Thoughts From a Lost Season: Starting Pitching – Phillies Nation

Thoughts From a Lost Season: Starting Pitching

That pretty face is sticking around a long time. (AP)

Quick thoughts on 2012, starting with the starting pitchers. Look for relievers and position players coming soon. Phillies Nation will also have a more thorough breakdown of each player coming later this month.

-The rotation was never really a problem, it just never lived up to the unreal 2011 season. That was almost impossible. Cliff Lee had one of the best seasons for a guy who finished under-.500. All the talk of him being dealt midseason was garbage and the Phillies are better off with him than without him. It’s a shame he couldn’t get any help from the offense and you could tell it bothered him. His contract is a bit too large, but that’s the price you pay.

Cole Hamels is a true ace. Think about this: how upset would the fan base be if the Phillies had not locked him up on a long-term contract at the trade deadline? The Phillies came to their senses and made the right move, knowing full well that Roy Halladay is on the downside of an illustrious career and Cliff Lee isn’t getting any younger, either.

-Halladay had a bad year, you all know that. But if you’re asking me my opinion on whether or not he’ll ever fully revert back to the Doc of old, the answer is no. Gone are the days of 2.50 ERA’s and dominating game in and game out. That’s what happens when you hit 36 years old and are worn down like tires on an 18-wheeler. Halladay can certainly still be a very good option, but it would be silly to think he can completely return to form following a shoulder ailment that sapped his abilities this past season. In 2013, if Halladay gives you 14 wins and a 3.30-3.40 ERA, I think everyone would be happy.

Vance Worley has guts. It takes a lot to pitch through “loose bodies” in the elbow and he did his best, although at times, it probably hurt the team. I fully expect Worley to come back strong next year, as his conditioning was less than ideal in 2012. The Vanimal will have to be a beast in the gym this offseason. Worley also has to work on is his control, as he can’t get deep into games. It can be done.

Kyle Kendrick is an interesting character in the story of the Phillies. I, for one, completely wrote him off after he struggled mid-year. He was flip-flopped between relief pitcher and starter, but found himself in the second half, posting a 2.87 ERA. I still don’t think he can come close to that over a full season, but if he’s a shade under four in the ERA column and doesn’t hurt your bullpen as a fifth starter, you could do far worse. I’ve never used the words “excited” and “Kendrick” in the same sentence, but here goes: I’m actually excited to see if Kendrick can continue this trend.

Tyler Cloyd can still be a bottom-of-the-rotation pitcher. He’ll never be great, but at the end of the year, he had to be winded. Cloyd threw exactly 200 innings between Double-A, Triple-A, and the majors. That’s a big jump from 2011 when he maxed out at 146 innings at two minor league levels. Cloyd will show some flashes because his control is normally so good. I don’t think he can make this rotation, but you could do much worse as a sixth man. Unfortunately for him, he’s proven he can pitch in the majors, but there’s no room in Philly right now.



  1. Ken Bland

    October 4, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I think your Halladay standard of 3.3 and 14 are reasonable, but have a slim chance of coming to pass. I don’t consider 36 quite the time to think that age is that cumbersome a problem. It’s close, mind you, but not there. I think he still has CY tier 2 plus potentiak, which superceded your standard, or his shoulder is as problematic as worry allows, he’ll fallpretty short of that.

    What’s tire 2? I dunno. Maybe 2.8 versus a guy or ntow showing 2.5, as an example. His knowledge and dedication just don’t jive with dropping off that significantly if he’s healthy. It’s still a drop from CY tier 1, but if he’s healthy, he’s not dropping off too signifcantly from fairly close rememberances of some of his best work.

    Time will tell.

  2. Jeff Dowder

    October 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    This is probably a good time to trade Kendrick. I don’t think his value will ever be higher.


    October 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    I mostly agree with this analysis by Mr. Gallen. However, I do have a couple of additional thoughts. ROY HALLADAY will not be as good as his Cy Young years, but he will be solid and will make it to near 250 wins over the next four years, while having an ERA under 3.70.
    KYLE KENDRICK turned the corner the second half of 2012 and will be a 15 win starter and his new-found change-up will improve. CLIFF LEE will be the pitcher he was in 2011 and the Phils will get him more runs and more support from the bullpen. COLE HAMELS will improve to a 29-game winner. VANCE WORLEY will come back strong and regain his Vanimal image, throwing harder wijth a higher percentage of strikes. TYLER CLOYD will be traded this offseason for a solid , proven bullpen arm.


