It’s tough not to be critical of Toronto’s handling of pitchers right now. First, there was the J.P. Riccardi/B.J. Ryan fiasco, and now with A.J. Burnett. One of the more injury-prone pitchers over the last decade, Burnett was left in to throw 125, 117 and 130 pitchers over the final three games before departing his last start with shoulder pain. Then, instead of immediately placing him on the DL as a precaution, Burnett suffers a setback while throwing a side session.
Meet Anthony Reyes, quadruple-A All-Star. He can succeed in the minors until he’s blue in the face, but until that translates to the big leagues, I’m done preaching him as a buy-low guy. Like Javier Vazquez and David Bush before him, the peripherals simply don’t match up with his ERA. Three-run homers tend to do that. His .54 strand rate is by far the worst in major league baseball. He simply needs to learn how to pitch out of the stretch.
Brad Penny has allowed one run or fewer in eight of his last 10 starts. Ironically, his 6.08 K/9 IP is the lowest mark since his rookie season. He has the second best strand rate (.81) and HR/ 9 IP (.18) marks in the game, so he has been experiencing some luck. Still, the fact he’s transformed into a groundball pitcher (1.56 G/F) is a big reason for his success. He’s faded badly during recent second halves, so he’s a pretty good sell-high guy, but the skills have always been there for Penny to turn in a Cy Young caliber type season.
Yovani Gallardo’s first major league start was better than the box score indicated. After all, one of his earned runs scored from first base after he left the game. His fastball was real solid (94-95 mph) and his changeup was a huge discrepancy, often coming in 15 mph slower. Opportunity to remain in the rotation remains a question mark, but with a very good offense and bullpen behind him, Gallardo could prove to be a fantasy force from here on out. Just because Homer Bailey and Tim Lincecum haven’t lived up the hype so far doesn’t mean Gallardo won’t.
I’m liking Kevin Slowey’s prospects less and less. The great command should eventually lead to a solid WHIP, but because he’s always around the strike zone, he’s going to be eminently hittable with a fastball topping out at 89 mph. Home runs allowed figure to remain a problem.
An interesting, alternative look at BABIP.
I had the craziest dream last night where the Sacramento Kings hired Reggie Theus as head coach. You know, the guy from that terrible Saturday-morning show “Hang Time?” Wait a minute, that really happened? What, Mr. Belding was unavailable?