Thursday, October 18, 2007

Returning to the Fold (Part III)

Runs were down slightly in 2007, here’s a look at some of baseball’s most talented pitchers who looked worse than they are in 2006 (Part I and Part II). Most of them improved which accounted for some of the run prevention this year.

Rich Harden:
2006: 46 2/3 IP, 1.22 WHIP, .191 BAA, 4.24 ERA
2007: 25 2/3 IP, 1.13 WHIP, .202 BAA, 2.45 ERA

That makes 72 innings pitched in 2 seasons, which followed a 128 IP injury-plagued 2005. The time is coming to make a decision on Harden’s future. I think he should have some kind of exploratory surgery, but if the doctors keep saying there’s nothing seriously wrong, he should probably be put in the bullpen starting next year. It’s really unfortunate since he’s only 25 and could be the best pitcher in baseball starting, but he’s almost worthless doing little more than taking up a roster spot.

Zack Greinke:
2005: 183 IP, 1.56 WHIP, .309 BAA, 5.80 ERA
2007: 122 IP, 1.30 WHIP, .265 BAA, 3.69 ERA

Despite being moved between bullpen and starter by a confused Royals team, Greinke finished extremely strong. Still only 23, it shows a lot about his ability that he was able to be so productive after missing almost all of 2006 (and that after a terrible 2005). If it weren’t for his somewhat puzzling past he’d be one of the best bets going forward among under 25 pitchers, but as is he’s still a pitcher to build around.

Josh Beckett:
2006: 204 2/3 IP, 1.29 WHIP, .245 BAA, 5.01 ERA
2007: 200 2/3 IP, 1.14 WHIP, .245 BAA, 3.27 ERA

No surprise here. Beckett carried the Red Sox pitching staff in 2007. Adding to the fact that he’s still only 27, he’s never been overworked due to his blister problems. Beckett for Hanley could be the biggest trade of the 00s for both teams involved.

Ben Sheets:
2006: 106 IP , 1.09 WHIP, .259 BAA, 3.82 ERA
2007: 141 1/3 IP, 1.24 WHIP, .253 BAA, 3.82 ERA

As reflected in his first good W-L record, Sheets finally pitched for a team that could score runs in 2007. Unfortunately his extremely strange injury history continued this year, which was the 2nd biggest reason the Brewers missed the playoffs (the first being Capuano’s injury/poor performance). Sheets’ K rate also dropped significantly in 2007, but most of that was from early in the year when he wasn’t 100%. When he’s healthy he’s one of the most reliable pitchers in the NL. Whether he’ll be healthy next year though is anyone’s guess. Since it always seems to be something new, hopefully he’s running out of body parts to injure.

Tim Hudson:
2006: 218 1/3 IP, 1.44 WHIP, .273 BAA, 4.86 ERA
2007: 224 1/3 IP, 1.22 WHIP, .261 BAA, 3.33 ERA

The Braves finally got the advertised version of Tim Hudson in 2007. Entering his early 30s with declining performance, he was starting to become a question mark, but this year puts him back among baseball’s best. If only the Braves had some other guys who could pitch.

Jake Peavy:
2006: 202 1/3 IP, 1.23 WHIP, .242 BAA, 4.09 ERA
2007: 223 1/3 IP, 1.06 WHIP, .208 BAA, 2.54 ERA

As good as those numbers look, subtract out his ill-advised start on 3 days rest in early September and the one game playoff stinker and his ERA goes down to 2.07. It’s unfortunate how the season ended for him but Peavy dragged the Padres towards the playoffs for almost the entire year. His violent motion makes him an iffier proposition going forward, but right now there might not be anyone better on a pitching mound.

Felix Hernandez:
2006: 191 IP , 1.34 WHIP, .262 BAA, 4.52 ERA
2007: 190 1/3 IP, 1.38 WHIP, .281 BAA, 3.92 ERA

Once again somewhat of a mixed bag here, but not at all surprising for a 21 year old. Like the Royals have done with Greinke, the Mariners have tried to simplify King Felix’s pitching arsenal, so it’s still a work in progress. As is, he’d be a very valuable pitcher for any team. Considering the fact that he’s much very likely to improve greatly makes him continue to be one of the most prized possessions in baseball.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Bee said...

greinke!!!

zack with a k though please. short for zackary.

he said after his last game of the year that he still wants to start. papelbon for greinke!! do it!

8:40 AM  
Blogger sabesin2001 said...

does the k stand for strikeout?

1:45 PM  
Anonymous bee said...

it stands for k thx for spelling my name right.

9:31 PM  

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