IVIE 2009: Relief Pitchers

You may have heard me on the radio during your Monday morning commute… if you happen to live in Montreal. Big thanks to Elliott, Shaun, and Denis at The Team 990 for having me on to talk Padres baseball.

IVIE community projections

I’ve also got a guest post up at Baseball Analysts. Thanks to Rich Lederer for that. I know most of you are familiar with Rich’s site, but for those who aren’t, basically it rocks; add it to your list of required reading.

Finally, Jonah‘s Expos appear to be pulling away from my Padres in the Seamheads Historical League. We hung in there for a long time, but right now it’s not looking real good. The pitching just hasn’t been there…

Speaking of which, it’s time to project the relievers. Oh man, I can hardly contain my excitement.

Padres IVIE Projections (Draft) for 2009: Relief Pitchers
  IP ERA
Mike Adams 30 3.75
Heath Bell 75 3.48
Chris Britton 30 4.46
Mike Ekstrom 25 5.31
Justin Hampson 40 3.15
Cla Meredith 75 3.65
Ivan Nova 40 5.67
Scott Patterson 50 3.97
Duaner Sanchez 50 4.12
Joe Thatcher 25 3.86
Mark Worrell 60 3.65

Adams isn’t due back until at least the end of May, and I’m assuming there will be some rust when he returns.

I have no idea what to expect from Bell. He dominated in ’07, but fell apart the second half of last season and is moving into an unfamiliar role.

Britton starts the year in the minors, but with this group he’s almost assured of some innings. Ditto Ekstrom.

Hampson is a quietly effective 11th or 12th man on a staff. There’s no reason to think that won’t continue.

We studied Meredith at length in the 2009 Annual. The gist of it is this: Keep him out of high-leverage situations and he’ll provide value by soaking up innings.

Nova hasn’t pitched above A-ball and has been used almost exclusively as a starter in three minor-league seasons. If he sticks with the Padres, I imagine they will try to hide him as much as possible. Remember how Kevin Cameron used to disappear for days and even weeks at a time in ’07? At least Cameron was a reliever who had pitched in the high minors.

I was overly dismissive of Patterson in the 2009 Annual. Yeah, he’s old but he has a stellar minor-league track record. He’s kinda growing on me.

Sanchez used to be good, then got hurt and saw his velocity decline. As MB at Friar Forecast notes, he’s “not an easy guy to evaluate (with just numbers anyway).”

Thatcher? I still think he can pitch. I hope I’m right, because the Padres need some guys like that.

It’s funny that I’ve got Worrell with the same ERA as Meredith. That wasn’t planned. Worrell will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the entire season.

Now it’s your turn. The polls will remain open until 6 p.m. PT, Sunday, March 22. I’ll publish the final tallies on Monday.