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Bwana Igawa?
2006-11-28 17:48
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

It's just been announced that the Yankees have won the right to negotiate with Japanese pitcher Kei Igawa, who was posted by the Hanshin Tigers of the Japanese Central League. The winning bid, alternately reported as $25 and $26 million, was actually $26,000,194 (the 194 being Igawa's 2006 strikeout total). The losing bids are not announced, though word has leaked out that the Mets had bid $15 or $16 million and the Padres had also placed an eight-figure bid. The Mariners, Orioles, Giants, and World Champion Cardinals were among the other teams believed to have been interested in Igawa. The Yankees will have until midnight on December 28 to sign Igawa. Should they fail to do so, they will not have to pay the bid amount.

So who the hell is Kei Igawa? He's a 27-year-old left-handed starting pitcher. His best pitch is said to be his curve ball, though some reports say that the pitch is actually a change-up that drops like a curve. He also has a slider in the low 80s and a 90-mile-per-hour fastball. With that repertoire he has lead the Central League in strikeouts in three of the last five years, won the Central League MVP award in 2003 (20-5, 2.80 ERA), and lead the Tigers to two Central League pennants (though Hanshin lost in the Japan Series both times). As is often the case with curveballers, however, he's quite susceptible to the longball, surrendering a whopping 52 over the 2004 and 2005 seasons combined--this in the Central League's short 146-game season.

According to this scouting report, however, Igawa made a major adjustment in 2006 that helped to reduce his susceptibility to the home run. Here's the relevant passage:

He's finally figured out that the [straight, 88-90 MPH] fastball is a gopher pitch when centered and overexposed so he'll go to it less often (will throw it down the middle when he's confident the hitter is unbalanced) and try to spot on the corners or miss out of the zone with it when he isn't sure if the hitter is sitting on it. This adjustment is HUGE, as he has finally learned to pitch backwards and mix his pitches better (which he MUST do in America) in 2006 and its making him a far better bet to succeed in the transition to MLB. If Igawa were to pitch the way he pitched pre-2006 in the big leagues (aggressively with his straight 89 mph fastball), he wouldn't have been very successful despite the great K/BB ratios. Preseason Igawa wasn't as attractive of an option, but 2006 answered a lot of questions.

Indeed, his 2006 statistics support that analysis. In 2004 and 2005 combined, Igawa surrendered 1.26 homers per nine innings. In 2006, he allowed just 0.73 homers per nine innings. He also walked a career low 2.11 men per nine innings in 2006, which is an important sign as another knock on Igawa is that he has the sort of controlled wildness that could lead to a spike in his walk rate stateside. As for that "great K/BB ratio," his career mark is 2.97 K/BB, which is excellent, but not quite "great" (Mike Mussina's 3.58 career K/BB is a better example of "great").

With those caveats, Igawa compares quite favorably to his infinitely more celebrated countryman, Daisuke Matsuzaka, as this quick tale of the tape shows:


NameKei IgawaDaisuke Matsusaka
Winning BidderYankeesRed Sox
Winning Bid$26,000,194$51,111,111.11
ThrowsLR
Height6'2"6'1"
Weight200187
Age2726
Seasons77
IP12441402
ERA3.152.95
K/98.498.70
BB/92.863.23
K/BB2.972.70
HR/90.840.72
H/98.317.07
WHIP1.241.14
Sawamura Award2003 (tie)2001
Pennants22
Championships01

According to those numbers, Matsuzaka is the better pitcher, but not by much. His advantage in home run rate suggests that he induces weaker contact, but absent Japanese batting averages on balls in play, one wonders if the reduced hit rate which gives Matsuzaka his biggest advantage over Igawa isn't in part attributable to the Seibu Lions' defense. If so, it would make the gap between the two even smaller. Of course, just because Igawa compares favorably to Matsuzaka doesn't mean either will succeed in the AL East, but it seems that the Yankees have done a solid job of keeping up with the Joneses here, and for a fraction of the price.

