Sandman named Player of the Week

Draft Q&A with Brian Foley of The College Baseball Blog
Game 57: Breaking even

Mariano River just pulled down AL Player of the Week honors, and I’m beginning to wonder if this is The Year for Rivera. During his career, Rivera has finished in the top three in the Cy Young voting four times. In 2005, he came in second. But this year, his numbers are other-worldly. Through the first two months of the year, Rivera has thrown 25 innings and has given up 11 hits and two walks. He’s allowed one run and struck out 24. His ERA is 0.36, and he’s converted 15 of 15 save opportunities. Sure, it’s early in the season, but it’s tough to find a better AL pitcher right now.

Draft Q&A with Brian Foley of The College Baseball Blog
Game 57: Breaking even
  • Andrew

    Cliff Lee

    • steve (different one)

      if he keeps it up, absolutely. but who knows if he can.

      on a side note, if i told you before the season that the Indians would have 72 IP of 1.88 ERA from Cliff Lee, wouldn’t you have guessed that they would be in first place by 6-7 games?

      besides Peralta and Sizemore, they don’t have a single starter slugging over .400. that includes Martinez, Hafner, Garko, and Blake. what is going on?

      the AL is very wierd this year.

    • whozat

      Yup. It’ll be interesting to see how the rest of the year plays out. Two of his last three starts were less than quality, and one was merely good. If he settles down to “good” (6IP, 2-3 runs a start)…yeah, he’ll be tough to beat. But, if he returns to his career norms over the rest of the year, he’ll be a guy who had an incredible start that led him to having a great year, but not CY Young caliber.

      He also won’t have the gaudy K-rate your cy-young winners tend to get. but, if he winds up leading the league in victories (the indians O will need to come around for that to happen), that k rate won’t really matter.

      It depends. It could happen for Lee, but I think a bunch of things still have to go right for him.

  • Simon B.

    I’m still wary of giving the Cy Young to a reliever. I’m not even sure Gagne deserved it, despite having one of best seasons for a relief pitcher ever.

    Starters just generally do so much more.

    • Joey

      I tend to agree, but if you look back at any of the game threads here where he pitched in the game you will probably find “Mo is GOD” or something like it I’ll guess around a hundred times. If that isn’t an argument for him to win the Cy Wang then I don’t know what is :-D

      • BigBlueAL

        thats my line!!!! Mo is a GOD!!!!

        • Joey

          I believe I have said it numerous time too

  • Glen L

    I have a really hard time giving the award to a guy that pitches 75 innings, no matter how dominant in those 75 innings.

    • steve (different one)

      if Mo were to pitch 75 innings with his current ERA, i would have no problem giving him the CY.

      but that won’t happen.

      we are still due for WWWMRW in August, where he struggles for a few games and everyone wonders if he is finished. this happens almost every year.

      • Glen L

        Then why not give it to Cliff Lee based on his performance through 72 IP so far? I know his ERA is a little higher ….

        My point is, doing it for 75IP when you only see a few batters a night is one thing … doing it for 200IP when you go through the lineup 2-3 times in a night is another

        • Glen L

          I’d like to retract the first part of my post due to its silliness. Mariano’s K/BB of 24/2 is even better than Lee’s 57/10 … so IF Mariano kept this up all year he’d be at ~ 75/6 with his .36 ERA .. clearly better than Lee’s stats after ~75IP.

          I stand by my second point.

  • CB

    I’m hoping this is mariano’s year. A lot of the big name AL #1’s aren’t having good years due to ineffectiveness or injuries. Beckett, Sabbathia, Lackey, Bedard, Carmona, etc.

    If Cliff Lee comes back down to Earth this may be Mo’s year. He’ll have a lot of push for him to give it to him in part for the general brilliance of his career.

    • whozat

      Also, if Matsuzaka continues to somehow defy all the peripheral indicators, they’ll want to give him the award too.

      • Jon W.

        Actually, the only peripheral that indicates Matsuzaka is out-performing his stuff is his walk rate. But he more than makes up for it with a .195 BAA. Plus, he’s only given up 4 HR in 64 innings. That’s great. I despise Boston as much as the next guy, but you have to give the guy his due. He’s been outstanding, and it’s no fluke.

        • CB

          No his BABIP is .246 and was under .200 for a while. Last year it was .306 so it’s likely to come up.

        • Simon B.

          No, it has been pretty fluky. You can’t be good and walk 6 per 9 innings. His groundball rate is also putrid.

  • dan

    It does take a lot to give it to a reliever. Thankfully was have tools beyond ERA to analyze it. It would take a super-human effort for Rivera to get it, and so far he’s giving that.

    • whozat

      WE do. But a lot of the voters don’t use those. Remember the guy who put Jeter 6th on the ballot in 2006? Gave Ortiz a high vote because he’d been “so clutch” in 04 and 05? Those are the kind of people that are voting for these things. The kind of people that think wins are a great way to evaluate a pitcher’s quality.

      • steve (different one)

        yes, but luckily those people also think saves are pretty great too.

      • dan

        True, I’m being naive in saying that. Steve also has a good point, although I don’t think they value saves as much as they do wins.

        • steve (different one)

          agreed. but what if Mo had something like 50 saves?

          that would definitely open their eyes.

  • http://www.overheardinnewyork.com NC Saint

    The awards are given out so foolishly, it’s hard for me to care about them. After Colon beat Mo and Santana out, the last shred of interest died. I wanted him to win so badly back then, but now I wouldn’t really be that into, because we all know that were he to win, it would be because he happened to get a whole lot of save opportunities allowing him to inflate a useless statistic.

    He’s great and we all know it. That’s enough for me.

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos

    Hi, I’m ESPN Analyst and Hall-of-Famer Peter Gammons. I saw the title of this thread, and I couldn’t help but chime in… here’s a brief list of pitchers who I think are having a better year than Mo Rivera, so far:

    Jon Lester
    Diasuke Matsuzaka
    Jon Papelbon
    Josh Beckett
    Jon Lester
    Hideki Okajima
    Bartolo Colon
    Jon Lester
    Craig Hansen
    Mike Timlin
    Clay Buchholz
    Manny Delcarmen
    Jon Lester
    Tim Wakefield
    Justin Masterson
    1B Lars Anderson
    Jon Lester
    Javier Lopez
    Jon Lester
    Kyle Snyder
    Jon Lester
    Oil Can Boyd
    Jon Lester
    Jon Lester
    and Jon Lester.

    I’m sure there’s more, but that’s just off the top of my head. So, respectfully, Mo’s got a little way to go. For Diamond Cutters, I’m Peter Gammons, ESPN.

    • BigBlueAL

      you forgot Bruce Hurst

      • JRVJ

        And Calvin Schiraldi

    • dan

      Very funny. But you also forgot Jason Varitek– he deserves the Cy Young simply because the Red Sox ERA would be at least 17.63 this season if they had any other catcher behind the plate.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      So long as you continue to be objective Peter!

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Oh, yeah, and Jon Lester.