Final Regular Season Grades for All 25 Philadelphia Phillies

Greg Pinto@@Greg_PintoCorrespondent IOctober 3, 2012

Final Regular Season Grades for All 25 Philadelphia Phillies

0 of 26


    That's a word that you are going to hear a lot over the next couple of weeks when people talk about the Philadelphia Phillies, and it isn't just going to go away after that time. Whenever the 2012 Phillies are discussed, that's what they'll be associated with—disappointment. 

    It surely is not unjustified. This is a team that came into the regular season with the highest payroll in the National League. If you include Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Roy Halladay, they were a team with an All-Star at seven different positions. Carlos Ruiz would later make it eight. 

    Of course, counting Howard, Utley and Halladay isn't easy. All three of those players missed a significant amount of time in 2012 and I don't think it is unfair to say that not one of three performed up to their own, personal expectations. 

    It's hard to win when the middle of your lineup and the ace of your starting rotation are shelved, but when you refer back to that payroll, Plan Bs should be in place. Someone has to shoulder the blame. 

    So while there were certainly some bright spots and pleasant surprises this season, without a doubt, the Phillies' grades must reflect the one overarching emotion that fans are going to feel until spring training opens in February of 2013—disappointment. 

Jimmy Rollins

1 of 26

    The Line: .250 / .316 / .427, 23 HR, 102 R, 30 SB

    Grade: B

    Jimmy Rollins took a lot of flack this season for not being a "good" leadoff hitter, but that falls on Charlie Manuel. Rollins took care of what he is able to control. 

    Throughout the game, the shortstop position is relatively weak offensively, but Rollins had a good season. He showed above average power, swiped a nice amount of bases and scored more than 100 runs. 

    He also played an elite defense at shortstop this season. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Juan Pierre

2 of 26

    The Line: .310 / .354 / .374, 37 SB

    Grade: A

    Meanwhile, Juan Pierre was having the kind of season that revitalizes a player's career and became a more appealing option at the top of the order as the season progressed. 

    Even if he's only capable of being the left-handed half of a left field platoon, Pierre certainly exceeded expectations this season, especially offensively. He kept his batting average above .300 for most of the season and always seemed to find a way on base. 

    As has been the case throughout his career, Pierre's defense in left field left something to be desired, but he shouldn't have a problem hooking on with a club on a guaranteed deal next season, even if it is only in a bench role.

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Chase Utley

3 of 26

    The Line: .266 / .374 / .445, 11 HR

    Grade: A

    It's easy to look at Chase Utley's numbers and get a little giddy. Well, it's easy if you're into SABRmetrics, anyway. 

    Utley's line may not be the most appealing set of statistics ever, but if you consider the fact that he posted that line—including an excellent on-base percentage—while posting a BABip of just .270, it is easy to envision room for improvement. 

    He also hit as many home runs in 2012 as he did in 2011 (11), despite playing in nearly 20 fewer games. 

    While most of the talk lately has centered around a potential (and eventually dismissed) move to third base, Utley actually played an elite defensive second base this season.

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Ryan Howard

4 of 26

    The Line: .219 / .295 / .423, 14 HR, 99 SO

    Grade: F


    That should effectively summarize Ryan Howard's season. He spent the first half recovering from a partially torn Achilles tendon and the second half trying to regain his form at the plate. 

    He just never looked comfortable. Howard was striking out at an alarming rate and not walking nearly as frequently as he had been in the past. 

    While his below average defense was right in line with his career norm, his offensive production certainly was not. It was hard to watch at times. 

    Then, just to put the icing on the cake, he dropped the heavy pipe that he swings in the on-deck circle on his toe, which resulted in a small fracture. 

    I'll repeat: Ouch. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Carlos Ruiz

5 of 26

    The Line: .330 / .398 / .547, 16 HR

    Grade: A+

    For the sake of full disclosure, I spent the season waiting for Carlos Ruiz's numbers to regress back to the norm. They never did. At some point, I found myself wondering, "At what point is it okay to call this 'legitimate progress'?" 

    I think it is okay to say that Ruiz has made legitimate strides at the plate, and the result is an incredible season. 

    Even after missing some time with a foot injury, Ruiz kept his average well above .300 and his OBP right around .400 for the entire season. The power numbers jumped dramatically and all of the sudden, Ruiz became a legitimate middle of the order threat. 

