While a sizable amount of press has been devoted to the possible acquisitions of Michael Bourn or Brian Wilson, Sandy Alderson has methodically been adding pitchers to the organization’s choices for the 2013 iteration of the Mets bullpen staff.
One such signing is the January 31st signing of LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins, age 40, is an 18 year veteran of the major leagues and now returns to the National League after a one year stint with the Angels. Prior to that he spent two years with the Brewers.
How much has Hawkins got left in the tank?
In 2012, Hawkins won two games, lost three, and saved one. He threw 42.0 innings, accrued a 3.54 ERA and a 1.77 K/BB ratio. He lost a month due to a fractured finger.
In 2010, Hawkins only threw 18 innings. So a review of his full season performances since 2009 reveals the following:
1) Innings Pitched: in 2009, he threw 63.1 innings. In 2011, he threw 48.1 innings. In 2012, he threw 42.0 innings. That’s, of course, a downward trend.
2) Strikeouts: in 2009, he tallied 45 k’s. In 2011, he tallied 28 k’s. In 2012, he tallied 23 k’s. Again, a downward trend.
3) WHIP: in 2009, it stood at 1.200. In 2011, it stood at 1.241. In 2012, it stood at 1.381. In terms of WHIP, a rising trend is a bad trend.
Evaluation: Based on these three diminishing trends: IP’s, K’s, and WHIP (and at age 40), we can see a bullpen addition that one can’t really get too excited about. At age 40, does Hawkins have some mentoring value? Perhaps. Does he add depth? Certainly. Can he contribute? Marginally.
Another recent Alderson signing is the January 29th signing of Scott Atchison. Atchison is 36 (soon to be 37) year old and a veteran of six years. He has spent the last three seasons pitching for the Boston Red Sox.
Last season, Atchison appeared in 42 games, threw 51.1 innings, tallied 36 k’s, walked only 9 and accrued a 1.58 ERA. His WHIP ended up at 0.99.
Sounds like a good pick up. But there’s a catch: he had a two-month gap last year (July 13th to September 16th) due to a forearm/elbow ailment. He avoided surgery and returned to pitch in 5 games before the end of 2012 season.
Evaluation: Based purely on performance, Atchison seems like a solid pick-up but temper that with the injury-risk factor and we have another lukewarm signing. Like Hawkins, he adds depth and might contribute if he can stay healthy.