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Friday, July 20, 2012

Craig Kimbrel In A Picture

Imagine an unbelievably effective relief pitcher. Really strain the limits of belief. Now take that pitcher’s numbers and adjust them as if he were only ever facing the Padres, and Chase Headley is out sick. Your mind has arrived at Craig Kimbrel. Try not to linger, because this can cause permanent damage.

CFBF Rides The Zombie Ice Dragon Posted: July 20, 2012 at 02:34 PM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: braves

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   1. Rickey! the first of his name Posted: July 20, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4188313)
He's been pretty good, yeah.
   2. Dan Hirsch Posted: July 20, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4188314)
Kimbrel has been amazing. Not to sound negative, but I just wonder how long it will be before he has elbow surgery. Doesn't it seem inevitable these days? But I guess that just means he'll miss a year or so and be back to his old self afterwards
   3. Moe Greene Posted: July 20, 2012 at 05:11 PM (#4188330)
So when does Aroldis Chapman get his own gushing article?
   4. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: July 20, 2012 at 05:14 PM (#4188333)
Other guys who were dominant relievers in their early 20s:

Gregg Olson
Jonathan Broxton (not a closer)

Hell, Julian Tavarez at 21 pitched 85 innings for the Indians with a 2.44 ERA (193 ERA+). Kimbrel fans more than any of those guys though.
   5. Riki Tiki Javy Lopez Posted: July 20, 2012 at 05:25 PM (#4188340)
Craig Kimbrel is the movie villain who doesn't divulge his master plan before shooting the hero in the face.


Great line.
   6. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 20, 2012 at 05:43 PM (#4188347)
Great line.


Perhaps not, today.
   7. cardsfanboy Posted: July 20, 2012 at 07:22 PM (#4188393)
Is he going to be the next Eric Gagne, and win the NL Cy Young award? Eerily similar numbers

Gagne 337 era+, 1.20 era, .692 whip, 44.8 k%(or 15.0 k/9) 6.82 k/bb .133/.199/.176/.374 (.250 babip)
Kimbrel 334 era+, 1.22era, .676 whip, 46.7 k%(or 15.3 k/9) 6.30 k/bb, .120/.185/.152/.337/(.230 babip)

   8. PreservedFish Posted: July 20, 2012 at 08:06 PM (#4188446)
He looked more or less impossible to hit when the Mets rolled through town.
   9. Khrushin it bro Posted: July 20, 2012 at 08:24 PM (#4188456)
What about Chapman?

Chapman 253 era+, 1.65 era, .710 whip, 49.4 k% (or 16.90 k/9) 6.31 k/bb, .120/.199/.220/.419 (.227 babip)

EDIT: Chapman has given up 3 HR's which is the main difference.
   10. CFBF Rides The Zombie Ice Dragon Posted: July 20, 2012 at 11:02 PM (#4188523)
Well, that will teach me to post a positive Braves-related article.
   11. Cowboy Popup Posted: July 20, 2012 at 11:20 PM (#4188534)
Kimbrel's FIP (.82!) is actually lower than his ridiculously low ERA.
   12. Sweatpants Posted: July 20, 2012 at 11:30 PM (#4188540)
I didn't think that Phillies game from earlier this year could be topped, but there you go.
   13. deputydrew Posted: July 21, 2012 at 12:26 AM (#4188557)
Two more strikeouts in the ninth for Chapman tonight. Assuming he maintains something close to this for the rest of 2012, is there any chance they make him a starter in 2013? It sure would be fun to see what he could do in 180 innings or so.
   14. Jim Wisinski Posted: July 21, 2012 at 01:11 AM (#4188563)
And then there's Fernando Rodney. He had two more perfect innings tonight with two strikeouts so the numbers will go down slightly.

