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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Comments

Blanton is reverting. Period.

The problem is that he looks to have lost his confidence, and that's not good.

What happened to all the cutters and offspeed stuff he seemed to feature early n the season?

Did he lose his command of those as well?

Look, this is why Blanton has always been a #3 on a marginal staff to a #5 on a good staff: He has periods like this where he blows up, and he has them more often than #1s do.

He has had periods before in a Phillies uniform where he has been really good for a couple of months.

But if he was capable of pitching for an entire season the way he did the first seven starts - 2.81 ERA, complete games - he'd be a #1-2 on a bad team and a #2-3 on a good team.

He's not.

This IS Joe Blanton - and that's what separates him from the Hamels, Lees and Halladays of this universe.

Blanton will be doing his usual post-game ceremony at the head table of the Old Country Buffet. fans and reporters can address questions between plate clearings.

Over the course of a season, Blanton will, more often than not, be a decent starter. But the reason he's average, and not better, is because every season he has one or two months -- sometimes even three -- like the present one. The Phillies had better hope that this year's bad stretch is of the one-month variety.

Joe Blanton ERA+ by year:

2009: 104
2010: 85
2011: 77
2012: 76

Not all that shocking. Yes, 2011 was an injury shortened season in which he only made 8 starts, but guess what, 2010 wasn't shortened that significantly. He made 28 starts that year. And even if both 2010 and 2011 were injury affected, once pitchers start having elbow and shoulder issues, especially in their 30s, it's hard to expect them to recover to career norms. This is especially true of pitchers who were only league average before said injury, and those who have a short delivery that put's extra stress on the arm (like Blanton) Injuries linger, and the effects of injuries linger. Joe Blanton is a mediocre pitcher at best these days, and we shouldn't expect him to be anything more than a passable fifth starter.

While this month has been bad for Blanton, it's not even close to his worst month as a starter. You have to go all the way back to May of 2005, where he posted these numbers:

5 GS, 18.1 IP, 13.25 ERA, 6/14 SO/BB

Gah!!!

So how many 5 inning, 6 run performances is he allotted before they try someone else? Would they go to Dave Bush/Scott Elarton even with the current injury situation?

I think we've all lost our minds if we WANT dave bush up here. There's a reason he's a minor league pitcher now.

Fatti, in fairness to Blanton, this month he had one bad start in his first three.

After 3 starts, his monthly #s looked like this:

3 GS, 22.2 IP, 1.99 ERA, .794 WHIP, .175/.224/.238 against.

His last 3 starts have been.....

3 GS, 13.2 IP, 12.35 ERA, 2.268 WHIP, .412/.444/.882 against.


That is worse than Paul Abbott, who's 10 starts in 2004 probably did not cost the team a playoff spot, but were a HUGE contributing factor.

What amazes and puzzles me about the Blanton implosion is the rapidity of its' occurence.

The guy was on a roll, and this was no gradual decline, but a complete header off of the table.

Is it mechanical, mental, or worse?

mm, no one WANTS any pitcher unless that pitcher gives the team a chance to win.

The question is: Which pitchers currently give the team the best chance to win on a given night?

Does Dave Bush give the Phillies a better chance to win than the 13.35 ERA Joe Blanton we've seen in his last 3 starts?

"...12.35 ERA Joe Blanton..."

"So how many 5 inning, 6 run performances is he allotted before they try someone else?"

See about 5 prior posts. With Blanton, horrible stretches are part of the package. When he comes out of the horrible stretches, he's a decent pitcher -- far better than Bush or Elarton (who's so old, and so godawful-beyond-a-reasonable-doubt, I can't even believe his name keeps being mentioned). You just have to hope this disastrous stretch ends soon, and that it doesn't turn into 2010, where it lasted half a season.

I'd rather hope Blanton can figure it out again than think Dave Bush has suddenly turned a corner at Age 32.

hmm whats worse to read, proposing we trade Blanton in a three team deal where we end up with an all star or advocating for Dave Bush?

Believe it or not, the Mets' announcers said, during last night's game, that Blanton was the National League leader in walks per 9 innings. He walked 2 last night, so he's not leading anymore. But he still ranks 5th.

Interpret it how you will. But clearly he's not having trouble throwing strikes. He's having trouble throwing good strikes.

