Bullpen

Wow, what a not very big difference at all

Last week’s post pointed out that both the bullpen and the starters for the 2010 Phils posted a winning percentage that was .109 higher than the average winning percentage for a National League pen and rotation. The thing that seems odd about that, of course, is that the starters were great in 2010 and the bullpen was mediocre. Shouldn’t the winning percentage for the starters have been a lot better than the winning percentage for the pen, given that they shared the same excellent offense?

Whether we think the winning percentage for the relievers should have been worse or not, it wasn’t. The pen had a record of 27-17, a .614 winning percentage. The Phils had a better winning percentage in games where the pen got the decision than they did overall (97-65 overall, for a .599 winning percentage) or in the games where their starter got the decision (.593).

Given how small the number of decisions the bullpen got in 2010, a fluke seems like the best guess as to why the winning percentage was so good. The .614 winning percentage for the bullpen was third-best in the NL last year. By runs allowed per nine innings, the Phils were the eighth-best team at preventing runs. Was the difference in the ranking of the win percentage and the ranks allowed per nine innings unusual? Not really.

The table below shows the rank for runs allowed per nine innings pitched for the 16 NL teams this year, the team’s rank in that category, the bullpen winning percentage rank and the difference between the two:

Team Pen R per 9 IP Rank R per 9 IP Bullpen WPCT Rank BP WPCT Rank Difference
San Diego
San Francisco
Atlanta
Washington
NY Mets
St. Louis
Cincinnati
Philadelphia
LA Dodgers
Colorado
Florida
Houston
Milwaukee
Pittsburgh
Chicago Cubs
Arizona
3.01
3.22
3.61
3.76
3.78
3.91
4.09
4.23
4.23
4.31
4.44
4.70
4.85
4.97
5.57
6.29
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
0.600
0.674
0.627
0.482
0.491
0.474
0.557
0.614
0.581
0.481
0.405
0.511
0.463
0.523
0.357
0.333
4
1
2
10
9
12
6
3
5
11
14
8
13
7
15
16
3
-1
-1
6
4
6
-1
-5
-4
1
3
-4
0
-7
0
0

So the Phils had the eighth-best bullpen in the league by runs allowed per nine innings pitched, but the third best winning percentage. That’s a difference of five. There were three NL teams that had a bigger difference between the rankings of their runs allowed per nine innings and winning percentages. The Nats and Cardinals both had good pens with bad winning percentages. The Pirates had a miserable pen at preventing runs, but saw their relievers combine to post a 23-21 record (it wasn’t really enough to make up for the hide-your-eyes 34-84 put up by their starting pitching).

Here’s the table for the starters:

Team SP R per 9 IP Rank R per 9 IP SP WPCT Rank SP WPCT Rank Difference
San Francisco
Philadelphia
San Diego
St. Louis
Atlanta
NY Mets
Cincinnati
LA Dodgers
Chicago Cubs
Houston
Florida
Colorado
Arizona
Milwaukee
Washington
Pittsburgh
3.76
3.84
3.91
4.00
4.09
4.17
4.32
4.36
4.42
4.49
4.51
4.56
4.79
5.13
5.20
5.86
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
0.526
0.593
0.541
0.548
0.532
0.486
0.564
0.462
0.500
0.452
0.525
0.527
0.430
0.481
0.396
0.288
7
1
4
3
5
10
2
12
9
13
8
6
14
11
15
16
6
-1
1
-1
0
4
-5
4
0
3
-3
-6
1
-3
0
0

By runs allowed per nine innings pitched, the Phillies had the second-best rotation in 2010. The 70-48 mark put up by their starters gave them a league-best .593 winning percentage for the rotation. The teams that showed the biggest differences between the ranks of their winning percentage and runs allowed per nine innings pitched were the Giants, Reds and Rockies. The Giants had fantastic pitching, the best in the league, and an unimpressive offense that finished ninth in the NL in runs scored. The Reds and the Rockies are the other two teams that had the biggest differences between the rank of their runs allowed per nine innings pitched for their starters and the winning percentage for their starters. For each of those teams, the rotation’s winning percentage was much better than their rank for runs allowed per nine innings. The Reds and Colorado finished first and the third in the league in runs scored — Cincinnati led the league in runs scored and the Rockies finished third, just behind the Phils.

