Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Value Over Daniel Cabrera: Mark Hendrickson

I am now on the record that I don't believe Daniel Cabrera will ever be an above-average major league pitcher. What you see now is probably what you're going to get at this point in Daniel's career.

All that said, by any measure, he was still the second best Oriole pitcher of 2008. Forget how disappointing he was as a talent, there is nobody on the current roster who can be expected to replace his 180 innings of 5.25 ERA in 2009. Given that he could have been retained for about $3-4 million for next season, four pitchers (outside of Jeremy Guthrie) in the Oriole rotation needs to surpass the (admittedly) low benchmark of Daniel Cabrera's 2008 season to warrant letting Cabrera go.

The first candidate is 35-year old lefty Mark Hendrickson. The Orioles are projecting him as a swingman/long reliever but as of today, he would fill a position in the starting rotation. Even though I think the Oriole rotation's slogan for 2009 should be "We Take Anybody", Hendrickson is really pushing the concept.

Baseball-Reference.com has a neat tool to normalize a pitcher's stats for league average run support and neutral park factors (for a more detailed look at how the stats are "neutralized", see this explanation).

Mark Hendrickson's stats for 2008, pitching in the National League for the Florida Marlins:



W L IP BB SO ERA WHIP
Hendrickson 7 8 133.7 48 81 5.45 1.46




Now, Hendrickson's stats, normalized for pitching in the American League, in Camden Yards:



W L IP BB SO ERA WHIP
Hendrickson (Adjusted 2008) 5 9 130.7 51 79 6.34 1.60



Just as a reminder, Daniel Cabrera's 2008 stats:



W L IP BB SO ERA WHIP
Cabrera 2008 8 10 180.0 90 95 5.25 1.61




Mark Hendrickson is NOT a good bet to exceed even Daniel Cabrera's meager output of 2008.

Still more on this later...

2 comments:

Desert O said...

STOP IT! You're making my stomach hurt. Presumably turning 35 won't make him any better. I'm about to invent a vodka and Pepto cocktail. I'll call it a "Pink Oriole" after the team that encourages me to drink and ingest nausea remedies.

Heath said...

I only call 'em like I see 'em.

But keep in mind that I am wrong ALOT in my predictions! You can find comfort in that.