Tuesday, April 19, 2005


Mulder vs. The Rest

With Mark Mulder finally ending his slide as whipping boy for lineups across the nation, I have decided to run a Mulder/Mulder Trade Bait comparison that I will follow much like the Kazmir/Zambrano debacle. At least this one makes sense.

2005: 30.8
2006: 19.2
2007: 18.5
2008: 16.0
2009: 15.2

PECOTA seems very pessimistic after 2005, and well it should. Mulder's strikeout rates have been falling as of late, and with his mechanics out of whack (not to mention he only struck out 2 batters in his win) makes me think that Mulder has had his run at success, and now I finally understand why he may have got less press than the rest of the Big Three. Well Marc, Tim Hudson's strikeout rates are falling as well are they not? Yes, but Hudson's ability to get the ball on the ground is what keeps him successful. Mark Mulder is/was a power pitcher, and power pitchers who cannot strike people out turn into Jose Lima, and I don't even mean fun Astrodome Lima Time.

I can run a one on one comparison of Danny Haren versus Mark Mulder, since Calero will be helpful out of the bullpen and Daric Barton, while a valuable pickup, is still an unknown commodity since he is 19 years old. Basically, the point of this exercise is to compare the starting pitchers within the deal to see who got the best of the deal as far as "aces" are concerned. I say aces because that is what St. Louis felt they were trading for. How true that may be is not up to PECOTA, but it is up to Mulder's 2005 line and how different he can make it from his second half of 2004 line. The bad news here is that second half struggles often turn into first half struggles the next season...as we can already see with Mulder so far.

2005: 17.7
2006: 13.2
2007: 13.3
2008: 12.6
2009: 13.7

Haren is bested by Mulder in all of these seasons, but as you can see they are basically equal under PECOTA sans 2005. The funny thing is this:

19.0 IP, 9:7 K:BB, 4.26 K/9, 1.53 WHIP, .297 BAA, 4.74 ERA

19.0 IP, 16:11 K:BB, 7.58 K/9, 1.16 WHIP, .159 BAA, 2.74 ERA

Which line is which? Well, the one with the impressive peripherals and standard statistics is Danny Haren, and the less impressive one is Mark Mulder. The one in the tougher league for hitters is Danny Haren, and one in the easier league (at the moment, or at least judging from the past few years) is Mulder. I know, I know, sample size, sample size, sample size...but peripherals are always fun to look at as indicators of future success, and considering they at least have the same sample size, as well as the comparison of last year to work on, I would rather have Danny Haren at this point. Younger, cheaper, possibly (and probably) more effective as soon as this season. Now if we get unfair and throw Kiko Calero and future hitting star Daric Barton into the mix, it just does not seem as if Walt Jocketty did the right thing this time. Of course, St. Louis fans were calling for some busted heads if the Cardinals didn't get themselves a #1 pitcher, since they had five #2 and #3 guys, so it had to be done. Would they have done better on free agency? Most likely; they would have spent a little extra, but could have at least locked someone up for more years than Mulder will be, and they could have retained the services of all three of their young players. Time will tell, but I think we might have to chalk this one up to Beane. I'll keep watch all season though, as well as update on Daric Barton's progress in the minor leagues.

And just so everyone knows, I think the Braves deal was probably split down the middle as far as who won goes...Hudson for Meyer makes a lot of sense for both teams, and the Braves make people like Juan Cruz appear out of thin air yearly in the form of Chris Hammond and Antonio Alfonseca.
If you look at it in retrospect, the A's really did get a ton for Mulder:

- It's arguable that Haren's a better player to have than Mulder even this year, as you said.
- Kiko Calero's a real solid reliever with 10.54 K/9 in the bigs on his career who transformed into a really good pitcher sometime in 2003.
- Daric Barton is a Top 5 minor league hitting prospect.

And all they traded was a pitcher who they wouldn't have had come 2006 (and the potential first round compensation).

I didn't think it at the time, but this looks like an absolute steal for the A's.
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