Blanton has had some awful luck. His HR/FB percentage in the last 3 starts is 44.4% (he's hovered around 13% throughout his time in Philly). His other numbers haven't moved much from his earlier starts this year. He'll be fine.

It's most disappointing to have Blanton throw such a turd precisely when the Phillies needed him most. Sac up dude.

One step from the show, boys!! Help is on the way...

Moyer and Happ are both likely available via trades.

Problem solved!!!

Real happy to see that the guy who was masquerading as Joe Blanton left and the true Heavy B is back. It's tough to shut down the Omar Quintanillas of the world. I thought the Splendid Splinter himself was reincarnated last night. Then you always have to worry about one of the biggest power sticks of all time, Scott Hairston.

NEPP: If you wait another week or two, you probably won't even have to trade for Moyer. You'll be able to get him on the waiver wire.

I hate scott hairston, one of the true remaining Phillie killers.

I love how Scott Hairston literally has the ability to hit one pitch in one spot and the past 2 games he has received said pitch.

I also love how when Victorino got 2 strikes on him last night with Pence on 3rd you could see that he was defeated. I knew he was done.

Blanton has had some awful luck. His HR/FB percentage in the last 3 starts is 44.4% (he's hovered around 13% throughout his time in Philly). His other numbers haven't moved much from his earlier starts this year. He'll be fine.

Posted by: ColonelTom | Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 11:38 AM

This is a good example of one thing that I don't necessarily understand about how conclusions are made regarding advance stats/metrics. Obviously, I wouldn't expect Joe Blantons HR rate to stay that high. But I often hear that these rates are the products of "bad luck." Really? Because I tend to believe that when a pitcher is throwing pitches that are suddenly traveling farther, that means he is throwing pitches that hitters seem to have a better chance of hitting much harder.

How exactly is that bad luck? And how can you also assume that he will move back to the mean. I'd hate to start getting into a discussion about averages and regressions, but just looking at a players averages over a certain time frame is to completely take the current conditions (or past conditions) out of the appropriate context.

I agree Blanton won't be this bad all year; however, I also wouldn't just assume that he will automatically just average back out again nice and neat. The only thing you can expect from Blanton is inconsistency, which is not much of a safety blanket after losing a guy like Halladay.

So when will they announce the signing of Kris Benson?

moyer 2012 ERA+: 79
joeyb 2012 ERA+: 76

Blanton won't 'be fine.' He's a marginal starter and has been since '10.

46 GS, 279 1/3 IP, 14-13, 4.90 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 82 ERA+, 1.4 HR/9 7.0 K/9, 3.5 K/BB

That's a guy who looking at a 1-year deal next year at maybe $5-6M as a back-end rotation.

It would definitely help if he would pitch in a park that was tough to hit HRs given how HR-prone he is.

I am just mystified though at the people who think Bush/Elarton would be upgrades. Where do you move Blanton? To the bullpen? Makes zero sense.

There is no viable alternative for replacing him and he has been bad enough long enough to consider replacing anyway.

Just hope you don't have tickets to a game where he starts for the Phils.


@Five-4-One, I'm with you man. You are giving up home runs because you are throwing the ball right down the damn middle of the plate. I don't need advanced metrics to see with my eyes that a guy is leaving balls up and over the plate. That's called common sense, of which I like to think I have plenty of.

Its not bad luck when a pitcher grooves a bunch of meatballs and they get hammered.

Speaking of Kris Benson, I caught a glimpse of Anna on the old Zenith the other day, and boy was that disappointing.

541: you are right, its a sample size thing, his HR/FB% doesn't mean a damn thing in a handful of innings.

Obviously this is an exaggeration, but Blanton had a 100% HR/FB in the 4th inning, and ColonelTom's insight is that he's unlikely to give repeat that...genius! All he did was add a few more innings to the sample size, but hardly enough.

Blanton's recent hot steaming turd had me thinking about Brett Myers in 2008 when he had this tasty little stretch from 6/10 to 6/27:

21 IP, 26 H, 20 ER, 10 BB, 9 HR, 8.57 ERA

At least Blanton is doing this and not being a douche while doing so. So there's that.

