Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, April 07, 2013

MLB: Howard’s slow start doesn’t concern Manuel

Chino chimes in…“Fantasy owners, it’s a different story.”

Ryan Howard had a rough afternoon before singling in the ninth inning Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies’ first baseman had struck out three times in his first four at-bats. Even with the single, he is hitting .167 (4-for-24) with three RBIs, two walks and eight strikeouts in six games. He is still looking for his first extra-base hit.

“I think a lot of guys come out sometimes, you play two or three games, and if you don’t hit a home run or don’t have too many hits, I think all of a sudden, you start trying too hard,” manager Charlie Manuel said. “I think he put together a good at-bat in the ninth inning. I think he’ll be fine.”

Michael Young’s double in the fifth was the Phils’ first extra-base hit from their No. 4 or No. 5 hitters in the first week of the season.

“We’re going to score runs,” Manuel said. “That’s just the way it goes sometimes. We ended up scoring eight runs. If you score eight runs, you usually win the game.”

Repoz Posted: April 07, 2013 at 07:11 PM | 27 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: phillies

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 07, 2013 at 07:33 PM (#4407119)
To me, Howard is starting his swing so early that he is swinging before he recognizes breaking pitch. That's been a sporadic problem with him when he's in his funks. Who knows if this is a funk? Then again, he looked nice and patient in ST, albeit against mostly lesser pitchers.
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 07, 2013 at 07:49 PM (#4407126)
I would not be shocked at all if he was done. He's 33, and last season he K'd in 34% of his PAs (vs. 28% career), BB'd in only 8.6% (vs. 12% career).

Edit: ZiPs thought he was done pre-season. 242/328/463, 0.9 WAR.
   3. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: April 07, 2013 at 08:03 PM (#4407127)
People claim the Phillies made a mistake in committing $25 million per year to one player for five years in the distant future when he was guaranteed to be severely declining. But now every other team is doing it! I say the Phillies are trailblazers.
   4. Bhaakon Posted: April 07, 2013 at 08:06 PM (#4407129)
People claim the Phillies made a mistake in committing $25 million per year to one player for five years in the distant future when he was guaranteed to be severely declining. But now every other team is doing it! I say the Phillies are trailblazers.


Na, all those other teams offering Howard $25M are stupid, too (and tampering, but that's besides the point).
   5. cardsfanboy Posted: April 07, 2013 at 08:09 PM (#4407132)
People claim the Phillies made a mistake in committing $25 million per year to one player for five years in the distant future when he was guaranteed to be severely declining. But now every other team is doing it! I say the Phillies are pioneers. Who knows what trails they will blaze next?


Wasn't the mistake with Howard's contract was the teams inability to realize that RBI's is a product of opportunity, and not necessarily a skill that is repeatable? Howard was a bad signing at the time because of his age, skill set and actual value. Something that most analyst were able to predict at the time. Teams today are signing mostly younger players who are still developing, who's skillset is likely to age well, etc.
   6. catomi01 Posted: April 07, 2013 at 09:14 PM (#4407157)
Michael Young’s double in the fifth was the Phils’ first extra-base hit from their No. 4 or No. 5 hitters in the first week of the season.


How does Michael Young keep ending up hitting in the middle of the lineup? Now for multiple teams.
   7. Jim Wisinski Posted: April 07, 2013 at 10:13 PM (#4407181)
"I'm not concerned at all by Ryan's slow start", said Manuel, "it's only six games and anything can happen. What concerns me is that the guy only had one truly elite year with the bat, sucks at everything else, can't hit lefties, is unathletic and unlikely to age well at all, and is not that far removed from a serious injury. Thankfully I'm old and the team sucks again so I'm either going to retire or be fired soon enough and won't be responsible for this #### any longer"
   8. Walt Davis Posted: April 07, 2013 at 10:47 PM (#4407194)
How does Michael Young keep ending up hitting in the middle of the lineup?

Satan?

They do need a RHB to break up the Utley/Howard/Brown contingent and it's him or Mayberry. As we know, batting order doesn't make a lot of difference. And since Howard is apparently only going to reach base 15% of the time, Young's GDP tendencies won't come into play much.

It is interesting that folks make fun of Polanco hitting 4th but nobody seems worked up about Young hitting 5th.
   9. puck Posted: April 07, 2013 at 11:11 PM (#4407207)
Did anyone see Howard on the recent episode of the Office? It wasn't particularly funny but he was pretty good with his lines--it sounded a lot more natural than most non-actor guest appearances. So at least he is preparing for his post-baseball career.
   10. Tripon Posted: April 07, 2013 at 11:37 PM (#4407216)
Ruben Amaro probably should be fired for this.
   11. Dan Posted: April 07, 2013 at 11:39 PM (#4407217)

How does Michael Young keep ending up hitting in the middle of the lineup? Now for multiple



Well, a team that traded for him obviously has management that values him, so it's hardly surprising that they're batting him in the middle of the order. It's no coincidence that the same team is basically the last team in MLB that doesn't at least have 1 person on staff who specializes in advanced statistics.

