The best and worst of Spring Taining

by Eric Schwartz

How do you view spring training numbers?

Spring Training is the time of year where all kinds of opinions get thrown out. A young player who comes up and gets six hits in their first 10 at-bats is referenced as the next Mike Schmidt.

Veteran players who struggle for a couple weeks get titles such as “washed up” and “over-the-hill”.

It’s all part of the baseball landscape. Judgments are made at a time of year when the players aren’t even judging themselves. A pitcher could give up six runs a 3 1/3 and be quoted afterwards as saying “It was a good day. I got my pitches over strikes and I think my command is coming along.”

But maybe you are a stat guy and Spring Training numbers matter to you. If that’s the case, here are the numbers that are the best and worst from Clearwater with 11 days to go until the real baseball starts.

The Best

Roy Halladay — 3 games, 10 innings 1-0 record, 0.90 ERA. He has been everything he was advertised to be. His 14 K’s have given fans a reason to be excited about Doc’s arrival.

Danys Baez — 7 games, 8.2 innings 6 K’s, 1-0 record, 1.04 ERA. The Phillies bullpen has been the most questioned aspect of this team this Spring. Baez was the only big acquisition to the group and could be the man in charge of the 8th inning. He could also close if the 2009 Brad Lidge shows up.

Placido Polanco — 39 at-bats, 16 hits, 1 SO and a .410 average. Like the two before him, Polanco is new to the team and has started strong. His ability to put the ball in play in 38 of 39 at-bats is just what the Phillies offense needs.

The worst

Cole Hamels — 14.2 innings, 10 runs, 8 earned, 4.91 ERA. Hamels hasn’t technically been the worst pitcher in camp, but he also hasn’t shown much to show he will bounce back from a bad 2009.

Raul Ibanez — 37 at-bats, 4 hits, .108 average. Ibanez insists he is fine and there is no reason not to believe him. This guy has been around long enough to know Spring Training stats are worth nothing. That said, fans would feel a lot better if he started swinging the bat like he did in the first half of last season.

Chase Utley
— 31 at bats, .258 average, 0 extra base hits. Utley was not himself the second half of last season as an injury held down his power. So far that power has not shown its face this Spring. Thirty-one at-bats is a long stretch for a player of Utley’s quality to go without an extra-base knock.

So there you have it, the best and the worst with 10 days to go. Do of it what you want.

Just remember, on April 5, everyone’s stats go back to zero.

Filed Under Phillies


One Response to “The best and worst of Spring Taining”

  1. Eric Schwartz on March 25th, 2010 3:43 pm

    On cue, Utley got his first double today

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