Tag: Phillies bullpen

Pen storms ahead with mediocre in its sights for 2008

In 2007, the Phillies’ opening day roster had 24 players, including six that were expected to be used primarily in relief. Here’s who they were and how their numbers looked at the end of the year:


G

IP

ERA

Ratio
Gordon 44 40.0 4.72 1.33
Geary 57 67.1 4.41 1.44
Madson 38 56.0 3.05 1.27
Smith 9 4.0 11.25 3.75
Alfonseca 61 49.2 5.44 1.85
Condrey 39 50.0 5.04 1.54

Of those six, Madson had a very nice season and Geary and Gordon not quite as nice. Condrey and Alfonseca gave the Phils a lot of innings, but their numbers overall were pretty ugly by the end of the year. Matt Smith was miserably ineffective and proved not to be a factor.

Segovia started the year on the roster but did not pitch in relief. He started the sixth game of the season against Florida and gave up five runs in five innings. It would prove to be his only action of the year.

The Phils played their first game on April 2 and added Joe Bisenius to their roster that same day. Bisenius would pitch just two innings all season. On April 5 they traded for Francisco Rosario.

At the end of the season, these were the ten Phillies who had pitched the most innings in relief and what they had done:


G

IP

ERA

Ratio
Geary 57 67.1 4.41 1.44
Madson 38 56.0 3.05 1.27
Myers 48 53.1 2.87 1.20
Condrey 39 50.0 5.04 1.54
Alfonseca 61 49.2 5.44 1.85
Gordon 44 40.0 4.72 1.33
Mesa 40 39.0 5.54 1.36
Romero 51 36.1 1.24 1.10
Rosario 23 26.1 5.47 1.78
Zagurski 25 21.1 5.91 1.69

Myers, Mesa, Romero, Rosario and Zagurski proved to be the guys who got the most innings in relief despite not being part of the bullpen picture on opening day. Without the contribution that the Phils got in the pen from Romero and Myers, there’s no chance the Phils would have made the playoffs. Myers made his first appearance in relief on April 18. The Phils called up Mike Zagurski on May 25, signed Jose Mesa on June 9 and JC Romero on June 22.

Back to the list of the ten pitchers who got the most innings in relief in 2007. I knew I had some point to make about that. Oh yeah, that list is miserable. Romero great, Myers great, Madson really good. Full stop. Geary did give the Phils a ton of innings and I believe he’s going to be harder to replace than most fans acknowledge. But overall those guys were mostly miserable.

Replacing Myers’ contribution in relief is non-trivial. Ditto for Romero. Unlike Romero, it seems like Madson has a good chance as being as effective as his ’07 self for the Phils.

Still, overall, if you look at the guys who started the year last year side-by-side with the guys who are going to start in the pen this year, I think most would agree that the Phils are going to be better off in the bullpen on opening day.

Here again are the six guys in the pen to start ’07, along side the five guys most think are in the pen to start ’08 as well as the list of candidates for the remaining two spots.


2007

2008
Gordon Gordon
Madson Madson
Geary Lidge
Smith Romero
Alfonseca Chad Durbin
Condrey  
   


Castro
Blackley
Condrey
JD Durbin
Youman
Rosario
Bisenius
Mathieson
Darensbourg
Outman
Happ
Ennis
Segovia
Knotts
Mazone
Holdzkom
Chiavacci

Pick whoever you think is the worst candidate, or the two worst candidates, from that list and I still think the pen that goes into 2008 is better than the pen that went into 2007. The question is how much better and what position they’re in to respond to the issues that arise once the season starts — the Phils had one of the worst pens in the NL last season and a minimal improvement in an area where they were so weak would be disappointing.

Todd Zolecki talks about PECOTA here, which projects the Phils finish third in the NL East this season behind the Braves.

Anderson Garcia was claimed by the Mariners.

If Kris Benson is not on the major league roster by March 25 he can request his release.


Geoff for kicks

Here’s what Brad Lidge and Geoff Geary have done over the past two seasons and their combined numbers for those two seasons:


Player

Year

IP

ER

H

BB

ERA

Ratio
Lidge 2006 75.0 44 69 36 5.28 1.40
Lidge 2007 67.0 25 54 30 3.36 1.25
               
Lidge ’06+’07 142.0 69 123 66 4.37 1.33
               

Player

Year

IP

ER

H

BB

ERA

Ratio
Geary 2006 91.1 30 103 20 2.96 1.35
Geary 2007 67.1 33 72 25 4.41 1.44
               
Geary ’06+’07 158.2 63 175 45 3.57 1.39

My point isn’t that Geoff Geary is a better pitcher than Brad Lidge or that he has been over the past two seasons. Among other things, over the last two seasons Lidge has struck out 192 in his 142 innings while Geary struck out 98 in his 158 2/3. In ’06 plus ’07 Lidge was charged with seven unearned runs, Geary 15. My point is just that the Phils didn’t just trade Michael Bourn for Brad Lidge, cause that really would have been a fantastic deal.

The Cardinals signed Matt Clement to a one-year, $1.5 million contract.

Former Phil Gio Gonzalez is now an Athletic. He was sent to Oakland as part of the deal that brought Nick Swisher to the White Sox. Gonzalez was sent to the White Sox along with Gavin Floyd in the deal that brought Freddy Garcia to the Phils. I’m starting to think the Freddy Garcia signing might turn out to be a mistake.

This post reminds that Jayson Werth was a first round pick of the Baltimore Orioles in 1997 and was traded to the Blue Jays straight up for John Bale, who is now trying to make the Royals rotation.

Carlos Delgado is disappointed that the Mets didn’t win the NL East last season because he thinks they had the best team.

Article about Braves’ reliever Peter Moylan here. In case you missed it, Moylan threw to a 1.80 ERA with a 1.07 ratio in 90 innings for Atlanta last season.


Romero wasn’t built in a day

The 20 games without allowing a run was enough to sell me on JC Romero. You too, probably. There isn’t much question that the 15 2/3 scoreless innings he threw in September helped propel the Phils into the playoffs. While it may have seemed like he didn’t allow a hit all that month, he did. Four, actually, in 15 2/3 innings.

Given all that, here’s today’s challenge for those who don’t know the answer already: Guess Romero’s 2006 ERA within two runs. I certainly couldn’t have done it. Here’s what he did with the Angels in ’06:


G

IP

ERA

Ratio

H

BB

SO
65 48.1 6.70 1.76 57 28 3

Opponents hit .298 against him in ’06. Righties posted a 382/455/578 line in their 122 plate plate appearances. This season, before he swooped in to bail out the Phillies, he did a stint with Boston and while he was there righties hit 317/440/585 against him. While he was with the Phillies this season, righties hit 133/301/187. And it wasn’t that the Phils didn’t use him against righties, either. Romero faced 94 righties with the Phils are 50 with the Red Sox this year.

Here’s his his per nine innings over his career (in 1999 he threw less than ten innings):

Year H/9

2000

11.24

2001

9.83

2002

6.89

2003

9.43

2004

7.39

2005

7.89

2006

10.61

’07 BOS

10.80

’07 PHI

3.72
   

Career

8.63

One of these things is not like the other — come on, can you tell me which one? Of the eight years of his career that Romero has thrown more than ten innings, in three of them (2000, 2001 and 2006) he threw to an ERA of 6.23 or higher. In 2003 his ERA was 5.00. His career ratio is 1.50.

 

Romero pitched better than he ever has in his career while with the Phillies. But not by that much. In 2002 he was fantastic with the Twins, posting a 1.89 ERA with a 1.21 ratio. That came in between a 6.23 ERA in 2001 and a 5.00 ERA 2003.


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