10-30-2012, 08:34 PM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?1132-Don-t-Want-to-Pay-Long-Years-for-a-Starter
10-30-2012, 10:41 PM
Bill Petti at Fangraphs has an interesting series (http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/pitcher-attrition-and-velocity-decline-by-age/) on velocity trends and age. The gist of it is that pitchers who lose 1mph or more year over year are at a higher risk for further velocity loss and ineffectualness in year 3. Petti used as his sample all pitchers who pitched in 3 consecutive seasons between 2002 and 2011 in the same role (either SP or RP):
91% of pitchers that do finish a season down at least 1 mph compared to the previous season will lose additional velocity the following season (average decline of 1.6 mph), with only 7% regaining some (but, likely, not all) of that velocity back.
Haren and Santana both fall into this group, having lost 1.3 and 1.0 mph off their fastballs, respectively.
By contrast, James Shields has actually gained a full 1.0 mph on his fastball year over year, and there's a very good chance he maintains some or all of that gain next year. He is a much more appealing trade target I think.
I'm sure Haren would never have it, but I'd be tempted to put him into a fireman role. With his splitter, he has virtually no lefty-righty split and a move to the pen would almost guarantee a velocity gain more or less equivalent to what he lost last year. Give him ~40 7th or 8th inning leads and just let him close out the game, finish the year around 100 IP. One quick shot through the batting order.
10-31-2012, 08:37 PM
I'm all for trading something small for Haren. He had some back issues last season which likely are the cause of this velocity decrease. If he comes back healthy I think he can be a good #2. If he has a good season then the Twins can at least give him a qualifying offer or try to work out an extension.