Friday, April 01, 2005

Early Indications (Pitching Edition)

Yesterday we looked at hitters, so I thought I'd follow suit today with the pitchers. See yesterday's article for disclaimers on sample size, park factors, etc.

Starting Pitching

Mark Mulder - 3.60 ERA, 25 innings, 17 K's, 8 BB's, 1.56 WHIP
Woody Williams - 7.20 ERA, 15 innings, 8 K's, 6 BB's, 1.73 WHIP

I liked the "Woody Williams era" in St. Louis as much as anybody else, maybe more. With that being said, I was glad to see the Cardinals paying Mulder $6.75 million in 2005 over Woody's $8 million in 2004. Anytime you can improve your staff and cut costs, you're doing something right.

Looks like Woody is off to quite a rough start, even when you account for the extra offense in the Cactus league. Mulder, on the other hand, seems to be rounding into shape despite a high WHIP during the Spring.

Left Handed Relief

Bill Pulsipher - 0.00 ERA, 10 innings, 7 K's, 3 BB's, 1.10 WHIP
Randy Flores - 6.52 ERA, 9.2 innings, 8 K's, 2 BB's, 1.65 WHIP
Steve Kline - 1.64 ERA, 11 innings, 9 K's, 2 BB's, 1.27 WHIP

Bill Pulsipher has been great....until he had his toe broken on Wednesday. Speaking as someone who broke a toe three weeks ago, I can say that A. it's quite painful and B. it should heal quickly. (Of course, I wasn't trying to throw a baseball 90 MPH as mine healed, so....).

If Pulsipher can come back quickly, he looks primed to step into the #2 lefty role. Flores has some work to do, but him striking out the side in last night's game was at least a sign of hope.

Right Handed Relief

Al Reyes - 2.61 ERA, 10.1 innings, 9 K's, 4 BB's, 0.87 WHIP
Kiko Calero - 0.66 ERA, 13.2 innings, 11 KK's, 4 BB's, 0.88 WHIP
Dan Haren - 6.65 ERA, 23 innings, 12 K's, 7 BB's, 1.65 WHIP

I liked Calero (and Haren for that matter) a lot. With that being said, I thought entering this Spring that Reyes could replace him. So far so good, as this Spring he had a lower WHIP and a better K/9 ratio. Haren has been starting, and looks like he's still a bit on the rough side.

Conclusions

Between today and yesterday we looked at comparisons for departed players vs. those joining the team. In the early going - and there is a long time to go - the Cardinals appear to have replaced everyone quite nicely from a production standpoint, including the so-called "power righty" in the bullpen that some still seem to think the Cardinals need.

Of course, you'll still read some experts out there talking about how much "leadership" and "veteran presence" the Cardinals lost in the off-season. I know the guys lost - Matheny especially - were great in that role, but don't you think the "intangibles" lost have been a bit overblown?

1. Of the currently projected 25 man roster, 20 players spent time with the Cardinals for at least a portion of last season, including 6 out of 8 position regulars and 4 out of 5 rotation members. It's not like there are a lot of new faces needing to learn how to fit in with the defending NL champs.

2. The Cardinals did lose 3 players with World Series rings (Edgar Renteria, Woody Williams, and Tony Womack), but added 1 (David Eckstein) to go with the retained Reggie Sanders.

3. 20 players on the current roster have played in the Fall Classic (Randy Flores was not on the playoff roster last year.)

4. The 5 players on the current team that have not played in the World Series include Mark Grudzielanek, who has played in an NLCS with the Cubs, Einar Diaz, who has played in the playoffs 3 different seasons with the Indians, and Mark Mulder, who has 4 career playoffs starts with a 2.25 ERA.

Leadership is great, and I know it has more of an impact than we stats geeks can fully understand at times. But the Cardinals aren't exactly a ship without a rudder.

1 Comments:

At 5:38 PM, Anonymous neal said...

Have you seen Joe Torre's comments on "chemistry" and "leadership"? It was something to the effect of how the cardinals teams he was a part of were the best of friends, groups of more than 10 going out together after games and finishing near the bottom of the division each year.
Not sure if he was comparing it to the Yankees teams he's managed but either way it sounds about right to me. Success begats a happy team, not the other way around.

 

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