Sunday, December 21, 2008

Daniel Cabrera 2009

According to Rotoworld, the Nationals and Daniel Cabrera have come to terms on a one year deal for 2009. Allegedly, several other teams were in hot pursuit. One has to wonder why there was so much interest in Cabrera. For years he's been a pitcher who compiled high strikeout totals, but was barely effective due to his incredibly bad control. In 2007 his strikeout rate began to decline from its previous levels (to 166 Ks in 204.1 innings), and 2008 it plummetted to 95 strikeouts in 180 innings. Those are the strikeout numbers of a good control pitcher...except that Cabrera still walked 90 in 180 innings. Only EXTREME ground ball pitchers can last in the major leagues with numbers like those, and while Cabrera does a decent job of keeping the ball on the ground (48% in 2008), he would need to be up over 55% for his K/BB ratio to be close to acceptable. So the 'prize' that the Nationals won is a guy who will be barely effective (although helped slightly by the change of league and park)...if they're lucky and last year was an aberation. If they're unlikely, he'll pitch like last year (badly) or it will turn out that last year was an indication of long term health problems.

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