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Gillick's Guys: Improvement

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Go figure - the team wins 13 of 14 and suddenly more of Gillick's Guys are showing signs of life.

"More" does not mean "all" though, as several are making us long for the days of Roberto Hernandez in the pen or Endy Chavez at the plate. OK, maybe it's not that bad, but it's close with some of these additions.

To the numbers:

First, the pitching.

Pitcher IP ERA WHIP K/BB VORP WPA
Tom Gordon 17.7 1.53 0.85 4.33 8.6 139.9%
Arthur Rhodes 13 3.46 1.77 1.50 3.6 64.9%
Ryan Franklin 18.3 3.93 1.25 1.43 4.1 28.1%
Julio Santana 8.3 7.56 2.04 0.44 -3.2 -17.3%

Tom Gordon continues to be lightyears more valuable than even his mom could have predicted. Arthur Rhodes has improved a bit, although his control issues are still present. Ryan Franklin is proving his detractors, of which I was at the front of the class, wrong so far, although it'll take another month or so before we stop chanting "small sample size" whenever his name is mentioned. His success is very welcome when it's here though. Rounding it out, Julio Santana is much more valuable on the DL now than on the mound. Let's hope he needs a season-long rehab stint in the minors once he's healthy.

Onto the hitters.

Hitter PA AVG OBP SLG VORP WPA
Aaron Rowand 136 0.310 0.356 0.516 10.9 135.7%
Abraham Nunez 42 0.220 0.238 0.244 -3.6 -71.3%
Sal Fasano 51 0.239 0.300 0.370 -0.6 -50.8%
David Dellucci 35 0.241 0.343 0.414 0.1 -12.8%
Alex Gonzalez 31 0.103 0.161 0.103 -5.4 -86.5%

Aaron Rowand, busted face and all, is the only good-looking spot in this otherwise ugly group. Rowand is looking quite good not just in comparison to the rest, as he has contributed in the field and at the plate, with his defensive contribution not showing up in his offense-leading WPA total. Even with Jim Thome surging in Chicago, the combination of Ryan Howard's performance here, the two very promising minor league arms in Haigwood and Gonzalez, and Rowand's contributions so far are making that trade look like genius by Gillick.

The other hitters Gillick acquired have all had very negative effects on the team. David Dellucci hasn't found his groove as a bench player yet, and Sal Fasano is proving that having a catcher who can catch everyday is extremely valuable, as backup catchers, even those with fan clubs and interesting facial hair, generally aren't very good. The two remaining guys are the worst of the lot and, by WPA and VORP, the worst players on the team for the Phils. Abraham Nunez is proving that the real Abraham Nunez is the 9.5 years of atrocious play in his career, not the three months of mediocre performance from last year that Gillick paid $3.5M for. Alex Gonzalez, coming into the season the better player on paper, is worse, killing the team in key at-bats so far and doing next to nothing in others. Nunez and his contract are probably here to stay, but let's hope that Gonzalez gets dumped soon for someone who can help from the bench.