The Rotation in 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008 ·

After analyzing the infield and outfield, we are now taking a look at the Phillies 2008 starting rotation. All salary information will come from Cot's Baseball Contracts. All stats are 162 game averages, unless otherwise noted.

Ace - Cole Hamels (0.4M [2007])
- 210 innings, 16-8, 3.68 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 214 Ks, 60 BBs, 29 HRs/Career Averages - 9.18 K/9, 3.54 K/BB, 1.06 GB/FB, .237 OAvg, .702 OPS

Cole Hamels is everything you look for in an ace. He has a very good strikeout ratio and a fairly low WHIP. When he does give up home runs, they are generally solo home runs because he left his change-up. His fastball has natural movement that goes in on right-handed batters. Sometimes his command is off though and he'll have a 5 walk game. Hamels has continued to try to perfect a 12 to 6 curveball that he added during last spring training. If he gets to the point where he is comfortable to use the curveball anywhere in the count, he may become even more dominating. I'd like to see Cole get a few more groundballs in our park, but when he does have his change-up down, he is getting Ks, so it evens out.

Projection: 34 starts, 203 innings, 16-6, 3.21 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 195 Ks

02 - Brett Myers (8.5M) - [187 innings, 11-9, 4.34 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 156 Ks, 65 BBs, 26 HRs] Of course his stats are skewed a little because of his role last year. Career Averages - 7.54 K/9, 2.38 K/BB, 1.48 GB/FB, .260 OAvg, .759 OPS.

The funny thing about Brett Myers is that his game starts to get rocky around the 5th-6th inning. For most of his career, he averages about 5.2 innings a start. Myers strike-out per 9 ratio has risen over the last few years and it is hard to believe he only turns 28 in August (7th season). In his last two years as a starter, Myers posted good numbers and I'd expect similar success. He also has the mentality that you'd like to see on the mound. The guy just flat out loves to pitch and play the game and he'd do it every game if he could. At times, he leaves his curve ball up a little and it gets taking deep.

Projection: 32 starts, 175 innings, 14-8, 4.10 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 190 Ks

03 - Kyle Kendrick - 2007 - 10-4, 3.87 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 49 Ks, 25 BB, 16 HR, 3.65 K/9, 1.96 K/BB, 1.55 GB/FB, .280 OAvg, .772 OPS

If Kyle Kendrick pitched a full year last year with similar success, his numbers would have looked like this: 205.7 innings, 17-6, 83 Ks, 42 BB. Don't expect those numbers. Kyle Kendrick's K/9 are incredibly low for a major league pitcher and that should throw up a red flag. In his second season, teams will now have more scouting reports on the young pitcher. Kyle Kendrick lacks a true out pitch and that can come back to hurt him with runners on base. Some positives from Kendrick is the incredible amount of ground balls he forces. With an improved defense behind him, Kendrick may see some more outs that he didn't see last year. If he can continue to have the same command, I'd expect similar to a little lower numbers than last year. I'd also expect Kendrick to be fatigued with his extended amount of innings over this season.

Prediction - 27 starts, 155 innings, 13-9, 4.35 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 90 K

04 - Jamie Moyer (3.5M) - 209 innings, 13-10, 4.21 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 125 Ks, 59 BBs, 26 HRs. Career Averages - 5.39 K/9, 2.10 K/BB, 1.11 GB/FB, .267 OAvg, .821 OPS

I think we are looking at the end of the road for Jamie Moyer this year. Ironically, his K/9 were above his career average last year, but his K/BB was below which means his command is not what it used to be. For a guy with nothing, but command, this could spell problems. Moyer was hit pretty hard last year. He was also very poor on the road last year: 6-8 5.25 ERA compared to 8-4 4.72 at home. Moyer benefited greatly from our offense last season. Put it this way, whether he is third or fourth in the rotation, you will likely see #5 starter's numbers.

Projection - 34 starts, 205 innings, 12-11, 4.73 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 115 Ks

05 - Adam Eaton (7.365M) - 198.7 innings, 12-10, 4.70 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 148 Ks, 73 BBs, 27 HR. Career Averages - 6.72 K/9, 2.02 K/BB, 1.07 GB/FB, .267 AVG, .776 OPS.

Over the last two seasons, Adam Eaton has seen his strike-outs fall and his walks rise. He has also seen teams have an OPS of .870 of him the last two seasons. And the Phillies gave him a $24 million deal over three years. Dear Pat Gillick, do you have a mind? or heart? The Adam Eaton signing was literally one of the dumbest moves in the history of baseball, but enough of that. What to expect from him? I couldn't tell you, but you have to think he cannot get any worse. He had a stretch in May where he pitched well, so hopefully he can find out what he did well. His only positive: He has never lost to the Mets. Yes, the Adam Eaton we have all come to dislike, has never been beaten by the Mets. Shocking. I will project him as if he would make 34 starts.

Projection (if he remains 5th starter) - 175 innings, 11-14, 5.30 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 155 Ks

The Other Guys!

Kris Benson (Anywhere from 100K to 5.1 M)
- 210.3, 11-12, 4.34 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 137 K, 73 BBs, 25 HR. Career Averages - 5.87 K/9, 1.86 K/BB, 1.23 GB/FB, .267 OAvg, .749 OPS.

Benson has not pitched since 2006. He has only made more than 30 starts 4 times in his 7 year career. I am not sure what to expect with Benson. I don't mind the move because it is low risk, but it is not exactly high reward. Benson is another guy that relies on contact and has seen his strike outs fall and his walks rise. Maybe I am clueless as a fan, but I think the Phillies need two types of pitches. 1 - A pitcher with a high strike-out ratio. 2 - A pitcher similar to Kyle Kendrick with a sinker that forces a lot of ground balls. Benson is neither, but I don't want to discount the move. He could turn out to be a little better than average. If Benson makes 30 starts, his deal will be worth $5.1M. I will project his stats if he starts the season in the rotation, though I feel it to be very unlikely.

Projection - 34 starts, 175 inn, 12-11, 4.65 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 115 K

Chad Durbin (0.9M) - 167 inn, 8-13, 5.75 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 95 K, 69 BB, 28 HR. Career Averages - 5.13 K/9, 1.37 K/BB, 1.08 GB/FB, .288 OAvg, .836 OPS.

You should expect Durbin to primarily be used as a middle reliever where he posted okay to decent numbers last year. However, I would expect him to make 7-10 spot starts. You never know what you'll get with him. To be honest, he's just not good as a starter. There is no way to truly be rationale and say he'll put together a good stretch of starts.

Projection for 10 starts - 59 innings, 3-5, 5.50 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 30 K

Starting Rotation Decisions with Eaton - 69-53
Starting Rotation Decisions with Benson - 70-51

If the Phillies starters can find a way to win around 75 decisions, they should be in very good shape this season with regard to the division. If they win only 65 decisions, I'd expect around third place in the division. According to my projections, I see their starters taking them through another wild card race.

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We Hate to Lose began in October 2007. The initial purpose of the website was to provide news updates and commentary on all four major sports teams in Philadelphia. Because of time-constraints, in April of 2009, I decided to post only on my first-love, the Philadelphia Phillies.

My name is Justin Evans and I hope you enjoy the site.

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