Know Your Foe #23: Struggling Phillies Jumping Out of Their Shoes with Rockies in Town

CHICAGO, IL - MAY 17: Jonathan Papelbon #58 of the Philadelphia Phillies celebrates as Carlos Ruiz #51 stands in awe/disgust of Papelbon's anus mouth after a Phillies victory over the Chicago Cubs on May 17, 2012 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Chicago Cubs 8-7. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)

These Phillies are not your slightly-older brother's Phillies. While they're not exactly terrible in comparison to the league (in fact, they've been a bit unlucky), they are really bad in comparison to themselves and the team that has been fielded over the past few years. 2007 notwithstanding, this Phillies "dynasty" has been slightly overrated offensively, while their bread and butter has been a pitching staff that has been nothing short of awesome in most seasons. However, with Roy Halladay ineffective and now on the shelf with an injury, as well as the slight regression of Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels, the Phillies' below average offense has caught up with them, thus the reason why they find themselves in last place in the NL East with a 31-37 record.

Truth be told, the offense has been average or worse in every season since 2008. Ryan Howard's success had always been a bit overstated (just don't say that to Huston Street), and Chase Utley had been on the decline for a couple of years. With both players out due to injury, the Phillies have remained below average in terms of OPS+, despite the efforts Hunter Pence (121 OPS+), Juan Pierre (101 OPS+, .363 OBP), and a cast of useful part-time players led by Jim Thome (126 OPS+). They're also enjoying a career year from their longtime backstop...


Carlos Ruiz

#51 / Catcher / Philadelphia Phillies

5-10

205

R

R

Jan 22, 1979


AVG OBP SLG
2012 - Carlos Ruiz .354 .416 .566


Ruiz, or "PHAKKIN' CHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOCH," as he's known as by the locals, has used the ridiculous slash line above to post a team-leading 164 OPS+, which is good for sixth in the National League, just behind Ryan Braun and ahead of Carlos Gonzalez. It's not easy to be the best hitting catcher in the league when you're 33 years old and play the same position as AJ Ellis (who is having the careerest of years), but Chooch is doing it anyway. Good for him. I like catchers, even ones who play for the Phillies.

As I mentioned above, pitching has been the specialty of this era of the Phillies, with the exception of 2007, when they were an offensive powerhouse (which also coincides with when Jimmy Rollins was still a useful big leaguer). They've been absurdly above average-to-exceptional, with last year's 127 ERA+ representing the pitching staff's peak. Everyone who started a game not named Joe Blanton experienced a tremendous amount of success, and the club's league-high 102 wins reflected as much. This season is a much different story, as the staff's collective ERA+ has fallen to 95 - not quite Rockies-level failure (87 ERA+), but still not good.

The last part of that paragraph is really weird because, aside from Kyle Kendrick, everybody in the rotation is good at striking people out and also good at not walking people. Even Blanton, whose ERA+ sits at just 79, has struck out 68 batters and walked just 12. However, perhaps due to the fact that he's in or around the zone so often, he has allowed a league-leading 96 hits this season. The BABIP isn't even THAT high (.315), so it's reasonable to suggest that his propensity to be hit hard will continue. Meanwhile, Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels remain two of the best in the league as far as K/BB ratio is concerned (along with Blanton), yet Hamels' ERA+ has dropped by 20, and Lee's by almost 50. This is due in part to being slightly more hittable this season as compared to a year ago. As is the case with Blanton, both guys are allowing a relatively-average BABIP, so the trend may continue as the weather heats up. Weird stuff, as the peripherals for each of these pitchers (and for Vance Worley, who has actually improved from a year ago) are good-to-excellent.

Jonathan Papelbon is closing games for Philly after coming over from Boston as a free agent. He has been excellent as always (over 10 K/9 and less than 2 BB/9), but there have been grumblings about him being misused by Charlie Manuel, b. However, that might have to do with the fact that, aside from Antonio Bastardo (157 ERA+) and Raul Valdes (188 ERA+), the rest of the bullpen has been bad. And, when wins start to be hard to come by, the fingerpointing begins to run rampant. We know that better than almost anyone.

Probable starters and more after the jump...

Game 1 - tonight at 5:05 PM MT (ROOT Sports)

Josh Outman (0-2, 8.44 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (9-3, 3.34 ERA)

Game 2 - tomorrow at 5:05 PM MT (ROOT Sports)

Alex White (2-5, 5.56) vs. Joe Blanton (6-6, 4.93)

Game 3 - Thursday at 5:05 PM MT (ROOT Sports/MLB Network)

Jeff Francis (0-1, 12.46) vs. Vance Worley (3-3, 2.80)


