Phillies By the Numbers

Polanco is struggling in many different facets. (MLB)

Yesterday hopefully provided a jumping-off point for the Phillies offense as they struck for eight runs against the Diamondbacks. However, the numbers are still downright ugly, even after putting up that snowman.

Here is a look at some of the numbers early on in the season for the Phillies offense:


Shane Victorino leads the team with a .786 OPS, but that ranks just 38th in the National League among qualified batters. Throughout baseball, Victorino is 76th in OPS, behind such names as Alcides Escobar, Jason Kipinis, Alejandro De Aza, and A.J. Ellis.

-The next two closest Phillie on the OPS list are Carlos Ruiz (90th) with a .745 OPS and Hunter Pence at .734, which puts him 96th overall in the major leagues.

-So, the Phillies have just two players in the Top 100 in OPS, which actually isn’t all that bad. Albert Pujols .617 OPS ranks 144th in the majors. Slow starts happen. Teams like the Angels, A’s, and Marlins only have one player in the Top 100 in OPS in he majors thus far.

Juan Pierre, the 25th man coming out of spring training, leads the team in on-base percentage at .357. Who is struggling to get on base? Lots of Phillies.

-Speaking of Polanco, it’s been a struggle from the start. His line drives are few and far between, which is what he needs to be a productive hitter. Of his 56 at-bats this season, only seven have resulted in a line drive, with 5fiveof them being base hits. The problem is, he’s pounding balls into the ground. Nearly half of his at-bats (26) have resulted in ground balls, with just four hits coming on ground balls. He’s obviously not a power guy, but he isn’t even putting enough into it for line drives.


-You wouldn’t call the Phillies a hitting machine, but batting average-wise, it’s not as bad as you would think. They rank 15 out of 30 in the majors in batting average at .248. Oakland is last with just a .202 BA.

-Of course, it’s not all about base hits, it’s about getting on base in various ways, including walks. That’s where the Phillies fail miserably. They rank 29th in the majors in bases-on-balls with only 34 total. Only the Pirates have fewer. To put that in perspective, Joey Votto leads the NL with 17 walks, Chase Headley is second with 15. The Phillies with the most walks: Shane Victorino with six. Ty Wigginton has five.

-Why aren’t the Phillies walking? Well, they’re swinging at crap. The Phillies lead the NL in swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone. They’re swinging at 33.9 percent of pitches out of the zone; the only team worse in the majors is the Angels at 34 percent. Plate discipline is not their strong suit.

-They’re swinging at those pitches and making contact. They’re making contact with 71 perecnt of pitches outside of the strike zone. But you know what that usually leads to – outs.

Click to comment


  1. NCPhillyFan

    April 25, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I thought Charlie said at the end of last season that “what we have is fine, and all we need to do is concentrate more on the mechanics of hitting” (my paraphrase). Evidently they didn’t “concentrate enough”. I’ve never been a Polanco fan and I really wish they would play Laynce Nix more – I think that guy could be a beast. With that said, I think the Phils will turn it around – still plenty of time but the lack of offensive production is disturbing.

  2. Jeff

    April 25, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Good thing we didn’t get gio.

    Love watching the nats

  3. schmenkman

    April 25, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Pat, nice summary. My only quibble is with ranking and comparing team stats across the two leagues. Personal preference, perhaps, but I think the DH confuses things. Trust me, the Phils look just as bad when only ranking among NL teams: 15th in runs per game, 15th in OBP, 13th in OPS, 16th in BB%, etc.

  4. Manny

    April 25, 2012 at 10:34 am

    The Nix signing is looking good early on… And the Qualls signing might’ve been one of the Free Agency steals of the year. He’s a legit setup guy.

  5. Chuck A.

    April 25, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Good game last night…fun to watch. Would love to see more of Nix even though he’s not the best with the glove. But the balls just seem to fly off his bat! And, yeah, like Qualls as well. He’s got a sort of herky-jerky thing going on before his delivery and I don’t know if it’s intentional to confuse the batter or if it’s just his style. But he’s got a nice easy confidence about him which could really work to his advantage.