Here’s how the winning percentage for starters and relievers compare to the overall winning percentage for the team for each of the NL teams last season:

Team Team WPCT Pen WPCT SP WPCT Pen WPCT – Tm WPCT SP WPCT – Tm WPCT
Philadelphia
San Francisco
Atlanta
Cincinnati
San Diego
St. Louis
Colorado
Florida
LA Dodgers
NY Mets
Milwaukee
Houston
Chicago Cubs
Washington
Arizona
Pittsburgh
0.599
0.568
0.562
0.562
0.556
0.531
0.512
0.494
0.494
0.488
0.475
0.469
0.463
0.426
0.401
0.352
0.614
0.674
0.627
0.557
0.600
0.474
0.481
0.405
0.581
0.491
0.463
0.511
0.357
0.482
0.333
0.523
0.593
0.526
0.532
0.564
0.541
0.548
0.527
0.525
0.462
0.486
0.481
0.452
0.500
0.396
0.430
0.288
0.015
0.106
0.065
-0.005
0.044
-0.057
-0.031
-0.089
0.087
0.003
-0.012
0.042
-0.106
0.056
-0.068
0.171
-0.006
-0.042
-0.030
0.002
-0.015
0.017
0.015
0.031
-0.032
-0.002
0.006
-0.017
0.037
-0.030
0.029
-0.064

Using the Phillies as the example, the way to interpret the table above is that the Phils overall played to a .599 winning percentage last year, the winning percentage for their relievers was .614 and the winning percentage for their starters was .593. The bullpen winning percentage was .015 higher than the winning percentage overall for the team and the winning percentage for the starting pitchers was .006 lower than the overall winning percentage for the team.

The table shows that the Pirates were the team whose bullpen winning percentage was better than the overall winning percentage for their team by the largest margin (followed not so closely by the Giants). At the other end of the scale, the Cubs had the bullpen winning percentage that was worse than their overall team winning percentage by the most.

It was the also the Cubs who had the biggest positive gap between the winning percentage for their starters and the team overall. As was mentioned above, the Pirates starting pitchers threw to a miserable record. Pittsburgh had the biggest negative gap between the winning percentage for their starting pitchers and their team overall.

Back to the Phillies, though. The point about the Phillies is that both the difference between their winning percentage for the starting pitchers and the winning percentage for the bullpen are very small. If you take the absolute value of each of the differences, only three teams, the Mets, Brewers and Reds, had a smaller difference between the winning percentage for the bullpen and the winning percentage for the team. Only two teams, the Mets and the Reds, had a smaller difference between the winning percentage for the rotation and the winning percentage for the team. If you combine the absolute values of both, there are three teams with a smaller combined difference (Mets, Reds, Brewers). So while it is a bit surprising that the Phillies got such an impressive winning percentage out of a so-so bullpen, it may be even more remarkable that the both of their winning percentages were so similar to the team’s winning percentage overall.

In this Q&A from the Phillies web site, Todd Zolecki suggests that it might make sense for the Phils to keep Blanton in case Oswalt is not back in 2012. Blanton will make $8.5 million in 2011 and $8.5 million in 2012.

Manuel talks about the possibility that John Mayberry would start the year with the team here. I’m enthusiastic about the runs like a deer part, but less so about the .330 career on-base percentage in the minor leagues. Mayberry turned 27 in December.

Domonic Brown was fourth on the recent list of the top 50 prospects by MLB.com. He also hits left-handed, unlike Ben Francisco, and can play the outfield, unlike Ross Gload. Also runs like a deer and without the .330 career on-based percentage in the minors (.373, for the record). My concern about what the Phillies are doing in right field is that everything seems to be based on the idea of finding a stopgap in the short term to get to Brown shortly after the season starts. If Brown is ready to play regularly soon after the season starts, I don’t think it matters a whole ton what the combination of Francisco, Mayberry and Gload man right until he does. What if he’s not, though? And how much difference is another couple of weeks or months in the minors going to make? A whole season of Francisco, Gload and Mayberry in right would combine to put up some ugly numbers. If Gload has to play defense regularly in right, they would put up some real ugly defensive numbers as well.


