Game 130, Royals at Mariners
Meche and Snell were both regarded as head cases in their organizations. Meche was plagued by shoulder issues while the team thought him a whiner for not pitching through the pain, and eventually grew so frustrated they put back him in AAA with instructions to pound the strikezone and turn into a pitch-to-contact guy. The Gil Meche that left Seattle had been turned into an innings-eating pitching machine, who in his last year put together some success, and as Dave said in August
Iâ€™ll repeat what I said three weeks ago; Gil Meche is clearly not an ace or any kind of frontline pitcher, I donâ€™t want to give him a mulitiyear contract in the offseason, but Iâ€™m also glad they didnâ€™t trade him, because the 8% BB/20% K flyball pitcher in Safeco Field is an effective starter who can help this team try to win the division. Heâ€™s going to give up some home runs, but thatâ€™s just part of the package.
By the time he left, I was so tired and frustrated with the whole situation (Meche, the team, Meche v the team, “Meche has turned it around”) I wrote things like
I hope the sucker that decides to give Meche a huge long-term free agent deal because they think they can fix him is in our division, because I would love to watch him get regularly shelled by the team for the next 3-5 years.
Ha ha! Good one, Derek.
I should send all our 2004-2006 Meche (heck, our 1999-2006) writing to people who complain we’re too stat-obsessed: it’s a catalog of excitement, complaint, worry, wavering, poring over stats trying to figure out what happened when, long examinations of team and Meche statements to construct injury (and injury denial) timelines.
What’s strange about his Royals lines is that they’re so varied in pitch value. Most pitchers have more or less the same strengths year-to-year. If someone has a good curve, or a fastball with deceptive movement, that doesn’t go away.
Look at Meche’s pitch type values. In 2007, the bulk of his value came from his changeup and his curve, and in 2008 it was by far from his fastball (historically a pretty poor pitch for him). This year, neither are doing well. I can’t think of another pitcher with a run of success with this kind of variance in where the success comes from.
And now, the M’s are starting a pitcher in a situation not that far from in-the-doghouse Meche stuck in Tacoma… and I guy they sought out in trade as an interesting gamble, even though his parent organization had shrugged their collective shoulders and all but given up on him.
I look forward to this game.