Charlie Manuel frequently makes poor strategic decisions. The 11-million dollar scoreboard in left field would probably do a similar job. We guarantee a post analyzing Manuel's decisions for every Phillies game. Please click on our aliases below to email us.

Blog Archive

95% Phillies, 4% Eagles/Flyers/Sixers/Big Five, 1% Nonsense .... Contact us: Scott Graham ~ Andy Musser

Friday, October 28, 2011

Should Domonic Brown get more PAs in 2012 than Ryan Howard?

Ryan Howard had a wOBA of .282 in 2011 against left-handed pitching. John Mayberry’s career wOBA against LHP is .399. In fairness, Howard had a .358 wOBA against lefties in 2010, but since March 2008, he has a wOBA of only .310 against lefties.

The Phillies should platoon Howard and Mayberry at first base next season, but obviously this will never happen. It’s more likely that Mayberry will platoon with Domonic Brown, which is unfortunate for the offense (but probably good for the defense).

So, the issue is whether Domonic Brown can hit lefties better than Howard at this point in his career. Looking at Browns minor league splits, Brown consistently has an OBP in the minors over .370 against lefties. Even if Brown regresses significantly against major league lefties, his plate approach (eg, walking more often than Howard) will still provide him as a more valuable offensive player than Howard.

Am I writing Howard off too early? It’s possible. But I’d rather write Howard off slightly early than give up on Brown when he’s 24 years old. Howard will still get the majority of the starts at first base, and he can be a ridiculous pinch-hit option when a RHP is inserted from the bullpen to face Mayberry. Also, when Howard does start and a LOOGY comes in for Howard, you have the antidote (Mayberry) ready to go.

Mayberry can play every day while Howard is injured, and Brown will get the 500 PAs he desperately needs at this level. His defense is obviously shaky, but he clearly has more range than Ibanez.

Obviously Howard will not be platooned in the first year of the outrageous contract, and I'm not convinced Brown will even be on the roster, but it's still a move that Manuel should make.

In 2012, Manuel will have a new regularly-recurring mistake. Instead of complaining about Ibanez batting ahead of Ruiz each game, we will be calling for Brown in the lineup instead of Howard against most lefty starters.

54 comments:

hk said...

If it was up to me, the plan (which of course would be altered during the season by injuries) would be to start Howard at 1B vs. all RHP's and about 1/2 of the LHP's and start Brown in LF vs. all RHP's and about 1/2 of the LHP's. This way, if the Phils face LHP's in ~1/3 of the games, both Howard and Brown would start 135 games and Mayberry would start 54 games, 27 each at 1B and in LF. If they give Mayberry ~20 in CF to rest Victorino and another ~20 starts in RF to rest Pence and you could have 5 guys effectively manning those 4 positions and you could maximize their platoon splits. By splitting the starts vs. LHP's between Howard and Brown, you would also give both of them some PA's vs. LHP's to prove their worthiness (or lack thereof) to be used against them in future games.

Unfortunately, this differs greatly from what I expect to happen, which is Brown to go back to LHV and Howard and Mayberry to both start way too many games vs. like handed pitchers where their platoon splits are bad.

Scott Graham said...

HK,

I definitely like this idea. I wouldn't necessarily say that Mayberry's RHB vs RHP splits are "bad". His career wOBA against right handers is .333. That's about average. Also, he definitely made strides this season, so I would venture to say we should expect his wOBA vs. RHP in the upcoming season to be higher in like-handed PAs. Even if he started every game against RHPs, that would be an improvement over what Ibanez provided the team last season.

hk said...

If Charlie gives Mayberry all of the starts vs. LHP's at either 1B or LF, his 40 or so starts in RF and CF would come vs. RHP's, which would also help maximize Pence's and Victorino's contributions by resting both of them against the pitchers that give each of them the most trouble.

Robby Bonfire said...

I CANNOT believe than anyone would get into lefty-righty percentages, and platooning, as regards the Phillies, next year, as though, done right, it will make a difference. I am LIVID with this organization for not throwing out the culprit behind the team's abysmal collapse, this year.

Apparently pushing the team HARDER, AFTER the clinching, is OK, in Philadelphia(???) and unprecendented in the history of baseball, everywhere else. And you can win 162 games in the regular season and come up empty in October, such is the reality with TV Ball Playoffs, now, so that even a one brain-cell amoeba would have the intelligence to save some emotional and physical currency for the real season, and not spend it all during the dress rehearsal season.

