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Monday, June 22, 2009

How do some people have their jobs?

While I wish I could explain the current Phillies slump, I can't. What I can do, is understand common statistics.

Today, I was listening to 610. Eskin was hosting with some guy. I wasn't listening for long, but I had the station on long enough to hear nonsense. It's not the first time I've heard the following, but it's really disturbing.

Eskin was commenting on how he thinks this current slide by the Phillies can be attributed to their winning the World Series last year. More specifically, he was comparing "how both Rollins and Howard declined the years after their MVP seasons. The team in essence won the MVP last year by winning it all, and now they're experiencing the downturn."

1) How much common sense does one need to have to understand this? 99% of the time, MVP seasons are outstanding seasons compared to the rest of the league, and usually compared to the player's own career. Obviously, a player's numbers in an MVP season should exceed his numbers from years past and years to come. So, when Jimmy Rollins hits .296/.344/.531 in 2007, and wins the MVP that year, one should infer that this was probably his best year.

2) Upon examination, this was his best year by far. His OPS+ was 118 (identical to Pat Burrell's career average OPS+ to put things in perspective). His next highest OPS +? 103. When? 2008. Hmmm. some downfall. The year after his MVP season, he had his second best season. Rollins has had 4 years of over 100 OPS+ (average). If anything, in the broad perspective of Rollins career, 2007 was the aberation, not 2008. 2008 was above average for his career, but yes, was worse than 2008. This year is Rollins' 10th season in MLB. His career OPS+ is 96. He is basically an average offensive player. For the record I don't think he deserved to be the MVP in 2007.

3) Howard's MVP season, 2006, was probably the best year he will ever have. It was probably better than the best years 95% of major leaguers will have. He hit .313/.425/.659 with a 167 OPS+. Now, those are MVP-type numbers. Howard deserved win it that year. Naturally a human being would have a hard time duplicating that year's statistics. The following year, his BA dropped, but he still walked A LOT. OBP is very important and he still OBPed .392. His problem the last two years hasn't been strikeouts, it's been that he's not walking as much as he used to. If you watch him, you can see him swinging at pitches that aren't strikes. It appears that he may have lost sight of the value of the walk. It's not an out.

Back to Rollins. This year is so messed up it's not even worth analysis for him. He should be dropped in the lineup as Victorino's OBP the past few years has been higher than Rollins' career OBP. Vic should lead off.

Predictions for the rest of the year.

Rollins picks his numbers up somewhat. It would take a real good stretch to make them normal though.

Victorino his numbers are pretty high right now. They probably will drop somewhat.

Utley is Utley.

Howard is Howard.

Ibanez's numbers will come back down to earth.

Werth's numbers will probably come back up a little. He has recently broken out of a prolonged slump.

Feliz's numbers will regress to his career numbers. His average and OBP are kind of high for his past.

Ruiz? Who knows. His numbers will probably drop too.

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