Monday, January 29, 2007

Kirk Saarloos analysis at The Hardball Times

Wow. Sal Baxamusa over at The Hardball Times is really down on Saarloos:

Of course, pitchers can succeed without striking out every fourth batter. Some guys are as stingy with the walks as they are with the swings and misses. Saarloos is not one of those guys. But his walk rate is awful, both as ratio—he has walked more men than he has struck out over the last two years—and as absolute—had he qualified, he would have ranked third from bottom in BB/G.


He's quite hittable (in the sense that it is easy to make contact), so there's no need to attack the first pitch even if it is a strike. This corresponds to my memory of watching him pitch for my favorite team, the Oakland A's. It was extremely frustrating as a fan to watch him get ahead in the count on called strikes only to watch him nibble in an attempt to get the batter to pound his sinker into the ground. Without a way to put away hitters, the nibbling would often lead to walks, rarely lead to strikeouts, and occasionally lead to hits.


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