Someone take issue with me, if you can - I say had LaRussa managed the Phillies this year, they would have won it all. I say had Charlie The Donkey managed the St. Louis Cardinals this year, the Cardinals would have missed the playoffs by 5-10 games.

Next year, this old, tired, decrepit, burned-out, battered and now injury-prone Phillies team - just my guess - probably will NOT win the division. Atanta, Miami, anybody's guess who steps into the breach, but this Phillies team will be lucky to wind up edging the Mets for third place, next year. And of course, if I am right as regards my Doomsday prognostication, the Friggin' Human Donkey gets to come back to smash it all to hell for yet ANOTHER season, in 2013! S.O.B.!

I wish this G.D. organization would get off its fat, flabby, lazy, pampered ass and attend to the crux of the cancerous problem with this team, and yes, bite the bullet as regards taking a fiscal hit for doing the right thing, about eight years too late. And bring in some New York Yankees / Boston Red Sox "Win or Die" mentality senior executives to run the show in Philadelphia.

Theo and Terry, how much time did it take Boston to kicked their little beezers the hell out of Boston for their unacceptable failures?

I am just going to follow the A's, next year. Not going down with the Philadelphia Titanics one more accursed season, under the current "leadership" team.

Wake me when the nightmare is over. Losing is bad enough, but a hundred times worse when you are too timid or too cheap to give it the gate, unceremoniously.

Anonymous said...

Robby,

Let me preface my comments by saying that I think Charlie Manuel is one of the worst managers I have ever seen when it comes to making strategic decisions and that I agree that Tony LaRussa would have given the Phils a better chance to win the World Series. However, having said that, I do have to disagree with your contention that that Charlie's lack of time off for his starting pitchers is to blame for the loss to STL. First of all, since STL had to play until the final game of the season, their starting pitchers were significantly more taxed than the Phillies' starters. Secondly, if we look at the five games in the series, it is hard for me to conclude that Charlie's use - or overuse if you prefer - of them in September impacted Games 1, 3, 4 or 5 as Halladay and Hamels pitched well and Oswalt was not over-pitched, especially when considering the amount of time he missed during the season and that he threw 85 pitches on 9/27 and had 7 days off following that game before his playoff start. Thirdly, if you believe at all in the concept of pitcher BABIP, even the Game 2 loser Cliff Lee would seem to be more of a victim of bad luck (or a moving strike zone) than overuse. Speaking of the moving strike zone, I believe that LaRussa's best managerial move of the series was when he went to the mound to talk to his pitcher and waited for Jerry Meals to give Meals a piece of his mind. As soon as one call went against Cliff Lee, Charlie should have done the same thing. Instead, Charlie sat on his ass and the strike zone changed. Regardless, Cliff Lee's K/BB ratio and the fact that he gave up 0 HR's and only 4 line drives tells me that the bloops, bleeders and misplayed fly ball - not to mention the fact that the Phillies didn't score after the 2nd inning - were more responsible for the loss than Lee being overused.

One other story that I think is under-reported around Philly is the piss-poor job done by Ruben Amaro, Jr. since taking over the reins from Pat Gillick. Amaro took over a World Champion with a $98M payroll, a solid core of late 20's and early 30's players and a top 5 farm system. He proceeded to spend (in prospects and $) his way to an aging team with a top 3 payroll (70% increase in 3 years) with no championships in those 3 years and that heads into 2012 with an increasing lack of payroll flexibility and fewer top prospects in the minors. He has also driven away Jimy Williams and Davey Lopes, the two best coaches of Charlie's tenure, leaving Charlie alone to his own devices to mis-manage this group.

I'm out.

hk said...

Actually, I wasn't out and I'm not sure why I posted my last comment as Anonymous....

I forgot to mention that, while I don't think the overuse of the pitchers had much if any impact on the Phils in the STL series, I do agree that it was unnecessary and might have impacted them had they advanced further. I also forgot to mention that I believe that Charlie made a number of unwise strategic decisions in the series, most or all of which were mentioned in the game write-ups on this site. To me, the most egregious was allowing Raul Ibanez to face Arthur Rhodes when Rhodes was just brought into Game 4 and would have had to face a RHB if Charlie had pinch hit for Raul with Francisco, Mayberry or even Valdez, all of whom would have been a better choice.

