Friday, March 19, 2010
30 A's in 30 Days – Craig Breslow
Acquired: Signed off of waivers from Minnesota Twins (May 20, 2009).
Contract: One year thru 2010. (Eligible for arbitration after season.)
Position: Southpaw reliever, world's smartest man.
Projected ERA: 3.72
Over/Under: I'll admit that I'd barely heard of Breslow when my A's plucked him off the waiver wire last May. He'd had two cups of coffee here in San Diego with the Padres late in the 2005 season, which is to say I knew of him in the way most casual followers of the Friars knew little-used relievers at the back of the bullpen – four years ago. Last season, Breslow had a few of those "2 runs in less than an inning" outings for the Twins that ran his ERA over 6.00, but he righted his ship ("S.S. Situational Lefty") in Oakland.
His ERA was 2.60 with the A's and his WHIP was under 1.000 in 55.1 innings. Amazingly, the A's are Breslow's fifth Major League team over four seasons. His career 2.79 ERA in 153 relief appearances proves again that spending insane amount of money on fungible bullpen components is a fool's game. Breslow's posted an ERA higher than his 2010 projection just once over a whole season (13 appearances with Boston in 2006, 3.75), so I'll take the UNDER.
By the Numbers: 2002 – The year Breslow graduated from Yale(!) with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. He was also captain of Yale's baseball team and led the Ivy League in ERA as a senior. ("Honestly, Smithers, I don't know why Harvard even bothers to show up. They barely even won.")
Surefire 2010 Prediction: Breslow's academic résumé will be mentioned eleventy-billion times during Oakland A's road broadcasts this season. And, if last year is any indication, it'll be done in that passive-aggressive way broadcasters use to mock intelligent jocks while celebrating their own moronia. (Did I use it correctly, Craig?)
Snoop Dogg Track for the Season: White Boyz