Plus Amaro thinks walks are useless, since walking was his only skill as a player and he was terrible. Ergo, walking is useless.
   12. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: April 08, 2013 at 12:36 AM (#4407228)

Did anyone see Howard on the recent episode of the Office? It wasn't particularly funny but he was pretty good with his lines--it sounded a lot more natural than most non-actor guest appearances. So at least he is preparing for his post-baseball career.


No, but I loves him and Utley in "it's always sunny" a few years ago
   13. Greg K Posted: April 08, 2013 at 06:54 AM (#4407251)
No, but I loves him and Utley in "it's always sunny" a few years ago

Apologies for the quality, but link!
   14. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 08, 2013 at 08:07 AM (#4407257)
Wasn't the mistake with Howard's contract was the teams inability to realize that RBI's is a product of opportunity, and not necessarily a skill that is repeatable?

In Howard's case it's a little bit more than that. With the bases empty, his lifetime OPS is .848; with runners on/RISP it's .975/.976. That's got to be worth 10-20 RBIs a year, right? The shift is effective against him. I'd argue that WAR, for instance, slightly underrates him because of the situations when he is at his best. The shift is effective against him. Managers go away from the shift with a runner on first, I'm not sure why. If you have a 1B, 2B in short RF, SS playing on the 1B side of second and the 3B slid over near a SS position, doesn't that neutralize any baserunning advantage that some other shift would allow?
   15. bobm Posted: April 08, 2013 at 08:50 AM (#4407282)
[5] Wasn't the mistake with Howard's contract was the teams inability to realize that RBI's is a product of opportunity, and not necessarily a skill that is repeatable?

                                         
                              Baserunners
Year   Age  Tm Lg   PA Ptn%   BR BRS BRS%
2004    24 PHI NL   42  79%   30   3  10%
2005    25 PHI NL  348  82%  258  42  16%
2006    26 PHI NL  704  68%  509  93  18%
2007    27 PHI NL  648  62%  501  90  18%
2008    28 PHI NL  700  62%  483 101  21%
2009    29 PHI NL  703  64%  500 101  20%
2010    30 PHI NL  620  65%  457  79  17%
2011    31 PHI NL  644  71%  462  84  18%
2012    32 PHI NL  292  64%  215  43  20%
2013    33 PHI NL   26  65%   19   3  16%
10 Yrs            4727  67% 3434 639  19%
MLB Averages            54%           15%


Ptn% -- Percentage of PA with the platoon advantage [...]
BR -- Total Number of Baserunners when batter at plate
BRS -- Baserunners who Scored
Total runners scored by batter (may not be by RBIs)
BRS% -- Percentage of all baserunners who scored
on the batter’s play (not necessarily with an RBI).
   16. bobm Posted: April 08, 2013 at 09:06 AM (#4407287)
[2] I would not be shocked at all if he was done. He's 33, and last season he K'd in 34% of his PAs (vs. 28% career), BB'd in only 8.6% (vs. 12% career).

Also a sharp power drop-off since his twenties.

                                                                     
Year   Age  Tm Lg   PA  HR%  XBH% X/H% AB/HR AB/RBI GB/FB GO/AO HR/FB
2004    24 PHI NL   42 4.8% 16.7%  64%  19.5    7.8  0.63  1.25 12.5%
2005    25 PHI NL  348 6.3% 11.8%  46%  14.2    5.0  0.80  1.50 18.8%
2006    26 PHI NL  704 8.2% 11.9%  46%  10.0    3.9  0.74  1.36 25.6%
2007    27 PHI NL  648 7.3% 11.3%  51%  11.3    3.9  0.47  0.89 21.5%
2008    28 PHI NL  700 6.9% 11.1%  51%  12.7    4.2  0.70  1.25 20.5%
2009    29 PHI NL  703 6.4% 12.2%  50%  13.7    4.4  0.58  0.96 16.7%

2010    30 PHI NL  620 5.0%  9.5%  39%  17.7    5.1  0.69  1.15 13.9%
2011    31 PHI NL  644 5.1%  9.9%  45%  16.9    4.8  0.71  1.30 15.4%
2012    32 PHI NL  292 4.8%  8.6%  44%  18.6    4.6  0.78  1.29 15.7%
2013    33 PHI NL   26 0.0%  0.0%         0%    8.0  1.29  2.00  0.0%
10 Yrs            4727 6.4% 10.9%  47%  13.6    4.4  0.67  1.18 18.6%
MLB Averages           2.7%  7.9%  34%  33.4    7.8  0.80  1.08  7.7%


                                       
 ISO Year Age
.282 2004  24
.279 2005  25
.346 2006  26
.316 2007  27
.292 2008  28
.292 2009  29

.229 2010  30
.235 2011  31
.204 2012  32
.000 2013  33
   17. BDC Posted: April 08, 2013 at 09:07 AM (#4407288)
Wasn't the mistake with Howard's contract was the teams inability to realize that RBI's is a product of opportunity, and not necessarily a skill that is repeatable?