Record tables

Here’s the bullpen record by starting pitcher for the Phils for 2010:

Pitcher Team Record in Starts W-L as SP % of starts with decision Bullpen record in starts
Halladay 22-11 21-10 93.9 1-1
Hamels 18-15 12-11 69.7 6-4
Kendrick 17-14 11-10 67.7 6-4
Blanton 17-11 9-6 53.6 8-5
Moyer 9-10 9-9 94.7 0-1
Oswalt 10-2 7-1 66.6 3-1
Happ 2-1 1-0 33.3 1-1
Worley 1-1 0-1 50.0 1-0
Figueroa 1-0 0-0 0.00 1-0
Total 97-65 70-48 72.8 27-17

The bullpen had a total of three decisions in the 52 games started by Halladay or Moyer, but 13 in the 18 games started by Blanton.

Halladay pitched well enough to win in the games he didn’t get a decision, too. On July 10, Halladay threw nine shutout innings against the Reds, but the Phillies didn’t score until the eleventh when a double by Ruiz and a walkoff single by Rollins gave them a 1-0 win. Halladay wasn’t as dominant in his other no-decision in 2010. On May 12, he allowed three runs over 6 1/3 innings against Colorado. That game was also decided in extra innings — this time when Miguel Olivo homered off of Chad Durbin in the bottom of the tenth to give the Rockies a 4-3 win (it was Olivo’s fifth hit of the game).

Moyer had a decision in each of his first 18 starts on the season. His 19th start came on July 20 and he went just one scoreless inning before leaving the game with a strained elbow. Carpenter and Baez combined to allow six runs over the next four innings and the Phils lost the game 7-1.

Overall for the season in the NL in 2010, the teams that weren’t the Phillies saw their starter get a decision in 70.5% of their starts. As you know, the Phillies had the best winning percentage in the NL last year. Here’s how the difference in winning percentage breaks down between the starting pitchers and the bullpen:

Winning percentage
PHI SP .593
All NL SP .491
NL SP other than PHI .484
PHI Pen .614
All NL Pen .541
NL Pen other than PHI .505

The Phillies starting pitchers went 70-48 for a .593 winning percentage. The starting pitchers for the other teams in the league that weren’t the Phillies went 829-884, a .484 winning percentage. So the winning percentage for the starters was .109 higher than the winning percentage for the teams in the league other than the Phils. The winning percentage for the bullpen was also .109 higher. The pen went 27-17 for a .614 winning percentage. The bullpens of every team in the league other than the Phils combined to go 362-355, a .505 winning percentage. .614 minus .505 is .109.


How low can you go?

The Phillies called on their relievers to throw 421 innings last season, which is not a lot. Not only was it the fewest number of innings pitched by a National League bullpen in 2010, it was the fewest innings pitched by any bullpen in the NL in the last five years.

The table below shows the NL team with the fewest bullpen innings for each of the past ten seasons and the number of innings they threw that season:

Year Team Bullpen innings
2001 ATL 439 2/3
2002 ARI 387 1/3
2003 CHC 426
2004 STL 457 1/3
2005 STL 397 2/3
2006 SF 447
2007 ARI 483
2008 ARI 456
2009 STL 437
2010 PHI 421

In 2005, three NL teams threw less than 421 innings in relief. The Astros threw 414, the Mets threw 413 and the Cardinals 397 2/3.

In 2002, the Diamondbacks threw 387 1/3.

Those four bullpens are the only four in the last ten years that went fewer innings over the season than the Phillies did in 2010. So while it sure seems like a full season of Oswalt plus the addition of Lee should mean fewer innings for the pen, I think there’s a question of how many they can drop given that their 2010 numbers were so low already.

The 387 1/3 innings that Arizona threw in relief in 2002 was the lowest number since the Braves threw 364 innings in 1998. So, if the Phillies threw 34 fewer innings in 2011 than they did in 2010, they would pitch 387 innings in relief for the year in 2011 and would be the bullpen that has thrown the fewest innings in the NL since 1998 (assuming no other team threw fewer than 387 in 2011). To throw 34 fewer innings in relief, they would need to throw about .21 fewer innings per game over 162 games, which is less than one out per game.


