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First Half In Review: Passing Out The Grades (Pitching Staff)

Part two of a two-part series. Awwww yeahhhh


David Aardsma: A-. Aarsdma's been quite a find, helping to somewhat stabilize a bullpen that was sent into disarray by Brandon Morrow. The strikeouts are way up, and he's only had a couple meltdowns through three months. My only concern is that he allows a ton of fly balls, many of them deep. He's definitely benefited from a big park and an awesome defense. He hasn't pitched as well as his ERA.

Miguel Batista: D. It's interesting to me that people don't realize how bad he still is. That 2008 must've left quite the impression.

Erik Bedard: B. Pitched well a lot of the time he was on the mound, but he didn't spent enough time on the mound, and there's not much consistency start-to-start. While it's great that his shoulder MRI came up clean, in some ways mysterious discomfort is worse than the stuff you can explain. I feel about Erik the way aviophobes feel about an overseas vacation.

Felix Hernandez: A. Felix may be a 23 year old All Star with a million-dollar contract and a billion-dollar arm, but I bet he doesn't have an emergency survival blanket in his pocket. You may think you're some kind of hotshot, but come wintertime, we'll see which one of us gets to enjoy complete thermal protection from rain and snow.

Chris Jakubauskas: D+. A few months ago I mentioned how much I liked Jakubauskas' curveball. Recently Harry Pavlidis did some work at Beyond The Box Score showing that Jakubauskas' curve has the lowest swinging strike rate of any curve in the Majors. I will never understand why anyone takes me seriously anymore.

Shawn Kelley: C. Kelley generally did good work on the mound, but he missed a lot of time and his most recent appearances show that he's still not all the way right. I both love Shawn Kelley and wish that he weren't probably the second-most dependable arm in the bullpen.

Mark Lowe: C. Too many balls and far too much contact for a guy with his stuff. USE YOUR CHANGEUP IT WILL HELP YOU AGAINST THOSE SINISTER LEFTIES

Brandon Morrow: C-. The best pitching prospect in our system has 127 games of Major League experience.

Garrett Olson: D+. I like having Olson around, and he has a little decent upside as a 4/5 starter, but his stuff gives him so little margin for error that it's basically impossible for me to feel comfortable in any situation where he's on the mound. I think that's the biggest reason why his bases loaded Houdini act the other day was so incredible. He doesn't miss many bats and he too often struggles to find the strike zone. Hurry up, RRS. And don't take this the wrong way, but you should hurry up too, Brandon.

Carlos Silva: F. Every day for the past three weeks I've thought about posting "Today's Fun Fact: Carlos Silva is still a Mariner" but I couldn't bring myself to do it, so now I'm doing it here. Only $25m left on the books after this season! Silva is living(?) proof that the big league DL system is a farce. Yeah, yeah, he has some wear and tear. That's not why he's sitting. He's sitting because oh my god why why would you ever let him pitch

Jason Vargas: C+. The more I see of him, the more I fall in love with Vargas' changeup. Between that and his ordinary but left-handed breaking ball, he's a starter who's not likely to run a big platoon split. Considering he's not even getting expensive yet, he was one hell of a throw-in, a guy I barely even noticed when we made the trade. I'm worried about how well he'll hold up down the stretch after not throwing in 2008, but to date, he's been quite good for what he is.

Jarrod Washburn: B-. Last year's litmus test of baseball intelligence was Raul Ibanez's defense. This year's is Jarrod Washburn's value as a pitcher. Washburn has taken a step forward - listen to me, everybody, Washburn has taken a step forward - but he's still not very good, and people who want to offer him arbitration or sign him to an extension are pants-on-arms crazy. He's been neat for three months, though. You know what else is neat? This emergency survival blanket. The package says it can be used as a signaling device for air support, and I work right next to Miramar, but for some reason when I took it for a field test the pilots got all uppity.

Sean White: C-. He's last year's Roy Corcoran, only with like 25% less of the only thing that made last year's Roy Corcoran any good. Speaking of percentages, this emergency survival blanket retains 90% of body heat. Great for survival, and great for taking warm pies to a picnic! White probably deserves a D or a D+, but he's flukily avoided home runs, so whatever. I wonder if people back home refer to him as the pride of Pullman. That would suck for Pullman.

Assorted Others: Irrelevant. When Roy Corcoran's on, he covers the ground with his sinker, but nothing covers the ground quite like this emergency survival blanket.