Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pat Gillick: Crazy Pills

I actually don't mean to be piling on Gillick all that much, but since no one in our cohort is a Dodgers fan (quite the opposite, actually), there's no real point on bringing up the fact that Ned Colletti clearly has down syndrome. But I am wondering if, in between fondling his Jays World Series Rings and complaining about how innappropriate Moneyball was, Gillick actually got around to watching the team he ostensibly runs actually play a game last season. Because, I'm convinced, if he actually had watched them play he wouldn't have traded for Freddy Garcia.

Three qualifiers, before I get into it:

- ESPN's Keith Law, a dude who is very often right, thinks the Garcia deal is good. I respect him, and he offers evidence to back up his point. I think he's ignoring some evidence that points out why a guy like Garcia might get his ass chewed in Citizen's. But, whatver, I'm pointing out that people I don't think are idiots disagree with what I'm about to say.

- I don't care what the Phillies gave up in the deal. I think it became obvious that Floyd was far away from having an impact in the majors after his last stint, and the young guy sounds like he's got a couple of years left himself. And while I generally think it's dumb for teams to move young arms when the A's and Twins are providing daily evidence that there's nothing more important to the prolonged success of a team, that's not the situation for the front office of that franchise, which probably needs to make the playoffs this season to remain intact. So, they're looking for guys that can help them right now. Cool.

- That Lieber for Turnbow/Mench trade is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of in my life. I'm not going to get into it in the rest of this post, because it sounds like it might not happen now. But I challenge anyone to tell me why a contending team would need a reliever that can't get anyone out or an outfielder that hit, like, four fucking home runs in the second half of last season. At least Lieber has been good at some point in his career.

OK, onto the meat.

Freddy Garcia is a flyball pitcher (G/F ratio = 1.07, against a league average of 1.2). He gave 32 home runs, which works out to exactly one per nine innings. Now, that's not Eric Milton bad, but that's not very good, either. And while New Comiskey (or whatever the fuck it's called now) is a bit more of a bandbox than Citizen's, it's not by much. Now, considering that Citizen's has established itself as a hitter's park that eats flyball pitchers alive, one would think Gillick would target guys who are at least a little above league average when it comes to keeping the ball on the ground (particularly since the Phils are pretty solid up the middle, with Rollins and the underrated Utley, defensively). Instead, this is what next year's rotation, right now, looks like, broken down by GB/FB, HR/9, K/9, and WHIP, which I think are the best indicators of future success in a hitter's park. (2006 stats)

Myers: 1.25/.9/8.4/1.30
Moyer: 1.03/1.0/4.5/1.32
Garcia: 1.07/1.0/5.6/1.28
Hamels: 0.97/0.9/9.6/1.25
Eaton: 0.98/1.1/6.0/1.57

The only one of the bunch that is even above league average at drawing ground balls is Myers; the rest are actually pretty extreme flyball pitchers. All three pretty much give up at least one home run per nine innings, which is a hair below league average. And none of the five are spectacular when it comes to keeping runners off base, though only Eaton is worse than the average major league pitcher (1.40) in that category. But the thing that stands out for me here is the strikeout figures: I expect Myers and Hamels will be fine, because they're both high K guys that have an ability to negate some of their WHIP issues. Plus, you expect high-K guys to be flyball guys (Myers is actually a little strange in that respect). Moyer, Garcia and Eaton, on the other hand, have almost nothing going for them. And the numbers I've chosen to omit don't paint them in a better light. I'm really at a loss as to why the Phillies, considering their park, have decided that the three pickups they've made since late last season and will pay a little less than $23 million to are somehow going to help the cause. Because the chances are they're all going to suck pretty hard.

I really need to stop writing this much about the Phillies.

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