Tag: Pedro Martinez

Joe no

Pedro wasn’t the only Phillies pitcher who was better at preventing extra-base hits with men on base in 2009. Among the players who faced at least 100 batters, all of the pitchers on the chart below were also better at preventing extra-base hits when they pitched with at least one runner on base. The “Bases Empty” and “Men On” columns show how many extra-base hits the pitcher allowed in ’09 per 100 plate appearances and, on average, how many bases those hits went for when they did. The right-most column shows how many times larger their rate of allowing extra-base hits with the bases empty was than their rate of allowing extra-base hits with at least one runner on base.

Bases Empty Men On
XBH per 100 PA TB per
XBH
XBH per
100 PA
TB
per XBH
Empty/On
Chan Ho Park 7.1 2.43 6.7 2.45 1.1
Chad Durbin 8.1 2.86 4.9 2.71 1.7
Scott Eyre 8.3 2.60 4.4 3.33 1.9
J.A. Happ 8.8 2.76 6.4 2.84 1.4
Jamie Moyer 8.8 2.92 8.2 2.96 1.1
Brad Lidge 10.2 2.73 8.1 3.27 1.3
Jack Taschner 10.5 3.17 4.7 2.00 2.3
Rodrigo Lopez 13.4 2.67 11.4 2.00 1.2
Brett Myers 14.6 2.89 7.6 3.33 1.9
Pedro Martinez 17.3 2.78 2.3 2.50 7.5

So, for example, Chan Ho Park allowed 7.1 extra-base hits per 100 plate appearances with the bases empty and 6.7 per 100 plate appearances with at least one man on base. 7.1 over 6.7 is about 1.1. The XBH he allowed with the bases empty went for an average of 2.43 total bases and the XBH he allowed with at least one man on went for an average of 2.45 total bases.

Again, Pedro was the king of not allowing extra-base hits with men on base, allowing them more than seven times more with the bases empty.

Here are the pitchers on the Phillies from last year who were more likely to give up an extra-base hit with men on base than with the bases empty:

Bases Empty Men On
XBH per 100 PA TB per
XBH
XBH per
100 PA
TB
per XBH
On/Empty
Kyle Kendrick 0.0 - 2.2 4.00 -
Clay Condrey 3.0 3.33 8.2 2.83 2.8
Tyler Walker 3.8 3.00 8.3 3.00 2.2
Ryan Madson 5.3 2.89 6.7 2.60 1.3
Antonio Bastardo 7.9 2.80 16.3 2.57 2.1
Joe Blanton 8.1 2.90 8.7 2.90 1.1
Cliff Lee 8.6 2.19 9.3 2.92 1.1
Cole Hamels 8.7 2.73 9.4 2.72 1.1

Bastardo was kind of the anti-Pedro, allowing extra-base hits to more than 16% of the batters he faced with men on base. Bastardo didn’t get a whole lot of chances to face batters with men on base, just 43 plate appearances, but opponents hit 385/442/667 in the chances they did get, which is something he might want to improve upon. Condrey and Walker were among the best pitchers at preventing extra-base hits with the bases empty last year. I’m just saying.

The Phils beat the Pirates yesterday 4-2. Moyer pitched well, allowing two runs on solo homers over six innings to drop his spring ERA to 1.53. Ruiz was 2-for-3 with a walk, raising his average to .207. Werth and Ibanez combined to go 0-for-4. Werth’s average is down to .167 while Ibanez is hitting .122.

In the problem department, however, the Phillies have bigger fish to fry. They put Joe Blanton on the DL yesterday with a strained oblique — the team’s third starter is expected to miss three to six weeks. Kendrick will take Blanton’s spot in the rotation and Andrew Carpenter is likely to be added to the roster to pitch out of the bullpen.

That’s really not good. Losing Blanton potentially till the middle of May is a big deal, but I think it’s an even bigger problem for a bullpen that was weak to start with.

