Game 103, A’s at Mariners

Dave · July 29, 2007 at 10:29 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Washburn vs DiNardo, 1:05 pm.

Lenny DiNardo is the poster boy for evaluating pitchers based on repeatable skills and not performance. I should put his picture in the Evaluating Pitcher Talent article. The Mets took him in the 3rd round of the 2001 draft, but despite some decent performances in the minors, they weren’t terribly impressed with what they saw and left him available for the Rule 5 draft after the 2003 season. The Red Sox saw an extreme groundball pitcher who also had shown an ability to miss bats, and though he had some command problems, finding those two skills in a young left-hander made him a no brainer to pick off for just $50,000. They used him sparingly in 2004, but pitched well enough when he was used. 2005 was a lost year due to injuries, and he was terrible last year, lacking command and giving up a ton of home runs. When Boston decided they didn’t have any more need of him and placed him waivers, the A’s saw the same thing the Red Sox had seen a few years earlier – a cheap young left-handed pitcher with extreme groundball tendancies and the ability to miss bats occassionally, so they snagged him for nothing in February when he became available.

DiNardo has pitched in 22 games, including making 10 starts, and has the lowest ERA of any pitcher with at least 75 innings pitched in the American League. Now, he’s obviously not this good – the difference between his ERA and his xFIP is over 2.00 runs, a huge margin – and regression to the mean is going to get to him sooner or later. But because of his extreme sink on his fastball, he doesn’t give up home runs, and his command has reached the point where it’s good enough for him to succeed in the rotation.

DiNardo’s a better pitcher than Jarrod Washburn. The A’s got him for $25,000 because they were willing to claim a guy who ran a 7.85 ERA last year off waivers, ignoring the results and looking at the skills. The M’s are paying Jarrod Washburn $37.5 million over 4 years because they evaluated a pitcher by his results and not his skills.

This matchup couldn’t show the point any clearer. That said, I hope DiNardo gets bombed and Washburn throws a complete game shutout, and considering the opposing offenses, that’s completely possible.


356 Responses to “Game 103, A’s at Mariners”

  1. dingla on July 29th, 2007 10:54 pm

    broussard ’08.

    raul rally killer.

  2. thefin190 on July 29th, 2007 11:15 pm

    328 – I would be too.

  3. Colm on July 29th, 2007 11:31 pm

    The same Jon Garland who’s got 61Ks and 44BB in 139.2 innings?
    Only if we aquired him one-for-one for Chris Reitsma.
    Or Julio Mateo.

  4. Lauren, token chick on July 30th, 2007 12:08 am

    That was an awesome game to be at today. Great fun and cheesy music was had all around.

  5. joser on July 30th, 2007 11:43 am

    Asked how debilitating a loss Sunday might have been, Ichiro Suzuki said, ”I don’t know, but who cares. We won.”

  6. scott19 on July 30th, 2007 12:05 pm

    349: Great post!

    Despite the presence of Reitsma, we find a way to win that game because Street also temporarily forgets how to pitch.

    Honorable mention, of course, goes to 1B ump Carlson — if Richie doesn’t get tossed, Brou doesn’t get a chance to come up for that clutch hit.

    Sign from the baseball gods, Johnny Mac! 🙂

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