More myths regarding the offense....?

More myths regarding the offense....?

Postby phuturephillies » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:00 am

So, again the discussion broke out today as to whether our offense is mediocre, whether it needs something else, or whether it just seems like we're not as good as we think. So, I decided to head over to baseball-reference and look at some team splits, comparing us to the other teams in the NL. For the purpose of this, I used sOPS, which compares that particular split to the other teams in the league. 100 is average, more than 100 is above league average, less than 100 is below league average. I've created a number of charts (ie, screencaps of the EXCEL files) so I don't have to use the CODE function, and so its easier to see. If the display of the info isn't pretty enough for you, then start your own thread and spruce it up yourself.

Chart 1 features the difference in OPS in wins and losses.

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As you can see, the Phillies have the second biggest spread in terms of their team batting in wins and losses, behind only Atlanta. At the opposite end of the spectrum, you have a team like the Giants, who perform much better offensively when they lose. Does this tell us anything useful?

Chart 2 features sOPS with Runners In Scoring Position, all out situations

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Well, a big complaint is that the Phillies aren't a good situational hitting team. But with RISP, one of the most important situational hitting environments, we have the best split of any team in the league.

Chart 3 is the next logical step, sOPS with RISP and 2 Outs

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The Phillies are more middle of the pack in terms of RISP with 2 Outs, but are still above league average. Then again, the Padres are a laughing stock in this department and weigh the averages down, with a stellar 55. The Cubs, the offensive juggernaut they are, are 2nd worst in the NL in this situation, which is kind of surprising.

Chart 4 shows sOPS for teams with men on base, not out specific

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Again the Phillies lead the league in this department. The split between best and worst is much closer than the previous chart here as well.

Chart 5 shows sOPS during Close and Late situations, another split people seem to harp on

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Surprise surprise, the Phillies are again near the top of the leaderboard in this department, barely trailing the Cubs and Marlins who sit at 121, compared to the Phillies 120.

The final series of charts show the breakdown of sOPS based on position. Since you can only insert 10 pictures per post, I've grouped the INF positions together (except pitcher), then the outfielders including the P spot onto one chart. Its fairly straight forward.

Chart 6 shows sOPS for the C, 1B, 2B, 3B and SS positions

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As you can see, the Phillies rank t10th at C, 9th at 1B, 1st and 2B, 11th at 3B, and t8th at SS. A healthy Rollins and he's near the top of the list, and with Howard heating up, he figures to move up the 1B chart. No big surprises at the C and 3B spot, though Feliz has provided great defense at 3B this season.

Chart 7 shows sOPS for LF, CF, RF and the P spot

Image

The Phillies rank 1st in LF, 6th in CF, and a staggering t14th in RF. They come in 4th in the NL in hitting out of the pitcher's spot, thank you Cole.

Conclusions

This is a very good offensive team, especially in terms of their performance in key situational spots relative to the rest of the league. Its easy to get frustrated, but sometimes I think you really can attribute things to bad luck or timing. The Phillies are struggling at C, 3B and RF right now, but Feliz is helping to make up for his offensive deficiencies with gold glove level defensive work. The RF spot has largely been sunk by the performance of Jenkins, who has sucked like turds for much of the season. But in the key spots, RISP, RISP with 2 Outs, and Close/Late, the Phillies as a team have come through.

They still have the 4th best Run Differential in baseball. It would be nice to add a bat like Holliday, but I don't think its essential, and I don't think this offense is mediocre, average, or anything of the sort.
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Postby MattS » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:11 am

excellent post. very helpful. i was looking through baseball-reference today and i realized their sOPS+ was very high with men on and with RISP, but i didn't realize how well compared to the rest of the league.

i think the issue with the offense is that there has been a larger than usual variance to the number of runs scored per game. research i've seen on the variance of runs scored per game is that it's pretty random with somewhat of a negative correlation with homerun rate, which is not really an area that the phillies struggle in at all.

i did a couple of posts on thegoodphight a week or two ago discussing the phillies struggles with BABIP, and hypothesized it was probably a coincidence. hitter by hitter, it seemed like they had lower BABIPs with even or improving linedrive rates and even or improving plate discipline.

the offense should turn around. part of the reason that we have outscored our EqR is that we have a bunch of good hitters in a row 1-5, followed by a frequently absent 6-9. as a result, there aren't that many runners in scoring position for ruiz after jenkins and feliz already made outs. so i don't think we should have problems continuing to outscore or EqR (i.e. good situational hitting), but we should score more overall as our BABIP goes up.

on the other hand, i'm waiting for the bullpen to implode and finally start surrendering homeruns, and it seems like it's a matter of time.

more run scoring in phillies games on both sides to be expected.
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Postby danrosz » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:14 am

Very good stuff. Thanks for that. Guess things really aren't as bad as they seem sometimes. Confirms that the Phillies biggest need is probably a left-handed bat to play in right field. Thanks again for the info.
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Postby dajafi » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:25 am

I hadn't dug that deep, but did take a look at some of the same situational splits and reached the same baffling conclusions: the numbers don't bear out what my own lyin' eyes keep communicating.

