I think people are underestimating the bump that Blanton would receive in the National League.
I believe he could easily post an ERA around 4.00.
Pros for Blanton: Innings. Doesn't walk many guys.
Cons for Blanton: Strikes out no one. Relies on his defense to make his outs for him. Has pitched entire career in best pitchers park in baseball over the last 7 years.
Why someone is willing to give up valuable talent, much less cheap, young valuable talent for that, I am not sure.
230 innings? Whatever happened to the love of an innings eater?
In my experience, the single most difficult thing for any young pitcher to do is to establish that he can last in games, to get the win. 230 innings tells me all I need to know about Blanton. All this misses bats.......not everyone can be Nolan Ryan. He missed bats all the time and had a terrible record as a pitcher.
"Is there a problem officers?"
Please don't bring a pitchers record into a discussion about how good they are....
Blanton is likely to give the Reds 210 innings next year of 4.50 ERA. I fully believe that is what he would do. He wouldn't give as many innings, because he wouldn't be as effective in GABP as he is out in Oakland and would likely leave games earlier, which cuts into his innings.
As for missing bats.... its an important part of pitching. A strikeout will rarely result in a base runner. A non strikeout can result in many things, including about a 40% chance of a runner touching at least first base (hits, hit by pitch, walks and errors). When I look at our ballpark and our defense, the last thing that I want is a pitcher who doesn't strike batters out.
I think I would trade Votto for Blanton straight up. I think Votto will be a decent player, but Blanton is not a question mark. He's not grade-A meat, but we know what we're getting and it would be an upgrade.
I would not trade Bruce, Bailey or Cueto for Blanton. As for other prospects though, I'd listen.
As to missing bats, as in strike outs, there are a lot of decent pitchers who never come close to leading the league in strike outs. Strike outs cost a lot of pitches per batter.
In fact (I am sure you or woy or somendy can look some of this up) Chris welch poiints out quite often that pitcher who depend on strike outs have very high pitch counts and thuse have difficulty giving innings.
Of course, there are the Smoltz's and Harang's around.....and they are successful.....but they throw a lot of pitches per start.
I am not trying to say that Blanton would win the Cy Young....but be a #3 starter.....he looks pretty good to me.
Now, as to pitcher's record.....sure, the team behind the guy is important.....but for gosh sakes, the Cy Young isn't awarded to any 4-15 pitchers and teams win divisions and titles by what....winning games.
"Is there a problem officers?"
Is it really hard to believe that his ERA won't take a large hit by switching parks?
They are also the simplest way to get a batter to go back to the dugout. Blanton threw 3.66 pitches per plate appearance. Aaron Harang threw 3.78 pitches per plate appearance. Aaron Harang struck out a crapload of batters last year. Blanton didn't.As to missing bats, as in strike outs, there are a lot of decent pitchers who never come close to leading the league in strike outs. Strike outs cost a lot of pitches per batter.
Well, looking at the top 10 strikeout pitchers in baseball, the fewest innings thrown was 182 by Erik Bedard. The other 9 threw over 200 innings. Only one of those pitchers had an ERA over 3.75 and it was Matsuzaka and he plays in the most hitter friendly park in baseball.In fact (I am sure you or woy or somendy can look some of this up) Chris welch poiints out quite often that pitcher who depend on strike outs have very high pitch counts and thuse have difficulty giving innings.
Sure, I never argued he wouldn't be a #3. He would give us 210 innings of 4.50 ERA baseball. Thats a #3 pitcher for ya. I don't want to give up Bailey, Cueto or Votto for that though.I am not trying to say that Blanton would win the Cy Young....but be a #3 starter.....he looks pretty good to me.
Teams win games, pitchers don't. More often than not the Cy Young Award goes to someone who was not the best pitcher in the league.Now, as to pitcher's record.....sure, the team behind the guy is important.....but for gosh sakes, the Cy Young isn't awarded to any 4-15 pitchers and teams win divisions and titles by what....winning games.
