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Friday, August 6, 2010

Scouting Report Joe Blanton

The Mets faced Blanton on May 26th, so here is his scouting report again, with an update at the bottom. The Mets fared well against him in May, as he lasted only 5 1/3 innings, let up 5 runs, 10 base runners, while striking out only 2.

The 29-year old right-hander was a 1st round pick in 2002 out of University of Kentucky, and is in his 8th major league season; he spent five seasons with Oakland and is in his 3rd season with the Phillies. He's 64-56 for his career with a 4.23 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. He has been referred to as a "league-average/innings eater" in the past, but was very reliable for the Phillies last year; From May 26th, he threw 151 innings in 23 starts, and limited the opposition to a .304 OBP and a 3.16 ERA. He's in his final year of arbitration, and he's looking to build on the success he had last year to parley into a nice free agent contract. Coming into this year, He had made four starts in his career versus the Mets and is 2-0, with a 1.59 ERA and .953 WHIP. He faced the Mets once last year, and threw 7 1/3 shutout innings.

Blanton throws strikes and has a very compact delievery, releasing from a high 3/4s arm slot. He features a 88-91 mph fastball that he will throw to both sides of the plate, a slider (83 mph), as well as an occasional curve (76 mph) and change-up (81 mph). He has started to throw a few cutters per game. His two best pitches are his slider and change-up. Last year he saw an increase in swings out of the strike zone which increased his K/9 to 7.51, but this year it's back down to 6.1 (career average is 5.7). He's a fly-ball pitcher who has been prone to the long-ball the last two years. Last year his slider was his strikeout pitch, but this year he is relying more on his fastball, with poor results.

After missing some time earlier this year with an oblique injury, Blanton has made 17 starts (106 innings) and is 4-6, with a 5.86 ERA, and 1.47 WHIP. He's gone 6+ innings in 13 of his 17 starts, but has allowed at least three runs in all but one start. He's let up 17 home runs in 106 innings. In his last start versus the Nationals, he went 6 innings and allowed 4 runs, with 9 hits and 1 walk, while striking out a season high 8.

He is a league average-innings eater after all.

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