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Saturday, January 07, 2023

Phillies acquire Gregory Soto, Kody Clemens from Tigers

The Philadelphia Phillies have acquired hard-throwing lefty reliever Gregory Soto and infielder Kody Clemens from the Detroit Tigers, the team announced Saturday.

In return, Detroit received infielder Nick Maton, outfielder Matt Vierling and catcher Donny Sands.

Soto, 27, was an All-Star the past two seasons, including 2022, when he went 2-11 for the fourth-place Tigers. Despite that record, he had a respectable 3.28 ERA, although his command has been an issue the past couple of seasons. He walked 34 batters in 60⅓ innings last season while producing a career-high 14.5% walk percentage in 2021.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 07, 2023 at 08:15 PM | 9 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: gregory soto, phillies, tigers

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   1. John Northey Posted: January 07, 2023 at 10:55 PM (#6112389)
No question, Kody Clemens will push the Phillies over the top :)

Funny, Soto's bWAR for 2022 was -0.1 but he was 30-3 in save situations, 0.6 fWAR. His 12.9% BB% is scary bad (5+ BB/9 ever season of his ML career) - basically the Philly fans are about to witness Wild Thing v2. As a Jays fan I approve of course and hope to see him in game 6 of the WS.
   2. DFA Posted: January 08, 2023 at 02:03 AM (#6112401)
It's an interesting move by the Tigers, trading their closer not for high upside prospects but for possibly decentish pieces? Maybe they believe Maton or Veirling can be flipped for a better haul then a reliever with control issues? I always thought you trade position players in the off-season and pitchers at the trade deadline?
   3. John Reynard Posted: January 08, 2023 at 05:21 AM (#6112403)
Detroit had no faith in their ability to develop Soto to the next level (a genuinely good RP, rather than a guy who with a little luck puts up a great ERA cause nobody got hits in the innings with the 2 walks).

So, they traded him for 3 interesting pieces who are probably better than what they were going to run out instead.

If one of Vierling or Maton lives up to their potential, they probably win the trade. Sands isn't a bad 3rd piece either.

Philly obviously thinks they can reduce those BB/9 without ruining what makes Soto actually get outs. Half a generation ago, they cast a similar-looking Diekman off themselves because they couldn't fix him. Maybe they've improved their system in between?
   4. Walt Davis Posted: January 08, 2023 at 01:41 PM (#6112433)
2-11 but 30 for 33 in save opps -- not a man you want to bring into a tie game!
   5. John Reynard Posted: January 08, 2023 at 03:15 PM (#6112445)
2-11 but 30 for 33 in save opps -- not a man you want to bring into a tie game!

That looks weird but is probably just random noise. I suspect he's not nearly that reliable with a 1-run save, nor so unreliable with a tie game. It is funny looking for sure though. I didn't drill down. Are some of those losses from phantom runners in extras?
   6. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 08, 2023 at 03:18 PM (#6112446)
I would've thought it would be pretty tough to have that poor of a record (.154 WPct) with a decent ERA+ (116) in that many innings (60.1), but in fact it's happened six times, most notably by Darold Knowles (you remember, the guy who pitched in all seven games of the 1973 WS). In 1970 with Washington, Knowles had a 174 ERA+ in 119.1 IP but somehow finished 2-14 (and 27 saves).*

*Taking a closer look: the man 11 blown saves. Ouch.

Knowles in blown saves and losses: 17 ER in 29.2 IP = 5.16 ERA
Knowles in all other games: 10 ER in 89.2 ER = 1.01 ERA.

Again, ouch.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: January 08, 2023 at 04:58 PM (#6112456)
In fairness to Darold, some of those were multi-inning appearances (or meant to be) and/or games where he came in with runners on. There was a game where entered tied in the 8th then lost it with 2 outs in the 13th. These days you'd probably have a position player on the mound by then.

Interestingly enough, Knowles was 9-2 the season before for the Sens.

Are some of those losses from phantom runners in extras?

That's a good question. He did give up 5 Manfred Man runs in losses but in three of those he gave up at least one other run. So that's 6 "legit" losses in normal tie games and 3 "theoretically legit" losses in extra-inning games.

   8. John Reynard Posted: January 08, 2023 at 06:18 PM (#6112466)

I mainly asked because I've always thought a high-K, high-BB reliever is ideal for the Manfred Man situations since they reduce hits and at the first walk is not really that terrible in those situations.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: January 08, 2023 at 07:06 PM (#6112476)
Manfred Men score a lot. 216 games (432 team-games) went to extras resulting in a total of 528 IP. There were 386 UER scored in those 528 IP -- those aren't all Manfred Men some are standard UER but the vast majority of them will be.

Or to put it differently, there were 1821 UER total ... so 21% of all UER were scored in extras (1.2% of all innings). In the first 9 innings, there were 0.30 UER/9 ... in extras, it was 6.58 UER/9. The RA9 in extras is well over 9. There are more runs scored in extras than there are hits. So Manfred Men must score about 2/3 of the time.

But it is not just MMs. BABIP goes through the roof in extras (320) (but small sample), ROE rate is at least a bit higher, IBB rate of course through the roof, HR rate down a fair bit though.

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