Friday, August 03, 2012

Welcome to the Blue, Joe Blanton

This wasn't exactly the news I was hoping to hear today.  With news circulating that Cliff Lee had been placed on waivers, I had been crossing my fingers in the hopes that the Dodgers would take the plunge and claim him in order to work out a deal with the Phillies.  Instead, we find that the Dodgers did do something with the Phillies on the waiver wire, but it was not what I was expecting.  The Dodgers have confirmed that they have claimed right handed pitcher Joe Blanton, per their tweet earlier today.
(twitter link)

Oh well, I guess there still is time for something to happen on the Cliff Lee front for the Dodgers.  After all, according to Jon Heyman at CBS, Cliff Lee did not clear waivers, so someone claimed him and it's possible the Dodgers could still be involved there.  On a humorous note, Jimmy Bramlett at the LAist made me laugh.
(twitter link)

According to MLB Trade Rumors:
Blanton has a 4.59 ERA with 7.8 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 and a 43.9% ground ball rate in 133 1/3 innings for the Phillies this year. The 31-year-old earns $8.5MM -- $2.8MM between now and the end of the season -- and is set to hit free agency this fall.

Every National League team but the Giants, Cardinals, Pirates, Reds, Braves and Nationals appears to have passed on the chance to claim Blanton. He drew interest from the Orioles from leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline, but Baltimore was reluctant to match Philadelphia's asking price.

Anyway, check out Joe Blanton's career stats below from Baseball Reference.

UPDATE:  From the Dodgers press release:
Blanton was 8-9 with a 4.55 ERA for the Phillies this season, but had been strong of late, averaging 7.2 innings pitched in his last three starts and posting a 2.74 ERA (7 ER/23.0 IP) since July 16. During that stretch, he has limited opposing hitters to a .200 batting average (17-for-85), while striking out 20 and walking only two. Blanton has pitched 6.0 or more innings in each of his last 10 starts and made six quality starts in his last eight outings dating to June 14, posting a 3.55 ERA (23 ER/58.1 IP) and a .233 opponents’ average.

The right-hander currently leads the National League with a 6.39 strikeout-to-walk ratio and has issued just 1.22 walks per 9.0 innings, which also leads the league. When pitching 7.0 innings or more this season, Blanton is 7-1 with a 2.24 ERA (19 ER, 76.1 IP) in 10 starts.

Since 2008, Blanton has the fourth-best winning percentage among all Major League starters after the All-Star break, (.739, 17-6) and in his career, Blanton is 38-20 (.655) with a 3.83 ERA in 99 games after the break.
Based on the above, Blanton appears to be a strong finisher.  Hopefully this rings true.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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