Thursday, June 11, 2009
The majority of the naysayers of the World Baseball Classic always harp on the fact that pitchers aren't ready for action that early. They say things along the lines of "These guys are gonna get injured" or "These guys aren't getting their work in" or something else along those lines. So why not check in with these pitchers and see if the naysayers have a point.
The list above consists of those designated complete poop. All of these guys have performed well below expectations and not surprisingly they have been more injury prone. Dice-K, Putz, Ollie P, Dumbassho, and Carlos Silva have all spent time on the DL. Both Jason Grilli and Javier Lopez were so bad that they were designated for assignment by their clubs. The vast majority of the players on the list are relievers and the starters on the list, other than Dice-K, aren't particularly studs anyway.
The bad includes those that have performed below expectations. Most of these aren't ludicrously bad but you certainly would hope for more. Jake Peavy and Roy Oswalt, the two American Aces, have both performed below expectations thus far, but for Oswalt he started off the 08 campaign similarly poor.
The above list basically describes people that are pitching close to expected. There really isn't too many of these guys and you could argue that Marmol belongs in The Bad because his expectations were so sky high.
Finally we get to the second largest list which comprises of the players who are exceeding expectations. Many a reliever are exceeding expectations while the only a few starters sneak in. Arguably the three most dominant closers of 2009 all participated in the WBC and a youngster like Johnny Cueto is now emerging as a potential ace while Felix Hernandez is showing absolutely no ill effects from the extra intensity in March.
Through two months I would likely say that there's little to no evidence that the WBC has any major effect on a pitcher during that season. The results are spread relatively evenly from one performance level to the other. Some players got injured but not at any alarming rate and a few marginal players were released.