Friday, April 01, 2005

Six Miles Per Hour

So we all got the news yesterday that Sele and Nelson have both made the club, and that Matt Thornton will be the third lefty in the pen. Of course none of these moves are official as of yet, but since the March 30th deadline passed for Sele and Nelson to be relieved of their M's duties (and their camp tents are still pitched), and George Sherrill has been optioned to Tacoma, it's as official as it's going to get.

I've lobbied both for and against Sele, so I'm not as concerned with that move. It's actually the last move that I'm quite irate about. According to the P-I's John Hickey:

Sherrill being sent down almost certainly means Matt Thornton will start the season with Seattle.

Both men struggled with their control, and Sherrill had a better spring ERA (5.40) than Thornton (8.71). But while Sherrill throws 89 mph, Thornton throws 95.

So, while Spring Training numbers are meaningless in the grand scheme of things, Dave Cameron argues that Spring Training performance is not. While probably due to my jinxing him, Sherrill gave up two runs in his last outing, and struggled a little in his previous outing. Evidently Thornton has pitched well enough the last few games to propel his value over Sherrill.

According to Hargrove, "Sherrill has got to be more consistent with his control." Excuse me -- did I just read into this comment that they sent Sherrill down and are keeping Thornton on the roster because Sherrill has a control problem? If there's one thing Sherrill DOESN'T have that Matt Thornton DOES have is a control problem. Looking at Matt Thornton's 2004 Tacoma stats, (which ARE meaningful in the grand scheme of things) we see that he pitched 83 innings and had 63 walks. George Sherrill, on the other hand only pitched 50 innings -- with a grand total of 9 walks. I did the math for you -- projected to 83 innings, Sherrill would've had 15.

But Thornton's fastball is 6 MPH faster than Sherrill's.

So freakin' what.


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