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The O-Zone: Snow way!
Posted by Joe Oberkrieser at 4/11/2007 2:04:00 PM
View more posts by this author

 

We’re going to get six inches of wet, heavy snow tomorrow in New Hampshire. That means I’m going to lose power -- always do. And with Public Service of New Hampshire (or as I call them, Public Service of No Hurry) on the case, there’s no telling when I’ll get it back.

Thus, I’m posting tomorrow’s O-Zone today. Then I’m going to find my flashlight.

NICE JOB, SAN DIEGO

I’m always in favor of locking up young stars to long-term, economical deals. No exception this time, as I love San Diego’s signing of Chris Young to a four-year, $14.5 million extension.

There’s so much to like here:

* Young’s strikeout rate the last three years: 6.69, 7.49, 8.23. He’s in a good place now, and I love seeing a young pitcher improve in this area.

* Young is not a Petco phenom. He actually was much better on the road last year (2.41 ERA away, 4.61 at home). If anyone thinks Young is just another lucky Padres pitcher who owes all his success to Petco, you’re wrong. He’s a genuinely good pitcher and deserves the money.

* He hasn’t been overworked. Young threw 164 2/3 innings in 2005, 179 1/3 last year. Very reasonable. I consider Young low-risk for burnout or injury, so locking him up for several seasons is a good bet.

All that being said, Young has some warts. He gave up 28 home runs last year; I’d like to see him lower that total. He also walked 69 in 179 1/3 innings, a mark he could definitely improve on. But he’s still a very good pitcher, and the price is definitely right. Bravo, Kevin Towers.

CLOSER CAROUSEL

Two dark-horse closer candidates to keep an eye on:

JOAKIM SORIA: The Rule V pick has gotten off to a great start, striking out five in five innings. He already has a save and two holds, too. With Octavio Dotel out and David Riske only a so-so option as a replacement, perhaps Soria will receive some save chances.

KEVIN CORREIA: Correia gives up a ton of fly balls (0.80 career G/F), so he’s always a threat to blow a game in spectacular fashion. But Correia also has decent stuff -- 7.36 K/9 last year, 5 K’s in 5 IP so far this year -- and opportunity could come a-knockin’ in San Francisco. We all know how shaky an option Armando Benitez is right now, and “closer of the future” Brian Wilson is down at Triple-A (and rightfully so). Correia could get a shot.


Comments....

Chris Young had the lowest BABIP (.230) last year of any pitcher since 2000. His BABIP with the Rangers the year before was .294, which is very normal. Essentially, he had the luckiest season a starting pitcher has had in six years. I actually think he'll improve his control this year, limiting the likely increase in WHIP somewhat. Still, it's worth noting how many balls in play just happened to find gloves for him last year.
Posted by Dalton Del Don at 4/11/2007 2:35:00 PM
 

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