After watching another mediocre (if not poor) performance from Bonderman last night, I hit the stat sites in search of data that make me feel better. I have to admit that I was surprised by what I found.
First, let's focus on Bonderman's problem his last two outings. He's given up 20 hits in just 11 innings while walking only 2 batters. My first assumption was that he was just getting unlucky, so I was expecting to see a high BABIP or BHIP rating supporting my assumption. I found the opposite.
Bonderman's BABIP over the last two games was only slightly over his average from the last two years, which was right around .330. Conventional wisdom for BABIP says that most pitchers will revert to the league average of ~.300 since this variable is defensively dependent. However, his history suggests that his BABIP is actually higher than the league average. In other words, he's aberrant by nature.
Then I looked up his BHIP, which is more pitcher-dependent. I found that he was on the wrong side of this average, too, as illustrated by this table:
Here again, we see that his BHIP over the last two years has been consistently higher than the MLB average. Furthermore, we can also see that his current BHIP for 2007 is well below that average. After reading, that I had to assume that his hot start was actually even luckier than I had assumed. I figured he wasn't that good, but I tempered my pessimism by focusing on his extraordinary K/BB ratio.
And that's where I found something interesting:
Bonderman has walked exactly 5 batters in 39 innings of work this year. His K-rate has remained on par with his last two years. Thus t follows that his K/BB rate has skyrocketed from 2.56 in 2005 and 3.16 in 2006 to an astounding 6.60 here in 2007.
Putting all this together, I had to ask these questions:
Could Bonderman's recent WHIP troubles be a result of him throwing too many strikes?
Does he actually need to be throwing more balls in order to keep hitters off balance?
People have been trying to figure out why Bonderman hasn't put it together for a few years now. There are always guys looking for excuses.....from what I see he just doesn't have the offspeed stuff to get a whole lot better. He throws hard, with a hard slider....everythings hard, everyone stays dialed up against him. He is what he is at this point, IMO. Good not great.
J35J wrote:People have been trying to figure out why Bonderman hasn't put it together for a few years now. There are always guys looking for excuses.....from what I see he just doesn't have the offspeed stuff to get a whole lot better. He throws hard, with a hard slider....everythings hard, everyone stays dialed up against him. He is what he is at this point, IMO. Good not great.
This pretty much sums it up. I think people sometimes get too engrossed in potential and guys like Bonderman is a prime example. I think he will put up an enormous season or two in his future but it will be a guessing game as to when that will happen. He is not consistently good and too frequently melts down. He has exceptional stuff though and one of these seasons he will put it together. He will always be overrated because everyone will be hoping for that season. IMO.
"Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that." ~George Carlin
StlSluggers wrote:Someone at work just told me that he's playing with a blister.
I hadn't read that yet.
i read that somewhere today, may have been the local paper. said he thinks it'll be fine for next start
i dont have the exact stats, but he seems to have a ton of trouble in the 1st inning, especially this year. after that he really seems to settle down
i see a lot of people dogging him to, he's only 24 and while he might not be a top 5 pitcher he's easily capable of 15 W's, 200+ K's and an ERA of 4.00+/-0.20. (yes i know last year was his lowest career ERA right at 4.00 but i'm allowing for some inprovement)
i do agree that he needs to develop some off-speed stuff though
I think he'll be fine, might just be the blister the last game or 2. I still think what I thought would happen in the preseason would end up happening, that he'll improve slightly again for a couple years. But I think he'll break down rather early in his career due to all the innings he's thrown.
sidenote: and to whoever said that the reverse W throwing motion always cause injury ala Mark Prior and Francisco Liriano, Bonderman has been healthy almost his whole career with that motion.
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