Saturday, May 22, 2010

5/22: Ranting on the Brewers and Roy Oswalt Wanting to get out of Houston

Well, after Thursday's win over the Pirates, there was (faint) hope that the Brewers could turn things around and go on a winning streak (that's when a team wins more than one game in a row.....or so i'm told).

Then, last night happened. Dave Bush lasting a 1/3 of an inning (but long enough for an umpire to try to fight him). Carlos Gomez over-celebrated a home run (while the Crew was down 12). In all seriousness, maybe this is the type of swagger the Brewers need to come back to (i.e. Choreographed Home Run Celebrations, Untucking, etc.)......the Brewers toned down on that stuff this year and also toned down their place in the standings at the same time.

Also, gotta say, i'm slowly but surely coming around on Carlos Gomez. I didn't think much of him when he got traded for J.J Hardy......i thought of him as another speedy light-hitter who was going to be a liability on offense. However, he's shown improved power (still not being mistaken for Braun/Fielder) he's hit for decent contact (but could improve on selecting which pitches to swing at) and the guy is an absolute vacumn in center field.

As for today, things ain't lookin much better. At least today's starter made it out of the first and has "held" the Twins to 4 runs in 2 2/3.

In the fake baseball world, John Lackey's bad start finally moved me to the point where I had seen enough and I sent him away to this magical place called the waiver wire (all this place had to do is give me Clayton Richard). Despite this bad start, my team is still hanging on to a 206-180 lead.

Well the Brewers might be a dysfunctional NL Central team but......but their team of strong hitters, bad pitching, and bad managing is joined in this dysfunction (and in the bottom of the standings) with the soon-to-be conducting a fire sale Houston Astros.

The writing for this is basically on the wall. Roy Oswalt has formally requested a trade. This is beyond bad for the Astros for a few reasons.

Oswalt is the face of this franchise:

Maybe the last few years haven't been the peak of his career. Maybe he hasn't finished in the top-10 in Cy Young voting since 2006. Maybe he's had lingering injury troubles as he gets to the wrong side of 30. But when you think of the Houston Astros, Roy Oswalt is one of the if not THE first name that you associate with that team. He has been deeply entrenched in that teams rotation since 2001. While star players switching teams isn't exactly a new phenomenon, he is on the short list of players where it would be totally weird to see him pitching in a different uniform.

He's one of the few bright spots on a pretty dull team:

The reality is this, if he were to be theoretically traded today, this team goes from one of the worst in baseball to a chance to be one of the worst teams in history. As it stands, the Astros are 15-27 (which is sadly better than their pythagoreon record of 13-29......Brad Mills may or may not be a good manager but we'll never know since this team is going to tarnish his W-L to the point where this is likely his only chance to manage...but that's another rant for another day).

Point being: 2010 Astros are pretty bad and they would be a lot worse if not for Roy Oswalt. Yes, I am completely aware that Roy Oswalt is 2-6 this season. However, the rest of his numbers indicate that this is a vintage peak (or better) season for Oswalt.

His ERA+ is 160 (Tied for 8th in the NL and the second best total for his career), His WHIP is at 1.066 (good for 9th in the NL and just shy of his personal best 1.059), he's only given up 7.2 Hits/9 (shy of the top-10 but would be a career high), Tied for 7th in innings, tied for 5th in strikeouts tied for 7th in SO/BB ratio at 3.75 (his best since 2006).

Point being, this isn't your typical 2-6 pitcher..if you remove this from an already bad team this becomes an even more colossal train-wreck....when (not if) he gets traded Brett Myers become their #1--Myers isn't a bad pitcher but he hasn't exactly been mistaken for an ace..with a back of the rotation of Wandy Rodriguez (acutally not that bad) Felipe Paulion/Bud Norris/#5 Pitcher TBD combined with a starting line-up led by a struggling Lance Berkman (95 OPS+), their second best hitter being Michael Bourn (seriously, you couldn't even make this up) and 4 starters with OPS+ below 52 ("led" by Tommy Manzella at 35+, this team has 110, maybe 115 losses written all over them, depending on when they trade Oswalt.

To put into context the pitcher that is requesting to have no piece of this team (according to his B-R page, the 3 most similar pitchers to him are Roy Halladay, Johan Santana & CC Sabathia). It's too early to tell where he's going to get traded but wherever he does he's probably going to be the difference between that team going to the post-season and not going to the post-season. I'd be surprised if he DIDN'T have a CC Sabathia type-effect on his future team.

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