Durbin will Start…the 7th inning

By jason keen
Updated: December 3, 2008

As a starter for the Detroit Tigers this past season, Durbin finished 6-7 with a 4.88 earned run average. While this is an improvement over Adam Eaton’s era which measured just shy of a dozen, sorry I meant a bakers’ dozen, and he will be a solid addition to the pitching staff, it will not be as part of the starting rotation, and here is why.

Durbin posted a 3-5 record with a 5.27 earned run average at the Tiger’s Comerica Park this past season. In 9 starts, opponents hit .289 against him and finished with more walks (27) then strikeouts (24). The one base on balls to every 6 batters faced is worsened with the one home run allowed for every 12 batter faced.

What worsens the situation is that Comerica Park is a more pitcher friendly ballpark then Citizen’s Bank Park. While the majority of the dimensions of Comerica Park and Citizens Bank Park are similar, Citizens Bank Park is 15 feet shorter in left field and 20 feet shorter in center field.

However, by no means is this a poor pickup for the Phillies. Durbin solidifies a newly built bullpen that will now host a combination of Romero, Durbin, Gordon, and Lidge in the 7th inning on. As a reliever this past season, Chad Durbin posted a 2-0 record along with a 4.18 earned run average. Appearing in 17 games for a total of 28 innings, batters tallied only 25 hits and compiled a miniscule .238 batting average against him.

And, as the Phillies starting pitching staff is a combination of young and inexperienced or old and worn, it is a safe bet to say that the Phillies will need an additional starter sparingly throughout the season. Durbin may be just that go-to insurance guy that we need.
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