If the Phillies had their lives to live over I’m hoping there’s at least one thing that they would have done differently about the 2007 season. They just let Adam Eaton pitch and pitch and he wound up with a line that was ridiculous. He went into the All-Star break with a 5.69 ERA and just got worse in the second half, making 12 second-half starts in which he threw to a 7.38 ERA. He ended the season with a 6.29 ERA in, amazingly, 30 starts. Over the past seven seasons only one other NL player has thrown to a worse ERA in a year he got at least 30 starts. Eric Milton threw to a 6.47 ERA with the Reds in 34 starts in 2005. The Reds, you may remember, didn’t win their division in 2005. They finished fifth, 27 games out of first place in the NL Central.

I’m working towards a couple of points and it’s going to take a while to get there, so I’ll just tell you what they are:

1) The thing that’s worse for a team than having a pitcher having a terrible season is having a pitcher having a terrible season who pitches a lot.

2) The Phillies off-season has been pretty unexciting. But the biggest problem the Phillies has doesn’t require a bold off-season move as a remedy. Thirty starts from Adam Eaton with a 6.29 ERA is the biggest problem the Phillies have to solve for 2008, and the solution for that may even be Adam Eaton. And if it’s not, it’s hard to believe that improving on that is going to require a move that knocks anybody’s socks off.

The Phillies used 28 pitchers in 2007. As a group they got 4,375 outs and were charged with 821 runs.

Obviously, some pitchers pitched more than others and some allowed more runs than others. Here’s how many outs each of the 28 pitchers got (the column to the far right is outs by that pitcher over outs by the team (4,375)):




outs outs/team outs
Moyer 598 0.13669
Hamels 550 0.12571
Eaton 485 0.11086
Kendrick 363 0.08297
Lieber 234 0.05349
Myers 206 0.04709
Geary 202 0.04617
Durbin 194 0.04434
Lohse 183 0.04183
F Garcia 174 0.03977
Madson 168 0.03840
Condrey 150 0.03429
Alfonseca 149 0.03406
Gordon 120 0.02743
Mesa 117 0.02674
Romero 109 0.02491
Rosario 79 0.01806
Zagurski 64 0.01463
Hernandez 46 0.01051
Sanches 44 0.01006
Castro 36 0.00823
Davis 34 0.00777
Ennis 23 0.00526
Segovia 15 0.00343
Happ 12 0.00274
Smith 12 0.00274
Bisenius 6 0.00137
A Garcia 2 0.00046
Total 4375

 

So Jamie Moyer, at the top of the list, got 598 outs. 598/4,375 is .13669, which also means that Moyer got about 13.7% of the outs recorded by Phillies’ hurlers. The numbers in the far right column add up to one.

And here’s how many runs each of the pitchers allowed (the number on the far right is runs allowed by that pitcher over the total runs allowed by the team (821)):




runs runs/team runs
Moyer 118 0.14373
Hamels 72 0.08770
Eaton 117 0.14251
Kendrick 53 0.06456
Lieber 44 0.05359
Myers 33 0.04019
Geary 44 0.05359
Durbin 42 0.05116
Lohse 33 0.04019
F Garcia 39 0.04750
Madson 19 0.02314
Condrey 30 0.03654
Alfonseca 31 0.03776
Gordon 21 0.02558
Mesa 32 0.03898
Romero 5 0.00609
Rosario 16 0.01949
Zagurski 14 0.01705
Hernandez 9 0.01096
Sanches 11 0.01340
Castro 8 0.00974
Davis 7 0.00853
Ennis 7 0.00853
Segovia 5 0.00609
Happ 5 0.00609
Smith 5 0.00609
Bisenius 0 0.00000
A Garcia 1 0.00122
Total 821

 

Likewise, Moyer was charged with 118 of the 821 runs surrendered by Phillies’ pitchers. 118/821 is .14373, or about 14.4%. The numbers in the far right column again add up to one.

So, sticking with Moyer, we know he was charged with 14.4% of the runs allowed by the Phillies while getting 13.7% of the outs.