Speaking of which, Igawa--who is represented by Arm Tellum, who recently negotiated new contracts with the Yankees for his clients Mike Mussina and Hideki Matsui, and also represents Jason Giambi--is said to be looking for a three-year deal worth $6 to $7 million per year. That's tremendously reasonable given his age and track record and the current marketplace. Of course, when you throw in the bid amount the Yankees could wind up spending nearly $48 million for three years of Igawa. Still, if you consider Igawa a potential number two or three in the rotation (a big if, but stay with me here) it's a discount over the other top pitchers in the market. You can throw out Matsuzaka right away as the Red Sox's bid alone is greater than that $48 million estimate for Igawa's bid and contract. Instead let's consider Jason Schmidt and Barry Zito. The Cubs have reportedly offered Jason Schmidt a three-year contract worth $44 million, a contract which, after the luxury tax, would cost a multiple offender such as the Yankees $61.6 million. In contrast, the Yankees don't have to pay tax on the bid for the right to negotiate with Igawa, only on his resultant contract. The luxury tax penalty on a $21 million contract for Igawa is $8.4 million. Adding the contract and tax to the untaxed bid results in a total of $55.4 million, a $6.2 million savings for a younger, healthier pitcher, and that doesn't even take into account the fact that some reports have the Cubs offer to Schmidt including a vesting option for a fourth year, and that Schmidt may yet turn it down in search of more. Barry Zito, a younger, healthier pitcher than Schmidt, will likely demand an even longer deal for even more money.

Of course, that math is based on a lot of speculation, both about the three pitchers' contract demands and about Igawa's ability to succeed in the major leagues, but it's certainly possible that the Yankees are not overspending wildly here, especially as they have the ability to step away without losing a dime should Igawa's contract demands become unreasonable. That said, I expect the Yankees will reach an agreement with Igawa, and that this move will allow them to avoid dipping into the domestic free agent market for another starting pitcher.

Comments (73)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-11-28 22:11:32
1.   C2Coke
Not like it's my money, but Cliff just made the deal with Igawa sound so good and reasonable.

Considering the options out there, as long as the finalized deal comes in below the bid price for Matsuzaka, another round of loud applause to Ca$hman.

Besides, I know I like to spell and type Igawa's name a lot more than the future Red Sox SP. (Seriously, does Red Sox really think ONE excellent SP is going to win it all for them?)

2006-11-28 23:13:00
2.   Voxter
Not to be too snarky, but $26,000,194 million is almost certainly more money than the Yankees are able to afford. To illustrate, let me type it out in a string of digits:

26,000,194,000,000

I think (though I may be wrong) that that's roughly 26 trillion dollars, or about 510,00 times as much as the Red Sox bid for Matzusaka. I don't think much of this offer as-is, but at that rate, the Yankees could have signed everybody who has been a free agent ever, and the entire population of several medium-sized first-world countried besides.

In other words, there's a typo in your post.

2006-11-28 23:19:04
3.   Voxter
Also, while you make several valid points, I wonder how constant the Seibu Lions' defense has been. Both men have been in the league for 7 years; over 7 years, defense is liable to fluctuate greatly depending on: A) who is in the field behind you, B) how old they are, and C) the inherent randomness of the universe. I would suspect that Matzusaka's consistent advantage in that area over a long period of time actually suggests that it's likely to persist. I don't think the gap narrows at all in that regard.
2006-11-28 23:20:50
4.   Voxter
2 There are also several typos in my post. Shows what I know.
2006-11-28 23:45:28
5.   joejoejoe
I looked at photos of both the Seibu Lions and Hanshin Tigers ballparks and they both have large foul territories ala Oakland Coliseum. I don't think ballpark differences would account for any of the difference in batting averages on balls in play.

Here's an inning of Kei Igawa from YouTube.
http://youtube.com/watch?v=VJ4SR8Icwvw

2006-11-29 03:29:40
6.   Jim Dean
Great analysis Cliff. Exactly what I was trying to do on my own last night. Thanks!
2006-11-29 04:58:32
7.   Jeteupthemiddle
The Times said Igawa is expected to sign for a contract worth $4M-$4.5M per year.

