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Ruben Amaro can’t believe the Phillies aren’t drawing walks

Apr 19, 2013, 7:45 PM EDT

Charlie Manuel, Ruben Amaro, Jr. AP

The Phillies have gone four consecutive games without drawing a walk (that streak ended tonight when Jaime Garcia walked Chase Utley), and they’re also on a four-game losing streak. Coincidence? They haven’t scored more than three runs in a game since April 10 (another streak that has ended tonight). Though season previews for the team across the print and digital media predicted the Phillies would have offensive issues, GM Ruben Amaro is shocked — shocked! — that his team isn’t drawing walks.

Via Kevin Tresolini:

“I think it’s ridiculous that we’ve had no walks in three days,” general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. “I cannot believe it. More importantly, it’s about not just walks, but producing, and we haven’t done that. We haven’t gotten hits, period. We haven’t gotten hits with runners in scoring position, we haven’t gotten hits to lead off innings.

“We need more people on base and more offensive production. You’ve got to give some credit to the pitchers, but not all of it. We just need to be better. It’s as simple as that. Right now we’re not.’’

Let’s ignore that the Phillies are actually hitting .278 with runners in scoring position, which ranks seventh out of 15 teams. On 97.5 The Fanatic back in January, Amaro famously said, “I don’t care about walks; I care about production.” As many studies have shown, however, on-base percentage is very heavily correlated with run-scoring (production). Most front offices across baseball have acknowledged this fact, but the Phillies are proudly one of the few remaining teams without a real analytics department.

If you want to know how the Phillies have squandered so many wonderful opportunities since 2009, it’s because they’re still operating under the 1960′s baseball zeitgeist.

  1. schmedley69 - Apr 19, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    One of the worst moves the Phillies made was passing over Mike Arbuckle and handing the GM job to Amaro shortly after they won the World Series in ’08. As much as I want him gone, I fear that David Montgomery would bring back Ed Wade if he did fire Amaro, and no sane Phillies fan wants to see that happen. Why did Pat Gillick have to retire?

    • biasedhomer - Apr 19, 2013 at 9:53 PM

      Knew he was bad when 2 of his first big signings were
      a) Jamie Moyer, 46 years old, resigned to a 2 year $15M deal
      b) Raul Ibanez, 37 years old, to a 3 years $37M contract

      And the next year he brings the 34 year old Polonco to a 3 year deal and the 39 year old Contreras to a 2 year deal.

      All of these deals were at least a year too long and showed that Amaro had no patience with youth, and so he trades away the prospects and now is stuck with an overpriced, aging team that has little to offer in the farm system.

      • schmedley69 - Apr 19, 2013 at 10:08 PM

        Rube loves to tack on an extra year for no reason. That’s kind of his calling card. To me, the biggest red flag was trading away Cliff Lee for a bag of beans after the Halladay trade, when Lee was only making $9 Million, claiming that they couldn’t clear salary by getting anyone to take Joe Blanton, and then he turns around and signs Blanton to 3-year extension for $24 million, is forced to trade for Roy Oswalt at the trade deadline because of lack of SP depth, and then goes and hands Lee a huge contract after the season anyway. What a schitzo! Should have just kept Lee, then you wouldn’t have had to trade for Oswalt and maybe you use those prospects to trade for a bat at the trade deadline instead? And why in the hell would you give Blanton that much money when you admitted that he couldn’t unload him to keep Lee when he was making even less money? That whole mess made no sense at all. Maybe the Phillies win it all in ’10 if they had Halladay, Hamels and Lee all season and traded for a bat instead of Oswalt at the trade deadline? It’s bad enough that Amaro is incompetent, but that fact that he is also very smug and arrogant just makes matters worse.

      • biasedhomer - Apr 19, 2013 at 10:32 PM

        Completely agree with you, his arrogance is obvious.
        And it doesn’t help that the majority of the fans/radio personalities blindly supported all the bad moves he mad during those 3 years after the World Series.

        People say, in hindsight, Amaro did the right thing going all in while the window of opportunity to win a 2nd WS was still open.

        While I do agree with that idea, Amaro in no way made the right moves, if he had, they would indeed have won another WS.

        Trading for Pence- nothing to show for it
        Trading for Oswalt- nothing to show for it
        Trading for Lee- just a debacle
        Trading for Halladay- the one move that was pretty good, although trading away Lee possibly cost them the WS

      • biasedhomer - Apr 19, 2013 at 10:32 PM

        Completely agree with you, his arrogance is obvious.
        And it doesn’t help that the majority of the fans/radio personalities blindly supported all the bad moves he mad during those 3 years after the World Series.

        People say, in hindsight, Amaro did the right thing going all in while the window of opportunity to win a 2nd WS was still open.

        While I do agree with that idea, Amaro in no way made the right moves, if he had, they would indeed have won another WS.

        Trading for Pence- nothing to show for it
        Trading for Oswalt- nothing to show for it
        Trading for Lee- just a debacle
        Trading for Halladay- the one move that was pretty good, although trading away Lee possibly cost them a WS

    • fanofevilempire - Apr 20, 2013 at 7:19 AM

      is Ruben French, we we, we we……………. hey Ruben, your team sux, your run is over.
      the Philthies will be looking up @ Mets and Nats for the next few years.
      Harvey was awesome, I hope he starts to rack up some wins against Philthies.

    • cardslifer - Apr 20, 2013 at 10:54 AM

      Well, he’s the one who built the team. All they are is a bunch of lumberjacks.
      Its funny Because their teams in the past have had to be worse in walks but they were good.
      Maybe it’s your players getting older and their bats slowing down.
      And BTW don’t expect Ryan Howard to ever walk. I think Alfanso Soriano has better plate discipline than Howard.

