Friday, June 10, 2005
Not improved pitching: their ERA is 5.00 over the last seven games.
Answer: the Phillies have been hitting again: .555 slugging percentage in the month of June, complete with 15 home runs and 34 extra-base hits in the last 9 games. Not too shabby. Even guys like David Bell are getting into the act (10 for 27 with five runs scored and a home run). Pat Burrell is continuing to perform well, as is Bobby Abreu. Check out some of the Win Shares as of today, and compare with their expected Win Shares:
Abreu: 15 (7 exp.)
Burrell: 11 (6 exp.)
Bell: 3 (6 exp.)
Thome: 3 (5 exp.)
I’ll write something in the next few days about Win Shares in general. I think it observes some comment.
I was thrilled to see so many people reference my comments about Urbina’s groundball-flyball ratio. Adding fuel to the fire was Tom G’s report at Balls, Sticks & Stuff that Urbina was apparently involved in a drunken fracas on the Tigers airplane the other night.
Losing Polanco, adding a flyball pitcher, adding a potentially disruptive influence in the clubhouse … Anyone else sensing that this trade was a major mistake?
We can also see that Commerce greatly suppresses singles and doubles, which leads to runs ratio of only 1.024 (11th).
This is pretty similar to 2004, so we can assume these are permanent park features. Does this hurt Oogy? Absolutely, but the key, as always with homer friendly parks, is to minimize baserunners by limiting walks and singles, so those homers don't hurt as much.
How good is Oogy at this? His carreer OBP against is a modest .296, which isn't bad for most pitchers. He strikes out over 10/9IP, which is consistent for most fly ball pitchers (that is, strikeout pitchers also tend to be flyball pitchers).
Another byproduct of not giving up many hits ans striking out a lot of guys is that even though he's a flyball pitcher, his slugging % against (carreer) is only .364, which is like facing David Bell every at bat.
In short: don't look just at his g/f ratio and think he won't succeed at Citizens Park. He's no Billy Wagner, but he's quite the jump from Rheal Cormier.
More importantly, if you looked at the infield, outfield, starting pitching, and relief pitching thus far, by far the biggest weakness on this team has been the bullpen. I liked Polanco, but I think it's interesting (and I don't mean this to be rude) that one of the loudest Utley fans who wrote about the surprise Polanco arbitration repeatedly is asking if this is a mistake. They cleared the way for Utley - now let's hope Bell is healthy.
I understand the value of stats such as flyball ratio (you were dead on with Milton), but Urbina is a good pitcher. Urbina will help this team, and we did receive a serviceable infielder in return. He's not Polanco, but he definitely is an experienced guy who can fill in.
I think it was a good move and I think we would have all been cursing Ed Wade for not making the move if we were aware it was an option for him and he didn't pull the trigger.
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