Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A couple little nuggets on the pitching staff so far

Yes, it's early. But several huge positives have surfaced. Oliver Perez looks like he's on the road to becoming a very good major league pitcher. I won't vent my arguments over his last start, since I did that last night for a couple of hours on NYFS.

The first four guys in the rotation, Glavine, El Duque, Maine and Ollie have started 23 games, and pitched 135.2 innings, an average of 5.9 innings per start. If you subtract out the 3 short outings (2 by Ollie, 1 by Maine), you get 123.2 IP over 20 GS, an average of 6.19 IP/GS, very good in this ridiculous era of using bullpens as much as humanly possible.

Anyway, in those 23 starts, the starters records are 13-5 with a 2.52 era. I feel we've squandered so many good games, we're 20-12, we should be at least 23-9.

Moving on to Ollie. I did a strike ratio piece over the winter, let's revisit that. In his 2004 season where he posted a 2.98 era, Ollie threw 64.4% of his pitches for strikes. In 2005, that dipped to 60.2%, then rebounded to 62.02% in 06 prior to the trade over here. With the Mets, counting the postseason, his strike ratio was 62.10%, a marginal improvement.

Fast forward to 2007, even with that dreadful Philly game, his strike ratio is 63.42%. Take that anomaly out, and it stands at a career best 66.39%. There are enormous signs (basically neon glowing signs hitting you over the head), telling you Ollie's coming closer, and closer still, to becoming the pitcher he was in 2004. Will he? Well, the odds of it when the trade was first made were probably close to 10%. After Game 7, and the confidence, probably 35-40%. Now? I'd say it's 65-70% that he comes pretty damn close. And that bodes really well for this franchise.

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