Josh Fogg seems like he would be a better choice for the roster spot than Carpenter, but Fogg has struggled with a muscle in his side this spring and did not pitch for the Mets in spring training before he was given his release.

This, from The Denver Post’s Troy Renck, suggests the Phils may be interested in Tim Redding. Redding has an ERA over five for the past two seasons and threw to an 8.76 ERA with a 2.03 ratio for the Rockies this spring, allowing 21 hits in 12 1/3 innings.

Brad Lidge and JC Romero are eligible to be activated from the DL on April 10. I would advise against holding your breath.


Wile E Pedro

Flummoxed by how much better Pedro Martinez was at preventing runs than Cole Hamels in 2009 despite the fact that Hamels allowed fewer total bases plus walks per inning pitched, I thought I’d look at those two guys a little more closely.

Here’s the percentage of plate appearances that ended in these results for each of the pitchers in 2009:

BB or HBP 1B 2B 3B HR
Hamels 5.9 16.3 5.4 0.6 2.9
Pedro 6.3 14.7 6.3 0.5 3.7

Hamels gave up a lot more singles than Pedro did. And, much less importantly, triples at a slightly higher rate. Still, given that Hamels gave up walks, doubles and home runs less frequently, that didn’t help me a whole lot.

Neither did this:

% of PA
XBH
TB per XBH
Hamels 9.0 2.73
Pedro 10.5 2.75

So Hamels gave up extra-base hits less frequently. On average, when he did, the extra-base hits went for slightly less bases.

If it’s not an issue about how many, maybe it’s a question of when. In this case I think it was. Look:

% of PA
XBH
TB per XBH
Hamels, bases empty 8.7 2.73
Hamels, men on 9.4 2.72
Pedro, bases empty 17.3 2.78
Pedro, men on 2.3 2.50

Opposing hitters were about as likely to get extra-base hits against Hamels with runners on base or with the bases empty — a little more likely with men on. Batters that faced Pedro with the bases empty had a better than 1-in-6 chance to get an extra-base hit. With men on base, though, Pedro faced 87 hitters and allowed one double and one triple. Hitters posted a 224/294/263 line against him with men on base compared to 310/337/630 with the bases empty. With men on base, batters were more than four times as likely to get an extra-base hit against Hamels than they were against Martinez.

The Blue Jays beat the Phillies 5-2 yesterday. Halladay gave up four runs in the first inning, two of which came on a two-run homer by Aaron Hill. Halladay would pitch just three innings in the game, allowing four runs on five hits to raise his spring ERA to 3.46. Polanco and Francisco hit solo home runs to account for the Phillies scoring. Rollins was 2-for-3 to raise his spring average to .297.

Joe Blanton had a bullpen session yesterday that was cut short by a sore left abdominal muscle. The linked article suggests that the issue could prevent him from starting the third game of the season.

Brad Lidge had a cortisone shot on Tuesday and will not throw again until tomorrow.

The Phillies signed Josh Fogg and Ty Taubenheim to minor league contracts. The 33-year-old righty Fogg pitched well for the Rockies in 2009, mostly in relief, throwing 45 2/3 innings with a 3.74 ERA and a 1.14 ratio. Taubenheim is a 27-year-old right-handed pitcher who has thrown 46 major league innings in his career between the Blue Jays and Pirates.

The article linked above says the Phils will head to Philadelphia after today’s game with the Pirates.


Phils going to need to find some new friends to get by with a little help from

Last week I mentioned that while the Phillies got worse at preventing runs overall last year, using opponent batting statistics they still got better against left-handed batters.

A couple more things about that.

First, a big part of their success against left-handed hitting had to do with some right-handed pitchers that 1) were great against lefties in 2009 and 2) aren’t going to be on the team in 2010. Lefties hit .172 and on-based .262 against Condrey, who faced about as many left-handed batters in ’09 as Scott Eyre (65 for Condrey and 67 for Eyre). Lefties hit 229/283/313 against Tyler Walker. Brett Myers saw most of his action as a starter but also made eight appearances in relief — overall for the year, lefties hit 233/314/360 against him.

