Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
April 17, 2008
BASEBALL: One To Watch

Looking for a player who may be inching towards a big leap forward? It remains very early, but one guy to watch may be Wandy Rodriguez with the Astros. The 29-year-old Rodriguez is an unlikely prospect to become a really outstanding pitcher; he's not young and his first two years in the league he was horrible. But he did significantly improve his K/BB numbers last season, from 6.50 K/9 and 4.18 BB/9 in 2006 (also 1.13 HR) to 7.78 K/9 and 3.05 BB/9 (also 1.08 HR) in 2007. In three starts this season, Rodriguez has dialed it up a notch further, to 8.84 K/9, 0.93 BB/9, but 1.40 HR/9. The walk numbers are unsustainable, but if Rodriguez can make another stride forward in the K/BB department while keeping the homers from running away from him, he could be a legitimately solid #3 starter (not that the Astros have a #2). (One caution - Rodriguez pitched well in the first half last season, too - there may be durability issues as well.)

Posted by Baseball Crank at 6:16 PM | Baseball 2008 | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
Comments

Huh, I was actually looking at this guy for my fantasy team today. In addition to the first half/second half splits, he has some major home/away splits as well. Take a look at him after a few more away starts.

Posted by: D at April 17, 2008 11:30 PM

Wandy is a real wild card - nearly an entirely different pitcher on the road, with little sense of confidence and focus outside of Minute Maid Park. However I will say that something seems to have changed in him this year. Anyone who saw his last two starts can tell you that he was absoultely dominant on the mound. Incredible action on his curveball and a look on his face like he was channelling Roger Clemens. It will be very interesting to watch him continue to evolve as a pitcher. When he has his best stuff, I'll say he's as good as any starter in the league. Problem is, he's always been hot and cold in no recognizable pattern, other than the home/away category.

Posted by: macsonix at April 18, 2008 3:35 AM

PS, thanks for two posts on the 'Stros in a row, Crank. What a treat when I'm logging on at 2 in the morning unable to sleep.

Posted by: macsonix at April 18, 2008 3:36 AM
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