Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What will the WBC do to Roy?

It was announced yesterday that Roy Oswalt will pitch - and most likely be the ace - for Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. I love my country's sporting endeavors as much as the next guy, but not at the expense of messing with the Astros' chances. It's not like we have six or seven potential starters, should Roy get hurt, to patch it together.

So it got me wondering - and gave me something to think about while Fox made me listen to Denis Leary over and over and over and over again during last night's Fiesta Bowl - what happened to the pitchers who threw in the WBC in 2006, and how did it affect them later in the season? So let's take us a gander, alphabetically at the pitching staff of Team USA 2006.

A note, though, first: I'm leaving Clemens out of it. The guy only pitched 119 innings in 2006 anyway. I'm not avoiding controversy. I'm also leaving Al Leiter out of it - he didn't pitch after the WBC. Career stats include any and all seasons following the 2006 WBC.

Chad Cordero
Career averages (including 2008): 71.1 IP, 8 HR, 26 BB, 65 K, 2.78 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
2006 (following WBC): 73.1 IP, 13 HR, 22 BB, 69K, 3.19 ERA, 1.10 WHIP

Brian Fuentes
Career: 65.1 IP, 6 HR, 27 BB, 74 K, 3.41 ERA, 1.24 WHIP
2006: 65.1 IP, 8 HR, 26 BB, 73 K, 3.44 ERA, 1.17 WHIP

Todd Jones
Career: 74 IP, 6 HR, 30 BB, 60 K, 3.97 ERA, 1.41 WHIP
2006: 64 IP, 4 HR, 11 BB, 28 K, 3.94 ERA, 1.27 WHIP

Brad Lidge
Career: 70.2 IP, 6 HR, 30 BB, 98 K, 3.10 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
2006: 75 IP, 10 HR, 36 BB, 104 K, 5.28 ERA, 1.40 WHIP

Joe Nathan
Career: 85 IP, 7 HR, 33 BB, 86 K, 2.82 ERA, 1.13 WHIP
2006: 68.1 IP, 3 HR, 16 BB, 95 K, 1.58 ERA, 0.78 WHIP

Jake Peavy
Career: 215.1 IP, 21 HR, 69 BB, 214 K, 3.25 ERA, 1.19 WHIP
2006: 202.1 IP, 23 HR, 62 BB, 215 K, 4.09 ERA, 1.23 WHIP
*2006 was the only year from 2004-08 that Peavy's ERA was over 3.00.

Scot Shields
Career: 97.1 IP, 7 HR, 35 BB, 89 K, 2.93 ERA, 1.20 WHIP
2006: 87.2 IP, 8 HR, 24 BB, 84 K, 2.87 ERA, 1.07 WHIP

Huston Street
Career: 74 IP, 4 HR, 21 BB, 74 K, 2.88 ERA, 1.07 WHIP
2006: 70.2 IP, 4 HR, 13 BB, 67 K, 3.31 ERA, 1.09 WHIP

Mike Timlin
Career: 77 IP, 7 HR, 24 BB, 55 K, 3.63 ERA, 1.28 WHIP
2006: 64 IP, 7 HR, 16 BB, 30 K, 4.36 ERA, 1.47 WHIP

Dan Wheeler
Career: 79 IP, 10 HR, 25 BB, 70 K, 3.96 ERA, 1.27 WHIP
2006: 71.1 IP, 5 HR, 24 BB, 68 K, 2.52 ERA, 1.15 WHIP

Dontrelle Willis
Career: 209.2 IP, 19 HR, 76 BB, 155 K, 3.91 ERA, 1.38 WHIP
2006: 223.1 IP, 21 HR, 83 BB, 160 K, 3.87 ERA, 1.42 WHIP

Well, as you can see relievers fared pretty well. Cordero, Lidge (whose struggles in 2006 are well-documented), Timlin and Street had their ERAs go up, but Lidge and Timlin were the only two relievers whose ERA and WHIP increased over 2006.

So let's look at the two starters we've considered: Peavy and Willis (remember Leiter and Clemens aren't being considered).

Peavy's 2006 was basically consistent with his career, except for his ERA.
Willis' 2006 was basically the beginning of the end for his career (which, hopefully, will get back on track in '09. Especially now that he's not in the NL.)

Look at Peavy's career averages again:
215.1 IP, 21 HR, 69 BB, 214 K, 3.25 ERA, 1.19 WHIP

Now let's look at Roy's career averages:
223 IP, 18 HR, 50 BB, 183 K, 3.13 ERA, 1.20 WHIP

What happened to Peavy?
April 2006: 36 IP, 4 HR, 11 BB, 34 K, 2.50 ERA, .210 BAA
May: 15.2 IP, 2 HR, 6 BB, 22 K, 5.17 ERA, .302 BAA
June: 22 IP, 2 HR, 4 BB, 20 K, 2.86 ERA, .273 BAA
July: 34 IP, 4 HR, 9 BB, 35 K, 2.12 ERA, .206 BAA
August: 39 IP, 3 HR, 16 BB, 40 K, 2.77 ERA, .206 BAA
September: 20 IP, 2 HR, 10 BB, 11 K, 4.05 ERA, .263 BAA

So it's hard to project what the World Baseball Classic will do to Roy Oswalt. But I don't like it. Not one bit.

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