Here’s what that trio did combined against left-handed batting in 2009:

Condrey, Walker and Myers combined vs
lefties in 2009
PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
289 .219 .296 .332 .628

They were really good against lefties. Of those 289 batters faced, about 59% were faced by Myers and he saw about 90% of his action as a starter. So we don’t want to overstate the impact on the bullpen. Still, it’s true that the Phillies had good numbers overall against lefties last year and a big part of that was because of the work of some now departed right-handed pitchers.

The second thing about lefties in the pen comes with a small sample size warning, but in his limited action against lefties in 2009, Romero was just terrible. The 32 left-handed batters that he faced hit 308/438/538 against him. He came into the season having allowed about one home run to every 93 left-handed hitters he faced and allowed two to the 32 lefties he faced in ’09. Scott Eyre was the king of getting lefties out in relief for the Phils in ’09 — they hit a paltry 210/269/355 against him. The tiny number of lefties that Romero faced in 2009 makes it hard to worry too much about what they did against him. He’s been fantastic against left-handed hitters over his career, holding them to a fantastic 215/310/293 line. Let’s hope that proves to be the much better measuring stick than what he did in limited action last season.

Chan Ho Park has agreed to a one-year deal with the Yankees worth $1.2 million. Contreras will get $1.5 million from the Phillies this year and Baez $5.25 million over the next two years.

This says the Phillies have maintained contact with Pedro Martinez and considers the possibility that the Phils will add a back of the rotation starter. Moyer looks like a sure thing to me to join Halladay, Hamels, Blanton and Happ in the rotation if he’s healthy.


First things first

In 2009, Phillies pitchers faced 3,492 batters with the bases empty and allowed 112 runs on 111 solo homers and one fluke play. Against the Mets on August 24, Angel Pagan led off the bottom of the first and popped a ball to second. Utley misplayed it. Pagan went for second and Utley threw the ball into left field. Pagan came all the way around to score and Utley was charged with two errors on the play.

Nice hustle by Pagan, but it’s not really the kind of thing you want to build your offense around. Turns out it’s actually pretty tough to score when you come to the plate with the bases empty, especially if you don’t hit a home run.

The Phillies faced 2,769 batters in 2009 with at least one man on base. Those 2,769 plate appearances resulted in 597 runs.

Overall for 2009, the Phillies pitchers faced 55.8% of the batters for the year with the bases empty and those batters accounted for about 15.8% of the runs they allowed. The 44.2% of the batters that they faced with at least on man on base accounted for 84.2% of the runs that they allowed.

Which brings me back to the post from earlier this week about the Phillies pitchers that were most likely to walk a batter when the bases were empty. That’s the kind of thing you want to avoid.

Obviously not all situations with men on base are the same. A man on first is better for the pitching team than having the bases loaded. Still, the difference between the number of runs the Phillies allowed in 2009 when pitching with the bases empty and with a man on first base is pretty significant. Here is the number of batters that the Phillies faced in 2009 with the bases empty and a man on first and how many runs resulted from those plate appearances:

 
PA

R

Bases empty

3,492

112

Man on first

1,160

104

In 2,332 fewer plate appearances with a man on first, the Phillies allowed eight fewer runs than in the plate appearances when the batter came to the plate with the bases empty. Had the Phillies faced the same 3,492 batters that they faced with the bases empty with a man on first and allowed runs at the same rate they would have allowed about 313 runs instead of 104. That’s about 2.8 times as many as they allowed with the bases empty.

Clearly how bad a walk is with the bases empty depends on how many outs there are in the inning. I’m pretty sure it’s hardly ever good, though.

The Phillies were better than average compared to the NL average in terms of allowing walks with the bases empty in 2009. The average NL pitcher walked about 8.0% of the batters he faced with the bases empty. The Phillies walked about 6.6% of the hitters they faced with the bases empty.