    Also nice to see Hunter Pence being a bit more selective up there. You know it’s got to be tearing him up inside that he’s been struggling.

    Let’s go for the series win today and come home on a high note! 5-5 on a West Coast swing when your team is struggling is definitely ok.

  6. The Original Chuck P

    April 25, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    They’re pressing, sure but it’s amazing what a little good news will do… seeing Utley take BP has to be a shot in the arm for this team (by most accounts, he looked better than he has in a long time – he looked beefier to me). I’ll admit that I didn’t think we’d ever get anything out of Utley moving forward but I’m sort of backtracking – if he used the time in Arizona to get stronger, then maybe he can grind out a couple more good years out of him. Maybe he has to gear it down defensively and on the base paths but I can live with that if he adds some power to his stroke.

    I was always ok with the Nix signing (never understood the ire there)… he’s a very serviceable bench player. He’s a lefty pinch hitter who can get hot and win some games for a ballclub. Matt Stairs Light.

    Wigginton was the guy that I loathed… the Rox paying $2 million of his salary told me everything that I needed to know. Admittedly, early on, Wigginton has been much better than I expected (best RISP hitter on the team in the early going) BUT he’s also been lucky (.364 BABIP and .467 ground ball average). If he continues to prove me wrong, I’m ok with that. I’m going to root for him to do well – not trying to be one of those “I told you so” guys… if he’s our guy, he’s our guy and if Polly doesn’t figure it out, he could be your starting third baseman.

    At some point, we have to start to craft a pecking order… I’m sort of guessing that Chase comes back playing first base until Howard is ready – with Lee/Stutes on the DL (yep, Stutes, too), it gives us a little time to figure out what to do with all of these “mehh” players but the reality is that there isn’t enough room to carry Pierre, JMJ, Nix, Galvis, Orr and Wigginton (and Polanco, for that matter). I think that Wigginton and Polanco are safe. Pierre and Nix are probably fine, too (have done enough to stick). Orr will surely go back down when Lee/Stutes comes off the DL (yeah, apparently Stutes is on the DL now). That leaves us with Galvis (the fan favorite) and JMJ. JMJ is out of options… you can’t just demote him (you expose him to other teams claiming him, if you do) Galvis has been a fan favorite (they’re selling a lot of Galvis tees) but he’s the obvious candidate. It’s quite a predicament – which ho-hum player do you keep? I wouldn’t be surprised to hear some names start to surface in trade rumors… if a guy like Marlon Byrd can fetch a reliever, maybe Polly/JMJ can fetch something similar or a couple of prospects/salary relief.

  7. Lefty

    April 25, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Pat while I agree about Polanco’s line drive rate, the one stat that gives me the most concern about him is his K%. 11.7% is getting close to double his career norm of 6.8. This from what is supposed to be one of the leagues best “contact” hitters.

    Sometimes I wonder if he couldn’t use a good optometrist. Maybe the ground balls are protection swings at what he can no longer see. Just a thought.

  8. Andrew from Waldorf

    April 25, 2012 at 12:52 pm


    Next thing you know Howard will be swinging away 3-0 count in the 7th inning down a run.

    But it might go 1000000000000000000 miles

    And then you guys have a hero.

    You do as a whole crack me up.
    Party like its 2007.

  9. Andrew from Waldorf

    April 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    @ lefty

    Maybe Polanco is a fossil like the others?

    Stop playing into the kool aid drinkers.

    Hes done

    You know it. I know it.
    And then these people sign Rollins for 3 years and are happy.

    Pine for a less cripple.
    Polanco is wated wishing for.

    • Lefty

      April 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm

      I don’t pine for baseball players, that’s Ruben’s problem. I just play the cards I’m dealt which means hoping to get the best out of the guys we have. You want to just wave the white flag and give up? My experience tells me they don’t take prisoners, they shoot them and discard them like trash. So I’m here with this team to fight to the end.

