Game 139, Mariners at A’s
Cahill vs. Beavan, 1:05 pm
Back when Beavan was first called up, I think the immediate comparisons made for him were to Doug Fister. Both are giants, had great command of fastballs unimpressive in velocity, didn’t really have other signature pitches, but got by on throwing strikes without actually striking dudes out and inducing some groundballs here and there. So how’s that comparison working out now?
Fister 2009: 61.0 IP, 14.1% Ks, 5.9% BB, 19.9% LD, 41.3% GB, 38.8% FB, 14.1% HR/FB, 5.10 FIP, 4.43 xFIP, 5.28 tERA, 4.11 ERA
Beavan 2011: 65.2 IP, 9.1% Ks, 3.7% BB, 23.3% LD, 39.7% GB, 37.1% FB, 11.6% HR/FB, 4.83 FIP, 4.46 xFIP, 5.56 tERA, 4.11 ERA
What we’ve seen so far with Beavan is a guy who is even more extreme on the balls in play than Fister, striking out and walking fewer batters overall. There has been more solid contact with him, chipping away from the groundball and flyball totals, but so far as the ERA-styled stuff is concerned (disclosure: I rarely use the advanced stuff, and have no idea if I’m using it well), they’re appreciably close to being the same overall value out of the gate. Now, Fister actually added some velocity, about a mile and a half on the fastball, from the time he got promoted and slowly shifted from relying on his change-up as a secondary offering to using the slider a lot. Beavan relies even more on the fastball than Fister did (68% to Fister’s 61.4%) and has yet to show any real preference for an offspeed pitch, but he does have better life on the fastball at present (90.7 to Fister’s 88.2 back in the day) and his high school days of throwing 96 have led to rumors that he’s back to throwing at least 92-3 during just about every spring training for the past few years. Where Beavan goes from here, if he goes down that same path Fister did or does something else, I don’t know quite yet, but we can hope that he’ll keep eating innings for us in the meantime.