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Dodgers Pick Up Joe Blanton

Posted By Bill Baer On August 3, 2012 @ 4:08 pm In MLB,Philadelphia Phillies,Sabermetrics | 39 Comments

From Todd Zolecki:

twitter.com/ToddZolecki/status/231487678196105217

This transaction isn’t surprising as Joe Blanton was one of many players across baseball placed on waivers after the July 31 trade deadline. The Phillies will be able to get back a small amount of money or a warm body before Blanton hits free agency after the season.

In terms of defense-indepedent stats, Blanton was having the best season of his career, leading the National League in K/BB ratio (6.4) and walk rate (3.2%) with a 3.37 SIERA, the ninth-best mark. However, he was besieged by an inability to keep the ball in the yard as his 22 home runs allowed is tied for the league lead with Mike Minor. On a per-fly ball basis, his 15.9% rate trails only Matt Garza‘s 16.3%.

Blanton had made a habit out of under-performing his DIPS stats, especially recently.

Contrary to popular belief, the move from Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank park to Chavez Ravine in Los Angeles will not help reduce Blanton’s home run tendencies. For one, Blanton has showed either no split or a home-favored split as a Phillie:

  • 2012: 4.59 home ERA / 4.59 road ERA
  • 2011: only 41 innings due to injury
  • 2010: 4.26 home ERA / 5.47 road ERA
  • 2009: 3.77 home ERA / 4.38 road ERA
  • 2008: 4.31 home ERA / 5.37 road ERA

Secondly, Dodger Stadium isn’t significantly more pitcher-friendly than CBP. According to StatCorner.com, CBP has a home run park factor of 110 to left-handers and 101 to right-handers while Dodger Stadium is at 108 and 97, respectively. 100 is the average.

The Dodgers get a pitcher who is a bit worse than his peripherals indicate and one who slots in perfectly at the back end of the starting rotation, eating up a lot of innings. The Phillies get to free up a small amount of money or receive a warm body as they continue to sell off the extraneous pieces of their roster. As we move closer to wrapping up the “golden era” of Phillies baseball, we salute Blanton for his service over the last five years with the Phillies, and for providing us one of the most unlikely home runs in baseball history.

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