Monday, April 5, 2010

1pm Games; Let the Johan/Halladay debate begin.

Now that Doc Halladay and Johan Santana are finally pitching in the same division, it has never been more relevant to compare the two.  After the jump:

Doc since 2002: 238 GS, 130-59, 3.13 ERA, 3.33 FIP
1 Cy Young, 5 Top-5 Cy Finishes
1710.1 IP, 1628 H, 595 ER, 134 HR, 335 nBB*, 1260 K

Johan since 2002: 225 GS, 119-57, 2.89 ERA, 3.32 FIP
2 Cy Youngs, 5 Top-5 Cy Finishes
1580 IP, 1278 H, 507 ER, 170 HR, 422 nBB*, 1641 K

*nBB = net walks (BB-IBB+HBP)

They achieve similar results with different styles. The right-handed Doc is the model of efficiency, going deep into games and sparing his bullpen. The southpaw, Johan, is a strikeout artist who keeps hitters off-balance with a nasty fastball/change combination. Over the last eight years, these two have stood head and shoulders above the field, but who lays claim to being the period's best pitcher is up for debate.

The consensus seems to be that Roy Halladay is headed towards 22-25 wins in 2010, but they said the same of Johan when he was traded to the Mets two years ago; in both cases with no arguments past, "he's moving to the weaker league."  Injuries happen. Dips in performance happen. I'll believe crazy projections like that when I see results. The guy only gets 32-35 starts tops and his closer is Brad Lidge... I'm just sayin'.  I don't think we'll see a repeat of Denny McLain in '68, Bob Welch in '90, or even Ron Guidry in '78. 

As for Johan Santana, his peripherals from 2009 are ugly when compared to previous years, but he was hurt at the end.  He struck out 86 batters in the first 66 innings of his season.  And then he got bit by that injury bug that was going around Flushing, and the Mets cautiously shut him down for the season when they were 15 games out.  I think tales of his demise are premature.  He had some stinkers that I enjoyed with relish (and mustard), but he also had some vintage dominance.

Phillies @ Nationals - 1:05pm 

Roy Halladay
Career: 148-76, 3.43 ERA, 3.28 xFIP
2009: 17-10, 2.79 ERA, 3.05 xFIP
1. SS Jimmy Rollins
2. 3B Placido Polanco
3. 2B Chase Utley
4. 1B Ryan Howard
5. RF Jayson Werth
6. LF Raul Ibanez
7. CF Shane Victorino
8. C Carlos Ruiz
9. SP Roy Halladay

I liked the Placido Polanco signing when it happened, and I like it even more now.  By all accounts, Pedro Feliz is a dynamite defensively third baseman, but Polanco is no slouch with the glove, and a few years ago he was the prototypical table-setter.  Time will tell if he's still that hitter.

John Lannan
Career: 20-30, 3.91 ERA, 4.62 xFIP
2009: 9-13, 3.88 ERA, 4.69 xFIP

1. CF Nyjer Morgan
2. RF Willie Harris
3. 3B Ryan Zimmerman
4. 1B Adam Dunn
5. LF Josh Willingham
6. 2B Adam Kenendy
7. C Pudge Rodriguez
9. SP John Lannan

If not for the obvious benefits of delaying his free agency by a year, Stephen Strasburg should be starting this game.  Until then, Ian Desmond is the Nationals' rookie to watch.

Marlins @ Mets - 1:10pm
Josh Johnson
Career: 34-16, 3.40 ERA, 3.77 xFIP
2009: 15-5, 3.23 ERA, 3.40 xFIP

1. LF Chris Coghlan
2. CF Cameron Maybin
3. SS Hanley Ramirez
4. 3B Jorge Cantu
5. 2B Dan Uggla
6. C Ronny Paulino
7. RF Cody Ross
8. 1B Gaby Sanchez
9. SP Josh Johnson
Although technically not a rookie, Cameron Maybin is the most intriguing young player in this line-up.  It's almost unfathomable that the Tigers brought him up for a look in 2007; he's barely ready now.

Johan Santana
Career: 122-60, 3.12 ERA, 3.38 xFIP
2009: 13-9, 3.13 ERA, 4.13 xFIP

1. SS Alex Cora
2. 2B Luis Castillo
3. 3B David Wright
4. 1B Mike Jacobs
5. LF Jason Bay
6. CF Gary Matthews Jr.
7. RF Jeff Francoeur
8. C Rod Barajas
9. SP Johan Santana

I see the Mets are already in midseason form; half their core is on the shelf.  Geez, what an embarrassing line-up.  Not even counting the pitcher, 5 of those players could be flirting with a sub-.300 OBP all season (Cora, Jacobs, Matthews, Francouer, Barajas). I can't believe Omar Minaya is going to battle with that line-up in support of Oliver Perez, John Maine and Mike Pelfrey.  It's going to be a long season in Queens.

Less than 2 hours until first pitch. Get loose, Barack.