Doug, do you not think Blanton would see some sort of advantage with coming over to the NL? Or do you think that it would be a wash with the park factor? It sounds like your projection solely takes into account the park factor (though I could be wrong).
Way I feel is a simple what does it hurt to wait ? Nobody's running away with this division so why not stand pat and see where we are in mid June? Our beloved Red's need to just sit in a holding pattern right now and see how first part of season plays out.
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I'm for pursuing Blanton for a reasonable cost. Some things I'll point out.
1. 200+ innings with an ERA in the 4.50 range is a solid major league starter these days. The Reds need that as they break in the kids. Having a pitcher that is reliable and can be ridden hard from an inning standpoint is crucial to enable the team to protect the kids.
2. No trade of Bruce, Bailey, Cueto, Dunn, Harang, Arroyo, Volquez, Cordero, Phillips or Belisle though. I'd deal EdE or Votto, but try to use the quantity approach instead. I'd focus on a package of Stubbs and Maloney with some lower level guys. Maybe Valaika. I think Beane would find a spot for Salmon and since the Reds look like they have no interest in giving him a shot, they may as well throw him in there. I think Beane would like to have Keppinger as well. Point is that I think a deal can be made without dealing any of the top guys listed above. That includes EE or Votto, but given the Reds depth, including EE or Votto wouldn't be a horrible thing to get a solid 200 inning middle of the rotation guy.
3. One thing to remember concerning Blanton versus other pitchers rumored is that Blanton is not a rental. He's a guy that coud be here providing solid mid-rotation innings throughout the window of opportunity and his presence could actually hold that window open for a while longer. If Arroyo is a weak 2/strong 3, then Blanton is a solid 3. This team needs that.
4. I'm one of the people on this board that still believes that Homer Bailey can still be a number 1 starter. I just don't think he'll approach that until 2010. Last year's post all star break "injury" followed by his hissy fit return to Texas and his time in the penalty box in Sarasota set him back a year IMO. He needed to go 170 Innings in 2007 to be ready for a role in 2008 (most likely a year of taking his lumps). Bailey needs to have the year that 2007 was supposed to be in 2008 and 2009 is likely his year to take his lumps in the big leagues. 2010 is the year he becomes a plus starter IMO. I think he'll have a better chance if there are others to do the heavy lifting while he breaks in. Harang, Arroyo and Blanton with Belisle should cover that. Let Volquez step forward in 2008. Bailey and Cueto can move in down the road. If they all work out, the Reds have a really nice problem that can be used to fix the pen or to deal for some really top stuff.
5. Regarding Votto. I think he is probably a guy Beane likes, but given that Oakland has Barton on hand with Dan Johnson still around, Votto isn't a good fit. If Votto goes and Johnson comes back in the deal, that wouldn't be a disaster. Johnson would probably thrive in the NL and GABP. Votto and lesser prospects for Blanton and Johnson would get my vote but I think the chance of Votto being involved in a deal to the A's is fairly low.
I hope a deal for Blanton materializes. It would absolutely improve the picture for multiple years. I just don't want to cripple the future to get him.
Last edited by mth123; 02-07-2008 at 06:36 AM.
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mth123, you've put up a well stated articulate post laying out a number of plausible options and laid out your reasoning precisely. Well done.
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A lot of folks on here REALLY underestimate the importance and value of starting pitchers like Joe Blanton. It's easy to say Belisle or someone else will do what Blanton did last season ... but there are very few guys who actually do it.
Blanton let up 147 hits in 120 road innings last year. 5.11 era. 2.69 era at home.
Again, might not be terrible in the rotation but I wouldn't give up a lot to get him.
Wouldn't a trade of Votto for Blanton be roughly equivalent to a trade of Pena for Arroyo? I didn't like that deal at the time, but it has grown on me quite a bit since...
Of course, I suppose it is unlikely that Beane will be looking for only Votto in return. But if he is the principle value the Reds would be giving up, I think they have to strongly consider it. Perhaps that's what they're doing right now.
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