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Oswalt to Philly, Duggan Duplicating Efforts

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I'm inconsiderate.
I'm inconsiderate.

Mood Music - Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas

Friggin' Phillies.  Literally one day after I finally finish off their Rival Staffs post, they feel the need to go ahead and trade for Roy Oswalt, giving up J.A. Happ and minor leaguers Anthony Gose and Jon Villan, essentially making my work obsolete.  So, allow me to try and update my appraisal of the Phillies rotation.

A quick look at Gose's and Villan's pages on Minor League Splits is enough to show that Happ was the true centerpiece of this deal.  But, how much better did the Phillies rotation become with the substitution of Oswalt for Happ?  How many marginal wins did they pick up going down the stretch this season?  What does this mean for the Yankees now that Lee, Haren, and Oswalt have all been moved?  If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, does it still make a sound?

If you want the answer to these, and other questions, come along beyond the jump. 

If you want some general Yankee centric trade deadline coverage, head over to the the Trade Deadline Headquarters at SB Nation NY, I know Ed has been dominating over there.

Well, first things first, allow me to give you some numbers and analysis on Oswalt's performance so far in 2010:

129 IP in 20 starts (6.45 IP/start), 3.42 ERA, 3.40 FIP, 8.37 K/9 (highest since 2002), 2.37 BB/9, 2.7 WAR, 6-12 record (nice job, Astros).

Oswalt has been very solid so far this year, and has been able to consistently put up those numbers year after year; however, as we all know, he has pitched in the NL Central for his entire career, and there is always some skepticism about changing leagues and cities.

With that said, Oswalt's career FIP is 3.36, but he has never had a yearly FIP below 2.84 or above 3.80. The dude is a model of consistency, which gives me some confidence that he can handle the adjustment without seeing too much fluctuation in his performance.  Adding Oswalt gives the Phillies another talented veteran at the top of the rotation, and gives them an excellent top 3 of him, Roy Halladay, and Cole Hamels.

However, as I said in the original post, the problem with the Phillies rotation is that 40% of their games are started by Kyle Kendrick and Joe Blanton.  This trade did nothing to fix that.  In a short playoff series, the Phillies top-heavy rotation is very scary, but I am still dubious of how much ground they can make up with such mediocre poor pitchers in the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation.

But, what does this mean for the Yankees?  It seems that now all of the top starting pitching targets have been moved, with Cliff Lee going to the Rangers, Dan Haren going to the Angels, and now Oswalt going to the Phillies.  As you may know, I have never been in favor of the Yankees making a blockbuster deal, and shipping away prospects for renting a sixth starter.  It was a wasteful strategy, especially if Cliff Lee is indeed on Brian Cashman's radar at season's end.

So, while most of the top pitching names have already been moved, I fully expect Cashman to make several small moves before and after the deadline, a la Gaudin and Hairston last season.  Don't expect some big name to be rolling into town, but hopefully Cash can make a few minor moves to bolster the bench and bullpen.

It does make a noise.  Cervelli can hear it.