Saturday, September 11, 2010

Better Than You Thought (part 3)

We’ve spent the last few days looking at position players who should probably be talked about a little more than they have been. Now, we’re going to switch over and take a look at a few pitchers having campaigns that should be getting more press.

First of all, Brett Myers is reviving his career after a shaky 2009 put into doubt whether he could be effective moving into his 30s. After putting up a 4.84 ERA and a 6.14 FIP in 2009, Myers is now down to a 2.91 and 3.38. His FIP is 20th in the league, ahead of pitchers having much more talked-about seasons than he is, including Jaime Garcia and David Price. The mainstream media just now seems to be beginning to realize how dominant Myers’ has been. The Astros, however realize his value to the club, rewarding him with a two-year extension with a club option for a third he signed at the beginning of last month.  This contract replaces the mutual option for last year and ups his yearly paycheck from this year’s $5.1 mil to $23 mil over the next two years (with a $10 million club option for the 2013 season). Myers has been a great value for Ed Wade and the ‘Stros in 2010, and that shouldn’t be overlooked simply because he’s on a very mediocre team.

The other pitcher I wanted to talk about is in exactly the opposite situation. CJ Wilson hasn’t gotten much ink, and it’s at least in part due to the fact that there are so many other star players and fantastic storylines on the Texas Rangers’ ballclub. Wilson spent all of 2009 coming out of the bullpen, even amassing 14 saves. This year, Wilson has returned to the rotation full-time and performed fantastically. However, with the breakout of Colby Lewis, the acquisition of Cliff Lee, and the pure potential of Derek Holland and Neftali Feliz, Wilson has flown somewhat under the radar. I give a lot of credit to guys like Wilson and Sean Marshall with the Cubs, who have the versatility to help the team however they’re needed. Switching from the rotation to the pen is never easy, so when a guy like Wilson has success in both roles it’s not something that should be taken lightly. Wilson has been extremely successful, posting a 3.25 ERA and a 3.58 FIP as a starter after last year’s 2.81/2.89 as a reliever. After a bad 2008, Wilson’s back, and he could be an integral piece of a Rangers’ rotation that will be a major factor if they hope to compete in the playoffs.

Check back tomorrow, when I’ll be looking at two more pitchers who haven’t gotten the credit they deserve. Also, I’d like to apologize that this post got up so late in the day… Michigan’s victory over Notre Dame was one for the ages. I hope you can forgive me. As we’ll be hearing around campus for the next week at least, it’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine.

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