Similar to yesterdays look at interesting offensive stats, now we’ll look at the pitchers. Also like yesterday, I’m not drawing real conclusions or deriving meaning, just making observation.
Beginning at the end
The big 3 at the back end of the Tigers bullpen are off to a good start. Joel Zumaya, Fernando Rodney, and Todd Jones have combined to allow one run (a solo homer allowed by Rodney) in 10 2/3 innings. Most impressive is the 13:2 strikeout to walk ratio.
Make him earn it
Remember going into the 2004 season when Wil Ledezma was pretty much handed the 5th starter spot? He struggled in spring training, and struggled more in the regular season. This year he is pretty much assured a spot in the bullpen and has struggled with 3 walks and no strike outs to go along with 6 hits and 4 runs over 5 innings. This comes after an inconsistent stint in winter league ball. Maybe he’s one of those guys that needs to be pushed.
Did you Seay that?
Probably the least mentioned guy in the bullpen-lefty battle is Bobby Seay. Seay outpitched Franklyn German to make the squad last year before being demoted to AAA. He’s off to a good start this spring allowing only 1 run (unearned) in 5 1/3 innings.
While Edward Campusano isn’t going to unseat Ledezma, he’s doing everything right so far. He’s allowed one hit and no runs in 5 innings with 4 strikeouts including 2 innings following a shaky Justin Verlander against a potent Red Sox offense. The only hiccup is 3 walks.
Speaking of Verlander
He’s had some good innings, and then he’s had some innings like yesterday’s first inning featuring a grand slam. He’s now allowed 9 hits and 3 walks and only 2 K’s in 5 innings. Now many will look at his stats and question whether he threw too many innings last year. This would be wrong to do. You should have already been concerned about his 2006 workload. Five innings in the first 2 weeks of spring training shouldn’t change that no matter what the results.
Nate Robertson probably has the most impressive stat line so far amongst the starters. He’s recorded 14 outs, 6 of them via the strikeout and allowed only 3 hits.
Jeremy Bonderman has been nearly as good, like Robertson allowing only 3 hits. The only difference is that 2 of them were, as Rod Allen would say, “big flies.”