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?
Thursday, June 09, 2005
I watched a little baseball along the way. Naturally I have thoughts on the Urbina-Polanco trade. Namely, I'm baffled why the team dealt Polanco for a guy with a groundball-flyball ratio of 0.38 ... seriously, that's nuts. Urbina might be a great pitcher, but he's got a lot of flaws and isn't a good fit for this team. E.g., he's surrendering 1.6 home runs per 9 innings, product of the fact that he's a flyball pitcher and 13% of his flyballs turn into home runs. Urbina succeeded with the Tigers because he plays in the third toughest AL park to hit a Home Run in: Comerica Park.
Comerica had a home run factor of 86 last year. Only Kansas City and Cleveland had tougher AL parks. Comercia is a tough place to get a run (runs factor of 93) or an extra-base hit (double factor of 83). How well is Urbina going to do in a place so friendly to the long ball? Not well, I suspect. Even with an improved (aka, Eric Milton-less) pitching staff, the Phillies are surrendering a lot of home runs this season. I just don't see Urbina working out.
And to get him the Phillies broke up with 2B platoon. I say bravo to that- about time Chase gets the job -but if Bell or Chase go down the Phillies are going to sorely miss having Mr. Utility back there. And to give up a glove of Polanco's calibur for a player badly unsuited to playing at Citizens ... I think Ed Wade got taken on this one.
More tomorrow. I gotta unpack.
Sunday, June 05, 2005
I do have some bad news: I will be taking the week off. I have to go to Hershey to attend "District Attorney School", which is administered through the PA District Attorneys Assocation. I won't have access to my computer, so I'll probably be out of commission until Friday. Check back though, I'll still try to stay in touch.