adam Morgan, lhp
6. Ethan Martin, rhp
7. Cody Asche, 3b
8. Maikel Franco, 3b
9. Darin Ruf, 1b/of
10. Carlos Tocci, of
BEST
TOOLS
Best Hitter for Average Cody Asche
Best Power Hitter Darin Ruf
Best Strike Zone Discipline Darin Ruf
Fastest Baserunner Roman Quinn
Best Athlete Roman Quinn
Best Fastball Kenny Giles
Best Curveball Jesse Biddle
Best Slider Adam Morgan
Best Changeup Jon Pettibone
Best Control Jon Pettibone
Best Defensive Catcher Sebastian Valle
Best Defensive Infielder Cesar Hernandez
Best Infield Arm Maikel Franco
Best Defensive OF Tyson Gillies
Best Outfield Arm Kyrell Hudson
PROJECTED 2016
LINEUP
Catcher Tommy Joseph
First Base Ryan Howard
Second Base Chase Utley
Third Base Cody Asche
Shortstop Roman Quinn
Left Field Darin Ruf
Center Field Ben Revere
Right Field Domonic Brown
No. 1 Starter Cole Hamels
No. 2 Starter Cliff Lee
No. 3 Starter Roy Halladay
No. 4 Starter Jesse Biddle
No. 5 Starter Jonathan Pettibone
Closer Jonathan Papelbon
TOP PROSPECTS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos 2012 Org
2003 Gavin Floyd, rhp White Sox
2004 Cole Hamels, lhp Phillies
2005 Ryan Howard, 1b Phillies
2006 Cole Hamels, lhp Phillies
2007 Carlos Carrasco, rhp Indians
2008 Carlos Carrasco, rhp Indians
2009 Domonic Brown, of Phillies
2010 Domonic Brown, of Phillies
2011 Domonic Brown, of Phillies
2012 Trevor May, rhp Phillies
TOP DRAFT PICKS
OF THE DECADE
Year Player, Pos 2012 Org
2003 Tim Moss, 2B (3rd round) Out of baseball
2004 Greg Golson, OF Yankees
2005 Mike Costanzo, 3B (2nd round) Reds
2006 Kyle Drabek, RHP/SS Blue Jays
2007 Joe Savery, LHP Phillies
2008 Anthony Hewitt, SS Phillies
2009 Kelly Dugan, OF Phillies
2010 Jesse Biddle, LHP Phillies
2011 Larry Greene, OF Phillies
2012 Shane Watson, RHP Phillies
LARGEST BONUSES
IN CLUB HISTORY
Gavin Floyd, 2001 $4,200,000
Pat Burrell, 1998 $3,150,000
Brett Myers, 1999 $2,050,000
Cole Hamels, 2002 $2,000,000
Chase Utley, 2000 $1,780,000
PHILLIES
LINKS
Phillies Team Page
Phillies Top 10 Scouting Reports  Premium
Last Year’s Phillies Top 10 Prospects
2012 Draft: Phillies
2012 Draft Report Cards: Philadelphia Phillies Premium
Complete Index of Top 10 Prospects
Pre-Order the 2013 Prospect Handbook
Philadelphia Phillies

For different reasons, the Phillies’ last two seasons have ended in disappointment. In 2011, the playoff run that had become an annual expectation in Philadelphia ended too early. In 2012, there was no postseason baseball in Philadelphia at all, for the first time in six years.

The Phillies expected their season to start slowly because of lingering injuries to Ryan Howard and Chase Utley, but it never really got on its projected course, at least until it was too late. The Phillies finished 81-81, their worst record since 2002, and needed a late-season blitz just to break even after falling 14 games under .500 at one point. Philadelphia lost several more players for significant time to injuries, including Jose Contreras, Freddy Galvis, Roy Halladay, Placido Polanco, Mike Stutes and Vance Worley.

As a result, the Phillies were sellers on the trade market for the first time since 2006. One year after acquiring Hunter Pence, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. shipped him to the Giants for Nate Schierholtz and a pair of prospects (catcher Tommy Joseph and righthander Seth Rosin). Amaro also sent Joe Blanton and Shane Victorino to the Dodgers in separate deals for Josh Lindblom and righthanders Ethan Martin and Ryan O’Sullivan.

The big league struggles gave Philadelphia a chance to evaluate its system, as eight rookies debuted in the majors, the most since it had 15 in 1996. Along with the unexpected development of a few prospects, that ensured the last two months of the season weren’t completely irrelevant.

Once considered an organization player, first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf blasted 20 homers in Double-A in August to tie Sammy Sosa’s pro record for a single month, then hit three more during a September callup. Tyler Cloyd, a soft-tossing righty who’s short on stuff but strong on pitching sense, made his major league debut in August and won two of his six starts. Longtime minor league veteran Eric Kratz showed some pop, while Phillippe Aumont flashed his plus stuff out of the bullpen. In varying capacities, they all figure to contribute in 2013.

Meanwhile, the Phillies’ .500 finish secured them a higher first-round pick than any in recent memory, as long as they don’t sign a free agent who requires compensation. They’re slated to select 16th, their highest selection since they took Gavin Floyd fourth overall in 2001.

Philadelphia has stuck with its philosophy of drafting high-upside athletes, with scouting director Marti Wolever preferring lefthanded pitching and speed. That’s reflected on this list, which begins with a southpaw (Jesse Biddle) and a fleet-footed shortstop (Roman Quinn). Quinn is one of several members of a talented 2011 draft class who took a big step forward in their first full pro seasons, a group that also included lefthander Adam Morgan, third baseman Cody Asche and flamethrowing reliever Kenny Giles.

Most of the Phillies’ best prospects are at least a year or two away from being ready for Citizens Bank Park, so Amaro swung two trades for veteran offensive help in December. He acquired Ben Revere from the Twins for Vance Worley and enigmatic righthander Trevor May, then dispatched Lindblom and righty Lisalverto Bonilla to get Michael Young from the Rangers.

It’s not all doom and gloom for the Phillies, who will return several significant players from their 2007-11 National League East championship clubs in 2013. If they can stay healthy—certainly not a guarantee given the age of many of the players—their season could have a happier ending.

All Pieces In Place – It’s Time To Put Up Or Shut Up

Doc’s Return Marks Phils Return To Health

by Charles Oliver aka Bloggo Schloggo

Now that all the major pieces to the Phillies puzzle are back in place and healthy there are no excuses. It’s now or never time to make a strong run in the second half of the season for a chance at the post season. With the addition of a second wild card spot available this year the Phils still have a valid shot at competing in October. It’s going to be quite a chore and an uphill battle requiring lots of winning. Skipper Manuel has had a way of steering the team into playing it’s best baseball after the all-star game while running the Phillies show as recent history shows.

The Phillies logo during their 1950 World Seri...

The Phillies logo during their 1950 World Series year.

The Phils won 102 games last year and had the best record in baseball. This year they are going to have to play their hearts out with little room for error to win 88 games which is probably about what they’ll need to make it in as a wild card.

There has been a lot of chatter about the Phils being sellers before the trading deadline. I for one believe that would be a bad move. Especially dumping Cole Hamel who has been the teams most consistent starter this year. The team basically has the same starting line-up and starting pitching staff as last year which is an array of proven winners. With everyone back and active off the DL there is no reason why with the level of talent they that they have can’t find their way back to becoming consistent winners.

The main issues they now face are crawling out of the deep hole they dug for themselves in the first half of the season and the talent performing up to its capabilities.

As I write this the Phils have won 3 games in a row with Doc on the mound tonight against the Dodgers. Ryan Howard hit his 1st home run of the season last night. It was to left field which is a good sign anytime Howard is projecting his power to the opposite field. Halladay having a strong performance tonight and another Phils win could be the start of something good. Psychologically the club could get a major boost and start playing with the fire we’ve seen in recent past seasons when they were perennial division champs.

Ryan Howard

Ryan Howard

The Nationals aren’t going away and have proven they are for real. Catching and over taking them at this point is pretty much all but an impossibility. Stranger things have happened though. As we remember last season the Cardinals weren’t on anyone’s radar and we know what they did much to the chagrin of Phillies fans figuring the Phightins were on their way to another World Series and once again being world champions.

The Mets, Marlins and Braves also will have a large say in where the Phillies fortunes take them. It’s a tough division to find yourself 13 games off the pace and sitting in the cellar. The Phils are 10 games behind with an elimination number of 63 with 61 games left to make it as a wild card. There isn’t much wiggle room there. They are ranked 9th in the wild card standings.

The Phillies main weakness is not getting hits when it really counts. They are hitting the ball ranking 2nd only behind the Cardinals with 827 total hits. However they are ranked  6th and 7th in runs scored and RBIs – with 386 and 370 respectively. How many times have we seen runners in scoring position zero to two outs left standing there as an inning or game ends?

