Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Wood Mirage

There are those that have proclaimed that Blake Wood has been a saviour to the Kansas City bullpen and that he is the key to the bullpen's turn around from its lackluster start for the first month and a half of the season. However, I'm here to tell you that if Ned Yost continues to pitch Blake Wood in a set up role he is going to regret it soon. (This moment would have came last night had not a young Mariners fan bailed him out. That fan was probably more deserving of the hold then Wood was.) It is true that Wood has posted a fine 4.13 era with 7 holds, but when it comes to relievers these numbers are often extremely misleading. Let's look at Woods peripheals for a clearer picture. Thus far in 24 innings wood is posting 3 K's per 9 innings, a 3.75 walks per 9 innings, and a 45% groundball rate. The fact is this if Wood doesn't improve on his strikeout rate his era will soon skyrocket and him as a setup man will fade into a mirage.

This is not to say that Blake Wood can't increase his strikeout rate and turn himself into a reliable set up man before it is to late. He does have the stuff to do it. A mid 90s fastball with life, a power curveball and a change up. The stuff is definitely there for him to be a bridge to Soria in the ninth, but if he can't improve upon his K rate it will beomce irrelevant.

The bullpen is pitching extremely well right now and it would be hard for Yost to attempt to fix something that isn't broke. But I am simply requested that Yost be ahead of the curve. Use statistics to recognize the mirage and allow Wood to pitch in less critical situations until his peripheals improve. Until then take advantage of Farnsworth's career year and pitch him in the 8th while attempting to improve upon his trade value, showing that he can continue to get outs in critical situations and not just with a four run deficit.

Update: has got to be kidding me with that article about Blake Wood.


  1. Oh my....please don't suggest we put farnsworth in a meaningful role...

  2. I'm not thrilled about the idea either, but Wood's success has been a fluke thus far. Farnsworth has been pitching well and it could be an opportunity to build value. The other option would be Tejeda taking the 8th.