*Ryan Howard has more rbi's (62) than hits (61). 33 (over half) of Howard's 61 hits have been for extra bases (13 doubles and 20 homeruns). He has also stuck out an astonishing 90 times, a margin of -29 when compared to his hits; no other player in the majors has that much of a deficit (closest being Adam Dunn with -25, 102 k's 77 hits). Ryan also has one of the worst fielding percentages (.989) and zone ratings (.773) among MLB first basemen. I still love having Ryan Howard on my team though, and he's young enough to make the proper adjustments...he was the 2006 NL MVP after all.
*Sparkplug, Shane Victorino, has stolen 25 straight bases without being caught and has swiped 27 on the season. I predicted that the Flyin' Hawaiian would be capable of 30-40 thefts, and he may even eclipse that mark. Vic also has an NL high 10 outfield assists and a MLB leading .934 zone rating in RF.
*Chase Utley is by far the best 2nd baseman in the game. Here's how he compares with other MLB 2-sackers: his .982 OPS is over 120 points higher than the next closest (Brian Roberts .858), his 15 homeruns are ranked 3rd, .324 average 2nd, 66 rbi are 16 better than anyone else, 61 runs 2nd, and 33 doubles 1st. MVP?
*Despite how poorly the Phils have been playing lately, and how mediocre our record is (43-42), we remain only 4 games back of the NL East leading Mets.
*Although No-Hit Nunez has his average up to .265, he'd still be ranked 3rd worst 3rd baseman in MLB if he had enough plate appearances, as his .644 OPS would rank just above fallen-star Nomar Garciaparra and former Phillie Nick Punto.
*Fan favorite, Chris Coste, is batting .429 in limited plate appearances this season and .335 for his career. There is absolutely no excuse for not playing this man. His defense isn't spectacular, but it's adequate, and he's proven he can hit. Insert him in the lineup until he goes into a funk...my guess, he'll keep on hitting at a +.300 clip, which is far better than that fat bastard Rod Barajas can do.
*Pat Burrell may be hitting a weak .207, but he has actually coaxed more walks (57) than strikeouts (56). Burrell has already scored more runs in July (5) than he did in all of June (4), and he's matched June's homerun total with 2 longballs in July thus far.
*Wes Helms has hit 3 homeruns in his last 33 at bats, but didn't hit any in his first 151 Phillies at bats.
*The Phillies as a team have 70 stolen bases (thanks to Rollins, Vic, and Bourn), but have only been caught 10 times for a lofty MLB leading 88% success rate. We may not have Willie Magee, Ozzie Smith, and Vince Coleman (who was actually drafted by the Phils in '81 but never signed) circling the bases, but that's a damn fine trio in their own right.
*The Phillies offense is ranked 3rd in the majors and 1st in the NL with 439 runs scored. Too bad our pitching staff has surrendered a NL worst 446 runs for an depressing 4.89 era.