After allowing nine runs on Sunday, Halladay admits to dealing with shoulder discomfort.
How could we celebrate Opening Day without thinking of Danny Tartabull and other free agent flops?
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
- Offensive Average
- Hoban Effectiveness Quotient
- Base Runs
The formulas for each of the categories can be found below the chart.
Base Runs: A*B/(B+C)+D where A = H+BB-HR, B = (1.4*TB-.6*H-3*HR+.1*BB)*1.02, C = AB-HR, D=HR
Sabermetric Big 5 Leaders - Pitching will be publised Tuesday.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
In Other Local Action
Gardner-Webb 9 La Salle 3
George Smith Jr. collected a pair of hits but the Explorers dropped the rubber contest of the three-game series to the Runnin' Bulldogs. The bullpen surrendered four runs in 4 1/3 innings in the loss. Dominic Sgroi allowed four runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings and was saddled with the loss.
East Tennessee State 4 Saint Joseph's 3
ETSU scored a pair of runs in the bottom portion of the ninth to drop the Hawks and sweep the weekend series. Kevin Kratochwill and Stefan Kancylarz each collected a pair of hits in the loss. Kevin Burum allowed the pair of runs to score in the ninth on two hits and a walk - he fell to 0-1 on the season.
North Carolina A&T 3 Temple 1
The Owls out hit NCAT and Steve Nikorak surrendered just two runs over 5 1/3 innings, but Brent Moore shined for the Aggies - allowing just one run over eight innings. The loss dropped the Owls to 2-4 on the season.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Ostapeck surrendered just four singles on the afternoon and struck out three.
The complete game shutout was Villanova's first in more than three years.
Tyler Sciacca collected the afternoon's lone RBI on a two-out single in the eighth inning.
In Other Local Action
Temple 13 North Carolina A&T 9 (GM1)
Steve Nikorak finished the contest 3-for-4 and clubbed the 54th double of his career tying him for the school record. Taylor Juran and Connor Reilly contributed three RBIs each in the win.
North Carolina A&T 6 Temple 2 (GM2)
Patrick Peterson surrendered four runs over five innings in his first career start, striking out nine. The Owls' offense sputtered, collecting just four hits. Henry Knabe hit his first homerun of season in the loss.
Gardner-Webb 6 La Salle 5
Pat Christensen was unable to hold a two-run lead as the Runnin' Bulldogs clipped the Explorers in the second of a three-game set. Brendan Norton finished the contest 2-for-4 with a bases-clearing double in the fourth. Again, Kevin Christy pitched well, surrendering two runs over six innings while striking out eight.
East Tennessee State 3 Saint Joseph's 2
Kevin Taylor collected a pair of hits but it wasn't enough as ETSU took the second game of a weekend three-game set. Alex Pracher surrendered six hits and three runs over five innings in the loss.
Friday, February 24, 2012
Pat Young notched the win with nine strikeouts over seven innings for the Wildcats, walking one and scattering five hits. Matt Lengel tossed a pair of scoreless innings to pick up the save.
Matt Calbi opened the eighth for the Wildcats and reached after being hit by a pitch. Steve Schrenk followed with a walk and both advanced on a Matt Fleishman sacrifice bunt. Calbi went on to score on a sacrifice fly by Connor Jones and Zech, who entered as a pinch runner for Schrenk earlier in the frame, scored on Sciacca's drag bunt single.
The Spartans opened the scoring in the fourth with a Chris Warren RBI-triple to pull ahead 1-0.
The two clubs will meet again on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Stephen Ostapeck is scheduled to start for the Wildcats.
In Other Local Action
Temple 7 North Carolina A&T 2 (suspended, T3)
The Owls erupted for five runs in the third to break a 2-2 tie before rains forced the contest to come to a halt. The game will resume Saturday prior to the already scheduled second game of the series.