Probably the most revelatory part of Floppy's post here is the first chart: when they don't hit, they tend to lose. (That there are six NL teams for which this seemingly self-evident conclusion isn't true is a bit unnerving, though then again all six of those teams are lousy.) For myself, I think maybe part of it is that I'm most likely to watch full games on weekends... and they've been cover-your-eyes awful on weekends, something like 9-22 for the year. With all those losses, many of the painful variety, I've been seeing a lot of the bad-OPS Phillies, and that reinforces my perception, inaccurate though it is, that they come up small disproportionately often.

But Manuel's point in the article--that this isn't last year's lineup--seems valid as well. I'm no fan of the Magic Rowand Theory (namely, that his gritalicious never-say-die spirit is now missing), but all the times they've been held under 3 runs suggests that something is different. Even if it's just the dropoff from him to Werthkins, that might be enough.
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Postby mpmcgraw » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:42 am

It's more Rollins than anything else.

Last year we got one of the best SS in the game. This year we are getting someone arguably being outplayed by Christian Guzman.
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Postby phuturephillies » Mon Jul 21, 2008 12:54 am

mpmcgraw wrote:It's more Rollins than anything else.

Last year we got one of the best SS in the game. This year we are getting someone arguably being outplayed by Christian Guzman.


I don't know about that.

Rollins last year, on July 19th, had an OPS of .849. This year, on the same date, he has an OPS of .774, its a difference of 75 points, a big difference, but is it the biggest? Howard had a .972 OPS at this point last year, this year as of July 19th he had a .835, a difference of 137 points.

If you believe Paul DePodesta, that on base percentage is 3 times more important than slugging percentage, look at the OB% of our big hitters from last year to this year on July 19th (after completion of those games)

Rollins 2007, .331
Rollins 2008, .338

Howard 2007, .387
Howard 2008, .324

Utley 2007, .405
Utley 2008, .376

Burrell 2007, .394
Burrell 2008, .405

Howard and Utley are both down from last year, Burrell and Rollins are both up slightly.

I suspect, and I can look at more tomorrow, that the problem is losing Rowand's production. The dip from Rowand to Victorino is substantial but not Earth shattering, but the dropoff from 2007 RF of Victorino/Werth to Werth/Jenkins has been bigger, I believe.
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Postby wehatetolose42 » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:07 am

phuturephillies wrote:
mpmcgraw wrote:It's more Rollins than anything else.

Last year we got one of the best SS in the game. This year we are getting someone arguably being outplayed by Christian Guzman.


I don't know about that.

Rollins last year, on July 19th, had an OPS of .849. This year, on the same date, he has an OPS of .774, its a difference of 75 points, a big difference, but is it the biggest? Howard had a .972 OPS at this point last year, this year as of July 19th he had a .835, a difference of 137 points.

If you believe Paul DePodesta, that on base percentage is 3 times more important than slugging percentage, look at the OB% of our big hitters from last year to this year on July 19th (after completion of those games)

Rollins 2007, .331
Rollins 2008, .338

Howard 2007, .387
Howard 2008, .324

Utley 2007, .405
Utley 2008, .376

Burrell 2007, .394
Burrell 2008, .405

Howard and Utley are both down from last year, Burrell and Rollins are both up slightly.

I suspect, and I can look at more tomorrow, that the problem is losing Rowand's production. The dip from Rowand to Victorino is substantial but not Earth shattering, but the dropoff from 2007 RF of Victorino/Werth to Werth/Jenkins has been bigger, I believe.


the Phillies are clearly lacking one somewhat consistent right-handed bat. Whether it be the loss of Rowand or the Ruiz/Coste platoon doing what they did last year. The offense is too good for slump forever. The Mets is the perfect time for a spark.
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Postby MattS » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:19 am

just for a reference point, even though straight standard deviation may not the best way to measure things that aren't normal like this, but:

2005:
RS/G: 4.98
SDev: 3.45

2006:
RS/G: 5.34
SDev: 3.27

2007:
RS/G: 5.51
SDev: 3.07

2008:
RS/G: 4.97
SDev: 3.62

That's preposterous. That's the problem. And there's more:

2005:
3+RS/G: 71%
4+RS/G: 63%
5+RS/G: 50%
6+RS/G: 38%

2006:
3+RS/G: 80%
4+RS/G: 67%
5+RS/G: 54%
6+RS/G: 44%

2007:
3+RS/G: 85%
4+RS/G: 72%
5+RS/G: 58%
6+RS/G: 44%

2008:
3+RS/G: 76%
4+RS/G: 63%
5+RS/G: 48%
6+RS/G: 36%

Clearly the Phillies are not spreading their runs out enough this year.
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Postby mpmcgraw » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:22 am

So basically we need Howard and Rollins to stop sucking, Geoff Jenkins to retire, and stop being tremendously unlucky.

