Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Great Italian Thinkers: Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, Leo Mazzone

When Hudson, Hampton, and Thomson went down, I was pretty certain that the Braves' season was over. Never in a million years did I think I would be making the following comparison:

Hampton/Hudson/Thomson - 13-8, 194.2 IP, 187 H, 69 BB, 67 ER, 105 K, 14 HR, 3.10 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 4.84 K/9, 3.19 BB/9, .64 HR/9

Davies/Sosa/Colon - 7-4, 99 IP, 101 H, 41 BB, 39 ER, 69 K, 12 HR, 3.55 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 6.27 K/9, 3.73 BB/9, 1.09 HR/9

Admittedly, this is a small sample size of innings pitched and the numbers could skew dramatically in favor of the injured starters when opposing hitters have seen more of Sosa and Colon, as was the case with Kyle Davies. That said, this comparison is startling. The youngsters, consisting of a prospect who was thought to be 1-2 years away from the majors and two converted relievers, have come close to the production levels of three veteran, highly-compensated starters who were pitching very well when they were hurt. The youngsters have a significantly better strikeout rate, although they walk a few more hitters and are definitely not as good at keeping the ball in the park.

A couple other notes:

1. You know you suck when four scoreless innings, half of which took place when the game was no longer in doubt, are cause for a Kolb Regaining Confidence article. After he clearly couldn't handle the pressure of pitching in a key role for a team that expects to win, it's highly unlikely that I'll feel good with Kolb on the mound again.

2. It's always fun to look at the standings when your team is on a winning streak and today, when the Braves have the 7th best record in baseball, is no exception.


peacedog said...

That comparison looks better at first glance thanks to the anemic K rate of the first group. But they're really dragged down by the enigmatic Hampton, who is successful possibly when he shouldn't be. He doesn't get people out at the plate at all (typically a bad sign). Thompson is so so AFAIk and Hudson respectible (generally, you want a pitcher doing it at a 6+ rate with a greater than 2.0 K/BB).

Still, they'v ebeen impressive. And one wonders if Sosa's long term future might not be the rotiation though that's not an easy transition.

Michael said...

Actually, I thought that the vets were dragged down by Hudson, who allowed a lot more runners than the other two. Hampton doesn't get many strikeouts, but he's very strong in the other two of the three true outcomes.

Colon seems to be more of a bet for the rotation than Sosa because he's been better as a starter. I try to not to read too much into the limited sample size of this year, but Colon has been much better as a starter, both in the majors and in the minors.