Phillies Post Game Live analyst John Marzano said yesterday the Phillies would be a better team if they moved struggling starter Ryan Madson back into the bullpen.
Johnny Marz pointed to a major limitation I’ve also seen from the Phillies 26-year-old right-hander. He doesn’t have enough pitches to face a lineup more than once or twice through the order. Because of this, he isn’t inducing enough strikeouts, only 13 to go with 12 walks, a terrible ratio. Opponents are hitting .373 against him.
Madson will likely be given more opportunities in the rotation, but for how long? Pitching coach Rich Dubee can’t be happy with the progression of his breaking ball. Without it, he’s a fastball-changeup pitcher with no true out pitch. Because of this, Madson has had the greatest tendency to let innings slip away.
Used in limited action out of the bullpen, Marzano argues that Madson can get away with being short-handed.
Phillies, Lieberthal, show life
Many of you pointed to Mike Lieberthal’s rare show of emotion yesterday and I also took note. Lieby, by gosh, is having himself an inspired contract season. Beerleaguer reader RickSchuBlues noted yesterday that Lieberthal is still a pro at blocking balls in the dirt.
Burrell the worst "clutch" hitter of 2006?
According to the Hardball Times, it's true. After 99 plate appearances, Burrell ranks dead last in the NL for the stat known as "clutch."
"Clutch" is a Runs Created formula that includes the impact of a batter's batting average with runners in scoring position and the number of home runs with runners on. The specific formula is Hits with RISP minus overall BA times at bats with RISP, plus HR with runners on minus (all HR/AB) times at bats with runners on.
Burrell has a – 5.1 clutch rating. The bottom five includes Burrell, Adam Dunn, Brad Hawpe, Juan Encarnacion and Xavier Nady.
According to the same data, Bobby Abreu is the second-most clutch hitter with a 4.8. That's second only to Lance Berkman, way ahead with 6.5. Chase Utley ranks seventh with a 2.9.
Here's the link to check out "clutch" and the rest of Hardball Times' advanced stats.