PHILLIES 2011 Post All-Star Break Hitting Stats

RK   G     AB    R     H     2B  3B HR SB

6th  977 2473 329 633  120 18  75  35

RBI  BB  SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS

316  232 467 35  13  .256 .323  .410 .733

PHILLIES 2011 Post All-Star Break Pitching Stats

RK    W  L  ERA   G   GS  SV  SVO    IP        H

12th  45 26 3.02  242  71   22   28     645.2  580

R   ER  HR  BB SO  AVG WHIP

234 217 57 178 593 .241   1.17

Post Script—–  Watching tonight’s game and Doc’s return to the mound. Ryan Howard took a 4 pitch walk. Batting .143 it was refreshing not to see the big guy swing at a pitch miles outside of the strike zone. Despite the homer last night he still looks uncomfortable at the plate as he did last season. Letting pitches he should cream float on by and swinging and lunging at pitches he couldn’t reach or hit with the side of a barn.

Through the first 5 innings Halladay has looked very good yielding 2 runs and having good command of his pitches. The Phils batters have managed but one run having left runners on second base in three innings against a rookie making his first MLB start named Fife. His performance thus far has not been Barney Fife like.

Hunter Pence

Hunter Pence

Howard walked again in the 6th. Maybe he should concentrate on walks and let Chooch take care of the clean up duties. Hunter Pence batting .224 with two outs and runners in scoring position punched a single out to Kemp and appeared to have scored Howard. The ump said he was out. It looked like Howard had got his hand on home plate before the tag. Having seen the replay it’s hard to tell. Whatever it was close but, just another zero on the scoreboard.

In the 8th Pence batted with the bases loaded, two out and hit a single up the middle scoring two. Ruiz was cut down sliding into 3rd to end the inning. The Phils had only 4 hits in the game before Pence’s timely two run single. Phils take the lead 3-2.

For the first time in their last 39 games trailing after 7 innings the Phillies turned it around and won the game. Another healthy sign. Papelbon got the save. That’s 4 wins in a row. They are doing what they have to do. Will their winning ways continue? It’s a mighty tough mountain to climb. Time will tell.

MLB’s #1 Ranked Prospects Of 2012

Number 1 Ranked Prospects by Position

Carolina League

CATCHER- Toronto Blue Jays
Travis d’Arnaud Rank: 1 Status: Disabled 7-Day ETA: 2013 Position: C Age: 23, DOB: 02/10/1989 Bats: R, Throws: R Height: 6′ 2″, Weight: 195 Drafted: 2007, 1st (37)

When Toronto traded Roy Halladay to Philadelphia, d’Arnaud may not have been the top prospect in the deal, but he might end up being the best. He has terrific all-around skills that surpass those of current young big league catcher J.P. Arencibia. He started truly fulfilling his offensive potential in 2011, showing the ability to hit for both average and power. Behind the plate, d’Arnaud is agile and athletic, and he has plenty of arm to help control the running game. A torn thumb ligament suffered while playing for Team USA isn’t an issue, and he started the Triple-A season on schedule, but he’ll miss a large chunk of the season after a torn ligament in his left knee landed him on the disabled list in late June.

1ST BASE- Chicago Cubs (Currently with club)
Anthony Rizzo Rank: 1 ETA: 2012 Position: 1B Age: 22, DOB: 08/08/1989 Bats: L, Throws: L Height: 6′ 3″, Weight: 220 Drafted: 2007, 6th (204)
Rizzo’s big league debut in 2011 may not have gone very well, but that didn’t mean his left-handed bat wasn’t still in high demand. Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer, who helped draft Rizzo in Boston and then traded for him while the GM in San Diego, acquired him in Chicago during the offseason. A solid defender at first, it’s Rizzo’s power bat (51 homers and 200-plus RBIs over the past two seasons in the Minors) that is his calling card. Look for him to make some adjustments and hit the big leagues in 2012. He started the year in Triple-A and was called up on June 26.
2ND BASE- San Diego Padres
Cory Spangenberg Rank: 1 Status: Disabled 7-Day ETA: 2013 Position: 2B Age: 21, DOB: 03/16/1991 Bats: L, Throws: R Height: 6′ 0″, Weight: 185 Drafted: 2011, 1st (10)
Spangenberg became a great example of the benefits of signing early, getting out and racking up 330 plate appearances while many of his fellow first-rounders were sitting around and waiting to sign. He also showed reports of his ability to hit were spot on, as he put up impressive numbers in average and on-base percentage. He also has plus speed that will allow him to continue to steal bases. He’s already made the move to second base full time and should be just fine there. He’s on the fast track already and to see him in Double-A at some point in 2012 seems very reasonable. Spangenberg was placed on the disabled list on June 22 with concussion-like symptoms, after being hit on the side of the head.
3RD BASE- Colorado Rockies
Nolan Arenado Rank: 1 Tulsa Drillers (AA) ETA: 2013Position: 3B Age: 21, DOB: 04/16/1991 Bats: R, Throws: R Height: 6′ 1″, Weight: 205 Drafted: 2009, 2nd (59)
Some players get knocked unfairly because of their surroundings. It’s not Arenado’s fault he played in the hitting-friendly California League and then the equally cozy Arizona Fall League in 2011. He deserves credit for raking in both places. He led the Minors in RBIs with 122 and struck out just 53 times all season. Arenado won the AFL MVP award, finishing among the leaders in a host of offensive categories. He should hit for average and will be a run-producer even if he doesn’t hit a ton of homers. There was concern about his defense at third, but he’s worked to improve and those worries are gone. It might not be too long before Arenado is spotted in Coors Field.
SHORTSTOP- Baltimore Orioles
Manny Machado Rank: 1 Bowie Baysox (AA) ETA: 2013 Position: SS Age: 20, DOB: 07/06/1992 Bats: R, Throws: R Height: 6′ 3″, Weight: 185 Drafted: 2010, 1st (3)
Machado was the first high school player taken in the 2010 Draft, and for good reason. Although his first full season had its ups and downs, including dealing with a knee injury that forced him out of action for a month, he did get promoted and went to the Futures Game. Machado is right where he should be defensively, playing solid shortstop despite his size. The time away from the field did show in his hitting a bit once he was up in the Carolina League, as he needs to improve his approach at the plate. That will come in time and Machado should hit for average and some power.
OUTFIELD- Kansas City Royals
Bubba Starling Rank: 1 Burlington Royals (R) ETA: 2015 Position: OF Age: 19, DOB: 08/03/1992 Bats: R, Throws: R Height: 6′ 4″, Weight: 180 Drafted: 2011, 1st (5)
As top athletes go, there are few in baseball better than Starling. Kansas City signed him away from a scholarship to quarterback at the University of Nebraska and Starling has all five tools in his toolbox. He has plus speed that should allow him to both steal bases and play an outstanding center field. His strong throwing arm is a plus defensively as well. He has excellent raw power and has shown enough pure hitting skills where there’s confidence he’ll tap into that power consistently and hit for average as well. It might take him a little time to put it all together, but the payoff could be huge.
LH Pitcher- New York Yankees
Manny Banuelos Rank: 1 Status: Disabled 7-Day ETA: 2012Position: LHP Age: 21, DOB: 03/13/1991 Bats: L, Throws: L Height: 5′ 11″, Weight: 200 Signed: March 30, 2008
The stuff is definitely there for Banuelos to be successful at the Major League level. All he has to do is learn how to harness it more consistently. He has three pitches that can be above-average or better with his fastball, curve and changeup. He’s struck out 9.2 batters per nine innings throughout his Minor League career and his pure stuff has gotten better in recent years, so that should continue. His command is what’s holding him back. He walked nearly five batters every nine innings in 2011 and often didn’t command his fastball well within the strike zone. He’s shown the ability to do it and once he finds consistency, he could be ready to help out full time.
RH Pitcher- Atlanta Braves
Julio Teheran Rank: 1 Gwinnett Braves (AAA) ETA: 2012 Position: RHP Age: 21, DOB: 01/27/1991 Bats: R, Throws: R Height: 6′ 2″, Weight: 175 Signed: July 2, 2007
Teheran was at the lowest full-season rung, the South Atlantic League, at the beginning of 2010. He made his Major League debut a year later in May, and spent more time in Atlanta in September 2011. In between callups, Teheran was dominant in Triple-A, using outstanding stuff and mound presence to excel. He has three above-average-or-better offerings with his fastball, curve and changeup, and commands them all well. He’ll be just 21 for all of the 2012 season and should continue to add strength to his frame. The Braves have a ton of good young pitching, and Teheran has a chance to lead them all. He made a spot start for the Braves in early June.

Arizona Fall League

Phils Playoff Chances Heading Into Halfway Point

How Many Wins Will the Phillies Need to Make the Playoffs?

June 21, 2012, 2:10 pm
By Andrew Kulp  (email)
The700Level.com
The Daily News ran a column this morning that set out to answer that very question. David Murphy did the leg work, and based on results from previous years, he concluded the Phillies need to reach the 88-win markto qualify for the postseason.The reasoning is simple. In each full season since the Wild Card was adopted in 1995, the club that would have earned the newly invented second WC spot finished with at least 88 wins on all but two out of 16 occasions.