    October 4, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    I meant a 20 game winner for COLE HAMELS…..

    • EricL

      October 4, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      You’re doing it wrong. Pitcher wins are a terrible metric by which to judge anything.

      Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels had nearly identical seasons this year. One of them had 17 wins, the other 6.

      Meanwhile Ivan Nova went 12-8 with a 5.02 ERA/4.60 FIP
      Cliff Lee had a 3.16 ERA/3.13 FIP
      Cole Had a 3.05 ERA/3.30 FIP

      • betasigmadeltashag

        October 4, 2012 at 4:09 pm

        I resp;ect that that wins and losses are not the end all be all stat for a pitcher, but one thing that the sabremetric people leave out is that despite what you want to think a pitcher with a five run lead pitches differently than in a 0-0 game, so even though you want to totally dismiss wins, they matter. Weather you want to believe it or not a pitcher who has faith in his bull pen pitches differently than one that feels he has to go 8 or 9 innings to get a win. These are things the new stat heads do not take into consideration. Plus if you have 4 starting pitchers with over 16 wins you probably win 95-100 games no matter if you are winning games 10-9 or 3-1. That is why wins matter more then some of you want to believe

      • EricL

        October 4, 2012 at 5:05 pm

        Yeah, you’re just asserting your opinion as if it’s fact.

        I’m more than happy to believe that pitchers pitch differently in different situations (and I think it’s probably true), but you need to do more than just say that wins matter because pitchers pitch differently in different situations. You need to PROVE it, or at least cite someone who’s done a study on it or whatever.

        And if you’re going to make that assertion, you also have to account for run differentials. For example, Cliff Lee got the 7th worst run support in the league (3.6 R/G vs Hamels’ 4.77 R/G (6th in the NL)). So if you’re going to say that it’s somehow his fault he didn’t win more games, you also have to take those kinds of pieces of information into account.

        In any discipline, you can’t just make a statement and claim it as fact without being asked to prove it. That’s exactly what people who favor statistical analysis over opinion and conjecture are trying to do – introduce some objective empiricism into the discussion. It’s not that anyone really disagrees your notion, it’s that we don’t have any data to back it up (as far as I know) and until we do, we can’t treat it as a valid explanation for anything, because we just don’t know if, and to what effect, those things matter.

        Now, some of this data is available for Cliff Lee’s 2012 season. For example, when Lee pitched in late and close situations (in the 7th or later with the opposing team was tied, was ahead by one, or the tying run was on deck) he held the opposition to a .202/.226/.270 line with a 5.7 SO/BB ratio, which was 55% better than the average pitcher did in those situations. So, late in close games he performed far above what the average pitcher did. When Cliff Lee was pitching from behind he held the opposition to a .236/.257/.386 line with a 8.75 SO/BB ratio, which was about 30% better than the average pitcher.

        When the Phillies were ahead in the game:
        Cliff held the opposition to: .257/.284/.389, with a 7.3 SO/BB ratio. That was 9% better than the average pitcher.
        Cole held the opposition to: .251/.283/.413, with a 5.09 SO/BB ratio, which was about 4% better than the average pitcher.

        So, going by those sorts numbers it looks like Cliff was excellent both when pitching from behind, when pitching late in close games and when pitching with a lead. In fact, he actually had better numbers than did Hamels when pitching with the lead. So, while your narrative might be right for some pitchers, it doesn’t seem to align with the facts as they actually happened in the case of Cliff Lee’s 2012 season.

      • George

        October 4, 2012 at 7:27 pm

        Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels only had “nearly identical” seasons in certain aspects. Their stats were indeed very similar, but Hamels pitched more consistently. There were a lot of games where Lee pitched pretty badly; not so many with Hamels.

        I’ll generally go for the guy who never shuts anyone out but also rarely gives up more than three runs than I will the guy who pitches a two shutouts and follows it up with a four inning, four run dud.

        Please remember that any stats, even those calculated by sabermetric guys are essentially still averages.

      • EricL

        October 4, 2012 at 8:14 pm

        First, let me point out that you’ve completely changed your argument midstream. First it was that the stats aren’t right because Cliff [implied, anyway] doesn’t pitch as well with the lead, or in close games or whatever. I showed that to be not the case, so now you’ve moved on to consistency.

