Posted by Steve
At this time of year, we’re starving for news to overanalyze. For example, Rickie Weeks has a 1.059 OPS. Discuss his awesomeness at your respective water coolers, break rooms, study groups and playgrounds.
Because of this, we get a lot of fluff pieces. In the past, both Jason Kendall and Bill Hall have gotten laser eye surgery in an off-season, leading to Spring Training stories about improved eyesight and to me creating a ‘The Wonders of Laser Eye Surgery’ tag. In both instances, the surgery had no positive impact on the player’s offense.
This year we get a similar story on Corey Hart. He’s going to wear prescription goggles. First of all, awesome. I had RecSpecs one year in Little League before I got contact lenses, and they were badass. Secondly, I refuse to get sucked into thinking his offense will improve due to this. They sort of had me hoping with Hall, and that was a disaster.
There’s a similar story on, of all people, Jeff Suppan. Apparently, new pitching coach Rick Peterson suggested something new with his hands that he’s all excited about.
It all makes a lot of sense. It’s simple. If it adds that little extra on a pitch, that one pitch may get you out of an inning rather than throwing another ten pitches. I’m excited.
No. I won’t do it. I will not allow myself to think that Rick Peterson is going to salvage Jeff Suppan. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but my prediction is that I’m going to get really tired of all the Rick Peterson love this year. Let’s take a look at the starting rotation:
Gallardo: He never had a walk rate close to last year’s poor mark, so there’s reason to expect it to drop down. So he’ll be better.
Parra: He fell far short of expectations last year, so there is again reason to expect at least a small rebound.
Bush: He’s healthy again. He pitched well until he was hit on the arm by that line drive last year.
Wolf: He’s better than Looper.
Davis: He’s better than Suppan.
Suppan: Even if he made no changes, it would be almost impossible to be as bad as he was last year. He had a historically bad season.
So, the rotation will be better. Here’s what people will notice. “Hey, there’s a new pitching coach this year! Causation always means correlation! Therefore, Rick Peterson must be the reason the pitching is better!”
Prepare to be annoyed. Don’t say you weren’t warned.