I’m actually getting kind of tired of writing about Jeff Karstens. Yes, he’s one of my favorite Pirates. Yes, this whole Karstens drama was blown way out of proportion. Yes, he is unreliable. I get all of that. Guess what though? I said I’d cover every player that was on the roster last year and I’m going to do that.
You want to see why I’m tired of writing about Jeff Karstens?
Next was the confirmation. As you can see there is pretty good background in there in regards to just how injury prone Jeff Karstens has been.
The fact of the matter is that while Karstens has been good, he has been plagued by injuries. He is almost like the Ryan Doumit of the rotation, missing 355 days due to injury in the past five seasons. He has pitched just 68.1 innings in the months of Sept./Oct. in his five years with the Pirates.
It’s pretty undeniable that this is the main reason, in addition to money that Karstens was let go.
If you are reading through all these posts you will see that I said the Pirates would have to replace Karstens with a better, more reliable, pitcher. Instead they agreed in principle with Francisco Liriano on a higher paying, multi-year deal, pending a physical.
They basically discounted the fact that Liriano is also injury prone and what happened? Turns out he has an injury to his non-throwing arm and couldn’t pass a physical.
Still, Jeff Karstens apparently didn’t represent a good value.
This, along with another rumor, leads me to believe the Pirates don’t actually make moves based on sound logic.
Alas though, the Pirates brought back Jeff Karstens. All this dancing around and they didn’t upgrade his spot, just saved a million bucks. Actually, they probably saved more since they justified trading Joel Hanrahan by saying that money would be better allocated to the rotation and then not allocating that money to the rotation.
So what is my take on Jeff Karstens? Obviously I’m a fan, but why? Because he is a good pitcher. He knows how to pitch. Karstens misses enough bats to be effective, and doesn’t walk a ton of guys. A lot is made about huge strikeout numbers, and Karstens doesn’t have them. What I think is more important though is a good WHIP combined with a good SO/BB. Karstens has had both of them for the past two seasons.
|PIT (5 yrs)||23||35||4.31||123||535.0||91||1.312||9.6||1.2||2.2||5.2||2.32|
|NYY (2 yrs)||3||5||5.65||15||57.1||81||1.517||10.5||1.6||3.1||3.3||1.05|
|NL (5 yrs)||23||35||4.31||123||535.0||91||1.312||9.6||1.2||2.2||5.2||2.32|
|AL (2 yrs)||3||5||5.65||15||57.1||81||1.517||10.5||1.6||3.1||3.3||1.05|
Despite averaging just around 126 IP in the last two seasons he has been able to give the Pirates 2.9 WAR. Even though he has pitched fewer innings then we’d like he has been a 0.6 + WAR guy for three straight years. That’s a good number for a fifth starter in my opinion.
The Pirates absolutely made the right move by bringing him back. In fact when it comes to injury risks like Karstens I think it’s a great idea to go year to year until they prove they are healthy.
I’m really looking forward to another season of writing about Jeff Karstens.
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