Balls, Sticks, & Stuff
Exorcism in Philly
Paul Abbott - aka the Devil - is done in the Phillies rotation. The Phillies have announced a deal sending two minor leaguers and a player to be named later to the Reds for starter Cory Lidle.

While far from a blockbuster, and Lidle will never be confused with Randy Johnson, Greg Maddux or Pedro Martinez, it does upgrade the starting rotation. Of course, placing a blind, three-legged mule on the mound in place of Abbott would have been an improvement too.

Throw out Abbott's April of 25.1 innings and a 3.20 ERA, and he had a 7.64 earned run average for the season. Terrible.

Lidle is far from an All-Star himself. He comes to Philly at 5.32 in 149 innings. He has managed to win seven games, however, compared to just three total wins by Abbott (only one with the Phillies). He has also managed to eat innings. Lidle averages over six innings per start and has tossed three complete games. Each of those came while the Reds were still in the race in the NL Central. Hopefully, getting back into a race will reinvigorate the 32 year-old righthander. Over the last two months, he is just 1-5 with an Abbott-esque 6.98 ERA. His last start, at Coors Field, was solid, too. He lasted six innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out six.

Abbott, meanwhile, averaged less than five innings a start, and had lasted six innings just once in his ten starts in Philly.

I meant to bring this up earlier in the year, but never got around to it. Did anyone see when Abbott was interviewed just after the Phils picked him up on the pregame or postgame show? He basically blasted the D-Rays for letting him go. They weren't going anywhere, and all he needed was time to work things out.

Well, the fact that they weren't going anywhere was exactly why the let you go. You're 36 and tossing watermelons up there. May as well see if any of the guys in Durham are any better. It was also just before Tampa Bay reeled off its 12-game win streak. Abbott was released on June 3. Tampa's streak started on June 9. From June 3 thru June 26, the D-Rays won 17 times in 20 contests.

We all hope his departure has the same effect on the Phightins.

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