If that is the case, than the deal would be even cheaper than one Lilly would receive for possibly the same production when factoring in luxury tax.

http://tinyurl.com/y42tgk

2006-11-29 05:18:38
8.   OldYanksFan
"Hideki Okajima is in serious discussions with the Red Sox about a two-year deal"

Can anyone compare 'our' Kei Igawa to 'their' Hideki Okajima?

Because the Yanks and Sox are #1 and #2 in financial clout, both teams might look substancially Japanese in the upcoming years.

Paying $16mil/year for Hideki Okajima MAY look decent in THIS years heavily inflated hot-stove, but it seems like a lot for a #3-#4 guy... especially one who does not have a great fastball. However, it is hard to play 'BillyBeanBall' (best bang for the buck) when you have an imperative to win every year.

Man-of-Cash is doing a great job. We are getting younger, cheaper, and continue to improve the next years team.

2006-11-29 05:25:11
9.   jakewoods
I think its obvious they really didnt like most of the FA pitchers in this market. And who can blame them? Especially seeing guys like Adam Eaton get big deals.
2006-11-29 05:31:13
10.   joejoejoe
8 Hideki Okajima is the Japanese Ron Villone.

http://japanesebaseball.com/players/player.jsp?PlayerID=202

2006-11-29 05:32:21
11.   RIYank
7 Nice.
What is Lilly getting, or expected to get?

Next year's prize might be Koji Uehara (check out Mike Plugh's Uehara Watch). He'll be a free agent, because his team (the Giants) declined to post him.

2006-11-29 05:52:26
12.   ric
"Paying $16mil/year for Hideki Okajima MAY look decent in THIS years heavily inflated hot-stove, but it seems like a lot for a #3-#4 guy... "

he's a reliever, not starter... and he won't get 16 mil a year. did you mean to say Igawa?

2006-11-29 06:11:10
13.   Count Zero
I like this move a lot -- it may not pay out, but it was a good risk. Lefthander in the HTRB, big park out in left center, acceptable cost. If they close this deal, they are quite able to stand pat on starting pitching I think...with Hughes, Clippard and Sanchez waiting in the wings. Biggest remaining concerns are backup catcher and the bullpen.
2006-11-29 07:04:46
14.   mikeplugh
Not to usurp Cliff's excellent write up, but also head over to Canyon of Heroes. I just spent 4 hours putting together some info on Igawa.

The one comment I have on Cliff's Igawa/Matsuzaka comparison, is please run the numbers on the last 3-4 seasons for both pitchers and you will see that they inhabit different planets. Matsuzaka has become Pedro Martinez in Japan, while Igawa is a nice frontline pitcher. Matsuzaka had a 6.06 K/BB in 2006 and his ERA continues to plummet into deeper layers of the abyss.

Make no mistake, the Red Sox have a FAR superior player in Matsuzaka, but I think the Yankees may have a little something going if they can manage Igawa's pitch counts and work with him on some physical training.

2006-11-29 07:12:22
15.   rsmith51
13 Did the Yanks solve their 1b issues? Matsui?
2006-11-29 07:15:20
16.   jayd
13 My current view of the starters:

1. Wang
2. moose
3. the trade
4. proctor
5. Johnson
6. pavano
7. (hughes/clippard/sanchez/rasner krstens: this list will be
shorter after the trade) – I'm thinking could be one of these guys is gone or none if the trade has melky in it
8. igawa

2006-11-29 07:24:16
17.   jakewoods
How do you put Proctor ahead of RJ?
I hope its just because of concerns about the back.

Because 200 innings and 17 wins a yr isnt something to laugh about.

Ill still be shocked if Proctor isnt pitching in the pen come the season. Just look like last yr Id have been shocked if Crosby was the starting CF on opening day.

2006-11-29 07:36:57
18.   wsporter
When did Proctor develop the secondary pitches necessary to start successfully? Heck when did he develop a reliable second pitch that could get by a 2nd or 3rd turn against a decent major league hitter? I think this Proctor thing is a canard along the lines of Bubba starting in CF for the N.Y.Y. last season.

