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March 17, 2007

Taking The Fifth

Joey Matschulat, the new guy over at Baseball Time in Arlington, describes Spring Training hero Jamey Wright as this year’s Pedro Astacio and includes some embarrassing quotes from Peter Gammons and Buck Showalter back in the day. Now, the nature of the internets is such that you can make anyone look foolish if you dig through enough old columns and quotes (me included, to be sure). But that doesn’t make it any less funny.

More to the point, Matschulat’s comparison is apt. We’re talking about someone who hasn’t pitched more than 100 league-average innings since 2000. Yes, his career ERA+ is better than Adam Eaton’s (also funny), but Sweet Fancy Moses, those peripherals! 4.4 walks per nine innings but only 4.8 strikeouts. As Colorado’s Aaron Cook has shown, a pitcher can succeed in a hitter’s park with both a low K rate and a high hit rate if he also cuts down on the walks and keeps the ball out of the cheap seats. Wright does neither.

Wright claims “I have a new delivery. I feel confident, I feel great. I feel like I can dominate,? and I’m not going to sit here in Austin and tell him he’s wrong. But when T.R. Sullivan says “Wright's growing fifth-starter candidacy is one of the big stories of camp,? that's when I reach for my tequila. And not the good stuff, either.

Posted by Lucas at March 17, 2007 01:21 PM