July 16, 2009 2:26 AM

Season in Review/Preview- Pitchers Edition (Now with Arbitrary Grades!)


Welcome to the Season in Review/Preview- Pitchers Edition!

Starting Pitchers

Joe Blanton
Some numbers: 103.1 IP, 4.44 ERA, 2.76 K/BB, .310 BABIP, 79.4% LOB, 4.74 FIP
Some commentary: Blanton has improved substantially, after a horrific start. BABIP is starting to work in his favor. His first half was mediocre, at best, but he could have a much better second half.
Arbitrary Grade: C-

Cole Hamels
Some numbers: 98 IP, 4.87 ERA, 4.72 K/BB, .348 BABIP, 71.3% LOB, 3.90 FIP
Some commentary: Hamels wasn't mentally/physically ready at the beginning of the season, and got off to a bad start. He has only shown glimpses of his aceability, and has also been unlucky, at times. He might be feeling the effects of the 269 innings he pitched in 2008. He should improve, but, possibly, not to the levels the Phillies expect from their top starter.
Arbitrary Grade: C+

Jamie Moyer
Some numbers: 94.2 IP, 5.99 ERA, 2.12 K/BB, .307 BABIP, 71.7% LOB, 5.84 FIP
Some commentary: Moyer has been terrible. Signing him for two years looks like a very poor decision by the Phillies. His results indicate that he should be removed from the rotation, but his contract situation, and his poor suitability for a relief role, have kept him in the rotation. He seems unlikely to remain in the rotation all season, and seems unlikely to be on the postseason roster.
Arbitrary Grade: D-

J. A. Happ
Some numbers: 87 IP, 2.90 ERA, 1.91 K/BB, .242 BABIP, 85.9% LOB, 4.51 FIP
Some commentary: Happ has been the Phillies' most effective starter. If Happ had started the season in the rotation, the Phillies' record would, likely, have been better. Happ threw 166 innings in 2008, so the Phillies should try to keep him under 190 innings for the 2009 season. (Starting the season in the bullpen helped, in that area.) Happ's peripheral stats (K/BB, FIP, BABIP, LOB%) indicate that he has been very fortunate, and a sizeable regression may be impending. But Happ is graded based on his results, which have been superb.
Arbitrary Grade: A-

Brett Myers (injured, likely out for season- may return as a reliever in Sept.)
Some numbers: 63.2 IP, 4.66 ERA, 2.30 K/BB, .268 BABIP, 86.1% LOB, 6.22 FIP
Some commentary: Myers was surrendering homers by the bushel, before his injury. As mediocre as his numbers were, his peripherals indicated that they were likely to get worse. Re-signing Myers as a free agent would not be advisable.
Arbitrary Grade: D+

Chan Ho Park
Some numbers: (25 appearances, 7 starts) 59.0 IP, 5.49 ERA, 1.92 K/BB, .336 BABIP, 65.5% LOB, 4.00 FIP
Some commentary: Signing Park for $2.5 million, and giving him a spot in the starting rotation, was ill-conceived. After a horrendous performance as a starter (7.29 ERA), Park has been satisfactory (3.16 ERA) as a reliever. He has had some poor luck, which appears to be starting to even out. If the Phillies' bats hadn't saved them from several losses in Park's starts, the Phils would not be in first place.
Arbitrary Grade: C- (overall), F (as a starter)

Antonio Bastardo (currently on DL)
Some numbers: (5 starts) 22.2 IP, 6.75 ERA, 2.38 K/BB, .329 BABIP, 59.2% LOB, 5.01 FIP
Some commentary: Bastardo may have been promoted before he was ready. He was overpowering at times, unlucky at times, and out of control at times.
Arbitrary Grade: C-

Rodrigo Lopez (currently on DL)
Some numbers: (2 starts) 11.1 IP, 3.18 ERA, 4.00 K/BB, .315 BABIP, 69.2% LOB, 2.18 FIP
Some commentary: A journeyman northpaw, Lopez looked good in his two starts. He might put up better numbers than Jamie Moyer, if given an extended chance in the rotation. He probably won't get that chance, now that Pedro Martinez has been signed, Lopez may be used out of the bullpen, where he might be a better option than Tyler Walker.
Arbitrary Grade: INC


