But Brian Matusz is having an awful season. How could he break a Roy Halladay record?
Well, that’s because Roy Halladay once had a pretty terrible season himself.
Starting against the Tigers, Matusz gave up six runs in five innings on Sunday, just slightly increasing his ERA from 10.68 to 10.69. It’s the worst ERA ever for a pitcher who made at least 10 starts in a season.
1. Brian Matusz (Bal, 2011): 10.69 ERA in 49 2/3 IP
2. Roy Halladay (Tor, 2000): 10.64 ERA in 67 2/3 IP
3. Micah Bowie (Atl/ChC, 1999): 10.24 ERA in 51 IP
4. Aaron Myette (Tex, 2002): 10.06 ERA in 48 1/3 IP
5. Steve Blass (Pit, 1973): 9.85 ERA in 88 2/3 IP
6. Sean Bergmann (Min, 2000): 9.66 ERA in 68 IP
7. Andy Larkin (Fla, 1998): 9.64 ERA in 74 2/3 IP
8. Edgar Gonzalez (Ari, 2004): 9.32 ERA in 46 1/3 IP
9. Todd Van Poppel (Oak/Det, 1996): 9.06 ERA in 99 1/3 IP
10. Bryan Rekar (Col, 1996): 8.95 ERA in 58 1/3 IP
Since Matusz, who averaged barely more than four innings an outing in his 12 starts, came up one-third of an inning short, Halladay still holds the record of highest ERA for anyone with at least 50 innings pitched in a season. Matusz is the new record holder for guys with 40+ innings. Stu Flythe of the 1936 Athletics holds the record at 30+. He had a 13.04 ERA in 39 1/3 innings.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.