La Salle 11 Gardner-Webb 3
Eric Van Wyk scattered five hits over six innings and struck out four as the Explorers thrashed the Runnin' Bulldogs. Due to six errors by G-W, just five of La Salle's 11 runs were actually earned. Jeff Flax went 2-for-6 with three RBIs and Dan Klem finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs to pace the Explorers' offense.
East Tennessee State 12 Saint Joseph's 4
ETSU put up a nine spot in the second inning on 10 hits, blowing the contest wide open. Stefan Kancylarz led the Hawks' offense with a 4-for-5 performance and two RBIs. Kyle Mullen surrendered 12 hits and 10 runs in 1 1/3 inning of work.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
"That's the ultimate goal," Halladay said Tuesday following his workout at Bright House Field in Clearwater. "The drive is always there."
Halladay was traded to Philadelphia following the 2010 season. He excelled in Toronto, but never reached the postseason. Now he's experienced the playoffs each of the last two years but fallen short of the World Series.
"We've had opportunities here," Halladay said. "That's all I wanted. It hasn't gone the way we wanted it to go, but I still feel this is the best place to do it."
In five postseason starts Halladay is 3-2 with a 2.37 ERA.
"I realize that I'm not getting any younger," Halladay said. "I'm probably going to play less going forward than I've played already, so I know that. But the greatest thing to ever happen to me was was coming here. I've given myself two chances to be in the playoffs and World Series that I wouldn't of had in many other places."
Halladay did everything in his power to carry the Phillies in the postseason last year, putting together a 2.25 ERA in 16 innings over two starts in the NLDS. Unfortunately, the offense fell silent in Game 5 leaving him to take the fall in a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to the Cardinals.
The 34-year-old is signed through 2013 with a vesting option for 2014. He knows time is running out on his opportunity to add the most coveted of achievements to his resume.
"The window is getting [smaller] and it would be nice when you go away to go away as a world champion," Halladay said. "I think any player would want that and I definitely do."
Monday, February 20, 2012
The 28-year-old spoke for nearly a half-hour and discussed his interest in remaining with the Phillies beyond 2012. He and the club agreed to a one-year deal in January worth $15 million to avoid arbitration.
"We didn't really discuss one [before]," Hamels said. "I think we were just focused on getting through the arbitration process and discussing the one-year deal. We were just happy we were able to get that done and not have to go through the strenuous case process."
Hamels made it clear he is not placing a timetable on contract discussions.
"I have confidence my agent and I know the Phillies are always going out and trying to get things done," Hamels said. "I'll leave that matter to them. That's why I have an agent. I don't see too many players that know how to be an agent and a player at the same time."
Hamels underwent a pair of offseason surgeries, one to remove a bone chip in his pitching elbow, the other to repair a sports hernia. He said he has fully recovered and has already thrown off a mound.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
The rest of the club will assemble under the Florida sun on Friday.
Here are three questions as the Phillies enter spring training.
Who's on first?
Charlie Manuel has to find a replacement to play first base as Ryan Howard is out at least through April while recovering from a ruptured Achillies' tendon.
Ruben Amaro Jr. went out and picked up Ty Wigginton and immediately said he would be the starter at first base in Howard's absence, but Manuel said John Mayberry Jr. would be the favorite entering spring training. To add to the conflicting statements, Amaro said Mayberry was the likely candidate to take the starting job in left field.
Jim Thome's name is also in the mix to start a few games in Howard's absence, but it's important to note that he has played just 28 innings at first base over the last five seasons and none since 2007.
If Mayberry does in fact win the left field spot (he should, easily) then it's likely Wigginton opens the season at first base with Thome getting a start or two a week.
What does the future hold for Domonic Brown?
The 24-year-old opened last season as a can't miss prospect, but after a disasterous season it now appears he's destined to open the season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Amaro said he'd like to see Brown get another 600 at-bats in the minors and the outfield is crowded with the additions of Laynce Nix and Juan Pierre.
It's likely 2012 is a make-or-break season for Brown in determining where he stands in the Phillies' future plans.
When will the Phillies offer an extension to Cole Hamels?
Hamels will become a free agent following the season unless the Phillies and Amaro are willing to break the bank and sign him to a long-term deal.
