A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Regression to the Mean

Victor Zambrano has nastiness that comes natural to him that a lot of pitchers would give their first born for. However, Victor Zambrano has not been able to consistently harness his stuff and make the jump to be an elite pitcher. Regression to the mean refers to the phenomenon that extreme results tend to sway back toward normal and that just appears to be what is going on here. Victor Zambrano's career ERA was 4.37 and he pitched in an offensively charged AL East. This year he hit an all time low ERA as a starter after at least one month of pitching and was down to 3.51. The guy was starting to turn in impressive performance after impressive performance and was constant enough to make me think he turned the corner and stopped being the frustrating talented pitcher he was in the past and started being a possible top of the rotation pitcher.
               ERA  WHIP  K/9  BB/9   H/9
Games 1-8 5.08 1.78 7.11 6.29 9.74
Games 9-16 2.26 1.10 4.37 3.07 6.79
Games 17 - 23 5.75 1.45 5.09 3.10 9.96
After getting knocked around to the tune of a .324 BAA, he followed that up with a .200 BAA, .211 BAA, and a .252 BAA before putting up a .310 BAA so far in August. Regression to the mean is a bitch and while I was drinking the Victor Zambrano Kool-Aid a few weeks, a lot of you kept tempering your excitement saying that you simply wanted to see more. A 4.24 ERA in the National League when you pitched about fourteen of your twenty three games in pitchers parks is particularly unimpressive. Zambrano has still been a good and effective pitcher for the Mets, but a good bottom of the rotation guy with top of the rotation stuff. What can we expect out of Victor Zambrano in the future? Zambrano just turned thirty and is basically pitching to his career numbers. He will run some hot steaks off into some bad ones basically continuing to be a rather inconsistent pitcher. If he did not turn a corner and make significant steps just yet, I'm not sure he will make the jump from just another name to an elite pitcher like Chris Carpenter has done with the Cardinals. Prior to bringing him over the Mets called him a premier power pitcher but rarely tops 91 these days raising some questions in regards to the health of his elbow, but he does appear to be fine and healthy. However, there are positives to be taken away from this season like an improved BB/9 ratio, but I'm not sure that alone will help him turn the corner like the Mets have hoped for.

* * *

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk lost to Toledo 2-1. Steve Trachsel again proves he is ready to return by going seven innings of five hit ball and gave up two earned runs on two homeruns, one walk, and struck out five. Jae Seo really does not have much room for error at this point and needs to continue to pitch strong as I would imagine he is on a short leash. Offensively, the Tides could only muster three hits. Anderson Hernandez went 1 for 3 with a walk and got caught stealing for the fifth time since moving up to AAA, Chris Basak went 1 for 2 with a run scored and a double, and Brian Daubach drove in Norfolk's only run and went 1 for 3 with a walk and an RBI.
    • Gaby Hernandez continues to struggle in St. Lucie as they lost to Palm Beach 8-2. While he did not have a horrible game, it was not particularly good. He went five innings and gave up four hits, three earned runs, two walks, and struck out four. Andy Wilson went 1 for 4 with a double, Kevin Rios went 4 for 4 with a run scored, Aaron Hathaway went 1 for 4 with a run scored, Darren Watts went 2 for 4 with a triple and an RBI, and Blake Whealy went 1 for 4 with an RBI.
    • Hagerstown beat Hickory 5-4. Joshua Wyrick went 1 for 3 with a run scored, his first homer, two walks, and two RBIs, Carlos Gomez went 1 for 5, James Burt went 2 for 3 with two runs scored and a walk, and Jesus Flores went 1 for 5 with three strikeouts. Matt Durkin started the game and went four innings and gave up three hits, only walk, no earned runs, and struck out five. Marcelo Perez blew the save and later picked up the win in two innings of work and gave up one run on four hits.
    • Brooklyn beat Williamsport 4-3 in extra innings. Gregory Gonzalez went 5 for 6 with three stolen bases and two runs scored, Caleb Stewart went 1 for 2 with a double, an RBI, and four walks, Nick Evans went 1 for 5 with a walk, and Drew Butera went 1 for 2 with a double and a walk. Travis Hope won the game to up his record to 4-1 in three innings of relief and did not give up any hits or walks and struck out three.
    • Kingsport beat Johnson City 10-6. Sean Henry went 1 for 3 with two runs scored and two stolen bases, his fifth homerun, a walk, and three RBIs, David Wabick went 3 for 4 with a run scored, a walk, and one RBI, and Sean McGraw went 2 for 3 with a walk and an RBI. David Koons picked up the win in relief despite giving up two earned runs in two innings pitched.
  • Mike Piazza's wrist is still hurting him but he does feel bit better. There is no timetable for return. One question though, why bring up Mike Jacobs if he is not going to get at least one start? The article says that he is only an emergency catcher, but why even bother bringing him up then? See if the kid's bat can spark anything. You could have used DiFelice to hang out on the bench and moved Jacobs up to AAA to take some hacks.

