Friday, June 28, 2013

Pitching in Question

Pitching for some reason eludes me sometimes. What should be a superstar pitcher sometimes fail while pitchers that should be left at AAA perform like a superstar. Uncanny as it may seem, Jesus Molina has been brought to our attention. Truth be told as Brian stated, is right on the mark. Like Jose, I would expect maybe a little more though.

I looked the coaches over during his life in the majors and didn't draw that much of a conclusion. The only fact I could really come up with there is he pitched differently in season 20 with a bullpen coach with better Discipline and Strategy. But the only thing he did better was allow fewer home runs then. So we can actually rule out coaches as a cause.

What did strike me was the configuration of the pitching staff this year. Four starters and 8 short relievers. I have seen this work but normally the starters can go at least 6 innings a start and with this staff that isn't a given. The high number of appearances, innings and pitches could be a little much for what his ratings suggest in a season.

What I did consider more importantly took a while to digest from his game logs. 7 blown saves and 0 saves seems a little hard to believe. It is actually tough to pick up a save when pitching in the 7th or 8th inning all the time. Also the fact that the rest of the pen staff other than the closer only have 7 between them. Another interesting concept is that he has one loss credited to him from his blown saves, his most recent outing. Above anything else, the 7 losses this season hurts more than the blown saves in this case.

As for his career, I see nothing out of the ordinary with 12 Saves in 52 chances. We would like to see it better or course but Saves don't exactly grow on trees for non-closers but blown saves do. Now, if he was a closer..... I would be very afraid.

What troubles me the most about Molina is his higher than expected OAV and WHIP. I would expect it to be in the .245/1.30 range with his ratings. Ok, so he has a history of being well over those marks. Still not sure you can pin that on the coaches either so I had to dig a little deeper. Catcher ERA is under 4.00 so that leaves them off the hook this season at least.

The left side of the infield defense is actually pretty porous if you ask me and that can be a bane to right handed pitchers. The LF isn't all that great either but their stats aren't showing the full defensive picture.  I had the same problem with my pitching staff at the beginning of the season. It got fixed  because of necessity more than anything else. Hey, if you look at my pitching staff right now, they are ranked 4th overall in the AL, not bad for this sorry lot and a last place team. I fixed the problem when Perez got tired of playing 1B and sent him down to AAA to recuperate. Basically I put a 3B in RF and a SS in LF, viola team started winning, of course it helps to have a GG CF also.

So there you have it in a nutshell, there is nothing wrong with Molina.

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