Something quick, since I'm feeling under the weather:
Biggest Contribution: Raul Ibanez, +12.8%
Biggest Suckfest: Greg Dobbs, -17.0%
Most Important Hit: Beltre groundout, -15.0%
Most Important Pitch: Young single, -13.9%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -7.5%
Total Contribution by Hitters: -47.2%
Ryan Franklin is a pretty bad pitcher with a pretty bad "me-first" kind of attitude. His pluses - rubber arm, throws strikes, well suited for Safeco - are outweighed by his minuses - doesn't miss bats, homer-prone, girly voice.
If you take Franklin and remove the abrasive personality and Dueling Banjos hometown, you get Jeff Harris, a guy who can give you some innings but really nothing else of much value, unless you count a neat color story for sportswriters during the offseason. If anything, he's a little worse, as his GB/FB ratio is lower and his BB/K has dropped below one.
Here's the issue: for guys with Franklin and Harris' current peripherals, it's impossible to have sustained success. Sure, they might pitch a few good games here and there in a big park with a good defense behind them, but so could you, and that doesn't really make them special. So the question then becomes: if you had to choose one pitcher to keep and one to ditch, who would it be?
Earlier in the year I put up a sidebar poll asking who should be dropped from the rotation. The obvious candidates at the time were Franklin and Aaron Sele, and Franklin wound up "winning" despite having better numbers than his counterpart. Presumably, this is because Franklin's whines and complaints were rubbing people the wrong way, while Sele filled his role as resident suckass #2 rather quietly. So, despite having the better numbers, Franklin was e-voted off, as he managed to draw more negative attention to himself.
I'm guessing that, if I threw up the same poll with Harris replacing Sele, the results would be the same. The same people who hated Franklin in May still hate him now, while Harris is kind of a neat guy, the sort who deserves the chance to prove that he doesn't belong. It would be hard to justify reducing his playing time now, when the rest of the season doesn't matter for beans.
Where the question becomes difficult to answer is when you talk about 2006 and beyond. Jeff Harris has gotten incredibly lucky through his first seven games, and, going forward, Ryan Franklin gives the Mariners a better chance of winning each game. So which one do you choose then, given a goal of competing next season? Do you go with the better player, or do you choose the lovable journeyman and hope that doing so has some kind of intangible ripple effect that makes everyone better? (This is, of course, purely hypothetical, as it's unlikely that the Mariners compete if they're giving 30+ starts to either of these guys.) It's not quite as black and white as you might think, although I suppose it's dependent on your belief in the importance of "clubhouse chemistry" and sundry other ESPN buzzwords.
I'll leave it at that. As a strikeout pitcher who gets groundballs, Felix is exactly what the Rangers need to plug into their starting rotation. So, naturally, they'll face him instead, today at 5:05pm PDT. His opponent? Another rookie. Texas may not have good young pitching, but they sure do have a lot of it.