Thursday, May 15, 2008

In for a Penny, In for a Pound?

Anyone following the Orioles this season has noticed that Daniel Cabrera (4-1, 3.58 ERA) has pitched effectively through 9 starts. The following table reflects Daniel Cabrera's career numbers (including 2008) against his 2008 numbers (through 9 starts).


The difference thus far in 2008 is that Cabrera is throwing strikes. In early April, when asked what he wanted from Cabrera, O's manager Dave Trembley said, "He needs to consistently repeat his delivery, use his fastball and pound the strike zone. I mean pound it. Pound it!"

Cabrera's K/9 is down along with ERA, WHIP and BB/9, however, if he keeps throwing strikes, the K/9 will edge back up. What he has (hopefully) learned, or is learning, is what all good ML pitchers know. While the great ones strike out many batters, a good pitcher pounds the strike zone with such consistency that every batter knows, upon stepping into the box, that he must swing the bat. The good pitcher then pounds the strike zone, allowing the fretsome batsmen to strike out.

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