I really like Proctor in a potential 7-8-9 mix with Farnsworth, Bruney and Mo. I think we should be patient; we haven't even hit the winter meetings yet. Someone may make a mistake that Ca$hmoney can take advantage of in this market. Teams may over-sign and overpay and need to move bodies. Teams may fail to sign what they need in the FA market and realize they need a piece we have an excess of. I think we have the time to be a little patient with this thing.

2006-11-29 07:50:28
19.   Peter
I notice that Igawa and Matsuzaka both have 7 seasons under their belt, but Igawa's thrown about 160 less innings.

I'm not sure if this has been posted here before, but here's another video of Igawa pitching (from 2001). You may recognize an old friend about 14 seconds into it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLSnX2bB_7I

2006-11-29 08:11:29
20.   Comrade Al
19 Wasn't it Hideki Matsui who made the 2nd out in the clip?
2006-11-29 08:28:28
21.   Schteeve
18 I totally agree with you about Proctor. I think he'd be an unmitigated disaster as a starter.
2006-11-29 08:35:28
22.   jakewoods
Why take from a strength like the pen? To be a 5th starter? Doesnt make any sense

Wouldnt you rather have Karstens go in the 5 hole and give u 5-6 innings and have Proctor in the pen and giving you a shutdown bullpen?

2006-11-29 08:37:22
23.   kylepetterson
From FOXSports.com

"The Yankees could put together a package headed by Melky Cabrera and Humberto Sanchez to lure the Marlins into moving Dontrelle Willis out of Miami."

This is simply a middle paragraph from an article about Igawa. They don't have any support for it, they just lay it out there.

2006-11-29 08:45:52
24.   mehmattski
23 I think if I were controlling the Yankees in a video game and proposed that trade, the CPU-controlled Marlins GM would refuse to negotiate with me for the rest of the year. But, in Ca$h I trust...

Re: Igawa. The posting fee seems a little ridiculous, but money is flying out of owners' pockets this offseason. If you're in the camp that wants to include the posting fee in the final "cost" it takes to sign a player, we still have to factor in that the fee does not count against the luxury tax. So that if Igawa signs for the reported $7 million for three years, that means that the Yankees would average $16 million over three years. That's Barry Zito/Jason Schmidt money, and no one expects Igawa to be that good. But in reality, signing a player to the Jeff Suppan/Ted Lilly/Adam Eaton type contract ($9 to $11 million/year)... would actually end up costing the Yankees around $15-$18 million/year.

So I think that if Igawa signs for $7 million/3 years, the total cost will be pretty fair for the 2006 pitching market.

2006-11-29 08:50:31
25.   jakewoods
You might be able to work something out for Willis since Florida needs a CF but I think Arizona has better prospects to deal for him.
2006-11-29 09:01:37
26.   Cliff Corcoran
24 Was the penultimate paragraph of my post too long or something?

18 Proctor has a plus curve ball that he featured in his spot start and long relief stints in 2005 and played a part in his success last year. Not that I think that alone will make him a successful starter, but look at it this way. If you prep a guy to start, you can still stick him in the pen when the team breaks camp (that's exactly what the Yanks did with Proctor last year), but it doesn't work as well the other way. If nothing else, being forced to have starters mentality through spring training should continue to make Proctor more of a pitcher and less of a thrower, which can only help his performance out of the pen should he wind up back there (which I imagine he will).

2006-11-29 09:08:23
27.   wsporter
{23] Yeah, Willis to us without tossing in a ML ready CF and a ML ready arm and an additional plus prospect at minimum is a pipe dream. They pay Willis next to nothing right now for the production he gives them, the asses he puts in the seats and the way he moves the media needle.

I saw that in the middle of that article as well and thought the same thing. Must be slow at Fox now that they decided not to let OJ on the air.