In practice, the path to get there is not nearly so simple. With a record of 33-37, in order for the Phils to reach 88 wins, they need to go 55-37 the rest of the way — and even that might not be enough. Nine times, or more than half, the runner-up’s win total actually eclipsed 88.

Murphy seems to be operating under the assumption the Phillies won’t win the NL East, a conclusion we’ve more or less drawn on our own. Regardless, sneaking in through the back door doesn’t diagram much easier.

The plan he sets out would require Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, and Vance Worley to revert to their 2011 performances, when the club combined to go 39-17 over their last 56 combined starts. So far this season, the Phils are 11-3 when Hamels starts, but 7-14 when Lee or Worley are pitching. Lee and Worley have also missed games due to injury.

That’s an optimistic projection, though clearly achievable. Plus Roy Halladaywill eventually return, which should help prop up the rest of the rotation, and actually lessen the load on the other three.Yet you can see how staggering a hole the Phillies are in when you break it down like that. A team that has been hovering around or below .500 for the majority of the year likely needs to win at close to a .600 clip for the next three months — and they’re still missing players.

Think they have it in them?

———————————————————
Related Articles…

Philadelphia Phillies: How Chase Utley‘s Return Impacts Team’s Playoff Chances

By

 (Featured Columnist) on June 22, 2012

Picture25_crop_exact

The result of Thursday night’s Philadelphia Phillies game, a 4-1 loss to theColorado Rockies, pretty much sums up how the entire season has been going.

Citizen’s Bank Park, a place that boasts loud and passionate fans, used to be a place that other teams dreaded to play in. The home-field advantage was never more obvious than when the Phils took the field at their stadium in the heart of their beloved city. In 2012, however, it has just been a place where the Phillies play their home games. Nothing much is special about it, no added advantage is obvious. The team isn’t winning any more games at home. They aren’t winning games period.

Nothing has been easy for the Phils this season. Whether it has been the injuries to key members of the team, uncharacteristic errors in the field, a lack of success against other teams’ bullpens or just an inability to score with runners on base with less than two outs, the championship formula this team has had in the past few years is not there.

Morale is down and frustration is obvious. It is on the faces of the players, the dumbfounded looks of the manager and the disappointment from the fans.

This team needs something, well a lot of things. It needs to get help in the bullpen. It needs to get its ace and sluggers off of the DL. It needs its other ace to find a way to win a game. It needs to score more runs. It needs to make less errors, both mental and on the score sheet. It needs to take action, to play inspired baseball. Most importantly, this team needs to get its swagger, its confidence, its personality back.

Most of what the Phils need, most of what I described, is embodied in the heart and soul of one player. He is someone who doesn’t shy away from a challenge, someone who plays with grit and passion, someone who is a leader. He may have arthritic knees but that doesn’t change the fact that when healthy, he can really smack the cover off of a baseball.

Will Chase Utley’s return make the Phils a better team?

No, one player is not enough to solve their problems.Yes, Utley will help this team make up ground in the East.It depends on how his knees are for the rest of the season.Submit Vote vote to see results

If you haven’t figured it out, the person I am referring to is All-Star second baseman Chase Utley.

Having yet to face major league pitching and the wear and tear of major league fielding, Utley is close to making his 2012 debut. In fact, according to a recent report via AOL Sporting News, Utley could be back before the calendar turns to July.

While Utley’s return has been long anticipated, at this point in the season, one has to wonder if it will be enough or if the Phils have already dug themselves a hole too deep to climb out of.

Even then, a bigger question arises. When Utley comes back, how will he be? Will he go back to how he was pre-2011? Will he be able to play back-to-back games? Will his knees hold up for the rest of the season?

With all of these questions and so far, not enough information to create the answers, it is hard to predict how Utley’s return will impact the team’s chances at a sixth consecutive playoff berth. If Utley is healthy, however, and returns to the form he has had in the best years of his career, it would not be surprising to see the Phillies once again atop the NL East.

On the field, Utley brings solid defensive skills. He has never been perfect in the field but it is something he has invested time and energy in improving. With the bat, Utley has offensive prowess. His quick swing enables him to get the barrel on the ball and helps him get around on pitches. He grinds out each at-bat and is rarely ever an easy out.

144812412_crop_340x234
Rich Schultz/Getty Images

Something else that the Phillies desperately need is situational hitting and when at his best, Utley does this as well as anyone else in the game. With a runner on second, nobody out, such as in Thursday’s game when Ty Wigginton led off the inning with a double, Utley knows what he has to do and more often than not executes.

In addition to what Utley offers with his bat and his glove, depending on his knees, he can also be a threat on the bases. Although not the fastest, Utley has also had good career numbers in base stealing percentage. Just like every other aspect of his game, he works so hard at it and as a result, when he does run, he picks his moments, and more often than not, he chooses them wisely.

In the dugout, in the clubhouse, in the locker room and on the field, Chase Utley is a leader. For someone who keeps his life relatively under wraps in terms of the media, Utley has proven himself to be a vital part of who the team is. Much of the confidence, swagger and personality this team alludes comes from the way Utley plays the game. The younger players on the team imitate him and the older players respect him.

If Jimmy Rollins is the fire and Ryan Howard is the heart of the line up, Chase Utley is obviously the soul. Without its heart and soul, Rollins’ fire is just an extinguishing flame. It goes without saying that with Utley back, this team will start to get some of its morale back. Rollins’ flame, which has been starting to light up, will catch fire. Led by Rollins and Utley, the rest of this offense will catch fire too, just in time for a late playoff push in the heat of the summer months.

So even though the Chase Utley Phillies fans will see is still in question, what isn’t in question is what he means to this team. So much of Utley’s value is not measured in a box score. It is in the intangibles he exudes just when he takes the field. For the Phils, getting Utley back will impact their playoff chances and could very well make them a playoff team again.

No matter what, though, the Phillies will be an interesting story to watch as the final, pivotal months of the season are underway.

The Phillies Golden Age 2004 – 2012.. The Rise & Fall?

by bloggo schloggo aka charles oliver

A look into what we are witnessing as possibly the beginning of the end of what has to be considered historically as the Phillies finest 9 year run in their 130 years as a professional baseball club.

Philadelphia Phillies general manager Ruben Am...

Some may argue that the Phillies run over the course between 1975 and 1983 was an equal if not better 9 year period of prowess.

Of course you may also consider the world possibly ending in December according to the Mayan Calendar followers.

  • Philadelphia Phillies (8868-9890 W-L, 1890 – 2012) – 2 World Championships, 7 Pennants, and 14 Playoff Appearances
  • Philadelphia Quakers (390-424 W-L, 1883 – 1889)
  • Overall (9258-10314 W-L, 1883 – 2012) – 2 World Championships, 7 Pennants, and 14 Playoff Appearances
A comparison of the two 9 year periods –

2004-2012

Rk Year W L WL% Finish Playoffs R RA BatAge PitchAge Top Player Managers
1 2012 21 22 .488 5th of 5 172 169 31.3 30.0 C.Ruiz (2.0) Charlie Manuel (21-22)
2 2011 102 60 .630 1st of 5 Lost LDS (3-2) 713 529 31.4 29.2 C.Lee (8.8) Charlie Manuel (102-60)
3 2010 97 65 .599 1st of 5 Lost NLCS (4-2) 772 640 31.8 31.1 R.Halladay (8.1) Charlie Manuel (97-65)
4 2009 93 69 .574 1st of 5 Lost WS (4-2) 820 709 31.3 31.2 C.Utley (7.9) Charlie Manuel (93-69)
5 2008 92 70 .568 1st of 5 Won WS (4-1) 799 680 30.1 30.6 C.Utley (9.0) Charlie Manuel (92-70)
6 2007 89 73 .549 1st of 5 Lost LDS (3-0) 892 821 28.8 30.6 C.Utley (7.9) Charlie Manuel (89-73)
7 2006 85 77 .525 2nd of 5 865 812 29.3 30.5 C.Utley (6.8) Charlie Manuel (85-77)
8 2005 88 74 .543 2nd of 5 807 726 30.0 29.7 C.Utley (7.2) Charlie Manuel (88-74)
9 2004 86 76 .531 2nd of 5 840 781 29.3 29.8 B.Abreu (6.3) Larry Bowa (85-75)

1975 – 2012

Rk Year W L Ties W-L% Finish Playoffs R RA BatAge PitchAge Top Player Managers
30 1983 90 72 1 .556 1st of 6 Lost WS (4-1) 696 635 31.9 30.3 J.Denny (7.2) Corrales (43-42) & Owens (47-30)
31 1982 89 73 0 .549 2nd of 6 664 654 31.0 31.9 M.Schmidt (7.1) Pat Corrales (89-73)
32 1981 59 48 0 .551 3rd of 6 L LDS (3-2) 491 472 31.3 30.3 M.Schmidt (7.5) Dallas Green (59-48)
33 1980 91 71 0 .562 1st of 6 W WS (4-2) 728 639 30.6 28.6 S.Carlton (9.8) Dallas Green (91-71)
34 1979 84 78 1 .519 4th of 6 683 718 30.7 28.3 M.Schmidt (7.6) Ozark (65-67) & Green (19-11)
35 1978 90 72 0 .556 1st of 6 L NLCS (3-1) 708 586 29.9 30.3 M.Schmidt (6.0) Danny Ozark (90-72)
36 1977 101 61 0 .623 1st of 6 L NLCS (3-1) 847 668 29.4 29.7 M.Schmidt (8.7) Danny Ozark (101-61)
37 1976 101 61 0 .623 1st of 6 L NLCS (3-0) 770 557 28.8 29.8 M.Schmidt (7.9) Danny Ozark (101-61)
38 1975 86 76 0 .531 2nd of 6 735 694 27.7 27.3 M.Schmidt (7.4) Danny Ozark (86-76)
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/22/2012.

