Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Three Weeks, Three Questions (Answered Edition) 

Again, a day late... I wouldn't think Monday would be so busy, but...

Three Weeks

The Week That Was

1-5 road trip. Swept for the season by the Expos -- the Expos! Outscored (with high/low scores removed, as always) 5.5 to 3.25.

The Two Weeks That Will Be

3 against Pittsburgh, Thursday off, 3 against Cincinnati. Repeat (on the road).

Pittsburgh is a weak-hitting (13th in the NL in OPS and runs) team that hits its fair share of ground balls and never takes a walk (worst in the NL). The Reds are a fair-hitting (8th in OPS, 6th in runs) team that hits its fair share of ground balls and strikes out a bunch (worst in the NL). The Pirates are an at-best fair-pitching team (10th in NL ERA, 8th in runs allowed) that issues a lot of walks (14th in NL). The Reds are a poor-pitching team (15th in NL ERA, 14th in runs allowed) who don't strike a lot of people out (14th in NL).

In other words, folks, these teams aren't all that good. Frankly, I'm expecting the D-Backs to win at least 5 of the next 11 games against these teams. Probably just stupid optimism on my part, but it's too long since I've expressed any of that, and I'm due for a change.

Hey, these teams certainly aren't the US Men's Basketball Team. (Uh, what was that? They're not very good this year. Oh, never mind.)

Three Questions

This is moot now that Pedrique announced that Stephen Randolph will take Lance Cormier's place in the rotation. But I wanted to take a look at the three pitchers and, purely on performance in the majors this year, see which one should have been voted off the island (ignoring other, very legitimate concerns such as future development and age).

1. Cormier? ERA: 10.97. Starts / Quality starts: 5 / 1
HR/K/BB/9: 3.4 / 5.1 / 3.8
GO/AO: 1.95. WHIP: 2.25. P/IP: 19.1
VORP: -13.4. Improvement: not noticeable
2. Gonzalez? ERA: 9.96. Starts / Quality starts: 6 / 1
HR/K/BB/9: 3.5 / 5.5 / 3.5
GO/AO: 1.37. WHIP: 2.07. P/IP: 17.1
VORP: -14.1. Improvement: never got worse, maybe getting better
3. Fossum? ERA: 7.64. Starts / Quality starts: 18 / 5
HR/K/BB/9: 2.2 / 6.7 / 4.2.
GO/AO: 1.34. WHIP: 1.76. P/IP: 17.1
VORP: -24.1. Improvement: has not pitched as well since "high point" in June/early July.

I guess as I look at those stats, I guess I'd have to say that perhaps Cormier has pitched slightly worse than the other two. I know that Casey Fossum gets a lot of grief (and, oy vey, that VORP!), but I don't think he's too bad. He certainly has had high points more so than the other two, which makes his collapsed starts that much more difficult to watch. Gonzalez gets the nod over Cormier just because he's pitched decently in his last two starts, coincidentally (or not) after Pedrique said he was at risk of getting pulled from the rotation. Maybe management by fear is the way to go with the starting pitchers...

As I noted, I know that the stats aren't the only thing to look at... age, development, etc., and Robert and Ryan do a much better job than I in general.

The sad part is that we really should be voting all three off the island, at least this year.

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