2006-11-29 09:11:37
28.   Xeifrank
Any park adjusted statistics on the two Japanese pitchers? vr, Xei
2006-11-29 09:12:43
29.   rsmith51
In the article about Soriano, it said that he would give $25,000 annually to the United Way. I was curious to see what that was equivalent to for a family making $100K. Based on his $18 million annual salary, it would be equivalent to someone with $100k salary giving around $140. Not sure what that means, but I found it interesting. I guess I would like to think that I would be "SUPER" generous if I had that much income above my basic living expenses. Eh, whatever...
2006-11-29 09:19:22
30.   choirboyzgirl
.....well he is giving something back and I'm sure the United Way will have no problems accepting that $25K. Also he probably donates to more than just the United Way. There are may athletes who have donote to the schools they went to (high schools, colleges etc), cities their from and other causes they take to heart.
2006-11-29 09:28:16
31.   Count Zero
23 That rumor has been out there for at least two weeks. The problem with it is that Melky is not a starting CF...especially in that ballpark on a pitching-based team that needs good D up the middle.

Yes, the Marlins want to deal Willis...yes, the Marlins need a CF...yes the Marlins want additional prospects but I am guessing they will get a better offer for Willis than Melky, Sanchez and a player to be named later.

2006-11-29 09:35:39
32.   mehmattski
26 Well, sure, but I wanted to do my own fuzzy math. And show that I was agreeing with you. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

I also should have read the comments that preceded mine, because I think if the $4.5 million range is what ends up happening, it's a potential steal for the Yanks. Plus there's the argument from last year: why go with a known mediocre quanity (Bernie in RF, signing Ted Lilly/Gil Meche) when you can go with a promising, younger, unknown quantity (The Kevins, Igawa). I think the Yanks have, enough pieces to put together a rotation that can easily win 90 games. And that's with three months left on the Hot Stove.

2006-11-29 09:49:48
33.   RIYank
31 Count Z, when you say Melky isn't a starting CF, do you just mean the plain fact that he hasn't done it, or are you thinking he couldn't do it?
I think he's got the right make-up for CF. His range is among the best out of all LFs.
Also, don't forget that Willis may have lost a little luster this past year, with his 1.42 WHIP, .274 BAA, 3.87 ERA.
2006-11-29 09:57:27
34.   Sliced Bread
Nice woik as always, Cliff.

Iggy looks cool. Here's hoping he brings his penchant for strikeouts, and his bright blue mitt to the Bronx.

He wore #29 on the Tigers, which was Dotel's number. Hopefully, he wears it better than Octavio.

I have tepid expectations, but he looks like a pitcher who, with the support of a generous umpire, will not tend to annoy me.

2006-11-29 10:14:29
35.   Zack
All of you saying that starting Procor, or at least grooming him, as Cliff points out, is silly, why take a strength etc, remember, righty power arms out of the bullpen are really not that uncommon. We have Britton, Bruney, AND Proctor, who all fit that catagory. Prcotor wasn't exactly a "shutdown" pitcher, he is what he is, a or at least seems to be, a pretty good 6-7 inning guy who can get major leaguers out. On the other hand, if we can extend that into a pretty good 1-6 inning guy who can get major leaguers out, why wouldn't you want that? The notion that a 2 inning guy is more valuable than a 6 inning guy is absurd...
2006-11-29 10:24:13
36.   bobtaco
I liked this description.

"One person who follows Japanese baseball closely called him "a thin David Wells" because of his repertoire. Igawa throws a fastball, changeup and curveball, and the scout said his curve could be his best pitch if he learned to control it."

Bring on the thin David Wells.

http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/yankees/ny-spyanks294994707nov29,0,6436496.story?coll=ny-sports-headlines

2006-11-29 10:39:13
37.   rbj
The other nice thing about Igawa is that now the Yanks would have 2 Japanese players, to Boston's 1. Keeps expanding the market and putting more revenue in Steinbrenner's checkbook.
2006-11-29 10:39:34
38.   jonnystrongleg
35 I don't think anybody here would prefer Proctor as a reliever over Proctor as a good starter. I think people most here are just very skeptical that Proctor can become a good starter.

The first time this notion was discussed, we tried to think of an example of a player around 30 who has pitched out of the bullpen for several years in a row suddenly becoming an effective MLB pitcher. We could not think of one.

2006-11-29 10:42:22
39.   JL25and3
26 I love it when you use words like "penultimate."
2006-11-29 10:43:55
40.   RIYank
"... a thin David Wells..."