    Combine that with the fact that he plays above average defense and you have one of the best all around catchers in the game. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Domonic Brown

6 of 26

    The Line: .234 / .320 / .400, 5 HR

    Grade: C-

    I thought that Domonic Brown was playing some of his best baseball at the end of the season and wanted to give him a better grade, but the season comes to a point where you have to weight "potential" against "results," and Brown didn't provide much of the latter. 

    He also posted a very low BABip of .259, which is not sustainable, and should have a much better season—at least results wise—in 2013. 

    But I thought that we saw a lot of what makes Brown an intriguing outfielder towards the end of the season: A good approach at the plate, incredible power on the inner half and athleticism. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

John Mayberry Jr.

7 of 26

    The Line: .249 / .304 / .409, 14 HR

    Grade: C-

    I thought that John Mayberry Jr. had a below average season. 

    When the Phillies moved Shane Victorino, they exposed Mayberry. He showed that he is not capable of playing every day, is not nearly as efficient as we had believed in center field and should not be relied on in the same capacity next season. 

    Now, if we are talking about Mayberry as the right-handed half of a platoon, that could be a good fit for him. He handled left-handed pitching very well, but looked lost against right-handed pitchers at times. 

    2012 should have been the final nail in the coffin. Mayberry just isn't cut out to play everyday. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Placido Polanco

8 of 26

    The Line: .257 / .302 / .327

    Grade: D-

    If Placido Polanco could have stayed on the field for an entire season, he may have been more valuable to the Phillies, but who can say for certain? 

    The third baseman battled a slew of nagging injuries, including a bad back that eventually ended his season. 

    Though he was excellent defensively yet again, Polanco was not nearly as efficient at the plate as he had been in the past and his tenure with the Phillies is likely over.

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Roy Halladay

9 of 26

    The Line: 11-8, 4.49 ERA (3.70 FIP)

    Grade: C-

    If you were to ask Roy Halladay to grade his season by his own set of standards, I'd be willing to bet that he'd give himself an "F." If you grade him against the rest of the league, his season was just slightly below average. 

    ERA is a poor indicator of performance and while FIP is probably only marginally better, I think that it tells a better narrative. Halladay wasn't terrible, but he didn't pitch like he was owed $20 million either. 

    The strikeout and walk numbers were as good as always and I'd also be willing to wager that Halladay has a bounce back season in 2013. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Cliff Lee

10 of 26

    The Line: 6-8, 3.12 ERA (3.09 FIP) 7.14 K/BB

    Grade: A+ 

    I don't care what Cliff Lee's record was. I don't care that he didn't get his first win of the season until July 4. When you look back on 2012, Lee was historically good. 

    When I grade a player's season, I think it is important to evaluate things that he can control in a higher regard. So when a pitcher suffers from a bad bullpen or a lack of run support, I'm willing to let his record slide. 

    The fact of that matter is that Lee pitched like the elite pitcher that the Phillies expect him to be this season. He led the league in strikeout to walks ratio by a wide margin and could have won 20 games this season just as easily as the six that he actually owns. 

    Compare his numbers to Cole Hamels. I dare you. They're remarkably similar. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Cole Hamels

11 of 26

    The Line: 17-6, 3.05 ERA (3.31 FIP) 

    Grade: A+

    Now that the 2012 season is in the books, it is easy to see why the Phillies felt comfortable committing such a huge amount of money to Cole Hamels and refusing to deal him this season. He's invaluable when it comes to pitching. 

    Though Cliff Lee may have something to say about it, I would argue that Hamels was the Phillies' best starting pitcher this season and in a different year, would be more heavily invested in the Cy Young debate. 

    If Roy Halladay can regain his form in 2013, the Phillies should be a very good team. When healthy, the Phillies can be a scary team and it all comes down to starting pitching.

Vance Worley

12 of 26

    The Line: 6-9, 4.20 ERA (3.87 FIP)

    Grade: C-

    Vance Worley didn't have the most impressive season, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, he spent most of the season pitching with bone chips in his right elbow. Locating his pitches couldn't have been easy. 

    Before the Phillies eventually made the decision to shut him down, Worley was pitching like a back of the rotation starter—at best—and the Phillies expected more out of him. 

    You have to wonder if a full, healthy offseason regiment will have a healing effect on Worley's numbers. At the least, his pitches should be more effective. 