I want someone to cast a 20' high bronze statue of Vic swinging at that pitch as it sailed over his head. It's the moment that epitomizes the '12 Phillies.

"Bad luck" may just be another way of saying, "anomalous events". Even if all of those home runs were his fault and the product of him throwing the ball right down the middle of the plate, we can expect going forward that he won't throw the ball down the middle of the plate with such frequency in such predictable spots as to incur a 44.4% HR/FB rate going forward.

Kentucky Joe is a gentleman who lays his jacket over a puddle so that a lady won't get muddy. Kentucky Joe would never go cussin' in front of a lady.

Brett Myers, however is from backwoodsass Florida.

I want someone to cast a 20' high bronze statue of Vic swinging at that pitch as it sailed over his head. It's the moment that epitomizes the '12 Phillies.

Posted by: GTown_Dave

In general he epitomizes everything I can't stand about the team in its current state and that is why that if they even think for 2 seconds about re-signing him I will flip.

And if Joe Blanton will continue serving up gopher balls at a rate of 44.4% of his fly balls induced, then he's cooked, and he'll be out of baseball by the end of the year.

The 20' height of the statue will commemorate the actual height of the pitch when Victorino swung. On the obverse side of the coin, the Twin Towers will rise up from the ashes to show that America isn't beaten in the War on Terror. This coin is clad in .0001 mgs of 21 karat gold and due to high demand a limit of 5 per household is currently in effect. Originally set to be priced at $199.99, if you call within the next 15 minutes, the price will be $49.95 plus separate shipping and handling, does not apply in HI or AK, offer void in Tennessee!!! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a piece of American history!

"Bad luck" may just be another way of saying, "anomalous events". Even if all of those home runs were his fault and the product of him throwing the ball right down the middle of the plate, we can expect going forward that he won't throw the ball down the middle of the plate with such frequency in such predictable spots as to incur a 44.4% HR/FB rate going forward.

Posted by: Fatalotti | Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 11:58 AM

Totally agree with you. My issue is the concept of bad luck. Yes, his HR rate will probably go down. But, that doesn't necessarily point to an uptick in his effectiveness. That decrease could very well be accompanied by an uptick in walks due to him trying to be too precise... it could also result in a short term effectiveness increase by throwing more offspeed etc, until his continued lack of fb location causes hitters to sit on offspeed pitches.

I just take issue with saying HR rate is high, its bad luck, he'll be fine. That is an oversimplified conclusion to a stat that has complicated inputs.

The relevancy of homerun/flyball ratio is: sometimes a pitcher gives up a bunch of fly balls that go to the warning track & end up as outs; sometimes those fly balls go over the fence. If a pitcher has a HR/FB ratio anywhere over, say, 13 to 15%, he has probably been unlucky in the sense that he has had an unusually high number of the latter. Hence, the stat known as xFIP -- which makes the dubious assumption that, for all pitchers in all parks, any homerun/flyball ratio above 10.6% is bad luck.

Colonel Tom, by the way, is completely misusing the stat by using a 3-game sample size. For the entire season, Blanton has a homerun/flyball ratio of around 15%, which isn't terribly anomalous -- especially for him. Since coming to Philly, Blanton's season-to-season homerun/flyball ratios have been: 13.0, 12.2, and 13.9. Hence, I declare his 3.59 xFIP to have a very high bullsh*t-to-reality ratio.

Whoever sacrificed that goat for Blanton to have a 100% LOB, 0% HR/FB, and a .000 BABIP in that Atlanta game needs to find a chicken.

bah, forget the 000 babip thnig, but yeah dumb joke anyway.

The 2012 Phillies Video Yearbook is ready. Highlights include: Joe Blanton's quality starts, Joe Thome reunion with Charlie and the emergence of Freddie Galvis. Pictures of Ruiz and Hamels (previous to their trade) supply some of the other smiles. Good luck Boys!Now 19.95 at the newsstand.

http://www.csnphilly.com/baseball-philadelphia-phillies/phillies-talk/Could-Halladays-injury-actually-help-Phi?blockID=716424&feedID=693

There is a difference between being provocative with an alternative to common viewpoints and just being foolish.