Robby Bonfire said...

Thanks, HK, couple things.

First, I have never referred to Manuel's percentage moves and platooning lunacy, given that these things I leave to others here and elsewhere who are sharply on top of that aspect of baseball, which I merely scan and do not deeply study. But from what I get from others, obviously, Manuel is out-maneuvered at every juncture.

My focus is on the condition factor of a team, given that it is one hell of a long season before play begins for real in the second season.

I don't want to get into a pissing contest re Lee's BABIP bad luck, vs. the Lee fatigue factor, other than to reiterate my point that Lee was cruelly punished into making a 120-pitch start, after the clinching, two games before he blew the 4-0 lead, with a little help from his offense that quit for the night, at that point.

Also, Oswalt was forced to throw 96pitches his second start back from an extended stay on the D.L. Unbelievable! And it doesn't matter how many days a pitcher rests after a start like that, these over the top games have a long-term break-down effect upon pitchers. Ask the young studs who pitched for Billy Martin as kids in Oakland - ALL of whom broke down within two years - Matt Keough, Mike Norris, and others. Driving pitchers into the ground with insane pitch counts kills careers and in Philadelphia does not even have SHORT-TERM rewards.

If Manuel had any class, which he assuredly does not, he would "retire" right now and turn the reins of this team over to a younger, more astute manager. But I guess the pay is too good for anyone in professional sports to do the right thing, anymore, given the cost involved.

What a derelict, out to lunch ownership and front office this organization is, to allow the complete disintegration of this great team, to occur right before its eyes, without redressing the situation. George Steinbrenner would have fired 25 people for this year's Phillies failure, were he still around and in charge.

It ticks me off that the Philles do not have one ownership parner, nor a GM who will step up and take charge of this sinking ship. Except it already sank and they don't fathom that, yet.

hk said...

Hey Scott G, Andy and Robby:

To me, Andy Reid giving Shady McCoy the ball 6 consecutive times (carries #25 through #30) in the final 6 minutes of a game that the Eagles led by 27 was akin to Charlie letting Cliff Lee throw pitches 20 pitches (bring his pitch count to 125) to get through the 8th inning of a 6-1 victory over the Braves. Agree?

Scott Graham said...

Yea, I thought it was pretty bad and confusing that Vick and McCoy were in at the end of the game.

Robby Bonfire said...

I will always agree with those who cite valid examples of athletes, be they baseball players or pitchers, or football players, who are extended beyond the need for a contribution from them. Why the hell can't the Eagles win a blow-out game without playing it down the stretch like the score is 10-7?

I also firmly believe in platooning and substituting to have your back-ups in shape and ready, when they are really needed in a pinch. When the starters are over-extended you have burned-out front liners, and rusted-out back-ups. That is one of the key formulas for short-term minor success and long-term major failure (See: Philadelphia Phillies), which will always come around when you tempt that fate.

Reid has no excuse for his mental lapses, last night. And I would like to see ONE damn pass thrown in the direction of Riley Cooper, who may be a gem or who may be a bust, but the special teams crap they mostly confine him to ain't cutting it with me. He's not a rookie any more, why can't he be tested over a range of skills beyond being a "grunt" and wedge numbnuts?

Robby Bonfire said...

Scott: Was that you I heard at halftime on the Westwood One Radio Network?

Scott Graham said...

Robby,

I believe you asked something like this before. Scott Graham is merely my alias for this blog. I hope there are no hard feelings.

Robby Bonfire said...

I am thinking that if I change my name to "Bill Gates," it might pick up my life, a little bit.

By Saam (aka hk) said...

From now on, I am going to use the name Byrum "By" Saam when leaving comments on this website. Are any of you old enough to remember him?

Robby Bonfire said...

Well, I do remember one time when the A's were struggling offensively, Byrum abandoned his usual impartial call of a game, (which was MLB standard in those days), and pleaded: "Come on gang, let's get some runs." This may have marked the birth of the "homer" announcer, and if so was a sorry day for baseball fans who now have to truly suffer insufferable shills like John Sterling ("Yankees win, YANKEES WINNNNNNNNNNNNNNN!'), and those Braves broacasting clowns on TBS, in the old days, starting with Skip Carey, and his constant referals to the Braves as "We," as in "We need three runs to tie," or "We win today, we split the four-game series," etc.