  • Amazingly a young guy has really impressed Willie.

    "Right now, I feel like he's going to get the ball again," Randolph said. "But we'll wait and see. ... He's pitched well enough to continue to stay in our rotation."

    It is great that Seo can go out there more relaxed knowing he is not pitching for his job. However, despite that, Seo still does not feel relaxed and knows Willie will not hesitate to replace him.

    "I guess my success can be attributed to taking each start as possibly my last," Seo said through an interpreter. "I can't imagine a better motivation to keep it going."

  • David Lennon takes a look at how the Mets are running wild.

    "We're building something here, and for winning baseball, the stolen base is part of that," Minaya said. "Not only do teams have to pitch you differently, you take people out of their comfort zone. If you have the right mix of players that understand how to do it, it's a great weapon to have. It just gives you more scoring opportunities, especially in this kind of ballpark."

  • Rehabbing first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz was pulled from the starting lineup at Class A Port St. Lucie for the second consecutive night because of the flu. He was scheduled to come off the disabled list today, but that won't happen.

  • Well it appears that I am wrong on Glavine's option.

    "It's nice to know that I'll have a contract for next year," said Glavine, who is 14 1/3 innings away from reaching 560 over the first three years of his contract, which would trigger the fourth year. "You always want to have as much security as you can. So, reaching that point where it kicks in and is taken care of next year, yeah, it's nice, but I think I'm still more intent on trying to keep pitching well, win games and help us."

    I'm personally not that upset about it. He disturbingly has a had and opponents batting average over .300 every month this year and owns a .345 BAA on the road, but his 3.44 ERA and his 2.86 ERA over the last two months is impressive enough for me to be ok with it. I think he is been pitching much better and with his stuff he is going to give up hits, but he keeps the ball in the park. He has only given up eleven homers and strangely enough nine of them have been at home. He only has one walk this month and is getting his control back in line and worse things could have happened for this team.

  • Jim Duquette may get some consideration for the Diamondbacks job. If he gets that job, he will have stepped in shit because that team has a loaded system and will be flat out nasty in a few years if they develop or sign some pitching.

  • Paul Konerko is due for a big pay day and Guillen has nothing but good things to say about him as a leader.

    “Offensively, we know he’s going to carry this team when we need him," Guillen said. “This kid goes there and the way he plays the game, he shows people how to lead. A lot of people lead the team when they are 4-for-4 or with 40 home runs. You have to lead the team when you struggle, and Paulie does that."

    Sounds like someone the Mets could use.

  • Roger Clemens, Johnny Damon, and Roger Cedeno were rumored to have tested positive for steroids on the internet somewhere but Damon denies it and we all know how reliable so internet reports can be.

    "No way," Damon said. "If I tested something positive for anything, then someone threw something in the (sample). I think it's because of the way I'm built. I've had people thinking that since I was in high school."

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