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Sunday, October 13, 2019

Several errors led Phillies to this point, and one excuse Friday doesn’t hold up

One of the key points made by John Middleton, Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak at Friday’s press conference was that most of the Phillies’ additions performed but many of the players who were on the 2018 team either did not improve or were worse in 2019.

That’s not news to any Phillies fan. They saw the product. They watched a team they thought last winter was on the brink of contention add a superstar in Bryce Harper, a star-level catcher in J.T. Realmuto and a very good, multi-dimensional vet in Andrew McCutchen and win just one more game.

It really is staggering to look at how few players on the 2019 team sustained or increased their 2018 production. Rhys Hoskins was worse. Odubel Herrera was worse before his season-ending suspension. Maikel Franco was worse. Roman Quinn was worse (and dealt with a slew of injuries again). Nick Williams was substantially worse.

Aaron Nola, Jake Arrieta, Nick Pivetta, Seranthony Dominguez, Edubray Ramos, all worse.

A postmortem on a season that didn’t go as the management was expecting….

 

 

QLE Posted: October 13, 2019 at 12:44 AM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bad ideas, phillies

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: October 13, 2019 at 03:23 AM (#5890044)
multi-dimensional vet in Andrew McCutchen

In the sense that he is a 3-dimensional object like the rest of us? Sure. In baseball terms, not so much.
   2. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: October 13, 2019 at 07:41 AM (#5890053)
I think that's a little bit harsh. "Multi-dimensional" is usually used for players who don't do anything poorly, rather than being very good at everything. Those kinds of players get more direct praise.

He had a 115 OPS+ hit for some power, drew a fair number of walks. In a full season would have ended with something like 25 HRs, 100 BBs, 100 runs, 70 RBI (Eyeballing them, not using a calculator). His fielding numbers were above average for his position. He didn't really steal any bases this season (and with his SB/CS numbers from previous seasons, that is probably a positive), but his baserunning numbers overall are still positive.
   3. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: October 13, 2019 at 08:22 AM (#5890055)
I think the more interesting question is to which extent most of this was predictable. Now this is me looking from afar, so maybe there was some more reason for optimism on some of these guys, but:

Hoskins was slightly worse with the bat, but actually had more WAR, because he improved from an atrocious -26 rfield, to an acceptable -2.
Herrera was bad, but it was 139 PA, and he wasn't good last season (0.2 WAR).
Franco hasn't really shown anything that would make me think he is more than a backup. (-0.3, 0.2, -0.8... I mean yes, that is worse, but if you are giving him 400+ PA each season, that is pretty much on you at this point).
Quinn, was slightly worse, but he is getting the playing time that Franco should, so small sample size, and also, who cares, it's 100PA per season, it's a tiny fraction of a win there.
Nick Williams had -1.0 WAR in 448 PA last season. Yes, his batting line is something to behold this season (.151/.196/.245 in 112 PA)... but again, was never somebody who should have been counted on as much of a contributor.

Aaron Nola can be a HoF pitcher, and never put up a 172 ERA+ again. And there were probably about 40 points of BABIP regression which should have been expected at minimum, without diving in deeper.
Arrieta looks to me like a guy who peaked, and is now in the phase of his career where he is making a steady decline.
Pivetta had a 86 ERA+ this season, and an 84 ERA+ this season. 72 The year before that. He allowed more unearned runs though, and his FIP is worse. There were some reasons to be optimistic there (mostly he had been getting killed on defense according to BR), but again, maybe counting on the guy with a career 5.33 ERA coming into the season might have been the real mistake.
Dominguez + Ramos pitched a combined <40 innings. Relievers are so volatile, you are always going to find 2 who sucked. Dominguez did have a .220 BABIP last season, which screamed not sustainable.
   4. Bote Man Posted: October 13, 2019 at 12:32 PM (#5890089)
They watched a team they thought last winter was on the brink of contention add a superstar in Bryce Harper

Not just a star. A superstar!
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: October 13, 2019 at 04:01 PM (#5890108)
Not just a superstar. A Once-in-a-Generation Superstar™!
   6. The Yankee Clapper Posted: October 13, 2019 at 04:20 PM (#5890110)
   7. Walt Davis Posted: October 13, 2019 at 04:40 PM (#5890112)
On "multi-dimensional": I take that as "plays multiple positions" or "has power and speed." And I"m pretty sure that's how the writer means it. Reads to me more like a standard example of "let's pretend this vet hasn't aged." A CF stealing 20 bases a year and putting up a 150 OPS+ is multi-dimensional; a defensively average corner OF with a 115 OPS+ and maybe 10 steal attempts a year is a perfectly solid, even above-average player but about as close to one-dimensional as you can get and still have a job in MLB. It's not a dig on McCutchen -- he's just suffering the effects of aging and doing fine so far -- it's a dig on the writer.
   8. Fancy Pants Handle struck out swinging Posted: October 13, 2019 at 04:46 PM (#5890114)
A CF stealing 20 bases a year and putting up a 150 OPS+ is multi-dimensional;

That's a ~7WAR player. Nobody puts a backhanded compliment like "multi-dimensional" on a player that good. They get described in much more superlative terms.
   9. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 13, 2019 at 04:51 PM (#5890115)
Phillies to interview Dusty Baker.