Fans hopeful the Phils find a way to get Madson a break next year that doesn’t require him to kick any chairs

Most fans will remember that the bullpen in 2010 was nothing special for the Phils, and that they lost the NLCS after Juan Uribe broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth inning of game six with a home run off of Ryan Madson. I’m guessing that fewer remember that

  • Madson was pitching his second inning of the game after throwing a scoreless seventh
  • He threw 32 pitches in the game and Uribe’s homer came on his 28th pitch of the game
  • He had thrown in game four (32 pitches in 1 2/3 innings) and game five (one inning, 13 pitches) with an off-day between games five and six
  • He pitched in five of the six games in the NLCS, throwing 6 2/3 innings in five appearances over six games. The rest of team combined to throw 12 1/3 innings in relief in the NLCS, including Oswalt’s work in relief in game four.
  • In game two of the NLCS he started the ninth and pitched a scoreless inning with a five-run lead

So the Phils leaned hard on Madson in the NLCS. And he pitched well, allowing a run in the five appearances on the Uribe homer over 6 2/3 innings. They leaned hard on him at the end of the regular season as well. From July 15 through September 29, Madson made 43 appearances for the Phils in which he threw to a 1.54 ERA and an 0.88 ratio over 41 innings while striking out 49. From August 20 through September 15, the Phillies played 27 games and Madson appeared in 18 of them.

Only two pitchers threw more innings in relief for the Phils in 2010 than Madson did. Contreras threw 3 2/3 more innings and Durbin threw 15 2/3 more innings. But Madson missed more than two full months of the season — he didn’t pitch between April 28 and July 8.

If the question is whether the Phillies leaned too hard on Madson or not, I think the answer is yes. There’s no question that Madson was the best bullpen arm the Phillies had in 2010, but they did have four other guys that made at least 50 appearances with an ERA+ better than 100 for the year (Lidge, Durbin, Contreras and Romero).

Regardless of whether the Phillies asked too much of Madson last year or not, their NLCS loss had a lot more to do with their ability to produce runs than it did with their ability to prevent them. It did make me wonder, though, how the performance of the bullpen in the post-season over the past four years has compared to the performance of the bullpen in the regular season.

Here’s the ERA and ratio that the Phillies bullpen has thrown to over the past four years, both during the regular season and in the post-season. Also included is the team’s rank for the year in the NL in runs allowed per bullpen inning pitched.

Year Regular Season ERA Regular Season Ratio NL R Pen R/IP Post-season ERA Post-season ratio
2007 4.50 1.50 13 6.52 1.76
2008 3.22 1.38 1 1.79 1.21
2009 3.91 1.38 9 4.20 1.52
2010 4.02 1.39 8 1.89 1.21

Compared to the rest of the NL, the bullpen was really bad in 2007 during the regular season. It was terrible during the post-season as well as the Phils were swept by the Rockies. Matt Holliday homered off of Gordon in game one as they Phils fell 4-2. Game two was a nightmare in which Lohse, Mesa and Condrey combined to allow five runs in 3 1/3 innings after an early exit by Kendrick and the Phils were blown out. With two outs, nobody on and the game tied at 1-1 in the eighth inning of game three, JC Romero allowed three straight singles and a run that put Colorado on top to stay at 2-1.

By runs allowed per inning pitched, the Phillies were the best pen in the NL in 2008. They were fantastic in the post-season as well as Lidge, Madson and Romero combined to thrown 29 1/3 innings over 14 games and allowed four runs while throwing to a 1.23 ERA with an 0.85 ratio. The other guys in the pen combined to throw just 11 innings. After allowing four runs in four games against the Brewers, the bullpen would allow just five runs in the ten games they played against the Dodgers and Rays. One of those runs was unearned. In game one of the NLCS, Madson and Lidge combined to throw two scoreless innings of relief as the Phils beat the Dodgers 3-2. There were five games in the 2008 World Series and the Phillies won three of them by one run. In game one, Madson and Lidge combined to strike out three in two perfect innings as the Phils won 3-2. In game three, Madson surrendered a run to BJ Upton and the Rays in the eighth to tie the game at 4-4, but Romero followed him with 1 1/3 scoreless frames and the Phils won 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth when Ruiz’s dribbler scored Bruntlett. Madson, Lidge and Romero out-pitched the Tampa Bay pen in part two of game five as the Phils won 4-3.

