Saturday, July 12, 2008

Hochevar bounces back

Luke Hochevar temporarily silenced some critics while pitching the best game of his young career. The 7 innings were nice, the 5 hits and 1 run were nicer, but the ZERO walks were the icing on the cake. It was just the third time this season that Hoch didn't walk a batter and unsurprisingly KC is 3-0 in those starts. In fact when he walks two or less KC is 5-3 but just 2-6 when he walks three or more. So obviously limiting the free passes will be the key to his and the Royals success when he is on the mound.

So where does Luke rank compared to other rookie pitchers this decade? Probably somewhere in the middle. Looking at wins (sorry Joe & Rany, don't hate me), 18 pitchers have won 10+ games their rookie season.  CC Sabathia, Roy Oswalt, Brandon Webb, & Ben Sheets are a few of them, nice company. Only two, Daniel Cabrera & Wandy Rodriguez, had ERA's 5.00+, so obviously Luke will need the ERA to come down.
If we up the parameters to 10+ wins and 175 IP (which he should reach) we find that only four rookie pitchers have accomplished it. Sabathia, Webb, Dice-K, and our own Horatio Ramirez. In all fairness Chris Reitsma was the only rookie to pitch 175+ and win less than 10, whatever.
Most likely this doesn't mean anything because wins are a team result and most rookie pitchers come up mid season and don't pitch enough to reach my arbitrary amount of innings. I just thought you would like to see Luke's name on a list with Sabathia & Webb.
Hoch, Bannister, Greinke, & Meche all have a shot at 10+ wins this year. So when was the last time a Royals team thad four double digit winners? How about 20 years ago, in 1988 (Gubicza 20, Sabes 14, Leibrandt 13, Floyd Bannister 12). Thats right, Brians dad was on the last Royals team to do this and he could be on the next. Of course the realist in me only thinks two pitchers will get 10+ this year but four would be sweet. 
(And yes I know, wins are a useless statistic and in no way measure the success of a pitchers season.) But still.....

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