Here are the Phillies pitchers who walked more than the league average of 8% of the batters they faced with the bases empty (pitchers in bold faced less than 150 hitters for the Phils for the year):

  % of batters
walked with bases empty
Lidge 8.2
Bastardo 9.5
Kendrick 10.6
Durbin 11.0
Carpenter 13.3
Taschner 14.0
Eyre 16.7
Romero 17.2
Register 33.3

And here is the list of pitchers who walked less than 8% of the batters they faced with the bases empty:

  % of batters
walked with bases empty
Martinez 1.9
Escalona 3.4
Lee 3.7
Walker 3.8
Blanton 5.1
Moyer 5.4
Park 5.6
Hamels 5.9
Lopez 6.0
Madson 6.5
Happ 6.7
Condrey 6.9
Myers 7.6

The other thing you want to try to avoid with the bases empty is allowing a hit. Overall in the NL in 2009, pitchers allowed hits in about 23.3% of the plate appearances with the bases empty. The Phillies allowed them at a little higher rate, about 24.7%. Here’s the list of the Phillies pitchers that allowed hits to more than 23.3% of the batters they faced with the bases empty in 2009:

  % of batters
reach on hit with bases empty
Eyre 23.3
Escalona 24.1
Lidge 24.5
Happ 24.7
Madson 25.3
Hamels 25.6
Blanton 25.6
Moyer 26.2
Myers 26.5
Lee 27.3
Taschner 28.1
Martinez 29.8
Carpenter 33.3
Lopez 37.3
Register 66.7

That’s a long list. Much longer than the list of pitchers on the bad side of allowing walks with the bases empty.

It leaves just seven guys for the list of pitchers who allowed a hit to less than 23.3% of the batters they faced with the bases empty:

  % of batters
reach on hit with bases empty
Condrey 16.8
Romero 17.2
Bastardo 17.5
Durbin 18.0
Kendrick 18.2
Park 20.2
Walker 20.5

Again, that list is less impressive than the list of the guys who allowed walks to a lower percentage of hitters with the bases empty than the league average.

There are just three of the 22 pitchers on the team that allowed both hits and walks with the bases empty at rates that were lower than the average for the league: Condrey , Park and Walker.

When you combine hits and walks there were nine pitchers who allowed hits plus walks with the bases empty at a rate that was lower than the league average. Here’s a list of all 22 players, along with the average for the NL for 2009 and their rank on the team:


0.075 Clay Condrey 1
0.069 Tyler Walker 2
0.055 Chan Ho Park 3
0.043 Antonio Bastardo 4
0.037 Sergio Escalona 5
0.025 Kyle Kendrick 6
0.022 Chad Durbin 7
0.006 Joe Blanton 8
0.003 Cliff Lee 9

NL AVERAGE

 
-0.001 J.A. Happ 10
-0.002 Cole Hamels 11
-0.003 Jamie Moyer 12
-0.004 Pedro Martinez 13
-0.005 Ryan Madson 14
-0.014 Brad Lidge 15
-0.028 Brett Myers 16
-0.032 J.C. Romero 17
-0.087 Scott Eyre 18
-0.108 Jack Taschner 19
-0.120 Rodrigo Lopez 20
-0.154 Andrew Carpenter 21
-0.687 Steven Register 22

So, for example, with the bases empty Clay Condrey faced 101 batters. 17 of them (16.83%) got hits and seven of them (6.93%) walked. .1683 plus .0693 is .238. The NL average was to allow 23.3% hits and 8.0% walks, which is 31.3%. .313 minus .238 is .075, which is the best mark for the 22 pitchers on the team. At the other end of the list, Stephen Register faced just three men with the bases empty and allowed two hits and a walk.

The Phillies have signed Danys Baez to a two-year, $5.25 million contract. The righty joins a pen that includes Madson and Durbin and will likely include Lidge and Romero when they are healthy.

