Sunday, September 30, 2012

Two Decades Worth of Losing- The Pirates

Remember in July when the Pirates were flying high, dipping in and out of 1st place in the NL Central?

Remember in July of last season when the Pirates were flying high, dipping in and out of 1st place in the NL Central?

Two seasons in a row the Pirates have quickly downward spiraled out of relevance.  The pitching went to shit and the bats continued not to hit.  This is now 20 consecutive losing seasons.  That is horrible.  Two decades worth of losing in Pittsburgh and that trend doesn't have much hope of stopping anytime soon. 

Their pitching staff isn't good enough.  Their offense isn't good enough.  Their manager isn't good enough.  I feel bad saying this, but they suck.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Al Alburquerque is Awesome!

Al Alburquerque is phenomenal.  The man returns from an arm injury he suffered during his rookie season in Detroit and has been lights out for the Tigers ever since.  He has a 0.00 ERA over 11.2 IP so far this season.  For his career he has 47 appearances, 55 IP, 6-1 record, 82 K, 1.47 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and a 2.5 WAR (which is outstanding for a relief pitcher).

If the Tigers are able to capture the AL Central division championship, I'm sure Leyland will lean heavily on Alburquerque in the playoffs, especially since Jose Valverde has been faltering recently (or all season long).  Imagine a game where it goes either Verlander, Scherzer, or Fister to start, then to Alburquerque, then Benoit, then Valverde.  That's scary good!

The Tigers acquired Alburquerque in 2009 for Jeff Baker.  Gotta say, that was a steal.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Rick VandenHurk is a Terrible Pitcher

Rick VandenHurk is a terrible pitcher.

There, I said it.  Someone had to.

The 27 year old right-hander from the Netherlands is in his 6th MLB season.  Not sure how he continues to latch on with teams and get called up to the Majors, but he does.  His career ERA is 6.11 with a 1.64 WHIP over 49 appearances, 35 of which have been starts.  For his career, he has a -1.3 WAR, meaning he's worse than a replacement level pitcher.  That number would be much lower too, if not buoyed by his only mediocre season in 2009 when he registered a 0.8 WAR with the Marlins. 

Currently VandenHurk is pitching batting practice for the Pirates.  That's the kiss of death right there.  No way they finish the season above .500 now (it'll be their 20th straight losing season if so).

Not only does he suck at pitching, he's even worse at the plate- .021 batting average (1-47 w/ 31 K).

This season alone he's been in the Blue Jays, Indians, and Pirates organizations.  When will everyone get the hint that this guy is bad?

Friday, September 07, 2012

Joe Nathan- One of the Best

Joe Nathan is one of the best closers in MLB history.  I know, that probably surprises you.  He's converted 90% of save opportunities over his 12 year career, only blowing 32 saves.  His career ERA is 2.85, WHIP is 1.10, and he has 50 W to go along with his 291 SV (currently ranked 25th all-time).  As a typical closer, he strikes out better than a batter per inning (826 K:784 IP).  His career WAR is 22, which is stellar given he's only a 1-inning reliever.  His winning percentage is fantastic (65.8%), which would rank him 18th all-time if he had 100+ decisions.  He's a 5 time All-Star.  Hell, he even hit 2 homeruns back in his early days as a starting pitcher with the San Franciso Giants.  In fact, he didn't become a closer until his first season in Minnesota.  Also, consider he's missed significant time (full seasons) due to arm injuries.  This man is a beast!  That's why I begged my beloved Phillies to sign him this offseason, but instead they vastly overpaid for Papelbon and the Rangers got the deal of the offseason with Nathan.