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:

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27 comments

  1. Richard

    April 15, 2013 09:07 PM

    Yeah, really bad luck for Horst there.

    On that second ball, my sense is Revere had a better shot at it, but Nix called him off.

  2. Joe

    April 15, 2013 09:28 PM

    Did the Brandon Phillips hit in the 7th off Lee qualify for a #padmy? Either way, Lee’s 7th goes down as some bad luck/poor defense.

  3. LTG

    April 15, 2013 09:37 PM

    No doubt Horst suffered bad luck. I still wish Charlie had just used Bastardo or Adams from the get go in that inning. This is not because I think Horst is bad. He just isn’t as good as those two, or Aumont for that matter.

  4. pedro3131

    April 15, 2013 09:47 PM

    “Based on the sentiment I’ve heard and read thus far surrounding Durbin, I’m disappointed so many are giving up on the guy before he’s even logged double-digits in innings pitched this season.”

    Is that not what we’re doing here?

  5. Mcneildon

    April 15, 2013 10:14 PM

    I have to agree with LTG here. Horst very easily could have had a 1-2-3 inning with slightly better luck, but with a rested bullpen and a tie game in the eighth inning I don’t understand why Horst was chosen over Bastardo or Adams. Even if he had struck out the side on nine pitches I wouldn’t have liked the process that led to the decision. I like Horst and hope he isn’t demoted because of small sample struggles, but I don’t want him being used in late and close situations if there are better pitchers available.

  6. Peter

    April 15, 2013 10:19 PM

    Why did we get an 8th inning guy if we don’t bring him in until our backs are against the wall? Charlie proves again he is a poor game day manager.

  7. Mcneildon

    April 15, 2013 10:50 PM

    Chad Durbin has been below replacement level since 2009 and he’s 35. Someone like that should never be given a guaranteed Major League contract. But, the Phillies’ front office doesn’t subscribe to that line of thinking so he’s guaranteed to be on the roster and to appear in actual games. The only way he doesn’t hurt the team is if he has extremely positive batted ball luck like he did last year.

  8. Josh G

    April 16, 2013 04:58 AM

    Yea, that Revere catch is THAT awesome.

  9. Steve

    April 16, 2013 05:36 AM

    who’s a worse late game manager, Dusty Baker or Charlie? I would rather see Freddy in RF when Mayberry is not playing than Nix. At least we know Freddy has the potential to be a plus fielder, he has shown it every where he has played while we KNOW NIX sucks. Yes, Horst ran into some bad luck but leaving Nix in is all on Charlie. I like CM for a lot, but I would love to see them sit him down fromthe 7th inning on :)

  10. Steve

    April 16, 2013 07:00 AM

    Bill, the disturbing trend is the lack of “timely” hitting. 9 of 13 games the phils have scored 4 runs or less and in the Miami series, it was pathetic. Good teams don’t let bad teams consistantly stay in the game. Washington had a bad series against Atlanta but go to Miami and win 10-3. Game was over by 3rd inning. I had hopes of a good start as we had an easy schedule but we are giving games away by bad defence, bad piching, bad hitting, bad in game management and bad luck, the four horses of the apocalypse plus one for good measure. It doesn’t look promising going forward. And I can’t even say we have hockey, basketball or football to look forward too. Ouch.

  11. Evan

    April 16, 2013 07:06 AM

    Brown would have had a better shot at getting that fly ball in RF. But it all comes down to RAJ on this one, ever since he acquired Delmon Young.

  12. LTG

    April 16, 2013 07:46 AM

    Guys, nix doesn’t suck in the outfield. He is basically a league average right fielder and probably a little below in left because better fielders currently play left. This, of course, does not mean Charlie should not have put Mayberry or carrera in for nix. Both are above average right fielders who improve the outfield defense over nix, even though nix is average.

    Or, well, nix has decent range. I’m not sure about his arm. That throw home last night was worthy of demon young.

  13. TomG

    April 16, 2013 07:46 AM

    I don’t wanna talk about Jeremy Horst. I wanna talk about Chase Utley. As in:

    Gun to my head, Chase Utley? Yes or no?

    You wouldn’t need a gun. You had me at “Chase Utley”. So yes, yes, a thousand times, YES!

    Also Ben Revere, but at this point you’d still need the gun. But it wouldn’t have to be a big one.

  14. Jonny5

    April 16, 2013 07:53 AM

    Revere had that catch made but Nix was trying too hard and would have likely killed Revere had he dove for it. Nix is like the over eager St Bernard of your friend who jumps all over you dirtying your outfit when you guys are going out. I’m not so sure I’d have pulled him in a tie game for Mayberry though. Nix has been hitting pretty well.

    – But not putting your best option on the field to hold a tie game in the 8th is a big mistake. A very big mistake. I usually defend Chuck, but I can’t on this.

  15. TomG

    April 16, 2013 07:56 AM

    Adding … The Revere catch is far more impressive at actual speed. It emphasizes what little time he had to get there and make that amazing leap. The slowed down one is still impressive, but the full-speed one is awe-inspiring.

  16. Sean C

    April 16, 2013 08:03 AM

    Laynce Nix should not be allowed on a professional baseball field. Terrible fielding, terrible arm, terrible spelling of name.

  17. pedro3131

    April 16, 2013 09:53 AM

    What’s the rationale of going with a defensive replacement in a tie game? Don’t you still need to score runs to win the game?

  18. Richard

    April 16, 2013 03:58 PM

    “Good teams don’t let bad teams consistantly stay in the game. Washington had a bad series against Atlanta but go to Miami and win 10-3. Game was over by 3rd inning.”