The bullpen was nowhere near as good in the post-season in 2009. Blanton appeared in relief in games two and three, allowing runs in both appearances.

Madson allowed two runs on four hits in the eighth inning of game one of the NLCS with the Dodgers, but the Phils held on to win 8-6. Chan Ho Park started the eighth inning of game two with a 1-0 lead and allowed a pair of runs in game two and the Phils lost 2-1. After game two the pen was great, holding the Dodgers to a run (charged Park in the eighth inning of game five with the Phils up 9-3) over 8 2/3 innings.

The ’09 World Series started well for the pen. Lee threw a complete game to start the series as the Phils took a 1-0 lead. They lost game two 3-1, with all three runs charged to Pedro Martinez. They failed in game three, though. The Phils jumped out to a 3-0 lead before New York took a 5-3 lead off of Hamels with two runs in the fourth and three in the fifth. Happ, Durbin and Myers followed Hamels — all three of them allowed runs and they combined to give up three runs over 3 2/3 innings. Lidge got hammered in game four after a regular season in which he had thrown to a 7.21 ERA. The ninth started tied at 4-4. Lidge got the first two. Damon singled, stole second, stole third. Lidge hit Teixeira. A-Rod doubled. 5-4 with men on second and third. Posada hit a two-run single to make it 7-4, which was how it ended. Madson allowed a run on three hits in the ninth inning of game five, but the Phils held on for an 8-6 win. Pedro had nothing in game six, but Durbin didn’t do much to put out the fire. With the Phils down 4-1, Durbin started the fifth and was charged with three runs (with an assist to Happ, who gave up a two-run double to Matsui with both runs charged to Durbin).

The one of these things that’s not like the others for the Phils was the 2010 post-season. The Phillie bullpen was far from fantastic in the 2010 regular season, but pitched very well in the post-season. The Phils got two complete games while sweeping the Reds in the NLDS, one from Halladay and one from Hamels. In the other, Oswalt went just five innings, but was backed up by Romero, Durbin, Contreras, Madson and Lidge, who combined to allow a hit and two walks over four scoreless frames.

The bullpen didn’t allow a run in the first three games of the NLCS, either, making it the first six games of the 2010 post-season that the bullpen had not been charged with a run. Madson and Lidge combined to throw two scoreless innings in game one, but the Phils lost by a run anyway. Madson allowed a walk and a hit in the only inning thrown by the pen in game two, but the Phils rolled to a 6-1 win behind Oswalt. Contreras threw two perfect innings behind Hamels in game three as the Phils managed just three hits and fell 3-0 to fall behind two games to one.

They lost game four, too. They started the bottom of the sixth up 4-3, but Durbin allowed a pair of runs on two doubles and two walks and the Giants pulled ahead 5-4. The Phils tied the game in the top of the eighth on back-to-back doubles by Howard and Werth. Oswalt started the ninth with the game still tied, but allowed back-to-back singles with one out to put men on first and third. Uribe hit a fly ball deep enough for Aubrey Huff to tag, score and win the game for the Giants.

In game five, Contreras, Romero, Madson and Lidge combined to throw three scoreless frames in relief of Halladay and the Phils took the game 4-2 to stay alive. Madson, for the record, looked fantastic as he struck out the side on 13 pitches in a perfect eighth.

Not so much in game six, though. In Madson’s second inning of work, Uribe homered off of him to put the Giants on top to stay at 3-2.


