How do pitchers typically fare when transitioning from the bullpen to the starting rotation?
A couple of weeks back, I wrote an article called ‘The Turnaround Kids’ which identified the players with the most substantial improvements from 2009 in TAv, WARP, SNWP, and WXRL. Everyone loves a good turnaround, and it was interesting to see how Aubrey Huff’s 6.1 WARP was not only high, but representative of a vast improvement from a year in which he fell below replacement level. Similarly, Brad Lidge might not have put together the greatest season in 2010, but he was solid, and his numbers look masterful when compared to the dreck he put on display a year ago. In all likelihood, Josh Hamilton experienced the greatest turnaround, improving from a disappointing and injury-plagued campaign that found him at the replacement level into the odds-on favorite to win the American League’s Most Valuable Player award.
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How bad has the Phillies' closer been among all relievers, and more pointedly, all closers?
Yesterday, we broke down Brad Lidge's poor 2009 campaign in an attempt to diagnose and pinpoint the reasons behind his drastic decline in performance. And boy howdy has that decline been drastic, as Lidge went from the top reliever in the game last season with a league-best 7.61 WXRL, a 1.95 ERA, and an 82.9 percent strand rate to marks of -1.93, 7.03, and 62.9 percent, respectively. After examining various facets of his game in relation to years past, it seemed that the larger issue of his approach proved problematic, with Lidge currently averaging around 93 mph-likely as a result of his prior knee injuries-yet continuing to pitch as if he regularly pumps gas at 96-97 mph. Today, however, we will answer the question of where Lidge's terrible 2009 season ranks historically amongst the worst relief and/or closer seasons of all time.
Plus some Astro-physicality, a quashed Rays referendum, and news and notes from around the game.
You would think that the Yankees' starting pitching should be in shambles by now. Just consider that Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy, the two rookies they were counting on heavily this season, are on the Disabled List and have zero wins between them. To make matters worse the ace of the staff, Chien-Ming Wang, is out until September after suffering a torn tendon in his foot two weeks ago.
The Transaction Analysis you have been waiting for. Saunders. Izturis. Guzman. Cormier. Hernandez. Reyes. The names are all here, and only Christina can sort out the right from wrong, and the stupid from the just obtuse.
The difference between going home and going on is so very, very small.
There were the three inches that were the difference between a Brad Ausmus home run and and a game-ending fly ball. Then there were the six inches between where Andruw Jones' 11th inning line drive landed and the left-field foul line. Think about the two inches between Julio Franco's foot and the first-base bag, inches that were the difference between safe and out in an inning where it all began to go wrong.