Ryan Madson
Some numbers: 44.2 IP, 3.02 ERA, 2.75 K/BB, .293 BABIP, 79.0% LOB, 3.40 FIP
Some commentary: Madson struggled when used in the closer role, but has excelled as a setup man.
Arbitrary Grade: B+

Chad Durbin
Some numbers: 44.1 IP, 4.47 ERA, 1.54 K/BB, .268 BABIP, 73.5% LOB, 5.25 FIP
Some commentary: Durbin has been lucky to put up mediocre numbers. He needs to be the fifth option in the bullpen, but was forced into too many higher leverage situations.
Arbitrary Grade: D+

Clay Condrey (currently on DL)
Some numbers: 34 IP, 3.71 ERA, 1.57 K/BB, .268 BABIP, 76.1% LOB, 4.54 FIP
Some commentary: Condrey has also been lucky, and may be bound for regression. He needs to be used in low leverage situations.
Arbitrary Grade: C-

Brad Lidge
Some numbers: 32 IP, 7.03 ERA, 1.95 K/BB, .375 BABIP, 67.6 LOB, 5.88 FIP, 2.25 HR/9 (career: .86), 19.5 HR/FB (career: 10.9%)
Some commentary: Lidge has struggled with injury problems. Lidge has struggled with horribly bad luck, particularly with home run balls. His fortune seems bound to improve. But he is graded on his results, and there is only one possible grade for those results.
Arbitrary Grade: F

Jack Taschner (was optioned to AAA)
Some numbers: 27.2 IP, 5.20 ERA, .85 K/BB, .337 BABIP, 73.4% LOB, 5.63 FIP
Some commentary: If Taschner was signed at the major league minimum, it would have been a poor move. Taschner's salary was 835K, and he cost the Phillies a suitable backup catcher (Ronny Paulino, or Jason Jaramillo) in trade. Taschner was so ineffective that Charlie Manuel barely used him. It was inexplicable that he consumed a roster spot for as long as he did. His ability to put baserunners on was evidenced by his 1.95 WHIP. He did a lot of damage to the ERAs of his bullpen mates.
Arbitrary Grade: F

Scott Eyre
Some numbers: (27 games) 16.2 IP, 2.16 ERA, 1.20 K/BB, .239 BABIP, 89.6% LOB, 5.17 FIP
Some commentary: Eyre has been extremely lucky, and regression seems inevitable. The Phillies need to be certain to keep Eyre in LOOGY situations.
Arbitrary Grade: B+

J.C. Romero (suspended for first 50 games of season)
Some numbers: (17 games) 14.1 IP, 3.14 ERA, .92 K/BB, .234 BABIP, 85.6% LOB, 6.27 FIP
Some commentary: Romero has more lucky, than good. Allowing so many baserunners may catch up to him, as it did in his time with Boston. The Phillies need him to split the 8th inning with Madson, and to pitch in mid-high leverage situations. His peripherals indicate those situations may prove dangerous.
Arbitrary Grade: B

Tyler Walker
Some numbers: (9 games) 11 IP, 1.64 ERA, 5.00 K/BB, .235 BABIP, 100% LOB, 4.79 FIP
Some commentary: Walker should have taken Taschner's roster spot early in the season. Walker has been rather lucky, and has regularly damaged the ERAs of his teammates. He should be the least-used member of the bullpen.
Arbitrary Grade: C

Sergio Escalona (currently in AAA)
Some numbers: (6 games) 6.1 IP, 2.84 ERA, 2.00 K/BB, .265 BABIP, 75% LOB, 3.22 FIP
Some commentary: Escalona performed well in his brief MLB opportunities. He could be on the postseason roster. If he didn't have options remaining, he might be on the MLB roster, rather than Walker.
Arbitrary Grade: INC

The Phillies' pitchers have struggled with injuries and poor luck. As a whole, their results have been rather putrid. If they had performed at an average level, the Phillies would have a sizeable division lead. It is no secret that the Phillies need to upgrade their pitching staff, in order to be a viable World Series contender. (Though they may be able to ride their offense to win a weak division.)

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