Sunday, April 5, 2009

Simon Says, How Long Will I Stay In The Rotation?

A call-up late in 2008 resulting in 13 innings of 6.23 ERA ball; visa problems causing a late arrival to Spring Training; and now a spot as potentially the #3 starter to begin the season. Who the heck is Alfredo Simon?

Simon was picked by the O's in the Rule V draft back in 2006, and then was signed again in 2008 off of a Mexican league team (I think - I can't find the exact info). He spent 2007 at Triple-A for Texas putting up a 6.43 ERA (5.36 FIP), and 2006 pitching for San Fransisco at Triple-A with a 6.75 ERA (5.12 FIP) and A+ with a 6.44 ERA (5.02 FIP). His control seems OK (BB/9 around 3.5 the last few years) but he doesn't strike out many guys (5.5 K/9 in '07 and in '08 for the O's) despite having some good velocity on his fastball (93.5 mph in his 13 innings in the majors) and a good speed differential with his change-up (82.6 mph) and curveball (75.1 mph). Unfortunately I don't have any Pitch/FX data for him yet (I'm sure there will be some available not long into the season), but it seems like he doesn't have much movement on his pitches (especially the heater) and that's what holds him back. being prone to the longball probably doesn't held either (1.38 - 1.93 HR/9 throughout the minors).

The soon-to-be 28 year-old is a little like a worse version of Jeremy Guthrie; showing a below-average strike-out rate and home run rate, and a slightly above-average walk-rate. Maybe he'll be able to beat his FIP just like Jeremy does, but I'm not counting on it. If he can't manage that, he'll likely be out of the rotation before the All-Star break. I'm expecting an ERA around 5.43 which actually still might be better than his FIP.

CHONE has it at 5.45 (which formed a large part of the basis of my projection)
Marcel is at 4.50 (the system isn't great for players with little major league experience)
ZiPS is at 7.71, which I think it absurd

This may be Simon's last real chance to become a major-league pitcher, so he better take advantage of it. I haven't seen him in action yet, so I'll be curious to see how he handles a solid Yankees line-up (even without A-Rod).

1 comment:

Ian Oland said...

Thanks for this analysis. I had no idea he was a Rule Five player they picked a few years ago. Here's hoping he isn't too horrible.