Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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United States, Pennsylvania, Wexford, Christopher Wren, English, Michael, Male, 26-30, baseball , politics.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Chris Coste, Alex Gonzalez & Know Thy Enemy II: The Mets Redux 

The Philles bench got an upgrade over the weekend when infielder Alex Gonzalez elected to retire and the Phillies brought up Chris Coste.

Gonzalez had a lengthy career in baseball and will probably be remembered for being a very talented defensive shortstop. The Fielding Bible said of him: “For years, Gonzalez was one of the better defensive shortstops in baseball.” He converted to third base in 2005 and seemed to do well at it. Offensively Gonzalez was never a great hitter and went from being a light-hitting utility infielder to a no-hitting utility infielder. This season he was four-for-thirty-six with two walks. His OBP was a terrible .158 and he had an ISO of .000 because all four of his hits were singles.

No doubt Gonzalez elected to hang things up and call it a career due to his soft start in 2006.

So who is Chris Coste? At thirty-three he’s the same age as Gonzalez (in fact he’s actually slightly older), but he’s a long-time minor leaguer looking to break into the bigs. It is a great story and it seems likely that Coste will be trying very hard to make an impression, whereas Gonzalez seemed bored and diminished by his role as a pinch-hitter.

Coste’s numbers in Scranton don’t suggest that he’ll be much of an upgrade over Gonzalez: .236 OBP (26-for-147 with nine walks), .095 ISO (just ten extra-base hits: eight doubles and two home runs), and 9 Runs Created*.

* I used Runs Created Basic to tabulate that: ((Total Bases) X (Hits + Walks)) / (At-Bats + Walks)

Confused about what I’m talking about? Here are the stats I refer to defined:
GPA (Gross Productive Average): (1.8 * .OBP + .SLG) / 4 = .GPA. Invented by The Hardball Times Aaron Gleeman, GPA measures a players production by weighing his ability to get on base and hit with power. This is my preferred all-around stat.
Runs Created: A stat originally created by Bill James to measure a player’s total contribution to his team’s lineup.
ISO (Isolated Power): .SLG - .BA = .ISO. Measures a player’s raw power by subtracting singles from their slugging percentage.
OBP (On-Base Percentage): How often a player gets on base. (H + BB + HBP) / (Plate Appearances)
SLG (Slugging Percentage): Power at the plate. (Total Bases / At-Bats = Slugging Percentage)

Coste was hitting south of the Mendoza Line in terms of GPA in Triple-AAA (.174 GPA). However, Coste did hit well in Spring Training and clubbed 20 home runs and 89 RBIs with the Red Barons in 2005. I think he’ll do fine and supply some much-needed pop to the bench.

The Phillies journey north to the realm of the evil empire this week to play three with the Mets. I think all three games are winnable, and I am especially interested to see how Cole Hamels deals with the Mets tomorrow.

I’ve noticed that Shane Victorino has filled in admirably for Aaron Rowand, hitting .405 OBP with a .609 slugging percentage. Not too shabby.

The Phillies need to do something about Jimmy Rollins and soon: for cryin’ out loud, David Bell is hitting better than he is!: .252 GPA vs. .235 GPA.

More tomorrow.

Though Victriano has been great in substitution of Rowand, we're missing his bat off the bench.
When will someone realize that Jimmy Rollins is not a good lead-off hitter? Isn't the primary criteria getting on base and seeing a lot of pitches? His hitting streak was the worst thing that could have happened to him and the Phillies. Maybe Gillick can step in behind the scenes and make the call.
Darn right Andrew. I think something needs to be done, pronto.
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