It is widely expected that Hamels will command near $20 million a year on the open market, so he may be a tough buy for a club that already has nearly $109 million committed to seven players for 2013.
Amaro is expected to meet with Hamels' agent during spring training, so it will be interesting to see what comes of that meeting. If nothing comes of the meeting(s) the odds of retaining Hamels are likely to decrease as the season progresses.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
The Hawks erupted for six runs in the seventh to break a 2-2 tie with an RBI double from Brian O'Keefe highlighting the frame.
Steven Schuler notched the win in relief, tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings and striking out two. [Box Score]
The victory followed a 7-1 loss earlier in the day to Monmouth. O'Keefe led the offense with a pair of hits, including a double and an RBI-single.
Alex Pracher surrendered six runs on nine hits in five innings in the losing effort. [Box Score]
The Hawks travel to Raleigh to face North Carolina State on Sunday.
Other Local Action
#6 Arkansas 13 Villanova 1
For the second consecutive game Villanova fell victim to a big inning from the Arkansas offense - this time it was six runs in the second which again proved to be insurmountable. 'Nova starter Pat Young struggled, allowing eight runs on six hits over three innings. He also walked five. [Box Score]
LaSalle 3 Bucknell 1
Eric Van Wyk looked masterful in the Explorers' season opener, hurling six innings while allowing just one run on three hits while striking out six. Pat Christensen closed out the contest retiring four batters to notch the save. [Box Score]
Davidson 4 LaSalle 3
Kevin Christy matched Van Wyk with a stellar performance of his own, striking out 10 while allowing two runs on two hits in five innings, however, Davidson scratched a run on three hits off reliever Caolan Ronan in the eighth to ultimately take the contest. The Explorers were limited to just three hits on the afternoon. [Box Score]
Temple 5 Old Dominion 4 (10 inn.)
For the second consecutive day the Owls and Monarchs battled into extra innings, this time with Temple claiming victory. The Owls battled back to tie the contest in the eighth on an RBI-single by Matt Elko before tacking on two in the tenth with Elko reaching on a walk to force in what eventually became the game-winning run. He finished the contest with three hits. [Box Score]
Old Dominion 6 Temple 2
Steve Nikorak struggled for the Owls, surrendering four runs over 5 1/3 innings as the Monarchs took the second game of the doubleheader. Temple will travel to Greensboro to face North Carolina A&T in a three-game series starting Friday. [Box Score]
Sunday's Schedule: St. Joseph's vs. North Carolina State, Villanova vs. Arkansas. (LaSalle vs. Niagara is PPD due to impending inclement weather.)
(For more news and features about baseball in Philadelphia, be sure to visit the Philadelphia Baseball Review.)
Scheduled workouts begin on Sunday.
Today's lone highlight came when newly acquired closer Jonathan Papelbon answered questions about leaving Boston and the pressure he's feeling to win a World Series.
"I don't think about it at all, man," he said. "When I was a rookie and made my first All-Star Game, I had a chance to talk to [Mariano Rivera] and asked what's the biggest thing that's going to make me successful in this game? His first answer was short-term memory."
Papelbon also poked a little fun at Jim Thome for being in such good shape despite being 41-years-old.
Friday, February 17, 2012
Tied at 4 in the bottom of the 10th, the Monarchs (1-0) pieced together a pair of hits off Brian Sustersic to plate the winning run.
Hockenberry tossed 5 2/3 innings, surrendering a pair of runs on four hits.
