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Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Oh man. I hope he gets better soon!

Hope for the best for Jamie. Would love to see him back as the 5th starter next year, but something tells me he's pitched in his last major league game.

Regarding Juan Castro: It's really a head-scratching signing. There's no need for a major-league contract for a player like that (as evidenced by a similar player, Valdez, signing for a minor-league deal the next day.) Wouldn't Valdez be just as good (bad) as Castro?

I don't think it's all that consequential though. As many have pointed out, it's tough to get a good player to come get 100-150 at bats.

Also: people keep talking about getting Rollins and Utley off days. Chase Utley is one of the best all-around players in baseball. Do you really want his bat and glove out of the lineup more than 3-5 games per season? Do you really want Rollins' glove on the bench more than 5-8 times?

Hope he gets well soon!

Best of luck to Jamie. Hopefully it's just precautionary. God bless!

bap, I have to respond to your post from two threads ago.

Let me put it this simply, quoting my original post about the Donnellen column:

" If he thinks Figgins is going to be that much of an upgrade over Rollins in the leadoff spot then he hasn't done his homework."

Also: "Overall, though, IMO it's questionable whether Figgins is that much of a better leadoff hitter."

And: " I just don’t see Figgins as adding that much to an offense that was already the best in the NL".

Nothing you have posted really refutes those points.

Sucks for Jamie. Hopefully its nothing serious.

I read it's not too serious, they just want to keep an eye on him. That being said, wishing the best to Jamie!

Get better, Jamie.

How is a .370 OBP not that much better than Rollins?

Wilson Valdez might be a hair worse than Castro, but if so, just a hair.

DH Phils: Both Rube and Charlie have said they think J-Roll and Uts (who had an OPS of .615 in Sept/Oct) ought to get a bit more rest next season. I have to believe that Castro is not their solution for that. Polanco might be, though.

The Phils have signed Beerleaguer favorite Andy Tracy and 3rd string catcher Paul Hoover to minor league contracts.

For those who think the Phils go cheap this off-season to fill bench spots (i.e. Castro), the Hoover signing is interesting.

Andy Tracy back for another round...sweet!

And Paul Hoover!!!

They're both good org guys. At least the IronPigs should have an okay roster again.

awh: Short of running 2 simulated seasons on a computer -- 1 with Rollins in the leadoff spot, the other with Figgins -- I'm not sure what I could ever point to that would definitively refute your theory. It seems to me rather commonsensical that the leadoff hitter's primary job is to get on base and that, all else being equal, if one leadoff hitter does that with 5% more frequency than another one, it will result in a greater overall number of runs scored.

In actuality, though, all else would NOT be equal, since you'd be taking that .329 OBP guy and moving him to a lower spot in the order where his ability to hit for power would be of MORE benefit, not less benefit, than it is in the leadoff spot. So it would be like a double benefit -- one at the top of the order, another in the bottom.

Bap: What you say is exactly right, but don't expect awh to get it. For whatever reason, he's dedicated to this cause of defending Rollins as the leadoff guy.
If the Phils got Figgins, the optimal lineup would have Figgins batting leadoff and Rollins batting 7th, which would give us easily the most productive 1-7 this side of the Yankees.
Actually, the true optimal lineup would prob have the pitcher batting 8th and Rollins batting 9th, but that's a whole different ballgame. No one except Larussa has ever been willing to make that move.

****Actually, the true optimal lineup would prob have the pitcher batting 8th and Rollins batting 9th, but that's a whole different ballgame. No one except Larussa has ever been willing to make that move.****

Rollins 9th is stupid for a couple, he's not that bad of a hitter that you'd want to give him the fewest number of ABs in the lineup. He has very good power numbers for a SS and he could drive guys in if he's in the 6 or 7 spot. The continually bashing of Rollins gets old. He's not a bad hitter. He's not a great leadoff guy but that doesn't mean much. Howard isn't a good leadoff guy either.