Philadelphia skyline.

Question Marks –

What fans have had in the back of their minds as this season continues to unfold are now becoming evermore present in the forefront and increasing in numbers. There is something in the air. It’s tangible and you can smell it. No it’s not the stink of the refineries wafting across the city. It is emanating from “The Bank”, Citizens Bank Park.

I watched Cliff Lee surrender 5 runs the other day and Roy Halladay do the same last night. Overall they weren’t bad efforts. Although not what you would expect from either starter. When you have a lineup that produces 0 – 3 runs most nights it is a problem. A major one at that. Cole Hamels suddenly is the go to guy that is pumping out consistent starts and victories.

Actually the Phils are batting well as a team hits and average wise. How many times have the Phils had two runners in scoring position with 0 to 2 outs and the innings ended with a big fat goose egg?

Batting Chart

It’s all about power. A miserable lack of it. It became glaringly clear toward the end of last season and after the team’s quick exit from the playoffs. It was obvious that this was the main issue that needed to be addressed in the off season. The Phils did take care of it – well sort of. The lack of power from the bench was given a boost with the acquisitons on veterans like Thome, Wiggington, Nix, etc. As far as the everyday lineup goes zilch was done.

If you’ll remember at the latter part of last season with the Phils whimpering to the finish line  (the 1st round of the playoffs defeat to the Cardinals) they did so with Utley and Howard in the lineup. Everyone is sitting on their hands waiting for the second coming believing Utley and Howard will be their saving grace. Will that be the case? One has to wonder with both players numbers waning. The timely hitting morphing into whiffs and groundout double plays. Scoring opportunities fizzling and rallies killed.

Charlie Manuel

Surely with Utley and Howard back in the daily mix the Phillies will be a better team. But how much better? Will it be enough to turn the season around? With the Braves, Nationals, Mets and Marlins all far improved and knocking on the NL East”s Division Champs door will the Phillies win 102 or 82 games?  When Utley returns how long will he remain healthy?   It’s a shame a guy that once looked to be a sure fire future Hall Of Famer has had his career basically turned upside down with injury upon injury.

With the Phillies fortunes currently on the wane the fans are starting to get a bit restless. Especially with poor play on the basepaths and runners left on base. How much longer will the teams 250+ sellout streak continue? Have you noticed a change in the sound of the crowd? The Phils Phaithful are smart and sharp. They know their baseball and how the game is supposed to be played. With the support of the fans attendance the dough has been rolling in to enable big names and big contracts to happen in Philly. What happens when the coffers start to dwindle? If things continue on the current course will the Phillies initiate a fire sale come mid-season and head into a new direction?

As with the game of life all things will be answered it’s all a matter of time and circumstances. With just 1/4 of the season gone anything is possible and anything can happen. Just ask the 2011 World Champion St’ Louis Cardinals.

“I’d love to change the world but I don’t know what to do. So I’ll leave it up to you.”  ~ Ten Years After 1969 

The Future From Within

Top 15 Prospects: Philadelphia Phillies

by Marc Hulet

The Philadelphia Phillies might not have a strong farm system, but it certainly is an intriguing one. Considering how much talent the organization had to give up to acquire the likes of Roy HalladayCliff Lee (the first time), Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence, that’s an impressive accomplishment. And its perhaps even more impressive when you figure in the number of high draft picks the club has had to deal away to assemble its impact ensemble. Still, all those trades have definitely hurt this organization’s minor-league depth:

1. Trevor May, RHP
BORN: Sept. 23, 1989
EXPERIENCE: Four seasons
ACQUIRED: 2008 fourth round, Washington HS
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Fifth

SCOUTING REPORT: May is a big, strong pitcher with a solid repertoire that includes a 90mph to 95 mph fastball. He also has a potentially plus curveball, a changeup and a new-found slider. His delivery gets out of whack at times, which causes his command to suffer. As a player from a cold-weather state, he’s always been a little behind prospects from sunny weather locales, such as California, Arizona and Florida — but he’s definitely playing catch-up now.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Brody Colvin took a step back in 2011, and Jarred Cosartwas traded to Houston, so May’s breakout season was more than welcomed by the organization. The right-hander pitched a career high 144.1 innings and had a 2.69 FIP. He maintained an outstanding strikeout rate (12.10 K/9), but his control remained inconsistent (4.05 BB/9) — and that is the biggest thing preventing him from becoming an elite pitcher.

YEAR AHEAD: May will move up to double-A in 2012 and he isn’t far from contributing to the big-league team. Still, he needs to polish his secondary pitches and improve his control.

CAREER OUTLOOK: May has the potential to develop into a No. 2 starter – especially if he commands his fastball at the major-league level. He has the frame to become an innings-eater.

2. Jesse Biddle, LHP
BORN: Oct. 22, 1991
EXPERIENCE: Two seasons
ACQUIRED: 2010 first round (27th overall), Pennsylvania HS
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Eighth

SCOUTING REPORT: A Philadelphia native, Biddle changed his commitment to the University of Oregon and signed with his hometown team. So far, it appears that he made a smart decision. The lefty has the potential to develop into a No. 2 starter, especially with his solid two-pitch mix that includes a low-to-mid-90s fastball and potentially plus changeup. He’s also dabbled with both a curveball and a slider.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Biddle has a strong frame and he showed his durability by increasing his innings total from 2010 to 2011. His overall numbers would have looked even better if not for his slow start in April. He allowed 13 earned runs that month (16.1 IP) and, by comparison, just 14 in the season’s second half (66 IP).

YEAR AHEAD: If he has a breakout season, Biddle could challenge May for the organization’s top prospect in 2012. The southpaw should open the year in high-A ball but he could be in double-A by the beginning of July. The big things he needs to work on are his control and the development of a consistent breaking ball.

CAREER OUTLOOK: Biddle is an exciting young player and he’s a few improvements away from being one of the better pitching prospects in baseball. He could end up pitching near the top of the rotation before too long. The opportunity to watch — and potentially learn from — veterans Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee could make a big impact on his career.

3. Sebastian Valle, C
BORN: July 24, 1990
EXPERIENCE: Five seasons
ACQUIRED: 2006 international free agent
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Sixth

SCOUTING REPORT: If he were a little more patient, Valle would probably be discussed among the Top three-to-five catching prospects in the game. Offensively, he flashes above-average power due to good bat speed, but he doesn’t always make contact with best pitches. Early in his career behind the plate, he struggled throwing out base runners — but he has improved immensely during the past two seasons. He calls a good game and he has strong receiving skills.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Valle had a decent year at high-A in 2011. He produced the second-highest batting average of his career at .284 (.360 BABIP), but his power dropped from .174 ISO in 2010 to .109 last season. His modest patience also took a step back (his walk rate fell from 5.6% to 3.6%). Valle might benefit from returning to high-A ball for the first month or two in 2012.

YEAR AHEAD: Valle didn’t hit well in the Mexican Winter League, so double-A may be a bit of a stiff test for his over-aggressive bat in 2012. Even so, he should reach the majors perhaps as quickly as the second half of 2013.

CAREER OUTLOOK: The Mexico native is definitely the Phillies’ backstop of the future and he should be able to offer at least as much value as current starter Carlos Ruiz. If Valle can’t get his impatient ways under control, though, he’ll likely fail to reach his full potential.

4. Brody Colvin, RHP
BORN: Aug. 14, 1990
EXPERIENCE: Three seasons
ACQUIRED: 2009 seventh round, Louisiana HS
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Fourth

SCOUTING REPORT: When he’s on, Colvin shows that he has the makings of three average — or better — pitches. His fastball can reach 97 mph, but it often sits in the low-90s. He also features a curveball and a changeup. Colvin doesn’t have the smoothest mechanics and he throws across his body, which increases ball movement but hurts his control and also raises injury concerns.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Colvin battled injuries in 2011 and his numbers suffered. After pitching 138 innings in 2010, he managed just 116 in 2011. His strikeout rate also dropped – from 7.83 to 5.97.