Idk if we can do that.
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Postby MattS » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:36 am

mpmcgraw wrote:So basically we need Howard and Rollins to stop sucking, Geoff Jenkins to retire, and stop being tremendously unlucky.

Idk if we can do that.


yeah howard needs to go through a 16-game stretch where he hits something like .333/.397/.758 and smashes 9 HR and knocks in 19. that would totally help the team.
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Postby mpmcgraw » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:46 am

If a tree falls on Lou Dobbs, but no one cares, did it really happen?
Last edited by mpmcgraw on Mon Jul 21, 2008 2:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby MattS » Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:59 am

passive aggressive douche? i don't think i was being passive aggressive, or at least no more so than any other messageboard interaction. it's not like my point was subtle. i was just pointing out that howard has already started to turn it around and it wasn't really fair to put the recent struggles of the offense on him. rollins just needs to turn around next. no need to resort to name-calling, dude, chill out.
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Postby JFLNYC » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:23 am

Excellent work. The bottom line offensively is the Phils are still second in the league in RS which is more than good enough to contend.

Ruiz is a big disappointment and Rollins is off from last year. Combined with Howard's struggles until this month, it's not surprising the offense is off a bit.

All other things being equal, I'd rather have Rowand than Jenkins in the lineup. But all other things are not equal and I'm glad they didn't overpay for Rowand. And, believe it or not, Jenkins OPS against RHP is better than Rowand's (.718 to .701) Besides, as I predicted as far back as last November, Werth's production could replace Rowand's (Werth: .820 OPS, 6.8 RC/G; Rowand .808 OPS; 5.5 RC/G), if Charlie played him every day. And BTW, Werth's OPS against RHP is only .005 lower than Rowand's).

Howard has gotten it together and Jimmy will, too. I agree with Matt that they will score even more the rest of the year. But IMO most of the complaints are just the result of normal frustration when the team has a couple of games when they don't score enough runs (particularly when they waste a great start from Hamels).
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Re: More myths regarding the offense....?

Postby ek » Mon Jul 21, 2008 9:30 am

phuturephillies wrote:
Conclusions

This is a very good offensive team, especially in terms of their performance in key situational spots relative to the rest of the league. Its easy to get frustrated, but sometimes I think you really can attribute things to bad luck or timing. The Phillies are struggling at C, 3B and RF right now, but Feliz is helping to make up for his offensive deficiencies with gold glove level defensive work. The RF spot has largely been sunk by the performance of Jenkins, who has sucked like turds for much of the season. But in the key spots, RISP, RISP with 2 Outs, and Close/Late, the Phillies as a team have come through.


floppy,

I think you are correct but looking at just the above, maybe it's because all three struggling spots pretty much are in a row in the lineup. this is normally the 6th, 7th and 8th hitters in a row. I think maybe they should split some of these guys up
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Postby TenuredVulture » Mon Jul 21, 2008 10:55 am

The data clearly show that this is a good hitting team. Why are the impressions so negative?

It seems that the Phils were much better last year at SS, CF, RF, and at least until recently 1B.

Second, if you compare the recent stretch with September 2007, you're really going to see a difference.

Third, Flop's numbers are for the whole season. I think even impressionistically, this is a team that has for big chunks of time, been an outstanding offensive team. Recently, the bats appear to have gone to sleep. Recent events are far stronger in creating impressions than distant events.
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Re: More myths regarding the offense....?

Postby phuturephillies » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:07 am

ekravitz wrote:
floppy,

I think you are correct but looking at just the above, maybe it's because all three struggling spots pretty much are in a row in the lineup. this is normally the 6th, 7th and 8th hitters in a row. I think maybe they should split some of these guys up


This sounded plausible, but I figured why not actually look at it. I don't have time to create the charts now, but I did run numbers for sOPS in the 6th, 7th, and 8th batting spots, then B-R also has cumulative sOPS for 1-2 spots with no pitcher, 3-6 with no pitcher, and 7-9 no pitcher. Here are the Phillies ranks in those splits

6th spot: 84 sOPS (13th)
7th spot: 103 sOPS (t6th)
8th spot: 101 sOPS (t5th)

SO individually, we're losing the most ground in the 6th spot, the spot right behind our best hitter in terms of getting on base. That's just dumb, really.

Here are the cumulative splits

1-2noP: 109 sOPS (7th)
3-6noP: 114 sOPS (t4th)
7-9noP: 104 sOPS (6th)
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Postby dajafi » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:36 am

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Postby phuturephillies » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:38 am

Ha!

Now the question is, why does that happen?
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Postby Woody » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:39 am

No more greenies?
you sure do seem to have a lot of time on your hands to be on this forum? Do you have a job? Are you a shut-in?
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Postby jerseyhoya » Mon Jul 21, 2008 11:40 am

Werth is now our carousing corner outfielder?
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