Rollins stats for the last 6 seasons (averaged):

154 G, 41 2B, 11 3B, 19 HR, 73 RBI, 38 SB, 6 CS, .280 AVG, .335 OBP, .461 SLG, .795 OPS, 101 OPS+

That's a pretty good average season.

Why couldn't Figgins bat 2nd, Victorino moves to 6th and Ibanez bats 7th? Anyway, Figgins to the Phillies isn't happening, he's too expensive. Beltre looks more like a possibility and I have no problem there. Beltre batting 7th would be pretty sweet too and I like the glove.

Get well soon Jamie.

We aren't getting Figgins...I just dont see it.

My guess is we'll get Beltre and it will happen in the next couple weeks...much like Ibanez last year.

Rube seems to make his move quickly when he's made up his mind.

"It seems to me rather commonsensical that the leadoff hitter's primary job is to get on base and that, all else being equal, if one leadoff hitter does that with 5% more frequency than another one, it will result in a greater overall number of runs scored."

OK, bap, using your "common sense", I would say that was true IF both hitters got onto the SAME BASE with a 5% frequency differential.

OTOH, if one hitter averages 30 more XBH than the other (the average difference '05-'09 between Rollins and Figgins), then the hitter who advances further on his own effort has a better chance to score on those 30 additional XBH.

You, BobbyD, Jack and many others here dismiss, or minimize the effect of SLG as if it has no meaning for a leadoff hitter.

Using your own "common sense", if a hitter walks or hits a single and then the following 3 hitters all hit GB, the runner doesn't score - he's stranded at third. But if the leadoff guy hits a 2B, he scores on the second GB.

It's really very simple. I don't know why it's so hard for you to grasp the fact that although Figgins has an appreciably higher OBP than Rollins (.368/.332...+10.8%), he's only marginally better as a leadoff hitter because Rollins appreciably better SLG (.462/.364...+26.9%) negates much of the advantage Figgins has at getting on base.

When leading off an inning, in '08 - '09 Figgins scored 1 R per 5.81 PA. Rollins scored 1 R per 5.98 PA. Rollins and Figgins had 500 and 532 PA leading of an inning in those two years, respectively. That's an average of 258, but using 280 as the estimate number, that translates in to exactly 1 (ONE) more run scored when leading off.

Those two seasons include Figgins best and Rollins worst.

Overall, including PA where they didn't lead off an inning, from '05 - '09 Figgins scored 1 R per 6.67 PA. Rollins scored 1 R per 6.49 PA.

Figgins is better, bap, but only marginally better.

he's dedicated to this cause of defending Rollins as the leadoff guy."

Jack, you obviously have serious reading comprehension problems. I have never "defended" Rollins and have stated this to you directly on previous threads. All I have said to the people like you who somehow think adding Figgins to the top of the Phils order will be some kind of panacea, is that overall Figgins is only a marginal upgrade.

If you don't think so, please provide evidence to the contrary other than OBP which only tells part of the story.

Career wOBA

Rollins - .338
Figgins - .339

wOBA for last 3 years:

2007 - Roll (.378), Figg (.371)
2008 - Roll (.357), Figg (.319)
2009 - Roll (.316), Figg (.358)

Just sayin'. They're basically identically when it comes to wOBA.

AWH: This is the part you keep ignoring. Rollins is going to be here whether Figgins is here or not. And his power numbers are a constant, whether he hits first or seventh. That slugging percentage plays much better in the 7 spot than the 1 spot because, in the 7 spot, it is a lot more likely that there will be men on base when he hits all those doubles and homeruns.

So if you can find a guy who scores a few more runs in the leadoff spot AND allows us to redistribute Rollins' power to a part of the lineup where it is likely to knock in more runs, you've not only upgraded in one lineup spot, but two.

Of course, if you "only OBP matters" advocates really believe what you say, then you believe Chase Utley should be the leadoff hitter.

len39, you bring up a great point. What most here don't realize is that Figgins has actually been a better hitter out of the 2 hole.

NEPP, I looked at the wOBA numbers the other day, but I didn't post them because some of these guys here just can't comprehend.