YEAR AHEAD: Colvin could begin 2012 back in high-A ball. He has good stuff but he hasn’t dominated at any level. With improved command of his pitches, he could really break out – especially if he can shake the injury bug.

CAREER OUTLOOK: Colvin has yet to prove his durability, but he has the potential to develop into a No. 2 or No. 3 starter down the road. There has also been talk of trying to develop him into a high-leverage reliever. The likes of Trevor May and Jesse Biddlecould make that move more palatable.

5. Jon Pettibone, RHP
BORN: July 19, 1990
EXPERIENCE: Four seasons
ACQUIRED: 2008 third round, California HS
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off

SCOUTING REPORT: Pettibone is nowhere near as flashy as some of the other arms on this list, but he has the potential to develop into a No. 3 starter. He throws in the low 90s with his fastball but it can touch 94 mph. He also has a good changeup and a decent slider. His control is above-average for this stage of his development.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Pettibone produced some sparkling numbers at high-A ball in 2011, including a 2.92 FIP and a 1.90 BB/9. His strikeout rate, though, was low for the second consecutive season (6.43 K/9). He handled both right- and left-handed hitters equally well in 2011.

YEAR AHEAD: Pettibone should spend the year in double-A, although his above-average control gives him a chance to eventually reach triple-A in 2012 — and the major leagues some time in 2013. Further development of his secondary pitches will help him compete at the upper levels of the minors.

CAREER OUTLOOK: Although he can get some zip on his heater, Pettibone is more of a pitch-to-contact, control-type hurler. He has a big, strong frame to be an innings-eater and there is definitely room for him to improve as he learns to pitch off his fastball.

6. Maikel Franco, 3B
BORN: Aug. 26, 1992
EXPERIENCE: Two seasons
ACQUIRED: 2010 international free agent
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off

SCOUTING REPORT: The breakout hitting prospect of the year, Franco wasn’t on anyone’s radar entering the 2011 season. He showed a solid eye at the plate and displayed good power potential, although he’s still learning to drive the ball consistently. Franco doesn’t exactly have an athletic body but he plays the position well and has a strong arm.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Franco did not turn 19 until part way through 2011, making his numbers all that more impressive. He hit for average and for gap power in short-season ball, while also showing a solid eye at the plate (10.9 BB%). He didn’t perform well during a late-season promotion to low-A.

YEAR AHEAD: The third baseman will take another shot at low-A in 2012 and he should spend the entire season there working on driving the ball. The organization lacks third base depth so another strong year could increase Franco’s hype.

CAREER OUTLOOK: Franco has the potential to be at least average on both defense and at the plate. He will have to watch his conditioning, though, as he’s already thick through the trunk. He’ll also need to see his power translate from gap to over-the-fence power if he’s going to be an everyday player at the hot corner.

7.Jiwan James, OF
BORN: April 11, 1989
EXPERIENCE: Five seasons
ACQUIRED: 2007 22nd round, Florida HS
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Seventh

SCOUTING REPORT: James has a lot of potential but the organization left him unprotected during this year’s Rule 5 draft and he went unclaimed. The outfielder has been hitting for just two seasons after originally turning pro as a pitcher. Injury woes, though, put an end to his time on the mound. James could develop into a three- or four-tool player with his power being the least developed skill. He has good defensive skills and base-running speed but both areas remain raw.

YEAR IN REVIEW: In just his third year as a hitter, James spent the season in high-A and held his own. The switch-hitter showed that he’s much stronger from the left side of the plate (.721 OPS vs .608 OPS in 2011) and the organization might want to abandon the switch-hitting to help accelerate his learning. As mentioned above, James has good speed but he  got nabbed 16 times in 47 stolen-base attempts.

YEAR AHEAD: Double-A will be a stiff test for James in 2012, as he’ll have to tone down his aggressive ways at the plate. He’ll likely needs a full year of development at double-A before moving up.

CAREER OUTLOOK: I’m more than a little surprised that no one took a chance on James in the Rule 5 draft but there are still a number of questions surrounding his game. If the organization is patient, though, he could develop into a valuable contributor in Philadelphia.

8. Phillippe Aumont, RHP
BORN: Jan. 7, 1989
EXPERIENCE: Four seasons
ACQUIRED: 2007 first round (11th overall), Quebec HS (near Seattle)
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off

SCOUTING REPORT: To say Aumont has had an up-and-down career is an understatement. A former Mariners’ first round pick, Aumont was the top prize when Philly traded for Cliff Lee. Originally a starter, Aumont was moved to bullpen permanently. The move allows him to focus on his two plus pitches: a mid-to-high-90s fastball and a curveball. Both his command and control need a fair bit of work.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Combined between two levels, Aumont struck out 78 batters in 53.2 innings — so that gives you a bit of an idea of how good he could be at the major-league level. Perhaps even more impressively, he allowed just two home runs all season and posted an outstanding ground-ball rate in double-A.

YEAR AHEAD: Aumont had solid numbers in both double-A and triple-A, giving him an outside shot of breaking camp with the Phillies in 2012. More likely than not, though, he’ll be given the opportunity to build up his confidence (and sharpen his command/control) with a few more months in the minors.

CAREER OUTLOOK: Aumont clearly has the stuff to close games someday, but it remains to be seen if he has the emotional fortitude to handle the role. At this point, I’m betting against that — but he’s still young and he has time to mature as a pitcher. At worst, he should have a Kyle Farnsworth-type career.

9. Justin De Fratus, RHP
BORN: Oct. 21, 1987
EXPERIENCE: Five seasons
ACQUIRED: 2007 11th round, California CC
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: Off

SCOUTING REPORT: Although not as high-profile as Aumont, De Fratus also benefited from a permanent move from the starting rotation to the bullpen. It caused his stuff to jump up a notch and he reached the majors in 2011. His repertoire includes a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a slider and an occasional changeup.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Like Aumont, De Fratus split his season between double-A and triple-A (while also pitching four innings in the majors). He struck out 99 batters in 75.1 cumulative minor-league innings. He also produced above-average ground-ball rates.

YEAR AHEAD: De Fratus has a very good opportunity to break camp with the Phillies in 2012 but he should be eased into late-game situations and might mostly see action in the sixth and seventh innings.

CAREER OUTLOOK: De Fratus is a big, strong pitcher who has been extremely durable to this point. He could have a lot of value in the Phillies ‘pen next year. He’ll likely top out as a high-leverage, eighth-inning reliever. No matter how you slice it, he was an exciting find while he was pitching for a small community college.

10. Larry Greene, OF
BORN: Feb. 10, 1993
EXPERIENCE: Prep
ACQUIRED: 2011 supplemental 1st round (39th overall), Georgia HS
2010-11 TOP 10 RANKING: NA

SCOUTING REPORT: The organization’s first pick in the 2011 draft (39th overall), Greene is a raw but powerful Georgia outfielder. There are some concerns about his bat speed but he hits massive home runs when he makes contact. He’s expected to produce a lot of strikeouts and not hit for much average — but he’s also still very young.

YEAR IN REVIEW: Greene signed too late to play pro ball in 2011.

YEAR AHEAD: The outfielder will likely open 2012 in extended spring training before heading to rookie ball in June. He will be a slow mover who could spend two years in short-season ball before hitting full-season A-ball in 2014.

CAREER OUTLOOK: Greene has the potential to develop into a 30-home run machince if he makes necesary adjustments and gets his bat started a little earlier. He likely won’t provide much defensive vale and he could end up moving to first base if he can’t hack it in left field.

The Next Five
11. Freddy Galvis, SS: I’m not a huge Galvis fan, but he has potential value as a young, switch-hitting infielder with a plus glove. His bat took a big step forward in 2011 and he hit for a more consistent average and showed more gap power.

12. Roman Quinn, SS/OF: The club’s second round pick, Quinn has 80 speed on the base paths. He’s learning to switch hit, which could increase his value as it will help him beat out even more infield hits. His ultimate position will also impact his overall value; he was an amateur shortstop but he’ll likely end up in center field.

13. Lisalberto Bonilla: The right-hander had a nice season and showed good control for his age. His repertoire features a low-90s fastball that can touch 94 mph. His second-best pitch is a changeup, followed by a developing slider. He could develop into a No. 3 or a No. 4 starter.

14. Julio Rodriguez, RHP: On numbers alone, Rodriguez looks like a very impressive prospect. He struck out 168 hitters in 156.2 high-A innings in 2011 but he succeeds on command and mixing his pitches. His fastball works in the upper 80s. Ultimately, he should top out as a back-of-the-rotation starter or as a middle reliever.

