Chris Coste lauds Kendrick in this article, saying that, “He doesn’t have to throw six or seven pitches to strike out hitters when he can throw one or two pitches to get an out.”

I thought that was interesting not just in regards to Kendrick, but also as it relates to Myers as he tries to transition back to a being starter after spending most of ’07 in the pen.

First off, Kendrick does get his outs using remarkably few pitches. Not that you should believe that based on such a brief example, but here’s how many pitches four of the Phillies’ ’07 starters and Myers made for every out they got and for every batter they faced (Lohse’s numbers include his time with the Reds):


Player

Pitches per out

Pitches per BF
Moyer 5.26 3.64
Hamels 5.07 3.76
Kendrick 4.82 3.51
Lohse 5.26 3.67
     
Myers 5.80 4.08

Myers was a reliever, a closer no less, in 2007. He struck hitters out at the highest rate for any Phillies’ pitcher who threw more than five innings, so it’s not surprising that he needed more pitches to get his outs or threw more pitches to every batter than the ’07 numbers for the starting pitchers on the list.

But even as a starter in 2006, Myers was throwing more pitches to get his outs and to every batter than anyone in that group.

Remembering that Myers was basically solely a starter until 2007 (he pitched one game in relief in 2004), here’s a look at how many outs he has gotten, how many pitches he’s needed to get those outs, how many batters he faced and pitches made per batter and his number of strikeouts and the percentage of his outs that he got on strikeouts:


Year

Outs

pitches

P/out

BF

P/BF

SO

% of outs SO
2002 216 1070 4.95 307 3.49 34 15.7
2003 579 3016 5.21 848 3.56 143 24.7
2004 528 2827 5.35 778 3.63 116 22.0
2005 646 3474 5.38 905 3.84 208 32.2
2006 594 3222 5.42 833 3.87 189 31.8
2007 206 1195 5.80 293 4.08 83 40.3

Forgetting 2007, in every year Myers worked as a starter he used more pitches to get his outs than in the preceding year. He also threw more pitches to every batter. By 2006, the number of pitches he threw to get every out (5.42) and the number of pitches he threw to every batter (3.87) was already higher than the guys listed above for 2007.

And partly that’s because he strikes a lot of guys out. But not all of it. Among the 76 NL pitchers that threw at least 100 innings, Hamels was fourth in strikeouts per nine innings at (8.69). He threw 3.76 pitches per plate appearance.

If you look at the percentage of his outs that are strikeouts, you notice they generally trend up and there’s a big jump between 2004 and 2005. It’s important to remember that 2005 was Myers’ first really good year and he just wasn’t nearly as effective between ’02 and ’04.

The fact that the number of pitches Myers was using as a starter to get his outs is higher than the other guys in that group isn’t that big a deal. Even at his 2007 rates as a closer, Myers still threw about the same number of pitchers per batter (4.08) as some starting pitchers that struck out hitters at the highest rates in the league, guys like Jake Peavy (4.03), Chad Billingsley (4.05) and Chris Young (4.10).

At the same time, the difference between having to throw 5.8 pitches to get every out, like Myers did last year, and 4.82 pitches to get every out, like Kendrick did last year, is significant. If you throw 5.8 pitches per out you need 87 pitches to get through five innings, if you throw 4.82 pitches per out you need about 72.

As a starting pitcher, Myers has never had to throw 5.8 pitches to earn every out. Maybe he never will. But while the number of pitches he has to throw to every hitter and to get every out might not be troublesome yet, the trend that in his time as a starter they have increased every year is something he’s going to have to deal with if he’s going to stay in the rotation.

If you think Myers wants to strike everyone out, it’s hard to blame him. Generally speaking, over his career as his strikeouts have gone up he has been more successful. But if he’s going to survive as a starting pitcher I think he’s going to need to figure out a way to get more of his outs using fewer pitches.

Some of the big questions for the Phillies in the near future will be around Myers. Is he more suited for the pen or for the rotation? Does he help the team more in the bullpen or as a starter? And the answers may prove to be that he’s better suited to be a reliever but he helps the team more as a starter.

This article says the Phillies were one of four teams to watch lefty Brian Anderson throw 60 pitches on Friday. Anderson is 35 and last pitched in 2005. The Phillies are desperate for pitching, but Anderson gave up a ton of home runs before Tommy John surgery. I find it pretty hard to imagine he could help the Phils at Citizens Bank Park.

This mailbag from the Phillies web site says the Phils might be in the picture for Kyle Lohse.