Results tagged ‘ Baseball Prospectus ’

J-Roll's Woes: What's Going On?


rollins makes history.jpgJimmy Rollins
said the past few days have felt a lot like 2007.

The swing is quicker.

The timing feels right.

Of course, 2009 has been nothing like ’07. Rollins is hitting just .217 with 13 doubles, one triple, five home runs, 25 RBIs, a .254 on-base percentage and a .330 slugging percentage. He is on pace for the worst first half of his career.

Why?

I took a look at a couple different reasons yesterday. Baseball Prospectus has a statistic called BABIP, which is batting average on balls in play. It includes plate appearances that don’t result in a walk, strikeout or home run. Rollins’ BABIP this season is .225. His career mark is .295. The NL average this season is .296.

Fielders are catching a ton of balls that Rollins puts in play, which suggests he has run into some bad luck. But I also mention how FanGraphs Baseball measures how players make outs. Rollins has hit line drives for 17.1 percent of his outs this season, which is the lowest percentage of line drive outs in his career. Rollins also has hit infield fly balls for outs 14.4 percent of the time, which is the highest percentage of his career.

Fewer line drives and more infield pop ups mean Rollins hasn’t been hitting the ball as hard as he has in the past.

“I’m not swinging the bat as well,” Rollins said.

He hasn’t walked since May 27. That is 16 consecutive games without a walk. He also has seen 3.69 pitches per plate appearance, which is his lowest total since 2005. In other words, while Rollins may have run into some bad luck, there are other more important factors at play (not hitting the ball as hard, not being as patient at the plate, etc.).

But history suggests things will improve. First, Rollins entered the season a .277 career hitter. He is much better than he has shown. Second, Rollins always has been a better hitter in the second half. He hits 22 points higher in the second half. His on-base percentage is 32 points higher. His slugging percentage is 51 points higher.

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As Rollins struggles through the worst first half of his career, he could be headed to the All-Star Game. He leads NL shortstops with 1,216,007 votes. That is 87,460 more votes than Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who is hitting .330 with 20 doubles, eight home runs, 34 RBIs, a .395 on-base percentage and a .519 slugging percentage.

But does he deserve to go?

“It depends what numbers you’re talking about,” Rollins said. “If you want to talk All-Star Game, you pick the best at their position. I still fit in that category. What makes the criteria?”

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Heading Out West

The Phillies left for California yesterday a season-high eight games over .500.

This 10-game road trip through San Diego, Los Angeles and New York … wait a second, didn’t the Phillies just finish one of those? Yeah, they did. I can’t remember the last time two 10-game road trips were so close together. That’s craaazy. … is going to be a great test for the Phillies.

Can Joe Blanton build upon last week’s start against Florida, when he threw seven shutout innings? Can Antonio Bastardo — the man who is taking Brett Myers‘ spot in the rotation — outpitch Jake Peavy on Tuesday — the man Phillies fans would love to see pitching in Myers’ spot? Can the Phillies manage at least a split in four games in LA, where the Dodgers are the best team in baseball? And can they play a little better against the Mets, who are 3-1 against them this season?

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A couple stats to get your Monday morning going:

  • Baseball Prospectus gives the Phillies a 37 percent chance to make the postseason. BP likes the Mets better, however. They give the Mets a 71.1 percent chance.
  • Jayson Werth leads the Majors, averaging 4.52 pitches per plate appearance. Boston’s Kevin Youkilis is second with 4.44. Chase Utley is tied for 35th with 4.06. Ryan Howard is tied for 45th with 4.03. Shane Victorino sees the 15th fewest pitches in the Majors with 3.41 pitches per plate appearance.
  • Utley swings at only 7 percent of first pitches in his at-bats. That’s the third-lowest mark in baseball. Only Joe Mauer (3 percent) and J.J. Hardy (3.9 percent) swing at fewer first pitches. Werth is the 12th lowest at 12.1 percent. Raul Ibanez (24th at 15 percent), Jimmy Rollins (47th at 18.4 percent) and Victorino (tied for 57th at 19.9 percent) also are in the lowest 100. Ryan Howard is the 24th highest at 35.8 percent.
  • Utley leads the Majors with 11 hit by pitches. He leads the Majors with 88 hit by pitches from 2004 through 2009. Former Phillies centerfielder Aaron Rowand is second with 85.

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Petco Park and Dodger Stadium are two of my favorite ballparks in baseball. Petco is just a notch below Citizens Bank Park. I’d put Dodger Stadium on par with the Bank, I think. I wasn’t impressed with Dodger Stadium the first time I walked in it, but it really grew on me. But maybe I like it because there’s a solid chance I’ll see fellow MLBlogger Alyssa Milano there. We go way back. And when I say we go way back, I mean I used to watch Who’s the Boss? 

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