Tuesday, September 06, 2005

I hope everyone had a good weekend. I had a good time in San Diego, visiting some friends and witnessing my Bruins' annual drubbing of San Diego State. It's tough to gauge how your team looks against an opponent of that level (UCLA is 20-0-1 against SDSU all-time), but key players like Maurice Drew, Marcedes Lewis, and Spencer Havner all looked sharp, as did Drew Olson, coming off of an ACL injury.

The rest of the Halosphere seems to have the Seattle series covered. Looks like we got three more good starts, though there is some concern about Bartolo Colon's back. Any debilitating injury to Colon, who's been a real horse all season, would of course be terrible news. Not only would we risk losing him down the stretch, but it would also force Kelvim Escobar back into the rotation at a time when he's badly needed to shore up the bullpen.

The LA Times comments on Scot Shields' workload today; it turns out that he's already surpassed his career high in appearances with 66; last year he had 60, so he's going to blow that out of the water. And though he's on pace for less innings than last season (about 95 compared to 105 1/3 a year ago), that's still going to be around 200 relief innings in two years, which is quite a bit this day and age. There's a good chance that the frequency of his innings is more harmful than the volume of his innings; one would guess that a pitcher pitching 50 games for 100 innings has less of a workload than a guy pitching 100 games for 100 innings.

And though Shields maintains he's not tired, there seems to be no reason to believe him:
          IP   BFP   K/BF  BB/BF  HR/BF  H/BF  W  L  WHIP   ERA
Pre-ASB 53.3 218 .289 .096 .014 .170 6 5 1.09 2.53
Post-ASB 26.3 113 .177 .088 .009 .212 2 5 1.29 3.42
Shields underwent a similar transformation in 2004:
          IP   BFP   K/BF  BB/BF  HR/BF  H/BF  W  L  WHIP   ERA
Pre-ASB 58.7 247 .271 .101 .012 .186 5 2 1.21 3.07
Post-ASB 46.7 206 .204 .073 .015 .248 3 0 1.41 3.66
This is something important for the Angels to monitor in 2006; there is every reason to believe that Shields suffers from the high workload he's taken onto his shoulders in the last two seasons.

The other development the Times covers today is the power outage of Garret Anderson. The article tries to figure out just why the hell Garret has lost his power stroke, with most explanations having to do with his nagging injuries the last couple of seasons. While I don't disagree that that's part of it, I don't know why this outage is such a surprise. The man had no power for most of his career, and only really had it turned on from 2000 through 2003 (ISO is Isolated Power, or Extra Bases per At Bat):
Year   ISO
1995 .184
1996 .120
1997 .106
1998 .161
1999 .166
2000 .233
2001 .189
2002 .233
2003 .236
2004 .145
2005 .138
That seems like a pretty normal progression, though the spike is unusually high given what came before it. But I don't find it odd that an arthritic 33-year-old might lost his power as he ages.

Anyway, the Lads have a pretty tough week, going into both Boston and Seitztown to play other division leaders. It will be tough, so we shouldn't panic if our division lead has evaporated by Sunday. I will personally be happy with a split against these teams, though if our starting pitching keeps up the magic, we might be able to take 'em.

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