Kyle Kendrick

13 of 26

    The Line: 10-12, 4.08 ERA (4.43 FIP)

    Grade: D+

    The only Phillies' pitchers with more wins than Kyle Kendrick this season are Cole Hamles (17) and Roy Halladay (11). It's a meaningless statistics (especially when you consider that Hamels is the only one who spent a full season in the starting rotation), but an interesting factoid. 

    Of course, no player on the roster has more losses than Kendrick's 12 either. 

    But that's kind of been the story for Kendrick. He's been very good at times and embarrassingly bad at others. Later in the season, he seemed to be throwing less of his cutter and more of his changeup, which had a positive result. 

    Taking in the season as a whole, however, it isn't hard to see that there is significant room for improvement. Currently penciled in as the fifth starter next season, the Phillies may want to provide for a Plan B. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Kevin Frandsen

14 of 26

    The Line: .330 / .378 / .434

    Grade: A+

    Kevin Frandsen has done everything the Phillies have asked of him this season—and then some. 

    He was among the Triple-A leaders in hits before being promoted to the Phillies late in the season following Placido Polanco's most recent trip to the disabled list. 

    Since that time, Frandsen has been stellar at the plate and has played a solid defensive third base, all the while nursing a stress fracture in his leg. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Erik Kratz

15 of 26

    The Line: .246 / .301 / .507, 9 HR

    Grade: B

    Erik Kratz may have cooled off as of late, but no one is going to forget how he helped the Phillies this season. 

    With both of their catchers ailing, the Phillies promoted their third string catcher during the season and asked him to take over the regular catching duties. Kratz answered the call without a hitch. 

    Not only was he solid behind the plate, but Kratz was tearing the cover off of the ball at it. He proved to be one of the club's most lethal right-handed bats through a good stretch of the season and helped the Phillies keep pace with Carlos Ruiz on the shelf. 

    He's certainly earned the backup catcher's role in 2013. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Ty Wigginton

16 of 26

    The Line: .234 / .311 / .377, 11 HR

    Grade: D+

    Ty Wigginton probably wasn't what the Phillies expected this season. 

    They thought that he could come over and play a few positions in a pinch if need be, but that wasn't the case at all. Wigginton was a butcher at every position he played and any offensive value he gained was negated by that. 

    Of course, that offensive value wasn't staggering either. He was solid against lefties, but struggled mightily against right-handed pitching, making him far too one-dimensional for the Phillies moving forward. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Nate Schierholtz

17 of 26

    The Line: .238 / .290 / .317, 1 HR

    Grade: F

    Some people believe that the Phillies need to spend a huge amount of money on their outfield this season. I'm not one of them. 

    I will concede that the Phillies could use an elite defensive center fielder (and that names like B.J. Upton, Shane Victorino and Michael Bourn have crossed my mind), but with Domonic Brown already in the fold, the Phillies really only have to fill one corner outfield position.

    That could be any of a few in-house options, including several platoon options and the 2012 Minor League home run champ, Darin Ruf.

    But if the Phillies go the inexpensive route, Nate Schierholtz wouldn't be a bad option as the left-handed part of a platoon. While I was pretty much forced to give him an "F" overall this season, he's actually been pretty good against right-handed pitching (.274 / .350 / .446, 6 HR).

    Stats through 9/30/12. 

Laynce Nix

18 of 26

    The Line: .250 / .320 / .420, 3 HR

    Grade: C-

    The Phillies signed Laynce Nix to a two-year deal last offseason and it was a curious decision. They probably thought that they were getting a different kind of player. 

    One of the things that made Nix a valuable commodity to a team like the Phillies was his ability to hit for power off of the bench in the past, and that didn't show through this season. 

    It should be noted, however, that Nix missed more than 50 games with a severe calf strain, which could have sapped some of his power. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

B.J. Rosenberg

19 of 26

    The Line: 21 IP, 6.86 ERA (5.58 FIP)

    Grade: F

    In a better year, B.J. Rosenberg probably wouldn't have even pitched in the MLB, but the Phillies bullpen was so taxed this season that they needed innings from wherever they could find them.

    Sure, Rosenberg had a few good moments. He flashed a fastball that packs a punch at times, but never really used it to much success. 

    He'll probably be relieving for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in 2013. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Josh Lindblom

20 of 26

    The Line: 22.1 IP, 4.03 ERA (4.58 FIP) 

    Grade: D

    If Ethan Martin wasn't spectacular in Double-A Reading this season, the Shane Victorino trade may have looked like a train wreck for the Phillies. 

