H-Town Sports

Houston Sports Blog - Real sports cities have TWO Conference USA teams

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Not-So Magic Wandy

Wandy Rodriguez had a solid, nearly spectacular April: 4-0, 2.53 ERA, 1.13 WHIP. His May and June have been nearly as terrible as his April was splendid: May- 2-2, 5.29 ERA, 1.74 WHIP and June - 2-3, 6.42 ERA, 1.69 WHIP. Unfortunately, those splits are much more in line with his career splits than his April numbers were. Potentially worst of all, the Blistered One's confidence appears shot. A pitcher with an 85-mph maximum fastball must have the confidence to place it perfectly and to mix and match his pitches fearlessly. Instead, he looks as scared as a lone tamale on the post-game spread with Raul Chavez lurking.

It's time to end the Wandy experiment. In 49 lifetime starts, his ERA is 5.20 and his WHIP is 1.49. He's got 98 BB to 143 K, and those 143 K have been scattered in 228+ innings. Moral: Wandy is not a good starting pitcher. Much like Jeriome Robertson, he manages to win games in spite of his pitching ability, or lack thereof, due to incredible run support (3rd in NL with 6.95 runs per game of support from his offense). There certainly is a creative way to look at this. Roger Clemens was 4th from the bottom of the NL in 2005 in run support, maybe because his hitters relax on days when he pitches, similar to how the Astros hitters transform into the 1927 Yankees on days when Wandy pitches. Want to solve the offensive woes? Start Wandy. Daily. Sure, it might ruin his arm, but it's not like there's much there, and the Astros seem to win games in spite of his consistent inability to prevent the opponents from scoring, so what's to lose?

More traditionally, you've got a guy in the bullpen in Fernando Nieve who clearly has more stuff and more confidence than Wandy, and for that matter, you've got another guy in Triple-A for whom the same can be said (Jason Hirsh). The front office has long maintained the posture that it does not want to risk ruining young players by bringing them up too early. Nieve's already up. There's no such risk. Wandy's morale is not going to be done any favors by leaving him in the big-league rotation. He's been good against lefties so far in 2006 (0 HR, .228 BAA), contrary to previous years, so maybe try him as your Gallo (synonymous with "ineffective bullpen specialist"). There is no excuse that can be made with a straight-face for running W-Rod out there anymore this season.


Post a Comment

<< Home