Joe Blanton making run at embarrassing pitching triple crown
Joe Blanton has been the worst pitcher in baseball this season, and that’s not an exaggeration. Whether he’s been starting or relieving for the Los Angeles Angels, his results have been equally awful. In fact, he’s been so bad that he could win the pitching triple crown … in all the wrong categories.
Blanton currently leads all MLB pitchers with the highest ERA, is tied for the most losses, and he entered Wednesday with the most home runs allowed.
Blanton is sporting a 6.12 ERA, which places him higher than Edinson Volquez, who is the next worse at 5.72.
Blanton is 2-14, and his 14 losses tie him with Houston Astros pitcher Lucas Harrell, who is 6-14.
Blanton has allowed 29 home runs, which is second to Oakland A’s starter A.J. Griffin, who allowed two on Wednesday to give him 30 for the season.
Blanton also has the worst WAR among all MLB pitchers at -2. That means he’s cost the Angels two more losses than the standard minor league pitcher. If you value WAR, then that means Blanton has been the least valuable pitcher in baseball.
What’s truly amazing about Blanton’s pursuit of the crown is that he’s still leading the race despite being moved to the bullpen, where he has fewer opportunities to stink. After being moved to the pen in late July, Blanton had three promising outings where he combined for six scoreless innings, allowing just one hit and one walk. But then he went back to being terrible.
Blanton has allowed multiple runs and at least one home run in each of his last four relief appearances. He gave up three runs in two innings against the Texas Rangers; six runs on eight hits in two innings against the New York Yankees; four runs on two home runs in 2.1 innings against the Houston Astros; and he gave up three runs in one inning of work to the Cleveland Indians, which broke a 1-1 tie in extras.
The Angels signed Blanton to a two-year deal before the season with $15 million guaranteed. No way they could have imagined they would have gotten this terrible of a performance out of him. I’m still not sure why they didn’t just cut him in May after his terrible start, but since they hung on to him, I’m really hoping he can bring home the bejeweled honor.
H/T Nathan Johnson