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If Zito were pitching just decently -- say, as well as he pitched last season with the A's -- he would have better statistics, because he's in a pitcher's ballpark in a pitcher's league. Instead he's been horrible. His 4.70 ERA ranks 41st in the National League. He's struck out 4.70 batters per nine innings, which is easily the lowest rate of his career. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is essentially 1:1, which is 1) easily the worst of his career, and 2) the ratio of a pitcher who belongs in the minor leagues.
When Zito hit the free-agent market last fall, here's what Keith Law wrote about him:
Zito is a third or fourth starter with the reputation of a one or a two. In fact, over the last three years, he's struggled badly when facing the two premier offenses in the AL, posting a 6.59 ERA against Boston and the Yankees while walking 47 men and allowing 18 homers in 83.3 innings. His control is below-average; only Daniel Cabrera has walked more batters in the last two years than Zito has. And should Zito's stuff slip at all, he becomes a fifth starter or a guy who needs to head to the National League, the current destination for asylum-seekers who fear AL persecution of their fringy fastballs.
I wasn't wild about Zito's prospects, but I thought Keith was selling the lefty a bit short, and wrote as much in my comment about him in "Baseball Prospectus 2007." Of course, now it looks like Keith was exactly right: Zito's stuff does seem to have slipped, and he's pitching like a fourth starter in the National League.
Drunken Rhino wrote:Tru is a 2nd half player. (Probably the biggest of the bunch)
The Artful Dodger wrote:Drunken Rhino wrote:Tru is a 2nd half player. (Probably the biggest of the bunch)
Finally, someone said the only 2nd half player that matters: Adrian Beltre.
gatorgreenwell wrote:Aubrey Huff-a notorious 2nd half climber. Hang onto him if you've got him, buy low if you don't.
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