Sunday, February 18, 2007

Takashi Saito

Obviously, Takashi Saito was awesome last year (IP: 78.1, K:107, BB:23), and should now be considered a top tier closer.

If you look at his Japanese League Stats at The Baseball Cube, you'll notice a few things that are interesting. First of all, his K/9 was never anywhere near as high as it was last year. Just goes to show you how much easier it is for a reliever to be dominant than a starter. I'm curious exactly why that is. The most obvious explanation would be that starters are holding back a little to conserve energy...but you never hear them say, "yeah I was going about 90% on that pitch". Another explanation is that they either get tired or lose effectiveness the second time through the order...but then they should have better stats in the first inning, and I don't think that's the case at all.

The second interesting thing in his stats is if you look at the Games and Games Started. For every single year of his career (which is quite long) Saito pitched in games as a starter and as a reliever. If that's normal in Japan, I didn't realize it.

By the way, I wrote an article for Lenny Melnick Fantasy Baseball on strategy for your last picks in the draft. Take a look, let me know what you think, and let Lenny know if you think the article is hard to find or that my blog would be hard to find from his site.

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