As I pointed out in this post from last January, in 2010 the Phillies asked their relievers to throw just 421 innings. Not only was that the lowest number of innings for any NL team in 2010, but it was also the fewest number of innings any NL team had thrown since the 2005 Cardinals bullpen threw 397 2/3.

In 2011, the Phils again threw the fewest relief innings in the NL, but dropped their bullpen innings even lower to 412 1/3.

Here’s how many innings the starters and relievers have thrown for the Phils over the past ten years:

Year IP Starters IP Relievers Total IP % Starters % Relievers
2011 1064 2/3 412 1/3 1477 72.1 27.9
2010 1035 1/3 421 1456 1/3 71.1 28.9
2009 963 2/3 492 1455 2/3 66.2 33.8
2008 966 2/3 483 1449 2/3 66.7 33.3
2007 938 1/3 520 1458 1/3 64.3 35.7
2006 921 1/3 539 1460 1/3 63.1 36.9
2005 957 478 1435 66.7 33.3
2004 922 1/3 540 1/3 1462 2/3 63.1 36.9
2003 969 474 2/3 1443 2/3 67.1 32.9
2002 949 1/3 500 1/3 1449 2/3 65.5 34.5

So in 2011, 72.1% of the innings thrown by the Phillies were thrown by their starting pitchers. That’s the highest percentage it’s been for the team over the past ten years. In four of the past five seasons, the starters for the team have thrown more innings (and a higher percentage of the innings compared to the relievers) than they did in the previous season.

The percentage of innings thrown by starters presumably would have been higher in 2011 had Oswalt made more starts.

While we’re reminiscing about posts from last year, remember this one where I looked at the average number of starts the group of Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Oswalt had made over the past five seasons? I’m guessing you don’t, but the range for the group for the previous five years going into 2011 was 107-138, the average for the previous five years was 124 and the average for the three previous years was 138.

In 2011, Halladay, Lee, Hamels and Oswalt combined to make 118 starts. Halladay and Lee made 32 each, Hamels 31 and Oswalt 23. Oswalt came in to 2011 having averaged 31.6 starts a season over the past five seasons.

Charlie Manuel said that Ryan Howard had a “little setback” in his recovery. Pretty much everyone in the from trainers to GMs went all there’s-nothing-to-see-here after that.

The article linked above also points out that both Joel Piniero and Juan Pierre can ask for their release if they’re not on the major league-roster by March 31.

Forget the Howard setback-not-a-setback stuff. In the things that should absolutely terrify you category, I offer the following quote from Amaro on Juan Pierre: “He had a very, very good year last year. He had more hits than anybody on our team.” In 2011, Pierre on-based .329. He hit .279 and slugged .327, posting an OPS of .657 in a season where he got at least 700 plate appearances for the second year in a row. As I pointed out in this post, his isolated power of .049 was 146th of the 146 players in either league with 500 plate appearances. He’s really not a good choice for left field, even if you don’t have John Mayberry, Domonic Brown and Laynce Nix in your organization.

This says Cliff Lee threw on Sunday, showed no signs of an abdominal strain and will throw again tomorrow.