He's my pick -- not necessarily who I would pick, but he's who I think the Phils will pick.
   10. Kurt Posted: October 13, 2019 at 05:21 PM (#5890123)
I agree with Fancy. If I had to pick the most one dimensional player in MLB there are a few hundred options I'd pick before McCutchen.
   11. Davo Posted: October 13, 2019 at 06:27 PM (#5890128)
I’m tasked with running the Phillies in an Offseason Simulation this year. I have no idea what to do with them!
   12. Spahn Insane Posted: October 13, 2019 at 06:41 PM (#5890130)
Baker might actually be a good fit.
   13. Spahn Insane Posted: October 13, 2019 at 06:46 PM (#5890131)
Yeah, I'm not getting Walt's objection to "multidimensional" as applied to McCutchen; as noted, he's still above average in multiple aspects of the game--he's basically a lower octane version of what he's always been. He used to be a well rounded superstar, now he's merely a well rounded good player. To my mind, "multidimensional" and "well-rounded" are synonymous.
   14. never forget: the pee tape is 57i66135 Posted: October 13, 2019 at 07:15 PM (#5890135)
I’m tasked with running the Phillies in an Offseason Simulation this year. I have no idea what to do with them!

just keep spending a ton of money on the bullpen.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: October 13, 2019 at 08:06 PM (#5890152)

Baker might actually be a good fit.


Agreed. His age is a worry, but this seems like a place where his strengths could be useful.

   16. Swoboda is freedom Posted: October 14, 2019 at 08:15 AM (#5890293)

Not just a star. A superstar!


A superstar, but he didn't get far.
   17. villageidiom Posted: October 14, 2019 at 11:00 AM (#5890348)
Not just a star. A superstar!
A superstar, but he didn't get far.
He sure found out the hard way that dreams don't always come true.
   18. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 14, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5890356)
Yeah, I'm not getting Walt's objection to "multidimensional" as applied to McCutchen; as noted, he's still above average in multiple aspects of the game--he's basically a lower octane version of what he's always been. He used to be a well rounded superstar, now he's merely a well rounded good player. To my mind, "multidimensional" and "well-rounded" are synonymous.


Agreed. When I think "one-dimensional" on the Phillies, I think a guy like Franco, who really only brings home runs to the table on offense, and is an average-to-poor defender and baserunner.
   19. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 14, 2019 at 02:04 PM (#5890386)
The 2018 team outperformed its Pythagorean record by 4 games, with a star pitcher (Nola) having a career year. They added 10 WAR with Harper/Realmuto/McCutchen, which is probably about what you'd have expected. But they lost 3-8 WAR from 2018 to 2019 just from Nola and Arrieta being worse (depending on whether you like Fangraphs or BB-Ref).

Various projection systems had them at 86 wins for 2019 so clearly 81 wins was a bit of a disappointment. But not that shocking.

TFA doesn't mention Jean Segura, an offseason acquisition who clearly underperformed this year. Trading Carlos Santana for him during the offseason did not work out for the Phils in 2019, although I'd probably rather have Segura's contract than Santana's going forward.
   20. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 14, 2019 at 02:15 PM (#5890390)
Trading Carlos Santana for him during the offseason did not work out for the Phils in 2019, although I'd probably rather have Segura's contract than Santana's going forward.

But it got Hoskins out of the OF, which probably added 2 wins on its own.
   21. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: October 14, 2019 at 03:14 PM (#5890402)
But it got Hoskins out of the OF, which probably added 2 wins on its own.


The parade of LFs in my memory, Oy!
Covington, Luzinski, Lonnie Smith, Pete Incaviglia, Burrell, Ibanez, Hoskins (fortunately for 1 year). I’m sure I’m missing some others.
   22. jingoist Posted: October 14, 2019 at 04:27 PM (#5890416)
That’s it, the missing ingredient
Just convince “Pat the bat” to un-retire.
Problem solved.
Call a Dusty; call Pat.
   23. Lance Reddick! Lance him! Posted: October 14, 2019 at 06:02 PM (#5890442)
TFA doesn't mention Jean Segura, an offseason acquisition who clearly underperformed this year.

Or his biggest contribution to the team's demise, failing to run out a pop-up, resulting in the rundown that ended McCutchen's season
   24. Sunday silence: Play Guess How long season lasts Posted: October 15, 2019 at 02:38 AM (#5890610)
why not Maddon for manager?
   25. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: October 15, 2019 at 08:50 AM (#5890620)
why not Maddon for manager?


Because he’s a #######?
   26. Buck Coats Posted: October 15, 2019 at 09:29 AM (#5890630)
i assume the asterisked-out word is Angel

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