Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Thoughts on Ryan Madson

Quality start
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Quality Start is a relatively new baseball statistic developed by John Lowe. It attempts to gauge the number of "good" starts that a pitcher has. A start is defined to be a quality start if the pitcher pitches at least six innings and allows no more than three earned runs.

See also Diamond Mind's "The Quality Start is a Useful Statistic"

First, let's address the initial question: what is the ERA of pitchers in their quality starts? Table 1 is a summary of the results from all games from 1984-1991, 16831 games total, of which about 52% were quality starts. The information in this table is divided two ways. First, each league is presented individually, and second, the games are separated by quality starts and non-quality starts. (Emphasis added)

I am a Ryan Madson fan, and I've been somewhat disconcerted by the chatter about moving him back to the bullpen. So far this year, Ryan has made six starts. Three have been "quality" starts, yielding 1, 3, and 1 Earned Runs in 6, 7, and 6 innings, respectively, for a nifty ERA of 2.36.

During his poor starts, his ERA has been an incredibly bad 14.72.

Given that over the past 100 years (up to 1991) the percentage of quality starts has been the same as the percentage of quality starts Madson has given us in 2006, I think it is a little premature to consign him to the bullpen just yet.

Now I am aware that you cannot throw out bad starts, and I'm not suggesting Madson is in reality Roger Clemens in disguise. However, he has shown enough competence to keep his place in the rotation right now. He's still a groudball pitcher, which is what we need in the Cit. The big difference for 2006? He's not striking anyone out, which no pitcher other than Jamie Moyer can continue to do indefinitely and succeed. However in the past two years, Madson has struck out .81 batters per inning, and while I'm not sure why he hasn't done similarly this year, I believe he will. When that happens, he will be the inning-eating machine he's teased us with these past few years.

Another thing to consider. Imagine a 2007 rotation consisting of:


The highest paid pitcher on that rotation would be Lieber, with the rest costing the Phils peanuts in '07. If the young pitchers all develop into above average starters or even stars (Hamels!), the Phils can spend the money saved on pitching for some high quality free agent next year.


At 8:51 AM, Blogger Oisín/Wizlah said...

Good points PK, especially about the shape of a future rotation and its cost implications. I'm not keen on losing him to the bullpen either.

However - Floyd will not fare well in the bullpen, and if we have the opportunity to add to our rotation with a better pitcher, Hamels should come up. Ed commented over at Beerleaguer that Santana should go down and madson should (for now) go to the bullpen.

I don't want to give up on madson in the bullpen, and I don't think he should be traded - we need insurance (especially where cole hamels back and floyds confidence is involved). And I think after a couple of starts, we can swap madson and hamels to the rotation/bench as is seen fit. Madson is a starter, but he's not got much of an ego - he'll play wherever.

At 9:22 AM, Blogger Chris said...

great post man


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