Thursday, August 7, 2008

Top Ten: Biggest Thieves in Baseball - Pitchers

I started thinking about just how much money the Milwaukee Brewers are flushing away as their prized Closer sits on the bench, since putting him in the game holds the risk of another blown save. More on that later. I realized he was making $10,000,000 dollars this year. He is basically stealing money from the Brewers organization, which I am ok with. So I started wondering, who else is stealing money from their organization and severely underperforming. So bear witness to the Top Ten pitchers who should be wearing little masks with the eyes cut out when they leave the clubhouse.

10) Paul Byrd - Cleveland Indians: $7,500,000
Might be on the higher end of the total salary he actually earns it, well more of it than some of the others on this list. His 4.72 ERA isn't something many brag about but his 122 Innings does help the Bullpen out a bit. Honestly, 6 wins for an underperforming Indian team is actually kind of a surprise, especially since he doesn't get above 90 on a fastball too often. Played well in the postseason last year but offseason HGH accusations might have something to do with the drop in performance.

$:Stat Ratio - $61,475/IP, $1,250,000/W, $358,695/Start, $117,187/ER

9) Adam Eaton - Philadelphia's Phillies: $7,958,333
Eaton can't look back on teammates for his W-L total. With a 4-8 record Eaton hasn't really impressed many and surely hasn't shown that his nearly $8 Mill is worth it for the Phillies organization. The Phils offense has put up an average of 3.25 runs in those 8 losses, but that doesn't make up for his 5.80 ERA. The nearly $8 Mill does however look similar to his 8 losses.

$:Stat Ratio - $74,376/IP, $1,989,583/W, $418,859/Start, $115,338/ER

8) Bob Howry - Chicago Cubs: $4,500,000
Came into the season in a 3 way battle with All-Stars Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood for the Closer position. Lost the battle. As a middle reliever he has 14 Holds. In his 4 Save Opportunities he has blown 3 and gotten one. He's 4-4 on the season. In his 4 wins he's given up 3 runs in 4.1 Innings of work. On the season he has given up 32 Earned and 11 HR in 54.1 Innings of work. That doesn't include Inherited Runners he has let in. That 5.3 ERA is one of the last things you want in a reliever.

$:Stat Ratio - $83,333/IP, $1,125,000/W, $140,625/ER

7) Brad Penny - Los Angeles Dodgers: $9,250,000
This one might not be as fair since he's been on the DL the last month and a half but needless to say the Opening Day starter hasn't played up to his potential. He has however made the most of his earning potential. Early in the season BP looked more like Batting Practice than last year's Cy Yong candidate. On the plus side he got decisions in 14 of the 15 games he started in prior to his DL stint. On the down side 9 of those were losses and the Doy-ers pulled off the comeback after Penny left the game in the 5th which would have been his 10th L. Dodgers fans might have been relieved when Penny went on the shelf in June, his 5.88 ERA wasn't impressing many fans. Of course with the addition of ManRam more runs might mean a couple extra wins for Brad Penny.

$:Stat Ratio - $107,558/IP, $1,850,000/W, $616,666/Start, $165,178/ER

6) Jason Isringhausen - St. Louis Cardinals: $8,000,000
Thanks to last nights 2 inning 0 run performance Isringhausen's ERA drops below 6 again at 5.98. Jason started out strong for the Red Birds with 7 Saves and a Win in 9 innings over their first 9 games and a deceptive ERA of 4.00 (2 games with 2 runs each out of the first 9). The Cardinals surprised many with their burst from the gates in didn't last too long. His next 9 appearances gave him 4 Saves, 4 Blown Saves, and 4 Losses and he lucked into a 9th inning rally to save him from his 5th Loss. During that stretch (6.2 Innings in 9 games) his ERA went up a little higher to 12.16. Since that stretch Jason has played mostly in a mid-relief role with a couple more Blown Saves tagged on as the season has gone on. St. Louis GM was quoted earlier this week as saying, "we can't keep giving games away. We've been very supportive of Izzy. At some point, you have to get results." Especially when you're paying "Izzy" $8,000,000

$:Stat Ratio - $210,526/IP, $666,666/S, $296,296/ER

5) Carlos Silva - Seattle Mariners: $8,250,000
Ironically enough, and a huge surprise to me, the AL leader in losses falls onto this list. Who woulda thunk it. This isn't really on Mr. Silva since his career high in wins is 14. Of course his career high in losses is 15 so that isn't saying much. In fact over the last 3 seasons (including this year) he has amassed a record of 28-41. I'm not sure a few subpar to mediocre seasons are worth an $8.25 Million dollar contract but what do it know. It's amazing that a guy who has an opponent batting average of .323 has 12 losses...wait, I mean it's amazing that a guy with an opponent batting average of .323 has actually put 4 wins on the board. Of his 23 starts 8 times he hasn't made it past 5 innings worth of work. I'm actually kind of shocked he only has a 5.92 ERA.