        Second, individual consistency, as I’ve argued here before, doesn’t matter – end results do. Using my old example, a team that scores 5 runs a game is no better or worse offensively than a team that scores 2 runs on odd days and 8 runs on even days. In the end, they’re exactly the same team, and will have identical records. Same for a batter that goes 1 for 4 every day versus a batter who goes 0-4 on even days and 2-4 on odd days.

        Third, I disagree with the premise that Lee was more inconsistent than Hamels. If you go by individual game scores (it’s a formula Bill James created which measures the performance of a pitcher – the higher the better, the lower the worse the performance, 50 is neutral) it breaks down like this:

        Games of a GS >= 70 (Excellent starts)
        Lee: 9
        Hamels 8

        Games of GS between 50-69, inclusive (Good to decent starts)
        Lee: 14
        Hamels: 16

        Games of GS below 50 (sub-par starts):
        Lee: 7
        Hamels: 7

        Again, they were very, very similar seasons. Hamels was better, yes, but only ever so slightly.

      • EricL

        October 4, 2012 at 8:23 pm

        Edit: George, I realize you didn’t make the first argument, that was Beta, so my mistake there. But still, you’re making a totally different argument than he did, and it is, in my opinion, just as incorrect.

      • George

        October 5, 2012 at 9:54 am

        It’s only opinion, but to me, many times Bill James=BS. (Note, I’m not saying “all of the time.”)

        He has some legit things to say, but to me “individual game scores” are a load of hooey. You can’t truly compare pitching performances without making some pretty arbitrary decisions.

        I’m not saying that sabermetrics aren’t useful. But sometimes they do break the game down until it resembles a bunch of subatomic particles that can only be interpreted by experts in quantum baseball physics.

        To me, it’s a freaking game to be actually watched, and hated or enjoyed. And to me, watching Cole Hamels give up three runs total in seven innings is better than watching Cliff Lee go five shutout innings with 8Ks only to sputter in the sixth giving up three and leaving a two-men on-one-out mess for an inexperienced reliever.

      • schmenkman

        October 5, 2012 at 11:46 am

        George, the game score is a handy one-number metric tht summarizes runs, hits, walks, ks, and innings, and if you rank Hamels and Lee’s scores high to low, you might expect (at least I did) that Lee would have more high scores, but also more low scores:

        85, 77, 77, 73, 73, 72, 72, 71, 70, 69, 68, 67, 66, 64, 59, 58, 56, 55, 54, 53, 51, 51, 51, 48, 47, 47, 44, 35, 34, 21

        83, 79, 77, 75, 75, 72, 72, 70, 66, 66, 65, 64, 61, 61, 60, 59, 59, 57, 56, 56, 53, 53, 52, 51, 49, 47, 46, 46, 44, 42, 34

        Well, that’s true to a point. The first set is Lee, and he has 3 under 40, while Hamels only has 1. Other than that, the two sets of scores look pretty similar to me. In fact it shows that Lee didn’t really have any more dominating games than Hamels did.

      • EricL

        October 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm

        George, Game Scores are actually pretty simple and a non-arbitrary way to compare two different players (of course, they don’t take into consideration quality of opponent, range of your defense, ball park factors, etc), but they’re a good starting point. And they’re not complex.

        They’re calculated like this:

        Every pitcher starts a game with 50 points.
        1. One point is added for each recorded out
        2. Two points are added for each inning completed after the 4th
        3. One point added for each strikeout
        4. Two points subtracted for every hit allowed
        5. Four points subtracted for each earned run allowed
        6. Two points subtracted for each unearned run allowed
        7. One point subtracted for each walk.

        Matt Cain’s Game Score for his 14-K perfect game against Houston this season was 101.
        Felix’s perfect game (12 Ks) was 99.

        You’re free to enjoy the game however you like, but there’s nothing that says you can’t enjoy watching the game AND take an objective look at what actually happened too. We all have biases and emotions which color our opinions and the memories of what we see. We’re not objective observers. What using the actual numbers and statistical analysis does is it allows us to get to the actual facts of what really happened without mistakenly superimposing our own thoughts and feelings and biases onto the data. It’s more accurate than any of our own memories or eyes will ever be.

