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The bullpen shuffle: the Phillies designate Chad Qualls for assignment, option Joe Savery

Jun 28, 2012, 12:10 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals Getty Images

The Phillies bullpen is a hot mess, and two of the messier parts of it have been Chad Qualls and Joe Savery.  They gone now, however, as the team has DFA’d Qualls and has optioned Savery to Lehigh Valley.

Qualls has a 4.60 ERA and has allowed 39 hits in 31 and a third innings. Savery has been worse, sporting a 5.87 ERA and has allowed 26 hits and seven walks in 23 innings. And whether this is cause or effect, the fact is that the Phillies were 0-17 in games in which Savery pitched this year.

In their place, the Phils have called up lefty reliever Jeremy Horst and righty Brian Sanches. Sanches was part of the hot mess brigade earlier this season for Philly, but he has been much better since he’s been down at triple-A and has apparently earned a second chance. Horst has been even better, posting an ERA of 2.11 in 38 and a third innings for the Iron Pigs.

Rearranging deck chairs? Eh, maybe. But sometimes that works with bullpens.

  1. redguy12588 - Jun 28, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Rearranging deck chairs sounds about right. The Phillies need help from the outside, and are going to have to pay through the nose to get it if they want one last division run.

  2. Jonny 5 - Jun 28, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    The Baseball Gods actually heard me.

    • The Rabbit - Jun 28, 2012 at 2:19 PM

      LOL Jon…I saw your reply to my observation while watching the game last night. He did have another “Quallsity Start”. (Description courtesy of Utley’s Hair.)
      Craig, our little band of HBT readers are developing a new sabermetric called the Qualls Index. Qualls’ hits allowed and ERA only tell part of the story. The number of inherited runners that he allowed to score negatively impacts the ERA’s of the preceding pitcher while having no effect on his ERA. We think an adjustment is needed to better describe how good or bad a pitcher has been with the obvious understanding of some of ERA’s limitations.
      Obviously, the situation exists with any bullpen pitcher, but we agreed that Qualls earned special honors this year.
      and yeah…we probably have too much free time.

      • albbfan - Jun 28, 2012 at 2:54 PM

        RE: “The number of inherited runners that he allowed to score negatively impacts the ERA’s of the preceding pitcher while having no effect on his ERA. We think an adjustment is needed to better describe how good or bad a pitcher has been with the obvious understanding of some of ERA’s limitations.”

        I actually saw a good suggestion about this a few years ago (don’t remember where). Basically charge each pitcher with the fraction of the run he allowed. That is, if a reliever inherits a runner on first and that runner eventually scores, then the previous pitcher is charged with 25% of the run and the reliever is charged with 75% because he was responsible for the last 3/4 of the runner’s trip around the bases. The same metric, obviously, would apply to inherited runners on second and third.

        I thought it was a good idea at the time and I still do. With today’s stat tracking technology it wouldn’t even be hard to implement. We would, though, have to get used to seeing a pitcher’s line showing he gave up, for example, 3.75 ER in a start.

      • The Rabbit - Jun 28, 2012 at 3:34 PM

        @albbfan
        That’s actually what we had in mind but took it to the next step.
        With a starter (or preceding pitcher) who have had enough appearances to be considered statistcally relevant …and people will argue about what that is but assume a couple of full seasons, it’s easy with tracking software to know, for example, how many times a runner on first scores with no,1, or 2 outs when a particular pitcher is on the mound.
        Apply an actual percentage to each run.
        A pitcher like Verlander is less likely to have that run score even when he is “out of gas” than most. (Of course, when he’s supposed to be out of gas, he’s still throwing 99 mph, but you know what I mean.)
        With pitchers without enough appearances, you could apply a league average.
        It’s not perfect, either, but it’s closer to accurate…and the results would be BS/ERA: Bullpen subtracted ERA

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 28, 2012 at 3:51 PM

        I knew you’d be giggling away thinking about my joy at this news. Anyway, I love the idea of tracking the amount of earned runs a reliever puts on a SP’s record, and vice versa. I’d like to see how many earned runs a SP gets due to a relief pitcher. You know, as a separate stat so anyone looking can judge a person’s quality much more accurately. Qualls probably allowed all inherited base runners to score this season. Woo hoo! I feel like the Munchkin guild felt when the wicked witch had Dorothy’s house fall on her. Ding dong ding dong! The wicked wretch is gone!!!!!

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 28, 2012 at 4:08 PM

        I hit post too soon getting wizard of OZ on you. I’d like every SP to have what amounts to the opposite of IRA as a “stat”. Like I was trying to say we have IRA for relief pitchers. I think we could have how many runs were allowed by relievers that went against the SP’s era record. Say Hernadez for example had relievers let in 6 runs for the season that were applied to his era, I’d like to see that.

      • albbfan - Jun 28, 2012 at 8:46 PM

        @ Rabbit (sorry this comment is out of order)

        I think I like your overall idea — if I understand it correctly — but it almost seems to me to be more complicated than it has to be.

        I do have one question about your measure. If a starting pitcher leaves with, say, no outs and the bases loaded I assume that pitcher would be expected to give up some number of runs, correct? What if the relief pitcher then “saves” him by striking out the side, for instance? Would that starting pitcher then have runs added to his ERA under your system? I promise I’m not trying to argue the point; I’m honestly curious.

      • The Rabbit - Jun 29, 2012 at 9:14 AM

        @albbfan
        The answer to your question: nothing happens.
        If you are talking about league average, you would expect a run to score, but some starters and relievers are very good at “damage control”. There are already stats for that.
        It would be complicated if we didn’t have the data recorded as to the results of every pitch, but the situational stats are easily available on a spreadsheet. You can just pull the percentage from the applicable column.

  3. deweybound - Jun 28, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    about time! I was worried somebody would Permanently get rid of him, after last night’s fiasco!

  4. 12strikes - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:05 PM

    And yet Kyle Kendrick still has a job. WHY!

    • Jonny 5 - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      Because he’s more useful than Qualls?

      • 12strikes - Jun 28, 2012 at 2:34 PM

        Jonny5 – Since your post is a question, and not a statement, I believe you are in the same mind set that I am.

  5. phillyphan83 - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    our ‘pen is garbage!! we DO need help from the outside and we don’t have alot of room to do it. I see a trade I our future, if not, were screwed. and don’t get me started on Kyle Kendrick. I have avoided every one of his starts for the last 3 years. Last season, I was going to a game that Cliff Lee was scheduled to start, but after the 1hr40min drive to Philly, I arrived to see a last minute change and KK was now starting. I promptly got back in my car and headed to Atlantic City. I won $900.00 that day and, low and behold, the Phils lost. Its almost battery time for KK, lol.

  6. buffbaker1216 - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Hey redguy. Get a life and move on. You’ll have nightmares of this team continuing to win for years.

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