NEPP: More like "Originally set to be priced at $199.99, if you call within the next 15 minutes the price will be $249.99, plus separate shipping & handling. This completely nonsensical price hike represents the route Shane Victorino takes while attempting to field a routine fly ball ..."

Blanton's season-to-season homerun/flyball ratios have been: 13.0, 12.2, and 13.9. Hence, I declare his 3.59 xFIP to have a very high bullsh*t-to-reality ratio.

Posted by: bay_area_phan | Wednesday, May 30, 2012 at 12:05 PM

I wonder if anyone has attempted to actually chart all homeruns by the speed at which they left the park etc. Has anyone looked at distances and said whether they would be out of the park if the park had the average fence dimensions across the league? I guess you'd also have to take into account altitude, average wind speeds, as well as ball park designs, height of fences etc.

I guess what I am getting at is that if you simply went back and look at each of the homeruns used in the HR% and only validated the ones that would have left the "average" ballpark, then you would get a true concept of whether they were bad luck or not. If I'm watching a guy pitch, and every homerun that was hit was drilled, then I can pretty much throw bad luck out the window, regardless of advanced metrics.

BAP, I think HR/FB ratio is more than just balls that end up on the warning track vs. balls that end up over the fence.

I look at it like this: you've thrown a pitch that a batter can lift and drive into the outfield for a fly ball. Sometimes, those balls will be squared up on the bat, driven over the fence. Other times, they will stay in the park and be playable by the defense. The assumption is that somewhere between 8-15% is an acceptable range for that to happen.

For example, let's say a batter gets a dead-red fastball, and hits it really hard at a 70 degree angle, and it ends up hitting the batter's eye for a home run. Let's say next time up, he gets the same dead-red fastball, and hits it with the same power, but it comes off the bat at an 83 degree angle, and ends up in the CF's glove in the middle of CF. The first home run was a no-doubter, and the second was a can-of-corn. Same pitch, same power, different angle off the bat, vastly different results. It's just variation. That's why allowing lots of fly balls is inherently bad to a degree. Any ball that can be hit hard enough to where it ha to be fielded by an outfielder in the air will have a chance, if it's hit hard enough and off the right angle of the bat, to be a homerun.

--Just made up those angles...not sure how they would actually play out in real life, but I think you get my point.

Fair enough - we'll go with "anomalous events." He's made a handful of crappy pitches in bad spots, and guys have crushed them. When a pitcher misses his spot, it isn't always waist-high and down the middle, and even when it is, batters don't generally hit them out at a near-50% clip. Blanton's been unlucky in that his bad pitches have been bad in a hittable way. If he were walking guys in addition to serving up meatballs, I'd be more worried about his overall command.

The larger point is that Blanton - assuming he's healthy - is more likely than not to return to being an average innings-eater if he's left in the rotation. We'd be lucky to get anything close to that out of Dave Bush or Scott Elarton, even for a short period. If they had legitimate alternatives, we could talk about sending Blanton to the bullpen. As it is, the discussion is academic - with Doc out and Worley hurting, Blanton has to revert to form or the season's over.

I guess the doubles that were smoked were also aberrations against the league average for 2B/LD%.

541: " I wonder if anyone has attempted to actually chart all homeruns by the speed at which they left the park etc. Has anyone looked at distances and said whether they would be out of the park if the park had the average fence dimensions across the league? I guess you'd also have to take into account altitude, average wind speeds, as well as ball park designs, height of fences etc."

www.hittrackeronline.com

For me it's one thing for Blanton to get roughed up by say the Cardinals. But to get beat and beat soundly by Danny Heffernan, Omar Quintanilla and Scott Hairston? Not good.

The bad luck of the result only exists because of the inherrent inability of the pitcher.

Fat: Agreed. It's not just warning track fly balls. I was just using that specific example to help bring home the point. My personal view is that batted ball and homerun-flyball data are very useful in helping us understand a pitcher's performance & what to expect going forward. At the same time, I also think there is much about them that we don't understand. Hence, I still bristle when a pitcher allows 17 runs in .2 innings, and some poster shows up on Beerleaguer to say that it was bad luck.

541: I'm not absolving Blanton. He's a mediocre pitcher, and mediocre pitchers have these types of stretches.