The Owls (0-1) jumped on the board in the opening frame with runs off a Jabir Khan RBI-single and a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt. Khan, Jordan Queja and Taylor Juran each collected a pair of hits in the loss. [Box Score]
Other Local Action
#6 Arkansas 11 Villanova 5
Arkansas delivered a devastating blow to the Wildcats early, scoring six runs in the first inning and ultimately taking a 9-0 lead before 'Nova answered with a run in the fifth. Kyle Helisek surrendered nine hits and nine runs over 3 1/3 innings to take the loss. Matt Fleishman collected a pair of hits, including a grand slam in the seventh, to pace the 'Nova offense. [Box Score]
Bryant 4 St. Joseph's 1
Bryant jumped on Hawks' starter Kyle Mullen early with four runs in the first and that proved to be all the Bulldogs would need. Chris Hueth scored the Hawks lone run in the second on an RBI-double by Tommy Cunningham. Shane Carey and Mike Muha combined for four scoreless innings out of the Hawks' bullpen. [Box Score]
Saturday's Schedule: Temple vs. Old Dominion (DH - Sunday's contest moved to Saturday due to impending weather), LaSalle vs. Davidson, St. Joseph's vs. Canisius, Villanova vs. Arkansas.
(For more news and features about baseball in Philadelphia, be sure to visit the Philadelphia Baseball Review.)
Saturday, February 11, 2012
League Details: We used Yahoo's default league settings - 12 team auction with a salary cap of $260. Standard 5x5 rotisserie scoring.
My Strategy: I went into this draft knowing I was going to punt the save category. I figure so many things change during the regular season at that position that picking up a closer or two off the waiver wire in the middle of the season shouldn't be too difficult. Yahoo's roster setup is a little odd as it forces you to have at least two SP's and two RP's - knowing this, while punting saves, I wanted to make sure I got two stud starters that would give me production in every category. I figured I could fill the rest of the pitching staff with low-risk players that were solid and cheap. Offensively, balance was important - if I picked up a slugger with power than I wanted to make certain I drafted a speedster that hit for average. I wanted a balanced team, not necessarily balanced players.
I had three sets of projected dollar values handy throughout the draft. Being the first auction of the season, I wanted to avoid getting involved in bidding wars so I could see how closely the final sale prices correlated to the projections I was using.
What Actually Happened: I was surprised at the prices some of the top-tier players were going for early on. Miguel Cabrera was the first player auctioned and went for $53 - I had him projected at $35. Matt Kemp went second for $53 - I had him projected at $42. I didn't think any player would break $50, not to mention two.
I kept true to my projected values, drafting Justin Verlander at $36 (projected $42) and Felix Hernandez at $34 (projected at $32) as my two starting pitchers. Dee Gordon was tossed out early and I tapped him at $8 (projected at $16).
The Good: I was happy with the pitching staff I pieced together behind Verlander and Hernandez, especially considering I spent just $12. I also think I bought nearly 80 steals with the $8 I spent on Gordon and the $7 on Coco Crisp.
The Bad: Even though he cost me only $1, I got burned with Russell Martin. I wanted a backup catcher and saw three other teams still needed a starter. At this point I had my eye on Molina who was still sitting on the board, so I tossed Martin's name out with a $1 bid thinking someone would bite and fill an empty roster spot. Unfortunately, no one bit and I got stuck with Martin. Molina eventually went 11 picks later for $2.
Starting Lineup: Wieters, Fielder, Pedroia, Gordon, Ramirez, Hamilton, Cruz, Crisp, Alonso and Espinosa.
Bench: Martin, De Aza, Trout and Vicedo.
Pitchers: Hernandez and Verlander as SP's, Collmenter and Pestano as RP's, Holland, Volquez, Jurrjens and Worley as my other four active pitchers. Oswalt, until he signs with a team, will be on the bench.
Final Grades: I looked at several projections and graded each player in various categories. I then took the letter grades and normalized them the same way you would with a GPA on the 4.0 scale. The starting lineup appears to be balanced, which is exactly what I was aiming for with grades of "B-" for HR, "B+" for Runs, "B" for RBIs, "C+" for Stolen Bases and "B-" for Batting Average. Together, the grades equaled a "B-" for a 2.8 out of 4.0. I did the same for the bench and came out with a "C" average at 2.0. Keep in mind, these grades may seem low but my goal was to put a balanced club together - meaning Dee Gordon's projected home run total (likely between 0 and 3) equals just as much in the grading as Prince Fielders projected home run total. Using this system, it would be rare to ever see a team approach "A" territory unless the league is extremely small.
