GoodEnough for Me is an on-going analysis of the rookie pitchers during the 2007 baseball season. The series was inspired by, and serves as companion piece to, The Extrapolater’s Smells Like Pujols series, which is taking a look at some of the top rookie position players. You can find Smells Like Pujols HERE.
Just a quick one today.
ESPN fixed their HTML, and finally I can sort for the proper rookie stats. The leaderboard has been updated, and you can look at it right here. As we can see, a lot of pitchers made their debuts this week. The biggest name, of course, was Phil Hughes for the Yankees, who was certainly a bit rough–more likely a product of nerves than a lack of talent or polish. Hughes has been lauded for his excellent control, but it’s only natural that he will need a little adjustment learned just how good that control has to be in The Show.
For Oakland, lefty Dallas Braden made his debut on the Tuesday, and, for his part, pitched very well–giving up only 1 run in 6 innings, with 6 strikeouts to boot–against Baltimore. His second start, however, came against the Tampa Bay offensive juggernaut, and Braden never made it out of the 5. He pitched 4 1/3, and gave up 5 runs on 6 hits, including 3 home runs. He did, however, strike out 5 in that time. So far, Braden’s got solid numbers–the walks are slightly higher than ideal, and there’s definitely too many home runs allowed, but, thankfully, most offenses aren’t quite as good as the Devil Rays can be. Braden was a strikeout pitcher in the minors (249 strikeouts in 217IP), and it looks like he can continue to be effective in the majors if he can keep those fly balls in the park.
The only other debut starter on our chart is Brian Bannisterfor Kansas City–formerly of the Mets’ organization. He was a good but not overwhelming pitcher in the minors, and so far, as a major leaguer, has had significant control problems. He has 22 walks and 19 strikeouts in a call-up with New York last year, and he’s got 4 walks and 5 strikeouts so far this year. That does not bode well for him. If he can’t find the strike zone, he won’t last long beyond this rookie year.