Injuries are everywhere in baseball, and there are some rather substantial fantasy names worth mentioning. However, before I get to that, I’m going to spend a moment detailing two hurlers who used to be as good as anyone in the game at their craft before injuries rendered them as non-entities the past few seasons.
The Angels are really scouring the bottom of the barrel, either that or they think its 2001. The have been linked to hurlers Mark Mulder and Pedro Martinez according to the L.A. Times. Mulder’s career has been derailed by a shoulder injury that he has never been able to recover from. Too bad too since he won at least 15-games in 5-straight years from 2001-05. During that time he also posted an ERA below 3.65 in four of the seasons. He used to be one hell of a hurler. As for Pedro, his work compared to the league average shows him to possibly be one of the five best hurlers in big league history though he too has been beset by injuries rendering him as an ineffective hurler for each of the past two seasons. He certainly would be a better bet to offer any substantive value from these two hurlers. Oh, and if you aren’t sure that Pedro really was as good as I stated, take a look at this comparison.
Sandy Koufax: 165-87, .655 Win%, 9.3 K/9, 2.93 K/BB, 1.11 WHIP, 2.76 ERA
Pedro Martinez: 214-99, .684 Win%, 10.1 K/9, 4.14 K/BB, 1.05 WHIP, 2.91 ERA
Need more convincing? Here is each hurler’s average season per 162 games.
Koufax: 16-8, 2.76 ERA, 229 K, 1.11 WHIP in 222 IP
Pedro: 17-8, 2.91 ERA, 244 K, 1.05 WHIP in 218 IP
And the coup de gras? How about this.
Though Koufax has a better raw ERA (2.76 to 2.91), he pitched in an era dominated by hurlers, whereas Pedro pitched when balls were flying out of the yard like never before. Therefore, Pedro was much better against the league average than was Koufax.
Koufax finished his career with an ERA+ of 131 meaning his ERA was 31% better than the league average. That mark ties Koufax for 33rd all-time with Roy Halladay and Roberto Hernandez (minimum 1,000-IP).
As for Pedro, who remember had a slightly higher raw total, his ERA+ is currently 154. That means his ERA has been 54% better than the league average, the best mark in the history of baseball for any starting pitcher (Mariano Rivera is the all-time leader at an unmistakably brilliant 200).
Yeah, Pedro could pitch, and to say he was one of the five best really isn’t as outlandish as you might think. I have no doubt he can still get batters out if he signs a contract to take the hill.