First real, full-time "Homer-Happy" announcer I can recall was the vastly over-rated, gravelly-voiced Bob Prince of Pittsburgh. Damn, he was a terrible, albeit much beloved, for some reason, "homer" and announcer.

Worst "homer" announcer of all-time award, in my book, goes to Dave Niehaus of "Fly away little birdie" on a Seattle home run, infamy. Plus he called Ken Griffey, Jr. "The Kid" his entire time in Seattle, like he was 19 years old for a decade.

By the way I went to school, Ardmore JHS, and Lower Merion HS with By Saam's daughter, Bunny. Nice, unspoiled girl, she was.

Scott Graham said...

Not old enough to remember By Saam, sorry.

By Saam said...

Robby,

Those are some great recollections as I only remember By Saam towards the end of his announcing career when he did the Phillies games.

We really date ourselves when we admit that we attended a junior high school - I went to Plymouth JHS prior to Plymouth Whitemarsh HS - as they no longer exist, but you really date yourself by stating that you attended Ardmore JHS, which I believe closed in 1976.

Scott Graham said...

I drive past Lower Merion HS every day. Does that count for anything?

Robby Bonfire said...

Well, hell, I turned 70 two weeks ago, and am not afraid of "Dating myself." I saw, in person, DiMaggio and Williams and Musial, and Kiner, and Yogi, and Jackie Robinson, and Roberts, and Shantz, and Newcombe and Ford and Spahn, and Koufax, and Gibson, and Carlton, and Nolan Ryan, and Seaver, and Aaron, and Mathews, and Mays, and The Duke, the blazing fastball of Herb Score - before the injury, etc. I also appreciate the fact that I saw at least three great managers ply their trade, many times, Casey, My Man Leo Durocher, and the best handler of pitchers I ever saw, Al Lopez.

Some benefits do come with the territory. And some never even reach their 10th birthday in this world, so what is to apologize for, when you are a long-term, tried and tested life-experience survivor in a perilous world?

Robby Bonfire said...

One of my most vivid Lower Merion memories comes from the year before I started attending LM, when I was next door attending Ardmore JHS.

It was Oct. 8, 1956, the day Don Larsen pitched his perfect WS game. We were allowed to listen to the game on the radio in the classroom, until a couple boys started acting up, giving the substitute female teacher the perfect excuse to tell us to turn off the broadcast of the game.

Came 3 PM and school let out, and, still in the dark about how the game was progressing, I was walking past Lower Merion H.S. on my way home. The school's front yard was jammed with students listening to portable radios. All of a sudden a gigantic roar went up. I thought to myself "Someone must have hit a home run."

When I got to Lancaster Avenue, downtown Ardmore, I stopped in at Morris' Drug Store for a cherry coke at the counter. Mr. Morris mentioned something about "A no-hitter." "No hitter" I exclaimed, and I tore out of there and ran the rest of the way home, which was on South Wyoming Avenue, bordering Ardmore and Haverford. My mother greeted me on the front porch and asked me how I liked "the perfect game."

"Perfect game?" I was shocked to hear that, and sorry I missed all of the game from the third inning, onward. From speculative "home run," to "no-hitter" to perfect game, that was quite an evolutionary experience. I can still picture the sour-puss expression and drip personality of that substitute teacher in my mind's eye, to this day. She was ugly, inside and out and I wish she had not played such a (negative) catalyst part in a memorable day in my life.

Robby Bonfire said...

Scott, you can always salute the school which gave the world Hap Arnold, Alexander Haig, and Kobe Bryant, or simply burst into song along the lines of "When The Aces Go Marching In."

Scott Graham said...

All of the above sounds good to me!

Robby Bonfire said...

Hey, I forgot to mention Mickey Mantle and Harmon Killebrew, on the above list of players I saw play in person. I also really appreciated seeing Johnny Antonelli pitch, multiple times, in San Francisco. Multi-talented pitcher and as stylish a lefty as you could ever see, along with Herb Score. They were as fluid with the pitching motion as it could ever get.

Robby Bonfire said...