    • schmenkman

      October 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      There is no evidence that “pitching to the score” happens often enough to make a significant difference in the numbers.

      A few links on the topic:

      • schmenkman

        October 4, 2012 at 4:43 pm

        (meant as a reply to betasigma…)

  5. betasigmadeltashag

    October 4, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    I respectivly disagree about Doc, first I think he was hurt, and he is too much of a competitor to not do everything in his power to become the pitcher he was prior to this year. I think he will be a solid 1/2 guy on any team including the Phillies. I really think Cole is the new Ace of this staff for 2013, I think he will get opening day start.
    I also Cliff did have a bad season some had to do with the offense, his numbers prove that. But mid season he went a many starts where the offense did score runs for, maybe not 7-8 but enough for him to win the games, and some was the pen. I truly think he will redeadicte himself to be a better pitcher this off season.
    As for KK, I want to believe that some switch was pull in his brain, and he will be more of what he was in the second half then the first. Unless you have a proven 4/5 starter coming in you do not trade him, he is priced right for a 4 and think he can be around 3.4-3.7 ERA type of guy. I know I am overly optimsitic. Woorley is a question mark because I really do not know what to expect. I know he pitched a lot of innings and had a very small sample size but I do not think Tyler is going to be an every day starter for a contending team, I think you may see him as some trade bait for a non contending team, maybe someplace like San Diego, pitchers park and a fly ball pitcher I think he could do well out there. I am looking forward to some of the other young arms in ST. I truly think that if you start 2013 with a staff of Cole, Doc, Cliff, KK and Worley, that is a playoff contending rotation. I also feel the pen will be a work in progess, they have a closer that is solid, and a bunch of arms that should be be able to get you to the him. But the pen is always a year to year, because outside a select few there are not many relievers that year in year out are consistant. I still have faith in Bastardo, and think he will work hard this off season to be more 2011 then 2012. Horst seems like a solid guy along with Diekman and Aumont. Stutes is a question mark coming back from injury. I know this is about pitching but a lot depends on what they do at Third base and if Ruff can be a 280 avg 25 HR 80 RBI guy.

  6. Lefty

    October 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    For the most part I think our starting pitchers are very good.

    The Oakland A’s started 100 games this season with minimally paid rookies. 100 games! That blows my mind. The Orioles shipped starters up and down to the minors all year, three of their original starters were situational relievers by the end of the season.

    My point?

    I don’t believe multiple high paid starting pitchers make that much of a difference in today’s game. We had Cole in 08, along with guys like Moyer and Myers and Blanton (prior to his extension) and even Kendrick and (gag) Eaton. We won in 08 with great balance, hitting, defense, baserunning, and pitching.

    Historically, how many teams have spent as high a percentage of their total team payroll on pitching as the Phils, and won championships? The Braves maybe?, they won once. The Giants pitchers weren’t high salary guys yet except Zito who they hardly used. I’m just wondering if this is the right direction for the club to go. The A’s had rookies start100 games! I don’t know, I once thought this was the right strategy, I’m just not sure anymore.

    • Ken Bland

      October 4, 2012 at 8:53 pm

      You might be overreacting a little, and falling into the trap of pay meaning more than it does with players. There’s a real separation between a guy’s performance on the field, and the coincidence, or disparity of that talent measured against what happens at the negotiating table, in conjunction with the supply and demand market.

      Witness the legend of the ’69 Mets, who shocked the world based on advanced expectations. But as we look back on it, doesn’t it seem right that they won, based on how that pitching staff filled out over the years. They were talented. And then some.

      All I can tell you about the Oakland no name success is that in spring training, their pitching coach, Curt Young offered the opinion (paraphrasing) that the club had some terrific young arms, and he just didn’t know how ready they were. The point is, Young’s statement proved valid. Just as the Mets had the same thing the Phillies have tried to build around. They’ve just been forced to take a different route (as are many clubs many times) because pitchers are hard to develop. And there is no doubt in my mind that the Phils are trying to build young pitching so they don’t have to carry 3 high priced guys. But they still value pitching at a premium level. As any right thinking observor would.

    • Devin

      October 4, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      Yeah, I think you’re absolutely insane if you think the A’s are the rule rather than the exception. The A’s had an absolutely magical season that will literally never be replicated.

