Rotation

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.


You again?

Remember this from last week?

Starts Team RA Team RA
per start
Games not
started
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

Here’s another way to look at it, dividing the games up into those in which Kendrick, Blanton or Moyer started and the games in which they didn’t:

# PHI runs
allowed per game
Games started
by Blanton, Kendrick, Moyer
78 4.99
Games not
started by Blanton, Kendrick or Moyer
84 2.99

One thing that’s a lock at this point is that Blanton, Kendrick and Moyer won’t be combining to make 78 starts this season. Even if Blanton is with the team on opening day, he’s coming off the worst year of his career and a good candidate to get a lot better in 2011. In 2010, he allowed 5.33 runs per nine innings for the Phils. In 2008 and 2009, he allowed 125 runs in 266 innings, which is about 4.23 runs per nine innings. In 2009, Blanton made 31 starts in which he threw to a 4.05 ERA and the Phillies allowed 4.42 runs per game in those starts.

If Blanton made 31 starts for the Phillies next year, the difference between the team allowing 5.36 runs per game in those starts (like they did in 2010) or 4.42 (like they did in 2009) is about 0.94 runs per game. That’s more than 29 runs over 31 starts.

The point there is that, either with Blanton or with someone else getting Blanton’s starts in ’11, the Phillies should be able to improve on his 2010 production without much problem and should benefit significantly by doing so.

The games not started by Blanton, Kendrick or Moyer were started by a rather impressive group of pitchers. Halladay, Hamels and Oswalt combined to make 78 starts. The other six went to Happ (three), Worley (two) and Figueroa (one).

That group looks like it’s only going to get more impressive with the addition of Cliff Lee. The bad news on that front is that even with the addition of Lee, the Phils aren’t going to allow 2.99 runs per game in 2011 or anywhere close, even in the games started by Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels.

Last year Hamels and Halladay combined to make 78 starts in which they threw to a 2.56 ERA over 541 innings. They were great. They’re probably going to be great again, but not that great, mostly because Oswalt’s starts for the Phillies in 2010 were absurdly good. After allowing five runs in six innings against the Nationals in his first start with the Phils, Oswalt threw to a 1.31 ERA over his last eleven starts with the team and ended the year with a 1.74 ERA with the Phils. Of the four members of the quartet, though, none of them has a career ERA near 2.56 and it’s unreasonable to assume they would throw to a 2.56 ERA as a group next year or that the Phillies would allow 2.99 runs per game in the games they started, much less the games they started plus the starts by next year’s Worley, Happs and Figueroas. Of the four big starters for the Phils, Oswalt has the best career ERA at 3.18. Hamels is at 3.53. Lee and Halladay have both spent much of their careers in the American League — Halladay has a career 3.32 ERA and Lee a career 3.85 ERA.


Spread the Roy

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
started
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.


Phils hopeful the offense can overcome losing Happ

Roy Oswalt’s first start as a Phillie turned out to be more memorable for the number of runs that the Phillies allowed than for the number they scored. Oswalt struggled and the Phils fell 8-1. Still, it’s been a pattern this season that the Phils have trouble scoring runs when they send their best pitchers to the mound.

The chart below shows the number of games started by each pitcher for the Phils this year, the average number of runs the Phils have scored in those games, the average number of runs the Phils have scored in the games when that pitcher wasn’t starting and the difference between the two:

Pitcher Starts Runs/Start Runs/Not
Started
Started
minus Not Started
Halladay 22 4.14 4.84 -0.71
Hamels 22 4.05 4.87 -0.82
Kendrick 20 5.90 4.41 1.49
Moyer 19 4.58 4.72 -0.14
Blanton 17 5.12 4.61 0.50
Happ 3 5.67 4.67 1.00
Figueroa 1 3.00 4.71 -1.71
Oswalt 1 1.00 4.73 -3.73
         
Total 105 4.70    

For example, Halladay has made 22 starts for the Phillies this season. In those starts the Phils have scored about 4.14 runs per game. In the games the Phillies have played when Halladay did not start they scored about 4.84 runs per game. 4.14 minus 4.84 is -0.71.

As has been pointed out before, Halladay and Hamels get little support. Each have made 22 starts this season. The Phillies have scored two more runs in the starts by Halladay than they have in the starts by Hamels. They’ve averaged 4.09 runs in the games the pair has started and 5.13 runs in the games they haven’t.

On the other hand, the bats show up in force with Kendrick on the mound. The Phils have scored nearly six runs per game in his 20 starts. They have also scored more than five runs a game for Blanton and Happ. In the 40 games that Kendrick, Blanton or Happ have started for the Phils the team has scored 5.55 runs per game. In the 65 games they haven’t started the Phils have scored 4.17 runs per game.


Jamie’s flyin’

The Phils take two of three from the Blue Jays thanks to a win yesterday, which came with a big assist from Jamie Moyer. Moyer’s ratio for the season is at 1.05 and the Phillies are 9-6 in the games he’s started. That’s a better mark than they have in the games started by Halladay (9-7) or Hamels (8-7) or any other pitcher who has started more than one game (they’re 1-0 when Figueroa starts, but that might not be a formula for long-term success).

On June 11 in Boston, Moyer allowed nine runs in an inning against the Red Sox. It’s the only start in his last six in which he’s allowed more than two runs. In his other 14 starts he has thrown to a 3.49 ERA with an 0.95 ratio. In eight of 15 starts he’s allowed two runs or fewer. Overall for the season his ERA sits at 4.30, coming off of a year where he threw to a 5.34 ERA in his 25 starts and a whole lot of people thought he was done.

