Thursday, February 19, 2004

Tim Spooneybarger is unlucky. No, not just because his name is "Tim Spooneybarger" (Timothy FLOYD Spooneybarger, yet).

No, Tim's unlucky in my estimation because his astonishing peripheral numbers somehow resulted in a quite unseemly earned-run-average. It's like he did everything right -- allowed less than a batter per inning (.90 WHIP), didn't walk anybody, didn't give up extra-base hits (.499 OPS against), had a respectable-if-not-dominating strikeout rate, and somehow managed to take hom an ERA north of four. You ask me, I blame society.

Well, actually, I'd blame the relievers in the 'pen behind him if I could find "inherited runners allowed to score" stats for them. But I'm equal parts busy and lazy today, so I'll just repeat: he held opposing hitters to a less than .500 OPS. Left-handers struggled against him just as badly as right-handers did against Oscar "The Disease" Villarreal, OPS-ing .419.

Speaking of Villarreal, kudos to Corey for outsmarting me and snagging a pitcher I hadn't considered. I looked at Oscar and said "wow, nice right-killing specialist." Didn't even check to see if he'd started a game. Nice find, better than my Kevin Gregg selection, and the Optimist's strategy may have inspired me to make my next pick. We'll see if the guy I've got my eye on is still available. And no, I didn't gain inspiration from the fact that Oscar's last name rhymes with "venereal," but another part of the strategery.

One last point about the 'Spoon. I had my eye on him as of last round -- even had him rated higher than Mantei. I figured, though, that Mantei (as a Proven Closer) migh not last the round, while T. Floyd probably would because of his gnarly ERA. I took Mantei not just for that reason, but also because I was concerned about Spooneybarger's underwhelming strikeout rate (6.87/nine). Having Mantei and Valverde (who strike hitters out at the same rate Gary Barnett says stupid things) made me feel better about having a non-strikeout artist with otherwise outstanding numbers in my bullpen.

Now, for my next "crazy name" pick, I have a feeling Jung Bong will be available in round 17 or so. Ssshhh ...

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