The 32-year old righty was miserable in 2007, missed 2008 and pitched well for the O’s in 2009, posting a 4.02 ERA with a 1.13 ratio. Believers in batting average for balls in play might want to take note of the .232 mark for Baez last year, which was the lowest for his career.

This suggests that Eyre will not be back and that Joe Biemel and Will Ohman are free agent candidates as lefty relievers in the bullpen. It also says that the Phils would like to add more depth in the rotation.

The Twins signed Clay Condrey to a one-year deal.

Scott Eyre retired.

The Phillies will invite 13 non-roster players to Spring Training, including Domonic Brown, Joe Savery, BJ Rosenberg (who had fantastic numbers last year), Phillippe Aumont and Tyson Gillies.


Walking on empty

During the 2007 season, Phillies pitchers walked 558 batters. That’s too many. Only five NL teams walked more that year. The number of walks the Phillies issued dropped in 2008 and dropped even more in 2009. During the 2009 season, Phillies pitching allowed just 489 walks. St Louis was the only team in the NL to give up fewer walks.

So the Phillies have cut down the number of walks that they issue over the past couple of seasons, which is a very good thing. That’s not today’s point, though. Today’s point is that in 2009 some Phillies pitchers were better at preventing walks with the bases empty than others.

During 2009, Phillies pitcher walked about 6.6% of the batters they faced when the based were empty and about 9.3% of the batters they faced when there was at least one man on base. Not all Phillies pitchers saw that kind of increase in the walks they allowed, though. Some walked batters at a lower rate when the bases were empty in 2009 than they did when there was at least one man on. Of the 22 pitchers who appeared for the Phillies in 2009, nine of them were better at preventing walks when there were men on base than when the bases were empty. The chart below shows, for the nine, the walks they issued per 100 plate appearances with the bases empty, where this ranks among the 22 Phillies pitchers for 2009, the walks they issued per 100 plate appearances with men on base, where this ranks among the ’09 Phillies pitchers and how much higher their rate of walking men with the bases empty was compared to with men aboard as a percentage (pitchers who faced less than 150 batters are in bold):

Player BB per 100
empty
Rank BB per 100
men on
Rank %
Myers 7.6 13 7.6 9 100.1
Taschner 14.0 19 14.0 19 100.6
Carpenter 13.3 18 11.8 16 113.3
Hamels 5.9 8 4.4 4 134.6
Bastardo 9.5 15 7.0 6 136.5
Lee 3.7 3 2.1 2 174.7
Eyre 16.7 20 8.8 11 188.9
Kendrick 10.6 16 4.3 3 243.9
Register 33.2 22 0.0 1 -

So, for example, Cole Hamels walked about 5.9% of the batters he faced with the bases empty (which was fifth-best on the team) and about 4.4% of the batters he faced with men on base (fourth-best on the team). Overall for the year his walk rate with nobody on base was about 135% of what it was with men aboard.

At the bottom of that list, Stephen Register faced just 11 batters all year long for the Phils. He walked one of the three he faced with the bases empty, giving him the worst rate of walks per 100 plate appearances on the team with nobody aboard, but none of the eight hitters he faced with men on base.

Being on the list above doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily good at preventing walks, just that in ’09 you were at least a little bit better at it than you were when there were men on base. Eyre, for example, gave up way too many walks overall, but cut down his rate considerably when there were ducks aboard.

Hamels and Kendrick are the pitchers of that group that seem likely to impact the Phillies in the future. Hamels saw his walk rate drop in 2009 while the rest of his numbers went up. He had a lot more success in 2007 and 2008 than he did in 2009 — in each of those years he rate of walking batters was better with the bases empty than with men aboard, which is the opposite of his results for 2009 (in 2006 his rates were nearly identical).

