Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Phillies' Rotation 11 Games In

There was a little bit of talk about the Phillies' rotation heading into this season.

After 10 games the results have been a bit disappointing.  The starters are:

5 - 3 5.04 ERA, 55.1 innings, 63 hits, 4 HR, 11 walks, 56 strikeouts.

That ERA is 24th in the league.  Not what Phillies phans were expecting.  It's only 10 games so there's no reason to throw in the towel yet.  Especially if we look a little bit closer at how the Phillies' starters are pitching.

ERA is a terrible way to judge a pitcher, let's look at some other stats.

Philles starters have struck out the most batters per nine innings in the majors; striking out batters 30% more often than the league average.
They have walked the least batter per nine innings in the majors; walking batters at only 55% of the league average.
They, obviously, have the best strikeout to walk ratio in the majors; 138% better than the league average.
Their FIP is the best in the league at 73% of the league average.

The Phillies' starters are dominating in most of the things that usually make pitchers successful.

The only thing that they are lagging in, and they are really lagging, is in BABIP.  The Phillies' starters have the 2nd worst BABIP in the league; 22% worse than the league average.

It is unlikely, to the point of near impossibility, that this will continue.

You can see that Lee, Hamels, and Blanton's BABIPs are impossibly higher than their career BABIPs while Halladay's is right in line and Oswalt's is much lower.

Based on the batted ball rates (GB, FB, LD, IFFB) and typical BABIPs on those batted balls (.240, .140, .740, .40) we'd expect the Phillies' starters to have a total BABIP of .311.  That'd rank them much closer to the middle of the pack and would take away a lot of those runs that have been given up.

R2C2 is going to be fine.

Plus, it's not like the bad BABIPs are killing the 7 - 3 Phillies in the standings.

Chase Utley's knee is still the biggest reason that Phillies fans have to worry.

H/T to Grandstander

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