      Ruben’s damage is done. He’s trapped us all in a corner of a maze, and doesn’t have the resources to find his way out. Does that sound like a statement made by a Kool-Aid drinker?

      And all I said was- Polanco who last I checked is a member of this team, (one of the cards in our hand) needs to get his f’n eyes checked, okay?

    • betasigmadeltashag

      April 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      AFW please just go away, I thought for a while you were fun to just pick on and laugh at now you monotone diatribe is just hatefull dribble that just annoys me and I am sure everyone else. Your pure hatred for Howard is simply boring, go back under the rock you where under all winter please

  10. bacardipr05

    April 25, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Good thoughts Chuck P. Unless Polly starts to pick up the pace we are stuck with him. No one is going to want to pick up his contract for what he is providing now. Who would you stick at 3rd if you do trade him. They would have to go with the very player you loathe Wigginton at 3rd. I think Pierre and i know he is hated on my blogs will stick. So far he has been doing exactly what he was bought here that is getting on base even if there dink and bloop hits. It will be interesting what they do once Utely/Howard comes back. As far as who would they keep or not. Dont forget Mini-Mart should be coming of the DL in about 2 weeks. Oh and Byrd was traded for Endy Chavez.

  11. The Original Chuck P

    April 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Chances are your mom didn’t hold you enough as a child.

    • Simarjeet

      May 12, 2012 at 4:13 pm

      Good post.How about the teachable moenmt of splitting Utley and Howard and moving Burrell up in the lineup?Burrell leads the team in OBP with all his walks, so why not take them in FRONT of Howard, rather than behind?Burrell’s line sort of belied his contribution tonight — most evident in his 2 runs scored. But with Burrell in front of Howard and willing to take walks, I’m guessing we see more run production out of Howard. And with Burrell in front of Howard, I could see Burrell becoming the engine of any Phils’ drive into the playoffs. He’s gonna start seeing better pitches, and he’s picky enuff already, so we could see good things.And we also get to avoid the dreaded LH specialist that comes in each and every night to face Utley then Howard after the 7th.Amen brother.

  12. Andrew from Waldorf

    April 25, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    Chances are we have human beings waiting for Howard and Utley.

    I guess the Giants series in 2010 and the 2011 Cardinals where just dreams.

    The best are coming.
    You know it.

  13. Andrew from Waldorf

    April 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Lefty is pining for Howie and Chase.

    @ Lefty
    The pitchers are slowing down too.


    Pass that kool aid

  14. Andrew from Waldorf

    April 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    Well Beta

    I told you for years about this.

    Now I have Chuck saying he predicted the Nats for years too.

    Like he predicted the Giants and even the 0 runs vs the cards ( that was me).

    Just so you can all comprehend it.

    You trade them all ( all the bad contracts) for Werth.
    Thats Papleban Utley Howard Rollins (etc etc) all the fossils

    For Jayson Werth. He hits 3rd and you win

    Not because he is anything. But because you dumped all your sacred cow ( heros).

    • Chuck A.

      April 25, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      Now YOU have me predicting the Nats?? Sorry, dude, keep dreaming…’re giving yourself waaaaaay too much credit. I figured that out all by myself. YOU had absolutely nothing to do with it. But, hey, you have to have SOMETHING to drone on about …. so have at it.

  15. Andrew from Waldorf

    April 25, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Chuck I have second row behind third base for the Nat- Phillies.
    May 21st.

    I penciled you in.

  16. The Original Chuck P

    April 25, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Chances are your mom smoked PCP while she was pregnant and didn’t hold you enough as a child.

  17. Andrew from Waldorf

    April 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Chances are for the 100000000000000000000000000000000000th time

    A retard kool aid drinker attacks me for telling the truth about his beloved team.

    Smoke some PCP and hit like its 2007.
    Im all in

  18. The Original Chuck P

    April 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    So we’re trading Utley/Howard/Rollins/Polanco/Papelbon (not sure why he gets thrown in there, but ok) for Jayson Werth, who is going to be making $21 million at age 38 in 2017 (who hit .232 last year). Sounds reasonable to me.