There's a mathematics professor at Temple (John Allen Paulos) who asks his students to flip a coin 100 times and chart the results. He then asks them to make-up 100 coin flips, and hand them both in together. He can tell which one is from the real flips and which one is from the made-up flips, because in the made-up flips, the students will often not bunch together a series of heads or tails.

Point being, "anomalous events" happen all the time, and if you have a large enough sample size, you're going to find some of these results. Does nothing to say that Blanton doesn't deserve all the blame in the world for his performance, just says that we shouldn't expect this trend to continue going forward.

And if it does continue, Blanton can kiss his career goodbye. I don't think any pitcher can survive a 44.4% HR/FB ratio long-term.

MG: Seems to me that article on Halladay makes a pretty good point. We're not losing 2011 Halladay. We're losing a below average pitcher whose starts have resulted in losses 70% of the time. I'll venture a guess that, in Roy Halladay's absence, we won't lose 70% of games started by Kendrick and Bush.

Now, granted, the loss of Halladay will make it much more difficult for us to actually get on the type of roll we need to get on in order to make up our present divisional deficit. But, as far as our overall record goes, we won't likely get any worse as a result of his absence.

Fat, I was in agreement with you. My point was more in line with what you were saying about trying to avoid allowing a lot of fly balls. Anomalous events only exist because of the events set off by the pitcher.

I agree that this is an unsustainable trend as far as HR FB% goes, just doesn't mean that he will suddenly become effective.

MG-- That article was ridiculous. Now Kendrick is Dizzy Dean because he shut out the mighty Cardinals (who were in the midst of a losing streak). Kendrick's stats approximate Blanton's NOW and with regular starts I actually think they may stay the same or even get worse. I say that because his career ERA is 4.39. Hardly inspiring.

Blanton's not just giving up bombs. He's giving up an inordinate number of squarely hit balls and some are falling for hits and some are finding gloves. It's not bad luck. It's bad command of his fastball. If he doesn't find it, and soon (like by mid-June), he'll force the Phils to make a decision. I'm guessing he'll adjust but, who knows. Really bad 3 game stretch.

It's all good. The Phils offense will take care of everything.

It was nice of Google to put a picture of the 2012 Phillies on their main page today

It was nice of Google to put a picture of the 2012 Phillies on their main page today

Posted by: Steve

haha

***It was nice of Google to put a picture of the 2012 Phillies on their main page today***

And we're done here.

Cliff Lee has went winless in his first 7 starts while at least pitching 6 innings every single start.

The MLB record is 9 starts to start a season without a W while at least going 6IP in each start.

b-ref doesn't let me find out who through sorting, but if anyone has a premium account they can find out by going to:

http://bbref.com/pi/shareit/ulwJ3

For guarantees against further offensive deficiency in future, Rube has procured sperm from the entire Hairston family. Female employees of the Phillies will be paid signing bonuses of $100 to take part in a forced surrogacy program (ala Boys from Brazil) to produce these future game winners.

"I'll venture a guess that, in Roy Halladay's absence, we won't lose 70% of games started by Kendrick and Bush."

How much would you like to bet on this?

Off topic but I was wondering how the Phils would trade for Carlos Quentin? High prospect minor league pitcher or perhaps Dom Brown plus a lesser pitching prospect? Unless the team will be packin' their golf clubs at the deadline.

iceman betting bap that the phils will lose more then bap thinks > kk throwing a 90 pitch cgso

Off topic but I was wondering how the Phils would trade for Carlos Quentin? High prospect minor league pitcher or perhaps Dom Brown plus a lesser pitching prospect? Unless the team will be packin' their golf clubs at the deadline.

Posted by: oogie urbina

They'd trade Hamels. Duhhhhh. Perfect fit man, San Diego!

Iceman: Sometimes you allow your reflexive disdain for anything I say to cloud your ability for rational thinking. Do you really think we'll lose >70% of Halladay's would-be starts? Keep in mind, Bush will probably make, at most, 1 start. We're essentially talking about Kendrick.

I think I would take the over on a .300 winning percentage for pretty much any possible subset of major-league baseball games.