What does wOBA say?

Marginal upgrade.

Oh, BTW, from '05 to '09 they stacked up this way when leading off an inning:

Rollins 1 R / 5.01 PA
Figgins 1 R / 5.07 PA

AWH, when Cole opens his present, being a bit naive, he'll just hand the gift to Heidi saying, "Lake Fred put the wrong name on the gift label. These are for you, Heidi."

Sucks for Moyer on turkey day. I hope it's not bad.

"So if you can find a guy who scores a few more runs in the leadoff spot"

bap, this is the part YOU keep ignoring:

Please show me the evidence that Figgins scores more runs? PLEASE?

And, for the last time:

I'm NOT against signing Figgins. I just don't think he's going to make a much difference as you seem to.

The numbers just don't bear that out.

Besides, this team's real problems in 2009 were in the rotation and bullpen. Unless those get fixed or improve....

Happy Thanksgiving All.

Either Figgins or Beltre would be upgrades on Feliz's offense and that who would be replaced in the lineup, not Rollins.

Whether or not UC moves Vic or Rollins as a result of getting Figgins remains to be seen (we'd first have to get Figgins and then wait till the regular season). I tend to think Vic would be moved out of the 2 hole myself. Either way, the offense is better than it was with Pete Happy.

Comparing J-Roll, Vic, & Figgins at the plate.

Figgins will likely strike out the most and hit the fewest HRs, but is more likely get on base more via more walks. It also looks like he will have more SBs by a small margin.

J-Roll will likely have the most HRs, but just as likely have the worst average and worst OBP.

Vic will be somewhere in between the two for most things, but have the fewest SBs.

If by some miracle we land Figgins, I just can't see how he could bat elsewhere other than 1st or 2nd. With J-Roll, his extra pop is more suited to be moved down in the order than either Figgins or Vic.

Figgins for Lead off. Jimmie Rollins dropped to 6th.

As for options at 3B: After Figgins, everyone else is a fall back. I've seen Derosa brought up as an option for 3rd base. Why is Derosa thought to be a better option than Juan Uribe or Adam Kennedy?
Could'nt the Phillies take the 6m they are saving from Feliz and Bruntlett, and sign Uribe and Kennedy for 3m each?
Platoon 3rd base and cover utility SS at the same time.

Rhetorical question: Why bother even creating new threads, when so many people feel they "have" to carry over their arguments from previous threads, which then completely derail from their new topic? People's ridiculous insistence on "winning" their arguments has gotten even more extreme, it seems. A site setup that allowed multiple simultaneous threads almost seems like it would better serve the readers here.

Back to the thread topic, I hope Jamie recovers well, no matter what his future role for the Phillies might be.

Re: The pitcher batting 8th and Rollins batting 9th. We had a big discussion on the issue of pitcher batting 8th duringt he season and I povided links to several sabrmetric studies on the issue, some fairly complicated. I'm not going to dig those up again, but the bottom line was that batting the pitcher 8th led to more runs being scored in a season than batting the pitcher 9th.

Obviously, personnel will dictate whether that make sense for a specific team. But the studies took the league average production out of each spot to run the simulations.

If I recall they concluded that batting a player 9th insted of a pitcher increased run chances because of the average production from the 1-2-3 hitters. Having a 9th batter with a good OB chance led to more runs than having an 8th batter with good OB chance.

The run differential wasn't huge, but it was there and it did favor batting the pitcher 8th.

I'm guessing LaRussa is familiar with this research.

Scott: I believe your views on thread usage to be fascist.

Scott: You must be new around here. The topic headers are only incidental to the conversation. The argument over Pedro Feliz vs. a Dobbs/Helms platoon stretched over a record 79 consecutive threads. I'm not sure that will ever be topped.

It's how we do things here and it's not likely to ever change barring some kind of unanimous vote by the BL Elite.

So here are the lineups we're discussing:





I prefer (A) myself.

Yo, new thread

Yo, same debates

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