    And of course, Washington faced the same exact pitching in their one game sample (and what are they doing giving up 3 runs? the Phillies only gave up 4 runs the whole series!)… and Atlanta didn’t play any close games when they played the Marlins either….

  19. Steve

    April 16, 2013 09:02 PM

    @Richard
    The Marlins pitchers suck and we scored a total of 6 runs on offense, this excites you(?) and I don’t care how the pitching stacked up, 6 runs against Miami is absolutely pathetic. On the M offense, the fact they even scored a run was a cause of celebration in Miami. They are 30th across the board in all batting categories. I see we are smoking it in Cincy. I think I’ll keep my money and go see the Camden Riversharks. At least I don’t have to bankrupt myself for a sub par product.

  20. Richard

    April 16, 2013 10:17 PM

    Did I say I was excited? I was responding specifically to the idea that Washington scoring 10 runs against the Marlins in one game, against different pitchers than the Phillies saw, says anything about them relative to the Phillies (don’t construe this as me claiming the Nationals aren’t better than the Phillies).

    That said, the Phillies in fact faced genuinely good pitching in games one and two, and had tons of runners on in game three. They’re definitely struggling to score runs, and no it does not excite me, but I try to assess what’s actually going on rather than making blanket statements.

  21. Steve

    April 17, 2013 06:05 AM

    I will make a blanket statement, The Phils Offense is offensive. Second, the statement that Good Teams don’t let bad teams stay in game is “truth” in all sports and the Phillies MADE the pitching look good. They wouldn’t and couldn’t work a count last year and they signed guys who, historically, don’t work the count and have only gotten worse this year. Last night was ridiculously sad, Homer could have thrown 18 innings at the rate he was throwing pitches and probably never broke 150 pitches thrown. They are not a fun team to watch. You are not going to win every game against bad teams and we can take solace out of them winning 2/3 against the fish but I reiterate, they play bad defense (at least the errors are down but they have not been sharp in the infield or outfield), their offense is sad, I am not enamored with CM’s in game strategy, and because of those three, they allow luck to become a factor. The last week, they have wasted excellent pitching because of these problems. That’s my opinion, you have yours. I do not think the Phillies, as constructed, are a good offensive team. I hope they prove me wrong or it will be a LONG summer.

  22. Richard

    April 17, 2013 06:42 AM

    “That’s my opinion, you have yours.”

    Really. What is my opinion? Have I stated it? I have not. What is so hard about reading what is actually written? I have said nothing about whether I think they are good offensive team, as constructed. In general, I do not. But they’re not abysmal.

    “Second, the statement that Good Teams don’t let bad teams stay in game is “truth” in all sports and the Phillies MADE the pitching look good.”

    This is part nonsense. Look, if you’re not willing to give the opposing pitching any credit, then you’re not going to be able to see what’s happening. Saying that is NOT a claim that the Phillies are a great hitting team that is coincidentally running into great pitching every day. But, in fact, Ricky Nolasco is a real pitcher, Jose Fernandez is a phenomenal talent, and Homer Bailey was extremely good last night. Bailey is in fact a much more talented pitcher than is Kyle Kendrick, yet you seem perfectly willing to accept that Kendrick pitched a good game, and I assume that you think the Reds are a better offensive team than the Phillies.

  23. hk

    April 17, 2013 09:26 AM

    Steve,

    What does last night’s one-game sample of the Marlins beating the Nats 8-2 tell you about whether or not the Nats are a good team?

  24. Steve

    April 17, 2013 05:17 PM

    Ricky Nolasco is a good pitcher?? Please see his stats. He had one good year, two years ago and it was the only year he had an ERA under 4.48. (4.82, 5.48, 3.52,5.06, 4.51, 4.67, 4.48) A fifth, possible 4th on most teams) If you are facing a rookie, you at least have to make him work, the Phillies do not have the team to make a pitcher work. Homer Baily, other then last year has been the same but he had a good year last year. The Phils made him look like Cliff Lee and he is no Cliff Lee (4.53, 4.46, 4.43, 3.68) and the valuble M’s Kevin Slowey (4.73, 3.99, 4.86, 4.45, 6.67). Go look at who the phils have batted against and we aren’t talking about Maddox, Glavine and Smotz. The Phils are poorly constructed and will continue you shoot themselves in the feet. I think RAJ has to take the brunt of the blame for the mess we have. Again, My opinion.

  25. Richard

    April 17, 2013 06:07 PM

    You’re really not getting what I’m saying.

    I didn’t say Nolasco was a good pitcher; I said he was a real pitcher. He’s been hit by the Phillies in the past, and he’s had good games against them in the past. He was actually pitching well on Friday. Refusing to concede that does you no favors.

    As for Fernandez, he was dominant. Rookie or no rookie, he’s the real deal, as is Matt Harvey.

    Kevin Slowey, in fact, they had a good game against, as a whole. The main exception is Chase Utley who swung at the first pitch on three separate occasions, each time to end innings with men on base, once a double play. But they had runners on all base, including a few walks. I find I can’t complain about that.

    Note that I have said nothing about how the Phillies are constructed, except to broadly agree that they do not have much more than a mediocre offense. My point, my only point, has been that pointing to single games is meaningless. All teams have bad games and bad weeks, and the other team’s pitchers have good games.

    I don’t see you quoting Kyle Kendrick’s career numbers as evidence that the Reds had a poor approach against him.

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