Series Preview: @Philadelphia Phillies

Florida Marlins @ Philadelphia Phillies (9-3), April 15-17, Games 13-15

NL East Standings

Tm W L Win% GB
PHI 9 3 .778
FLA 7 5 .583 2.0
WSN 5 7 .417 4.0
ATL 5 8 .385 4.5
NYM 4 9 .305 5.5

Stadium: Citizens Bank Park
Five-year Run PF*: 1.03
Five-year HR PF*: 1.09
Stadium Dimensions:
Left Field: 329 ft.
Left-Center: 374
Center Field: 401
Right-Center: 369
Right Field: 330

*Five-year regressed park factors provided by Patriot here

Projected Pitching Matchups

April 12: Javier Vazquez vs. Roy Oswalt
April 13: Anibal Sanchez vs. Cole Hamels
April 14: Chris Volstad vs. Joe Blanton

ZiPS In-Season Projections

Proj. FIP Win% Marlins Date Phillies Win% Proj. FIP
3.82 .537 Vazquez April 15 Oswalt .593 3.37
3.62 .561 Sanchez April 16 Hamels .591 3.38
4.55 .455 Volstad April 17 Blanton .488 4.25

Projected Lineup

Lineup Player Current wOBA Proj. wOBA v. RHP Proj. wOBA v. LHP
1 Chris Coghlan .349 .325
2 Omar Infante .317 .326
3 Hanley Ramirez .385 .402
4 Mike Stanton .347 .363
5 Logan Morrison .337 .361
6 Gaby Sanchez .369 .346
7 John Buck .313 .339
8 Greg DobbsDonnie Murphy
.310 .314

Quick Hits

Quick Hits returns today featuring a three-pack of questions answered by Justin Klugh of FanSided’s That Balls Outta Here. I asked him three questions plus a bonus one of particular interest to me.

——

1. Obviously the biggest problem facing the Phillies today is the existence of Ross Gload…er, I mean the injury to Chase Utley. What’s his timetable, and how much do you expect you will hate Wilson Valdez by the end of May?

Michael–I’m gonna go ahead and call you Michael–I know you’re a  bit of a “stats guy” so I’ll lay some “stats”* down for you. Wilson Valdez will be playing in the field 85% of the time he is playing for the Phillies, and at bat and/or on base 3% of the time.  The other 12% he will be grounding into double plays.  So what I’m saying is, as a guy who turns second base into a primarily defensible position but hits like a frightened child fighting off bees, we’re aware enough of his abilities that we know he is valuable on the basepaths.  But only when he’s fielding grounders in the middle of them.

*The word “stats” is in quotation marks here because they are all entirely made up.

2. The Phillies rotation: overrated, underrated, just right-rated? Side question: can mere mortals even rate the Phillies rotation?

Rated X, for intense violence and gore.  And pornographically spectacular pitching.

As for your side question, no.  There are two Phanatics with shotguns waiting to execute me at the close of this interview for doing so.

3. Who is the real Coal Hammels?

He’s just a young man with a dream.  You try growing up with a body that’s mostly limbs and still make something of yourself.  It’s terrible.  Did this actually happen to Cole?  I don’t know.  But it happened to me, and like Cole, I’m a lanky dude wearing a Phillies hat who everyone has told to give up on an acting career, and as I keep shrieking at him from my seats in left field, “US TALL DUDES NEED TO STICK TOGETHER, RIGHT COLE?!  HA HA WE’LL TALK LATER.”

We’ve watched Cole mature these past few years, from a World Series MVP, to a World Series MVP who’d lost his way, to a World Series MVP with something to prove, to the guy in the rotation whose identifiable stat is “World Series MVP.”  His days of pissing and moaning are behind him, and his primary goal is to win–the fact that he feels like he needs to keep up with the rest of the rotation is a sexy bonus.

4. Bonus question: Why do Phillies fans torture themselves by loving Logan Morrison?

Because we’re a bunch of dirt-sniffing, eyelash-batting, baseball bat suggestively-gripping cleat chasers and we know a good mark when we see one.

——

As you can see, Justin is quite the joker, but I think I threw him the sort of questions he could hit out of the park (and get us laughing along the way). You can enjoy my half of the interview over on his preview article. It’s a quite a hoot as well.

Notes

- I am ashamed to include Greg Dobbs into the list of players who need to be mentioned in the projected starting lineups. Dobbs appears to be in a bit of a platoon share with Donnie Murphy, which I can neither agree nor disagree with. I think Murphy is better, but probably not by much and, given Dobbs’s hot streak at the moment (hitting .385/.467/.692 since April 8), it’s not surprising the Marlins are going with this plan. Dobbs should stop hitting soon, which will prompt yet another change in a wild roller coaster of likely 2011 moves at third base.

- Tonight it’s Javier Vazquez start number three, which will give us yet another sampling of how good or bad he is. I believe I will hold off my initial idea of examining Vazquez until he gets to five starts to get a decent sample for Pitch f/x data, but I’m especially interested about tonight’s matchup versus Roy Oswalt. The Phillies offense has been excellent despite the loss of Chase Utley, but it isn’t likely the team continues to play as well as it has on that side of the ball.

Tags: Greg Dobbs Javier Vazquez Miami Marlins Philadelphia Phillies

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