39-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2014 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
There was no outlook written for Braden Looper in 2014. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
Braden Looper Contract Information:
Retired from baseball in March 2011.
Looper has announced his retirement from baseball, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports.
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Braden Looper Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Braden Looper: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Braden Looper.
Looper is the definition of an "innings eating fifth starter" and only cemented that in 2009. He allowed 39 home runs while striking out just 4.6 batters per nine innings. The Brewers chose not to pick up their option on Looper and he'll be looking to find work during the winter. Some team will probably give him a chance at the back end of their rotation, but he's not a very good fantasy option with such a low strikeout rate.
After spending nine years in the majors without starting a game, Looper has spent two surprising years in the St. Louis rotation. He was a bit better in his second go-round, improving his ERA, WHIP and K:BB ratio. As of press time, Looper was still a free agent, but with the news that Chris Carpenter might not be available for the start of the season, expect St. Louis to make Looper a one-year offer and put him back in the rotation.
Looper had over 570 appearances in the majors coming into 2007, but none of them were as a starter. His stint in the rotation was a bit of a mixed bag. While the 12 wins and 51 walks in 175 innings are nice, Looper only struck out 87, and he wasn't able to last more than seven innings in any of his starts. He'll likely be a part of the rotation this year, but if the Cardinals pick up a starter or two in the offseason, they'd be happy to move Looper back to the bullpen.
After spending four seasons as a shaky closer with the Marlins and Mets, Looper came to the Cardinals to set up Jason Isringhausen last year. All things considered, Looper had a reasonably successful season. However, when Isringhausen went down, it was rookie Adam Wainwright, not the experienced Looper, who got the call to close. Despite a low strikeout rate (4.10 K/9 in 2005 and 5.03 in 2006) Looper is a good speculative pick for saves if Wainwright moves to the rotation as planned.
Looper's struggles began on Opening Day, when he blew a save for Pedro Martinez, and it didn't get much better from there. He finished the year blowing eight of 36 save chances and was moved out of the closing job in September. Looper's velocity was down a good four or five mph and his strikeouts per nine innings dropped from 6.48 in 2004 to 6.12 in 2005. So it wasn't surprising to find out that he pitched the entire year with a damaged AC joint in his pitching shoulder that required postseason surgery. He'll be a set-up man after signing with the Cardinals and may have a more limited role given his health and continued struggles against lefties, who hit .336 off him.
Looper easily was the Mets' best and most consistent pitcher in 2004. His ERA was below 2.76 in each of the first five months of the year and he finished 29-for-33 in save opportunities. Righties hit just .219 against him, while he struggled somewhat with lefties, who hit him at a .292 clip. He was hurt by the Mets' summer slide, going more than a month between saves, while also being forced to pitch more in the eighth inning. Despite a poor final two months to the season, Looper showed he could handle closing in New York, and should be a solid second-tier closer in 2005.
Looper enters spring training as the Mets closer. By the end of 2003 Looper had lost his closer's job to Ugueth Urbina, but for the most part his season was just as good as the year before, which was about as good as the year before that. Except simlar results in New York.
Looper finally shook that silly "isn't mentally tough enough to close" label, but with Tim Spooneybarger in town he'll probably have to prove himself all over again in the spring. Still doesn't seem to strike out as many batters as he should, but at this point in his career, expectations need to make way for reality.