    The guy that they wanted to make an immediate impact is Josh Lindblom—a reliever the Los Angeles Dodgers had been using as their set-up man. He was anything but with the Phillies. 

    Lindblom did show late signs of improvement, but you have to wonder just how much stock the Phillies will have in him moving forward. If I were writing the depth chart, he'd be behind Justin De Fratus, Phillippe Aumont and Mike Stutes, as far as right-handed relievers not named Jonathan Papelbon are concerned. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Jeremy Horst

21 of 26

    The Line: 30 IP, 1.20 ERA (2.57 FIP)

    Grade: A+

    Jeremy Horst joined the Phillies as a "throw in" from the Cincinnati Reds, who had acquired utility man Wilson Valdez from the Phillies over the offseason. 

    Who would have thought that when all was said and done, Horst would be one of the Phillies' best relievers for the 2012 season? 

    After opening the season in Triple-A, Horst joined the Phillies relatively early in the season as they attempted to shake up the bullpen. He was one of the only guys that stuck. 

    At worst, Horst is a left-handed specialist to face tough lefties late in ball games. But I think he can be more than that. All three of his pitches (fastball, slider and changeup) were plus marks this season. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Justin De Fratus

22 of 26

    The Line: 9 IP, 4.00 ERA, 2.66 FIP

    Grade: B+

    Not much of a sample size for Justin De Fratus this season, but I liked what I saw. 

    His numbers are kind of skewed after one bad appearance against the Washington Nationals when he was charged with three earned runs. Outside of that, however, he has been excellent. 

    De Fratus' fastball, slider and changeup all registered as slightly above average this season and he should be a big part of the Phillies bullpen in 2013.

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Phillippe Aumont

23 of 26

    The Line: 13.2 IP, 3.95 ERA (3.40 FIP)

    Grade: B

    Another small sample size, but Phillippe Aumont showed flashes of brilliance this season that—if the Phillies don't add a veteran reliever to take over the role—would likely make him the right-handed set-up man in 2013. 

    As has been the case throughout his professional career, Aumont needs to throw more strikes to be successful, but he certainly has the arsenal to be a dominant, back end of the bullpen reliever.

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Antonio Bastardo

24 of 26

    The Line: 51 IP, 4.24 ERA (3.24 FIP) 

    Grade: C+

    I'm being tough on Antonio Bastardo here, but only because the Phillies expected so much more out of him. 

    All things told, Bastardo wound up having a good season. Few relievers were able to surpass the incredible 14.29 K/9 mark he posted this year. 

    With that being said, you can't just forget about the first half of the season, when Bastardo was absolutely dreadful. 

    It does, however, look like he has straightened himself out moving into 2013. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Jonathan Papelbon

25 of 26

    The Line: 69.2 IP, 2.20 ERA (2.70 FIP), 38 SV

    Grade: A+

    Jonathan Papelbon held up his end of the bargain. 

    People are always going to wonder whether or not it was wise of the Phillies to shell out $50 million on a reliever and the answer is probably no, but there is no doubt that Papelbon did the job this season. 

    He provided stability in the ninth inning and even in a year where the Phillies were barely above the .500 mark, finished in the top five in the National League in saves. 

    I, for one, will be interested to see what he can do in Philadelphia when more is on the line. 

    Stats through 9/30/12.

Other Grades

26 of 26

    Here are some other grades for players that contributed to the Phillies at some point during the season and remain with the club, in no particular order: 

    Freddy Galvis: (C) Elite defender. Not so elite in anything else. 

    Michael Martinez: (F) Can someone remind me why the Phillies never sent him back to the Washington Nationals? 

    Brian Schneider: (C-) Solid backup catcher who's best days are in the past. 

    Pete Orr: (A-) Continuously underrated, but does everything the Phillies ask. 

    Darin Ruf: (A) Small sample size alert, but I love Ruf's approach / potential to be a sleeper that can contribute at the MLB level. 

    Michael Schwimer: (F) He'll be on the outside of the bullpen picture looking in soon. 

    Jake Diekman: (D-) Solid left-handed specialist with room for upside. 

    Tyler Cloyd: (D) Helped the Phillies in a pinch, but not a viable MLB starter.

    Raul Valdes: (A) It's a shame he needed knee surgery. He was having a great year. 

    Jose Contreras: (N/A) Does anyone else not remember Contreras pitching this season? 

    David Herndon: (N/A) Injured. 

    Mike Stutes: (N/A) Injured.