15. Aaron Altherr, OF: Altherr is a raw athlete who has an outside shot to develop into a 20-20 hitter. He’s too aggressive at the plate right now and he needs to learn better pitch selection. Defensively, he could become a plus fielder.

SLEEPER ALERTKyrell Hudson, OF: Hudson is another speedy, raw athlete. A former third-round pick in 2009, he has developed slowly. Still, he made significant strides in 2011 when compared to his two previous seasons. With that said, he still has a long way to go; and if he stagnates as a hitter, he has a plus arm that could turn him into a pitcher.

Phils By The Numbers Through April 26

2012 Philadelphia Phillies   Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics

9-10, 4th place in NL East (Schedule and Results)
View League Standings and Leaders

Manager: Charlie Manuel (9-10)
Scored 63 runs, Allowed 62 runs. Pythagorean W-L: 10-9

Ballparks: Citizens Bank Park · Attendance: 272,692 (1st of 16)
Park Factors  Over 100 favors batters, under 100 favors pitchers.
multi-year: 
Batting – 103, Pitching – 101 · one-year: Batting – 107, Pitching – 107

Carlos Ruiz

Carlos Ruiz

BATTING

Rk Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
1 C Carlos Ruiz 53 6 16 3 0 2 5 0 3 6 .302 .328 .472
2 1B Ty Wigginton 46 8 14 3 0 1 6 0 5 11 .304 .365 .435
3 2B Freddy Galvis# 60 4 12 4 0 1 5 0 3 10 .200 .238 .317
4 SS Jimmy Rollins# 70 8 16 2 0 0 3 4 4 15 .229 .267 .257
5 3B Placido Polanco 59 6 14 2 0 0 2 0 4 7 .237 .297 .271
6 LF Juan Pierre* 59 6 20 0 1 0 4 3 2 2 .339 .361 .373
7 CF Shane Victorino# 75 10 19 1 0 4 8 6 6 9 .253 .309 .427
8 RF Hunter Pence 71 10 19 2 0 3 11 2 4 18 .268 .316 .423
Rk Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
9 UT John Mayberry 45 0 9 2 0 0 2 0 0 14 .200 .200 .244
10 UT Laynce Nix* 23 3 8 4 0 1 6 0 2 7 .348 .400 .652
11 1B Jim Thome* 17 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 10 .118 .211 .118
12 C Brian Schneider* 15 1 4 0 0 0 1 0 1 3 .267 .313 .267
13 2B Pete Orr* 15 1 4 2 1 0 3 0 0 4 .267 .267 .533
Rk Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
14 P Roy Halladay 11 0 3 0 0 0 1 0 0 5 .273 .273 .273
15 P Cole Hamels* 10 0 3 1 0 0 2 0 0 3 .300 .300 .400
16 P Vance Worley 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 .000 .000 .000
17 P Cliff Lee* 6 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .333 .333 .333
18 P Joe Blanton 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000 .200 .000
19 P Kyle Kendrick 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
20 P David Herndon 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000 .000 .000
21 P Michael Stutes 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
22 P Joe Savery* 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
23 P Antonio Bastardo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
24 P Chad Qualls 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
25 P Michael Schwimer 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
26 P Jose Contreras 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
27 P Jonathan Papelbon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Team Totals 650 63 165 26 2 12 59 15 37 132 .254 .294 .355
Rank in 16 NL teams 5 14 5 15 13 11 4 15 10 6 14 12
Rk Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP SLG
Cliff Lee pitching for the first time as a mem...

Cliff Lee

PITCHING

Rk Pos W L W-L% ERA G SV IP H ER BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9
1 SP Roy Halladay 3 1 .750 1.50 4 0 30.0 19 5 8 19 0.900 2.4 5.7
2 SP Cole Hamels* 3 1 .750 2.73 4 0 26.1 24 8 3 30 1.025 1.0 10.3
3 SP Vance Worley 2 1 .667 2.16 4 0 25.0 22 6 9 27 1.240 3.2 9.7
4 SP Cliff Lee* 0 1 .000 1.96 3 0 23.0 14 5 2 18 0.696 0.8 7.0
5 SP Joe Blanton 1 3 .250 4.34 4 0 18.2 23 9 3 7 1.393 1.4 3.4
Rk Pos W L W-L% ERA G SV IP H ER BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9
6 CL Jonathan Papelbon 0 0 1.13 8 6 8.0 6 1 2 7 1.000 2.3 7.9
7 RP Kyle Kendrick 0 1 .000 9.39 5 0 7.2 15 8 4 3 2.478 4.7 3.5
8 RP Chad Qualls 0 0 1.29 7 0 7.0 4 1 2 4 0.857 2.6 5.1
9 RP Michael Stutes 0 0 6.35 6 0 5.2 7 4 4 5 1.941 6.4 7.9
10 RP Antonio Bastardo* 0 1 .000 3.86 5 0 2.1 3 1 2 5 2.143 7.7 19.3
Rk Pos W L W-L% ERA G SV IP H ER BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9
11 Joe Savery* 0 0 1.59 4 0 5.2 2 1 1 1 0.529 1.6 1.6
12 David Herndon 0 1 .000 3.18 4 0 5.2 7 2 1 7 1.412 1.6 11.1
13 Jose Contreras 0 0 10.13 3 0 2.2 4 3 2 2 2.250 6.8 6.8
14 Michael Schwimer 0 0 0.00 1 0 1.0 0 0 0 0 0.000 0.0 0.0
Team Totals 9 10 .474 2.88 19 6 168.2 150 54 43 135 1.144 2.3 7.2
Rank in 16 NL teams 7 5 4 6 8 7 4 2 10
Rk Pos W L W-L% ERA G SV IP H ER BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9

Field view from the 300 level 03:28, 11 March ...

FIELDING

G Ch PO A E DP Fld% RF/9 RF/G PB WP CS PO Pos. Summary
Antonio Bastardo 5 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 0 P
Joe Blanton 4 6 1 4 1 0 .833 2.41 1.25 2 0 P
Jose Contreras 3 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 0 P
Freddy Galvis 19 99 30 68 1 14 .990 5.74 4.67 2B-SS
Roy Halladay 4 5 3 2 0 0 1.000 1.50 1.25 0 0 P
Cole Hamels 4 8 2 5 1 0 .875 2.39 1.75 3 2 P
David Herndon 4 2 1 1 0 0 1.000 3.18 0.50 0 0 P
Kyle Kendrick 5 1 0 1 0 0 1.000 1.17 0.20 0 0 P
Cliff Lee 3 2 1 1 0 1 1.000 0.78 0.67 0 0 P
John Mayberry 17 48 46 2 0 3 1.000 4.55 2.82 LF-1B-RF
Laynce Nix 7 50 46 3 1 6 .980 9.59 6.13 1B-LF
Pete Orr 4 14 3 10 1 2 .929 4.81 3.25 2B
Jonathan Papelbon 8 3 1 2 0 0 1.000 3.38 0.38 0 0 P
Hunter Pence 18 29 29 0 0 0 1.000 1.62 1.61 RF
Juan Pierre 14 18 18 0 0 0 1.000 1.53 1.29 LF
Placido Polanco 17 43 11 32 0 2 1.000 2.95 2.53 3B
Chad Qualls 7 2 1 1 0 0 1.000 2.57 0.29 0 0 P
Jimmy Rollins 19 73 23 49 1 15 .986 4.07 3.79 SS
Carlos Ruiz 17 118 107 11 0 2 1.000 8.19 6.94 1 1 6 0 C
Joe Savery 4 1 0 0 1 0 .000 0.00 0.00 0 0 P
Brian Schneider 5 36 30 6 0 0 1.000 8.31 7.20 0 1 1 0 C
Michael Schwimer 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 0 P
Michael Stutes 6 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 0 P
Jim Thome 3 32 29 2 1 3 .969 12.13 10.33 1B
Shane Victorino 19 44 43 1 0 1 1.000 2.35 2.32 CF
Ty Wigginton 15 94 79 13 2 9 .979 7.35 5.11 1B-3B
Vance Worley 4 8 2 6 0 1 1.000 2.88 2.00 2 0 P
Team Totals 19 736 506 220 10 59 .986 4.30 3.00 1 2 7 2
Rank in 16 NL teams 14 3 1
G Ch PO A E DP Fld% RF/9 RF/G PB WP CS PO Pos. Summary

