Quick -- name the most dominant starting pitcher in the major leagues over the last 3 months, going back to last season.
Pedro? Yeah, right.
Schilling? His two outings vs Toronto this year weren't pretty. And he finished last season surrendering 4 runs or more in 4 of his last 6 starts.
Fat Roger? Well, Clemens has definitely had a dominant 2004 campaign. But his final two months last year were marred by a 3-game stretch where he was pasted for 6 homers and 18 earned runs over a 14-2/3 inning stretch, including that miserable Sept. 6 vs the Sox.
Randy Johnson? Two ugly starts this April, and four sub-par outings last August.
So who does that leave us with?
Repeat after me: Wilson Alvarez. Stop laughing. It's not a joke.
After pitching setup most of last season, Alvarez made 10 starts down the stretch in August and September:
His only ineffective outing was his last of the year. Two Dodger errors didn't help his cause, but he clearly didn't have his stuff. He left his August 28 start against the Padres early due to shoulder tightness, allowing 3 runs but earning the win. Other than that, nary a blemish.
So with all the talk this pre-season centering on can't-miss prospect Edwin Jackson, Alvarez reverted to his bullpen role. Jackson didn't even make the club, and with L.A. needing a fifth starter just twice early on, Jose Lima got the call for both.
The Dodgers finally came to their senses and put Alvarez back in the rotation for last night's start. Their reward was immediate -- 7 innings of 1-hit, no-walk baseball with 5 K's.
In his last 11 starts, he's 6-1, with a 1.52 ERA. His WHIP is .947, with a K:BB ratio of 4.42. Not too shabby.
If you include all his relief work, here's what he's done since last July 20:
IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA WHIP K:BB 89 70 15 17 3 16 77 1.72 .966 4.813
Say what you want about pitcher-friendly Chavez Ravine, but only 5 of those last 11 starts took place there. Dealing with the paltry, almost non-existent run support from the LA offense last year couldn't have been too helpful, either.
He won't make the all-star game, but he might get a passing mention on Baseball Tonight a couple times.
If he's lucky.
Interesting stuff, and he's probably available in all but the deepest leagues.
Last edited by Rajin on Sat May 08, 2004 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
Nice digging. Funny thing was that I'm so depleted on good pitchers that I grabbed him in mid game. I thought he would do OK, but I didn't imagine this. Hopefully he can show this all year or at least something resembling this all year.
"Relievers are like volatile stocks. They're the one asset you need to watch closely, and trade for quick profits." --Billy Beane
The portly Alvarez can still pitch, as long as his IP are limited due to his long injury history. Definitely worth owning. The only argument I have is his availability. I'm in three leagues (7 NL only, 15 and 18 universals) and he was drafted in all three. They're fairly sharp leagues, particularly the 7 and 15 teamers, but gotta believe he's gone in most deep leagues.
Rajin wrote:He was still there in both of the 12 team mixed leagues i'm in, so that was my only basis for the availablity statement.
I wasn't trying to knock the statement in any way. Great analysis to post . The league I'm referring to has a couple extra bench spots so I opted to load with potential good pitching for them. Alvarez shouldn't be available in any leagues after tonights performance, but I bet he still will be...
That analysis is spot on. I grabbed him a couple days ago, wanted to get in before his start.
My guess is that amongst astutue 12 team leagues he was picked up in at least half of them prior to Friday night. Now he should be gone in any sizeable mixed league. If he's not gone in your league, don't read another word of this thread until he's on your team.