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This Halladay Looks More Like Blanton

Posted by Eric Seidman, Wed, May 01, 2013 10:19 AM | Comments: 18
Analysis, Commentary, Statistical Analysis

After three straight promising starts Roy Halladay turned in another clunker Tuesday night. In allowing eight runs on nine hits and two walks, Halladay finished April with a 6.75 ERA, 5.73 FIP and a ghastly 2.25 HR/9. He cost the Phillies 0.3 WAR last month.

MLB Network noted this morning that Halladay’s 5.59 ERA over the last calendar year (April 30, 2012 to April 30, 2013) is the second-worst among starters with 150 innings thrown. Only Ubaldo Jimenez has prevented runs at a worse rate.

In third place on that list is Joe Blanton, the former Phillie whose struggles to prevent runs in spite of impressive strikeout, walk and groundball rates is well known in these parts.

Unfortunately, Blanton is the most comparable pitcher to Halladay over the last calendar year.

Based on the splits and filters offered at Fangraphs, Halladay and Blanton are the only two pitchers to fall into the following criteria since April 30, 2012: K/9 between 7.5 and 8.3, BB/9 between 1.8 and 2.5, GB% between 40% and 45% and FIP between 4.30 and 4.50.

Their numbers are almost identical in this span:

Halladay: 8.3 K/9, 2.3 BB/9, 1.6 HR/9, 43.8% GB, 17.8% HR/FB, 4.35 FIP, 1.1 WAR
Blanton:  7.7 K/9, 1.8 BB/9, 1.6 HR/9, 44.0% GB, 17.4% HR/FB, 4.40 FIP, 1.1 WAR

While those K, BB and GB rates are solid, they don’t often translate into success when pitches are left over the middle of the plate and knocked out of the park. Whether it’s injuries or simply a decline in pure ability, Roy Halladay has been a different pitcher for over a year now. Unfortunately, that different pitcher resembles Joe Blanton more than anyone else.

Avatar of Eric Seidman

About Eric Seidman

Eric Seidman has written 64 articles on Phillies Nation.

Eric offers his unique analytical perspective to Phillies Nation and is a regular contributor on FanGraphs.com.

 
 
  • Posts: 105 pamikedc

    Avatar of pamikedc

    wowsers. This article alone, if posted in Halladys locker room stall, would excel Doc to another NL CY. I refuse to call him “Roy” bc lets not forget that during his career for a solid 5-7 years he was amazing and better be in the HOF.

    Anyways, back to my point, comparing Doc and JoeyB is a total slap in the face and im sure Doc would be thrilled to know that.

    Worley 0-3, 6 era. I believe I saw that this morning.

     
  • Posts: 5482 Lefty

    Avatar of Lefty

    So, do they just let him walk at the end of the season, or make him a “Blanton like” offer. I think big Joe is making 6.5m this season.

    I think if anyone can, Doc can re-invent himself, but that always takes time, it’s a process.

     
    • Posts: 146 Eric Seidman

      Avatar of Eric Seidman

      Tough to answer that right now. I’m personally of the belief that the Phillies should let the youngsters start to play more. I’m not sure I really want to continue to devote all this money to the rotation. I would rather the team win 75 games next season with a lot of youngsters playing everyday than 82 with the whole gang back for another $160 mil payroll season. But if he really turns things around and harnesses what he has, and is willing to sign for something like 2 yrs/$14 million with extra options, the story might be different.

       
  • Posts: 0 Mazinman

    I agree with Lefty. Doc is a work in progress and we need to expect an occasional start like this as he figures things out. If he manages to figure things out and become at least a middle of the rotation pitcher I would still keep him for next year though. I like the idea of our young pitchers like Jesse Biddle sitting beside Doc Halladay and learning from all that experience.

     
  • Posts: 569 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    Oh,,for cryinjg out loud. Now we have a comparison of Halladay and Blanton using a tabloid typed headline for this writer’s column. Sorry, it’s garbage to me. Eric, did you even bother to watch last night’s game? As I see it, his velocity on his fastball is fine. Halladay’s problem is location and pitch selection. Thus all those deep pitch counts. So he had a “clunker” last night. All pitchers will have those kind of outings. I also think Ruiz after a 25 game suspension, needed a little time to reconnect with the starters in calling the right pitches.

    By the way, for the record, I have read that Halladay has had a history of struggles with the first inning of his starts. Opponents hit .276 against him with a .321 OBP in the first inning. He also had walked more batters (96) than in any other inning during his illustrious career. As the saying goes around the league, go after Halladay early.

    I’m certainly not going to dismiss Halladay’s previous three starts (2-0; 1.71 ERA) and start making comparison with someone like Blanton. Geez!

     
    • Posts: 312 Corey Seidman

      Avatar of Corey Seidman

      He’s had 3 clunkers in 6 starts. He had 8 clunkers last year, in 25 starts.

      We really acting like this was just last night? His command was awful and his cutter is no longer even an adequate pitch. This comparison shows just how much Halladay has fallen, and it’s eye-popping to see that he is on the level of Blanton over the last calendar year.

      I don’t know how you can discount that while still living in reality.