Season-to-season homerun/flyball ratios in last 3 years, or since coming to the Phillies. I haven't included 2012 numbers because there are some obvious sample size anomalies (i.e., Worley -- 22.6%; Lee -- 17.1%):

Lee: 2011 -- 9.0

Halladay: 2011 -- 5.1; 2010 -- 11.3%

Kendrick: 2011 -- 10.5; 2010 -- 10.9; 2009 -- 5.3

Hamels: 2011 -- 9.9; 2010 -- 12.3; 2009 -- 10.7

Worley: 2011 -- 7.2

Blanton: 2011 -- 13.9; 2010 -- 12.2; 2009 -- 13.0

They all play in the same park. They all face the same opposition. If you believe it's random, then why is Blanton's always worse than everyone else's?

Corey Seidman: Phils 6-19 in their last 25 games against the Mets and Nationals

This is what could end up killing the Phillies. They absolutely need to play better within the division.


RE: Halladay's Missed Starts: Just as a point of reference, the Phillies are an unbelievable poor 2-5 in GS by Cliff Lee. Even when ... er, if ... they lose again tonight, that's still a .333 winning percentage.

"I think I would take the over on a .300 winning percentage for pretty much any possible subset of major-league baseball games."

Precisely. We could bring Adam Eaton out retirement to make Halladay's starts, and I'd still bet the over on a .300 winning pct. Well, maybe not . . . But Kyle Kendrick isn't Adam Eaton.

Well, maybe not ... But Kyle Kendrick isn't Adam Eaton.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! YOU SUCK!!!!!!

Sorry. Instinctive reaction to the words "Adam Eaton".

"Phillies are an unbelievable poor 2-5 in GS by Cliff Lee. Even when ... er, if ... they lose again tonight, that's still a .333 winning percentage."

Actually, that's a .250 winning percentage though, I hate to quibble.

Eaton?!? NEPP SMASH!

BAP, no one said it was random. Blanton is more prone to giving up home runs than other pitchers, but there is an obvious tipping point. 44% HR/FB ratio would be high for batting practice. Again, not absolving Blanton, and that number being this high doesn't mean he's suddenly going to become super-effective going forward once it regresses. Just that he won't continue to give up home runs at that rate. He's resourceful; he'll find another way to suck.

Hugh: Pointing out blatant inaccuracies is not quibbling. Thanks for the correction.

We could bring Adam Eaton out retirement to make Halladay's starts, and I'd still bet the over on a .300 winning pct

Take the 'l' and the 'r' out of Elarton and you get Eaton!

"They all play in the same park. They all face the same opposition. If you believe it's random, then why is Blanton's always worse than everyone else's?"

BAP - I'm not sure if that was directed to my previous comments, but obviously HR/FB isn't completely random. Over a large sample size, it evens out for a given pitcher in a given home park.

We know Blanton's been a 12-14% HR/FB guy throughout his tenure in Philly. Odds are he'll regress to that range over a full season. The last three starts have taken him back to slightly above that number. He might have turned into a completely different pitcher in 3 starts, but it's more likely that neither the first month nor the last 3 starts are his true talent level - the answer lies somewhere in between. He'll likely be a serviceable back-of-the-rotation piece - significantly worse than Doc, but better than Dave Bush or Scott Elarton. In other words, if he's healthy, he's likely - though not guaranteed - to be the same guy you thought you had on opening day.

Fat: Random was not really the right word. What I meant was, if HR/FB ratio were something outside the pitcher's control, or something than normalizes across all pitchers regardless of ability, then you wouldn't expect the same pitcher to keep ending up worse than his teammates every year.

As an aside, perhaps xFIP should, at the very least, make some park adjustments rather than simply assuming a league average HR/FB ratio for all pitchers. Better yet, when dealing with a veteran pitcher like Blanton, perhaps they ought to adjust for the individual pitcher's career park-adjusted norms. Blanton hasn't been anywhere close to league average in HR/FB ratio since he joined the Phillies.

The Phillies promoted Tom Cochran?

Life is highway to the majors for that young fella.

BAP, Colonel above addressed a lot of what you wrote, so I'll just add the following:

I wouldn't say that HR/FB regress to any standardized norm, but I think there is a range in which all pitchers should be expect to fall. I'd say over a significant sample, 5% and 18% would be the extremes, with virtually everyone being in the 7-13% range.