Here’s the difference between outs and runs for each of the pitchers:





outs runs outs-runs
Moyer 0.13669 0.14373 (0.00704)
Hamels 0.12571 0.08770 0.03802
Eaton 0.11086 0.14251 (0.03165)
Kendrick 0.08297 0.06456 0.01842
Lieber 0.05349 0.05359 (0.00011)
Myers 0.04709 0.04019 0.00689
Geary 0.04617 0.05359 (0.00742)
Durbin 0.04434 0.05116 (0.00681)
Lohse 0.04183 0.04019 0.00163
F Garcia 0.03977 0.04750 (0.00773)
Madson 0.03840 0.02314 0.01526
Condrey 0.03429 0.03654 (0.00226)
Alfonseca 0.03406 0.03776 (0.00370)
Gordon 0.02743 0.02558 0.00185
Mesa 0.02674 0.03898 (0.01223)
Romero 0.02491 0.00609 0.01882
Rosario 0.01806 0.01949 (0.00143)
Zagurski 0.01463 0.01705 (0.00242)
Hernandez 0.01051 0.01096 (0.00045)
Sanches 0.01006 0.01340 (0.00334)
Castro 0.00823 0.00974 (0.00152)
Davis 0.00777 0.00853 (0.00075)
Ennis 0.00526 0.00853 (0.00327)
Segovia 0.00343 0.00609 (0.00266)
Happ 0.00274 0.00609 (0.00335)
Smith 0.00274 0.00609 (0.00335)
Bisenius 0.00137 0.00000 0.00137
A Garcia 0.00046 0.00122 (0.00076)

 

Here are the Phillies pitchers from last season that got a percentage of the team’s total outs that was higher than the percentage of the team’s total runs that they allowed:





outs runs outs/total runs/total dif
Hamels 550 72 0.12571 0.08770 0.03802
Romero 109 5 0.02491 0.00609 0.01882
Kendrick 363 53 0.08297 0.06456 0.01842
Madson 168 19 0.03840 0.02314 0.01526
Myers 206 33 0.04709 0.04019 0.00689
Gordon 120 21 0.02743 0.02558 0.00185
Lohse 183 33 0.04183 0.04019 0.00163
Bisenius 6 0 0.00137 0.00000 0.00137

 

That’s a pretty short list, including just eight of the 28 pitchers who saw time for the Phils overall. It also includes Bisenius, who threw just two innings.

And here are the pitchers that gave up a higher percentage of the team’s runs than the percentage of the team’s out they got:





outs runs outs/total runs/total dif
Lieber 234 44 0.05349 0.05359 -0.00011
Hernandez 46 9 0.01051 0.01096 -0.00045
Davis 34 7 0.00777 0.00853 -0.00075
A Garcia 2 1 0.00046 0.00122 -0.00076
Rosario 79 16 0.01806 0.01949 -0.00143
Castro 36 8 0.00823 0.00974 -0.00152
Condrey 150 30 0.03429 0.03654 -0.00226
Zagurski 64 14 0.01463 0.01705 -0.00242
Segovia 15 5 0.00343 0.00609 -0.00266
Ennis 23 7 0.00526 0.00853 -0.00327
Sanches 44 11 0.01006 0.01340 -0.00334
Happ 12 5 0.00274 0.00609 -0.00335
Smith 12 5 0.00274 0.00609 -0.00335
Alfonseca 149 31 0.03406 0.03776 -0.00370
Durbin 194 42 0.04434 0.05116 -0.00681
Moyer 598 118 0.13669 0.14373 -0.00704
Geary 202 44 0.04617 0.05359 -0.00742
F Garcia 174 39 0.03977 0.04750 -0.00773
Mesa 117 32 0.02674 0.03898 -0.01223
Eaton 485 117 0.11086 0.14251 -0.03165

 

And here’s how the list looks from top to bottom:



Hamels
Romero
Kendrick
Madson
Myers
Gordon
Lohse
Bisenius
Lieber
Hernandez
Davis
A Garcia
Rosario
Castro
Condrey
Zagurski
Segovia
Ennis
Sanches
Happ
Smith
Alfonseca
Durbin
Moyer
Geary
F Garcia
Mesa
Eaton

 

It wasn’t surprising to me that Eaton’s name was at the bottom of the list. What is hard to ignore is how big his number, -0.03165, is compared to the other players on the team. The fact that Eaton hurt the Phillies a lot in ’07 is impossible to deny. The thing that’s harder to know is if the Phillies killed themselves by letting Eaton pitch and pitch or if he pitched and pitched because he was the pitcher available to them that gave them the best chance to win, despite the miserable results.

Whether it was a mistake or not, and I think it was, the Phillies are almost assuredly not going to do the same thing in 2008. It’s almost impossible to imagine them giving Eaton another 30 starts in which he is as ineffective. The Phillies won their division last season while giving 30 starts to a guy with a 6.29 ERA — that should concern the other teams in the division because it’s a big problem that should be easy to fix. Chances are good the Eaton is far more effective in 2008 than he was in 2007. Even if he isn’t, it’s almost certain that the Phillies will start giving the ball to someone else really soon and there chances of coming up with better production seem very good even without a move that catches people’s attention.