       
    • Posts: 146 Eric Seidman

      Avatar of Eric Seidman

      Bruce – yes, I watched last night’s game. I watch every game. I’m not sure why you’re telling me what his problems were as if anywhere in here I stated something else. He has had 3 clunkers out of 6 starts this season. It isn’t just last night. And in his start against the Marlins, he made several mistakes over the first five innings before finding a groove in the sixth. Had he been facing an actual major league lineup that night the results might not have been as positive. Nobody is dismissing Halladay’s previous three starts. He is bound to experience growing pains as he reinvents himself. But the numbers here absolutely don’t lie. Over the last calendar year, the pitchers whose numbers most closely resemble Doc is Blanton. It doesn’t mean he is equally talented, it just means his production in terms of actual results has mirrored Blanton. Also, thanks for putting the stat about the first inning on the record. I was afraid it might have been off the record.

       
  • Posts: 569 Bruce

    Avatar of Bruce

    Off topic: While a few here needlessly worried about Halladay, My concern at the moment is with Domonic Brown.

    I’m losing patience with Domonic Brown as he continues flailing away at pitches with his big loopy swings to the the tune of a .233 BA. It seems he is trying to pull at every pitch regardless of location and we see a number of pop-ups and soft flyouts. Now we are heading into the month of May and those gaudy expectations once thought of him are going sour as the season progresses.

    In the meantime, I just did a check on Darin Ruf’s progress in triple A playing for LeHigh Valley. He is getting hot as the weather warms. In the past three games, he had a total of 8 hits in 13 ABs that included 3HRs, 8 RBIs and 3 doubles (smile). He raised his BA to .267 and leads his team with 15 RBIs. I read also that he is improving in playing LF.

    I’m rooting for Ruf to have continued success and hopefully he will be call up to the Phillies soon and that may put pressure on Brown to play (and hit) better or face the possibilty of sharing playing time with the newcomer, Darin Ruf (smile).

     
  • Posts: 0 George

    While Halladay started to falter in 2012, he was also physically impaired that year. Also, it’s only been since the offseason that he actually decided to “re-invent” himself. Therefore, to me this year’s troubles aren’t really the same as last year’s and should be treated separately.

    He will probably have some more bad starts as he attempts to change his style, but I still look at his three decent ones as a sign he may be headed in the right direction. At least I hope so.

     
    • Posts: 146 Eric Seidman

      Avatar of Eric Seidman

      George,

      Certainly a consideration I made, but right now I’m treating his dedication to reinventing himself on par with when athletes talk about being in the best shape of their lives. As in, until I see it, I’m not going to just trust the talk. And by that I mean that if you look at his actual pitch selection, it really isn’t much different than last year. He is still throwing 58-60% fastballs, 24% curves and 15-17% changeups. Same ratios as last year. There appear to be some categorization issues between his fastball and cutter, but that’s part of the issue in that there appears to be little difference between them right now. The location information per my database isn’t materially different either. I fully expect him to continue working at understanding what he currently has to work with, but I’m not fully convinced he is healed from his injuries, and until he starts actually pitching differently I’m not going to separate his 2012 and 2013 seasons. At the very least, we can treat this as his floor. If he doesn’t improve or make the appropriate adjustments, he’s Blanton-esque.

       
      • Posts: 0 Rudy Canoza

        Steve Carlton tried to “re-invent” himself for a couple of seasons at the end of his career, bouncing around from team to team. Ultimately, the hitters will tell you how well that process is working out.

         
      • Posts: 0 George

        These are valid points. They make it appear that Halladay is still pitching the same old way and that he’s basically not living up to what he claims is a different approach.

        I’m not arguing that he looks like a Blanton these days. What I am saying is that he may still be working out some details and the decent starts are a sign that sometimes whatever he is doing is working.

        Everyone says his mechanics have changed, and until he gains command with a different arm slot, he’s bound to throw some clunkers. It doesn’t matter if what he throws is the same or a different mix if he can’t put anything where he needs to.

         
  • Posts: 105 pamikedc

    Avatar of pamikedc

    @Bruce, yes I have been following DRuf. He is doing well. So has their leadoff hitter Mitchell and Cesar Hernandez has been playing well.
    Too bad the IronPigs have such a bad record.

    And I guess the scouts were correct w Tyler Cloyd bc yikes is he pitching bad so far.

     
  • Posts: 0 Rudy Canoza

    An interesting article on the Phillies decline and the perils of a top heavy payroll:

    “The Phillies haven’t been the Phillies of annual excellence for an extended stretch. Since Sept. 10, 2011, and including a bad first-round playoff loss that year to a St. Louis team that won a dozen fewer games than Philadelphia, the Phillies are 103-110 (.484). That’s a worse record in that time than that of the Pirates (100-105, .488).”

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20130430/phillies-aging-ryan-howard-roy-halladay/index.html

     
  • Posts: 0 Rudy Canoza

    “For his weekly dose of reality with Mike Missanelli, Jayson Stark painted a pretty grim picture for Roy Halladay, saying that he made as many mistakes last night as you’ll ever see him make in any start ever. He also pointed out that Chooch called the game like the Doc of old was on the mound.”

    http://www.975thefanatic.com/teams/phillies/blogentry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10539013

     
  • Posts: 0 schmenkman

    Does Canoza mean Sunshine in Italian? ;-)

     
  • [...] now 8.65 &#1072n&#1281 over th&#1077 last year h&#1110&#1109 5.59 ERA &#1110&#1109 th&#1077 second-w&#959r&#1109t &#1072m&#959n&#609 starters w&#1110th 150 innings [...]

     
  • [...] ERA is now 8.65 and over the last year his 5.59 ERA is the second-worst among starters with 150 innings [...]

     
 
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