Wednesday, March 18, 2009

30 A's in 30 Days – Justin Duchscherer

Acquired: Traded from Texas for Luis Vizcaino (suckers!) (March 18, 2002).
Contract: One year thru 2009. Eligible for free agency after 2009.
Position: Formerly the #1 starter

Projected ERA: 4.05

Over/Under: Fangraphs posted a piece on Duchscherer last November that questioned how many of his 2008 numbers (2.54 ERA, .240 BABIP) could be repeated. The author – as reflected separately in Duke's above projection – was not optimistic. Making matters worse, Duke has been shut down this spring due to persistent pain in his right elbow. The current (unpublicized) plan is to put him on the DL to start the season and have him pitch out of the bullpen when healthy, in advance of joining the rotation. I don't see a lot of innings in '09, but he'll come in UNDER that projected ERA, me thinks.

By the Numbers: 1 – The number of writers who suggested the A's would be wise to trade Duchscherer before last year's July 31 deadline – even referencing how his value would never be higher than it was last summer. Who was that handsome Afrocentric scribe?

Surefire '09 Prediction: Duchscherer is pitching for his first free agent payday after the season and, as a result, has publicly resisted a permanent relocation back to the bullpen. Greed n' ego get best of him here, as Duke will finish with just one or two more wins than months lost to the disabled list.

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