Eaton sets the bar for starters
Eaton steps in as the nominal fourth starter, likely pushing Jamie Moyer to the fifth spot in the Phillies' rotation. Eaton has been a slightly below league-average starter for much of his career, and he has topped 140 innings pitched in only two major league seasons. Moreover, Citizens Bank Park isn't a very good fit for Eaton, who is a slight fly-ball pitcher with a chronic home run problem. Citizens Bank Park was plus-20 percent for home runs last season and plus-29 percent in '05; Eaton gave up 11 bombs in just 65 innings in '06 and has been homer-prone for his entire career despite spending 2004 and 2005 in one of the best pitchers' parks in baseball (San Diego's Petco Park).
When Chase Utley and Ryan Howard start earning stratospheric salaries through arbitration in 2008, Eaton's contract is going to put the Phillies back in the financial bind they tried to escape when they gave Bobby Abreu to the Yankees. Eaton will need to put up the best performances of his career to make this a good investment for Philadelphia.
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