Saturday, June 26, 2004
Ken Mandel is MLB.com's Philly beat writer, and usually alot of the stuff that he write's is pretty bland or otherwise just run-of-the-mill type of stuff, and when your writing about baseball everyday it will happen. There's only so often that good stories happen that create some interest. His recent Notes column does just that for me.
The first part is about the whole Schilling trade, and runs lightly over the much explored topic. What disturbs me, and ironically it's something I just posted about this morning, was at the end where Wade goes:
"Curt would have been a good fit for our club," said Wade. "Obviously, he expressed an interest in coming back to us, but there were a lot of moving parts to this. So we went somewhere else and used different components and got Eric Milton, and he's 9-2."
Hopefully, Wade is putting a spin on the non-move. Like I said Milton is being Milton, which isnt such a bad thing, he's just not worth his money.
The second piece covers Elizardo Ramirez, and his experiences traveling around with the ball club. I mean, he didnt even know about Fenway Park!!! EZ is a nice young pitcher, I've commented on him before here, who hopefully one day will get another shot.
Boy, Billy Wagner still is bitter isn't he. He calls the Astros a desperate team, and praises heavily both Dotel and the minor leaguer they traded away.
The Luckiest "Ace"
Eric Milton is amongst eight pitchers with nine wins or better. The list includes the likes of Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Jason Schmidt, Curt Schilling, and Mark Moulder; also on the short-list are surprises like Kenny Rogers and Brian Lawerence, Milton likewise is also a surprise.
Of those eight Milton compares with Lawerence quite well, except Milton sports a eye catching 9-2 record while Lawerence's record is a respectable 9-5. Records are deceiving, of course, and the case is overally apparent for Milton..
Clemens, Johnson, Schmidt, Schilling, Moulder, and Rogers all have ERA's at, or below, 3.22 (with the constant exception being Lawerence who has a 3.87), Milton is the obvious albatross with a 4.22 ERA.
What is even more improbable, all things considered is that Milton has had only four no-decisions; one of which was a rain-shortened start agaisnt the Reds (3 IP, Phils down 4-3) in which the Phils won, another in which the Phils came back to win, and the other two the bullpen blew the leads. So if the bullpen doesn't blow those leads, Milton is now 11-2.
His ERA is over four, he has allowed 16 HR's (roughly on pace for 34), allowed more hits than innings, and his K/BB ratio is less than 2:1. As you can probably imagine, his record is supported by alot of "luck" on the field. When I say "luck" I don't mean that in relative performances of the others on the team, but that they all so happen on the days that Milton pitches.
Run Support? Well, he's gotten his fair share of it, let's just say that. In his two loses, the Phils scored exactly two runs. Next, in his four no-decisions the Phils scored an average of 5.75 RPG, that jumps astronomically to 7.1 RPG in his nine wins. Heck, with run support like that, Kevin Millwood would be the talk of the town at this point (In his five losses the Phils have scored a combined 8 runs).
Run support can't be everything, especially since Milton has pitched through the seventh inning a whopping 3 times, and never past it. Four of his wins actually come from games in which he did not pitch past the 5th inning, so it's safe to assume that Milton is getting alot of bullpen help. And boy is he...In his two loses the bullpen has let up three runs, his four no-decisions yeilded an average of 3.25 RPG, and in his nine wins? How about a sporty 9 runs allowed, four of them by Billy Wagner on his return from the DL.
So Milton's wins translate as this: The Phils average 7.1 RPG, Milton has allowed 2.7 RPG, and the bullpen has let up 1 RPG. Pretty good stuff for Eric, all this while lowering his K/BB ratio to the lowest of his career since his rookie season. Actually, case in point, Milton's perifreials are pretty close to his rookie season, the one in which he went 8-14 and had an ERA of over five.
Obviously Milton isn't worth close to $9 million dollars that the Phils are paying him, but I think it's far worse than that. What happens if he finishes, say, 18-4 (speculation of course)? That's a pretty gaudy record, one in which I wonder Wade will be able to see through come the off-season. Milton isn't an ace of course, but he will demand that money I'm sure (he already is getting ace money, thus the title) come the offseason, and Wade isn't exactly your most profecient in seeing through to core stats. He often favors past performances (Williams, Wendell, Hernandez) as his requidum for signing pitchers; not that Milton would be a bad pitcher in the future (he's not) just a highly overpaid one.