Holy oxymorons, Batman!

A thrifty George Steinbrenner. A short but lovely Randy Johnson. A forlorn Derek Jeter. A clutchy A-Rod.

2006-11-29 10:57:37
41.   dianagramr
40

"a goutless David Wells" perhaps?

2006-11-29 11:00:27
42.   kylepetterson
40 a non-sweating Jason Giambi?
2006-11-29 11:02:13
43.   Cliff Corcoran
The Wells comparison doesn't work because Boomer's walk rates are historically low and a key aspect of his profile (no girth pun intended there) and Igawa's control is merely good, and can vanish from time to time.
2006-11-29 11:04:16
44.   JL25and3
42 I was thinking more along the lines of "a light-footed, speedy Jason Giambi."
2006-11-29 11:11:19
45.   jakewoods
i hope he can drink like wells and pitch big games like him too
2006-11-29 11:20:30
46.   Peter
20 It is Godzilla.

40 An arrogant Mariano Rivera. A laid back Jorge Posada. An iron man Carl Pavano. This is kind of fun.

I think it's safe to assume, at the very least, Igawa will have a better work ethic than Wells.

2006-11-29 11:30:48
47.   Bob Timmermann
Hanshin's park is Koshien which is pretty big with a fair amount of foul territory and a famous all-dirt infield. It's not the easiest place to hit a home run, but in general all the outdoor parks in Japan are poor home run parks.

The Seibu Dome is a hybrid indoor-outdoor park.

Koshien:
http://tinyurl.com/y7v7py

Seibu:
http://tinyurl.com/y7veor

I think Koshien has more foul territory.

The most home runs by a Hanshin player last year was 25. The most by Seibu was 31.

Hanshin pitchers gave up 88 home runs last year and Seibu pitchers gave up 131. Seibu plays in a DH league.

2006-11-29 11:34:33
48.   thelarmis
39 me too! "penultimate," is one of my all-time favorite words and i use it all the time with my students, including yesterday. and most likely today, here i go...
2006-11-29 11:34:50
49.   rbj
10 Who is the Japanese Karim Garcia?
2006-11-29 12:00:51
50.   kylepetterson
49 No matter where you are or what language you speak, there is one, and only one, Karim Garcia.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-11-29 12:08:11
51.   Chyll Will
40 David Wells is an *omni*moron.

36 So what's it gonna be then:

a.) "Hsaw Igawa" (because it almost sounds like "Wonka Wash" spelled backwards)

b.) "K-Iggy" (you do and you get intersmacked)

c.) "Just get us to the seventh and keep the ball down so we can stay close."

d.) "Iggy Boom" (more boisterous than Iggy Pop)

Write me down for the penultimate choice.

2006-11-29 12:15:23
52.   Chyll Will
51 While I on the other hand, trend towards omni ncompoop...
2006-11-29 12:30:15
53.   OldYanksFan
51 Iggy-san
2006-11-29 12:31:11
54.   Chyll Will
(there are those crickets again...)
2006-11-29 12:35:40
55.   kylepetterson
Being a bit of a hick from rural Washington State, it takes me a long time to learn these Japanese names. So for the first season or so, I'll probably be calling him "what's his name, that pitcher from Japan".
2006-11-29 12:45:48
56.   Comrade Al
40 A gritty Pavano.
2006-11-29 12:47:10
57.   Comrade Al
46 Didn't see your post. I apologize for that.
2006-11-29 12:57:46
58.   rilkefan
"Antepenultimate" is a nice word too. I'm not very fond of "preantepenultimate", but it's in use.
2006-11-29 13:07:42
59.   kylepetterson
58 I've always been rather partial to "kick-awesome"

as in: "that is a kick-awesome pair of lederhosen that you're wearing" and such.

2006-11-29 13:08:01
60.   Chyll Will
58 "I have a dog; I named him Stay. So for the first year when I called him, I would say, 'C'mere Stay, come here, Stay...'" (Now he just ignores me and keeps typing...) - Steven Wright

"If I'm in a particularly jaunty mood, I'll say 'I'm not unwell.'" - George Carlin

2006-11-29 14:04:48
61.   Jeteupthemiddle
38 Smoltz, John

Not that I think Proctor is the equivilent of John Smoltz, but just saying there is a guy who was in the bullpen for several years and then returned to the rotation.

