Michael/Male/26-30. Lives in United States/Pennsylvania/Wexford/Christopher Wren, speaks English. Spends 20% of daytime online. Uses a Fast (128k-512k) connection. And likes baseball /politics.
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Monday, April 07, 2008

Who is Rudy Seánez? 

The Rudy Seánez era here in Philadelphia got off to a start last week as the Phillies moved to bolster their bullpen by acquiring Seánez after he had been cut from the Dodgers roster. The move gives the Phillies 12 pitchers and 13 position players, as the Phillies were forced to cut Wes Helms loose to make room.

The definition of journeyman, Seánez played (deep breath) for the Indians (for whom he was a 1986 draft choice) from 1989 to 1991, the San Diego Padres in 1993, the Dodgers in 1994 and 1995, the Braves from '98 to '01, then the Padres again in '01, the Rangers in '02, the Red Sox in '03, then Royals in '04, followed by the Florida Marlins later that season, followed by a third stint with the Padres in '05 and '06, then a second tour with the Red Sox later that season, then the Dodgers again before winding up with the Phillies. Seánez joins fellow geriatric pitchers Jamie Moyer (45) and Tom Gordon (40), although he is the young pup of the group at age 39.

What has Rudy Seánez done with his career? In 2007, interestingly enough, Rudy Seánez posted career highs in batters faced (329), innings pitched (76) and games (73). Rudy Seánez managed to post some impressive numbers along the way ...

ERA: 3.79
ERA+: 121
FIP: 4.16
HR/9: 1.18
BB/9: 3.20
K/9: 8.64
K/BB ratio: 2.70

Confused about what I’m talking about? Here are the stats I refer to defined with respect to pitching stats:
Earned Run Average (ERA): Runs Allowed * 9 / Innings Pitched = What a pitcher would give up if they hurled a nine-inning game.
Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP): (((13 * HR) + (3 * BB) – (2 * K)) / IP) + League Factor. Basically a measure of how a pitcher would have done if he had an average defense behind him.
Home Runs per 9 Innings (HR/9): (HR * 9) / IP
Walks per 9 Innings (BB/9): (BB * 9) / IP
Strikeouts per 9 Innings (K/9): (K * 9) / IP

Yes, he did this while pitching in a pitchers-friendly ballpark, but the fact remains that those are some pretty darn impressive numbers. Seanez's strikeout rate of 22% of the batters he faced is better than the N.L. average of 17%.

But all is not well with Seanez. Parusing his stats I noticed one troubling thing about his profile as a pitcher. In 2007 just 36% of the balls he allowed to be put into play were grounders, vs. 44% were flyballs. As Citizens Bank Ballpark is a far friendlier park to hitters than Dodgers Stadium (2007 Home Run Park Factor: Citizens Bank 145, Dodgers Stadium 104), this could be a real problem for him in the long-term. Will he allow a lot of home runs?

I figured that I'd take a moment to scope out the season thus far. The Phillies send Cole Hamels to the mound tonight to attempt to even up the series with the Reds at 2-2. Overall, the Phillies are 2-4 right now, not a great record, but they haven't played as badly as in Aprils past. Brett Myers struggles worry, but I'm confident that the team can righten ship. The Phillies are, after all, in a better spot than the 0-6 Detroit Tigers are right now. Hmmm ... my prediction of the A.L. Central for the Indians isn't looking quite so crazy now ... And the Mets are a mediocre 2-3 heading into the big series with the Phillies. The Mighty Johan Santana lost yesterday to John Smoltz and the Braves.

Weep for the fall of your idol, Mets fans! Mighty Santana is mortal! More on that tomorrow.

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Seanez should be useful in the pen. He is a solid and smart pitcher.

As for Myers, his pitches(fastball) are slow so far. He seems to have lost a few MPH off of it. Next start will be #3 for the year, lets see if Manuel will throw him to the pen if he falters again. Last year he only lasted 3 starts.

Unfortunately the Phils have noone ready to be a big league starter as of yet. Benson is likely 6weeks away still and in the minors most of those guys need at least a few months if not a whole year.
Seanez is a fossil but should be useful.

I started a Phillies discussion forum, check it out http://www.phillykeith.com/fightforum/
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