...and then it happened

Friday, July 18, 2008 ·

So, last night, I got the ESPN text that the Phillies agreed to acquire Joe Blanton. I immediately called my friends to see who was offered in the package for, the Joe Blanton. Pacing back and forth, I was thinking to myself about which one of our top prospects did they send packing to Oakland. Cardenas? Bastardo? Outman? Golson? Which one could it have been (assuming they sent some other low level prospects).

And then I got the next text: Phillies acquire RHP Joe Blanton for Adrian Cardenas, Josh Outman, and Matthew Spencer. I immediately said, "What the fuck?" and threw my phone. The Chicago Cubs gave up less for Rich Harden and Chad Gaudin than we gave up for Joe friggin' Blanton! Tim Kurkjian feels that Joe Blanton is a well-above average pitcher. Really? Really Tim? He has an ERA+ of 100. THAT IS AVERAGE!

Also, what is wrong with trying out JA Happ for longer than two starts. He pitched well enough here to deserve the opportunity and he pitched 7 innings of no-hit ball last night with 12 strike-outs. Why not try it? Why not try to build from within if you feel you have to overpay for a pitcher like Joe Blanton -- Especially a guy that has a 6.75 ERA over his last 8 starts. Especially for a guy that reminds us all of Jon Lieber.

Positives: He'll likely eat up some innings to help out the bullpen. He'll also likely eat up some cheesesteaks to help out the local restaurants. We've seen his ceiling and this year I assume we're seeing his floor. He has okay stuff, but no real out pitch. Some people like the timing of the deal because it was before an injury or win streak inflated his market, which could have made us overpay for him even more. In his career, he has pitched slightly better in the second half, than the first half. He's still only 27 and he is under team control until 2010.

Negatives: He's experiencing a pretty big decline in 2007, an ERA+ of 77, the same as Adam Eaton's. Yes, he pitched in the AL, but he is a career average pitcher with an ERA+ of 100. In 60 games on the road, he has a career 4.78 ERA. In 62 starts at home, he has a career 3.78 ERA. One could argue that pitching in Oakland has helped his style of pitching. He reminds us a lot of Jon Lieber. While, pitching very well against left-handed hitters, he has been awful against right-handers as he surrenders an OPS of .878.

Expectation: Blanton could have an average to slightly above average second half and that would be an improvement over Adam Eaton. The Phillies still lack a #2 or even #3 starter and that will hurt them come October. Blanton could provide some good outings in the short-term, but it is hard to say he will in 2009 or 2010. If this is what the Phillies addition to the rotation for the next few years is, it'll make the fans awfully angry. He improves the team marginally, but he does not improve their chances of making a deep playoff run. At some point in our lifetime, the Phillies front office will have to sit down and say, we really need to try to make a drastic improvement for this team. Every other Philly franchise has done it, so why shouldn't we. Only time will tell. Good luck Joe Blanton. Please prove us wrong.


A small introduction...

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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