Posts Tagged ‘Felix Hernandez’

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Happy Felix Day

May 18, 2008

Joe Posnanski recently wrote, “I never argue with people who say baseball is boring because, well, baseball is boring, But then, suddenly, it isn’t. And that’s why it’s so great.”

I appreciate that sentiment because it’s very, very true. You have a team winning by three runs, with a pitcher who is shutting the opposing team down. But then there’s a walk, a hit, and a homerun, and suddenly it’s a completely different ball game. Or you have a team who has lost eight of their last ten games, and they’re being beaten again, when boom! Their struggling (but tall!) first baseman charges the mound and throws his helmet at the pitcher. Maybe that’s a bad example, but the fact remains: anything can happen at anytime in baseball.

That’s why Felix Day is special. Because you know his potential for greatness. And you know that for every mediocre start he puts in, he’s going to give you a gem. And that even his mediocre still offer glimpses of his potential.

Last night I opted to go to a play with my girlfriend rather than watch Erik Bedard’s start. I knew he might pitch an outstanding game and that I might end up regretting having missed it. He did have a great outing, but I was able to handle doing something else instead (the play ended up being sold out, by the way, so we took a walk and watched a movie instead). But a Felix Day? There’s no excuse for missing that. Because while good pitchers, like Bedard, come and go, there’s only one Felix.

Eric

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Where They Were At Age 22

May 17, 2008

Last year USSMariner wrote a post that looked at where various pitching aces were at age 21, compared to Felix. The King is a year older now, and I thought it would be interesting to perform this exercise again. Below is a list of eight aces. The list features predominately younger pitchers, although Johan Santana and Pedro Martinez were included out of curiousity.

At age 22:

Jake Peavy – 194 IP, 156 K, 82 BB, 173 H, 77.8 LOB%, .263 BABIP, 4.99 FIP 

Brandon Webb – Spent the season playing for the Lancaster Jethawks in A+ ball.

Josh Beckett – Split the year playing in the minor leagues and with the Florida Marlins. For the Marlins that year his stats read 107.7 IP, 113 K, 44 BB, 93 H, 68.5 LOB%, .296 BABIP, 3.69 FIP.

Cole Hamels – Split the year between three minor league teams and the Philadelphia Phillies. For the Phillies his stats read 132.3 IP, 145 K, 48 BB, 117 H, 72.1 LOB%, .300 BABIP, 3.98 FIP.

Carlos Zambrano – 214 IP (Whoo Dusty Baker), 168 K, 94 BB, 188 H, 73.0 LOB%, .291 BABIP, 3.47 FIP.

Johan Santana – 43.7 IP, 28 K, 16 BB, 50 H, 72.6 LOB%, .316 BABIP, 4.87 FIP.

Pedro Martinez – 144.7 IP, 142 K, 45 BB, 115 H, 72.1 LOB%, .281 BABIP, 3.31 FIP.

CC Sabathia – 197.7 IP, 141 K, 66 BB, 190 H, 75.2 LOB%, .291 BABIP, 3.95 FIP.

So far in the 2008 season, Felix has posted a line of 61.3 IP, 52 K, 27 BB, 63 H, 77.7 LOB%, .324 BABIP, 3.79 FIP.

This is not a bad line. While there is room for improvement (K rate, hits, and his LOB% suggests that he’s been pretty lucky), Felix fits right in with the rest of those names.

As Douglas Adams might say, don’t panic. Felix has not reached his ceiling. He’s not a permanent number two starter. He’s an ace in training who, once he gets his command down, will quite possibly be the best pitcher in baseball.

Eric