I like to hold myself accountable, and I started that process yesterday when I took a look at my thoughts about a handful of hitters that I profiled in depth. Today, I’ll continue that process by taking a look at the pitchers I reviewed at the beginning of the 2011 season.
In the section of my website titled PLAYER PROFILES, you can find all the 2011 Player Reviews I wrote. In the piece today I’ll review my recommendations. While you can review the whole reports if you click on the link above, I’ll truncate things today by quoting only a section of my reviews (in italics), before giving my thoughts on how things turned out.
NOTE: I will grade myself on the scale of single, double, triple, home run
To see my review of the hitters click on the link to Player Profiles: 2011 Review.
Aaron Harang: 14-7, 3.64 ERA, 124 Ks, 1.37 WHIP in 170.2 IP
“At this point Harang should be viewed as nothing more than a solid depth starter in mixed leagues because he still has to prove he can effectively take the ball 30 times before you should think about going all in with him. Still, the early returns are positive and it’s very difficult to envision a scenario in which he shouldn’t be rostered in a 12 team mixed league.”
Harang didn’t make 30 starts though he got close with 28. His ERA was as good as his heyday (it was 3.83, 3.76 and 3.73 from 2005-07), and his WHIP was two hundredths off his career mark of 1.37. He also won 14 games, the third highest total of his career. His K-rate was down nearly a full batter though at 6.54 per nine (career 7.37). He had a solid season, thanks in no small part to Petco Park.
Kevin Slowey: 0-8, 6.67 ERA, 34 Ks, 1.40 WHIP in 59.1 IP
“At this point it looks like Slowey will need an injury, or trade out of Minnesota, to become a mixed league option in 2011. As such, he is nothing more than a late round gamble since he could conceivably end up making 50 appearances out of the bullpen this year.”
A total failure because of injuries. Slowey only started eight games for the Twinkies, and though he did some nice things such as posting a terrific 6.80 K/BB ratio, pretty much every other facet of his game blew chunks.
Rafael Betancourt: 2-0, 2.89 ERA, 73 Ks, 0.87 WHIP in 62.1 IP
“… if your weapon of choice is an NL-only league, then you’ve found a bullpen ace to target in Betancourt.”
Betancourt took over as the closer late in the year for the Rockies as Huston Street was once again injured (Rafael ended the year with eight saves). Just how good was Rafael this year? He was probably the best pitcher in baseball after the All-Star break.
2nd half: 0.33 ERA, 0.30 WHIP, 13.00 K/9, 39.00 K/BB
Also, like I wrote about in The Strikeout: Relievers back in February, Betancourt is now the only pitcher in the history of the game, THE ONLY ONE, with a 9.50 K/9 mark an a 4.35 K/BB ratio in more than 500 career innings (9.64 K/9, 4.65 K/BB in 560 IP).
Tim Stauffer: 9-12, 3.73 ERA, 128 Ks, 1.25 WHIP in 185.2 IP
“Will Stauffer be a mixed league option in 2011? He might be if he is given 30 starts, but that doesn’t mean I would go all in on him. Conversely, I do think he is a strong option in NL-only leagues while at the same time being someone you can consider rostering in deep mixed leagues in the reserve rounds.”
He really limped to the finish line frustrating many owners, but overall Stauffer was as good as advertised for the Padres. He eclipsed his career-high in innings pitched by 103, but still match his career marks in ERA (3.73 in 2011, 3.92 for his career), WHIP (1.25 and 1.31) and K/9 (6.20 and 6.17) while bettering his career GB/FB (1.82 and 1.50) and walk rate (2.57 per nine, 3.03 for his career).
Josh Beckett: 13-7, 2.89 ERA, 175 Ks, 1.03 WHIP in 193 IP
I could sit here and tell you I was right, and I was spot on with Beckett. Do yourself a favor though and read the piece to show you why a little good detective work by yours truly should have given you all the confidence in the world with Beckett for 2011 – Is Josh Beckett Finished?
Rafael Soriano: 2-3, 4.12 ERA, 8.24 K/9, 1.30 WHIP in 39.1 IP
“In three of last eight seasons Soriano didn’t even toss 15 innings… Someone is going to end up with one hell of a reliever. The only question is will he be able to stay healthy long enough to reward that team for their investment in his golden arm?”
Soriano made his 15 innings, but not by a hell of a lot. Once again, The Brittle One was beset by injuries that limited his innings on the bump. Unlike the recent past though, his performance suffered even when he was on the hill (his K/9 rate fell from a 9.49 career mark, and he walked 4.12 batters per nine versus a 2.82 career mark per nine). The Yankees overpaid for an injured hurler who failed to live up to expectations when on the field.
By Ray Flowers