Win Probability

PA BtRuns BtWins Plays WPA WPA+ WPA- WPA/LI Clutch REW boLI RE24/boLI PHlev
Joe Blanton 6 -0.8 -0.1 6 -0.1 0.0 -0.1 -0.1 0.0 -0.1 0.76 -1.0
Freddy Galvis# 65 -4.1 -0.4 65 -0.5 0.8 -1.3 -0.5 -0.0 -0.5 1.01 -4.9
Roy Halladay 12 -0.8 -0.1 12 -0.0 0.1 -0.2 -0.0 0.0 -0.1 1.00 -0.6
Cole Hamels* 11 -0.1 -0.0 11 0.0 0.1 -0.1 -0.0 0.0 0.1 0.84 -0.1
David Herndon 1 -0.3 -0.0 1 -0.0 0.0 -0.0 -0.0 -0.0 -0.0 0.86 -0.3
Kyle Kendrick 1 -0.3 -0.0 1 -0.0 0.0 -0.0 -0.0 -0.0 -0.0 1.17 -0.3
Cliff Lee* 7 -0.2 -0.0 8 -0.1 0.1 -0.1 -0.0 -0.0 -0.0 0.76 -0.2
John Mayberry 45 -4.9 -0.5 45 -0.6 0.4 -1.0 -0.6 -0.1 -0.7 1.01 -5.6 1.09
Laynce Nix* 25 2.7 0.3 25 0.0 0.6 -0.6 0.2 -0.1 0.2 1.03 2.0 1.21
Pete Orr* 15 0.2 0.0 15 -0.1 0.1 -0.2 -0.1 0.0 0.1 0.93 -0.0 0.11
Hunter Pence 76 -0.2 -0.0 78 0.2 1.6 -1.3 -0.0 0.3 -0.0 1.00 -0.6
Juan Pierre* 61 -0.1 -0.0 69 0.2 1.1 -0.9 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.94 0.4 0.86
Placido Polanco 65 -3.4 -0.3 66 -0.2 0.7 -0.9 -0.2 -0.0 -0.0 0.87 -1.0 0.61
Jimmy Rollins# 76 -5.3 -0.5 85 -0.1 1.0 -1.2 -0.3 0.2 -0.3 0.94 -3.6
Carlos Ruiz 58 1.3 0.1 59 -0.2 0.6 -0.9 0.0 -0.3 -0.2 0.98 -0.4 0.26
Brian Schneider* 16 -0.8 -0.1 16 -0.2 0.2 -0.4 -0.1 -0.0 -0.1 1.08 -1.3
Jim Thome* 19 -2.5 -0.3 19 -0.5 0.1 -0.7 -0.3 -0.2 -0.4 0.99 -2.6 1.59
Shane Victorino# 82 -0.4 -0.0 87 -0.0 1.1 -1.1 0.2 -0.2 0.2 0.95 1.0
Ty Wigginton 52 1.5 0.2 52 -0.0 0.7 -0.7 0.1 -0.1 0.4 0.89 1.2 0.97
Vance Worley 9 -2.5 -0.3 9 -0.2 0.0 -0.2 -0.2 0.0 -0.2 0.73 -2.3
League Average
Team Total 702 -20.9 -2.2 729 -2.4 9.5 -11.9 -2.0 -0.5 -1.4 0.95 -20.5 1.12
PA BtRuns BtWins Plays WPA WPA+ WPA- WPA/LI Clutch REW boLI RE24/boLI PHlev

Team Batting Ratios

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/27/2012.
PA HR% SO% BB% XBH% X/H% SO/BB AB/SO AB/HR AB/RBI GB/FB GO/AO
Joe Blanton 6 0.0% 16.7% 16.7% 0.0% 1.00 4.0
Freddy Galvis# 65 1.5% 15.4% 4.6% 7.7% 42% 3.33 6.0 60.0 12.0 0.68 1.32
Roy Halladay 12 0.0% 41.7% 0.0% 0.0% 0% 2.2 11.0 2.00
Cole Hamels* 11 0.0% 27.3% 0.0% 9.1% 33% 3.3 5.0 1.33 4.00
David Herndon 1 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.0
Kyle Kendrick 1 0.0% 100.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.0
Cliff Lee* 7 0.0% 14.3% 0.0% 0.0% 0% 6.0 0.25 1.00
John Mayberry 45 0.0% 31.1% 0.0% 4.4% 22% 3.2 22.5 0.72 0.71
Laynce Nix* 25 4.0% 28.0% 8.0% 20.0% 63% 3.50 3.3 23.0 3.8 0.67 2.33
Pete Orr* 15 0.0% 26.7% 0.0% 20.0% 75% 3.8 5.0 1.20 2.50
Hunter Pence 76 4.0% 23.7% 5.3% 6.6% 26% 4.50 3.9 23.7 6.5 1.30 1.64
Juan Pierre* 61 0.0% 3.3% 3.3% 1.6% 5% 1.00 29.5 14.8 1.20 1.85
Placido Polanco 65 0.0% 10.8% 6.2% 3.1% 14% 1.75 8.4 29.5 1.00 1.38
Jimmy Rollins# 76 0.0% 19.7% 5.3% 2.6% 13% 3.75 4.7 23.3 0.83 1.00
Carlos Ruiz 58 3.5% 10.3% 5.2% 8.6% 31% 2.00 8.8 26.5 10.6 0.81 1.27
Brian Schneider* 16 0.0% 18.8% 6.3% 0.0% 0% 3.00 5.0 15.0 1.00 1.50
Jim Thome* 19 0.0% 52.6% 10.5% 0.0% 0% 5.00 1.7 0.75 0.67
Shane Victorino# 82 4.9% 11.0% 7.3% 6.1% 26% 1.50 8.3 18.8 9.4 0.67 0.92
Ty Wigginton 52 1.9% 21.2% 9.6% 7.7% 29% 2.20 4.2 46.0 7.7 0.71 0.57
Vance Worley 9 0.0% 44.4% 0.0% 0.0% 2.3
League Average 2.2% 19.8% 8.3% 7.2% 33% 2.37 4.5 40.8 8.9 0.87 1.19
Team Total 702 1.7% 18.8% 5.3% 5.7% 24% 3.57 4.9 54.2 11.0 0.90 1.29
PA HR% SO% BB% XBH% X/H% SO/BB AB/SO AB/HR AB/RBI GB/FB GO/AO
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 4/27/2012.

Phils Win Opener 1-0 In Pitching Duel

DOC, PAPELBON, CHOOCH, MAYBERRY SHINE

by Charles Oliver aka Bloggo Schloggo

In a pitching dominated game The Good Doctor tossed 8 innings of 2 hit ball. I was hoping Charlie would let Doc come out for the 9th and get try and get the complete game shutout. He was 8 pitches short of 100 after 8 innings. But who am I to 2nd guess Charlie. Charlie opted to bring in the Phils new closer Papelbon and he closed out with a stellar 3 up 3 down performance,

Roy Halladay

Chooch finished with 3 hits including knocking in the games only run. John Mayberry made 2 great catches in left field on long drives and had two hits including a double. Victorino had a stolen base. Newcomer Freddy Galvis fielded his position well but was weak with the bat having grounded into 2 double plays and going hitless.

Thus another campaign has begun with another Phillies win. 1 down and 161 to go. It should be interesting to see how well the Phils fare especially with big guns Utley and Howard on the sidelines. The Marlins and Nationals are much improved and the Braves are still a valid threat. The lowly Mets still look like cellar dwellers. Come Autumn and Sept. 30th we’ll know who was for real and who were pretenders. GO PHILLIES!

Phillies 1, Pirates 0

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
PHI
0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 8 0
PIT
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0

Philadelphia AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Victorino, CF 3 0 0 0 1 2 1 .000
Polanco, 3B 3 0 0 0 1 0 1 .000
Rollins, SS 4 0 1 0 0 0 3 .250
Pence, RF 4 0 0 0 0 1 3 .000
Wigginton, 1B 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 .250
Mayberry, LF 4 0 2 0 0 2 0 .500
Ruiz, C 3 0 3 1 0 0 0 1.000
Galvis, 2B 4 0 0 0 0 1 5 .000
Halladay, P 3 0 1 0 0 2 0 .333
Papelbon, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 32 1 8 1 2 8 13 .250
Pittsburgh AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Presley, LF 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 .250
Tabata, RF 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 .250
McCutchen, A, CF 3 0 0 0 0 1 2 .000
Walker, 2B 3 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000
Jones, G, 1B 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
Barajas, C 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
Alvarez, 3B 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
Barmes, SS 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Bedard, P 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
Resop, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
a-McLouth, PH 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .000
Cruz, J, P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Totals 28 0 2 0 0 6 6 .071

a-Struck out for Resop in the 8th.

