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Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 11:29 am
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Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 1:15 pm
Ortiz certainly won't pitch a Quality Start every time he takes the hill, that's for sure. As JT pointed out, he didn't go to a Jedi Academy and turn into a new person. However, the changeup he has learned from Johan has kept hitters more off-balance this season. In light of the fact he doesn't have overpowering stuff, this has definitely improved his pitching. While his BABIP is low and strand rate high, he is a contact pitcher with a great defense behind him so I'm not too concerned. I think 13-14 wins with an ERA just south of 4 is attainable. Definitely worth rostering at the back end of a rotation in a mixed league (yes, he's on my roster
Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:17 pm
I'd like to say that you guys are on to something with that changeup idea, but you'll have to convince me. His GB/FB/LD splits through his first four starts are nearly identical to his last two years. I would think that off-balance hitters would be popping up or grounding out more often, but that's not the case so far.
You could argue that a new pitch would completely fool hitters, but he's actually striking out less hitters this year than normal.
Since he's walking less hitters than ever before, I will agree with the original assertion that he's been told to just throw the ball over the plate in order to let the defense do its thing. However, BABIP averages will still hold true there.
I can see no logical conclusion except that this guy is about to come crashing back to earth in a hard way. When that happens, we'll see how much faith he retains in the pitch-to-contact philosophy. If he goes back to his old habits, he'll fall even farther.
IMO, I don't see any reward from this guy that's worth that much risk.