    • Lefty

      October 4, 2012 at 10:16 pm

      Devin, Let me attempt to clarify, because I can see that I may have mislead folks in my original comment. I meant that the A’s got me thinking about our strategy, not that they were the right way. My bad.

      You see, when I said-
      “I don’t know, I once thought this was the right strategy, I’m just not sure anymore.”
      And questioned-
      “Historically, how many teams have spent as high a percentage of their total team payroll on pitching as the Phils, and won championships? ”

      I really am wondering the answer to that question, I don’t know it. I really am wondering if this is the right strategy.

      I wasn’t thinking the A’s model was the rule, I was wondering whether the Phillies model is the right strategy. I often think about the road not taken, I don’t dwell on it, or as Ken put it, “over react”. I’m just thinking about it, that’s all, soliciting the opinion of others.

  7. bacardipr

    October 4, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Jeff D you are probably right. There’s a decent shot that KK will return to the KK we’ve known. However we still need a starting pitcher. Perhaps even 2 with Worley know a question mark after his injury. Cloyd is probably not the answer. From what i hear the so called “baby aces” have been light up. Knowing Rube he will then turn to washed up major leaguers with higher salaries. I think i prefer taking a chance with KK even though i gulped when i say that.

  8. Whatever

    October 4, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    The Cliff Lee myth of blowing lots of leads this year is only that. It must stem from anger from game two of the NLDS series when he lost the 4 run lead. There are two games when Cliff Lee lost a real lead. He lost a 3 run lead to Baltimore and a 2 run lead to Toronto. That’s it. He also had only one start when he didn’t go 5 innings (even with his oblique injury) and that was against Miami when he went 4.2 innings in his worst game of the year. Other than that, Cliff Lee pitched with very, very, very little run support. While he was on the mound in 30 starts, the Phillies scored 75 runs for him. (He gave up 74 earned runs in those 30 starts.) When we all (including me) were bemoaning Hamels’ lack of support in 2010, the Phillies scored 123 runs for him in fewer pitched innings than Lee pitched this year.
    Because I also really like Hamels and Halladay, I’m not going to put down here how many leads they gave up this year. You all might be surprised who gave up the fewest.

  9. Bob in Bucks

    October 5, 2012 at 12:11 am

    NO, NO, NO.

    Starting pitching WAS a major problem in the first half of the year. We had one solid starter in the first half and that was Hamels. Everyone else was at least a run or more worse than 2012. Halladay never turned around and had a 4+ ERA. Since when is this good. Yes he was hurt but how does that be “not a problem.”

    Lee was not particularly good in the first half and I am talking ERA not Wins. He gave up too many HRs and his ERA. Same for most of anyone starting.

    Look at the facts before you write something.

    ERAs for before the all star break (from Phillies web site, just hit stats)

    Hamels – 3.2
    Worley – 3.54
    Halladay – 3.98
    Lee- 3.98
    Blanton – 4.98

    That is not a great bunch of starters, not even very good.

    You just can’t throw out Blanton’s numbers because you can’t remember and 3.98 while acceptable for a pitcher is NOT acceptable for $20+ million pitchers. This team was built around these guys and they need to deliver 3.0 or less to justify that money. Because they were paid that much we did not have the money for offense.

    So, starting ptiching not only contributed to the horrible first half, it was the major cause followed by the BP but while exactly was the bullpen taxed?

    And by the way the offense OPS was almost exactly the same as 2011, first half to first half. You may have forgotten the horrible offense of the first half of 2011.

    Please look at some real comparable data before you write something!

  10. bacardipr

    October 5, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Can we trade Doc instead? Doc similar to Utley seems to be untouchable when trade rumors starts. Bob you are correct this team was built on pitching. Unfortunately when your team becomes 1 dimensional and this plan fails we have a ..500 season. Rube is also basing too much of the past on the present. That is Utley, Rollins and Howard. Two of three of them where hurt and Rollins been up and down. Mainly down until after the ASB. The other complimentary pieces Shane and Pence never really took off. What we have here is future planning based on past success with no new heroes to speak off. (except Chooch).

    • EricL

      October 5, 2012 at 12:51 am

      You don’t want to trade Doc now. He’s probably the least valuable he’s ever been in his career right now. You wouldn’t get nearly enough in return for a trade to make sense, and you’d probably have to eat a significant chunk of salary to boot.

      Think of baseball players like a stock: Buy low, sell high!