A minor part, if any. When he signed the big extension (early in 2010) he had been an extremely valuable ballplayer for four straight years: .278/.379/.589 with exceptional durability; who cares how may RBIs he got? The mistake was thinking that someone of his size and speed was going to keep that up into his late 30s. Call it a puzzling inability to conjure a mental image of Mo Vaughn as a Met :)
   18. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: April 08, 2013 at 09:28 AM (#4407304)
If he's done, too bad. Even as a Braves fan, I like(d) him--guys that are 50 HR threats are always awesome.
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: April 08, 2013 at 10:35 AM (#4407343)
If you have a 1B, 2B in short RF, SS playing on the 1B side of second and the 3B slid over near a SS position, doesn't that neutralize any baserunning advantage that some other shift would allow?


Teams don't like to leave third uncovered if there's a runner on, for good reason. If the SS is covering short and the runner beats him there, there may be nothing to stop him from going unmolested into third.

   20. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: April 08, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4407347)
in a minor defense of howard it's not like he's let himself gone to heck like a mo Vaughn. he's just a big guy and his reflexes are going.

no amount of training or practice can adjust for that
   21. RJ in TO Posted: April 08, 2013 at 10:46 AM (#4407359)
It is interesting that folks make fun of Polanco hitting 4th but nobody seems worked up about Young hitting 5th.

Isn't that mostly because no one posted an article here announcing the Phillies would be batting Young 5th? I was completely unaware of where the Phillies were using Young until now.
   22. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:04 AM (#4407379)
Re 15 &17;:

Part of the problem was that the Phils overvalued Howard, and one of the reasons they overvalued Howard was due to his Ribbie ability.

I think you had the following set of circumstances for a bad contract

1: A player seen by the phanbase as one of, if not the major reason for the team's recent success
2: A player whose value vis a vis wining ballgames is overrated by many, including those in positions of authority within the organization.

I think Howard's talent level was mis-evaluated for the following reasons:

1: If your slugger "metric" of choice is AVG-HR-RBI, his .278-198-572 line from 2006-2009 is awesome, more HRs and Ribbies than any other player period.
2: Howard's offense should not be compared to everyone else, it should be compared to other 1b/Dh types, the league median starting 1B does not post a 100 OPS+, it's around 120 most years, outside of 2006, Howard's around 120-140-
a SS who is around 120-140 is a super star, absolute;y elite HOF talent level player-
but 1B/DH type who can cough up a 120-140 OPS+?
10 years, 2003-2012, there have been 84 player seasons where a 1b/Dh had an OPS+ between 126 and 144 (300+ PAs) (including 6 by Howard)
There have been 61 player seasons (2003-20120 where a 1B/Dh type put up a 145 OPS+ or better, 1 by Howard

Essentially, the belief in Philly was, irrespective of how well Howard was likely to age was that he was a elite ballplayer- the type of ballplayer who even if he loses 20% would still be a star (ala Pujols)- in reality, Howard loses 20% and Howard's a very pedestrian, almost fungible ball player- if he loses more than that (which he very well may have due to injuries)- he's not even good enough for a good team to play.

   23. BDC Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:06 AM (#4407382)
But how much lower would you hit Young with the current Phillies roster? Ruiz is out; Laynce Nix has started for them twice this year. It's not like Young is breaking up Murderer's Row or anything.
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:11 AM (#4407387)
But how much lower would you hit Young with the current Phillies roster? Ruiz is out; Laynce Nix has started for them twice this year. It's not like Young is breaking up Murderer's Row or anything.


That's what I was thinking. The problem isn't that the Phils are hitting Young fifth. The problem is that's reasonable.

