What we’re seeing is literal progress play out before our very eyes. Consider last night, when Vince Velasquez, acquired in a trade for Ken Giles, was yet again filthy – striking out 10 over five innings – and Tommy Joseph, just called up to replace that slug Darin Ruf, who was favored by a regime gone by for reasons unknown, went 3-for-4 with a home run and another error-added single which also scored a run. More than just year-over-year progress, this is week-over-week progress. The Phillies probably don’t win the game if Joseph, who batted cleanup, doesn’t play. It’s that simple. They’re improving, essentially daily.
Pete Mackanin looks like a damn genius:
Joseph doesn’t look like an athlete, or a baseball player, but he’s got that sweet, level swing. [Compared to Ruf, who hacks like Paul Bunyan chopping at mosquitos on a bender.]
And then, a hard-hit single that got by the centerfielder and led to another run. He didn’t get an RBI on it, but, quite frankly, he deserved one.
Can someone get Joseph’s dad a Phillies hat?
What that? Why? I can’t tell if bizarro Rob Ellis here is just so proud that his son is a Big League player that he decided to support the whole damn league, or if he harbors some weird animosity toward the Phils for waiving his son over the offseason. [It stood out to me over the weekend that he wasn’t wearing any Phils gear.] But for the love of God, will someone get that man a Phillies hat?
Swing and miss stuff
Yet another sign of Matt Klentak’s focus on analytics– Phils pitchers get strikeouts and have swing-and-miss stuff. 10 STRIKEOUTS IN FIVE INNINGS FOR VELASQUEZ. From ESPN.com, which compared Velasquez to Noah Syndergaard:
Tuesday’s hero was Vince Velasquez, who struck out 10 in five innings in the Phillies’ 3-1 victory over the Marlins. You’d like to see a little better pitch efficiency; he threw 103 pitches and had to leave early. But eight of his strikeouts came on fastballs, and seven of those eight came on swinging strikes.
That’s the key to Velasquez’s game; hitters will swing and miss on his fastball, even though he throws it in the middle of the zone. In some ways, that’s similar to Scherzer, who also throws a lot of fastballs in the middle of the zone, which is one reason he has been having some home run issues.
One of the big focuses of Sabermetrics is somewhat obvious: pitchers who make batters miss are better and more reliable than ones who pitch to contact. Even the weakest contact will find the hole 20% of the time. A ball whiffed on will almost always find the catcher’s mitt.
Hey, their Twitter guy doesn’t suck anymore
Updated VV K Tracker after 5: ?????????? pic.twitter.com/qYOsh4mLcl
— Phillies (@Phillies) May 18, 2016
Andres Blanco is fun
“I’m Tommy Joseph I’m the hero of the game!” ? pic.twitter.com/FchpXe0BZe
— Kyle Scott (@CrossingBroad) May 18, 2016