BATTING
2B: Mayberry (1, Bedard).
TB: Ruiz 3; Wigginton; Mayberry 3; Halladay; Rollins.
RBI: Ruiz (1).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Galvis; Rollins; Pence.
SF: Ruiz.
GIDP: Galvis 2.
Team RISP: 0-for-5.
Team LOB: 7.BASERUNNING
SB: Victorino (1, 2nd base off Bedard/Barajas).FIELDING
DP: (Rollins-Galvis-Wigginton).
BATTING
TB: Presley; Tabata.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Walker.
GIDP: McCutchen, A.
Team RISP: 0-for-2.
Team LOB: 3.FIELDING
DP: 2 (Barmes-Walker-Jones, G, Alvarez-Walker-Jones, G).
Philadelphia IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Halladay(W, 1-0) 8.0 2 0 0 0 5 0 0.00
Papelbon(S, 1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Totals 9.0 2 0 0 0 6 0 0.00
Pittsburgh IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Bedard(L, 0-1) 7.0 6 1 1 1 4 0 1.29
Resop 1.0 1 0 0 1 2 0 0.00
Cruz, J 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00
Totals 9.0 8 1 1 2 8 0 1.00
HBP: Barmes (by Halladay), McCutchen, A (by Halladay).
Pitches-strikes: Halladay 92-65, Papelbon 10-9, Resop 18-10, Bedard 81-58, Cruz, J 17-11.
Groundouts-flyouts: Halladay 10-5, Papelbon 2-0, Resop 0-0, Bedard 6-5, Cruz, J 1-0.
Batters faced: Halladay 27, Papelbon 3, Resop 5, Bedard 26, Cruz, J 4.
Umpires: HP: Brian Gorman. 1B: Larry Vanover. 2B: Tony Randazzo. 3B: Todd Tichenor.
Weather: 52 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 4 mph, L to R.
T: 2:14.
Att: 39,585.
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media

Doc dominates as Phillies shut out Pirates

 By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com

PITTSBURGH — The Phillies began the 2012 season knowing they could pitch and hoping they could score enough runs to win.

They followed form Thursday.

Phillies ace Roy Halladay dominated in a 1-0 victory over the Pirates on Opening Day at PNC Park. He just needed a little help, which finally came in the seventh inning, when Carlos Ruiz’s sacrifice fly to right field scored Ty Wigginton from third base.

Roy Halladay of the Philadelphia Phillies pitc...

It was the first run the Phillies had scored for Halladay since the eighth inning in Game 1 of the 2011 National League Division Series. The Phillies had played 15 scoreless innings behind Halladay — nine of them coming in Game 5 of the NLDS — until Ruiz finally knocked in a run.

Halladay allowed back-to-back singles to Alex Presley and Jose Tabata in the bottom of the first inning — the only hits he allowed over his eight innings — but got Andrew McCutchen to bounce into a double play and struck out Neil Walker to get out of the jam.

Halladay retired nine consecutive batters until he hit McCutchen with a pitch with one out in the fourth inning. He retired the next 13 batters he faced until he hit Clint Barmes with a pitch with two outs in the eighth.

Pirates left-hander Erik Bedard cruised through six shutout innings, but the Phillies finally got something going offensively in the seventh. Wigginton hit a one-out single to center and John Mayberry Jr. doubled into the right-field corner to put runners on second and third with one out.

Ruiz’s sacrifice fly gave the Phillies the only run of the game.

Jonathan Papelbon earned his first save with the Phillies with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Phils Win 1st Spring Exhibition Over FSU 6-1

Phils’ first taste of game action is win over FSU

Luna homers as part of five-run seventh for Philadelphia

By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. — A five-run seventh inning broke open a close game against Florida State University as the Phillies took a 6-1 victory in their opening contest of the spring.
Florida State University College of Motion Pic...

FSU Campus

The Phillies used Wednesday’s exhibition against the college team as an opportunity to get a look at some of their younger arms in camp.

Austin Hyatt is 25, but he still qualifies as young.

He started the game and struck out three in two perfect innings at Bright House Field.

“I’m one of the few starters whose first time it is in camp, I guess one of the younger guys, so I was happy to be called upon,” Hyatt said.

English: Philadelphia Phillies minor leaguer J...

Joe Savery

Hyatt went 12-6 with a 3.86 ERA at Double-A Reading last season, making the Eastern League All-Star team in the process. Hyatt needs more seasoning in the Minor Leagues, and there certainly is no need to rush him with a big league rotation that includes Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Cole Hamels, Vance Worley and Joe Blanton.

Jake Diekman, Jeremy Horst, Michael Schwimer, Joe Savery, Phillippe Aumont and B.J. Rosenberg each threw a scoreless inning, for the Phils, who were paced on offense by Hector Luna (1-for-1, HR, two RBIs, walk) and Tyson Gillies (1-for-2, two runs, RBI, stolen base).

Hunter Pence doubled in his spring debut, while Pete Orr and Tuffy Gosewisch also recorded two-base hits.

Hyatt said he plans to soak in everything possible while he is in big league camp.

“I try to sit back and listen, pick up some things here and there,” Hyatt said. “But the guys, they make you feel welcome at the same time, so it’s not as intimidating as it may seem. It’s an honor to be around them.”

Hyatt is hoping to open the season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley, and continue the progress he made last season.

“It definitely gets more exciting when you get closer,” he said. “It’s what you kind of work your way up the Minors for, to get closer, so yeah, I realize if you pitch well for a season, you could be there. It is nice to think about.”

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sophomore Jinx For Vance?

Will Worley regress in sophomore season?

COREY  SEIDMANcontributor.png
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There are no real reasons to expect Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels to regress in 2012. The peripherals of Lee and Hamels (walks, strikeouts, home runs allowed) fell in line with their ERAs last year, and in Halladay’s case, his supporting numbers actually outperformed his ERA. Doc finished with a 2.35 ERA that easily could have been 2.20.

English: Vance Worley, pitching for the Philad...

The Phillies know what they’ll get from Halladay, Lee and Hamels. These are three pitchers with track records as defined as their pitching identities. Halladay is the craftsman with a killer instinct that supersedes the skill-set of whoever he faces. Lee is the pinpoint lefty who, when on his game, is better than anyone in the sport. Hamels is the ever-evolving “stuff” guy who transformed from a two-pitch pitcher into one with four weapons.

The question mark is Vance Worley. We spent the majority of 2011 waiting for the other shoe to drop … and it never really did. Does that mean we can expect him to roll right along in 2012?

Not quite.

After a complete game in San Francisco in late July, Worley improved to 7-1 with a 2.02 ERA. To that point Worley had a .199 opponents’ batting average, a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2-to-1 and only three home runs allowed in 11 starts.

Over his next 10 starts, Worley had a 4.18 ERA in 60 innings, allowing the opposition a .278 batting average. One looks at that and forms the opinion that Worley’s numbers regressed to his true talent level. But that isn’t exactly the case.

Worley’s K/BB ratio actually improved over those 10 starts. The 2-to-1 figure from the first 11 starts jumped up to nearly 3.5-to-1. Worley kept getting better, but we’re a results-based society so we noticed the increasing ERA rather than the 24-year-old’s developing process and prowess on the mound.

How can it be that Worley had a 2.02 ERA with mediocre command through the first 11 starts, then a 4.18 ERA with much-improved command over the next 10?

Two reasons: worse luck with fly balls and a higher line drive rate.
Through 11 starts, Worley allowed three home runs on 180 fly balls. The average home run per fly ball rate is around 10 percent, or one homer per 10 fly balls. Worley was at 1.6 percent, allowing one homer every 60 fly balls.

Worley wasn’t drinking a magic potion that made his fly balls die in the outfield. Some pitchers excel at keeping batters off-balance and jamming them, inducing weaker fly balls, but even they don’t sustain obscenely low home run per fly ball rates. Remember how good Halladay was his first year with the Phillies? His HR/FB rate that year was 11.3 percent.
Sure enough, seven of Worley’s next 60 fly balls left the yard to balance out his home run rate.

So that was reason No. 1 for Worley’s ERA increasing despite his better command. Reason No. 2 was an uptick in his line drives allowed.
Worley allowed line drives on 18 percent of balls in play through his first 11 starts. In his next 10, it was 26 percent. Line drives are the hardest balls to field because they travel and fall rapidly. Thus, line drives fall in for hits at a much greater rate than grounders or fly balls. Liners are hits, league-wide, about 73 percent of the time. Ground balls go for hits 23 percent of the time.

An eight-percent increase in line drives is significant, and was one of the root causes of Worley’s opponents’ batting average going from .199 to .278.

Despite those added homers and line drives during the second half of Worley’s season, we should be confident that he can be a successful major league pitcher moving forward. As mentioned several times, his command only got better as his 2011 season went on. His batting average on balls in play was reasonable, as was his strand rate.*

*BABIP and strand rate are usually the two telltale signs that a pitcher was lucky and/or underperformed despite his ERA. J.A. Happ is the best case in recent memory. Happ’s ERAs were always low in Philly despite every other number suggesting they should be high. Look what’s happened for Happ in Houston as things have balanced out.

Worley has shown that he can strike batters out. The league will catch up a bit to his two-seam fastball, but even when it does it is very hard for a right-handed batter to pull the trigger when it is running back across the plate. Any successful starter needs a go-to pitch. That two-seamer is a weapon.

Can we expect Worley to finish 2012 with an ERA of 3.01? No. But we shouldn’t expect him to have a 4.18 ERA, either. Something between 3.50 and 3.70 is reasonable. Any team would love that production from a cheap fourth starter.

For more statistical musings from Corey Seidman, visit Brotherly Glove and Phillies Nation.