Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Stats Geek on the Catchers

Brian O'Neill explains that defense was also a good reason why it was a good idea to drop Benito Santiago. This is a good column. I comment less on O'Neill's work than I used to, but that's mostly because there's less in them that I disagree with.

In other Benito-related news, the Royals called up Leo Nunez today. From a PR standpoint, that's some poor timing for the Pirates. Actually, though, what seems to be happening here is that the Royals aren't making a good decision. Nunez didn't pitch very well at Class A this year, and then he pitched five good innings at Class AA. Those five innings are his only experience above Class A. I don't see much evidence to suggest that he's ready.

Moreover, he isn't old, and he pitched very successfully last year in the South Atlantic League as a starter. Given that Nunez has very good stuff (although he has a limited assortment of pitches), it would behoove the Royals to let him start in the minors unless he proves he can't handle it. A good starter is worth far more than a good reliever. Nunez should be in the rotation at High Desert right now, not in the Royals' bullpen.

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