Balls, Sticks, & Stuff
8/03/2004
 
"Paul Abbott is the Devil"
I can only assume that would be Mama Boucher's opinion of him. And the more I see of him, the closer I become to agreeing with her.

When the Phils picked him up, I groaned. A castoff, and from Tampa? The worst pitching team in the majors (at the time)? What happened didn't Rick Helling, Joey Hamilton, Albie Lopez, Jason Bere, Charles Nagy, Jim Parque, Robert Person, John Burkett, Rick Reed, or Jose Rijo answer the phone when the Phils called? Couldn't they have dug up another Abbott? Jim? Kyle (I saw his only win, against the Rockies, in 1992 when he went 1-14)? Lou?

Then I got to thinking, hey, he won 17 games for the M's one year. Maybe he's not that bad. Over the last six weeks, I've come to realize that, no, he's not THAT bad. He's worse.

Checking his ESPN stat page, I noticed that it was only because it was on the 2001 Mariners juggernaut. His ERA was 4.25, reminiscent of Milton's 2004 run support induced record.

I'd like to take this time to apologize to Eric Milton for comparing him in any way, shape or form to the atrocity that is Paul Abbott. Now back to business...

Abbott has never posted an ERA under 4.22 in any season he's pitched 100 innings - which, by the way has only happened twice. He did put up a 3.10 in 72.2 IP in 1999, pitching mostly in relief. And he had an 11 inning stint in 1992, where he posted a 3.27, again pitching in relief.

Hello, Ken Howell, is that you? Pat Combs, are you there?

Next I noticed his K/BB for this year. I vomited a little in my mouth. 29 walks, 26 K's. I become slightly enraged. 14 home runs allowed in 42.1 IP. Think happy thoughts....

Surely, there's got to be something better in Scranton.

There's not, and stop calling me Shirley.

A quick inspection of that rotation turns up top prospect Gavin Floyd - yet to deliver a AAA pitch - Robert Ellis, Ed Yarnell, Clay Condrey and a combination of David Coggin and Franklin Perez. Let's take a look at this Ellis fellow's numbers. He's got a 2.83 ERA and just eight walks in 70 innings. Hmmm. Oh, he's 33 - just three years younger than Abbott. Yarnell is a former Yankee prospect who fizzled. He's 28 and has walked 45 in 91 IP. Condrey, well, I'm not sure he could strike me out. Let's just say it's somewhat surprising he actually gets paid.

That leaves Floyd and Coggin. Coggin could probably do better than Abbott. You would have to hope so. Floyd, is he ready? Do you want to throw him into a pennant race as a 21-year-old rookie and tell him to save your season? A pennant race - which is almost laughable at this point - is not necessarily the place to cut your teeth. Josh Hancock got some starting work before getting shipped to Cincinnati, why wasn't he given a shot? Even Ellis, the career minor leaguer he is, may have been worth a shot.

The only reason I can think of is that Abbott must have found the same pictures of Bowa or someone in the front office that Doug Glanville has used to keep getting PT.

Tyler Green, help. Where's Ben Rivera when you need him?





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