Why Buy the Cow When You Get the Milk for Free?
David Murphy notes:
Using K% instead of K/9 yields similar results among lefty relievers:
- Aroldis Chapman: 44.2%
- Antonio Bastardo: 36.2%
- Jake McGee: 34.4%
- Jeremy Horst: 32%
- Raul Valdes: 31.7%
Jake Diekman falls down the list, but his 26.7 percent strikeout rate was above the 21.9 percent NL average for relievers. The Phillies’ two off-season additions, Mike Adams and Chad Durbin, posted strikeout rates under 20 percent last season. What percentage of the high leverage innings do you think the Phillies will give to the less effective veteran retreads instead of the more capable, younger arms like Bastardo, Horst, and Phillippe Aumont?
Despite an awful first half that should have been blamed almost entirely on Chad Qualls, the Phillies finished 2012 with one of the best bullpens by defense-independent standards. Their collective 3.24 SIERA was sixth-best in all of baseball, featuring the second-best strikeout rate at 26.1 percent (behind Cincinnati at 26.2 percent). The bullpen was the last area that needed an upgrade, yet nearly half of the money GM Ruben Amaro spent this off-season went to the bullpen.
The $5.85 million that the Phillies are paying Adams and Durbin this season could have gone towards a better fix for their corner outfield situation, or perhaps a starter better than John Lannan. Not that such an event would have turned them into NL East favorites over the Nationals and Braves, but either or both teams could fail to live up to expectations and the Phillies could capitalize on that, old age and all. And the second Wild Card is still there. This is just one example of the many small mistakes the Phillies routinely make that snowball over time.