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Monday, April 04, 2005

Good to be Young

So Dmitri Young carries on the proud tradition of three-home-run Opening Days against the Royals. Delmon's older brother seemed to be enjoying himself after a frusturating 2004 campaign.

Not a good outing for Jose Lima today. The three gopherballs he allowed should come as no surprise. Home runs have always been Lima's Achilles' heel.

Only twice in his career has Lima beat the league average in home runs allowed. Most of the time, he hasn't been close. So you would expect Lima to cough up his fair share of home runs.

There are four key categories that I look at when evaluating pitchers: strikeouts, walks, home runs (these three as percentage of batters faced) and groundball-to-flyball ratio. Based on last year's numbers, the league averages in the first three categories were 17.3% for strikeouts, 8.7% for walks and 2.9% for strikeouts.

For Lima, here is what PROFITS sees for 2005:

SO: 11.7%
BB: 6.0%
HR: 3.6%

A pitcher needs to be at least average in two out of these three categories, for the most part, to be successful. So, for Lima, I'm less than optimistic:

Jose Lima's 2005 PROFITS projection:

ERA: 5.40
WHIP: 1.51
GB:FB: 1.05

Lima's ability to avoid walks is what keeps him in the big leagues. And if the Royals play good defense behind him, then he could possibly stay within earshot of league average in ERA, at least on the days he keeps the gopherballs at 0 or1. If those days outnumber the days like today, then he could eat up the 170-200 innings that the Royals need from him. That has value.

I'm more concerned by the bullpen's lack of ability to command the ball today. Geesh - they looked terrible.

Good signs: 1. Angel Berroa's walk; 2. Calvin Pickering's moon shot.

One down, 161 to go.


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