The weekly chart of pitching probables returns. I think most pitchers now have large enough statistical samples to make this a worthwhile exercise.
There's some guesswork involved here, as usual. For instance, the Phils could choose Kyle Kendrick to be their temporary fifth starter going forward (in Joe Blanton's continuing absence) instead of Vance Worley. Also, they could flip Hamels and the fifth starter, since Hamels will have four days' rest as of Friday.
Now here's a thought, and hear me out before you go nuts. Could choosing Kendrick over Worley actually be in the Phillies' interest? No, really, I'm serious.Note that I am not saying that I think Kendrick is better than Worley. I'm fairly confident that he is not, and I'm even more confident that Worley will be better than him in future seasons (not to mention cheaper). But look: Kendrick's 2011 xFIP isn't that much worse than Worley Rookie Edition's (4.55 to 4.23). KK's actually been pitching pretty decently of late, believe it or not (3.30 xFIP since June 1 in 15.0 IP, sub-4 xFIP since May 1 in 33.3 IP). Admittedly, SIERA is much less kind to him (5.18), but I think there's at least enough uncertainty there to make it a legitimately close call as to which guy is better as of right now in June 2011.
Well, so what, you might ask. Even if Worley's only slightly better right now, why not go with the guy who's slightly better? Well here's the thing: The downside to putting Kyle Kendrick in the rotation is that you'll have Kyle Kendrick in the rotation. But the upside to putting Kyle Kendrick in the rotation is that you won't have Kyle Kendrick in the bullpen. You could instead bring up a reliever from Lehigh Valley, and there's quite a selection there. Here are the FIPs (sorry, no xFIPs or SIERAs available, as far as I know) of the most-often-used relievers up in Allentown: Perez 4.00, Zagurski 2.93, Schwimer 2.93, Mathieson 2.72, Grilli 2.64, Carpenter 1.88. (I know Mathieson just got moved to the rotation, but it's only been one game.) Now, maybe you don't believe any of these guys will be able to translate their current success to the majors, not even in proportion to whatever the minor league equivalency is this year for the International League. But there's no way you can actually know that. The only way to find out for sure is to try.
Let's just say hypothetically that Drew Carpenter could come up and give the team around a 3.5 luck-neutral ERA right now. Let's also say hypothetically that Worley's "really" a 4.2 and Kendrick's "really" a 4.6. Is is better to have a 4.2 starter with a 4.6 reliever, or a 4.6 starter with a 3.5 reliever? Beats me, but I think it's a question that's at least worth considering. (And yes, I know the best option of all would be to pair the 4.2 starter with the 3.5 reliever, but let's pretend that option isn't available.)
Anyway, here are some other random thoughts and observations:
- Kyle McClellan seems pretty similar to Jake Westbrook. Get ready for a ultra frustrating groundball fest.
- I don't know much about this Guillermo Moscoso and I realize it's a very small sample, but he appears to be sucking so far.
- Josh Outman! Remember that guy? Glad to see that he's back from TJ surgery and isn't sucking quite as badly as Moscoso is.
- In somewhat related news, Gio Gonzalez, who's having a pretty nice season so far, will probably not pitch in the weekend series. The other three guys the Phils will miss this week: Westbrook, Jaime Garcia, and Graham Godfrey (?).
- The Phils' pitchers sure do have some low HR/FB rates. Must be that cavernous ballpark we have here.