I came across a note today on Twitter, and if you aren’t following Baseball Guys on Twitter shame on you. Here is the note from the official MLB twitter feed: “Congrats to @Padres closer Heath Bell on 2010 MLB Delivery Man of the Year Award. Converted 47 of 50 save opportunities, MLB-best 94%.” Wait a second, did I miss something? What about the majors saves leader, Brian Wilson? Let’s compare the two relievers from the NL West.
Wilson had 48 saves. Bell had 47.
Wilson had a 1.81 ERA. Bell had a 1.93 ERA.
Wilson had a 1.18 WHIP. Bell had a 1.20 WHIP.
Wilson had a .220 BAA. Bell had a .221 BAA.
Wilson had an 11.21 K/9. Bell had a 11.06 K/9.
Wilson had a 3.13 BB/9. Bell had a 3.60 BB/9.
Wilson had a 3.56 K/BB. Bell had a 3.07 K/BB.
Wilson had a 86.1 LOB%. Bell had a 81.1 LOB%
Am I missing something here? Did they really erase the fact that Wilson was a better pitcher in 2010 and give Bell the award because Wilson had two more blown saves (five to three), or because he had three fewer wins (six to three)? Please tell me they didn’t. You tell me, am I off here? If I am, I just don’t see it.
Cliff Lee is 6-0 with a 1.44 ERA in seven postseason starts. In those starts he has struck out 54 in 56.1 innings while walking just six batters. This season, in two starts against the Rays, he struck out 21 while not walking a single batter in 16 innings.
A.J. Burnett is slated to get a start in the ALCS against the Rangers. He was truly brutal down the stretch with a 1-7 record and 6.61 ERA over the final two months of the year. He also went 4-14 with a 6.48 ERA over the final four months of the season. On the year he went 10-15 with a 5.25 ERA, and that is the worst ERA by any Yankees’ hurler in history who tossed at least 180-innings. In history folks. So why is he starting in the playoffs? It can’t be because he had a 2.50 ERA with 17 Ks in 18 innings this season against the Rangers, can it?
Bryce Harper will see some action in the Arizona Fall League. The 17 year old, he’ll be 18 on Saturday, has been placed on the “taxi squad” of the Scottsdale Scorpions which means he will play two days a week. Despite all the hype and hoopla, Harper is likely two years away from the majors as is, and he will begin the 2011 season in Single-A. More on the phenom can be found at All Nats All the Time.
With Billy Wagner heading into retirement as the most dominant left-handed closer in big league history (I don’t care if he finished his career with two fewer saves than John Franco), the Braves will now turn to a new face in the 9th inning, an it almost certainly will be Craig Kimbrel. If you aren’t in a keeper league and don’t know who this kid is take note – the dude has absolutely filthy stuff. Kimbrel tossed 20.2 innings for the Braves this season positing a 0.44 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. With an average fastball over 95 mph he struggled with control walking nearly seven batters per nine innings (6.97 per nine). However it’s that heat that makes Kimbrel special, and it led to a K/9 rate this season of 17.42. If you’ve never heard of a mark that high before I understand why – it’s the highest mark in the history of baseball for a pitcher who tossed at least 20-innings in a season. Told you he was someone you need to know for 2011.
By Ray Flowers