Scott Kazmir and Angels 2, Yankees 6
To respond to the question: Is Scott Kazmir the answer?
4 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 6 ER, 3 HR, 2 K
It’s going to be a bumpy ride. Using the little 2010 data that we have, the Angels now evidentially possess a plethora of borderline major league average starters.
I suppose there may be objections to Santana’s inclusion in such a category, but a 27-year-old with a 5+ year major league track record and career 4-and-a-half ERA strikes me as a known quantity: borderline major league average. Weaver and Pineiro can be reasonably described as a cut above, though the latter only tenuously so. (And perhaps I’m inclined toward sinkerball optimism solely because he has pitched well in his first two starts against good teams.)
Why am I tempted to draw even superficial conclusions based on ten games? It might be because each starting pitcher enters 2010 with a question mark.
- Is Jered Weaver an Ace?
- Who is the real Joe Saunders?
- Who is the real Scott Kazmir?
- Who is the real Joel Pineiro?
- Who is the real Ervin Santana?
After two weeks of playing good teams, we’re tending in the direction of disappointment. Weaver and Pineiro have pitched well enough, but everyone else has done their part to make the Angels starting staff one of the worst in baseball so far. Once again, I didn’t watch the game, but Kazmir’s line from last night looks ghastly. More home runs than strikeouts? Gag me with pine tar and cork. The starting pitchers throwing baseballs like they are, let’s revisit the offensive output tickers that I’ve developed so far, as we’re gonna need the runs:
Howie K .330/.450 ticker — currently hitting .281 and slugging .375.
E Aybar 35% get-to-first-base rate/100 runs scored ticker – reached base twice in five chances last night, reaching base 39% of the time and on pace to score 125 runs for the season.
As I have writ in the space before, I’ll be watching Scioscia’s response to his team’s performance very closely as the season progresses. Whether or not the Angels put together another playoff run, they should play Brandon Wood more or less full time. I think Scioscia’s smart enough to realize that he doesn’t have a championship team on his hands; I just hope that as he tinkers around the edges to create a playoff contender, he doesn’t throw away the opportunity to develop a potential plus position player for several years in an effort to gain a few more — ultimately — meaningless wins. Last year’s team was a different, better one, and keeping Wood in AAA made more sense than not; this year, however, the team won’t be threatening to lap the field, and however ugly it gets, the losses won’t be because Brandon Wood struggles to hit .200.