Much ado about how much there is to do

One thing to remember when you consider how many innings the new rotation might save the pen in 2011 is that in 2010 the bullpen threw less innings than any other team in the National League. Phillie relievers tossed just 421 innings last year, the fewest in the league by a fairly wide margin. The Arizona Diamondbacks were 15th in the NL in bullpen innings pitched with 439. The Giants were 14th, and they threw 461 innings in relief — 40 more than the Phillies. Only one team in the DH-loving AL threw fewer innings in relief. The Mariners called on their pen to throw 419 1/3 innings, which was 1 2/3 less than the Phillies.

So even before adding Cliff Lee to the rotation, and even without a full year of Oswalt, the Phillies were already calling on their bullpen to throw fewer innings than any team in their league and almost any other team in baseball.

For the last three seasons, the Phils have been in the bottom half in the NL in terms of innings pitched in relief. In two of the three years they have been among the three teams that threw the fewest innings in relief.

Here’s the number of innings the Phillies bullpen has thrown per season over the past five years and their rank in innings pitched in relief in the NL for that year:

Year IP in relief NL rank innings pitched in relief
2010 421 16
2009 492 9
2008 483 14
2007 520 8
2006 539 4

In 2006, the Phillies threw 539 innings in relief. Only three teams in the NL threw more innings in relief that year, the Mets, Nationals and Cubs. By 2008, only two NL teams (the Brewers and the Diamondbacks) threw fewer innings in relief than the Phils. In 2010, the Phils were 16th in the 16-team league in innings pitched by their relievers (no NL team threw fewer).

There is bad news, though, and that’s that the bullpens, with one notable exception, have generally not gotten better at preventing runs as the number of innings they throw relative to the rest of the league goes down. The table below has the same three columns as the table above, but adds the NL rank for runs allowed per inning in relief for each year.

Year IP in relief NL rank innings pitched in relief NL Rank R/IP in relief
2010 421 16 8
2009 492 9 9
2008 483 14 1
2007 520 8 13
2006 539 4 3

In 2006, the bullpen was throwing a ton of innings, but they were also allowing fewer runs per inning pitched in relief than every bullpen in the league except for the Mets and the Padres. Last year the bullpen threw fewer innings than any other team in the league, but their effectiveness in terms of runs allowed per innings pitched was in the middle of the pack. 2008 is the only year in the last four in which the bullpen excelled at preventing runs. In that year the Phils were near the bottom of the league in bullpen innings pitched and at the very top in terms of runs allowed per inning pitched. You may recall that things turned out well for the team that year.

JC Romero appears to be headed back to the Phils. Five guys in the pen at this point: Romero, Baez, Contreras, Madson and Lidge. Many articles, including this post, suggest that the addition of Romero makes it less likely the Phils would bring back Durbin.


Deeper still

Quick — who allowed fewer runs per start in 2010, Cole Hamels or Roy Halladay?

I’m guessing Halladay is your answer. Or at least it would have been mine before I looked it up. But it’s a trick question. Both Halladay and Hamels made 33 starts for the Phils last season and each of them allowed 74 runs, which is 2.24 runs per game.

They didn’t have the same ERA, of course. It wasn’t close. Hamels 3.06 and Halladay 2.44. Hamels had a higher percentage of the runs he allowed go as earned runs (if all of the runs that both pitchers allowed were earned, Hamels would have thrown to a 3.19 ERA and Halladay a 2.65 ERA) but that’s not the biggest factor in accounting for the difference. As you surely know, the reason that Halladay’s ERA was so much better and Halladay’s year was so much better was that Halladay pitched way more innings. Halladay threw 250 2/3 innings in his 33 starts compared to 208 2/3 innings for Hamels in his 33 starts.

The 208 2/3 innings that Hamels threw is still a lot — only 13 pitches in the NL threw more than that in 2010. But it’s not 250 2/3. Nobody in the NL threw more than that in 2010. Nobody was close. Chris Carpenter finished second in the NL in innings pitched behind Halladay with 235.

There were 39 NL pitchers that made at least 30 starts in 2010. Of those 30, four of them (Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt and Kendrick) pitched at least part of the year for the Phillies. Of those four, Halladay and Oswalt threw an unusual high number of innings per start, Kendrick threw an unusually low number of innings per start and Hamels was in the middle.

