Sunday, June 04, 2017

Hiring Bob McClure was Ruben Amaro's worst decision as general manager

I've never understood why the Philadelphia Phillies have hired Bob McClure and I find it completely unfathomable why he's still employed by the franchise.

Track record

Bob McClure was the pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox. He was fired by each organization. Let's break down how the pitching staffs performed under McClure. To set the scenes, the Royals hired McClure in the midst of their two decade long stretch of mediocrity while the Red Sox hired him four years after they won the World Series. The 2011 Red Sox finished ninth in ERA, third in hits allowed, eighth in home runs and 12th in walks.

Kansas City Royals

2006
ERA: Last
Hits allowed: 14
Walks allowed: 14
Home runs allowed: 13
Strikeouts: 14
All Stars: Mark Redman (Had a 5.71 ERA), a veteran trade acquisition

2007
ERA: 7
Hits allowed:  11
Walks allowed: 7
Home runs allowed: 10
Strikeouts: 13
All Star: Gil Meche, a free agent signee

2008
ERA: 10
Hits allowed: 7 
Walks allowed: 7
Home runs allowed: 6
Strikeouts: 7
All Star: 0

2009
ERA: 12
Hits allowed:  7
Walks allowed: 14
Home runs allowed: 2
Strikeouts: 4
All Star: Zach Grienke

2010
ERA: 14
Hits allowed:  14
Walks allowed: 10
Home runs allowed: 12
Strikeouts: 11
All Star: 0

2011
ERA: 12
Hits allowed:  12
Walks allowed: 14
Home runs allowed: 11
Strikeouts: 10
All Star: 0

Boston Red Sox
2012
ERA: 12
Hits allowed:  11
Walks allowed: 11
Home runs allowed: 11
Strikeouts: 8
All Star:  0

Just look at those rankings. What might be the most damning is what happened after he left each franchise. The Royals improved slightly in 2012 and, after adding James Shields and Jeremy Guthrie, became World Series contenders.  Meanwhile, the Red Sox won the World Series on the strength of their pitching staff the next season.

The lone bright spot on McClure's tenure is Zack Grienke's Cy Young Season in KC. But that goes up against Greg Holland, Andrew Miller, Mark Melancon, who pitched better after leaving his tutelage and highly touted prospects such as Luke Hochevar who never developed under him.

A bad fit with the Phillies

Under Andy MacPhail and Matt Klentak, the Phillies have stated that their goal is to grow arms. Is there any proof that McClure can develop a pitcher? His track record in Kansas City and Boston say not likely.

His record in Philly reinforces that belief. The Phillies have several well regarded pitching prospects. Aaron Nola was the seventh overall pick. He was a top 40 prospect. Vincent Velasquez was a top 60 prospect. One could argue Jerad Eickhoff has pitched well under McClure's charge, but he's clearly taken a step back this year from last year.

The pitching staff has not put up worthwhile numbers at all under McClure's watch.

2014
ERA: 12
Hits allowed:  11
Walks allowed: 14
Home runs allowed: 9
Strikeouts: 9
All Star:  0

2015
ERA: 14
Hits allowed:  15
Walks allowed: 8
Home runs allowed: 15
Strikeouts: 12
All Star:  0

2016
ERA: 12
Hits allowed:  11
Walks allowed: 4
Home runs allowed: 14
Strikeouts: 8
All Star:  0

2017
ERA: 14
Hits allowed:  9
Walks allowed: 3
Home runs allowed: 15
Strikeouts: 14
All Star:  0

The problems with this pitching staff are myriad. They can't put people away with two strikes. Because of that, the starters don't go deep into games. They give up a ton of home runs. The bullpen, despite having five arms - Pat Neshak, Joaquin Benoit, Hector Neris, Jeanmar Gomez- with strong track records, is in absolute disarray.

I'd argue a lot of this comes down to planning. It's not one pitcher who doesn't have a good two-strike approach. It's everyone. That means there's no game plan. McClure publicly took Cameron Rupp to task the other day, but if Rupp doesn't have a good philosophy, that also means there's a breakdown in planning. The team isn't just being beaten badly, it's being beaten the same way badly by the same teams.

The big question is whether or not a better pitching coach is available. Steve Schrenk in Reading seems to be doing well in Reading. It wouldn't shock me if Schrenk ended up being the pitching coach in Philly sometime soon.

10 comments:

Bob D said...

Its almost as if the whole rotation is broke. Eflin and Velasquez both now DL. Nola and Hellickson were both on DL at one point. One has to wonder if Eickhoff is injured too, he had a short leash last time out. The rotation depth are pitchers who are prospects/just graduated prospects which in my opinion are better to watch than the Cloyds and Buchanans of the world. However success has not really occured except for an occasional well pitched game.

ripjgarcia said...

You hit the nail on the head there Bob D. There is no consistency at all. Good pitchers pitch well and have the occasional clunker. These guys are all over the map.

GM-Carson said...

3 game winning streak. Oh my!

ripjgarcia said...

I think if it gets to 6 we should all step back and realize what a genius Pete Mackanin is.

GM-Carson said...

Hahahaha, you so funny.

GM-Carson said...

Yeah, give him another extension.

Bob D said...

6 game win streak I will start searching for playoff tickets

Can't spell double without the letters Odubel

Now all we need is to find a player whose name spells pitcher or winning

Maybe they should have drafted Trump back in the 1960's and everything would have been better

GM-Carson said...

Maybe Trump would have been the draft for Vietnam and everything would have been better...

Bob D said...

Rodriguez DFA, someone not on roster will get called - watch for Milner as likely candidate

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