433 ERA+, 0.86 ERA, .768 whip, 26.3 k% (or 8.86 K/9) 8.20 k/bb, .181/.219/.218/.437 (.245 babip)

   15. CFBF Rides The Zombie Ice Dragon Posted: July 21, 2012 at 01:15 AM (#4188564)
Fernando Rodney? I knew relief pitchers tend to have a lot of variance in year-to-year performance, but lord, those numbers are hard to fathom next to Rodney's name.
   16. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 21, 2012 at 07:49 AM (#4188599)
Kimbrel's minor-league stats are generally off the charts, too - 230 Ks in 134 IP.

Rodney's performance - 41 Ks, 5 BBs in 41 IP - is proof that you:

1) Shouldn't spend all your money on relief pitchers;
2) never really know about pitchers, I mean really know;
3) shouldn't invest three-year or longer contracts on many relief pitchers.

The Rays get this better than any team in baseball (Soriano, Farnsworth, Rodney)
   17. Colin Posted: July 21, 2012 at 08:26 AM (#4188607)
The impressive thing about Kimbrel is the way his control has improved over his time in the majors. He was pretty wild in the minors, but with each year in the majors his control has gotten better and better.
   18. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: July 21, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4188639)
I knew relief pitchers tend to have a lot of variance in year-to-year performance, but lord, those numbers are hard to fathom next to Rodney's name.

Almost as hard to fathom as all the past seasons' numbers next to his name. I could never understand how a pitcher as talented as Rodney could put up ERAs of 4+ in relief.
   19. Brian White Posted: July 21, 2012 at 10:51 AM (#4188647)
Rodney's performance - 41 Ks, 5 BBs in 41 IP - is proof...


The points about relievers in general are all correct, but Rodney's season isn't the right justification. When you sign a hard throwing 34 year old with serious control problems, 99.9% of the time you'll then end up with a hard throwing 35 year old with serious control problems. It's such a bizarre outlier that you really shouldn't draw any conclusions from it.

It's a bit like saying if you need a big home run hitter, you should sign a center fielder with good on-base skills, because Brady Anderson had that one season.
   20. Cowboy Popup Posted: July 21, 2012 at 11:15 AM (#4188659)
When you sign a hard throwing 34 year old with serious control problems, 99.9% of the time you'll then end up with a hard throwing 35 year old with serious control problems.

Unless you see something in his performance, like apparently the Rays did with Rodney. They just moved him down the rubber a bit and now he doesn't miss his spots at all. Is the Rays pitching coach named Jacques?
   21. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 21, 2012 at 12:02 PM (#4188672)
I knew relief pitchers tend to have a lot of variance in year-to-year performance, but lord, those numbers are hard to fathom next to Rodney's name.

Almost as hard to fathom as all the past seasons' numbers next to his name. I could never understand how a pitcher as talented as Rodney could put up ERAs of 4+ in relief.
I think it's easy to fathom what's happened to Rodney. These are his BB% for by season the last five years:

2008: 16%
2009: 12%
2010: 11%
2011: 19%
2012: 3%

I don't know exactly how, but Rodney suddenly learned how to control his always-nasty stuff. Everything else follows from that pretty normally.
   22. Darren Posted: July 21, 2012 at 01:47 PM (#4188710)
So it was a simple case of a veteran overcoming the weakness that plagued him his whole career and turning it into his greatest strength? :)
   23. base ball chick Posted: July 21, 2012 at 04:26 PM (#4188785)
because of barry lamar, we now know conclusively that no ballplayer can improve between age 34 and age 35 - or actually, improve after age 27 at all and so this is conclusive proof that fernando rodney lowered his ERA with STEROIDS!!!!

there can't be any other explanation
   24. Brian White Posted: July 21, 2012 at 06:23 PM (#4188843)
Unless you see something in his performance, like apparently the Rays did with Rodney. They just moved him down the rubber a bit and now he doesn't miss his spots at all.


It sure makes sense working backwards like that, but I'm not sure how many of these "we see something wrong with player X and we can fix him" signings actually work. I suspect most of the time, you get a fix with all the efficacy of Rick Peterson's ten minutes with Victor Zambrano. A lot of these kinds of players keep getting chances because teams think they can fix them, but stories like Rodney are still the outlier.

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