   25. cardsfanboy Posted: April 08, 2013 at 11:14 AM (#4407391)
I think Howard's talent level was mis-evaluated for the following reasons:

1: If your slugger "metric" of choice is AVG-HR-RBI, his .278-198-572 line from 2006-2009 is awesome, more HRs and Ribbies than any other player period.
2: Howard's offense should not be compared to everyone else, it should be compared to other 1b/Dh types, the league median starting 1B does not post a 100 OPS+, it's around 120 most years, outside of 2006, Howard's around 120-140-
a SS who is around 120-140 is a super star, absolute;y elite HOF talent level player-
but 1B/DH type who can cough up a 120-140 OPS+?
10 years, 2003-2012, there have been 84 player seasons where a 1b/Dh had an OPS+ between 126 and 144 (300+ PAs) (including 6 by Howard)
There have been 61 player seasons (2003-20120 where a 1B/Dh type put up a 145 OPS+ or better, 1 by Howard


Agree with all of that. Even acknowledging that Howard is one of those rare players who are better "clutch" players, it still doesn't negate the fact that he was overrated by the Phillies when they re-signed him. He was not an elite player, the MVP votes over valued his production and the Phillies bought into that.
   26. Walt Davis Posted: April 08, 2013 at 06:34 PM (#4407909)
Managers go away from the shift with a runner on first, I'm not sure why.

With 1st and 2nd, you'd be giving the runner 3rd base, so you can't shift then.

With 1st only, it's mainly about turning the DP (plus added risk that if the runner steals 2nd he's just gonna keep going). Obviously you can still theoretically turn the DP but you've got the SS on the unfamiliar side of the bag and the 3B in an unfamiliar spot. This argues in favor of the Jays style shift where they move the 3B (Lawrie) into short RF. This would keep the 2B and SS in their usual DP positions.

With 2 outs I wouldn't hesitate to still shift with a man on 1st only and it might even be worth with 1st and 2nd (which will become 1st and 3rd on the first pitch).

#16, that's a massive drop in HR/FB and I'm surprised he could maintain his ISO in 2009.

On the contract ... a classic mistake but (a) I think a lot of the motivation was his popularity with the fans. Even if not the best player, he seemed like the face of the franchise. I think that's a bad motivation for a long-term contract but it seems common enough. (b) The Phils FO was thinking a lot like the MVP voters. 4 top 5 finishes in 4 years. He was still top 10 in 2010 and 2011. This says more about the idiocy of MVP voting of course but he has more MVP shares than Rickey and Sosa and even Garvey. And to an extent, a lot of baseball was thinking that way as he had 72 IBB in 2006-7 (Sosa had only one year like that and he was slugging over 700).

An interesting comp -- face of franchise, very good but not great player, loved by the media -- Kirby Puckett has about the same MVP shares (7 top 10 finishes). Puckett was still a very good player when his career ended of course, unlike Howard.
   27. Greg Pope thinks the Cubs are reeking havoc Posted: April 08, 2013 at 09:07 PM (#4408044)
With 2 outs ... it might even be worth with 1st and 2nd (which will become 1st and 3rd on the first pitch).

But you can't shift with men on 1st and 3rd, because then they'll steal home. So you get the shift advantage for one pitch.

Which Howard will probably take, in order to get the guy a free base. Which means you can probably throw a fastball right down the middle for strike one. So is a base worth a strike?

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogCSN: Enough is enough — time to move on from Ryan Howard
(40 - 4:36am, Jul 24)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(852 - 3:31am, Jul 24)
Last: MikeOberly

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(368 - 2:55am, Jul 24)
Last: Swedish Chef

NewsblogSports Reference Blog: 1901-02 Orioles Removed from Yankees History
(30 - 2:39am, Jul 24)
Last: DFA

Newsblog2015 Competitive Balance Lottery Results
(9 - 2:29am, Jul 24)
Last: DFA

NewsblogAs shifts suppress offense, time has come to consider a rule change
(76 - 2:29am, Jul 24)
Last: bjhanke

NewsblogMLB: Tarp problems at Yankee Stadium
(5 - 2:20am, Jul 24)
Last: bunyon

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-23-2014
(50 - 2:16am, Jul 24)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

NewsblogGoldman: Eliminating the shift a bandage for a phantom wound
(15 - 1:28am, Jul 24)
Last: jwb

SABR - BBTF ChapterWho's going to SABR??
(85 - 12:31am, Jul 24)
Last: Mark Armour

NewsblogRubin: deGrom for NL rookie of the year?
(36 - 12:28am, Jul 24)
Last: KT's Pot Arb

NewsblogCameron Maybin Suspended 25 Games
(17 - 11:36pm, Jul 23)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(2867 - 11:24pm, Jul 23)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogGeorge "The Animal" Steele Mangles A Baseball
(130 - 11:01pm, Jul 23)
Last: Dock Ellis on Acid

NewsblogNats Fan in Colorado Shows Support with Curly W BEARD
(2 - 10:29pm, Jul 23)
Last: boteman is not here 'til October

Page rendered in 0.1990 seconds
52 querie(s) executed