Blanton Sharp As Phillies Return to .500

The following chart, via FanGraphs, shows Joe Blanton’s sinker velocity. He averaged 90 or more MPH only a handful of times, but his sinker tonight averaged over 91 MPH according to Brooks Baseball.

(click to enlarge)

Tonight marked the 27th time in his career, out of 199 starts, that Blanton posted a game score of 69 or higher. Of course, he didn’t do it at all last year and only twice in 2010. The Phillies played incredible defense behind him, which explains why he allowed just three hits behind a paltry three strikeouts.

Date Tm Opp Rslt IP H R ER BB SO HR GSc WPA
2010-09-29 PHI WSN W 7-1 7.0 3 1 0 3 6 0 72 0.183
2010-08-23 PHI HOU L 2-3 7.0 6 1 1 0 9 0 70 0.345
2009-09-22 (1) PHI FLA W 9-3 7.0 2 0 0 2 9 0 80 0.334
2009-08-30 PHI ATL W 3-2 7.0 3 1 1 4 7 1 70 0.320
2009-07-10 PHI PIT W 3-2 7.1 4 1 1 1 6 1 71 0.268
2009-07-05 PHI NYM W 2-0 7.1 4 0 0 3 5 0 72 0.432
2009-05-26 PHI FLA W 5-3 7.0 5 0 0 2 11 0 76 0.304
2008-08-08 PHI PIT L 0-2 7.0 1 0 0 2 7 0 80 0.452
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/12/2012.

If the soon-to-be free agent can prove to the baseball world that he is healthy and effective, the Phillies should have no problem finding a suitor for his services at the July 31 trading deadline, assuming the Phillies are willing to eat most of his remaining salary.

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15 comments

  1. Nik

    April 12, 2012 10:44 PM

    Don’t really get that last line. Why would the Phillies shop him if he’s pitching well, while competing for a playoff spot?

  2. Bill Baer

    April 12, 2012 10:59 PM

    He’s a free agent after the season and not critical to the team’s playoff success. He’d likely be the odd man out in a post-season rotation, assuming Halladay, Lee, Hamels, and Worley are healthy.

  3. Bliz

    April 13, 2012 07:21 AM

    Bill, what kind of value do you see the Phils getting out of a Blanton deal? Obviously it would depend on how well he pitches up to the point of a trade. However, if the Phils are going to eat most of his salary anyway, what kind of player would you want in return to justify that kind of move? I would rather keep him for the whole season if they aren’t getting anything of worth in return, especially if it’s not going to give them much salary relief.

  4. nik

    April 13, 2012 07:46 AM

    I don’t think the Phillies will be near certain enough of getting a playoff spot by the trade deadline. You may not use him in the playoffs, but you might need him to get there.

  5. Bill Baer

    April 13, 2012 08:06 AM

    @ Bliz

    Aside from a nondescript prospect, probably some kind of utility infielder or a middle reliever.

    @ nik

    I don’t see Blanton as being very crucial to the Phillies’ playoff chances. At his best, he’s an average pitcher; I don’t see losing less than one win dropping from Blanton to Kendrick (or anybody else) as being a deciding factor in the Phillies’ playoff hopes.

  6. Jonny

    April 13, 2012 09:21 AM

    I’m not sure I’d sacrifice the few wins over replacement Blanton should bring in this all of a sudden competitive NL East when they will need to eat most of his salary and then get nothing but a utility man (fail) or a prospect someone is willing to part with. Keeping him and his extra wins plus picking up a draft pick when he signs elsewhere may be a bit more enticing if the division is tight. This is no cut and dry choice for Amaro is all I’m saying.

  7. Gaël

    April 13, 2012 09:34 AM

    Also, if I understand the new CBA right (which is, admittedly, a pretty big if), the Phillies are unlikely to get a compensation pick if Blanton signs with another team as a free agent (unless they are willing to offer him a pretty big contract to begin with).

  8. Jonny

    April 13, 2012 09:59 AM

    When you factor in his replacement Is Kendrick who’s been pretty darned lucky he’s worth at least 3 more wins imo.

  9. nik

    April 13, 2012 11:09 AM

    The more I think about it, there is no way I’d trade Blanton unless we’re 10 games up in the division. With the play-in game the wildcard is so much less attractive. Even if Blanton is worth 1 extra win from Aug-Sep, I keep him and pay him the 3 mil or so for those 2 months. Besides, the chances are that Kendrick will already be getting innings due to an injury somewhere, and the dropoff from Blanton to Hyatt or Misch is significant.

  10. Jonny

    April 13, 2012 11:24 AM

    Gael, they still get a draft pick as compensation if they offer arbitration. It just isn’t taking the pick of whomever signs the FA. So good news for teams that like to sign FA’s. They no longer lose picks. And the team that sees one FA walk will get a pick, just not from the team who signed that player.

  11. nik

    April 13, 2012 11:26 AM

    I think you only get compensation if you offer a very high arbitration offer (top 10% of salaries) or something like that.

  12. Jonny

    April 13, 2012 11:37 AM

    I heard they get a pick, but the positioning of that pick is determined by the value of the new contract signed, not arbitration numbers. I still haven’t read anything concrete on this either. It all seems like speculation and he said she said. I don’t know for sure.

  13. Gaël

    April 13, 2012 11:45 AM

    Wikipedia says:

    For the 2012 draft, the current “Type A” and “Type B” designations remain in place, but the CBA included special provisions that modified the statuses of 11 players who were Type A free agents under the old CBA. Six of these will be “Modified Type A”—meaning that the signing team does not forfeit a draft pick, but the player’s former team will receive a compensatory pick in the same position it would have earned under regular Type A rules. The remaining five will be “Modified Type B”, with compensation identical to that for other Type B free agents.

    After the 2012 draft, free agents will no longer be classified by “type”. Instead, a team will only be able to receive compensation if it makes its former player an offer at least equal to the average of the 125 richest contracts. However, if a player is traded during the final season of his contract, his new team will be ineligible to receive any compensation.

    Provided that’s accurate, if Blanton walks after this season, the Phillies would have to offer him a pretty large contract (and he would have to refuse it) for them to get a compensation pick.

  14. Gaël

    April 13, 2012 04:05 PM

    If you trade Blanton for a reliever that’s under contract for more than just this year, you’re effectively “gaining” a player for next year.

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