The pitching staff projects nicely with a "B" for Wins and Saves, "B" for Strikeouts, "B+" for Earned Run Average and "B" for WHIP. The overall GPA came out to a 3.1 out of 4.0 for a "B".
Phillies Drafted: Ryan Howard $14, Chase Utley $17, Jimmy Rollins $13, Roy Halladay $41, Cliff Lee $35, Cole Hamels $29, Jonathan Papelbon $17.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
I used projections for 2012 from TG Fantasy Baseball and sorted the players by position. I removed players that did not have at least 200 at-bats and then calculated positional averages. Lastly, I calculated the four sabermetric numbers and ranked the players from best to worst in each category. The best number in each category was given 100% and all other numbers were divided by that top number. This provides the percentile numbers that are used in the graphics.
As an example, let's look at the catcher position.
The positional average TPQ was .572 (found by figuring the average totals of all C's in data with min. 200 at-bats, then finding TPQ of those figures) while the best individual TPQ belonged to Mike Napoli at .789. Taking the positional average of .572 and dividing by Napoli's .789 you get 72% - meaning the positional average is in the 72-percentile.
The projected positional average percentile is shaded behind the actual player's projected percentile. This provides the viewer an easy way to compare how a player compares to others at his given position.
The formulas for the categories:
- TPQ = (HR + TB + RB) / AB
- HEQ = TB + R + RBI + SB + .5 x BB
- RC = ((H + BB) * TB) / AB + BB
- Secondary Average = TB - H + BB + SB - CS / AB
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Reds GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay of the Cincinnati Inquirer on Tuesday that he hasn't recently had meaningful talks with Oswalt or his agent - and he seems peeved that everyone seems to think otherwise (check the link).
The Rangers have bailed on Oswalt and the Cardinals simply don't have room in their rotation or on the payroll. The Red Sox have shown casual interest, but that interest has waned over the past two weeks.
The Pirates were willing to negotiate with Oswalt, but he shot down the chance to play in Pittsburgh saying he wants to pitch for a contender.
So, what about a return to Philadelphia?
Oswalt is seeking a one-year deal for $10 million, so for him to come back the Phillies would have to move some cash to keep the payroll within the vicinity of $170 million. Problem is, there really is no comparable contracts that can be traded. Todd Zolecki of MLB.com suggests Joe Blanton's $8.5 million deal would be the most logical to move, but the number of suitors for a 31-year-old with a damaged right elbow is slim.
If Oswalt were to lower his asking price to $8 million I wouldn't be surprised to see the Rangers regain interest and make a play. Yu Darvish and Neftali Feliz are both new to the rotation and Oswalt would provide veteran depth to a serious contender.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
- The Yankees are believed to be in "serious discussions" with former Phillies outfielder Raul Ibanez. New York has been searching for a left-handed hitter to platoon with Andruw Jones as a designated hitter. Ibanez will turn 40 in June and is likely looking at a one-year deal.
- MLB.com released several of their Top 20 Organizational Prospect lists on Monday and pitcher Trevor May was ranked as the Phillies best prospect. May (RHP) pitched at Clearwater last season and held opponents to a .221 average. He struck out 208 over 151 1/3 innings while allowing just 67 walks. For the entire list check out MLB 2012 Prrospect Watch.
11 days until pitchers and catchers report.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Small and feisty, Jake Stephens was a middle-infielder with Hilldale from 1921-1929 and was known primarily for his defensive wizardry and cannon of an arm. He also was smart on the basepaths and was an excellent bunter, but he was notoriously poor at hitting curveballs and struggled on offense.
He played a role in Hilldale winning two Eastern Colored League pennants (1923, 1924) and later in his career (1931) became a member of the Homestead Grays, regarded by experts as the best Negro League team of all-time.
Stephens ran a taproom for two years after baseball. He then was with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Motor Vehicles from 1939-1955 and also worked as a part-time deputy sheriff.