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the Phillies GM has made a ghoulish, stop-gap, short-term patching FA signing. Starting to REALLY dislike this GM who is all glitz money up front and not much when it comes to building and keeping a solid, young core foundation.

Every time a team signs an old guy whose career is in the rear view mirror it is an indictment of its farm system failures, and its misplaced priorities.

Disgusting, Amaro, absolutely disgusting. You deserve to replace Cashman in the Bronx when he bolts to the Mets, or whomever. And of course there is always a place for profligate, reckless spenders in "public service" in this society.

hk said...

Robby,

That's an interesting take. I see it quite differently. In fact, I think it is Amaro's best free agent signing since he took over for Gillick, which is not saying much since he basically signed a guy who figures to get ~100 plate appearances this year. Since it is only for 1 year and for less money than they paid Ross Gload in each of the last two seasons, it is a low risk signing which has the potential to pay a pretty big reward. Thome is an upgrade at PH over Gload, can DH in the 9 road inter-league games and in the World Series should they get there and can possibly even play 1B in a pinch while Howard is on the DL, all for the paltry (by MLB standards) sum of $1.25M.

Andy Musser said...

Thome has had a higher OBP and OPS+ than Ryan Howard since the beginning of 2006. He is also being paid about 95% less than Howard for 2012, so I have a really hard time disagreeing with this signing.

It will be fun, though, to see how Manuel misuses Thome/Howard/Mayberry/Brown, because it seems inevitable at this point. Mayberry's versatility (e.g., ability to play both first and left) invokes a complexity to this situation that Manuel will obviously fail to understand.

Robby Bonfire said...

First, Gload is NOT a major league ability reserve, let alone MLB ballplayer, by any criterion. I can't say he is the worst PH in Phillies history, because I remember the Ted Kazanski's, Putsy Caballero's, and Jimmy Bloodworth's of the world, but for this offensive sieve to be retained on the roster of a team with championship aspirations for the entire season is beyond defending on any grounds. Especially with a manager who harbored the delusion that Gload was capable of getting the job done, in a pinch. Ay Carumba!

An important point which always seems to be overlooked in these FA signings and discussions, be they a "bargain" or not, is the fact that the big-spending, high payroll teams are the OLDEST teams in baseball, and downward sliding teams, in all cases. The failure to grasp this is why the Yankees, to cite the best example, have just one championship to show since 2000. They are getting better in this regard, but for at least a decade were three years behind the maximum-productivity curve.

The Phillies, coddling the Thome's, Ibanez's, Polanco's and you know the names, both starters and relievers, of the world, are on track to replace the Yankees as the oldest team in baseball.

The reason the Yankees appear to be holding the line as competitors has everything to do with their procuring a trio of then 29-year old's in Texeira, Granderson, and Sabathia, who now represent the talent core of the team, along with one home grown product, Cano.

In 2005 the average age of the Yankees pitching staff was 35, for the regular players it was 34. All that salary they were paying and they came up empty with the career brick wall breakdowns of the Randy Johnson's and Roger Clemens' of the world.

And why people cite the productive season a man in his 40's had a year ago, as the case for his duplicating that level of production next year, is beyond me? They do fall off a cliff seemingly overnight, when their time comes. You want your organization to be a party to the geriatric melt-down syndrome because "the price is right?" I don't.

This Amaro guy, to me, passed the vulgar and insatiable flashing red light warning signals a long time ago.

Scott Graham said...

I don't mind the Thome signing. However, now they're talking about bringing Cuddyer in? Why? I don't see the need. We need a SS, and I suddenly really want JRoll more than almost anything, or at the very least someone of his caliber (Reyes). I believe I heard the gm say that we need a closer more than a ss which alone should be grounds for a trip to the funny farm.

Robby Bonfire said...

A year older at key positions with the zombie manager back, well I don't see much happening for the Phillies, next year. I think I saw Manuel in an old movie I watched on Youtube, last night - "Africa Screams," starring Abbott and Costello, with one C. Manuel listed in the credits as "The Gorilla."

Any brain-dead statements from the GM must be hogwash input he got from the manager that he is repeating. As regards the closer situation, I agree the Phillies need one because if were running the show Bastardo would be penciled in as my #2 or #3 starter, next year.

