Thursday, April 29, 2010

Greinke and the pen

After five starts Zack Greinke has a 2.56 ERA and 1.10 WHIP but has yet to record his first victory. Now I know wins are among the most flawed of stats but they still are ingrained in a lot of minds as something sacred. One needs only to look at Greinke's 2009 season and his early going this year to realize wins are mostly beyond a pitchers control.

Greinke is getting a double dose of incompetence when he pitches, an offense giving him just 3.13 runs of support per game and a bullpen that has blown three leads for him. So he's 0-2 when he should be 3-2 (at worst). But we covered the teams offensive shortcomings when backing Greinke in depth last season so let's focus on the bullpen.

Like I did for Davies here is a game by game breakdown of the bullpen when taking over for Greinke.

Apr 5366615
Apr 102.144401
Apr 16356642
Apr 21321104
Apr 27243334

That my friends is a 13.50 ERA and 2.17 WHIP. Trey Hillman in his infinite wisdom went with Josh Rupe in the 8th inning of Greinke's last two starts. I'm not going to get into Soria usage or redefining the bullpen, others are doing that and pretty dang well. I just find it laughable that to bridge the gap between one of baseballs best starters and one of baseballs best relievers Hillman goes with a guy carrying a 4.95 career ERA. A guy with a minor league ERA of 4.67 including an impressive 5.86 in 238 AAA innings (2009 - 6.67 ERA, 1.75 WHIP). Yeah that's the guy you want in the 8th inning of a Greinke start. Hillman seems blissfully unaware that Rupe is not good.

I know Hillman's 8th inning options are limited to due to an extreme lack of talent but from here on out if Greinke goes seven then Soria should go two, otherwise this tweet could be reality.


  1. For the sake of argument, let's just assume that there is no way Hillman will use Soria for 6 outs. Sadly, that's a fairly safe assumption. Who then do you go to in the 8th?

  2. Well thats the million dollar question. The lack of talent in the bullpen is truly astonishing.