      Right now Doc is low. The best option right now is to cross your fingers, hope he comes back strong and in the meantime rely on Lee and Hamels.

    • George

      October 5, 2012 at 10:09 am

      Future planning is always based on the past. Even when acquiring new players, those players have accumulated some numbers, and you’d be stupid not to look at them. Even minor leaguers have numbers to look at, and players picked in the draft are generally picked for the results of their high school and college careers.


  11. bacardipr

    October 5, 2012 at 2:16 am

    EricL your are right. I was just pointing out that at no time before Doc’s downfall started or was apparent was it mentioned. It was always Lee or Hamels Doc was immune to such talk.

  12. Whatever

    October 5, 2012 at 2:29 am

    Quick look at stats don’t tell everything, especially if you are only using ERA (a couple of bad games cam really inflate an ERA). But since ERA is being used, let’s look at Lee in the first half before the All-Star Break.. After 2 months and one start in June – he had a 2.92 ERA (but no wins). The rest of June was his bad period with four mediocre or below mediocre starts. The one in July he pitched before the All-Star Break was a beauty. So therefore he had one bad month in the first half (and indeed for the season). and he had to battle through an oblique injury. I wouldn’t say his entire first half was bad because of four less than stellar starts that also inflated his ERA by a run. I will say, it still is never what one expects from a Cliff Lee to even have that one bad stretch for 3 weeks.

    • schmenkman

      October 5, 2012 at 7:59 am

      Lee was one of the best pitchers in the NL this year.

    • George

      October 5, 2012 at 10:29 am

      Four starts in half a season amounts to about 25% of those first half starts. That’s quite a large chunk.

      Lee was generally quite good, but that stretch certainly didn’t help him, the Phils, or fans’ opinions of him.

      One can criticise and compare, and I know I have been guilty of that myself. However, overall I think we’re arguing, in the cases of Lee and Hamels, over levels of excellence, and some of the debate is a little silly.

      • Lefty

        October 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm

        I really like the last sentence here George-

        “However, overall I think we’re arguing, in the cases of Lee and Hamels, over levels of excellence, and some of the debate is a little silly.”

        I think it’s a lot silly, and am really glad I’m not a Cleveland Indians fan having the same argument over Ubaldo Jimenez and Derek Lowe.

      • schmenkman

        October 5, 2012 at 12:37 pm

        Amen to that.

      • Bob in Bucks

        October 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm

        Seems to me if you want to make the playoffs that you need a high level of excellence. Also $20+ million demands a high level of excellence. Pitching won 2011 and lost 2012. These are not bad people but for that money you need to be consistently excellent as they were in 2011. You cannot ignore the money when you talk about how you view someones performance. I think Andrew could remind us of another bad contract.

  13. Malcolm

    October 9, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Cliff Lee bounced back, and that is all that is needed to explain how good he was in the turn-around. Hamels was there as the workhorse all year, and we know he loved it. Who cares about statistics? You must look at how good Cliff was compared to his past years, and how good Hamels has been before his age 28 season. Even though Cole topped career highs, he has had better seasons- but none have shown more guts and leadership as this one- minus our WS run in 08. Cliff Lee had a better season in ’11 than when he won the Cy Young in Cleveland, and this year he put together a season that was definitely superior to his year when he split time between the Indians and the Phillies. They both gave up a few too many home runs, but Hamels was able to strand baserunners while Cliff gave up the extra hits that also resulted in both double play balls and earned runs. If anyone has witnessed a stranger season than Cliff Lee’s 2012, I doubt the players would have even been on a .500 team, and it probably wasn’t from a legit superstar. That’s where the stat guys come in. It’s not hard to imagine Cole and Cliff having similar numbers next year. Also, anybody who gives up on Doc has no faith in the savvy veteran. Mussina. Guidry. Moyer. Seaver. Carpenter. He still has great deception, and it’s hard to judge a season whirled in injury. Maybe he won’t reach 200 strikeouts again, but if everybody remembers when he hit that number for the second time in his career, many people were surprised. I think many Blue Jays fans thought he might barely tip 2000 Ks, but then he hit his stride. All strides are hard to predict, especially when numbers change. He should be able to get his control back. With a solid 3rd baseman, he should do better with an advanced defense. We still have three aces. I liked the comment about Halladay winning 250 games. That sounds about right. good comments, good work again.

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