If Lidge has signed with some other team, I missed it. If he is still out there come spring training, I bet the Phillies invite him for a look, and retain him, in their best "Terry Adams Tradition." After all, this manager likes pitchers who have compiled a 13-run ERA after 14 appearances. Lidge should fill that void on the staff, handsomely, next year.

Will somebody please tell Charlie Manuel that the object in baseball and all sports is to WIN, not to do you best to LOSE! Thank you.

hk said...

I agree Scott G. For approximately the same money, they should be able to get Cuddyer and someone like Barmes to play SS or Rollins and someone like Betemit to play 1B and 3B. To me, the latter option is a no-brainer.

Robby Bonfire said...

You know what I'm going to say, but I will say it anyway. Look, you could sign the first team Major League Baseball All Star team - Pujols, and 24 other guys who will be knocking on the door of the HOF when their respective careers are over, and the Phillies would still be lucky to even win the division, next year. And won't be reaching so much as a best of seven game playoff series.

Has anyone in Philadelphia ever heard of ADDITION THROUGH SUBTRACTION? The Phillies are absolutely not going to subtract the worst G.D. manager in Major League Baseball history who has already gutted the core of this aged, under-achieving team via physical abuse and punishment, and via the most preposterous percentages flaunting "concept" as to how these baseball games should be strategized, for two more years?

And this jerk General Manager, who never should have gotten the job over a much more deserving and accomplished candidate, except for his being a minority and the local sports P.C. touchy-feely poster child of the decade, who will not fire the biggest joke of a coherent human being on the planet wants to be known as a more profligate spender than the Steinbrenner's, as his legacy?

This Philadelphia baseball scene is too vulgar, disgusting and swinish for me to play along with it, anymore. Sayonara - see you in the next life. And thanks for the ride, I have enjoyed following this fine informational venue but now my counterfeit two cents and I are OUTTA HEREEEEEEEEE.

Andy Musser said...

I hope that doesn't mean you won't comment here anymore; your comments are always welcome (and entertaining), regardless of the lunacy of giving a guy 50 million dollars to pitch to 275 batters per year.

Anonymous said...

order ambien online overnight ambien prices walmart - ambien high forum

Anonymous said...

buy xanax online 10mg hydrocodone 2mg xanax - xanax online 2mg

Anonymous said...

buy diazepam online diazepam 10 mg tablete - diazepam normal dosage

Anonymous said...

xanax 0.5mg kind pills xanax - is generic xanax just as good

Anonymous said...

buy generic ativan 3 mg ativan high - lorazepam 1 mg /ml

Anonymous said...

diazepam 10 mg diazepam dosage back spasms - diazepam online kaufen ohne rezept

Anonymous said...

can you really buy xanax online buy 1000 xanax - xanax dose for recreational use

Anonymous said...

generic xanax can u buy xanax online - watson 658 generic xanax

Anonymous said...

online xanax no prescription xanax bars coke - xanax 10 mg

Anonymous said...

ativan mg buy lorazepam canada - ativan addiction how long

Anonymous said...

lorazepam without prescription ativan used get high - ativan rx 773

Anonymous said...

cheap diazepam diazepam drug side effects - diazepam-ratiopharm 10 mg tabletten beipackzettel

Anonymous said...

ativan sale ativan side effects eyes - ativan dosage vertigo

Anonymous said...

order ativan need to buy ativan - ativan for alcohol shakes

Anonymous said...

xanax without a perscription xanax for anxiety side effects - xanax and alcohol and prozac

Anonymous said...

buy zolpidem ambien cr for sleep - medication called ambien

Anonymous said...

cheap soma carisoprodol dosage 700 - generic soma 350mg

Anonymous said...

soma generic soma wellbutrin drug interactions - buy soma online mexico

Anonymous said...

buy valium online valium side effects during pregnancy - generic valium vs name brand

Anonymous said...

soma online sema show up on drug test - soma side effects 350mg

Anonymous said...

order diazepam valium like drugs - 10 mg valium pill

Anonymous said...

After we consider the meaning of the saying really like, not only in relation to its an amorous marriage with a further, nevertheless for a emotion that's engendered when you've got miltchmonkey a more rewarding relationship with yourself way too ( space ) as well as as being a a feeling of increased unity household or simply the human race -- therefore it results in being substantially more extraordinary that each one someone is looking for in your life will be adore.