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John Brattain Previews the 2006 Jays

Over at The Hardball Times, John Brattain posted an article in which he poses five questions pertaining to the Jays. Here's an excerpt:

I'm sorry, but I'm not sold on Lilly-of-the-power-alley as a regular starter. Yes, he enjoyed a nice little run last year, but he rarely pitched past the sixth inning. He'll only be 30, so he gets one more year to prove himself otherwise, well, I'll think really nasty thoughts about him. My gut tells me to trade him if he puts together 5-6 good starts in a row. Of course, if he does that, why trade him--right? (Sigh.) Regardless, I think the Jays can afford a bit of patience with him, especially in view of Burnett's elbow.

I share John's skepticism towards Ted Lilly. Here's what I had to say about him earlier in the offseason:

A year ago, he was the #2 starter; now, he's simply fighting for a spot in a rotation. He has no to blame but himself, unfortunately. In 2004, his first season with the Blue Jays, he posted a 120 ERA+. Last season, however, he posted a horrid 80 ERA+. So what accounts for his monumental drop-off? Well, his K/BB ratio did not change too drastically (168/89 in 2004; 96/58 in 2005), so that doesn't tell us too much. His G/F ratio did not change much either (1.25 in 2004; 1.22 in 2005). However, relative to IP, a lot more of those fly balls found the bleachers in 2005 than they did the year before. Moreover, in 2005 a lot of the balls that stayed in play became hits (.264 BABIP in 2004; 0.296 BABIP in 2005). And boy, did he ever allow more hits. His H/IP increased from 171/197.3 in 2004 to 135/126.3. It's very difficult to sustain a high level of success while giving up that many hits, especially considering Lilly has not posted appreciably low walk rates throughout his career.

When I have a little more free time, I'll post more thoughts on his preview while also posing (and hopefully answering) some additional questions myself.