Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tale of Two Pitchers

We are going to do a little blind exercise about the performance of two Nats pitchers. Lets look at some 2010 2nd-half stats, as well as some Spring Training stats, and then decide which pitcher you would rather have.

Pitcher 1 - 24 years-old
2nd-half 2010 - 17 games. 21.0 IP. 28 K. 11 BB. 2.57 ERA. 1.24 WHIP. .203 AVG Against. 12.0 K/9.
Spring Training - 11.1 IP. 11 K. 2 BB. 7 H. 3 R. 2 ER. 1.59 ERA.

Pitcher 2 - 23 years-old
2nd-half 2010 - 30 games. 29.2 IP. 32 K. 11 BB. 4.55 ERA. 1.32 WHIP. .252 AVG Against. 9.7 K/9.
Spring Training - 11.1 IP. 11 K. 2 BB. 24 H. 24 R. 16 ER. 11.12 ERA.

One of these players is on the Nats Opening Day Roster, and one is not. If you guessed Pitcher 2 was the player traveling north, you would be correct.

By now you have probably figured out that Pitcher 1 is Collin Balester and Pitcher 2 is Drew Storen.

I am not saying that Drew Storen doesn't deserve to be there with the big club, I am simply pointing out that it seems as though the decision for Storen is an emotional one as opposed to a statistical choice.

When I started researching this topic, I found several things that kind of surprised me. First, there is only a 1 year age difference between the pitchers, despite Balester being drafted in 2004 and Storen being drafted in 2009. Second, I didn't expect to see the huge difference in 2010 stats; I mean there is some huge differences there. Third, as relievers, Balester's ERA is a full point lower than Storen's; though with an admittedly small sample size for Balester.

I am well aware that the reasoning for sending Balester down to AAA is that it was purely based on the fact that he had an option. Where I find issue is that, Drew Storen still has several options remaining and its a lot easier to figure out potential issues in AAA as opposed to the Braves and Phillies.

So, I'll leave it to you. Would you rather have Storen with his potential? or Balester and his results?


  1. Rizzo and Riggleman goofed, which will become more apparent as the season begins.

    You are correct, it was purely emotional. In reality they have wasted an 'option' on BallStar, and could have kept him on the 25 man while sending Storen to AAA to figure it out.

    They'll never admit their mistake, and continue to keep Storen on the Big League team, even if he does continue to struggle.

    Do bad they didn't have any emotions for BallyStar

  2. I believe Storen should be a starter (or at least be a starter in the minors). It's obvious he's brimming with talent but needs innings. While I believe the sample size is too small to take too much from the stats you listed, they do illustrate that Balester's coming on of late.

    What harm would there be sending Storen to SYR to pitch, say 3 innings at a time, while he continues to work on the adjustments the team has him making? Balester earned the right to come north this month, while Storen did not.

  3. I'm a big Bally-star advocate. But he isn't the one who got the huge bonus and was touted from day one as the closer of the future. Nor is he Saint Stephen's suave media mouthpiece. Plus, he is one of those "ancient" former Expos farmhands (see: Bernadina, Roger).

    That said, Storen won't be up for long if he continues to have outings like yesterday. And Moustache Collin will no doubt be the first callup when the bullpen needs another body.

    But what do I know? I thought they should have kept him over Broderick in the first place.