Batting

G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
Carlos Ruiz 59 189 29 67 16 0 8 35 12 24 2 0 .354 .416 .566
Laynce Nix 22 46 7 15 6 0 2 11 5 11 0 0 .326 .392 .587
Juan Pierre 58 191 24 62 5 2 0 12 11 12 14 2 .325 .363 .372
Mike Fontenot 25 50 6 16 1 0 1 5 4 8 0 1 .320 .382 .400
Hector Luna 16 43 4 13 2 0 2 10 4 8 0 0 .302 .362 .488
Pete Orr 23 42 4 12 4 1 0 5 1 13 1 1 .286 .302 .429
Cliff Lee 11 21 1 6 1 0 0 1 0 5 0 0 .286 .286 .333
Hunter Pence 67 267 46 75 11 1 13 39 26 51 4 1 .281 .347 .476
Placido Polanco 56 209 23 58 11 0 2 12 8 21 0 0 .278 .307 .359
Jimmy Rollins 65 274 35 70 14 2 4 19 19 43 11 2 .255 .303 .365
Jim Thome 23 56 8 14 2 0 4 14 7 17 0 0 .250 .344 .500
Erik Kratz 5 4 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 .250 .250 1.000
Ty Wigginton 61 189 27 47 7 0 7 29 20 49 1 0 .249 .318 .397
Shane Victorino 68 266 29 66 13 2 8 33 26 31 15 2 .248 .319 .402
Brian Schneider 25 67 9 16 3 0 2 5 4 13 0 0 .239 .301 .373
John Mayberry 62 162 17 38 9 0 5 20 8 46 1 0 .235 .269 .383
Roy Halladay 11 26 2 6 0 0 0 1 0 9 0 0 .231 .231 .231
Cole Hamels 13 26 1 6 1 0 0 2 1 6 0 0 .231 .286 .269
Freddy Galvis 58 190 14 43 15 1 3 24 7 29 0 0 .226 .254 .363
Michael Martinez 8 25 2 5 0 0 0 1 3 5 0 0 .200 .286 .200
Kyle Kendrick 15 12 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 9 0 0 .083 .154 .083
Joe Blanton 13 21 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 11 0 0 .048 .200 .048
Vance Worley 10 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Joe Savery 16 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Brian Sanches 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
David Herndon 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Jonathan Papelbon 27 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Michael Schwimer 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
B.J. Rosenberg 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Raul Valdes 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Jake Diekman 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Jose Contreras 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Michael Stutes 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Antonio Bastardo 26 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Chad Qualls 28 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

Pitching

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
Jonathan Papelbon 0-2 27 0 0 0 17 0 26.2 19 6 6 3 5 31 2.02 .90
Raul Valdes 2-0 11 0 0 0 0 1 12.2 7 3 3 1 1 13 2.13 .63
Antonio Bastardo 2-1 26 0 0 0 0 1 21.1 14 6 6 2 10 31 2.53 1.13
Vance Worley 3-3 10 10 0 0 0 0 61.0 58 24 19 7 21 59 2.80 1.30
Cole Hamels 9-3 13 13 0 0 0 0 89.0 78 36 33 11 19 92 3.34 1.09
Cliff Lee 0-3 11 11 0 0 0 0 77.2 73 30 30 9 14 77 3.48 1.12
Roy Halladay 4-5 11 11 0 0 0 0 72.1 69 32 32 6 14 56 3.98 1.15
Jake Diekman 1-0 12 0 0 0 0 0 10.2 12 6 5 0 7 16 4.22 1.78
Chad Qualls 1-1 28 0 0 0 0 5 26.2 33 15 13 6 7 18 4.39 1.50
Joe Savery 0-2 16 0 0 0 0 0 20.1 21 12 10 3 5 13 4.43 1.28
David Herndon 0-1 5 0 0 0 0 0 7.2 10 4 4 1 1 8 4.70 1.43
Michael Schwimer 0-1 11 0 0 0 0 1 13.1 10 7 7 1 8 9 4.72 1.35
Joe Blanton 6-6 13 13 2 1 0 0 84.0 96 50 46 14 12 68 4.93 1.29
Jose Contreras 1-0 17 0 0 0 0 0 13.2 13 10 8 1 3 15 5.27 1.17
Kyle Kendrick 2-7 15 10 1 1 0 1 63.0 74 41 37 8 23 40 5.29 1.54
Michael Stutes 0-0 6 0 0 0 0 0 5.2 7 6 4 0 4 5 6.35 1.94
Brian Sanches 0-1 3 0 0 0 0 0 4.0 9 5 5 2 2 3 11.25 2.75
B.J. Rosenberg 0-1 2 0 0 0 0 0 1.2 3 4 4 1 1 3 21.60 2.40


Philadelphia Phillies Injuries

Questionable

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Antonio Bastardo head 06/19/2012

15-Day

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Ryan Howard achilles-tendon 03/26/2012
Chase Utley knee 03/26/2012
Michael Stutes shoulder 04/22/2012
Laynce Nix calf 05/10/2012
Freddy Galvis lower-back 06/07/2012
Roy Halladay other-excused 05/28/2012
David Herndon elbow 04/30/2012

60 Day DL / Out for the season

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Justin De Fratus elbow 03/26/2012
Jose Contreras elbow 06/02/2012

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