      • tuberippin - Apr 20, 2013 at 12:56 PM

        Actually, Pat Gillick constructed the Phillies teams that up-ended the Mets for the NL East division title in 2007 and won the World Series in 2008.

  2. philliampenn - Apr 19, 2013 at 8:04 PM

    Frandsen just drew a walk and scored a run. Amaro Jr. is a joke…

  3. fearlessleader - Apr 19, 2013 at 8:05 PM

    Don’t worry, Ruben, Jaime Garcia is working hard to make up for that long dry spell tonight. Good grief, is he a maddening pitcher.

    • paperlions - Apr 19, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      Plus, Matheny appears to hate Jaime. Wigginton at 3B? Really? The guy is freaking horrible. The worst thing about the Wiggington and Choate signings is simply that they are on the roster, which kind of requires the manager to play them at some time. Neither is useful in anyway whatsoever.

      • fearlessleader - Apr 19, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        EXACTLY. There are far bigger things to be worrying about today, and I know that, but I’m still seized with rage that those two are on this team. I explode anew every time I see Wigginton in the on-deck circle in a pinch-hitting situation while Matt Adams sits on the bench.

      • paperlions - Apr 19, 2013 at 8:42 PM

        Me too.

        Forgot to mention how dumb it is to have Cruz catching Garcia….if the Cardinals have any pitcher that NEEDS Molina as a calming presence, it is Garcia….get Cruz some time with someone else on the mound.

      • Francisco (FC) - Apr 19, 2013 at 10:00 PM

        And to think, you were making fun of the Phillies trading for Michael Young. You have to admit, the Cardinals putting Ty Wiggington at 3B is FAR more hilarious.

      • paperlions - Apr 19, 2013 at 10:24 PM

        It isn’t like I endorsed them signing Wigginton….I ripped that move immediately. It was obviously a dumb signing that day, and nothing has happened since to indicate that it wasn’t dumb.

  4. philliampenn - Apr 19, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Also, he said they haven’t gotten hits but that is completely untrue. They have gotten plenty of hits but haven’t produced runs.

    • deepstblu - Apr 20, 2013 at 8:31 AM

      I think it was during the Marlins series that they got several infield hits with men on second base, inflating the RISP BA without producing runs.

  5. paperlions - Apr 19, 2013 at 8:22 PM

    How is it that the Phillies don’t understand that scouting and sabermetrics do NOT attempt to answer the same question? Scouting tries to identify talent/skills in particular players. Sabermetrics attempts to determine how those skills translate into production and, ultimately, wins. They really don’t do the same thing at all.

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 19, 2013 at 9:32 PM

      Ruben Amaro wouldn’t have signed Ted Williams because how good could Ted Williams be if he never won a World Series?

  6. thebadguyswon - Apr 19, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    Amaro is not a good GM. He never won anything that Pat Gillick didn’t build for him. And now he’s sold off the majority of a good farm in a futile attempt to get an old team to win again.

  7. tfbuckfutter - Apr 19, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Delmon Young signed with the Phillies because he liked Ruben’s take on dieting….”I don’t believe in dieting. Dieting doesn’t make you weigh less. Losing weight makes you weigh less. Here, have some ice cream.”

    • historiophiliac - Apr 19, 2013 at 9:41 PM

      That’s “Svelte Delmon Young” now.

  8. therealtrenches - Apr 19, 2013 at 9:33 PM

    Do we really need a study to tell us that getting on base correlates with higher run production?

    • tfbuckfutter - Apr 19, 2013 at 10:51 PM

      That’s what Ruben Amaro said.

      Exact same words, but much much different implication.

      • therealtrenches - Apr 20, 2013 at 6:00 PM

        Right…but in the context of the story, Ruben also says he doesn’t care about walks, which is a totally misguided notion, which suggests his incompetence.

        Look…we’ve all known since little league that a walk is better than an out and as good for the team as a cleanly fielded, short single. We don’t need sabermetrics to know that.

        But does Ruben owe it to himself and his team to learn from sabermetrics? Absolutely yes.

  9. itsonlyaspeedbump - Apr 19, 2013 at 9:42 PM

    I don’t understand how he can run his organization like this. Honestly, isn’t it his job to use every advantage he can to make the Phillies a better team? (Including use of advanced metrics)

    I watch and root for baseball emotionally, not analytically. You tell me a guy hits .300 and gets 100 RBI’s, I’m good with that. But a GM? If you are the GM of a MLB franchise, you need to be using every available resource to build the best team possible, and that includes advanced metrics. Being a stubborn traditionalist is ok for a fan with only an emotional interest in his team, but for a guy actually running the franchise, failure to acknowledge and use the information provided by advanced metrics is basically going to put you in a competitive disadvantage.

  10. DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 19, 2013 at 10:16 PM

    Tresolini gets some props on HBT! I love it! Good guy, he deserves it!

    Bill , you look better and better all the time on here. But uhhhhh, whats up with the link? It took me to some sorta Dungeons & dragons thing

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Crashburn-1169/hero/30564841

    • Bill Baer - Apr 19, 2013 at 10:24 PM

      oops, looks like my link didn’t copy. That’s a game I play in my free time.

  11. ptfu - Apr 19, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    So far in 2013, every Phillie but one is at or below their career walk rates. The one guy outperforming his career walk rate? Michael Young, Professional Hitter™.

    Yeah, small sample size, and nobody’s had all that many plate appearances yet. But still, it is something that so many Phillies are underperforming their own career walk rate averages.

  12. tfbuckfutter - Apr 20, 2013 at 12:50 AM

    “One base percentage shmon shmase shmershmentage.”

    -Ruben Amaro, Jr.

  13. timpaz - Apr 20, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    Amaro has to admit he’s put together an old , overpaid team , going nowhere, btw don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Ruben.

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