Analysis

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:

THE PLAYERS:

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.

THE TEAM:

-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.

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