Back to Mark Hendrickson. I'll throw some stats out there.
Actual ERAs over the last 3 years:
His FIP (Fielding Independent ERA, a good predictor of ERA based on just what the pither does--from the Hardball Times):
His xFIP (considered an even better predictor than FIP):
His BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) is .258 (well below what would be expected).
His LOB% (Left on Base percentage) is 72.8%, well above last season's 62.2% and the previous season's 64.4%.
All of these numbers tell me that he's the same pitcher he's always been, but has been much luckier than in the last 2 seasons.
One improvement is his K/9, which is 5.2 this season, after 4.3 in 2005 and 4.2 in 2004.
Unfortunately, his BB/9 has gone up as well, to 3.5 this season, up from 2.4 and 2.2 in the previous 2 years.
So, he has a nice ERA and WHIP that are not supported by his peripherals. He doesn't strike out enough batters and walks too many. His K/BB of 1.5 is not good at all.
He should benefit from going to the NL, but I wouldn't expect a whole lot. I see him as a spot-starter at best.
Roger Angell: I was talking with Bob Gibson and I said: 'Are you always this competitive?' He said: 'Oh, I think so. I got a three-year old daughter, and I've played about 500 games of tic-tac-toe with her and she hasn't beat me yet.'