If you’re like me, you need some pitching help to finish this 2013 season. So, you’re probably taking a look at the waiver wire looking at some hot names.
If that describes you, I’d suggest that you at least take a look at any or all of these three.
Martin Perez — Texas Rangers
Here’s a guy who carries a pretty high amount of availability into the last few weeks of the season, and I really can’t say that I understand why. Since July 31, take a look at the numbers he’s produced and tell me what exactly is so repellent.
The 6.34 strikeouts per nine innings isn’t exactly a staggering average, but I don’t think you’re going to find many waiver wire guys who strike out hitters and still struggle in the other areas. I mean, I’d rather have Martin Perez and his solid ERA and WHIP than just about anyone else that you’ll get on any waiver wire.
While I understand that he hasn’t been working through the toughest of opponents, his remaining starts come against the Pirates, A’s, Royals, and Astros. Yes, three out of four teams with winning records, but not the most feared offenses in the league, especially for a guy like Perez who throws strikes.
Ubaldo Jimenez — Cleveland Indians
Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but Jimenez has been around for an awfully long time and hadn’t even hit his Age 27 season until 2011, which was a year after he started the All-Star Game and was an NL Cy Young contender all year. Now, he’s had some unfortunate seasons since then, but look at what he’s done since July 28.
Now, while the ERA and K rate is fantastic, the WHIP, specifically the walks, are a little high. But let’s see what those numbers look like if we eliminate his terrible August 2 outing against — the Marlins, of all teams.
Still a high walk rate, but a pretty good sign of how much one outing can impact a small sample size.
Jimenez is only 29 and we’ve seen is capable of some pretty incredible pitching. When he gets hot, this is clearly a guy you want on your team, and away from your opponents. Right now, he’s nothing if not hot.
Sonny Gray — Oakland Athletics
If we’ve shown the recent numbers for Martin Perez and Ubaldo Jimenez, we have to do the same with Sonny Gray, right? Right. Well, this is what Gray has done since getting recalled and becoming a full-time starter
Those numbers are even better when you consider that they’re dramatically hurt by an absolute shellacking he took at the hands of the Orioles. Since we did this with Jimenez and it’s not really needed with Perez, let’s show what kind of numbers we’re looking at without that game.
In addition to the way he’s been pitching, the A’s have a very pitcher-friendly schedule for the remainder of the season. They will face the Rangers in Texas, but Gray will miss that series. Instead, he’s probably looking at the Astros, Twins (twice), Angels, and Mariners. Not greatly feared teams, and none are going anywhere, so you never know what kind of offenses you’re going to see them line up.
Now, I don’t expect Gray to put up these kind of numbers for the rest of his career, as that’s practically impossibly. He’ll probably take his lumps at some point, but for that to come in the postseason, or the 2014 campaign. He’s going too well for these offenses to bring him down to earth.