So what if he was in the rotation for several years before he went back to the bullpen. lol

2006-11-29 14:21:34
62.   jakewoods
61

Are you serious?

Smoltz started as a starting pitcher and won a cy young and was one of the best in the league.

He only went to the pen because he had problems with his elbow.

2006-11-29 14:25:43
63.   Raf
61 Dave Righetti, maybe?
2006-11-29 14:38:47
64.   Bama Yankee
What about Charlie Hough? Didn't he start out as a reliever and then get converted to a starter? I know he was a knuckleballer and not a good one to compare to Proctor, but he is the only one I could think of that made the switch.
2006-11-29 14:48:32
65.   WHAM
Derek Lowe. Converted to starter.
2006-11-29 15:16:30
66.   Bama Yankee
Omar Daal is another one...
2006-11-29 15:18:23
67.   Shaun P
IIRC, Proctor started in the minor leagues . . .

OK, I looked it up. Proctor's first 3 years in the minors saw him pitch in 45 games and start 12 (144 IP). Let's call him a reliever for those years.

Then, over the next 2 years, Proctor was a starter - 51 games, 49 starts (273.2 IP). That was 2001-02.

In the 4 years since then, Proctor has started 2 games - one for Columbus in '05, and that one spot start vs Texas in '05 - out of 295 games pitched (majors and minors) (344 IP).

Can we think of anyone with this kind of profile - who then went out to start in the majors?

FWIW, on Proctor's '06 PECOTA card, his similarity score is 60 (which is high), meaning there are lots of players in history like him - and here are his top 10 comparable seasons going into '06:

1 Dave Tobik 1982
2 Bob Stoddard 1986
3 Julio Navarro 1965
4 Mel Queen 1971
5 Tom Gorman 1954
6 Cris Carpenter 1994*
7 Steve Reed 1994
8 Terry Mathews 1994
9 Joe Boever 1990
10 Rich DeLucia 1994

*NOT the ace of the Serious champs

The one name I recognize on there is Steve Reed, who was a very good reliever with the Rockies and other teams. I don't think he ever started though.

BTW, Alex and Cliff, nice touch with the sidebar bloglist re-organization. I just noticed it and was impressed, so I thought I'd say so. Ditto with sponsoring Joba's page at the Baseball Cube.

2006-11-29 16:20:52
68.   RIYank
I can't stop thinking about iguanas.
2006-11-29 16:23:12
69.   yankz
A few Yanks win minor league awards: http://tinyurl.com/y9mlvk

No surprise on AA pitcher of the year.

I had no idea T-Clip was injured. That explains a lot and is pretty encouraging assuming he's healthy now.

2006-11-29 18:38:30
70.   Bama Yankee
67 Good ol' Joe Boever. "Boever the Saver" threw a mean palmball for the Braves back in the day...
2006-11-29 19:12:05
71.   mikeplugh
Check out my latest at COH. I may be crazy, but I'm looking at Igawa and I see Pettitte. Blasphemy, or decent comparison? You be the judge.

Pettitte pitched to a fairly modest ERA+ and his ratios were nothing special during the championship years. Look at them more closely and tell me you can't see Igawa doing a Pettitte 1998-2000 for the Bombers...

2006-11-29 20:28:43
72.   David
36 "his curve could be his best pitch if he learned to control it."

He has pitched 1244 innings in his career, and he still can't control his curve ball. That quote sounds like a nice way to point out a weakness.

2006-11-29 20:45:31
73.   yankz
"It's just a matter of what the team needs," Proctor said yesterday in a telephone interview. "Torre and Cashman are paid to make those decisions, and I'm going to do whatever they tell me. If it's a starter, that means 200 innings. If it's a reliever, that means taking the ball as many times as they want me to."

EDSP, I think you mean:
"If it's a starter, that means 200 innings. If it's a reliever, that means 4,500 innings."

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