Friday, June 25, 2004
New Phils blogger inbound
Eric over at "Philling Station" has officially been replace by Brian Peoples. I guess we should be looking for some work within a week or so from the new member of the Phils bloggers. "...we finalized the deal this morning." I hope Brian took him to the cleaners with the signing bonus and put a clause in his contract for extra years to kick in when he reaches a certain amount of entries.
Pedro..and the unlike
Pedro pitching tonight against the Phils is a TiVo must. I will confess during some games I will TiVo something off the History Channel, and try to catch the Comcast re-plays at 3am.
If it wasn't difficult enough of a task for the Phils to score runs on Pedro, they now have to compete with the fact that the offenseive Red Sox get to tee off on Paul Abbott. Talk about a complete mismatch of pitchers, stats not-including this year:
Pedro 32 yrs old. (166-67): 2079 IP, 1553 H, 554 BB, 2426 K, 149 HR, 2.58 ERA
Abbott 35 yrs old. (40-26): 624 IP, 576 H, 335 BB, 450 K, 79 HR, 4.68 ERA
Pedro's numbers are absolutely off the wall, so he would make anyone look bad, but Abbott has the worst career numbers of any Phils starter so it really looks bad.
I don't see the Phils pulling this one out, just too much of a disparity between pitchers, although Pedor's record against the Phils the last three years is 0-1 in two starts, something has to be said about that I guess. Either way, it could be a rough weekend for the Phils.
Ok everyone forget about Beltran, he is in Houston. I don't even know if they were mentioned as a bidder, but apparently they were. I think alot of teams have to be surprised (Yankees) that Houston was able to jump them.
That was the most obvious big name out there Wade could have landed, to much praise. I think it's kinda a hex to the Phils to have Hamels and Floyd, because the Phils seem them as untradeable and I am sure that's who everyone wants.
Once again, Billy Beane manages to squeeze himself into a deal, it's amazing anyone still deals with the guy. If Wade was smart he'd stay away from him, I question Wade's intellect concerning Beane's acquistions and if he were to deal with him may get taken to the cleaners.
So now..Steve Finley anyone?
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
The good and bad
Good being that the Phils finally moved Byrd, the bad being he wasn't traded, and the worse of it all being that it will probably deteroriate into a Michaels/Glanville split instead of a Abreu/Ledee/Micheals rotation, that worked out well last year. I gotta give Bowa credit with starting Ledee last night however.
Some more bad is Roberto Hernandez is about to go 1:1 K/BB within the next few starts. The most credit I have givin him is ability to climb above last years decline, but the last few appearences have shown him falling back down the hole. It's amazing how we stick with the veterans longer than the younger guys, especially since this certain veteran has been in a decline for years.
On that note..don't look now but Seung Lee is pitching very well in Scranton. One of two S. Korean pitchers the Phils signed a couple of years ago for big money (as in signing bonus) looks like he may finally be ready. This is whats lookin good, 44Ip/ 39K/9BB. Boasting a 3.22 ERA for whatever ERA's are worth. I bet you my life savings, he can be as good as Hernandez, and since the whole 25 man roster has seemingly been juggled as of late, why not.
Machado continues to impress me, but at the same time has seen a dropoff at the plate as of late, and his errors are still up there. I know it's supposedly due to his wide range and his youth, but it gets old, and the way Rollins is playing he looks to be a mainstay in Scranton.
Lou Collier has played very well offensively, and if you double Utleys stats, they are neck and neck. But Colliers walk rate is significantly lower than Utley's, and if Utley is any sign, the Collier would never take one in the majors. That aside, Collier has nowhere to play with the Phils, it's just nice to see he stuck with the organization and is playing well.
Tomorrow Reading is having some sort of Negro League celebration, the gate give-a-way is 2,000 Marlon Byrd bobbleheads. I'm sure little did they know how close Marlon would actually be to AA at this point in the season.
Speaking of Marlon, looks like he will beat up on AAA pitching until his call-up in two weeks. I guess at this point and time, Byrd and Utley have been very disapointing with their stints up with the Phils. These two kill all minor league pitching, and struggle when up, it's a leap, but one we all hoped they could overcome. They both have futures potentially, and you have to think that Byrd is more likely to become an everyday player considering last season. Utley will have his shot next year, but besides initial spurts, has trailed off as the at-bats worn on.
Big two weeks ahead of us, we can either keep the NL East in it, or we can seperate from the back. If history serves us correct, the standings will be probably the same come two weeks, with the Fish up one or two.