Year in Review: Chad Durbin – Phillies Nation
2010 Player Reviews

Year in Review: Chad Durbin

Chad Durbin came to the Phillies as a mediocre swingman who’d spent his entire career in AL Central purgatory. Since then, he’s been (alternately) the bread upon which a World Series title sandwich was built, and a man for whom his fielders didn’t need to show up–whoever he faced either walked or hit a home run.

I once wrote of J.A. Happ that I had no idea how he was effective–he didn’t throw particularly hard or have earth-shattering breaking stuff. But he was. Chad Durbin is much the same. He throws five pitches, all of which (according to FanGraphs) were within 3 1/2 runs of league average in 2010.

In 2008, that mediocre stuff helped Durbin put in an outstanding season in middle relief: 87 innings pitched and a 2.87 ERA. In 2009, Durbin’s control deserted him to the tune of more than six walks per nine IP and a 4.39 ERA that wasn’t half as bad as his performance warranted. For all the talk of which Jimmy Rollins or which Cole Hamels would show up in 2010, Durbin had posted a similar Jekyll-and-Hyde run.

In 2010, Durbin more or less split the difference: a career high K/9 ratio for a full season, a walk rate of 3.5 BB/9, which was more or less in line with his 2008 numbers, and a 3.80 ERA. However, Durbin’s xFIP, which takes into account the various random batted ball and fielding factors, was a career low, even lower than his 2008 mark. With injuries and the constant instability of Brad Lidge marking the back end of the Phillies’ rotation, Durbin, along with Jose Contreras, helped stabilize the middle innings.

Grade: 7.5/10–Durbin wasn’t as lucky as he was in 2008, and battled injuries in midseason, but his 2010 numbers were pretty much what you’d ask for from a middle reliever.

Pat Gallen’s Grade: 7.3/10 — Durbin is always solid and was again in 2010, although the injury knocked him out for a long stretch. He may not be back next year but he’s always been a class act and given it his all on the mound.



  1. Greg

    December 19, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Is it sad to say I’d rather have had Nelson Figueroa as our long man in 2010? Chad was great in 08. Okay in 09. Okay in ’10. Won’t be sad to see him gone, if he does end up not getting resigned.

  2. betasigmadeltashag

    December 19, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    Greg what are you smoking Nelson Figueroa, Chad was one of the most consistent bull pen arms this year, I would not call him great, but he was solid. Could pitch 2 innings +in a pinch, did not walk a lot of guys and was a plus middle inning guy. I think you are crazy wanting figgy.

  3. Greg

    December 20, 2010 at 2:50 am

    Read what I said. In 2010. How is that crazy?

    Durbin – 3.80
    Figgy – 3.29
    Durbin – 1.311
    Figgy – 1.269
    Durbin – 63
    Figgy – 73
    Durbin -3.5
    Figgy – 3.4
    Durbin – 8.3
    Figgy – 7.1
    Innings pitched:
    Durbin – 68.2
    Figgy – 93.0

    Where exactly am I crazy? Figgy’s numbers in 2010 were better than Durbin’s.

    • betasigmadeltashag

      December 20, 2010 at 1:14 pm

      after figgy left Philly how many stressful games was he in, and did you see him pitch in PHilly outside the one spot start in ARZ he pitched like crap,and I was at the game In ARZ and even though he got the win he was not really on,. but you can keep him and his good numbers playing for a bad team. Chad has proven he can be consistant in tough situations

  4. Chuck

    December 20, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Figgy WAS good. I’d take him back.

  5. Gaze_NJ

    December 20, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    I’d be satisfied with using an in-house crop of young relievers this year. It’s not the flashiest idea, but I’d like to see guys like Mathieson, Bastardo, Carpenter, & Savery get their chance in the pen.

  6. Greg

    December 20, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    Uhh, Figgy was a vital contribution to the Astros great second half. And his spot start in Arizona was fantastic. 5 IP, 1 ER, if I recall correctly.

    What more can you ask from a long man?

  7. betasigmadeltashag

    December 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I am sorry but you are pitching for Houston who was out of the playoffs in May. It is just diffrent. I am not saying he was horrilble but Chad has proven himself down the streach in a pennant race and in the playoffs. I will still take Chad or a little more money than an Ex washed up met

  8. GoPhils

    December 20, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Chad Durbin was decent last year. He is able to hold his own in the major leagues. The ERA was a bit high. The Phils, in spite of their great rotation, will need a bullpen next year. Lidge needs to continue the success he had at the end of 2010 and so does Madson. Baez needs to get better if possible and Contreras will be needed to set up and even save at times as madson and Lidge can’t go everyday. Bastardo, Escalona, Meyer, DeFratus, Herndon, Mathieson and Zagurski are all good young guys that could step up. I anticipate one more acquisition of a veteran lefthander, possibly J.C. Romero. Dennys Reyes did not seem to be an upgrade over Romero, as both are veteran lefties who have had success but who had problems last year. Lefties hit .307 off of Reyes last year. Romero had some health problems last year and maybe he will have adjusted to surgery by next year and give you a decent year. Reyes is similar in that we would have had to hope that he can bounce back.

  9. Chuck

    December 20, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Durbin sucked in whatever game it was in the NLCS. Horrible and totally unlike him.

    As for Figgy, maybe Houstan was out of the playoffs in May….but they played very well the second half of the season under Brad Mills. People kept calling them “lowly”, saying “The Phillies lost 4 straight to the lowly Houston Astros.” But, in fact, they were playing very well at the time and making a statement that they weren’t just this bottom-feeder team.

    • betasigmadeltashag

      December 21, 2010 at 12:42 pm

      my point is when you are in last place you get overlooked by teams and there is not pressure to win, in my view it does not make there record the same as a team that is playing for it’s playoff lives. Teams like Houston, Baltimore and the like can go on a tear the last month of the season and then next year when there games mean something again they lose. So IMO it is easier to put up numbers for a team like that in the last weeks of a season

  10. tavian

    December 21, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Durbin deserves to come back in 2011. He was injured but still had a decent year despite battling the injuries. He has been a clutch performer and we need bullpen help. Bring the guy back !!!

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