Heard this: A top Royals talent evaluator was at last nights game to watch the Giants versus Mets. Let’s hope they’re working on a deal for David DeJesus and not Jose Guillen. I hope that Sabean is at least apt enough to know that they already have Jose Guillen, i.e. Pat Burrel – who’s actually probably a better player – and he’s costing them nothing. I think that DeJesus is possible the piece they need. They also might have one of the arms they need to shore up the pen in-house. For one, Romo has been stellar since May 9th. And two, the Giants have a reliever in Fresno named Steve Edelfson who is an EXTREME ground ball pitcher that also produces decent strikeout rates. He’d be good to add to that pen.
What's up with dontrelle willis?
He’s been terrible for three straight years. He can’t throw strikes anymore. He had a 6.35 ERA in Detroit this year and was released. The Diamondbacks picked him up and he posted a 6.34 ERA. Let’s just think about that. The Diamondbacks have serious pitching issues and they released him.
He looks to be done, but the Giants grabbed him at no risk. It seems to me that the Tigers and DBacks tried to keep him as a starter, whereas the Giants have said they intend to stick him in the bullpen in AAA and see how it goes. That’s a good idea because most relievers are failed starters. Anyway, his agent claims Dontrelle had many offers but chose the Giants because of known pitching guru and director of player development, Dick Tidrow, might be able to fix him. We’ll see. I suspect he’s dunzo but it doesn’t hurt. The Giants lack a left handed reliever right now with Affeldt’s struggles and Runzler’s injury, and apparently Dontrelle has always excelled versus left handed hitters.
Time will tell.
Here’s what I can gather from FanGraphs. In 2003 and 2004 he was a darn good pitcher. He struck out about 6-7 batters per 9 and walked about 3 batters per 9. In 2005, he put it all together for an outstanding season where he gave up hardly any HR, continued to strike out around 6-7 per 9, but only walked about 2 per 9. That’s a nice 3-1 K/BB ratio. In 2006, he appeared to regress back to his true skill set of 6-7 K’s per 9 and 3+ walks per 9. In 2007, he did about the same but walked closer to 4 per 9 which was a bad sign. The Marlins smartly traded him but unfortunately packaged Miguel Cabrera – a likely future hall of famer – for Cameron Maybin and Andrew Miller who are both close to busts as of right now. Maybin was recently sent down to the minor leagues after struggling this season when he was given the everyday CF job. Miller has toiled in the minor leagues.
Willis hasn’t been close to the pitcher he was since that trade. He’s never pitcher more than 63 innings in a season and his walk rate SKYROCKETED. He’s actually walked more batters than he’s struck out each season starting in 2008, and at times by a lot! I also looked into his pitch values. Sometime between 2006 and 2007 he abandoned his cut fastball. It hadn’t been a hugely successful pitch – it doesn’t seem – but he was throwing it 10-12% of the time. In 2005 his fastball was outstanding and he threw it about 66% of the time. In 2007 he threw more fastballs than ever and with less and less effectiveness, as well as abandoning the cutter. His fastball has not declined significantly, but it has dropped from around a 90-91 MPH average to about 88 currently. So basically since 2007 he’s thrown more fastballs than ever, at a slightly slower speed and with significantly poorer location. That obviously leads to: more walks, fewer strikeouts, more hard hit balls and home runs.
And to put the cherry on top, Dontrelle has suffered from anxiety issues and has faced DL time because of. He’s obviously got no confidence.
I say – 1) fix the brain/mindset/ confidence, 2) fix the fastball (and maybe add the cutter) – and maybe you 3) fix the pitcher.
This is an inspiring piece of analysis. D-Train intrigues me beacuse he's a local guy, and he always appeared to seriously love the game. I'm pulling for him, not necessarily for the Giants sake. If I remember correctly he was a huge part of that 2003 Marlins team that broke my heart. I think he was like 9-0 after being called up from the minors that year, plus hit a couple dingers. They were the, JT Snow tagged out by Pudge, end of the Giants Era, at Pro-Players stadium, Marlins.
You said exactly what I have been thinking!