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March 28 2007

Jim Ed Warden is headed back to Cleveland.


March 28 2007

The Phillies released Karim Garcia.


March 28 2007

First, let me say that I'm completely with you on the spring training numbers don't mean anything thing.  Really I am.  That said, I thought it might be interesting to break down what went wrong for the Phillies this spring more specifically than saying it was pretty much everything.

Prior to last night's game the Phils were 9-16 with two ties in 27 spring games.  Notably, despite the never ending discussion of Ryan Howard's minor flipout, the offense hasn't been the problem.  In the first 27 games of spring training they scored 154 runs, about 5.7 per game, and allowed 166 runs, about 6.14 per game. 

During the 2006 season, in 162 games the Phils scored 865 runs, or about 5.34 per game, and allowed 812, about 5.01 per game.

If you calculate the pythagorean wins for the Phils based on the runs they've scored and allowed this spring (not including last night's game) you come up with an 75-87 record over 162 games.  Last year the Phils actual record was 85-77 and their pythagorean record was 86-76.

Without going much further it becomes pretty clear that the offense has been chugging along nicely, scoring runs at a higher rate than they did during the '06 campaign.  The pitching, on the other hand, which was supposed to be the strength of the '07 team, has been blown up.

More specifically, the starting rotation was where the Phillies improved the most this off-season.  Here's what the nine pitchers that got at least one start for the Phils this spring did (includes the numbers for the relief appearances for Happ, Lieber, Segovia and Mazone):

 

Player IP ER H BB ERA Ratio
Moyer 19.1 8 18 6 3.72 1.24
Eaton 16.1 11 21 4 6.06 1.53
Hamels 15.2 9 14 5 5.17 1.21
Garcia 8.2 11 15 6 11.42 2.42
Happ 16.1 11 17 8 6.06 1.53
Myers 11.2 4 7 5 3.09 1.03
Lieber 8.0 1 10 1 1.13 1.38
Segovia 14.2 7 15 2 4.30 1.16
Mazone 6.0 6 8 2 9.00 1.67
             
Total 116.2 68 125 39 5.24 1.41

In 2006, Phillies starting pitchers threw to a 5.08 ERA with a 1.43 ratio. 

And yes, the list above includes some guys that aren't going to be a factor at least early in the season for the Phils.  I'm rooting for Brian Mazone, but if spring training stats are mostly irrelevant I'm pretty sure what he did in his spring start is near the bottom of the list of Phillies' problems.  If you just take the five guys that are likely to start the year in the rotation, Myers, Hamels, Garcia, Moyer and Eaton, they have combined to allow 43 earned runs in 71 2/3 innings (5.40 ERA and a 1.41 ratio).  Moyer and Myers have been good but Hamels has thrown to a 5.17 ERA and the new guys, the saviors, Eaton and Garcia have been the problem among the starters.  Between them they have allowed 22 earned runs in 25 innings (a 7.92 ERA).

And that's the kind of thing that gives spring training stats such a bad name.  Cause no matter what the stats say, everyone should know that the Phillies have made their starting pitching better rather than worse.  You don't replace Gavin Floyd, Ryan Madson and Cory Lidle with Freddy Garcia, Adam Eaton and Jamie Moyer and get worse.  And if the stats say you did it probably just means the stats need a little time to catch up.

This article says the Phillies put in a claim for Ezequiel Astacio (the Rangers got him).

This article reviews injured Phillies.  If Ruiz does not start the year on the DL the Phils have two slots for Garcia, Dobbs and Coste, but Coste is still an injury question.  Lieber seems like he may start the year on the DL, which could let both Condrey and Jim Ed Warden start the year with the Phils if there is not a trade.

This article suggests the Garcia, Lieber and Coste will start the year on the DL.  If Garcia is on the DL as well as Lieber the Phillies could keep Bourn or yet another pitcher.  I assume it would be Happ or Segovia.  The same article says Geary and Ruiz are okay for opening day and that Dobbs is a lock to start the season with the team.

The Phillies beat the Reds last night, winning 6-2 to improve to 10-16 this spring. 

Rod Barajas hit a solo homer in the second, his second of the spring.  He was 1-for-2 and walked twice.

Burrell hit his third homer of the spring in the third, also a solo shot.  He added an RBI-single in the seventh and was 2-for-4.

Helms was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.  Dobbs was 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI.  Rowand was 1-for-3 with a triple and an error.

Ryan Howard was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and left five men on base.  He's hitting .203. 

Jamie Moyer got the start for the Phils and was very good again.  He went seven innings, allowing two runs on eight hits and two walks.  Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer off of him in the second.

Geoff Geary, pitching in his first game since March 15, set the Reds down 1-2-3 in the eighth.  Tom Gordon allowed a walk in the ninth but kept Cincinnati off the board.

The Phils pen is suddenly unhittable.  Over the last three games the non-starting pitchers have gone 7 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing one hit and two walks.

The Phillies play the Devil Rays this afternoon.  Brett Myers will see his last action before his start on Monday against the Braves.

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