Let’s Talk about Jeremy Horst
Jeremy Horst is the early leader for “most hated pitcher in the Phillies bullpen”, a shade ahead of Chad Durbin. With a poor outing tonight in Cincinnati, Horst has contributed to blowing two leads in the five games in which he has appeared thus far.
Horst posted a 1.15 ERA with a 3.24 xFIP and 3.34 SIERA last year, along with one of baseball’s better strikeout rates among relievers with at least 30 innings of work. He was inevitably going to regress from the utter dominance he displayed last year, but a reliever who can post an ERA in the high-twos or low-threes is extremely valuable and worth holding onto.
Based on the sentiment I’ve heard and read thus far surrounding Horst, I’m disappointed so many are giving up on the guy before he’s even logged double-digits in innings pitched this season. His outing tonight was complete bad luck as you can see in the .gifs of the hits he allowed:
This is a hit no matter what Horst does. He got off the mound very quickly, stopped his momentum, and pivoted well. Even if he makes a better throw, Derrick Robinson still beats it out.
Charlie Manuel should have taken out Laynce Nix for a defensive replacement, namely John Mayberry. There’s a pretty good chance Mayberry gets to this fly ball if he’s out there. (Then again, chaos theory and all.) Either way, Horst was unlucky again here despite missing his spot by a few inches.
Mike Adams came in after Horst was directed to intentionally walk Joey Votto to load the bases, and even he got unlucky. Brandon Phillips hit a ground ball that was just a few inches out of the reach of Freddy Galvis. If Phillips swings a millisecond earlier, it’s an inning-ending double play.
The lesson here is that some really random, wacky stuff can affect players’ stats early in the season. Horst is this year’s victim of bad luck in the early going. Fortunately, he has plenty of time to turn it around as long as the Phillies don’t give up on him based on a six-inning sample.
On an unrelated note, here’s a .gif of that amazing Ben Revere catch in slow motion: