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Saturday, March 12, 2011

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Good for RAJ. Four more years of his smug mug pulling rabbits out of his hat ain't such a bad thing, I suppose.

Once again, today is a day to celebrate how far this team has come. No longer are we talking about firing our GM's and managers, we are talking about how long their extensions are. I'll take it.

I like RAJ but here's the one thing I like most: He listens to and trusts those around him. Too many leaders, no matter what their profession, think they have all the answers and don't care about the opinions of their associates. I like how he has kept Pat Gillick at the table (among others). He has to be listening to them or they wouldn't stick around.

It's hard to be smug unless you've got something to be smug about. Congrats to RAJ. Here's to four more years of new material.

From the last thread . . .

Offensive numbers were obviously better in 2002, but that Braves' staff got some numbers that would still look impressive today.

For one thing, they got 156 starts from their starting 5, and 104 from their Big 3 (Glavine, Millwood, and Maddux), whose respective ERAs were 2.96, 3.24, and 2.62. I think any team would have difficulty beating that, including the Phillies. And their 4th starter, Damian Moss, wasn't too shabby either: 29 starts, 3.50 ERA. Their 5th starter, Jason Marquis, was pretty bad (5.04 ERA), but he only started 22 games. Glavine made 36 starts; Millwood, 35; and Madddux, 34. The supposedly overworked Roy Halladay made only 33 last year. The difference, though, is that, in those 33 starts, he pitched 26 more total innings than Glavine did in his 36 starts. Glavine & Millwood averaged only a little more than 6 IP per start; Maddux averaged less than 6.

Because the Braves' starters rarely pitched into the 7th inning, their bullpen got a ton of work -- with all 7 guys logging more than 50 innings. As it happens, they also had a historically good bullpen that year. All 7 relievers had ERAs below 3.48. 5 had ERAs below 3.00, & 3 had ERAs below 2. The quality of a bullpen can have a huge effect on the starters' ERAs, since they often take over the game after the starter has worn down & put a few men on base. If those guys score, the runs are on the starter.

Bottom line: ERA might not be the best way to compare our staff to the 2002 Braves' staff. Our bullpen is not remotely on a par with the 2002 Braves; hence, our starters will be asked to log way more innings than the 2002 Braves' guys did. And, unfortunately, our starters' ERAs will likely suffer from our so-so bullpen in a way that the 2002 Braves' starters did not. I don't know whose team ERA will wind up being better but my point is, it's not really a fair comparison & is not really the index for judging which is the better starting rotation.

And, as a corollary to that last post, I think MG is missing something when he projects that our starting rotation will save us 14 runs relative to last year. What he's missing is that Cliff Lee & Roy Oswalt will not only be pitching innings that were pitched by Kendrick & Moyer last year, but also innings that were pitched by the likes of Baez, Herndon, Durbin, Romero, Figueroa, and Bastardo. So, you can't just look at how many runs our starters allowed last year & how many they allow this year. You have to look at how many innings our starters pitch this year, how many runs they allow over those innings, and how many runs our starters & bullpen allowed over that same number of innings last year.

Last post, and it's only to unleash the Syntax Police on myself. Did I really write, "that Braves staff got some numbers?" That should obviously have said "had" some numbers. My defense: it wasn't even 7:00 a.m. & I hadn't had any coffee yet.

Dunno if this was said but Geoff Geary is in padres camp, not missing in japan as far as I can tell.

That means 5 more Ace pitchers will be on the roster by 2015 if he continues his current pace.

Yo newer thread.

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