    No one knew that Utley’s knees would fall off; regardless, he’s off the books next year and his deal really looks to be about right, in retrospect (a deal that was once considered a steal). Howard has been the anchor of this team over the past six years (if you can’t see that NOW while we’re struggling to do anything offensively, you don’t belong on this fan-board) – he’s going to make a few more million than Werth but he’s off the books at age 37 (Werth is there until age 38)… plus, Howard > Werth. Howard has been a top 10 MVP finisher in each of the past six seasons – might be tough to keep that streak going but I think he’ll find his way back onto those ballots in due time (and given what we know about the value of slugging 1B, namely Pujols and Fielder, it’s safe to say that the Howard deal wasn’t completely out of line). Rollins is worth his deal because of his glove and because of what he’s done for this franchise. Polly is off the books next year. Papelbon… perfect so far in save opportunities, sporting a 1.13 ERA and has made it look easy. Not sure what there is to gripe about; he’s 31 years old and if Rube had done what most of us wanted him to do (bring back Madson), we would have been really screwed (same goes for Rollins, really… I mean, you’d have a middle infield of Galvis and Wigginton and you’d be forced to start Polly every day… it would have been a disaster).

    Give these guys a break – they’ve earned our trust and our faith. We won 102 games last year and there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ll start rattling off wins soon enough. The Nats are legit and it’s going to be tough but this team will not quit.

  19. Andrew from Waldorf

    April 25, 2012 at 3:19 pm


    No one will take Utley Howard Rollins Polanco
    No one.
    Not even Soriano.
    So no you cant get Werth. I was being hypothetical.

    If someone will take them you pay them to take them.

    Do you think they have value to anyone?

    Too bad the Rollins contract was longer for you guys.

    I am getting into that land where its people not understanding the sport.

    What value does Howard have?

    At some point you will pay someone 15,000,000.00 to take on the other 10,000,000.00 of that albatross.contract.

    Im sorry. I am sorry I called you a name.

    Buut this is the reality of your team.
    When you guys grasp it we maybe able to move on.

    Minus Ruben Minaya I hope.

  20. Andrew from Waldorf

    April 25, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Halladay: some value but its falling daily

    Lee: same as above

    Hamels: leaving so get what you can

    Shane: value but not what it is to the phillies
    Ruis: value but not what it is to the phillies

    Pence : possible value outside the orginazation
    can be traded for value

    The entirety of the rest of your roster is a 0
    No value.

    All of them.

    Compile all the stats they want I just told your roster was in 2 minutes.

    Im sorry.

  21. "Big Ed" Delahanty

    April 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    How is Halladay’s value falling daily? He might have lost some, if any, velocity, but the man is still arguably the best pitcher in the league. He is the Walter Johnson of righties. On another note, and pardon my ignorance in advance, but I just found out today that Contreras is 40! We need some youth on this team quickly.

  22. Brooks

    April 25, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Good to see you kept the gloves Andrew… You’re going to need them as the season progresses and the Phils warm up.

    Pence with a couple of hits but ground balls with eyes. To me, not solid hits, more luck which you need of course throughout the year. More importantly, he whiffed 3 times which indicates even more to me he is still off.

    However, if Poly is starting to show some life – being on base 5 times in 1 game is a pretty good indicator of that, and Pierre keeps playing – and, if they move Jimmy until he starts hitting… lots of If’s eh?

    Regardless, Nix, Wiggy, Orr contributing I dont think is anything to hang our hats on or get comfortable with. We need Pence to start making good contact. We need Rollins to start making any contact – Poly might be in place, Pierre is in a nice groove – go Phils – I have tickets for the Phanatics birthday hopefully it will be a gas all around.

    • schmenkman

      April 26, 2012 at 7:09 am

      brooks, to your last paragraph, I don’t care who hits as long as someone does. For their careers, Pence, Nix, and Wiggy have gotten 290, 266, and 259 total bases per 600 at bats. So while they’re not going to play every day, when they do play it’s almost as important that Nix and Wiggy hit as it is for Pence.

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