So what’s he doing differently this year? He allowed a ton of home runs last year, but it’s not just about home runs. Moyer has allowed 15 home runs in 96 1/3 innings, which means he would allow about 31 over 200 innings. Only five NL pitchers have allowed more home runs than Moyer on the year and 24 have pitched more innings. He’s allowing about 1.40 home runs per nine innings, which is worse is worse than his career rate of 1.14 per nine innings if improved over his ’09 rate of 1.50 per nine innings (1.63 per nine as a starter).

Overall, the hits that he’s allowing haven’t done less damage in 2010 than they did in 2008 and 2009 or over his career. He’s actually allowing more bases per hit this year than he has over his career and in 2008 and 2009 combined:

Year Hits
Total
Bases
TB per hit
2010 84 147 1.75
2008 + 2009 376 600 1.60
Career 4137 6571 1.59

So the hits that he’s allowing are just as bad if not worse and he’s still allowing a lot of home runs.

What he is doing is allowing a whole lot fewer hits and walks.

Opponents are hitting just .230 against Moyer on the season. Righties are hitting .241 and lefties are hitting .177. Moyer had a couple of years where he held righties under .241, but the .230 mark overall and .177 for lefties are his best in, well, forever. When it comes to Jamie Moyer, forever is a long time. Here’s what righties and lefties have hit against him over his career:

Year Overall Right Left
2010 230 241 177
2009 279 290 243
2008 262 270 240
2007 285 279 309
2006 277 285 251
2005 283 277 297
2004 272 264 290
2003 246 232 276
2002 230 206 282
2001 239 234 255
2000 281 278 290
1999 267 278 234
1998 256 255 258
1997 256 234 322
1996 276 265 309
1995 265 251 306
1994 271 268 286
1993 265 256 304
1992 Did Not Pitch
1991 319 266 520
1990 290 308 222
1989 283 294 214
1988 272 281 228
1987 271 278 222
1986 311 313 300
       
Career 267 265 272

In 2003, opponents also hit .230 overall against. Moyer. But it’s a better .230 this year (.23013) than it was in ’03 (.23023).

Lefties are 11-for-62 against Moyer this year. The .177 average he has held them to is nearly a hundred points better than their .272 over his career.

Moyer’s batting average for balls in play is at a career-low .230 overall and a microscopic .119 for left-handed hitters. So maybe he’s been a little bit (or a lot) fortunate. It’s also true, though, that Moyer’s walks are down significantly from his career levels. The percentage of batters he faces who walks is down for the third season in a row and this year it’s down a lot:

Year PA BB % of PA BB
2010 390 17 4.4
2009 699 43 6.2
2008 841 62 7.4
2007 867 66 7.6
       
Career 17,031 1,134 6.7

Moyer has walked 17 batters in 96 1/3 innings this season, which is about 1.59 per nine innings. That’s the best mark he’s had for any year of his career. He’s only had one other season where he walked fewer than 1.89 men per nine inning. For the Mariners in 1998 he issued 42 walks in 234 1/3 innings (1.61 walks per nine).

Madson threw an inning for Single-A Clearwater yesterday and allowed a run.

Sounds like we shouldn’t be expecting to see Polanco tonight and maybe not for a couple of days.


Rotation consideration

I don’t think there’s much question that the Phillies starting pitchers in 2010 are going to be better than their starting pitchers in 2009. The question is just how much better. Here’s what the five guys in the starting rotation for 2010, Halladay, Hamels, Blanton, Happ and Moyer, combined to do as starting pitchers in 2009 and how it compares to the overall line for Phillies starters in ’09:

  IP H BB SO ERA Ratio
5 SP 915.7 940 224 719 3.81 1.27
PHI SP ’09 963.7 1022 266 736 4.29 1.34

Phillies starting pitchers overall combined to allow about .495 runs per inning in 2009. Those five pitchers combined to allow about .439 runs per inning, which is about 88.7% of .495.

Halladay threw 239 innings last year, which would have been about 25% of the total innings thrown by starting pitchers if he had thrown them for the Phillies and the Phillies starters had still thrown their 963 2/3 innings. He had a 2.79 ERA and a 1.13 ratio in ’09 and it seems like he may be able to reproduce those fantastic numbers with the move to the NL.

Blanton seems like a good candidate to be about as good in 2010 as he was in 2009.

Hamels seems like a good candidate to be better. Maybe a lot better. He also seems like a good candidate to eat up more innings than the 193 2/3 he pitched in 2009.

Happ seems like he will drop off a little. Moyer will be better or pitch less.

It seems reasonable to assume that the improvement by Hamels and the Moyer spot in the rotation will outweigh the drop off for Happ. As starters, Hamels and Moyer combined to throw 337 innings with a 4.75 ERA and a 1.35 ratio in 2009. Hamels and Moyer, or whoever takes over for Moyer, are going to combine to be a lot better than that in 2010.

If those five did exactly what they did in 2009 again in 2010, here’s what the other Phillies starting pitchers would have to do in 2010 for the Phillies to match their 2009 totals in these categories:

IP H BB SO ERA Ratio
48 82 42 17 13.31 2.58

Insert your own Jose Contreras joke here, but someone in the starting rotation is going to be a lot worse in 2010 than they were in 2009 or the numbers for the rotation are going to get better overall.

The Phillies beat the Blue Jays 4-2 yesterday. Hamels sat down the first nine men he faced before allowing a solo homer to Jose Bautista to start the fourth. Ryan Vogelsong followed Hamels and allowed a run over 2 1/3 innings. JC Ramirez pitched the last three innings and held Toronto to a pair of singles while striking out three. Cody Ransom hit a solo home run for the Phils. Dobbs doubled twice. Mayberry was 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles to raise his average for the spring to .368.

Kyle Drabek started the game for Toronto and pitched two scoreless innings.

This says Brad Lidge will pitch in a game on Monday.


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