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Fultzing Around
2006-07-02 13:09
by Mike Carminati

The Phils were reduced to turning to a career lefty specialist as their starting pitcher today, and yet so far somehow it's worked. The Phils lead the Blue Jays, 7-5, after six innings and they chased A.J. Burnett with seven runs—five earned—and ten hits after four and one-third innings pitched. Fultz didn't do much better, giving up four hits and three runs after one and two-thirds innings. Somehow the Phils have out-bad pitched the Jays.

As the Phils endeavor on a daily basis to cobble together a rotation while Myers does his penance and Randy Wolf rehaps, the president of the club is attempting to douse the public ire resulting from the decision to pitch Brett Myers the day after being arrested for hitting his wife in public by terming it a "mistake". The locals are waiting for the other shoe to drop squarely on Charlie "I Need a Friggin'" Manuel. Or at least they were but these other issues have taken the focus off of ol' Chollie.

Fultz being used as a starter is one of the more curious moves that I can remember. That Fultz is anything more than a situational lefty is due in part to a fine season for him last year with the Phils and in part to Manuel's robust imagination in using Fultz (for the first time in his major-league career) in an expanded relief role and now, incredibly, as a starter.

Anyway, I wondered how many pitchers had pitched as many games as Fultz prior to his first major-league start. So I looked it up (in descending chronological order):

NameYrPrev GSPrev G Prev IP GSAgeThrows
Aaron Fultz20060381 413.7 132L
Todd Jones20030607 681.0 135R
Chuck McElroy20000562 601.0 232L
Mike Stanton19990538 535.0 132L
Mark Clear19870394 689.3 131R
Gary Lavelle19810412 622.0 332L
Hoyt Wilhelm19580361 666.7 1035R

You'll notice that the previous guys on the list had pitched considerably more innings before being considered for a starting job even though the majority are left-handed relievers.

The Phils are now leading 10-5 and are polishing this turd to a fine luster. I can't wait until next week brings us "Geoff Geary, major-league starting pitcher". Ah, the fine aroma of Phillies continual pathos.

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