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2006 Season Grades: Starting Pitchers

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For probably the zillionth consecutive season, starting pitching kept the Phillies out of the playoffs.  There are, however, bright spots worth mentioning.

Brett Myers, B+: Personal issues aside, Brett virtually duplicated his 2005 season, maintaining a similar K-rate, HR rate, but with a slightly higher ERA that can probably be ascribed to bad luck.  Pretty much any team in MLB would be glad to have Myers in their rotation.

Jon Lieber, C-: The emergence of Brett Myers and the correlating sub-par seasons by Jon Lieber have relegated Lieber to #2 starter status.  His H/IP rate went WAY up this year, even if his walk rate improved somewhat.  Getting stuck with Lieber for three years at $8M a season is testament to the fact that teams need to grow their own young pitchers.

Cory Lidle, C+, incomplete: Before being traded to the Yankees, Lidle was a thoroughly average innings-eater, and the mere fact that the Yankees demanded him as a precedent to accepting Abreu's contract speaks volumes about the starting pitching market in MLB.  Rest in Peace, Cory.

Cole Hamels, B+: Hamels gave us many reasons to be hopeful for the future, but there were just enough hiccups along the way to bump him down to a B+ (that start in Chicago in August, for instance).  If he stays healthy, there's virtually no ceiling for him.

Jamie Moyer, B: A decent eight-start run for the Phils late in the season locked the team in for two years of a 44/45 year old's career.  The 6 HRs allowed in 20.1 IP at Citizens Bank Park are the very definition of small sample size, but still cause me some concern.

Ryan Madson, D: Few pushed as hard to have Madson placed in the rotation, and few were more disappointed than I was that he failed there.  He didn't fare much better in the bullpen, following a nice August with an atrocious September, leading me to believe the problem wasn't the change in his role but something else.  Like it or not, Madson's a reliever now, forever.

Randy Wolf, D+: Despite a 4-0 record after his return from ligament replacement, Wolf was pretty bad and benefited greatly from the Phils' potent offense.  I would like to have him back, since pitchers recovering from that procedure generally start doing better 18-24 months out, but the cost may be prohibitive.

Gavin Floyd, F: Teetering on the edge of full-on "Bust" territory, hopefully Floyd can turn it around and pitch close to expectations.  He's only going to be 24 next spring.

Scott Mathieson, incomplete: Hard to pass judgment on a guy who may or may not have been pitching with a messed up elbow ligament.  See you in 2008, Scott.

Adam Bernero, Eude Brito... help yourself to something out of the fridge.