The Dodgers Almost Have Cliff Lee   Leave a comment

Okay, they don’t. But they have the closest thing to Cliff Lee… Clayton Kershaw. One independent scout said, “[Cliff] Lee is basically [Clayton] Kershaw with impeccable command.”

Lee’s ERA the past three seasons: 2.54, 3.22, 3.18. Kershaw’s ERA the past three seasons: 4.26, 2.79, 2.91. Despite the similarity in ERA’s (especially considering the 4.26 from Kershaw was his rookie season), one major difference is their respective WHIPs this past year. Lee with a 1.00 and Kershaw with a 1.18. Although Lee is a lot more hittable than Kershaw (.240 AVG and .214 AVG, respectively), Lee had a K/BB ratio of 10.28 while Kershaw had a ratio of 2.62. Lee walked 18 and Kershaw walked 81. And, although the Dodgers can’t afford Lee because Frank and Jamie wasted all the team’s money on their various debaucheries, the Dodgers have hopes of replicating Lee–maybe even getting someone better.

Here’s what I wrote last month about Kershaw:

Kershaw has shown something this year that we haven’t seen before. Although his final numbers were similar to last year, here is something that is making me salivate. In 2009, Kershaw never had a month where he allowed less than 4 BB/9IP. He had 3 months where he had more than 5 BB/9IP. This year, aside from the first month, he had only one other month with a BB/9IP greater than 4. The other 4 months? 3.89, 2.86, 2.25, and 1.85. Now, I’m not saying he’s gonna be the next Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay, in terms of control. But I my heart starts beating faster when considering how he might do if he can keep his BB/9IP under 3.00 for next season. His ERA is not a random guess, but I calculated it based on the percentage of base runners who score runs on him. It’s pretty constant, so if he can lower the number of base runners, he will lower the amount of runs scored. Kershaw will finish in the top-5 in the Cy Young race for the first time, ever. And, if he can win 15+ games, I think he has an awesome shot of winning the award, even over Halladay and Lincecum. BTW… I consider K/BB as one of the greatest indicators of pitching dominance. Look at any great pitcher and they will have a K/BB ratio greater than 3/1.
2.34 ERA, 215 IP, 235 K/70 BB, 165 H, 1.09 WHIP, 9.8 K/9, 3.4 K/BB
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Posted October 19, 2010 by Mitchell J. Kim in Uncategorized

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