In this article, Amaro suggests that the benefit the Phillies get from having the big three, Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt, in the rotation all year in 2011 may offset the offensive loss the Phils are going to suffer having lost Werth.

He says:

Let me put it to you this way: Having those three starters through a full season, I think, negates the difference in the production I think we’ll get from the combination of Ben [Francisco] and [Ross] Gload vs. Werth.

I think it’s tough to try and predict what the Phillies right fielders are going to do next year, mostly because we don’t know who they are going to be. I’m having trouble believing it’s going to be Francisco and Gload. If Ross Gload plays 40 games in the outfield next season he’ll be doing so for the first time in his career at age 35. He has one year of his career in which he has played more than 19 games in the outfield, and that was 2004. I’m not saying it’s not gonna happen, but it’s not gonna happen.

I think it’s pretty tough to predict accurately the number of runs the Phillies are going to allow in starts made by Oswalt next year. What we should be able to do, though, is look at the number of runs they allowed in his starts last year and figure out how many they would have saved in 2010 if he had made more starts and the number of runs the Phillies allowed in games he started and games he didn’t stayed the same.

The table below shows, for each of the Phillies starting pitchers who made at least ten starts, the number of runs the team allowed in their starts and the number of runs the team allowed in the games they didn’t start:

Starts Team RA Team RA
per start
Games not
Team RA
those games
Team RA
per game not started
Hamels 33 117 3.55 129 523 4.05
Halladay 33 90 2.73 129 550 4.26
Oswalt 12 25 2.08 150 615 4.10
Kendrick 31 148 4.77 131 492 3.76
Blanton 28 150 5.36 134 490 3.66
Moyer 19 91 4.79 143 549 3.84
Others 6 19 3.17 156 621 3.98
Total 162 640 3.95

So, for example, Hamels made 33 starts for the Phils in 2010. In those 33 starts, the Phillies (not just Hamels, but the relievers who pitched after him in those games as well) allowed 117 runs. That’s 3.55 runs per game. There were 129 games in the 2010 regular season that Hamels did not start. In those games the Phils allowed 523 runs or 4.05 per game.

Oswalt made 12 starts last year. If he had pitched a full season for the Phils, he would have made about 20 more. Based on his 2010 numbers as a Phillie, over 20 starts, Oswalt would have allowed about 41.7 runs. Over those same 20 starts, using the rate for 2010 at which the Phils allowed runs in games not started by Oswalt, they would have allowed about 82.0 runs (4.1 * 20). So, if the 2010 numbers played out over the extra 20 starts, the Phillies would have allowed 40.3 fewer runs on the season by giving 20 more starts to Oswalt.

That’s a ton. You don’t need great production in right field to get within 40.3 runs of what Werth produced in 2010, as good as he was.

So fantastic. No problem here. Bring on the suck in right field. Play anyone you want and we’ll all be fine. Right?

Not right. Oswalt was ridiculously fantastic with the Phils in 2010, throwing to a 1.74 ERA with an 0.90 ratio. In his 12 starts with the Phils, he was better than Halladay and Halladay won the Cy Young. Oswalt isn’t going to be nearly as good with the Phillies in 2011 as he was in 2010.

So, how many fewer runs might the Phillies allow thanks to a full season from Oswalt? I don’t know. But I think a lot less than 40.3 is a good guess.

Here’s a look at the numbers for Oswalt, Hamels and Halladay over 20 games based on the 2010 numbers:

Team RA
per 20 starts
Team RA
per 20 starts by other SP
Runs saved
Hamels 70.9 81.1 10.2
Halladay 54.5 85.3 30.7
Oswalt 41.7 82.0 40.3

The number of runs that the team allows in a game has a lot to do with factors out of the control of the starting pitcher — most important, of course, is how many runs that the team’s bullpen allows in games that pitcher starts. Again, if the Phillies replicated the numbers from 2010 in 2011 exactly, it suggests that they would allow about 40.3 fewer runs by giving Oswalt 20 more starts.

It also suggests that they would allow about 30.7 fewer runs by giving Halladay 20 more starts, though, and Halladay still won the Cy Young award last season. 30.7 is still a lot of runs, but the 10.2 runs saved number for 20 more starts for Hamels isn’t. If we’re going to guess Oswalt’s numbers for next year, I think we’re pretty safe saying that they are going to be closer than the 3.06 ERA and 1.18 ratio that Hamels put up than the 2.44 ERA and 1.04 ratio Halladay put up.

So, bottom line, how many fewer runs are the Phillies going to save in 2011 if they give Oswalt 20 more starts? I don’t know. Neither do you and neither does anybody, no matter what the bullpen does in the games that Oswalt starts. I do think it’s safer to say that it’s a lot closer to 10.2 than it is to 40.3, and if it turns out being anywhere near 10.2, the Phils are going to have trouble getting within 10.2 of the offensive runs created by Werth in 2010.

This says that the Phillies have reached an agreement with 33-year-old left-handed reliever Dennys Reyes and that the Phils will pay Reyes $1.1 million in 2011 with a $1.35 million club option for 2012.

Finally, in news of people you assumed you would never, ever need to have an opinion about, Luke Scott has given a memorable interview.