Kendrick didn’t face a ton of hitters in 2009, but was much better at preventing walks when their were men on base than when there weren’t. His walk rate overall was lower than his miserable 2008, but worse than his mark for 2007 when he was very effective. By opponent OPS, Kendrick was the Phillies best pitcher in 2009 with the bases empty. Opponents hit 203/288/203 against him (12-for-59 with 12 singles and seven walks and a .491 OPS). By comparison, they hit 287/321/393 (.753) against Cliff Lee with the bases empty. Since he didn’t walk anyone with me on base you’d think Kendrick would be pretty much invincible, but sadly despite not walking anyone Kendrick allowed opponents to hit .375 against him with men on base, which will mess things up in a jiffy.

Here’s the numbers for the 13 pitchers who allowed walks more regularly when there were runners on base:

Player BB per 100
empty
Rank BB per 100
men on
Rank %
Romero 17.2 21 18.2 21 105.5
Madson 6.5 10 7.3 8 113.3
Moyer 5.4 6 7.2 7 133.8
Condrey 6.9 12 9.6 12 138.4
Happ 6.7 11 10.1 15 151.2
Lopez 6.0 9 10.0 14 167.5
Durbin 11.0 17 19.7 22 178.5
Blanton 5.1 5 9.9 13 193.9
Lidge 8.2 14 16.2 20 198.2
Walker 3.8 4 8.3 10 216.7
Park 5.6 7 13.4 18 241.5
Martinez 1.9 1 6.9 5 358.6
Escalona 3.4 2 12.9 17 374.2

Remember that overall the Phillies walked about 9.3 batters per 100 plate appearances with men on base and about 6.6 batters with the bases empty. So the average pitcher had a walk rate that was about 141% of his walk rate with the bases empty.

Again, being on this list doesn’t necessarily mean you issued a lot of walks. Pedro, for example, issued walks at about 3 1/2 times his bases empty rate with men on base. His rate of allowing walks with men on base was still fifth-best on the team despite how much more regularly he issued walks with men aboard.

Looking again to the guys who will impact 2010, the rates that Durbin and Lidge issued walks with men on base has to be the scariest data from the chart above. Durbin walked nearly one in five men he faced with runners aboard and Lidge was nearly as bad.

Blanton also saw his rate of walks increase dramatically. With nobody on he was among the best on the team at preventing bases on balls. When men got on base he gave up a lot more and fell to the middle of the pack. Happ started in the middle and saw his rate increase at about the rate that was the average for the team.

Romero just walks a ton of folks regardless of the situation.

Madson and Moyer both walked more with men on base, but not a whole lot more and their rates for allowing walks in both circumstances were pretty good compared to the rest of the team.

This suggests that the Phillies may announce the signing of Danys Baez if he passes his physical this week. Baez missed all of 2008 after Tommy John surgery, but threw to a 4.02 ERA and a 1.13 ratio for Baltimore in 2009.

The article linked above also says that the Phillies have made a minor league offer to Eyre.

Today is the first day that players can file for arbitration. This article talks about what we might expect to happen with Victorino, Blanton, Ruiz and Durbin.


Non-starter

The Playoff Start Log is updated and I think it says a lot about what went wrong for the Phillies in the World Series. In 2008 the Phils won it all, getting five quality starts in five World Series games. After Lee allowed one run in nine innings in game one of the NLDS against the Rockies this year, the Phils had made seven quality starts in a row in playoff games. In the last four games of the World Series this year the Phillies didn’t have a quality start and their starters threw to a 7.59 ERA. They allowed 18 earned runs in 21 1/3 innings.

That probably has a lot to do with how much better the Yankees are at scoring runs than the Rockies or Rays. Still, you aren’t going to win a lot of games when your starters throw to a 7.59 ERA.

The Yankees won the World Series this year. The Phillies didn’t. The Yankees had Andy Pettitte and the Phillies had Joe Blanton. The pair didn’t play in the same league in 2009, but they had pretty similar numbers during the regular season:

  GS IP ERA Ratio ERA+
Blanton 31 195.1 4.05 1.32 106
Pettitte 32 194.2 4.16 1.38 107

If the two players had a similar year in the regular season, they didn’t in the post-season. The Yankees put a whole lot of their playoff eggs in the Pettitte basket, but Blanton was not a big part of the Phillies rotation in the playoffs. You didn’t have to watch the Phillies play too many playoff games this year before that became apparent. He was pitching in relief in the sixth inning of game two of the NLDS with the Phils down 4-0.

