When Fernando Played First Base

My latest article, about a crazy night in Houston back in ’89, is up at Hardball Times. The game in question doesn’t involve our favorite team, although a few then-future-Padres played in it.


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  1. 29 & 31: You make a good point about the difference in lineups. Assuming no huge shakeups between last year and the coming one, he will face weaker lineups in the NL West versus the AL West.

    Yes, I know ERA+ adjusts for park, but I doubt it’s perfect in its adjustments. It also is a factor relative to the league, so just becasue Haren’s raw ERA may drop by facing pitchers, he will be compared to the rest of the NL, who also face pitchers.

    I don’t believe it’s a given that just changing from AL to NL, or from AL West to NL West will automatically give him a higher ERA+. He had a 137 last season, which was the 5th best in the NL last year. I think he’ll be hard pressed to repeat that level of performance next year, let alone improve upon it, but he may. ymmv.

  2. 49: It’s not really $15 million because Silva has an extra year on his contract. It’s $1.4 million per year, but it’s still a steal for Detroit. Willis is a much better pitcher than Silva, younger, more durable, K’s a lot more guys. Detroit is going to push the Red Sox next season. Here’s to another year of Yankee frustration.

  3. I don’t know why people are getting all bent up about an article written by a Dodger fan. There are a lot of huge assumptions in that article. The fact that he’s putting Micah Owings as above average is pretty questionable although maybe he is adding in his offensive potential? I think Haren is also being overrated — he’s a flyball pitcher going into one of the best hitters parks in the majors. That will definitely counteract whatever help he gets from pitching in SD and SF. If you pitch in Petco (like CY) you can get away with it but it’s going to be a lot harder in Arizona. I also think that people are seriously underrating Randy Wolf — his numbers except for his ERA were awesome last season. If (and that’s a big if) he’s healthy he’ll be better then Maddux and I think his overall numbers will be pretty good as he’s another flyball pitcher which fits perfectly in Petco.

  4. Haren is moving to an inferior league, easily more inferior. That is more important than all of the other variables.

  5. you know what ive been meaning to ask. why would we non-tender jack cassel, but keep wil ledezma.

    i’m not sure ledezma has EVER been good.

    it just struck me odd.

    let me know

  6. Actually it’s not. The most important variable is that he’s going from one of the best pitchers parks to one of the best hitters parks, that’s going to effect him more then the switch from the AL to the NL.

  7. 57:

    I’m not sure there’s a way to measure what will be more important, but I would rather face inferior lineups every start and not just because of the pitcher/DH dynamic. If both leagues batted pitchers, there would still be a significant difference.

  8. RE: 52 im talking guaranteed money, it’s the commitment that their teams are giving them.

    Re: 56 KT man crush

  9. When Bronson Arroyo went from Boston to Cincinnati, he went from a back of the rotation guy to borderline All-Star. Granted, he went form hitter’s park to hitter’s park, but he’s very underrated in the NL. His park obscures how good he is.

  10. 56.

    Why would you nit pick about Cassel or Ledezma? Who cares? Niether are MLB rotation options in my mind. Cassel didn’t seem to be worth really anything to us with Hensley, Germano, Rusch, Stauffer, Estes and some of the other guys we have. If anything I Ledezma throws pretty hard and is left handed which will always give him some sort of value. I also remember hearing something about him pitching decently in a winter or fall league somewhere.

  11. Re: 57 once again ERA+ takes park factor into account.

  12. Also ERA+ does take League into account bu not division, I dont think its a fluke that the top 3 ERA+ guys were onn in the NL west this year.

  13. re 61 i know they aren’t rotation options, i remember watching ledezma pitch last year. he scared the hell out of me even in the severely limited relief role he had. cassel made it thru 5 inning pretty decently last year so i’d thing hed be a better AAA call up option than going thru the expensive arbitration process with ledezma.

    cassel has way less big league innings as i recall so he was going to get paid less than ledezma will i believe.

    i mean really neither of them mattered much to me but i just thought it was a weird move

  14. Didn’t Cassel put on around 10 baserunners in those 5 innings? No loss there, I reckon. It’s interesting to watch Ed Wade work; he was invisible in the Pads FO, the forgotton ex-GM.

  15. Since Geoff wrote about Fernando today, I’ll say a few words: He was always one of my favorite players. I remember Fernandomania in 1981, whe he pitched eight shutouts in the strike-shortened season.

    A real baseball player: He could hit, play first base, played the outfield at last once. He could have been a first-ballot Hall of Famer, but Lasorda overworked him.

    In 1991, when everyone thought he was finished, he pitched a no-hitter. Pitched in the Mexican leagues for a few years after he retired from the majors.