Fans worried about pen may be ready to shift it into high Geary
January 22 2007
Here's a look at the ERA
component ERA from last year for some of the Phillies' relievers who
haven't been traded away for Zac Stott (Madson's numbers are just as a
Four guys on that list are penciled in for next year's team. Gordon was awesome last season, but has to be considered a risk to fade at the end of the season or miss significant time due to injury. Madson was just awful last year, but he was wicked in 2004 and good enough in '05. Matt Smith has thrown 20 2/3 innings in his career. And then there's Geoff Geary.
Geary was tremendous last season, coming off of a solid year in 2005 when he threw to a 3.72 ERA in 58 innings. In 2006, Geary appeared in half of the Phillies' games and threw to a 2.96 ERA. Only one NL pitcher, Salomon Torres, threw more innings in relief than Geary.
Curiously, however, as much as the Phillies rode Geary last season and as solid as he was, some of the numbers other than his ERA may be cause for concern. Opponents hit .287 against him overall and lefties pounded him to the tune of .348.
But if Geary gave up a ton of hits, he also did two things very well -- he didn't walk anyone and he didn't give up lot of extra-base hits.
Geary allowed just 20 walks in his 91 1/3 innings. The only Phillies who walked fewer batters per nine innings were Moyer, who walked just seven in 51 1/3 innings, and Jon Lieber who walked 24 in 168 innings. Lieber led the NL in fewest walks per nine innings with 1.29 and it wasn't close -- Roy Oswalt finished second among the NL pitchers who threw enough innings to qualify with 1.59. Geary walked 1.97 per nine innings -- if he had thrown enough innings innings to qualify he would have finished eighth in the NL in the category.
In the same way, had Geary pitched enough innings to qualify, the .384 slugging percentage opponents managed against him would have been in the top ten in the NL. As it was, only three Phillies' pitchers allowed a lower slugging percentage, Matt Smith, Fabio Castro and Arthur Rhodes. By comparison, other teams slugged .396 against Gordon, .426 against Hamels, .431 against Myers and .473 against Lieber.
Even if component ERA isn't impressed with what Geary did last year, as a Phillies' fan you have to be. Lots of hits or not, he managed a way to wiggle out of it in '06. And in '07 it seems sure that the Phils are going to need him to do it again.
Shane Victorino apparently bowls in flip-flops, but not particularly well.
The Rockies agreed to a deal with Brian Lawrence.
Utley's deal does not include a full no-trade clause. The linked article also includes information on the various salary scenarios for Alfonseca and Werth.