I like xFIP, but I'm a bigger fan of SIERA, because I believe it puts more thought into HR/FB%. For example, sinkerballers and other pitchers who have high GB% tend to have higher HR/FB ratios. SIERA takes this into account. I think you make some good points, and as more is understood, I'm sure better metrics will be introduced (or the current ones tweaked) to incorporate the more we understand.

I'm not big on the whole Harry Potter thing, but for my part, I vote to filter the name "Adam Eaton" to "He Who Must Not Be Named."

----------------------
"Keep in mind, Bush will probably make, at most, 1 start."

Until he throws an 81-pitch perfect game in which all batters strike out on three pitches. This will cause Rube to immediately swap the Phillies rotation with LV's.

I'll I gotta say is PTL for stubhub.

BAP- I thought I would actually get some sort of snide comment from you about how my outlook on this is more pessimistic than yours.

But I stick by it. If Bush is making only one start (or none), I guess that kind of changes things. But if Bush were making, say, three starts, I'm betting against the Phils in all three of them with the bullpen in its current state (6 innings max from Bush is probably the best you could hope for) and the offense being what it is. And I'm not on the Kendrick bandwagon, either, though I'm sure clout will rip me for it. I think he's a major-league pitcher, but I also think if we're relying on winning half of his starts or more in a 10 start stretch, with this offense and bullpen, it's not something I would bet on.

If it were three starts from Bush and 10 starts from Kendrick, and you'd ask me to put money on what their record would be (without telling me the opposition & starting pitcher), I'd have us 3-10 or 4-9 in those starts.


Yeah, I will just keep pounding down the fast food and throwing BP for the other teams. Life is good!

Kind of ironic. Phils lose Doc for a couple of months with a bum shoulder, and the Sox lose Pedroia for about the same (estimated) timeframe due to a jammed thumb. When he jammed it, I was thinking "np, sit for a couple of games and he'll be fine." Not so much...

I sure hope they don't have the field covered with that plastic sheet tonite so that our boys can rally behind my Arkansas boy. Ya-hoo!

Why do we care about Dustin Pedroia? F him.

Dudes, what you are forgetting about Dave Bush is that he is from Conestoga High School ok? It's ok if you don't know that now because Wheels and T-Mac will tell you after each pitch he throws should he be called up.

Colonel/Fat: I don't disagree with any of that. I think it's fair to say that, over the long term, almost all major league pitchers will probably end up with a HR/FB ratio between 7 and, say, 13 percent. But I also think that the difference between 7 and 13% is potentially a pretty huge difference in terms of runs allowed (since, after all, every extra homerun is, by definition, at least 1 run). And I'm not prepared to assume, as xFIP essentially does, that the differences within that range do not reflect significant differences in the skill of the pitcher.

Why do we care about Dustin Pedroia? F him.

He's on my fantasy team, so I do care.

That 'Halladay injury could help the Phillies' article is about the dumbest thing I've ever read. JW, if you know Casey Feeney, smack him upside the head for me.

It's ok if you don't know that now because Wheels and T-Mac will tell you after each pitch he throws should he be called up.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! YOU SUCK!!!!!!

Sorry. Instinctive reaction to the words "Wheels" &/or "T-Mac".

Colonel Fat...haha

No one said you should care about Dustin Pedroia. I am not a Phils fan, and I feel bad for you guys losing one of your key players. No reason to be a dick. Just sayin...

And I'll qualify all the negative things I've just said with something positive: in no way do I think this means season = over. In the long-run, yes, it's definitely a good thing that Doc is healing up instead of trying to be a hero all season and being a much lesser pitcher for it.

But in the immediate, this just makes an already huge ditch that the team needs to climb out of after the AS break a lot deeper. They're already without the two most important hitters in the lineup, and now they've got two more months without the best pitcher on their staff. I'm just looking at it realistically. If you subtracted the two best hitters and best pitcher from ANY team, and replace them with Galvis, Wigginton and Bush/Kendrick, that is a HUGE challenge to overcome.

But hey, I'm not giving up hope. This team has shown resolve before, and the offense is showing at least a faint pulse. And Kendrick certainly has strung together some quality starts for them this month. So, yeah, they can do it. But I'm not under the impression that the next 6-8 weeks are going to be any prettier than what we've seen so far.

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EST. 2005

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