Saturday's Padres-Diamondbacks matchup personified both clubs' 2011 seasons.
If the 2011 National League West could be distilled into a single game, Saturday night's contest between the Padres and Diamondbacks in Phoenix would make for a strong candidate. Both teams battled for nine innings (and then some), and the contest ended on a walk-off walk followed by a protest that threatened to put both teams back on the field to finish the next day.
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What Choo think is the value of a pitcher who pitches well despite putrid offensive support?
Judging by the comments, you guys seemed to enjoy “Too Soon to Count Out” last week, so I thought I’d bring it back again this week to look at a couple more players who are underperforming but may have better days ahead.
Shin-Soo Choo| CLE | OF: Choo has been a disappointment to fantasy owners this year, but he’s a guy I’m not overly concerned about. He has been bad, but he hasn’t been Dan Ugglabad. For one thing, he’s in line to steal just as many bases as he usually does.
Jason looks at his Holy Trinity of Skills and the pitchers who qualify for the honor.
A few times this past off-season, I referred to James Shields, Scott Baker, and Ricky Nolasco as the unholy trinity based on how unlucky they were last season. The three of them were in the end-of-season top 25 for SIERA, but their ERA’s were 5.18, 4.51, and 4.63, respectively. Skills-wise, each had strong strikeout rates and low walk rates, but all three were victims of untimely home runs and, in Shields’s cases, just too many home runs. This season (until last night’s performance by Shields), all three were in the top 27 for this season with SIERA’s of 3.62 or lower.
What should Tim "Mr. Emergency" Stauffer's role be with the Padres next season?
As the Padres fell short of both the NL West and wild-card crowns on the last day of the regular season, Friars fans may have taken notice of a relatively bright performance during their dark demise. Tim Stauffer, winner of the second game of the final series against the Giants, proved to be a half-starting, half-relieving batter’s nightmare in every capacity he pitched in during the 2010 season. He posted an impressive 1.85 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 61 strikeouts in his 82 2/3 innings, a performance that created optimism regarding his future among the San Diego fan base and kept the Padres within smelling distance of a playoff berth through the 161st game of the season.
However, before we start jumping for joy and proclaiming Stauff to be the next Hoff (or the next stellar and underpaid Padres pitcher, at least), let's take a look at what merits his 2010 performance truly deserved by considering some of Baseball Prospectus’ best pitcher evaluation statistics. Below, we can see what Stauffer (really) did in his total innings of work this past season.
The Yankees look for the Next Big Thing, the Padres wonder if they've already found it, and the Red Sox take the measure of Kevin Millar.
By most reports, the Next Big Thing actually turns out to be an old Big Thing: current Houston Astro and future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens. The theory is that Clemens, fed up with the fact that his 1.67 ERA hasn't earned him more than four wins, and that his ballclub is 21-34 and dead last in the NL Central, would demand a trade or else activate a super-secret handshake agreement that requires that the Astros trade the Rocket, not just to a contender, but to one which wears pinstripes and plays in the Bronx.