How did he get here?: Drafted, 37th Round (2008)
Stats: 6'1", 195 lbs, Throws: Left
Age as of April 1, 2010: 24
Rivers didn't get a whole lot of playing time in 2009, getting in 20 games for 18.2IP for Lexington. This is approximately half of the innings he pitched for Tri-City in 2008, and he saw a sharp drop-off from the NYPL to the SAL, with a WHIP almost half a baserunner higher in 2009 than in 2008. His K/9 dropped by 5.0, while his BB/9 jumped by 4.0, resulting in an upside-down K:BB ratio. And if the walks weren't enough, he got ripped for a .314 BAA in 2009.
What went right?
Applebee's Park. In 11 games at home (12.1IP), Rivers posted a 4.38 ERA/1.70 WHIP, as opposed to an 11.37 ERA/3.47 WHIP on the road.
What went wrong?
We're only talking about 18.2IP, so it's easy for numbers to get inflated. But July was what went wrong here. In four games in which Rivers only lasted 2.2IP, he gave up 9H, 8R/6ER, with 0K:5BB for a 20.25 ERA/5.25 WHIP. It's easy to skew an entire season's worth of numbers with a line like that.
So basically, those walks are going to have to come down. It's one thing to give up some hits, because there will be luck involved, even in a pitcher's league like the SAL was last year. But 19 walks in 18.2IP is just too high.