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Experience? Age? Who Needs It!

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We all know the pitching for the Phils has been terrible this year.  My 18 month old could tell you that.

But what's the solution for next year?  Or even for the remainder of this season?  How about get rid of the veteran old fogies and bring in the inexperienced youngsters.

Let's look at two charts comparing two pitchers each.  Who would you prefer?

IP ERA WHIP K BB HR Win %
A 180 4.39 1.40 136 67 24 0.577
B 180 5.33 1.53 119 71 27 0.479

OK, before I tell you who's who, I'll give you one more of these. How about between these two pitchers?

IP ERA WHIP K BB HR Win %
A 180 4.31 1.37 141 68 24 0.578
B 180 5.31 1.53 117 70 26 0.487

You're not going to find these stats next to any one pitcher's line. Rather, they're composites averaged over 180 innings. The first chart is the composite of all the Phillies' pitchers with 6 or fewer years of major league experience or less (line A) compared to those with 7 years or more (line B). The second chart is the composite of all Phillies' pitchers aged 28 or younger (line A) compared to those 29 or older (line B). I chose those cutoffs to have the most roughly equivalent innings pitched on both sides of the divide (646 v. 625 for experience; 581 v. 690 for age).

From both charts, it's clear to anyone that on the Phillies' staff, youth and inexperience trump age and proven veteranosity. Just looking at the list of players in both camps makes this pretty clear as Cole Hamels, Kyle Kendrick, and Ryan Madson fall on the young and inexperienced side of the ledger while Jose Mesa, Jamie Moyer, Adam Eaton, and Antonio Alfonseca populate the other.

Of course, the combination of youth and inexperience is no guarantee. But, much more important for fighting the conventional wisdom that still rules the Phillies fanbase and management, the combination of age and experience is far from a guarantee either. In fact, this year, it's been much much worse.