GS IP/S Rank IP/S
among the 39 NL pitchers with at least 30 starts
Halladay 33 7.60 1
Oswalt 32 6.61 8
Hamels 33 6.32 17
Kendrick 33 5.83 36

Again, among the NL pitchers making at least 30 starts, Halladay and Oswalt had unusually high numbers in terms of innings per start, Hamels was in the middle of the pack and Kendrick was near the bottom.

In 2011, the Phils will presumably go into the season with Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels and Lee as their first four starters. How many innings might that save their bullpen is that group stays in the rotation for a full season?

Last year the Phillies threw a total of 1,456 1/3 innings. The starters combined to throw 1,035 1/3 innings and the pen threw 421 innings. The starters on the 2010 Phillies that weren’t Halladay, Oswalt or Hamels threw an average of 5.88 innings per game.

The table below looks at how many innings the rotation and pen might throw in 2011 if

  1. The Phillies overall (starters and relievers combined) threw the same 1,456 1/3 innings in 2011 as they did in 2010.

  2. Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt all threw the same number of innings per start in 2011 as they did in 2010.
  3. Lee threw the same 6.44 innings per start in 2011 as he has over his career (206 of his 218 career starts have come in the AL — in his 12 career NL starts he has thrown 6.64 innings per start).
  4. The Phillies starting pitchers who aren’t Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt and Lee will throw the same 5.88 innings per start in 2011 that they did in 2010.

IP/S IP 25 Starts IP 30 Starts IP 32 Starts IP 35 Starts
Halladay 7.60 190 228 243.2 266
Oswalt 6.61 165.3 198.3 211.5 231.4
Hamels 6.32 158 189.6 202.2 221.2
Lee 6.44 161 193.2 206.1 225.4
Total for
four
674.3 809.1 863 944
Starts by
other SP
62 42 34 22
IP by other
SP
364.6 247 199.9 129.4
Total IP by
SP
1038.8 1056.1 1063 1073.3
Total IP by
pen
417.5 400.3 393.4 383

So, for example, the table above suggests that if each of Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt and Lee made 32 starts in 2011 at the rates defined above, they would combine to throw 863 innings over those 128 starts. The other 34 starts would be made by other pitchers, who would throw 200 innings. That would give the rotation 1,063 total innings pitched and would leave about 393 1/3 innings to be pitched by the bullpen if the staff overall was going to throw the same 1,456 1/3 innings in 2011 they threw in 2010.

Last year, the Phillies starters overall threw 6.39 innings per start. That means Hamels was below the team average at 6.32 and Lee, had he actually made starts for the Phils in 2010 and thrown 6.44 innings per start, would have been very close to the team average. While Lee may have thrown 6.44 innings per start over his career, his numbers over the past three years are way up from that. Over the past three seasons, Lee has made 93 starts in which he has thrown about 7.18 innings per start. In 2010, he made 13 starts for Seattle and threw 103 2/3 innings on a team that would wind up going 61-101 . That’s a ridiculous 7.97 innings per start. It sounds like the kind of thing that might not even be that good for you.

The difference between 7.18 innings per start and 6.44 innings per start is a lot of innings (a little more than 22 over 30 starts). Even the difference between Lee’s 6.64 innings per start (what he threw in his 12 starts with the Phillies in ’09) and his career mark of 6.44 innings per start adds up. If you replace the 6.44 innings per start for Lee with 6.64 , the TOTAL IP BY PEN numbers at the bottom of the table would switch from 417.5, 400.3, 393.4, 383 to 412.5, 394.3, 387 and 376.

Also important to consider is that while it’s true that the non-Halladay/Hamels/Oswalt starters for the Phils in 2010 combined to throw 5.88 innings per start in 2010, they could easily throw fewer than that in 2011. Blanton was the guy outside of the big three who made the most starts and he went pretty deep into games, throwing 174 2/3 innings over 28 starts or 6.24 innings per game. That inflates the number for the group. By comparison, the group of Kendrick, Happ, Figueroa and Worley combined to make 37 starts in which they threw an average of 5.62 innings per game.

The deal with Dennys Reyes fell through and this article says that JC Romero is still hoping to come back to the Phillies.


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