Sure, Joe Blanton is no Zack Greinke but..um..he was also once a Dodger. Last year. For 10 starts. The Angels signed Blanton to a two-year, $15 million deal last week. He’s a solid innings eater only missing extended time during the 2011 season with an elbow impingement. Which, if my mastery of the English language serves me, means somebody trespassed on his elbow. Yikes. Blanton recovered from that injury, though, to make 30 starts and throw 191.0 innings in 2012. His 4.71 ERA in 2012 may not thrill Angels fans still reeling from the loss of Greinke but he did have a 3.39 xFIP in 2012.
Blanton has the same problem that bugged Ervin Santana and Dan Haren last season. He serves up the long ball. In 2012, Blanton gave up the ninth most (29 or 10 behind Santana) home runs at a 1.37 HR/9 clip. But there is a silver lining for Blanton instead of just being able to pitch innings in bunches. Blanton’s strikeout to walk ratio has been getting better over the past few seasons topping out at 4.88 K/BB last year. That mark was second best for starters to Cliff Lee who I believe invented the K/BB stat.
With an improved defense behind him, Blanton should be more valuable than his name recognition leads people to think. In this silly baseball economy, he’d only have to be a two win player each year to more than make the value of his contract. Not a bad signing but not the front line guy the Angels and fans were hoping for. *Anibal Sanchez Anibal Sanchez Anibal Sanchez*
I may have buried the lede somewhere. Joe Blanton turns 32-years-old today, December 11. Ice cream cupcakes and pony rides for everyone! Okay, maybe not everyone. Blanton is listed at 6-3, 235. He probably doesn’t need “crushed pony to death for 32nd birthday” added to his Wikipedia page.