Addition By Subtraction - Part 2: The Hitters

The National League East could have a little less starpower in 2004. There were some great players who left the division since the season ended and many of them even left the National League. Luckily for the Phillies, some of the guys who made their exits were also guys who just happened to beat up on the Fightin's.

For years, Vladimir Guerrero terrorized Phillies pitching. Last year he hit .400 at The Vet. Lifetime vs. Randy Wolf and Brett Meyers he's hit .500 with 4 HR and 13 RBI. Of the Phillies starters, Vicente Padilla has struggled the least with Vlad, who has managed only a lifetime .300 average against him. Take a look at the stats, he's a one man wrecking machine:

 

V. Guerrero

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

HBP

SO

SB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

2003

28

10

13

1

0

3

10

8

2

2

1

.464

.605

.821

1.426

3 Year

160

36

59

16

0

11

40

33

6

20

9

.369

.488

.675

1.163

 

Not only does he have a bat, he's got a gun for an arm, compiling 10 outfield assists in 2003 and 39 over the last 3 years. In other words, you don't challenge that arm. With Mister Guerrero now playing for the Anaheim Angels, speedy runners like Rollins, Byrd, Abreu and Glanville will get more green lights going from 1st to 3rd or 3rd to home.

 

Not as prolific with the glove, but dangerous all the same, former Brave Gary Sheffield will now be patrolling right field for the New York Yankees. With his .986 fielding percentage, he had 7 outfield assists and two double plays last season. In a crucial early September series against the Phils he went 5 for 12 with 1 HR and 2 RBI. His monstrous bat will no longer be there to protect Chipper and Andruw Jones, and the Phils will not miss the consistency of his numbers against them:

 

Gary Sheffield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

HBP

SO

SB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

2003

70

13

23

2

1

4

11

6

2

6

2

.329

.397

.557

.954

3 Year

146

29

48

6

1

8

26

14

4

16

4

.329

.398

.548

.946

 

Atlanta Braves catcher Javy Lopez had a career year in 2003 and now he's taken his bat to the Baltimore Orioles.  Last year he killed everyone, and while no one expects he'll put up similar numbers in 2004, he went a combined 9-19 with 3 homeruns and 6 RBI in two series against the Phils last September. The Braves will miss that kind of clutch hitting, the Phillies will not. Former Phil Johnny Estrada'll replace him.

 

We still don't know where NLCS MVP Pudge Rodriguez will end up. The Detroit Tigers have shown him the money, but after all those losing seasons in Texas, he may have acquired a taste for winning that won't be easy to let go. Florida still hasn't replaced him and rumor is he may just wait until May 1st to return to the Marlins on a one-year deal. As you can see, Phillies pitching didn't exactly intimidate him his first year in the National League.

 

Ivan Rodriguez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

HBP

SO

SB

AVG

OBP

SLG

OPS

2003

63

14

19

4

1

2

17

9

0

12

2

.302

.378

.492

.870

 

Lastly, three not exactly household names that have always been thorns in the Phillies side.

 

Marlins outfielder Juan Encarnacion was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He hit only.250 against the Phils in 2003, but in that crucial last September series went 7 for 13 with two doubles, one triple, 2 HR and 5 RBI. Former teammate Derrek Lee, now with the Chicago Cubs, managed only a .235 average against the Phils, but in that same September series went 3 for 11 with 5 runs scored and an RBI.

 

Finally, Expos back up catcher Michael Barrett hit only .208 in 2003, though in two July series with the Phils he went a combined 5 for 15 with 3 runs, 4 doubles, a triple and 4 RBI. He will now be Derrek Lee's teammate on the Cubs.  Good riddance.

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