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All’s Wells Now?

Posted on July 25, 2007 at 9:15 AM
Filed Under: Philadelphia Phillies | St. Louis Cardinals

Tough loss for the Cardinals last night, which, as my father has told me in the past, is why they play the games. On paper, the Cubs should have dominated, especially the pitching matchup. Carlos Zambrano came in with 12 wins, Kip Wells with 12 losses. The ERA spread between the two was over two runs. Yet Wells did all he could to win that game and just about pulled it off.

The Kipster seems to be a different pitcher since his temporary reassignment to the bullpen. I know I said I wouldn't be doing this terribly often (or very well), but let's crunch some numbers:

Before the bullpen: 14 games, 76.2 innings pitched, 84 hits, 59 earned runs, 12 home runs, 42 walks, 57 strikeouts, 6.93 ERA, 1.64 WHIP

Bullpen and after: 7 games, 25 innings pitched, 22 hits, 6 earned runs, 0 home runs, 8 walks, 19 strikeouts, 2.16 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

If you take out that disastrous Philadelphia start right after the All-Star Break, it's even more stunning, as Kip has a 0.75 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. So that bullpen session apparently clicked for Wells. But what's been the difference?

Before doing this stat compilation, my guess was that he wasn't dilly-dallying around, but going right after the hitters, trusting his stuff to move enough to create problems for the hitters. That's not borne out by the pitches per batter data, though. Before the switch, Wells was at 3.71 pitchers per batter faced. Afterwards, it's 3.91.

What is the reasoning behind that? You'd think that as P/BF went up, the results would get worse. My guess is that his stuff is creating problems for the hitters, so they are taking more pitches instead of hacking at the first strike they see and putting it into play with not-so-pleasant results.

What else is different between the two stat lines? He's not walking people, which again makes that increase in P/BF counterintuitive. Bad Kip was walking about a batter every two innings (.55/IP) and his K/BB ratio was only 1.36. Good Kip is walking one batter every three+ innings (.32/IP) and the K ratio is up to 2.38. (BTW, it's .29/IP and 2.57 without that 4 runs,1 inning Phillies game.)

He has also improved his GB/FB ratio, which is big with this regime, as we all know. Before it was 1.64 GB/FB, which is still a good number, but since then it's 1.95, so he's really killing some worms.

All in all, it appears that Wells has really turned a corner. If this keeps up, the Cardinals should approach him about an extension soon. Next year's rotation has few answers. Adam Wainwright will be in it, of course, and Mark Mulder should be back to take a slot. Mike Maroth could return, but that's really going to depend on how he does down the stretch. Anthony Reyes has to be in the majors, but if LaRussa is returning, it very well may mean that Reyes has a different uniform on next year. Brad Thompson is earning a look for next year as well. The innings appear to be getting to Looper, and I'm not sure I'd want to see him starting games again next year.

No matter how you slice it, though, Carpenter's loss leaves a hole in the rotation. This new-look Wells could be the guy to fill it.



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2 Comments

2 Comments | Leave a comment

it was unfortunate about the rolen error... i think as you said, kip could fill the hole of carp. i like how he didn't self-destruct when things got a little dicey.

and poor rolen. he makes fabulous plays all during the game and then the average play gets past him. but i try and concentrate on the fact that if he hadn't made the fabulous plays prior to the error, the game could have been extremely out of hand early. (at least, that is what i keep telling myself).

not a good night for prince albert to have an off night either.

ah, well....as so goes last night's game..its par for the course for our beloved redbirds.

Pretty much. They've seem to prove they can't do all three phases of the game (pitch, hit, field) all at the same time. One phase or another is about guaranteed to break down.

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2012 Top Hero: Matt Holliday (17)
2011 Top Hero: Lance Berkman (24)
2010 Top Heroes: Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols (24)
2009 Top Hero: Albert Pujols (28)
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Goats
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Lance Lynn (2)
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Fernando Salas (1)
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Cardinal Nation Approval Ratings (March 2013)
Yadier Molina 96.2% (up 8.8%)
Chris Carpenter 89.8% (down 0.3%)
Derrick Goold 89.1% (up 6.3%)
Matt Holliday 88.4% (up 0.9%)
Allen Craig 88.3%
Adam Wainwright 88.2% (down 3.7%)
Jose Oquendo 87.1% (up 2.4%)
Jason Motte 86.9%
John Mozeliak 86.5% (up 1.1%)
United Cardinal Bloggers 85.2% (up 6.3%)
Bill DeWitt 85.1% (up 5.3%)
Mike Shannon 85.1% (down 0.2%)
John Rooney 84.5% (up 3.0%)
Mike Matheny 84.4% (up 3.3%)
David Freese 82.9% (down 2.6%)
Jon Jay 81.8% (up 10.7%)
Lance Berkman 80.6% (down 8.0%)
Jenifer Langosch 79.5%
Lance Lynn 79.5%
Dan McLaughlin 76.0% (up 8.0%)
Jim Hayes 73.0% (up 1.1%)
Ricky Horton 65.5% (down 2.0%)
Jaime Garcia 64.1%
Albert Pujols 59.2% (up 4.3%)
Ballpark Village 58.3%
Joe Strauss 54.3% (down 13.4%)

2012
Tony La Russa 88.2% (up 17.4%)
Mark McGwire 82.6% (up 20.1%)
Skip Schumaker 73.3% (up 9.2%)
B.J. Rains 69.5% (down 0.9%)
Kyle Lohse 68.9% (up 13.8%)
Al Hrabosky 66.4% (up 3.2%)
Colby Rasmus 46.5% (down 35.3%)

2011
Dave Duncan 87.9% (up 0.9%)
Matthew Leach 85.5%
Pop Warner 76.7%
Ryan Franklin 72.8% (up 3.1%)
John Vuch 68.9%
Jeff Luhnow 66.4%
Dan Lozano 58.7%

2009
Rick Ankiel 83.9%
Chris Duncan 69.1%


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