$:Stat Ratio - $62,977/IP, $2,062,500/W, $358,695/Start, $95,930/ER

4) Brett Myers - Philadelphia Phillies: $8,583,333
The second part of the Phillies Two Headed Monster on the list Myers has done even less than any of his counterparts mentioned above. Unfortunately, he too missed time. Unlike Penny though he wasn't on the DL during his missing chunk of July, he was in Pennsylvania playing for LeHigh Valley of the International League. After a few games in AAA ball the Phils brought him back up to the majors. It seems to have straightened him out with a Win and 2 No Decisions. Not exactly what you expect of a guy making over $8.5 Million Dollars, but at least he's not giving up 5 Earned in 2 innings. Unfortunately for Myers, his season has actually been worse than his 4-9 record. Many of his 7 No Decisions had him leaving with an L hanging over his head to be saved by his offense. He has given up HRs in 13 of his 20 starts and has allowed at least 3 Runs in 15 of his starts...Boom Outta Here.

$:Stat Ratio - $71,527/IP, $2,145,833/W, $429,166/Start, $120,892/ER

3) Eric Gagne - Milwaukee Brewers: $10,000,000
If he would have had this contract a few years ago when he was putting up 50+ saves it would have been a steal at under $200,000/S. Unfortunately for the Brewers he got an Opening Day win. Of course your closer getting a Win usually means your Closer Blew it when he came in to close out. Luckily for him, the Brewers managed to win in the 10th to give the former Cy Young winner a W. Usually when a team commits that much money to a player they expect a certain amount of productivity. And it's not as if he was on the DL so his numbers are low. He did miss a few weeks in June but the fact that he's only pitched 28 innings in 31 games speaks volumes about his performance since heading to Milwaukee. He's got 5 Blown Saves on the year in 15 tries, but they haven't been looking to the Mad Bandit to take the ball in close games.

$:Stat Ratio - $370,370/IP, $1,000,000/S, $500,000/ER

2) Aaron Harang - Cincinnati Reds: $6,750,000
I really should have stretched first because I'm about to reach back and pat myself on the back pretty hard right now. To Aaron who commented on my Season Preview , "Aaron Harang isn't Cy Young caliber? Are you kidding? You can't claim to be an NL Central "expert" and make claims like that..." Well Aaron I think that Mr. Harang's 3-11 record with a 4.76 ERA speaks just enough for me and my "expert" status. Also, In the course of that article, I never referred to myself as an expert, though maybe I should now. Anyway may be on the DL, and has been there since July but somehow put up 19 starts and 123 innings, and while that may seem high you have to remember just who the Reds manager is and his penchant for ruining pitchers. Of course the season really didn't start off too good for Harang with the Opening Day loss...and 10 more since then.

$:Stat Ratio - $54,878/IP, $2,250,000/W, $355,263/Start, $103,846/ER

1) Barry Zito - San Francisco Giants: $14,500,000
The biggest Thief among pitchers in Major League Baseball, and top3 Thieves playing the game right now. He is actually worth more not playing because putting Z man on the hill. Though he's 5-4 over his last 10 games he was 1-9 before that. His ERA has fallen over the last few 5.40. Barry ranks #1 in the NL and ML in Losses.

$:Stat Ratio - $125,000/IP, $2,416,666/W, $659,090/Start, $207,142/ER

They always say Defense wins championships and that you've got to pay for pitching but relievers making $10,000,000 dollars and 14,500,000 who was barely over .500 since winning the Cy Young. Things to pull away from this article, sorry Philly but it doesn't look like the World Series is in your reach when two of the pitchers on this list happen to play for you and are allowing more runs than even your powerful offense can put up. There are also 2 casualties of the Mitchell Report/HGH allegations (Gagne, Byrd). There's also a whole lot of National League pitching on this list.


GM-Carson said...

Aaron Harang shouldn't be on that list. He had a tough year, but he's a solid pitcher.

Thank you for calling out Brett Myers and Adam Eaton though. I have a Phils blog and I'm constantly trashing them. Eaton should be #2 in my opinion, right behind Zito as you have it.