The Phils and Yankees both played 15 post-season games in 2009. Pettitte threw almost twice as many innings as Blanton. He threw 30 2/3 while Blanton threw 15 2/3. Blanton made two starts and two appearances in relief while Pettitte’s post-season legend grew. Pettitte made five post-season starts in ’09 and went 4-0 with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.21 ratio.

Why would the Phillies do such a thing? Well, it wasn’t because Blanton hadn’t been good in the post-season. He helped them win the World Series in 2008 as he started three playoff games. The Phils won all three as Blanton went 2-0 with a 3.18 ERA and a 1.29 ratio.

The why, apparently, turned out to be that the Phils thought their chances were better with Pedro Martinez. The Phils signed the free agent Martinez in mid-July to a contract that would have the Phillies paying him about a million dollars. Martinez made nine starts for the Phils in 2009 and pitched better than a lot of people were expecting, going 5-1 with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.25 ratio. There were some warning signs, too, though. Opponents slugged .472 against him and he allowed eight home runs in 44 2/3 innings. That home run rate would have had him allowing about 36 over 200 innings. Milwaukee’s Braden Looper was the only pitcher in either league that allowed 36 or more home runs this season. Two of his early starts with the Phils were cut short by rain, but he threw less than five innings per start in his nine outings with the Phils.

He didn’t exactly end the regular season on a high note. He made a fantastic start against the Mets on September 13 in which he threw 130 pitches in eight shutout innings. His next start was against the Braves on September 19 and he allowed three runs over three innings before leaving the game with a neck problem. He made just one more start before the end of the year and he wasn’t very good. On September 30, he faced Houston and allowed three runs on six hits and a walk over four innings.

It didn’t scare off the Phillies. They let him start a game in the NLCS and two games in the World Series. They lost all three games. In the first he pitched great but had to be pulled before he had thrown 90 pitches. In each of the next two the Phils left him in the game too long. He started the game in which they were eliminated from the World Series and was awful.

So Blanton was a solid pitcher this year, the Phils gave at least some of his playoff starts to Pedro, who not a lot of other teams seemed to want, and then they lost every post-season game that Pedro started. That sounds pretty bad and I think it was. It’s a little more complicated than that, though.

The Phillies scored a total of five runs in the three games Martinez started. Pedro didn’t pitch as well as his numbers would indicate, but his numbers were great overall for the playoffs. In the three playoff starts with the Phils, Pedro threw to a 3.71 ERA with an 0.88 ERA. Blanton, meanwhile, did not pitch well in his post-season chances. He made two starts and two relief appearances overall for the post-season, throwing to a 5.17 ERA and a 1.21 ratio.

Still, the decision to go with Martinez instead of Blanton in the post-season was critical for the Phillies. And it didn’t work.

Cliff Lee will be back with the Phils in 2010 after the Phillies picked up his $9 million option.

Brett Myers will not be back.

Feliz may or may not be back, but it’s a little less likely now that the Phillies have declined his $5.5 million option.

I think the Phils went 3-for-3 in that flurry. I think it was the right decision not to pick up Feliz’s option, but I was surprised to see them do it. Beltre, Figgins and DeRosa seem to be the names that most people are talking about as improvements at third. If he’s healthy, I think Troy Glaus would be a huge help for the Phillies offensively as well. You might notice some defensive dropoff, though. The list of free agent third basemen that would help the Phils more than Feliz isn’t that long, so hopefully they have something in mind.

Ibanez (sports hernia) and Eyre (loose bodies in his elbow) were scheduled for surgeries yesterday and Lidge will have surgery on Wednesday to remove loose bodies from his right elbow.

Park, Feliz, Bako, Stairs, Martinez, Myers and Cairo have all filed to become free agents.


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